"Now Fatigue"

This links to a larger animated image from a Japanese TV series, Android Kikaider January second is apparently “National Science Fiction Day” and to mark that moment, let me share a little personal history with you. My mother, now 73, was the one who first exposed me to science fiction through her large paperback book collection and television habits in the late 1960s. Granted it was the 1960s and it was San Francisco so, how could I not be exposed to science fiction? But she was my most personal example of it.

But a love for science fiction can do something to a person, something I’ve decided to call “now fatigue.” Now fatigue is the opposite of Toffler’s future shock. The future shocked are people anxious over too much change too soon, the now fatigued are people who are disappointed that social and technical progress isn’t happening fast enough. Every time someone says, “We can put people on the Moon but we still can’t cure cancer,” that’s now fatigue. Whenever someone says, “It’s 2016, where’s my flying car?” that’s now fatigue.

I have experienced decades worth of now fatigue.

I could go on and on. Yes, there are advances, here and there but, progress just seems so agonizingly, teeth pullingly, slow! What I have is now fatigue. As a child of the utopian world of Star Trek, I’ll continue to read hard SF and love it, as an ex-physics major I will continue to read breathless reviews of technical advances in scientific media but, I don’t expect radical changes in the next thirty (forty if I’m lucky.) years that I have left to me. There will be no hard takeoff like Kurzweil promises.

Believe me, I would love to be proved wrong on this.

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