Monday, February 18, 2013
18 February 2013
Announcing... Amazing Stories Week!
Regular readers will know I have a daily routine Monday through Friday for the predictions, but I came across a great discovery this weekend and I'm going to throw a monkey wrench into the monotonous machine, based on First Rule of Blogging (H.): It's my blog and you are not the boss of me!
My friend Alan Ponder has a terrific collection of old science fiction magazines, the ones printed on pulp paper, known as "the pulps" to their fans. In 1956, Amazing Stories turned 30 and devoted the last few pages of the April issue to predictions from people in many fields of what the world would look like in 2001.
In other words, a big old goldmine for this blog.
I'll be printing the predictions from today to next Monday, starting out with what easily can be considered the wackiest from a guy who made a real effort to be odd and was taken seriously by many people of the time.
It's hard for me to give an modern example to the young people of what he was like. There are people trying to be outrageous for the sake of outrage now, many of them political pundits. But this guy was very different and he had some talent, something most pundits lack completely.
Prediction: I believe that art and science will have merged by 2001...
The secret of this harmony can be seen today in cosmic radiation... Beauty is mathematical too - I refer you to the works of Bach - and the beauty of the logarithmic curve of the rhinceros horn, with its repetition in the internal sedillas of the cauliflower can be seen by the aware eye of today and will been seen, and acted upon, by the awakened artists of 2001...
By 2001, such things will have lost their rigidity and gained, instead, have found the unity that is found in cosmic radiation, the cauliflower and the rhinoceros horn.
They will have realized the secret of life, of art, and of power, is viscosity.
Predictor: Salvador Dali, in the 30th anniversary of Amazing Stories, April 1956
Reality check: In the interest of full disclosure, I concede that I did a Dadaist editing job on this famous surrealist's prose. I only published every third sentence in his three paragraph tour de force, but also added his final sentence, the first mention of "viscosity".
Some readers might say, "But, Professor! You shouldn't edit someone's words in such a strange and didactic way. This statement has lost all meaning."
Let me make my case in two parts.
Part 1. See the First Rule of Blogging (H.).
2. I swear on the Collected Works of Leonhard Euler that absolutely no meaning has been removed from Mr. Dali's statement. True, many words have gone missing and yes, those words formed sentences with subjects and verbs. But this edited version makes every bit as much sense as what he wrote and the editors of Amazing decided to publish. If you think this version is meaningless, you would not be convinced much by the full text.
Looking ahead one day... INTO THE FUTURE! The 57th anniversary celebration of Amazing Stories' 30th Anniversary continues, with visits from Sid Caesar and John Cameron Swayze.
Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!