On the eve of the beginning of the year 2010, I felt that it would be fun to reflect on a sort of "fact vs. fiction" comparison of the Arthur C. Clarke novel / film of the same name and where we actually are in reality. It's so strange that we've already passed up 2001 and missed the expectations of both Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke as to where we would be as the human race and technologically. I remember being a child and looking at the album cover of the movie's soundtrack and thinking that the year 2001 was sooo far away. Now we've actually reached the year of Clarke's sequel to the classic original. So how have we done in reaching the goals set before us in 2010?
Technologically, we're pretty far behind where Clarke predicted we would be. Not so much on Earth as in space flight. On Earth, everything is pretty right on technologically, or actually ahead. They were still using only desktops in the film and there were no cell phones. Space flight and travel still hasn't reached the potential that Clarke predicted it would. We still haven't figured out how to make long trips to other distant planets. We haven't even went as far as building a spacecraft as big as the Discovery. Some of the computer consoles and equipment designs looked a little arcaic in the film, but that still doesn't change the fact that we are light years behind where Clarke optimistically thought we'd be.
As a human race, I am tempted to say we've almost taken a step back. We definitely haven't moved forward. There's more terrorism and wars happening now than is talked about in 2010. Some would say I'm being negative in not recognizing that the U.S.A.'s relations with the U.S.S.R. are much better than in the novel or movie, which is true. But the problem is, we've just shifted countries we're warring with which doesn't make anything better. Add to that the amount of cyber-terrorism that is running rampant right now and you have a whole new problem that Clarke never even touched on.
So what am I trying to say with this article? Nothing really. It's just an observation and something that seemed interesting to look at in reaching another milestone in sci-fi movie and novel history. Do what you want with it. Far be it for me to tell anyone how to react to information. (Article by Eric Shirey)