Thursday, January 10, 2013
10 January 2013
Prediction: "In the world of the future, we will not be the only intelligent creatures. On of the coming techniques will be what we might call bio-engineering, the development of intelligent and useful servants among the other animals on this planet, particularly the great apes, the dolphins and whales.
"It's a scandal that pre-historic man tamed all the domesticated animals we have today. We haven't added one in the past five thousand years. With our current understanding of animal psychology and genetics, we could certainly solve the servant problem with the help of the monkey kingdom.
"Of course, our super-chimpanzees would start forming trade unions and we'd be right back where we started."
Predictor: Arthur C. Clarke on the 1964 BBC TV show Horizon.
Accuracy: Well, some monkeys are used as helper creatures for people who do not have the use of their arms, but the great apes have not been pulling their weight so far and we aren't doing much in the way of actual bio-engineering, other than making siamese cats much uglier. There is also the United States Navy Marine Mammal Program, but if you can trust Wikipedia, the Navy has decided it would be more humane to turn the mine detection business over to aquatic robots.
And as much as I might like old ACC, his quip about super-chimp trade unions smacks of the condescending attitude of that less talented futurist Newt Gingrich.
Fran Walsh b. 1959
Ms. Walsh is a screenwriter and partner of director Peter Jackson.
Looking one day... INTO THE FUTURE! Friday is Antique Postcard Day! We will discover why predictions about life in a hundred years is a terrific way to sell chocolates to Germans.
Or maybe not.
Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!