So, here we are in my Future and Science Fiction category. Perhaps you have been curious and read or skimmed some of the content about codops and wondered what in the world I am on about.
Perhaps you might even be saying “Well, we all have a bit of crazy in us and this seems relatively harmless so have at it.” And then moved on to porn, news, or sports.
Context: I’ve been a fan of science and science fiction throughout all the memory that I have. I’ve read things that are fantasy, general science fiction (all of Isaac Asimov, of course), science fiction that is plainly impossible, hard science fiction, humor science fiction/fantasy (a lot of Terry Pratchett, may his soul or whatever find Discworld), cultural science fiction (a lot of Robert Heinlien at one time), and plausible near-future science books such as the writings of Ray Kurzweil and Michio Kaku. A little pure science books such as “Chaos:Making a New Science” by James Gleick.
There are some stories that stick in your mind. They ring with reality and then the moment passes and you get on with your life.
I read Vernor Vinge’s “The Peace War” which is a good book, not a doubt. I remember enjoying it immensely. I read the next book in the series “Marooned in Realtime” just as a matter of course. You start a science fiction series you finish it. “Marooned in Realtime” is where the real thought provoking content resides.
In this book there are bobbles which are spherical stasis fields. People have been trapped in them from the first book, and bobbles are still used trapping people frozen in time waiting for some point in time for the bobble to dissolve.
After a certain point in time people who are in the bobbles that dissolve come to an Earth that is no longer populated by humanity. People who were bobbled seek each other out and form a community. This community adds new members as bobbles around the world dissolve and this is the world’s society.
The technology of the people coming out after the disappearance of humanity varies greatly. People who were bobbled earlier in time have technology similar to ours. As the people come from further in the future their technological level is increased greatly. The closer and closer the people who were bobbled get to the disappearance of humanity, the more technological capability they have.
Anyone living in the United States or the developed countries has to notice the increases in technological capabilities of humanity over time.
My father bought my first computer – it was a Radio Shack TRS-80. It did not have a hard drive. The previous owner stripped it out before selling the computer at a garage sale if it had one in the first place. I’m sure originally it cost thousands of dollars. It has BASIC on it and I could write some very simple programs on it. I could record the programs on a cassette tape (!) if I remember correctly. It had a small monitor composed of dots that could be easily seen by the naked eye. I would buy computer magazines and manually type in programs and run them.
I was hooked on computers and at some point had purchased an IBM clone 286 machine.
The first computer I purchased when I was in college was a 386 in which I endlessly played DOOM on, connected to giant car speakers that stayed in my dorm room when I had commuted to school. (Then on to 486, Pentium, etc)
Compared to those computers the computer I have now is some huge monster – and I bought it more than a year ago.
The computer has 8 cores! Right off the bat it is like having 8 computers. The speed of the computer processor is incredible compared to an 8086.
I’m sure if I were to replace it today I would no doubt be purchasing something even faster for the same or less money. I’ve had computers with memory numbers in the KB. Now I have a computer with 16GB of main memory. I’ve had computers with hard drives measured in MB, and now I have a 1 TB drive and when window shopping many computers now come with 2 TB hard drives.
The real phenomena is that as a programmer and a IT project manager I still run in to people who *remember* using punch cards to run programs – and complaining about what happened if the cards fell and became disordered.
The cycle of improving technology continues. The pattern of the bobbled people closer and closer to the disappearance of humanity and their ever increasing technology is well represented in the real world.
End of Part 1