Saturday, 14 March 2009

Nobody's going to the moon

This week, a report in the main evening news stated that soon, there will be batteries on the market that will enable ordinary household appliances, laptops and mobile phones, to re-charge in a matter of minutes, rather than hours. This will cut fuel bills and help usher in that long-promised but never quite delivered age of electric-powered motorcars.

Even if I had spent the past three decades awaiting that mode of transport with baited breath – I have not – I’m not exactly gagging for fast-charge batteries. Many years ago, during the 1970s and 1980s, I used to eagerly await a weekly television programme, Tomorrow’s World, where a team of friendly presenters would assure us it was all going to happen; jet-packs to propel us everywhere, thereby eschewing the need for either private cars or public transport. We were going to take our holidays on the moon and employ an army of robots to tackle our nasty, yucky housework. Sound wave emissions were going to knock the crud from our so-sweaty skins and vitamin pills and drinks were going to replace food, thereby rendering the art of cooking obsolete. Well…..

Sometimes, you can only laugh. There is no need to point out the shed-loads of celebrity and wannabe chefs that grace our telly screens, the desperate overcrowding on rail carriage and on road, the growing demand for that ever-scarcer commodity, water. Robots are encroaching more and more closely onto areas where once, only the human brain dared to go and all the while, we struggle with the messy necessity of housework. World hunger is still with us, as is infectious disease, the bed bug and holidaying in Lanzarote….I can’t go on! The list is too depressing. How did we get it so wrong?

Our humanity is saved only by the mass communication system that allows us to exchange ideas on all of this, i.e., grumble.

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