When I was a kid, it was always exciting to think about “the future” and all the cool advancements we’d have after the year 2000. We were promised many things, like flying cars, robots, teleportation, and fax machines in every room of our house. So where is it all? I know I’m not alone in feeling completely lied to by books and movies about what life would be like in 2012.
It’s weird to think about where we’d be technologically today if certain key people from the past had died before they invented amazing things. Like Nikola Tesla, who did amazing stuff with electricity and radio, almost died in a boat on his way to America. And he almost died as a kid of some disease. And his father hated the idea of him being an engineer and wanted him to become a priest instead. If any of those things had happened to Telsa, we might be living in a 1950’s-like world right now. Or we might just now be getting home computers and connecting them to AOL on our dialup modems. All because of one man.
What if Einstein had died as a kid? What would life be like for all of us? Sure, someone would have figured it all out eventually, but how long would it have taken? Would that drag us back another 20 years?
There must be hundreds of amazing minds from the past that died of disease or in wars or their parents forced them to work as a coal miner to support their family instead of learning about quantum mechanics and making mind boggling discoveries that completely change the course of the world. Somebody important died in the past 100 years before they got to show us how to get free energy and flying cars.
At this point in my life, I’m fairly certain that I will never see any truly amazing advances in science. If I live another 30 years, all I’m likely to see is a bunch of neat things like cooler phones and smaller computers and faster networks and a bunch of medical advancements. Which is all great, but I really doubt anything revolutionary is going to happen in my life. It sucks but it’s true. At least I got to see the internet happen and that was a really great thing to live through.
I bet if Doc Brown went 30 years into the future to see what 2015 was like, he’d think his time machine had malfunctioned. “WTF, this can’t be right. Everything is the same!”