"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!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

9 September 2014

Kelsey Chow b. 1991 (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Josh Herdman b. 1987 (Harry Potter)
Julie Gonzalo b. 1981 (Vamp U)
Michelle Williams b. 1980 (Oz the Great and Powerful, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Timemaster, Species)
Rogelio T. Ramos b. 1976 (Spider-Man 3, Zombie Night)
Goran Visnjic b. 1972 (Extant, The Deep, Elektra, Practical Magic)
Henry Thomas b.1971 (Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Cloak & Dagger, E.T.)
Eric Stonestreet b. 1971 (American Horror Story, The Island)
Julia Sawalha b. 1968 (Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Comic Relief: Doctor Who – The Curse of Fatal Death)
Adam Sandler b. 1966 (Bedtime Stories, Click, Little Nicky, Coneheads)
David Bennent b. 1966 (Legend)
Michelle Johnson b. 1965 (Specimen, Death Becomes Her, Beaks: The Movie, Werewolf)
Brenda Epperson b. 1965 (Bug Buster)
Charles Esten b. 1965 (The Postman, Lois & Clark, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Hugh Grant b. 1960 (Cloud Atlas, The Lair of the White Worm)
Bruce Stait b. 1959 (Fringe, Final Destination 5, Supernatural, Tron: Legacy, Stonehenge Apocalypse, Smallville, Blade: The Series, Stargate: Atlantis, The 4400, Battlestar Galactica, Andromeda, First Wave, Poltergeist: The Legacy, The X-Files, Highlander [TV], Omen IV: The Awakening, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future)
Jeffrey Alan Combs b. 1954 (Elf-Man, Dorothy and the Witches of Oz, The Dunwich Horror, The 4400, Abominable, SharkMan, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, House on Haunted Hill, Deep Space Nine, Time Tracers, Perversions of Science, The Frighteners, Babylon 5, Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero, Doctor Mordrid, Trancers II, The Flash, Guyver, Robot Jox, Re-Animator, Beauty and the Beast, From Beyond, Re-Animator, The Man with Two Brains)
Janet Fielding b. 1953 (Doctor Who)
Angela Cartwright b. 1952 (Lost in Space [1998 and 1965], Logan’s Run [TV])
Tom Wopat b. 1951 (Jonah Hex, Smallville, Meteorites)
Jeffrey Alan Chandler b. 1944 died 19 December 2001 (Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Twilight Zone [1985], Knight Rider)
Art LaFleur b. 1943 (Speed Racer, The Santa Clause, Angel, Space Rangers, Trancers I & II, The Blob [1988], Zone Troopers, WarGames, Wizards and Warriors, The Invisible Woman, Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again, The Incredible Hulk)
Topol b.1935 (SeaQuest 2032, Flash Gordon)
Margaret Tyzack b. 1931 died 25 June 2011 (Quatermass, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange)
Nick Ramus b. 1929 died 30 May 2007 (Harry and the Hendersons, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
Cliff Robertson b. 1923 died 10 September 2011(Amazing Spider –Man, Escape From L.A., Return to Earth, Charly, Batman, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone)
Neil Hamilton b. 1899 died 24 September 1984 (Batman, The Munsters, The Outer Limits)

Last year, Henry Thomas got The Picture Slot. This year, it was a wide open field. Regular readers will know that iconic genre roles trump movie and TV stardom, so folks like Adam Sandler, Hugh Grant and Tom Wopat were not in the running this year and unlikely to be used in the future. The main choices were Michelle Williams from the Oz movie, Jeffrey Alan Combs from Deep Space Nine or Re-Animator, Angela Cartwright from Lost in Space, Topol from Flash Gordon, Cliff Robertson from a number of roles or Neil Hamilton from Batman. But this year I have a soft spot for Doctor Who, so we get Janet Fielding as the companion Tegan, sometimes known as "the mouth with legs".

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

Predictor: FM-2030 in UpWing Priorities, published 1981

Prediction: Telespheres: Let us speedup the orbit shift from industrialism to the new age. The world of telespheres is flowing from the confluence of breakthroughs in many areas: limitless energy, interactive telecommunication, ultra intelligent machines, biological and cultural revolutions, space colonization. These and other forces are recontexting life in fundamentally new ways. We are creating electronic environments that integrate all peoples and services. No one need remain waterholed near stationary centralized sources of learning, livelihood or decision making. You connect from wherever you are.

For example, the track beyond school is teleducation which facilitates transmission of continuous updated info to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Beyond hospital: preventative telemedicine.

Beyond bureaucracy: telemanagement and teleconference.

Beyond vindictive judicial systems: preventative crime telemonitor.

Beyond profit retailing: direct teleshopping from production decenters.

Beyond leadership government: teledemocracy via universal referendums…

Reality: One of the most annoying experiences possible is when someone you believe is an idiot is right, and I have to say FM-2030 gets several things right here. The "electronic environments that integrate all peoples and services" is the thing that lets you read my little musings, the Internet. That wasn't an obvious call in 1981. The "continuous [sic] updated info" describes Wikipedia, that are more people working from home, taking online classes and definitely shopping, but his awful neologism "decenters" as a noun instead of a verb, does a bad job describing the very centralized Amazon.com.

Here's what he gets wrong. He uses the word "waterholed" to talk about an old-fashioned way of doing things, but he misses that people really do need to be near sources of clean water and that's not going to change. Online education has to overcome the fact that most people aren't self-motivating enough to succeed without a lot of supervision. Hospitals aren't going away and preventative telemedicine only goes so far. We have telemonitors everywhere, as Ray Rice learned yesterday to his disadvantage, but we still have a vindictive judicial system, here in the "enlightened" United States more than anywhere if you measure incarceration rates. Just because people shop online, that does nothing to end "profit retailing", it just means people's spending does nothing to improve their own communities. As for teledemocracy and universal referendums, the election system in most democracies has done little to move forward into the 21st Century.

I promise that next week when we see his next prediction, FM-2030 will go back to being a useless prat.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Herman Kahn makes his final prediction from 1972 book. 

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. Beyond vindictive judicial systems: preventative crime tele monitor.

    No, no, you have that wrong. He was just looking to pitch Minority Report to Hollywood.

    If it makes you feel better, he gets the "limitless energy" thing just as wrong as Henry Luce. Maybe for a different reason; the sun does provide nearly limitless energy but there are two bottlenecks: transforming that energy into a useful form and storing it, and the gatekeepers who will charge us money for doing so.

    A few months back, I got into a rolling argument at drift glass' place with a nutball who claimed that there was some kind of dielectric current present in water that could be extracted and used, and he pointed to a professor who has shown a very weak current in certain conditions. This professor managed to get an LED to light up! But admitted that he had to goose the experiment to do so- he was actually experimenting on a different thing altogether. When I pointed out the obvious woo factor to this commenter, he fell back on "but the universe is full of energy! You don't understand!"

    The universe IS full of energy. the trick is finding a way to make it usable that doesn't cost more than it's worth....

    1. As little as I think about FM-2030, he is at least an interesting starting place for a conversation. I'm retiring the Herman Kahn predictions tomorrow in no small part because he is often so vague and dull.

    2. Well, we could just write rap songs about blimps.

      "The Mouth With Legs" is cute and kind of pouty in that picture.

  2. TeleDrinking. TelePencil. TelePurring. TeleToothpicksculpturing.

    I am now a Futurist! When can I expect my check?

  3. It is too bad FM-2030(wishing) was so weak and succumbed to the weakness of death, as we could mock him for weeks no end. Much as I loved taking the ash to Kurzweil, this guy is so ripe since his own life refutes his career.


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