Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The A and B Sides of a Techy Future

A Futurama Reaction Paper

Through mankind’s curiosity, a wide-ranging variety of technological advancements— from the smallest Bluetooth device to the largest man-made satellite circling the earth— has flourished. And with the discovery of more ways to apply the principles of science, the society can all the more expect for the perpetuation of such innovations in the future.

The creators of Futurama, a comic series, offer us the story of a man who time travelled to the 31st century through a cryogenic pod. They utilized the visual media to convey a figment of how the future with a highly advanced technology looks like.

The A Side

Imagine yourself walking on the sidewalk with flying cars on your zenith and with transport tubes adjacent to you. Would not you be amazed? In such setting, time will be cheaper as now, the opportunity cost of doing other things instead of commuting and travelling is reduced. The integration of the robot population is not a distant dream too for the future generation, and with its existence, life will be easier in terms of carrying out daily tasks. Perhaps, robots can be tagged as men’s new bestfriends (like the case of the show’s main man, Fry, who became friends with the robot Bender).

The B Side

Nonetheless, in the story of the future of us, there is the B side – the consequences brought forth by the advancements in the technology and in the society. In Futurama, the career of every individual is dictated by a machine who weighs one’s capabilities to work. This circumstance puts the lack of freedom in the story’s backdrop. Such incapacity to choose a career path is dehumanizing as one will be tied with a single task, hence forgoing the opportunity to work out with what one really wants. In this sense, would not men be just like the robots which are being controlled and monitored? This could also be a drive to think of death – a permanent end to a meaningless life. Having a suicidal booth in the future, death is literally at the tip of men’s hands.

The Now

The real journey that we will traverse in the coming years is in the hands of us who live in the now. The 31st century is a thousand year away, and men have that amount of time to nurture technology without compromising treasured human values that were molded throughout the years of the primal past.

Emmy Borromeo

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