If you compare turn-of-the-century radiotelegraph to the TV networks of the 1950s, and notice things move FASTER now, you can get a look at how I view the coming century. Look at us as 1908 instead of 2008, instead of wireless radio, look at biological advances.
I remember when cloning was declared impossible, about two decades ago. I remember when heart transplants were declared impossible, and then when those who had declared them impossible were banking on the fact that patients only lived a few extra months or years.
So I will put a news time here, which I seldom do:
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNN) — Last week in an operating room in Texas, a wounded American soldier underwent a history-making procedure that could help him regrow the finger that was lost to a bomb attack in Baghdad last year….
What the usual discussion of this would produce would be a set of comments by Super Doctor Gillboob saying this is nonsense or Respected Finger Specialist Gottlieb saying this one won’t work or Harvard Ethics Professor Finklestein saying it’s Evil and Pat Robertson backing him up. I would also receive the usual statement about the different between embryonic stem cells and others.
My idea of the future is entirely different. I have been described by those who have know me for decades as “so right it’s CREEPY” about the future because I see a PICTURE, not a bunch of current news or current commentary. I see a PICTURE.
As I said, I look at this finger replacement ATTEMPT the way I would have looked at wireless telegraphy as Marconi moved from sending signals room to room to sending them across his yard and so forth, year after year.
The reason Georgia dentist Crawford Long’s anesthesia was rejected and patients had to have surgery in agony for years was because, when he demonstrated nitrous oxide, the patient GROANED. That happened with NO2 though the patient was deep under. It justified the experts that anesthesia was impossible.
Cute joke. Look what it COST!
But Crawford Long clearly demonstrated that doctors were TRYING anesthesia long before they finally found out what the far more dangerous method later adopted was tested out. It was the key to the FUTURE, which is my concern.
If we are to influence the future, we must have a clear idea of what it will NOT be like. ALL our present discussions of the future are hopelessly mired in what IS and the expectations drawn from what IS.
I have discussed this before, but had no real comments on it. That was why I was so ecstatic to see Prometheus’ exposition on temporal provincialism below.