Retro-Futurism

I just learned a new  word.  Maybe.  Maybe it  was a  word just made up for  that article, which  is O.K., a writer is  allowed to do that, and maybe  it’s just putting together two  word  parts  in  a way  that makes obvious sense, like semi-liberal or pseudoblogger.  The word is retro-futurism and it was defined thus: “broadly refers to the exploration of outdated visions of the future.”  But, I guess it’s different than steampunk, which seems to go back to  the 1890s or so for  its inspiration, and the picture accompanying the article looked more like a 1960s motel, lots of big, orange beams, and plexiglass and balconies.
It’s a cool concept.   It’s good to look into the past and refresh our minds about what we thought the future would be.  Then we can laugh (or cry)  about how deluded we all were.

Back in the early days of the internet, I had very high hopes. I thought it would shatter the glass ceiling and end racism because, you know, anonymity.  Well, we’ve made some progress in  those areas, but had some pretty dramatic setbacks, too, and I’m  not at all sure the internet has been a positive influence.  I thought that, as a place where people could  discuss and debate any topic, that it would  lead to resolutions, town  hall style, to all our problems.  But, we’re shouting slogans  at each other more than ever.

One thing that surprised me was the huge number of cat lovers out there.  Dogs, you  always knew about.  They bark at you as you walk down  the street, they poop everywhere, they are outdoors, they are obvious.  Cats usually stay  at home, and the homes of people who have cats tend to have fewer visitors  from the  outside world than the homes of people with  no cats.  You know, cat people.  Also, when you are over visiting a cat person (maybe you didn’t even know), the cat will stay  hidden.
I’d like to go back to the  idea of having intelligent conversations  with each  other until solutions to  all  the  world’s problems have been found.  We could try  and figure out  where the internet veered off course  on that one, and maybe get things moving in the right direction.

Because the future is still the future  if we haven’t accomplished it yet.

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