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It’s little over an hour into the evening power cut. I’m staring at the road from my balcony. Just aimlessly looking for something worth loo...

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Back when I was starting to discover science fiction, in one of the first books i read, there was a small piece at the end about another book that the translator had published. In there, Arthur C. Clarke was describing a machine that could build anything from atomic level just by pressing a button. He was a genius at making people believe his wonders from the future, all the way to a point where people actually started trying to make those things. This machine, while in real world, might be way out of our reach, still made sense to me. I remember thinking "why couldn't it be possible?". If we managed to survive another thousand years, aren't we capable of making such things?. Looking at what came out our civilization, to anyone who lived 100 years back from now, most of our technology will be unrecognizable. A millennium on earth could bring almost anything we can imagine to life. 

So, this machine in my head looked like a huge coffee maker with a big glass covered hole in the middle and a computer hooked-up to it. And the paragraph that described this incredible machine, made me buy the book. It was a hard find. 

The book was a wonderful mix of Clarke's imagination and his scientific knowledge. But even from teleportation and time travel to galactic colonization, this machine found its way to my mind and there it settled forever. That meant most of the nights I was lying in bed and 3D-printing the most ridiculous things I could think of. I even thought about saving current state of a sports car to a data file, so I could restore it every time I crashed or just had to service.

Even though Clarke's estimations about time, sometimes seems to be off, Few of his imaginary machines are becoming or already became a reality in past years. Satellite technology is a well known example but even smaller things like escalators were wonderfully explained in his early novels, where people would simply stop walking but the pavement will move instead, to get them to where they wanted to go.

Today i see people using 3D printers to make plasticky things in their homes, and i couldn't be more amazed to see one of my favorite imaginary toys come to life. I know it's not the same thing as building things from atomic level, but again, I see people printing human ears with live cells and i think to myself may be Sir Arthur C. Clarke's not that far off.

Technology is only good as its creator and based on our track record, Whatever use we can make out of something like this, will surely cause more damage to our civilization.

Be that as it may, the lesson to be learned here is that, Fiction is made out of imagination and intuition, and those two used to be strong factors of our civilization in passed years. Today we built on those ideas that laid up foundations for years to come. But just like fossil fuel, we might run out of those, sooner than we think.

So instead of watching crappy space movies, we might want to pickup some old sci-fi novels and magazines to see what we miss today and may be try to figure out, why we stopped imagining how cities, transportation, colonization or just life on earth would look like in a thousand years from now.