By Annette Vitkievicz
From James Bond’s high-tech gadgets to the Jetsons’ flying cars,
the media heavily influences society’s perception of the
As the year 2010 unfolds and a new decade begins, the future has
In some cases, the media proves to be a talented psychic. Pens
equipped with micro cameras are available for purchase and U.S.
corporation Terrafugia has developed a winged, flying car slated
for debut later this year.
George Orwell’s classic novel “1984” prophesied a future of
computerized songs. Thus, Lil Wayne and auto tune.
The 1999 Disney Channel original movie “Smart House,” based on a
Ray Bradbury short story, featured a woman transformed into a
Less than a decade later, Black Eyed Peas front man Will.I.Am
appeared on CNN as a hologram in 2008.
However, the media, like even the best fortune teller, is
Throughout the 1966 film adaptation of Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit
451,” books were burned.
Today, books are only burned onto eReaders.
According to “Waterworld,” released in 1995 but based off a 1986
screenplay, Earth is completely covered in water.
Today, California suffers from a water shortage crisis.
In “Gattaca,” the 1997 film featuring Cal Poly’s CLA building,
one man’s lifespan is cut by a genetically-controlled world.
Today, the only thing being cut at Cal Poly is the
During 1989’s “Back to the Future Part II,” people can precisely
predict the weather.
Today, the weather, as well as the economic climate, remains
In most future-themed films, a blatant lack of denim exists, as
seen in the clothing preferences of “Star Trek” characters. Shiny,
silver material and bodysuits appear to be the attire of
Alas, the future is here and denim is still going strong.
In 1998, Tupac rapped “We ain’t ready to see a black president,”
but America proved its readiness by electing President Barack Obama
While great feats have been reached, there is always room for
Noble causes like ending poverty and achieving world peace have
yet to be accomplished and should consistently be worked
In the meantime, a few simpler inventions would improve life in
the coming years:
The freezerwave: Every kitchen has a microwave to quickly heat
food up. Where is a freezerwave to quickly cool items down?
Sometimes an instant popsicle would be convenient.
Upgraded umbrellas: The Chinese invented these portable roofs on
sticks more than 4,000 years ago and the prototype has remained
untouched ever since.
There must be a way to block horizontal rain and eliminate soggy
A vaccine for the common cold: When the mighty swine flu swooped
in, a vaccine was developed and clinics offered the shot for
With no cold vaccine available, students continue to suffer when
a sniffler sits behind them and does not believe in tissue use.
Hopefully, these ideas will become tangible by the middle of the
century. Inventors have a solid 40 years to make them happen.
Or, they have two more years, if the film “2012” has anything to
say about it.
Reach Annette Vitkievicz at:
Illustration by Roland Tran
Media colors perception of the future
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