Thursday, August 5, 2010

When Does The Future Get Here?

On last nights Fast Forward Radio from The Speculist guys, the question arose as to what development(s) qualifies as a hallmark of "the future". My off the cuff response was that the future never arrives; we always live in the now after all. Upon somewhat deeper thought, I do have a technology standard that quantifies my personal vision of "the future".

All of the potential technology we variously anticipate is dependent upon a source of electrical energy. With that universal condition in mind, my metric for arrival at "the future" is a realistically portable source of electrical energy that contains sufficient energy to power my abode and all the other devices I possess (if not all of them at the same time necessarily), other than my transportation, without need for re-fuel for at least 10 years. Think Hyperion Power Module as a model, but not necessarily a nuclear or radioactive decay process being involved. If you're a sci-fi reader, think Heinlein's Shipstone power supply.

So there you have it, I will have lived to see the future when I have the option to purchase personal energy independence on an at-least-decadal cycle.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

For Stephen and Phil

Fantasy fulfilled, you can check that one off the list now. :)

Via Al Fin comes notice of a practical, and - importantly - currently license-able for public by-ways use apparently, a flying car (OK, more of a dune buggy really). As Al Fin notes, the engineering requirements seem fairly modest to modify this for a pontoon arrangement of some sort and create a true all-surface accessible vehicle.

We're gettin' there fella's.