"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!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

12 January 2013

Oliver Platt b. 1960
Kirstie Alley b. 1951
John Lasseter b. 1957

Product launch date for HAL 9000: 12 January 1992

from 2001: A Space Odyssey released 6 April 1968

Predictors: Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick

Reality: I give Clarke some credit for guessing how fast computers would become something pretty cool. A lot of sci fi completely misses how much impact computers will have on people's everyday lives only a few decades away.

That said... a computer with a will of its own.  I worked in the industry and I have a fair understanding of how these things work and we aren't close to making this a reality. Living things come into the world with a will, the need for food and oxygen, a will to re-produce. We have taught computers to do some remarkable things, including playing games as diverse as chess and Jeopardy! at an amazing level of skill, but we haven't taught them to want to play or to want to learn a new game.

One of Vonnegut's pieces of advice for writers of short stories is "All your characters must want something, even if it's just a glass of water." HAL 9000 wanted the success of the mission more than anything else as his crewmates learned, much to their distress. The computer I am writing this on doesn't want anything. As compelling characters, dogs and cats are much more interesting than computers. (Actually, some dogs and cats are much more compelling characters than some humans, but we'll leave that conversation for another day.)

Looking one day... INTO THE FUTURE! We'll know Leo G. Carroll is over a barrel, long before Tarantula! actually takes to the hills.  And what's more, tomorrow's vision into THE FUTURE comes complete with a visit to that fantastic modernistic cyberspace wonderland known as... The You Tubes!

Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. are you planning to do bellamy's looking backwards and equality and/or mack reynolds' 1970s versions thereof?

  2. Hi, Clem! I have read through Bellamy Looking Backwards and will be using some of his ideas. I wasn't aware of Mack Reynolds, but I will hunt his stuff down now that I know about it.

    Thanks for the tip! So many people, some I know and some I just met, have been very helpful.


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