A new Pew Research Center study indicates that Americans expect a lot of scientific and technological progress in the next few decades but are less than impressed with much of what’s coming in the short term. That is, they believe these things will exist but they don’t necessarily like them.
- 66% think it would be a change for the worse if prospective parents could alter the DNA of their children to produce smarter, healthier, or more athletic offspring.
- 65% think it would be a change for the worse if lifelike robots become the primary caregivers for the elderly and people in poor health.
- 63% think it would be a change for the worse if personal and commercial drones are given permission to fly through most U.S. airspace.
- 53% of Americans think it would be a change for the worse if most people wear implants or other devices that constantly show them information about the world around them. Women are especially wary of a future in which these devices are widespread.
When the study tried to find what futuristic things Americans would like to own:
. . . the public offered three common themes: 1) travel improvements like flying cars and bikes, or even personal space crafts; 2) time travel; and 3) health improvements that extend human longevity or cure major diseases.
Yeah, uh guys . . . Like, I get the disease thing but a time travelling flying bike? Are you fucking serious?
Part of me wants to believe the CBS angle on this story, that science fiction is becoming reality — and Americans aren’t all that excited, because being bored by the future makes sense. I mean, America has been selling the future for a long time and who isn’t a little bored of it? Maybe some skepticism on the subject is overdue. But, when I hear about the flying bikes and all, I think maybe the country is just full of crazy people. Cause flying bikes? How does that even make sense?