Faster than light-speed space travel, time travel, virtual reality, totally rad flying skateboards — incredible innovations are the name of the game in science fiction. It’s not just technology that’s going to change either — sci-fi often envisions a future where society has gone through a major overhaul as well.
That said, as much as some things change in science fiction, other things curiously stay completely the same. These are things we’re diligently working to overcome right here, right now in the real world, and yet supposedly thousands of years in the future, or in galaxies far far away they’ve yet to be addressed at all. Hit the jump to check out some of the stuff most sci-fi thinks we’re going to be putting up with forever…
Admiral Adama as played by a melted basketball…
I know, I know, we should all take joy in being the unique little snowflakes we are, but let’s be real, the reason most of us don’t get plastic surgery is because…
a) It’s expensive.
b) It’s painful.
c) You’ll end up looking like a character from a motion-captured Robert Zemeckis movie. If you’re lucky.
But none of those caveats should apply to most sci-fi universes. For instance, in Star Trek curing most ailments is a simple matter of waving a little device that looks like an electric beard trimmer over the affected area. Are you telling me it never occurred to counsellor Troi to wave the magic Trek medical device over that nose of hers after a check up? That some day we’ll create an entire race of sentient robots, but nothing can be done about Edward James Olmos’ face? Come on now.
This all goes for aliens too. Of course, maybe Neelix is considered attractive for his species…but I seriously doubt it.
100 years ago life expectancy in the United States was 47. Now it’s 78. Apparently in the futuristic world of science fiction it will still be around 78. Not only that, but the sagginess, bagginess and hair loss that comes with getting old will hit us at more or less the same rate as it does now.
In other words, somehow we live in a world where an 80-year old William Shatner looks like this…
…and yet it’s never dawned on anyone writing for Star Trek or any other sci-fi series that “heeey, maybe people might live, and look young longer in the future!”
We’ve all seen the ads on TV — “1 in 5 couples now meet through online dating services!” Why? Because dating is awful. I refuse to believe this form of social torture would continue on in any half-decent futuristic society. Instead we’ll all just hook our brains up to a giant database, which will match us with our perfect mate, and we’ll all be happier for it.
Good work love computer, good work.
But in most sci-fi the social rituals required before you’re allowed to introduce your genitals to somebody else seem to have barely advanced since the 1950s. Sci-fi series set hundreds or thousands of years in the future still show their characters awkwardly doing the dinner and a show thing. Sure, the flowers come from the 3rd moon of Coruscant and the dinner is fried Gagh with Cardassian ale, but otherwise your date options are still pretty much the same.