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UCHRONIC MAGAZINE OF THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF TOMORROW
"Closes your eyes and you will see"  JOSEPH JOUBERT
 
EDITORIAL
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Welcome to Future Times
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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope,
 it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

 CHARLES DICKENS

“Two eternities of darkness are lifted up,
in my life, a sliver of light, threatens up close…”

Remember with humility before leaving, looking out the window of our craft. While, out there, it snows in a silent forest like in the tales from the Chinese Tang dynasty. They say that trees dream of the lapislazuli of the sea, of its changing turquoise, while humans dream of tomorrow; we direct ourselves towards that. Just before leaving, we find ourselves in a Shakespearian dilemma, the “to be or not to be” of the history of science, the “to break or not” the principle of causality. If we do, but minimizing the consequences, being invisible witnesses, building ourselves like mute archaeologists, acting like a boomerang, we will rescue, and with infinite subtleness fragments of our future history for you. We’re leaving now… and we invite you to come along with us, to enlist in our craft without needing to lift yourselves from your seats. Buckle your seatbelts. We will try to go into it shyly, like a bird in the wind, the eternity that is lifted up in front of us, opening a curl in time. We will start to fly through decades and maybe afterwards…   

Instants before beginning of our run we still have time to close our eyelids and reflect on some questions, maybe more divine than human: Can one predict the future? The Greek myth of Cassandra talks about how the god Apollo gave her the gift of seeing the future although, indignant, before that he seized her capacity of persuasion. What’s the point of getting close to seeing the future of time and getting a glimpse of what’s to come if nobody believes in your prophecies? Will Apollo punish us in the same way? Old civilizations like the mystics in China or in Egypt, even the pragmatic Greco-Romans, incorporated the future in their idiosyncrasy and constructed, killed and died having it, paradoxically, very present. The future isn’t, and when it is, it isn’t anymore. Before such a volatile entelechy we are only left with the hope of dreaming about it, thinking that it only lives within us, at least the future of humanity. Following this plot line, tomorrow is a blank canvas, a spotless slab of marble, waiting for us to draw on it, sculpt it, undress it. What we find “there” could depend in some way on us. We are miserable grains of sand in the middle of an infinite and eternal universe but maybe we can contribute in an infinitesimal way. Let’s center ourselves, then we could have the remote possibility of bringing some kind of scrap to our being. Let’s imagine that we were born on the 15th of April in 1452 on a small village called Vinci and that we are named Leonardo… 

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if we were this man, we could affirm that we “create” the future for humans, upon inventing or discovering or anticipating the submarine, telescope, fork, aerial cartography, forensic studies, functional city planning, modern cooking, baroque, the Doppler effect, anti-missile jackets, axel bearings, spatial perspective, hydro-caudal counters, bullet proof tanks and an infinitesimal amount of other aspects of our reality and, especially, our possibility to fly. Otto Lilienthal based himself on Leonardo’s aircraft designs and the Wright brothers on Lilienthal’s. Of course, this man could influence and “invent” the future thanks to an unequalled mind in possibly all of Human History. An army of scientists, previous and subsequent thinkers to the Tuscan genius moved their dented wheels of the god Cronos and equipped future concepts and human progress. Within these lines, we can’t forget those who also invented a future that, in many cases, later was, but in this case without doing any work, without resolving a single equation, and much less, without throwing themselves from a tower in one of Abderraman I’s towers, like the Cordoba born Abbaas Ibn Firnas in the ninth century, imitating Icarus in his zeal to fly…until his accidental and odonthological landing. We are talking about, of course, those who crossed with their feathers the walls of time. Getting to this point, not citing Julio Verne is a sin and to do it is absolutely necessary, cathartic. Verne closed his eyes at night and his mind experimented a quantum distortion in which he situated himself a century and some in the future. On the way back, in the morning, he took the feather and captured what he saw, replacing Dicken’s skill, the intensity of Stevenson or the intelligence of Poe with this anticipatory night capacity. Observe now the following sequence of events: they may seem lineal, although they could also have a circular character...         

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Isaac Asimov, in the 40’s, in the twentieth century, wrote a series of short stories in which he imagined a future with human-looking intelligent robots. An engineer friend of his began to read his stories and founded one of the first robotisized factories in the US. The optimization in the production chain of this factory made many businessmen apply such a measure to their own. The technology that developed culminated, after many decades, evolved and founded a sweet symbiosis with computer technology in a human-looking pseudo-intelligent robot made by Honda. Did the old doctor in New York, in the black and white of the 1940’s, dream of the clumsy android of Japanese making and then write about his smarter cousins? The sideburned biochemist also created one of the most legendary characters in the history of fantasy literature, Hari Seldon, indescribable subject that was able to predict the future of humanity thanks to mathematic equations (never specified by the author, of course. If so, we would ask a hologram of Asimov in a Vault of Time if we should buy a diesel or hybrid car). An analog case can be cited with Arthur C. Clake and the geostationary satellites. In this aspect of premonitions, although maybe a bit less scientific, it makes us forget about Francis Bacon momentarily, we find ourselves with a French doctor, Michel de Nostredame. To start off, we think that all the astrologers in the world should have had and early retirement after the Twin Towers fell and we think that there are precise methods of predicting tomorrow than observing the little shape of the crushed up beans that are left in our mug, for example, meticulously studying history, sprightly cyclical, sometimes! History and science-fiction can be the same thing, reflected by the obverse and reverse in the mirror of today. The first projects one sole backwards image, the second an infinite amount toward the future. History constitutes in great pillars and supports above which sits the cathedral of the future…     

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But let’s go back to Nostradamus, who unexplainably cited in his highly celebrated centuries (concretely in the IX, 41) Franco’s name and maybe Primo de Ribera, associated with the Iberian Peninsula, maybe he did it to impress Catherine of Medici, we don’t know, but he did write textually: “…..from the Franco castle the assembly will come out, the ambassador non grato will be schism: The Ribiere will be battling, and in the great abysm they will deny entrance.” All this can’t be more than a poor verse if it weren’t because this Gaul doctor lived and died in the sixteenth century. Let’s neither get into semantic interpretations, nor any other kind, we only bring an objective piece of information and two given names written in capital letters. In a magazine whose flag claims to be scientific, this could be a loose verse, Spielberg’s little girl dressed in red, think that the unexplainable events for current science, the ones that are on the other side of the border, the troops of our future thinkers will annex the world of reason and comprehension. To conclude this chapter we don’t want to forget cinema and mention it, quickly, that contributed to filling our retinas with bi-dimensional future realities….that had been thought of by all of the previously mentioned. I think that all the writers, columnists, and other members of our team, without exception, belong to the kind of dumb group that cries like a baby before the most beautiful death in the history of film, that of the android Roy Batty in Blade Runner, by San Ridley Scott the Blessed.   

To recapitulate, we can travel to the future concretely conceiving its operation, the mechanisms that make it work, or generically dreaming of impossible worlds that may one day not be so, and in that, the knowledge of History is built like an extremely valued tool, by which we will have one skewed eye on it and the other on tomorrow. Or we can also do it maybe by ways that currently escape our cognitive intelligence, that challenge our determinist cause-effect conception of reality. We won’t do it like that (in a mental or paranormal way) but we will physically travel to the future and how it is, is locked up in this link. As you may have suspected, Future Times will put up its predictive magnifying glass on science and technology, although we are completely aware that religion, politics and the social changes that are found in its perimeter condition them, in a goal reality of communication cups, within all of its fields.      

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Future Times is born with a calling of (1) probability (“hard” in terms for science-fiction lovers), to the extent of what is possible, taking into account our singular base approach, the literary license is welcome as long as it is professional and discreet. What is captured in our magazine isn’t true or false, it could simply be possible one day. We are presented with a tomorrow with infinite probable realities, and we will draw one of them. The adjective “Uchronic” that goes with the noun “Magazine” awards the category “reasoned historical utopia” to the events that we talk about.  Such events deserve a judicious analysis that our columnists will be in charge of, bringing their subjective point of view, shuffling the possibilities that they come up with, speculating about possible consequences. Among them, for their singularity, maybe some “non-human members” shine. Or at least not humans conceived as we know them to be. We are talking about, except for the first one, about a Nobel Prize, two clones and a quantum cyborg. That’s what the future brings. When you finish smiling that volterian smile, we advise you to read first and give an opinion later. This foundational approach may seem pretentious, it’s nothing father from the truth…  

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The young team of FT are (2) crazy about science and technology (although also about literature, art in general and history) and by this we will act, its laws are ours, we think that we are prepared, and above all, we are imminently… errable! We make mistakes like our condition indicates and because of that, for our potential errors, we ask for humble and awaited for apologies. Preventative apologies, in political slang, from another time. It is precisely for this reason that we reserve the right to amplify/rectify our news/articles in virtue of new information or focuses that the International Scientific Community gets with respect to the different subjects that we approach. We will also try to keep dates in order, detailing news, or scientific trailers that cover various decades in the past from the point in time that we “land”. On the line of erring, there are some subjects that are sensitive, that we will handle with cotton pads, with the zeal of an entomologist, with the precision of a neurosurgeon. And we are thinking about cancer and other fatal diseases. Between all the possible and imaginable possibilities, which is the most marvelous news with which you would like to have breakfast one morning? Maybe this? “The International Scientific Community, after numerous clinical trials and decades of investigation, was able to beat all types of cancer. After many battles with different results, we finally won the war.” A dream today, which without doubt could be reality tomorrow. Put black on white (pixel over RGB mesh) on the news that many of us would like to read, like others that we think are absolutely necessary. FT is born, also, with (3) exhilarated and humble calling, apart from the mentioned truthfulness. Why not? It was George Washington who said “Anything will tell us their secrets if we love it enough”, or was it Seneca? To sculpt tomorrow first we must dream of it, believe blindly that the current reality will crystallize into it, after an arduous metamorphosis. To finish listing our principles, we will add (4) independence, building that as one of our greatest. The second to last, but not in second to last place, (5) the utmost respect for our readers (and our non-readers) will be our priority, they will complete our “commandments”, without excluding from the framework our website with enough controversial subjects to be able to get closer to a truth, never the truth. Lastly, and maybe unusually, we are completely conscious that in this company that we are today boarding (6) we are condemned to failure. It is materially and mathematically impossible to correctly guess with precision in our predictions. We talk about dates, technical procedures, people, places, focuses, etc. So, with this perspective and inverse expectation of what should be any human project, before such an anti-objective, which isn’t anything other than to err one and a thousand times, any random correct guess is welcome and will be taken as a success. So we would say, anyone can do it…right? Ha ha ha.    

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Future Times, also, invites the reader to invent tomorrow, to collaborate with us. Reality is a tetradimensional game of chess where every second the rules and the opponents change and it’s impossible to win. Or, if you want, the unintelligible wind-up doll has an infinity of pieces, incomplete and incorrect instructions, so, all help is little help to try to assemble it. Any reader of our publication can send us their “little piece of the future” in text format, ideas, images, news, stories, interviews, etc. We will try to publish it in any possible way, the fragments of tomorrow that seem the most necessary for us. After knowing our maximum number (6) some will think that we are inviting them to fail with us like scientific-technological gurus. And that’s it. They will be right, or probably will fail with us, but as an experience it will be gratifying and will feel a lot like buying a lottery ticket and betting a large amount on the fact that you won’t win: There is no way of losing. Like in real life you won’t find an idiot to bet with you, so bet with us, stupefied completely by science and technology. Bet on the future. It’ll be fun.   

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We are making our way to a time placed less than half a century away… for now. To go father seems reckless, because of a) the huge amount of energy that we need to do it and b) because of the most absolute impossibility (we believe) to predict with exactness any kind of event: scientific, social, religious, more than one century in advance. Probably what will happen in the twenty-third century, and onwards, is for any human of our time inconceivable, unimaginable, uninterpretable. An example: No science-fiction writer in any time- from Luciano of Samosota in the second century a.c. to Ray Bradbury in the twentieth- was capable of conceiving the existence of the Internet, except maybe the honorable exception of William Gibson who in “Neuromante” picked up the chisel of cyberspace concepts and virtual reality. Science and technology advance with chilling geometric progress, in the insignificant time of man’s life…How do automobiles evolve? Telephones and computer technology? Medical Science and Physics? If it seems like in a few decades we changed the planet, living in an unrecognizable other one to our ancestors…How will humanity be in one hundred thousand years? In three million years? Will we have contact with any alien intelligence? Geez, how scary. Yes, us too, although, if you think about it, they’re not great magnitudes, in absolute terms. Like we said, traveling father away than half a century in the future seems imprudent, so we can’t do anything but… do it!, never better said, in the future.

We’re leaving. Check your seatbelts and your dreams. The entire editorial staff is moving to the year 2057, so this will be the first, last and only message from your time. Do you wish us luck? Thanks. We can observe that it’s not snowing anymore in the exterior and in the temples in our head not enough happened for us to lose our capacity for surprise. Uh oh, they’re closing the hatch and there is smoke on the runway coming from somewhere, we hope it’s not from the quantum/photonic motors because of a break down. No, it seems like part of the liturgy of these things. We’re going. We will be your reporters of tomorrow, your eyes, your ears, “there”. We’ll start with a couplet and there goes another little goodbye verse, also from our columnists, so you don’t get bored during our trip, so you start thinking. A big hug and see you….tomorrow:

“My mind is a kingdom and to the future it traveled, there in reality it took some notes
Or was it the infinite reality that my inerasable memory was based on that created it?”

Welcome to the Future Times

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