2001 Space Odyssey-failed prophesy?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by whitehall, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    I watched a re-run of the 1968 film the other day and it was still entertaining but how did the the 34 year old Arthur C. Clarke and Kubrick prophesy hold up? Not too good. I think they had the Space Shuttle technology right but who would guess that it would be scrapped in 2010? They did the anti-gravity stuff pretty well but the magnetic shoes didn't quite work on the commercial shuttle and the fake gravity on the gigantic Space Station was never explained. The sad fact is that it is too expensive to ever consider a commercial Space Station much less business trips to the Moon.
     
  2. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    They never explained how the Pan-Am shuttle got to orbit, but I always had the impression it didn't have external tanks or boosters. Maybe nuclear-powered?

    Also, the space station's gravity was provided by spin. No Star-Trek-type artificial gravity.
     
  3. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    In the field of prophesy, what's interesting to me is that if a prospective manned trip out to Saturn were projected, and even taking into account all we've accomplished since 1968 up to now, it would not be sooner than early in the 22nd century.
     
  4. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-syW-0tkt4]We've come a long way..... or have we? - YouTube[/ame]
     
  5. Artevelde
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    Artevelde Senior Member

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    It's one of my favourite movies. But as a predictor of the future it has indeed failed somewhat. I think, however, that it was natural to be too optimitic about space travel in the 60's. Now it's too easy to be pessimistic about it. We'll have to see where the next breakthrough will come.
     
  6. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    The HAL talking and thinking computer was way out of line but I doubt if Clarke even foresaw how powerful and miniaturized standard computer technology would become.
     
  7. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    I started reading Science Fiction in the mid-'50s. The stories of the time had computers taking up whole city blocks, hundreds of people constantly running to change tubes. And the computers were controlling every aspect of everybodys lives. The internet and the present personel computers were not even a glimmer.

    While watching the Eagle land, and the ensueing exploration, it was deju vu, had read all about it many years before. But perhaps the most important aspect of it I do not ever remember that it was mentioned. That being the whole world was watching it happen.

    Science fiction is basically if this continues, what does it lead to? It fails when a technological inovation leapfrogs the technology, and the use is differant than predicted. In the case of computers, transistors, the internet, and the fact that almost everyone now ones one.

    When things move very fast, and in unexpected directions, even the writers of science fiction get taken by surprise.

    Imagine with the knowledge of 1912, predicting the state of the world and technology today. And now the rate of change is far faster, no chance at predicting the tech of 2112. Or the state of the world, for that matter. Not even politically. In 1912, most nations were monarchies. Communism, Fascism, and modern Democratic Socialism were still in the future as far as the running of governments were concerned.
     
  8. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    Computer science and communication technology is leapfrogging at a staggering rate but space exploration is as stagnant as the rusty old hulk they call a space station. The dreams of 2001 Odyssey are as dead as a door nail. All we can do is stare into space with bigger telescopes.
     
  9. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Rotating sections to simulate gravity and chemical propulsion?
    How quaint.
     

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