Portion of a discussion thread.
Pick your favorite sci-fi, (say, something written 50 years ago making predictions about life near the year 2000), and it’s probably wildly optimistic.
Yeah, but that’s only because as a society we’ve become effete and lost the will to try new things just for the hell of it.
In the 60′s they were trying things like nuclear propulsion, and they were walking on the moon.
Then, something horrible happened in the early 70′s. I grew up then, and I could FEEL it.
I’m still trying to figure out exactly what it was, but I think what it was, was a generation of kids who grew up with television instead of playing with gizmos, and who got into power and then just turned our society into a big mess of paperwork and lawyering, because paperwork was all they’d ever learned to do.
When I look at the physiology research done in the 60′s, it takes my breath away.
The creativity of it! The things they did!
I find my “new” ideas all the time in papers done in the 1960′s, but they never went anywhere (perfusion of organs with fluorocarbones to cool them, for example).
One guy (the same guy in fact), before heart lung machines, repaired the hearts of babies by surgically cross-connecting them to the circulation of adult humans, who volunteered in order to save a life.
Where has that kind of courage gone?
Where are the Yeagers and the Goddards and the Microbe Hunters?
How come the heros of our movies are no longer Micky Rooney or Spencer Tracy playing Thomas Edison, or Paul Muni playing Erlich or Pasteur, instead Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison and Woody Harrelson playing Larry Flint?
And movies whose heros are lawyers. Arggh. I don’t care if it is Tom Cruise or John Travolta.
And the rest of the movies seem to be re-creations of 60′s TV shows.
Emphasis added by me.
I also chopped the block of text into smaller portions to make it less intimidating to read.
There’s more. Click on that link.
I like his final line:
It really could have been different. Nature didn’t stop us — WE stopped us.
“The Dreams Will Come To You”
The 1960s In Colour: Yeah, Baby!
The Disappearing Future