The Future Is Not Now, But Seven Years Ago

Illustration for article titled The Future Is Not Now, But Seven Years Ago

It's apparently official - The collected hive mind of global academia thinks that the world of tomorrow will turn out to be seven years ago. At least, that seems to be the message of a newly-released survey of over 50 academics, who judged 2001: A Space Odyssey the most realistic science fiction movie vision of the future ever. They also claimed it was the most "scientifically accurate."


The survey - carried out by one of the British arms of Rupert Murdoch's empire, Sky Movies - discovered that the majority of academics questioned feel that Stanley Kubrick's 1968 adaptation of the Arthur C. Clarke novel was not only the most realistic SF movie they could think of, it was also the one they most admired for its use of real world science. Not to mention something that appealed to their seemingly pessimistic natures:

Mark Brake, professor of Science Communication at the University of Glamorgan, said: "2001 raised science fiction cinema to a new level. The unfolding four-million-year filmic story brilliantly portrays Arthur C Clarke's disturbing man-machine encounter with HAL a computer turned murderer.

"This unsettling scenario is not something we would ever want to imagine happening in reality, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility that artificial intelligence could turn on its creators."

Almost as popular amongst the professors were Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, where humanity again creates machines that fuck them up, and the original 1971 version of The Andromeda Strain, because... well, science could yet again prove to be our undoing:

Barry DiGregorio, research Associate for the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, and a member of the International Committee Against Mars Sample Return, said: "I have been campaigning against NASA's plans to bring back samples from Mars as I believe they could possibly endanger the Earth's biosphere with microbial contamination from the planet.

"In a worst case scenario this could lead to an Andromeda Strain-type situation. My concerns are based on the Viking biology data that were conducted on Mars in 1976. NASA have always opposed the claim that their data found microbial life on Mars, however, two NASA astrobiologists have publicly stated otherwise and I have worked with them to bring attention to their finds."

Sky Movies denies that it only surveyed incredibly bitter, depressed professors for this study, but I'm not convinced. No-one voted for Weird Science as a realistic portrayal of the potential for creating hot virtual ladies by plugging some IBMs into a Barbie doll? I smell a fix.

Academics reveal Sci-Fi film they think comes closest to our future [icWales]



Corpore Metal

Any movie that depicts space travel yet has sound in space is automatically bumped off the realism list. Nuff said.

The trouble with 2001 is that it's still too futuristic. We have no truly sapient machines to play chess and plot murder with. We have no crewed voyages to Jupiter. Real spacesuits are still bulky and clumsy in comparison to the ones in 2001. Sigh. I wish I was in the world depicted by 2001. It's a lot cooler than here!

Well, the Internet is pretty cool—I guess.