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UCHRONIC MAGAZINE OF THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF TOMORROW
"Predicting is very difficult, especially the future" NIELS BOHR
 
OPINION: SCULPTING TOMORROW
 
 


Article: WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER?
New: Danish pharmaceutical company Kongeriget Øresund markets the first “Immortality Pill”

Article: GRAVITATING ABOVE THE AMAZON
New:
Scientists from the University of Brasilia develop an “anti-gravitational”
vehicle designed to travel the fluvial routes at a low cost and great speed.


By Coral Mühlhauser Benavides*. Email: coralm@tiemposfuturos.es (SUBJECT: CONTACT CORAL)

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Article: NEW COLLEAGUES OF THE VOYAGE
New:
Computer technology giant Claymstrom Corporation
puts the first humanlike intelligent robot on the market


Article:  WE AREN’T HARDWARE ANYMORE, WE’RE SOFTWARE
New: Finally, Total Virtual Reality unified, a new reality.

By Fernando Jose Zurita Abascal*. Email: adjuntos@tiemposfuturos.es (SUBJECT: CONTACT FERNANDO JOSÉ)

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WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER?
Bandera España
By Coral Mühlhauser Benavides*. Email: coralm@tiemposfuturos.es (SUBJECT: CONTACT CORAL)
New: Danish pharmaceutical company Kongeriget Øresund markets the first “Immortality Pill”

 Who wants to live forever?screamed Freddy Mercury in a song by the world famous group ‘Queen’. Who wants to live forever? The new medicine will redefine our vital concept, it will bring us a generational perspective never before known. Our family trees will stop looking like flow charts of obituaries, the words great-great grandfather or great-grandson will be rescued from our dictionaries and put into everyday life again. Dorian Grey made a pact with the devil to live forever, while what aged was her portrait… or did she overdose on ‘Gilgamin’? An overdose killed the singer of ‘Queen’, but of semen, thus answering the rhetorical question that is the title of his song, and he decided not to live forever, prioritizing qualitative over quantitative. Live with quality, and enjoy your existence to the fullest (according to your criteria of course), however long it is.
 
Will a decrepit businessman, at 147 years and a day, die condemned to leave behind 16 ex-wives? [...] after overcoming an unimaginable ocean of good luck and misfortune, will a married couple celebrate their “Iridium Year”, after one hundred years of looking at each others faces in the morning?

   Let’s center ourselves on the substantial. And what is substantial? Love, of course. What measurement would influence an increase in the longevity of the feeling that Romeo professed to Juliet? After the product that the Danish company presented appeared, a human being could aspire to a life expectancy that almost duplicated that of another from the last quarter of the twentieth century. At the same time, the life of this human would almost quadruple that of a Roman in the times of Julius Cesar. We continue to have more time to live and therefore love and be loved…although also to hate and accumulate feelings for vendettas. A century and a half of life leaves for a lot, if we propose it to ourselves. And in love, we go back to the delicate equilibrium between how and how much: Will a decrepit businessman, at 147 years and a day, die condemned to leave behind 16 ex-wives? On the other hand, after overcoming an unimaginable ocean of good luck and misfortune, will a married couple celebrate their “Iridium Year”, after one hundred years of looking at each others faces in the morning? Setting aside the feelings of Shakespearian lovers, we will have variants for those who need to coin new concepts. Filial and fraternal are adjectives that describe just a few possibilities of the “problem”. Five generations of individuals will share a portrait in this vital whirlpool, and between such a DNA explosion, I hope that love prevails within so many mathematic combinations, in the close-woven web of emitters/receptors. But I fear that the idyllic scene that I’m painting, this mythological Arcadia won’t be so, right from the moment when not everybody gets their plate of food. Have you ever tried cooking for 96 people? Anyway, going back to the feeling of love, a longer life, I believe unquestionably, that it will award us more time to rectify… and to make more mistakes! Think that the neo-chemistry that makes us contemplate so many more sunsets won’t make more knowledge implicit, so we will fulfill Faust’s myth, but halfway. This is what happens when you deal with pharmaceutical companies and not directly with the devil.    

 

 Another subject that I consider to be capital is our memories. We have been doing moderate exercise for half our lives, eating green things and negotiating with oily fish so that they give us their omega3 for memory but without giving us a bad aftertaste the whole afternoon. (By the way, in “Sleeper” by Woody Allen he asserts that all of our dietary theories were erroneous and that the healthiest thing to do was to eat filled pastries and fried sausage). If we live for many more years it will be more complicated for us to conserve our memories in a well-defined way. The “invention” should come with a neuronal stimulation in the different areas of the brain responsible for our memories or I’m not sure if we are making a good deal. We are our memories and the “German jerk that hides things from us”, meaning “Joe” Alzheimer
 
But above all, what I want is to live, to live, vivir, vivere, meaning, with an acceptable quality of life, and not being that this life turns into a sarcophagus of the mummy that you have become. I’m talking about health, of course, but not only physical, like what in the army is valued, supposedly, but mostly mental, shell, the spiritual endoskeleton of what we are.
 

is an example of the progressive loss of identity, the gradual loss of the “I” in 600 episodes. If it’s been 87 years since we kissed that wo/man in front of the Eiffel Tower, the memory could blur, distort, and in the end we wouldn’t know well enough if we were closing a fraudulent deal with a longshoreman from Naples under the Brooklyn Bridge or if we were getting an operation for our phimosis in Johannesburg. I think they’re going to have to supply Ω27 intravenously so that so many decades don’t make us lose our bearings. Essential diaries will turn into our notebook of events, our fundamental register in order to know what we did, why, with whom, and when.    


In "Lost Horizons" (1937), Frank Capra three-dimensionally models the concept of Shangri-La that the writer James Hilton dreamt about. From then on many people look for their own Shangri-La far from Tibet, the arcadian paradise where neither problems nor crow's feet or inflamed prostate glands exist. Who wants to live forever? I do, but clarifying the last two concepts of the question: Forever no, of course, but yes, juuust a half a century longer. But above all, what I want is to live, to live, vivir, vivere, meaning, with an acceptable quality of life, and not being that this life turns into a sarcophagus of the mummy that you have become. I’m talking about health, of course, but not only physical, like what in the army is valued, supposedly, but mostly mental, shell, the spiritual endoskeleton of what we are. I would like to live for many years, but only if I have my loved ones around me and everyone can enjoy the smell of the jasmine, of the incandescent sunsets on the sea, the virginal laughter of children… but all in one piece!! I started with a song and I’ll finish with a fragment from another, in this case, by the “Beatles”: I want to live longer but only if I respect the “yesterday”, if I am more than half the human being that I was.  

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GRAVITATING ABOVE THE AMAZON

Bandera España
By Coral Mühlhauser Benavides*. Email: coralm@tiemposfuturos.es (SUBJECT: CONTACT CORAL)
New: Scientists from the University of Brasilia develop an “anti-gravitational”
vehicle designed to travel the fluvial routes at a low cost and great speed.


-It’s not like the others although it looks like it. – said the old macaw when the artifact silently passed by. The tropical cousin of our talking parrots drained out all of his knowledge, at the risk of the stars and he was never wrong: the artifact gravitated following much more complex principles than the old “hovercraft” and the bird of West Indian origin, from the vital and geographical equator, knew it by intuition. 
 
-Mmmh, this one is much speedier, without a doubt even the ferocious alligator of the Orinoco would have trouble catching it-answered a furry sloth, squat, perched on a gigantic cork oak. The world exploded in his retinas at 75 images per second, like the disembarkation of Spielberg’s Normandy, while he lay in slow motion seeing himself practically being caught by the past. An enormous butterfly, whose beautiful geometric designs hypnotized ocelots and jaguars, fluttered, dizzy upon recently disembarking from the anti-gravitational transport.     

-Guys, guys: with this machine, men think that they have broken the mold. You should have seen how they congratulated themselves for what they did, how they bragged about their technical achievement stupidly thinking that they would achieve bending nature. I feel nauseous, I don’t know if it’s because of the effect of the short trip on board that monstrosity or because of that human pride. 
 
 

-Well, I think that they have more than enough reasons to glorify themselves- the macaw protested, and to emphasize his affirmation, he flew to the center of a water lily, like someone who descended down from the overhang to the stage. –I have seen things that you wouldn’t believe: I’ve seen humans hunting the boa constrictor further out than the river delta. I’ve seen swamps on fire being extinguished by their colossal hard birds. But when we die, all those… moments will dilute in abundant rain, but they will outlive us as a species, without a doubt. –The colorful bird finished his argument with a pluviometer reference seconds before the sky would turn into a vertical river and let loose hundreds of cubic meters upon them, without meanderings or hesitations.   -Admit it: You admire them and that ecstasy eclipses your judgment-The butterfly seemed angry and agitated its delicate wings...

-From my prism, everything happens at a meteorithic speed, while I come down from a cork oak and climb up a chestnut tree, some species are born, reproduce and die. But we have to recognize that with human beings and their speedy technical progress… we are all sloths!
 

...with such vehemence that it looked like it was going to change the place of the drawings on them, the painted eyes that trick the anteater. –The boa and the anaconda are adversaries but not enemies. It is very true that they eliminate them easily, just like the frightening puma but they also finish off, unabashedly, with birds, insects, marsupials, or any one of us that get in their way. The swamps that you saw on fire were lit up by them, don’t fool yourself. They are such an absurd species that they make their own problems, and immediately afterwards, their solutions. They brush themselves with turtles, they wear otters, they accessorize with toucans, they feed themselves with deer, they cure themselves with the substances that they extract from trees. Dumb macaw, they aren’t friends of ours, but our most virulent predators.

The sloth wanted to intervene in the discussion by incorporating another derivate:

-Good. Do you think that their invention that flies over water could be extrapolated to the land as well? –The question was totally rhetorical and since he had gotten the upper hand in the conversation, he wasn’t ready to let it go easily. –If they do it, they will make the world a more accessible and small place to teletransport easily. This, I definitely don’t know whether will be good or bad. I guess that you, beautiful butterfly, are more inclined towards the first, and you, colorful macaw, towards the second. I’ll stay in the middle, where they say virtue is-he condemned impartially.-From my prism, everything happens at a meteorithic speed, while I come down from a cork oak and climb up a chestnut tree, some species are born, reproduce and die. But we have to recognize that with human beings and their speedy technical progress… we are all sloths! What I don’t know is if they themselves will have enough time to extract the consequences that their advances will originate. I’m afraid….

And finally the macaw and the butterfly could agree on something. Both shook their heads.

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NEW COLLEAGUES OF THE VOYAGE
Bandera España
By Fernando Jose Zurita Abascal*. Email: adjuntos@tiemposfuturos.es (SUBJECT: CONTACT FERNANDO JOSÉ)
New: Computer technology giant Claymstrom Corporation puts the first humanlike intelligent robot on the market

Welcome. We can’t do anything else but welcome you with a million little colored papers and a Cadillac up Fifth Avenue, the old-fashioned way. Humanity has traveled a long way, all alone, since extraterrestrial intelligent life refuses to show its face (even after the indescribable hexagons of Pluto) and communication technology with dolphins still has a ways to go (although we may receive a great surprise according to a friend of mine at the University of Berkeley), so the new bio-androids are perfect to help us feel less lonely. Bertrand Russell maintained that reason and intelligence don’t necessarily have to be an obstacle to happiness, and, maybe paraphrasing Hegel, every century has had its own type of unhappiness. Putting both ideas into a cocktail mixer, shaking them up a bit and turning them upside down…could we find a new kind of happiness in our own century by going deeper and interacting with new forms of intelligence? The truth is that man needs a mirror to look at himself in, but not the kind that projects an identical and symmetrical image, but a very special one, one of a fantastic mix, grotesque, that distorts our “I” and that has a calling to be an oracle and can answer our internal interrogators. A human-like and intellectually advanced robot, like Copernicus X, can place itself in that “Delfos alter-ego”, that satiates our cognitive thirst, that answers the questions that hammer down on us. Yes, there are already computers that can do that but, with the exception of the knowbots in a virtual matrix, the human being needs eyes that can look at it, a head that can agree or disagree, lips that can smile at it or that can say “no” and a brow with a censoring frown or one that is open and receptive, being able to undress its soul in whatever way it pleases.  
 

 Let’s imagine alternative realities smacking our history books around a bit. Don’t worry: it’s a kind of free mental funambulism that doesn’t leave any traces. Can you imagine if there had been, for Napoleon Bonaparte, a comrade in arms, unattainable to discouragement, who had advised him not to break his alliance with the Czar Alejandro I, who, finally, would be the beginning of his end? And if Adolph Hitler would have had a childhood friend, who, at the beginning of the twentieth century, had infected him with elevated values diametrically opposite to anti-Semitic ones? The discipline of loneliness that the powerful suffer from is one of the most terrible and a great number of megalomaniacs might have changed when it came to making key decisions if, simply, they had had somebody to talk to, to compare and contrast with. A robot wouldn’t have been a threat to these people.
 
I will read with fruition, although with beads of sweat on my forehead, his collaborations in the magazine because my friend Violeta Guinizelli already warned me that this titanium boy is pretty scary.
 

who frequently have major complexes, and if they had provided with enough shielding to resist furious cholera attacks…this world would be a lot different…although not necessarily better! Isaac Newton didn’t need a beautiful android (neither did Hipatia from Alejandria or Joan of Arc or Madame Curie need an Apollonian cybernetic male, so that nobody with sexism on their minds can get angry) to distract them from what they came to Earth to do. There’s an essential craving for Ursula Iguarán and José Arcadio Buendía and all their descendants to feel terribly lonely for a century, and, during their vicissitudes in the village of Macondo, that this time wouldn’t convert into “One hundred years, in spite of the tribulations, comforted by our digital company”. No. All alone, art, frequently, sublimates its reason of being when it acquires a tragic dimension.     


While writing this article I just found out that Copernicus X is going to be one of our collaborators. Good, double joy then. Accompanying humanity and speckling his quantum knowledge in our Uchronic Magazine. Fabulous, of course, only being when the smart android from the Claymstrom Corporation doesn’t analyze our style, our objectives, our good deeds and is capable, all by himself, of generating a complete issue of Future Times in seven seconds. I will read with fruition, although with beads of sweat on my forehead, his collaborations in the magazine because my friend Violeta Guinizelli already warned me that this titanium boy is pretty scary. That it’s like a terror film, but he wears pants, dominates advanced physics and has a smile with perfectly straight and pearly white teeth. To finish I will raise the anecdote up a category:    

The symbiosis of man-machine will be, in all probability, enormously beneficial to humanity as it has been up until now, although with the new intellectual derivative whose consequences we can’t quite make out yet. I, in spite of the joke in the previous paragraph, doubting that I’ll get sacked, am thrilled and convinced that the new bio-robots will be intelligent enough to make us feel good about ourselves and believe that we are good. Thus said, welcome, well-found.  

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WE AREN’T HARDWARE ANYMORE, WE’RE SOFTWARE
Bandera España
New: Finally, Total Virtual Reality unified, a new reality.
By Fernando Jose Zurita Abascal*. Email: adjuntos@tiemposfuturos.es (SUBJECT: CONTACT FERNANDO JOSÉ)


The vertigo that velocity produces when some events occur (do events occur within a virtual world? )
doesn’t come with any kind of psychological medicine and only pacifies for eight minutes when someone like a server tries
without luck to organize his ideas in an article like this one. The anti-vertigo therapy of writing this article is almost as inefficient as reading it.
Because it isn’t a ‘meta-article’, it will leave infinite perspectives out, it will make obvious infinite focuses, which is why I beg your meta-pardon ahead of time,
putting all the possibilities forward from all imaginable angles. Overflowed, without a doubt, by VR. Overflow. How could my boss to this to me? It’s time for a raise

Hardware is that which you can kick. Software is that which you can only insult,” preached an old anonymous maximum, who circulated around the old web called ‘the internet’. Meat is valued low while pixels reach historic highs on the Nasdaq of our lives. The truth is that the new Virtual Reality blinds us from the harshness of ‘real’ reality, safeguarding us from an endless amount of uncertain dangers, although submerging us in other new ones. It seems that our physical body has moved on to an honorable background, behind the scenes, while the new ‘me’ (superior?) takes the lead on stage from this new meta-reality that includes ours or just the opposite. The ties that bind us to the digitalized doll that evolves in cyberspace and represents us will become fainter every day until one day they cease to exist; our physical me, maybe sooner than later, will fuse with our virtual me, or this could be inferred from the experiment of ‘conscience transfer’ carried out in Nagoya. A legion of thinkers, philosophers, writers, and metaphysicians will discuss for a long time which reality is subordinate to which, when there is a quorum both of them will form one and indivisible, just like the Holy Trinity.

Myself, I wanted to contribute my humble grain of sand (or should I say my handful of bytes?) with respect to this. The prefix ‘meta’ according to Webster’s means ‘together with’, ‘after’, ‘between’ or ‘with’, without the utmost respectable Webster specifying if it is also feasible to group these senses two by two, three by three, four by four, with all the possible combinations. A little girl plays with a ball around an oak tree. If we cut this scene out of the ‘real’ Reality (synonymy, redundancy) this will be univocal when it comes to physicality, and the possibilities of action that are derived will be wrapped up in the material laws of the universe. It’ll be hard to transform an acorn tree into a baobab or time travel to the old Ages of man and check who lived and who died just where that oak tree is, really. If such a bucolic appearance belongs to Virtual Reality (an oxymoron) we will dispose of infinite perspectives of the event and infinite possibilities of action. By this I meant by meta-reality in the previous paragraph. As you can see I am bordering the idea of subordinations, you know my mom and my teachers always told me that I was a smart kid along with being applied and very organized. 
   

 Like the little bricks that shape our me, in essence, they are our memories (until now extracted from the ‘real’ reality) and this persists in deriving itself toward another virtual, because of the transitive property I see myself obligated to link, to unite, (with Locktite or Velcro?) memory and cyberspace. What began as a simple video game of two sticks and a ball simulating a tennis court threatens, after its’ non-Darwinian evolution in less than ten years, to remove the basic pillars of our identity, of who we are, of our civilization.
 
“We are finding ourselves a few centimeters away from ‘Matrix’ ” a friend of mine said to me, unwary. ‘Matrix’ in no time will be a Paleolithic video game like the two sticks and ball game of tennis, like the guys from Monty Python would say, towards ‘bib’. Thus said, overflow.
 

 If we are our memories, Virtual Reality is already generating new ones, to thousands of connected cybernauts, indistinguishable from the ‘real ones’, the same ones as always. When we grow so old and like to torture our grandchildren with ‘little wars’, who’s gonna be the one to differentiate what has been lived and what has been ‘virtualized’? The old guy won’t, that’s for sure, in between the disconnected nebulous neurons, there will float ancestral experiences (?) that only a minute computer register will place on one side of the border or another.  

I will finish by turning my point of view around half a degree. An old play on words related to the bull ring: If a bull horns a bullfighter, which of the two of them can say they have the horn inside? Both of them, the bullfighter and the bull (if he could talk). If the new reality, never better said, is imposed, it extends, it generalizes, it universalizes… if Virtual Reality becomes a part, sub or meta, of ‘real’ Reality… he who is totally outside of it, a neo-hermit outside of cyberspace …Who do we say is not in reality? The cybernauts or the neo-hermit?

“We are finding ourselves a few centimeters away from ‘Matrix’ ” a friend of mine said to me, unwary. ‘Matrix’ in no time will be a Paleolithic video game like the two sticks and ball game of tennis, like the guys from Monty Python would say, towards ‘bib’. Thus said, overflow.

*Seudónimos
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