I recall seeing a science fiction movie as a kid. The movie depicted the world as it might be in 2010 or whereabouts. It had all the clichés that we associate with the future : flying cars, robots as household helpers, a hopelessly polluted world, people daily commuting to Mars for work by private space shuttles, everyone wearing pointy, golden coloured costumes, compressed food palettes that miraculously turn into a scrumptious pizza or roast chicken when treated for 10 seconds in machines that are a funkier version of today’s microwave ovens. It is 2011 now, but none of these things are around. With the notable exception of flying cars. What? You haven’t seen them yet? James Bond has had one since 1960. Closer still, my son has hundreds of them. Ok, back to the topic at hand. Chances are the same producer is busy making another film that will depict the world as it will be in 2300. It will surely stretch our imagination and show new wonders that will amaze and eventually evade us. On second thoughts, maybe he/she should get in touch with Mr Kurzweil and take a reality check.
But the trouble with science fiction is that no-one seems to talk, care or think about mundane day-to-day things that surely need changing or evolving (some of them drastically). I can live with my current car, which doesn’t fly. But what I can’t live with is continue to having to endure the torturous visits to my dentist (I must admit she is nice, but don’t tell my wife!) where my I have to keep my jaws stretched open in all types of contorted positions while hundreds of precision instruments like water jets, minute suction pumps etc clank about my teeth and gums trying to remove plaque that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
I cannot create a new improved line of dentistry. But I consider myself to be more of a thinker (being very ambitious, I am thinking on the lines of Bertrand Russell crossed with Woody Allen) rather than an inventor or a scientist. So I, the unfortunate victim of today’s primitive dental techniques, hereby commit to starting a new line of posts where I would like to muse about Stuff That futurE shouLd brinG (STELG). Maybe this (thanks to mine and hopefully some of the reader’s ideas) will eventually morph into a veritable treasure trove of ideas about new stuff that future should bring. Now these may start off with rants about stuff, services, things, products that are broken, badly designed, half-thought through and need to be redesigned completely. Or it could just be something that doesn’t exist today and absolutely must exist tomorrow to make the future worthwhile. Or a wild wish that is lurking somewhere in the mind, waiting to find an outlet. The focus might be on things around us that seem irrelevant or too obvious for science fiction to think about, though i am sure occasionally things like flying cars will also make an appearance.
I am convinced that if I keep up with it, the ideas will evolve on the scales of imagination, importance, usability and maybe wackiness. We can then patent these ideas and sell them for millions of dollars (or whichever currency is the strongest at that time) by publishing them in swanky book with a bright & shiny jacket and quotes from important sounding people! You may scoff at it for it not being a new idea, but it is surely worth a shot. If nothing else, it should make fun reading years down the line. Remember “Hope springs eternal”
So the first one to follow soon…