Judgement Day

DeadlineLast night (April 19, 2011) at precisely 8.11pm, Skynet, the giant computer network that controls most of the U.S. weapons, became self aware. Tomorrow it begins its assault on humanity. Tomorrow is to be Judgement Day. Hmmmm.  I'm a big Terminator fan but I've heard this story before.  If memory serves me right, I shouldn't be preparing for the day the machines are set to rise and take over the Earth.  I should be preparing for disappointment.

Space 1999

Remember way back when nuclear waste from Earth was stored on the Moon's far side and it was to explode in a catastrophic accident on September 13, 1999?  It was to knock the Moon out of orbit and send it and the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha hurtling uncontrollably into space.  It didn't happen!

Millennium Bug

Remember all of those crazy people who were stockpiling gold, food, and water leading up to December 31, 1999?  Sure, I still have a container of TVP somewhere in the basement.  It's now there in the event of a zombie apocalypse.  Butt CNN Money reported that we spent over $500 Billion on Y2K.  Again, nothing really happened!

2001: A Space Odyssey

Some technologies portrayed as common which have not materialized include commonplace civilian space travel, space stations with hotels, moon colonization, suspended animation of humans, and strong artificial intelligence like HAL.  We're getting there, but it hasn't happened.  Arther C. Clarke went on to write three sequel novels: 2010: Odyssey Two2061: Odyssey Three, and 3001: The Final Odyssey. Two out of four have come to pass and we missed the mark.

So, what is my science fiction rambling all about?

Why do we keep making predictions?  Aren't we setting ourselves up for a fall over and over again?  Sure, I'm all about setting goals.  We did get a man on the moon by 1970, as President Kennedy pledged.  But fact or fiction, I just don't see 99% of these predictions as coming true.  Just as I have less and less faith in predicting the completion date and scope of a project before it begins, I'm not going to buy into Judgement Day either.  I'm just trying to manage this cone of uncertainty. Let's just review what happened yesterday, let's see what we're doing today, and then we'll see what we can get done tomorrow.


HT: Wikipedia

Drawing from Pictofigo