I've often joked that the Star Wars movies are the original software that came with my imagination. I know the films backwards and forwards, and I still have - and add to - my 1970s/80s era sci fi toy collection, proudly on display in my home. For a lonely kid growing up in 1970s Illinois, the world of Star Wars was the perfect place to escape in my head, and clearly marked the beginning of an imagination that's lasted a lifetime. In addition to the obvious - Star Wars is fucking cool - I loved the "pageantry" of the first three films, with grand sets, grander ships, and grandiose civilizations thriving on far off worlds. Everything in Star Wars is "big," like technology made things larger, not smaller. No one uses iPhones or compact tablet computers, and the electronics on the Death Star - as sizable as IBM mainframes - fill entire rooms with buttons, lights, and levers the size of rat traps. Machines are huge, with relays and pipes, miles of wire, cable, and conduit, and enough forged metal to reconstruct Isaac Asimov's Tranitor, with scraps left over to hammer out a couple dinette sets. Even the robots are big and bulky, with a few rolling around on tires. When Han Solo rescues Luke on Hoth (at the start of The Empire Strikes Back), he pulls out a "portable" radio to communicate with the local rebel base. The radio is ridiculously large, with silver antennas that resemble rabbit ears.
Chuckling ... its nice that that science of the future has allowed us space travel, but it's still a little heavy on vacuum tubes.
It's also hard to imagine "trusting" a driverless car to safely navigate a highway. "What if the car gets hacked?" I think. "Hell, what if EVERY car gets hacked?" I've previously written about how dependent we've become on technology, and how I genuinely believe the next big 9-11 style attack will involve an EMP, or a cyber strike that temporarily disables the flow of goods/services. I received an iWatch for Christmas this year, and it took three separate trips to the Apple store to make it pair with my phone. Our technology is good, but it's definitely not infallible, and I fear that when I finally RELAX in a driverless car, the network's gonna fail and turn the Eisenhower into high-speed bumper cars. Hopefully, the driverless ambulances will run on a different server. Hopefully, my iPhone will find my iWatch after my arm is ripped from my torso on impact, and thrown - watch and all - onto the pavement 40 yards from my vehicle's burning wreckage. Sigh ... at least I'll complete my exercise circle for that day.
Good memories, and a great way to end 2016.