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 The word is retro-futurism and it was defined thus: “broadly refers to the exploration of outdated visions of the future.”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.