Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fecund Fancies

Fecund Fancies

The world has changed from when you first discovered it.
Time to rediscover.

DB - The Vagabond


"The more things change, the more they remain the same." as the old saying goes. And I suppose it's true. But the outward examples of things remaining the same certainly do look like change and newness in so many ways. Try to explain to a child what life was like before TV, jet travel and touch tone phones.
One of my earliest memories is having my mother point up to the sky for me to see an airplane flying. In my childish, but prophetic, imagination I thought it meant that anything could fly.
I have witnessed the development of many things: from black and white TV (which wasn't black and white at all, but various shades of gray) to color. From getting a live operator when you picked up the phone to punching in the numbers, My grandmother used to yip with a minor fright every time the phone rang. There were no phones when she grew up.
One Christmas a few years ago I flew to LA. It was 25 degrees and Winter at Newark Airport when I left. A mere 6 hours later it was 65 degrees and Spring when I arrived at LA Airport. Something there is in me that still has trouble adjusting to that.
As I write this I'm sitting in front of a computer, and when I press the right button it will go to your computer. When I was a kid such a thing was only a Buck Rogers fantasy.
Now we face possibilities that are Star Wars fantasies. We will colonize on other planets. It will happen. The fact of a surgeon in one place diagnosing and performing an operation on a patient in another place through satellite communications, and computerized robots is a fantasy, but it will happen. The ability to control the weather to the extent of preventing things like what is happening to the Gulf coast area right now is a fantasy, but it will happen.
Thee are many such things I could list. But the point is not only the discovery of what is, but delight in the discovery of what's possible and what's going to be. We have come to a point now in the world where what's to come is so much closer to us now than when I was a youngster. Or as Yogi Berra once, oh! so wisely and eloquently, put it "The future ain't what it use to be."

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