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As any geek will tell you a quick perusal through the annals of science-fiction will give you a range of visions on our future that range from the utopian to the dystopian.  These visions are so compelling because not matter how glorious or terrible they become they feel realistic on some level.  We can see a reflection of human nature and ambition within the tales that allow us to believe that there is a road that could easily lead to that place.  And, with each passing day, we seem to take another step toward these possible futures.  New technologies make things that were science-fiction in past years the mundane in the present.

With the accelerating pace of evolution, from both a technological and societal standpoint, we have to wonder when, not if, there is going to be the spark that ignites revolution of some sort.  We are already seeing the days when things that were thought to be eternal standards are beginning to glimpse the end of their run. 

A prime example is the printed word.  Between the internet and new devices like Amazon’s Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook we are seeing a time when any printed material from books to magazines can be delivered wirelessly to an electronic device.  Is this the future of libraries?  How much longer can traditional printing exist in the face of technology on the march?  And how many will truly join me in shedding a tear when the last printing press is turned off?

The point is, we need to be vigilant as our tools begin to become more and more advanced.  We have to guard against the loss of humanity that is so prevalent in these sci-fi worlds.  We need to be sure that we, as a species, remember the lessons of the past and the future.  Men and women of great vision and intellect have painted us portraits of things we can expect to be.  They have issued the warnings, it is we who must listen. 

There is a reason so many of these visions are disturbing.  Vigilance is draining.  Utopia is easier to see than dystopia.  It is easier to believe everything will turn out well than to question the status quo.  But, just because we can do it doesn’t make it wise.  Just because it simplifies life doesn’t mean it improves it.  Just because its shiny and new doesn’t mean it is better.

And, for the love of God, the more attractive the alien the more likely it will eat us!  Think people!


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