Common Question Asked By Avgeek In 2021: Flying Car – Where Is It?


It’s 2021 and I still don’t have a flying car. 

Or a household robot or a teleporter for that matter. 

No.  We have smartphones so we can snap selfies and type barely intelligible messages of dubious importance with our thumbs while we eat, drive, walk and socialize. We check ourselves out at the store, pump our own gas (and they’ve disconnected the auto-fill mechanism lest we drive off while texting yet another earth-shatteringly important, unintelligible message without returning the nozzle to the pump) and spend countless hours arguing with automated attendants:  “English!  ENGLISH!” 

No ray guns (not necessarily a bad thing), no space colonies, no jet packs, and no goddam flying cars.  High-speed travel?  We suffer the tedium and humiliation of airport security overseen by TSA employees who couldn’t catch a cold; let alone a terrorist – and then jam ourselves into a pressurized tin can with a couple of hundred over-stressed travelers intent on furiously typing barely intelligible messages of dubious importance with their thumbs on the personal electronic devices.

Yes – I’m getting old…  And speaking of old and decrepit; where’s all that bio-tech that was to replace my broken and worn-out body parts?

I mean – Blade Runner was set in 2018!  By then we were supposed to have flying cars (and really bad pollution, rebellious replicants, and a population problem).  We’re not even close to realizing most of the cool tech people envisaged back in the 80s.  Except maybe some of the computer stuff – but there’s a concept that’s gone sideways…

I know my computers are way more powerful and faster than I ever imagined, but all that power shrunk into this impressively compact package and what passes for hi-speed internet service are being horribly degraded by the sickening amount of badly formed Java scripted advertising we’re forced to wade through on 90% of the websites we encounter on a daily basis.  That and the hundreds of little apps that track our every move as we attempt to navigate our way through the garbage dump that was once the brave new World Wide Web.

The future ain’t what it used to be..

Unfortunately, some of the darker visions have come to pass..  Big Brother is indeed watching us – as are Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, eBay, and just about everyone else with enough folding green.  And Fukushima’s showing us that maybe the China Syndrome wasn’t such a far-out concept after all. 

Given my age, the future did look kind of Jetsonian, and I read enough sci-fi to really believe that teleporting, mass space travel and robots (“Danger, Will Robinson!”) were going to be accessible to me in my later years.  And being involved in the tech industry as early as 1979, I wrongly believed that computers would give us such massive productivity gains that our lives would be far easier with them than without. 

Yeah, it’s 2021 and I’ve become a grumpy old man bitter about a future promised but never delivered.  But you’d be bitter too if you were promised a flying car.

So, what does this have to do with loud, fast Italian motorcycles?  Nothing.  There weren’t any motorcycles in my childhood vision of the future. 

Who needs a bike when you’ve got a flying friggin’ car?

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