"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 23, 2014

23 January 2014

Birthdays
Sonita Henry b. 1977 (Doctor Who, Star Trek [2009], The Fifth Element)
David Patrick Kelly b. 1951 (K-PAX, The Crow, Dreamscape)
Richard Dean Anderson b. 1950 (Stargate, Legend [TV])
Rutger Hauer b. 1944 (True Blood, Dracula 3D, Salem’s Lot, Smallville, The 10th Kingdom, Merlin, Lexx, Buffy the Vampire Slayer [movie], Ladyhawke, Blade Runner)
Gil Gerard b, 1943 (E.A.R.T.H. Force, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)
Greg Hildebrandt b. 1939 (Illustrator)
Tim Hildebrandt b. 1939 died 11 June 2006 (Illustrator)
Lou Antonio b. 1934 (Star Trek)
Walter Michael Miller b. 1923 died 1/9/1996
(won 1961 Hugo for A Canticle for Leibowitz)

Last year on this date, I put the cover art for A Canticle for Leibowitz in the Picture Slot. Next year, I'll probably go with Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty in Blade Runner. But this year it's Greg and Tim Hildebrandt's re-imagining of Tom Jung's original Star Wars poster. The models in the Hildebrandt work don't resemble the actors very much, but you can see the  Maxfield Parrish influence in their choices of colors and light. They also did a lot of illustrations of Tolkien characters. Tim died in 2006 from complications due to diabetes.


Many happy returns to the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
  

Predictor: Isaac Asimov in 1964, asked to predict life in 2014.

Prediction: Well, the earth's population is now about 3,000,000,000 and is doubling every 40 years. There are only two general ways of preventing this: (1) raise the death rate; (2) lower the birth rate. Undoubtedly, the world of A.D. 2014 will have agreed on the latter method. Indeed, the increasing use of mechanical devices to replace failing hearts and kidneys, and repair stiffening arteries and breaking nerves will have cut the death rate still further and have lifted the life expectancy in some parts of the world to age 85.

There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect. The rate of increase of population will have slackened, but, I suspect, not sufficiently. One of the more serious exhibits at the 2014 World's Fair, accordingly, will be a series of lectures, movies and documentary material at the World Population Control Center (adults only; special showings for teen-agers).

Reality: I have often chided the late Mr. Asimov for his predictions, but this one is really good. He says the population doubles every 40 years, and according to Wikipedia, it took 39 years to go from 3 billion to 6 billion, so full points there. Life expectancy of 85 years has been attained for the general population in Monaco and Japan; there are 20 countries where the life span for women is 85 or better. The birth rate and the world population growth rate are decreasing, in large part because reducing the infant mortality rates in developing countries has resulted in women having less children. As for the lectures and documentaries and, I suppose, dirty movies shown at the 2014 World's Fair... actually, the next World's Fair that I've seen advertised in 2015 in Milan. There may be smutty movies there, but they will probably by adverts for cell phones or some other silly gadget.

Still, getting the doubling rate almost exactly, predicting the reduction in birth rate and hitting the best life expectancy rates threshold makes this one of the most accurate predictions I've published yet. We have only a few more predictions left from Asimov's list in 1964, and after a slow start, he has improved dramatically. I for one will be sorry to see him go.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

TED talks! I only have a few left from this list and I honestly will not be sorry to see them go.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

6 comments:

  1. where I would quibble with Mr Muttonchops is the "worldwide propaganda for birth control". If there is any worldwide propaganda regarding reproductive control, it is where America ties a lot of foreign aid to the propagation of abstinence-only programs in poorer countries, as well as the influence of the catholic Church.

    But despite that, women have increasingly made the choice to use birth control when available, in overwhelming numbers. I saw an estimate that in America, well over 90% of women use birth control at some point in their lives (I think Michelle duggar is the only one who has never).

    There is a direct correlation between availability of birth control, especially for teenagers and women in poverty, and lowered abortion rates. It is very telling that a majority of abortion opponents also object to birth control.

    But, as I said, that's a quibble. He got the essence of the issue right; in this century, birth control is widespread and popular and useful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. More than that, he did a good job of predicting the improvement in lifespan and how long it would take the population to double. A lot of people now are prediction 120 year average lifespans by the end of the century. It's possible, but I don't think it's going to be the average. Too many big problems like cancer to solve.

      Of course, there's zero chance I'll be around in 2100 to check the numbers out.

      Delete
    2. Of course, there's zero chance I'll be around in 2100 to check the numbers out.

      Kurzweil says otherwise. You will have uploaded your consciousness into your iPhone.

      Delete
    3. A lot of people now are prediction 120 year average lifespans by the end of the century. It's possible, but I don't think it's going to be the average.

      I agree with this; to my understanding, much of the increase in lifespan is due to lessening infant and youth mortality, so there's less drag on the bottom end of the scale. The problem is that there's so many parts of the human body that just wear out, regardless of medical interventions.

      Except Dick Cheney's heart. Since he's an Old One, he is likely to last as long as there is kitten blood to run his heart.

      Delete
    4. It's fun to compare this prediction with William Gibson's "Neuromancer" in which, if you are rich enough, clinics can replace or augment any organ or system with fresh, new vat grown or mechanical parts. Gibson never gives a year for this.

      Delete
  2. Also, that's quite the iconographic poster, inaccuracies and all. It captures more of the feeling of the movie...

    Interesting to note that it also reflects the feeling at the time that Han Solo was a secondary, even tertiary character. There were doubts that he should even be in the sequel, but then Harrison Ford turned into a star, so THAT was settled.

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