Future guy George Jetson dealt with the zany antics of his wacky clan using flying cars, robo-maids, phone TVs & “dialed-up” meals. We don’t fly to work yet, & Roomba, that nifty robot vacuum disc only sweeps or mops up, but many use video conferencing regularly. Of course now we use items every day which resemble the original Star Trek flip communicators & data cards, which resemble cell phones, and floppy discs.
Concepts like ‘Chaos Theory’ more colorfully known as the “Butterfly Effect” impact our life. Scientists know the environment is a fragile system depending on interaction with nature. In the science fiction film , “The Butterfly Effect”, Ashton Kutcher plays a man obsessed with using the past to influence the future. His tampering for results more suitable to his wants could be a metaphor for how we’ve created vast global civilizations affecting nature. All conclusions are not yet supported, but we know environmental care through careful treatment of Earth is essential.
A hot concept lately is forensics and the cold case murder files explored on TV shows and specials. Immensely popular shows like “CSI” & “Cold Case Files” have led to films like the film feature “The Black Dahlia”, examining one of LA’s most notorious and mysterious murder cases. Science now can deal effectively with evidence like old bloodstains; smeared fingerprints or even victim remains decades old. It sheds new light so cases have been turned around and innocents in prison were freed after years of unjust imprisonment.
This recalls two Star Trek episodes: one a classic original outing called “Wolf In The Fold” & “A Matter of Perspective” from Star Trek: The Next Generation. In each, the crew utilizes technology, which gets to the bottom of the mystery. Scotty is accused of murder in “Wolf In The Fold” and we eventually learn that an energy being “borrows” people to murder and has been doing so for centuries. Will Riker in “A Matter of Perspective” is accused of murdering a brilliant scientist whose wife had more than hospitable leanings towards the Starfleet officer. Here, holographic simulations present differing versions of events to get to the truth. Eventually it’s discovered the scientist’s own invention served as the weapon of death when he tried to use it on Will Riker and it backfired.
Science Fiction not only ultimately becomes Science Fact, but also serves to inspire even the most hardboiled of us to think in new ways and to utilize technology to assist the detective in all of us. The crew of CSI all resemble modern day Sherlock Holmes detectives who utilize logic and science to determine the events which led to the murders and to find the killers.
After all that though, we’re still waiting for those cool flying cars and real robot maids! I don’t know about you, but as cranky as Rosie may have gotten on the Jetsons, I’d prefer her warm, colorful zaniness to a puny plastic disc on the floor any day of the week.