People seem to welcome a new year with a fervor that is driven by the anticipation of better times ahead. Is it just an overly optimistic view brought on by imbibing too much champers and a keenness to leave a troubled year behind? I guess it’s easy to be optimistic about the future, mostly because it’s unwritten.
That’s the great thing about hope – it’s all in your head. I’m sure I hoped for good health for 2009. That didn’t change the fact I sat on the bench for 5 weeks with a broken ankle. Overall 2009 was an improvement on the previous year when I got made redundant. I found work pretty quickly and got to spend a few awesome weeks in the States and Mexico. I’m not going to make any predictions about 2010 (or twenty ten depending on how you swing) instead taking the safer ‘wait and see’ approach. One thing I do know is that I will be away more than usual, using up all the $1 flights I got during October and November (thanks Grabaseat!) and on the world scene there will be more of the same we’ve become accustomed to – political struggles, terrorist attacks, skirmishes in the middle east and more dead celebrities.
Interestingly, or not, depending on how interesting your life already is, a 1984 movie predicted we would be making contact with the Monoliths in 2010. These alien machines, who at one point inspired the end of the cold war, would eventually be wiped out by a virus (did they not learn anything from watching Independence Day?). I think it proves that science fiction writers not only have a wild imagination but love to make wild assumptions about the future. Sure we will be making contact with extra terrestrials in 2010 – only to find out they have been living in a Hollywood basement all this time. Personally I think they need to stop focusing on deep space and fix their own backyard first.
Meanwhile back here in Christchurch, people weren’t concerned about making contact with aliens, they were probably more focused on not spilling their beer along with the 15,000 or so who gathered in Cathedral Square to ring in the new year with fireworks. I wasn’t there but I enjoyed the first day of the new decade (or is it?) by watching a beautiful sunset while paddling down the Avon River, a fantastically warm day with a gentle norwester that always creates amazing sunsets. So I can confirm that life is carrying on as normal here in the Antipodes, even if the rest of the world doesn’t know we exist.
I was actually having a conversation with someone today about this very subject of how far we have advanced. While a good point was made about how the internet has revolutionized how we collect information my own feeling on the subject is that I don’t feel society is really making any progress. The world is like a kid on bike with no chain pedaling furiously but rolling back down the hill. Dazzled by iPhones and netbooks, people have been given a false sense of progress. In fact, a recent study showed that 36% of 35-54 year olds were actually disappointed with the level of technological development. I personally blame a TV show called “Beyond 2000”, which has been responsible for misleading an entire generation and creating false expectations. Ten years in and we still haven’t seen our flying cars and domesticated robots. Was it all just a hoax dreamed up by bored lab assistants? You be the judge.