"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

10 January 2013

In the year 2000!

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!


  1. I really like this blog's topics - brings back the days when I was obsessed with science fiction. However, I think I was always a bit dubious about extreme claims for the future.

  2. Hi, Nancy! Thanks for stopping by. Predicting the future is never easy and no one is really good at it. A lot of people think sci fi did better than the psychics and astrologers, which is probably true, but looking at the record they weren't particularly good.

    One thing Clarke deserves some credit for is seeing that computers were going to be important in the very near future. The microprocessor revolution starts in the early 1970s and even as late as the 1960s most sci fi writers didn't see what was coming and how fast. He overshot the mark with HAL-9000, which was supposed to be released in 1992, but his contemporary Isaac Asimov had all his robot stories set 10,000 years in the future.

    In my book, a reasonable over-optimism of how soon things will happen is way better than a gigantic over-pessimism in my book.


Traveler! Have you news... FROM THE FUTURE?