The Future Sneaks Up on You

It's easy to get caught up in the bread and circuses of what most media is saying about the state of the economy and the world. I pity the fool that watches television! Newton Minow made the most prophetic statement of the 20th century when he said:
"When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.

But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.

You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it."

But while you're being distracted by murder and mayhem, amazing things are happening outside of the glass rectangle.

To whit: Researchers at Tufts University have created a single molecule motor! Did you see that on the nightly news? Nope. They're too busy with cultural trivia and the latest potentially disatrous to notice the big stuff. These advances keep piling up at an accelerating rate. In 5 years they'll start making stunning medical breakthroughs. In 10 they'll make it possible to wipe out malnutrition worldwide if we can depose the forces that profit from it.

What then?

posted by Mike at 8:16 PM 0 comments