When you’re a child the future is a shining beacon of the possible. You don’t have any world-weariness or cynicism, you just seem to know that the future is coming, and it will be awesome. As you get older though, the years tarnish your soul, and – with the linear nature of time meaning that you can only ever exist in the present – you start to understand that the future is a place where nothing but ideas and dreams can exist.
I must have watched the Back to the Future movies about 100 times. Ever since the first one showed up on UK television one Christmas (back when the BBC would show one “good” family film as an exclusive on Christmas Day, usually at least a year after it came out), I have always enjoyed the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown. It was the innocent escapism of it all that excited me, and I was at an age where 2015 might as well been 3015, that’s how far away it all felt.
But 2015 is now only a couple of years away. Somehow – and I’m still a little unclear as to which cosmic force of bastardry allowed this – I’m past 30, and the impressive body that I had for maybe seventeen hours in about 1998 has disappeared, to be replaced with unexpected aches, a receding hairline and stealth nose hair. I’m getting older, which is partly why I’m so disappointed that I have yet to see a real hoverboard. I know they’re not supposed to be around until 2015, but as I’ve said, it’s coming up pretty soon and it doesn’t look like they will happen. I did read an article about how Mattel – who, in the movie were the company manufacturing said boards – had released a $120 version, but it was considered the worst toy of 2012. This doesn’t seem right; I remember being a child and being totally convinced that the future would be way cooler than the 80s (not hard; we had shell suits, for Pete’s sake), and even though we have iPads, telephones with GPS, and the Internet, they’ve all become background noise and aren’t as interesting to our adult selves as they probably should be.
Still, the future isn’t all that disappointing, and here is why.
Cars. Yes. I like cars. I remember being about 7 and seeing pictures of a Jaguar E-Type (that’s an XKE for you American types), and thinking it was about the coolest thing ever. Of course, being seven I didn’t know what sexiness is (feel free to make your own joke here), but I think it was the first time that I really thought about the aesthetics of an object as much as it’s functionality (it should be said, though, that I didn’t use the word “aesthetics”. Come on..I was pretty bright, but I was still only seven). It was just the looks of it, though – I had no desire to know what it was like to drive one, and it wasn’t until I actually learned to drive – aged 25 – that I took any notice of performance or stuff like that.
(Sidenote: I never understood why the power of cars were measured in “horsepower” though – it seems to be unnecessarily harsh on the horse – “Oh, Hi Dobbin..you might be capable of many things, but I have a Ford Fiesta that is worth a hundred of you”)
Now that I am a consumer, with the ability to make choices of my own about what I do and do not purchase. And, naturally, one of the ‘big ticket items’ that you can get, and probably do, is a car.
I’m a big fan of Tesla Motors. If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you’ll probably already know that. I was looking at their website the other day, and I found out that in Connecticut, where I live, 53% of the electricity is generated by nuclear power plants. So that means if you buy a Tesla (or any electric car, really) you’re going to own your very own nuclear powered car.
(half of the time, at least)
The future is here, people!
I had written a post a few months ago about Tesla’s Model S, which sadly got lost, but I really do think it’s an impressive piece of engineering. Even disregarding the whole ‘electric-ness’ of it, it’s a damn pretty car with some very nice cool features. That it doesn’t run on petrol is almost incidental, were it not for the fact that it is so ground breaking. I would love to be in a position to own one myself (or even to play with one, really) but as with most new technologies it’s not cheap, and to date my tweeting to the Tesla Motors account hasn’t resulted in them sending one to my house. But, one day, I hope to own my very own nuclear-powered car.
Now, if they could just start working on that hoverboard.