Thursday, March 27, 2008

Past Predictions for the Future

I've got the flu, the worst case I can remember. I've been mostly off-line, barely keeping up with my groups and such and putting off anything that requires a decision or real thought. I'm just not up to it. On the bright side, I can only sleep so much, so I've been taking the opportunity to rip apart an old manuscript and give it some much-needed editing. This poor thing has been through three major re-writes. At some point, it will be sterling. Maybe then, my agent in shining armor will come.

In the meantime, however, I was contemplating how you'd have thought be now we could cure the common cold, or (for my sake) the flu. Yeah, there are vaccines, but each year, we need to make a new batch based on predictions of how the virus is changing. See article. The problem is that nature adapts, sometimes faster than technology can or humans will.

Plus, there are times when we simply predict wrong. Was it this year or last that the CDC predicted the wrong strains of flu?

Of course, flu bugs aren't the only thing we aren't always good at predicting. Take a look at these 1900 predictions for the 21st century. I've been reading some of Rob's old SF books and while they take moon bases and hovercars for granted, they seemed to have missed cell phones and computer animation. In fact, we're better at prediction bugs than we are ourselves.

Wish I could have predicted this flu hitting me this hard. Not sure what else I'd have done, but lacking a high-tech solution, I think I'll have a nice low-tech orange.

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