"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, October 17, 2013

17 October 2013

Birthdays
Mark Gatiss b. 1966 (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who)
Mike Judge b. 1962 (Spy Kids, Idiocracy)
Rob Marshall b. 1960 (director, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides)
Guy Henry b. 1960 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, V for Vendetta)
Margot Kidder b. 1948 (Superman, The Amityville Horror)
Julie Adams b. 1926 (Creature From the Black Lagoon)
Beverly Garland b. 1926 died 5 December 2008 (Twilight Zone, It Conquered the World)
Jerry Siegel b. 1914 died 28 January 1996 (writer, Superman)
John Marley b. 1907 died 22 May 1984 (Twilight Zone, Land of the Giants)

Interesting list of birthdays today. My first thought was to go with a picture of Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, both to honor her and as a nod to Superman's creator Jerry Siegel, but searching on imdb.com I found Julie Adams' name and I had to have a picture of her with her best known leading man. More than that, Ms. Adams and Beverly Garland were born on the exact same day, and both of them had long careers after appearing in low budget 1950s monster movies.

Many happy returns of the day to living.


Predictor: Isaac Asimov, asked to predict life in 2014 on the occasion of the 1964 World's Fair

Prediction: Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The I.B.M. exhibit at the present fair has no robots but it is dedicated to computers, which are shown in all their amazing complexity, notably in the task of translating Russian into English. If machines are that smart today, what may not be in the works 50 years hence? It will be such computers, much miniaturized, that will serve as the "brains" of robots. In fact, the I.B.M. building at the 2014 World's Fair may have, as one of its prime exhibits, a robot housemaid* large, clumsy, slow- moving but capable of general picking-up, arranging, cleaning and manipulation of various appliances. It will undoubtedly amuse the fairgoers to scatter debris over the floor in order to see the robot lumberingly remove it and classify it into "throw away" and "set aside." (Robots for gardening work will also have made their appearance.)

General Electric at the 2014 World's Fair will be showing 3-D movies of its "Robot of the Future," neat and streamlined, its cleaning appliances built in and performing all tasks briskly. (There will be a three-hour wait in line to see the film, for some things never change.)

Reality: This is Asimov's best prediction so far. Computers did get a lot smaller and they are the brains of all our modern gadgetry. We don't have robot housemaids, but there is the Roomba. For the father of the Three Laws, he was actually a little too pessimistic about what robots would look like in fifty years. They may not be making our coffee or fluffing the pillows, but on assembly lines they do some pretty remarkable stuff.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another Song of the Future predicts a violent revolution in 1975.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

4 comments:

  1. Asimov loses a point for predicting the miniaturization of of robot "brains" but not of the robots themselves. Than again, who could've anticipated vacuum cleaners that double as cat toys?

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't knock a point off for that, since many robots are still pretty large.

      However, I would give him a ding for falling prey to the anthropomorphization of robots, thinking of them as automatons in roughly the shape of people.

      Also, the idea of a 3 hour wait for a film at the 2014 World's Fair (do we still even have those?) is pretty far off the mark. No wait for films on your phone, in 2014.

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    2. Regular readers such as you two esteemed gentlemen realize that the subtext of this blog is that our present doesn't look much like the future even the best futurists foresaw. Very few writers had any idea how quickly computers would get as small and useful as they are now. Clarke does get some points for HAL 9000, but it was both way more useful and way bigger than the real deals on our desks and in our phones.

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    3. I dunno about more useful. My iPhone has never locked me out of the pod bay.

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