Saturday, 14 June 2014

"Science Fiction often anticipates Reality"

"Science Fiction often anticipates Reality"

 photo Japanese-propeller-trains-from-1936_zps1073afef.jpg
Mountain monorail - Kikuzō Itō, 1936

It was days ago when this writer found a series of pictures coming from websites featuring old Japanese and Soviet concepts of the future. Whether it was made pre or post-war, yet driven by nostalgia and imagination would say that those whom had posted afford to relive their memories by scanning those pictures and posted it away. Leaving the rest to those whom sought and perhaps refeatured.

 photo Japanese-pre-war-US-Arctic-exploration-vehicle_zps87e39c95.jpg
Japanese picture feat. a Snow Cruiser
 obviously based from a "Popular Mechanics" magazine article

Actual Snow Cruiser, minus the turret.

cutaway drawing of the actual Snow Cruiser 

Some of which were actually realized and made others inspired to create. The snow cruiser in which a Japanese science magazine had afford to replicate was based in an actual snow cruiser that was made in America. Although it had no turret and likely to be used for research regarding the Antartic. Quite idealistic those times actually, that inspired by scientific achievement lies the artwork like pictures given. 

At first, seemed quite strange from both past and present about the wonders being brought by those willing to realize that was at first drawn, lithographed, painted, and featured in various science-related magazines if not postcards. Few of which were developed in an experimental scale leaving the rest as proposals, or just plain simple objects of imagination partly hidden waiting to be resurfaced via the internet.

Most of which were emphasised on machines if not atoms and the universe due to breakthroughs in the field of science and technology. In which science fiction enthusiasts (both artists and writers), since all but inspired by scientific achievements had time and again trying to replicate a concept of a future based from their perception, if not aspirations of those yearning for progress, stability, and for themselves, longevity. Quite interesting though about these perceptions of the future, some of which were being realized although in an experimental scale by those willing to realize those kinds of that at first drawn and posted in various science-related magazines around the world, particularly in developed countries with science and technology being treated as a foundation of their society.

And generation after generation these aspirations continue to be replicated. Earlier ones speak much of steam and later on in diesel, afterwards nuclear and eventually solar, wind, or any other natural source that can harness power to create a future.

Actually, prior to making this hell of a kind writeup,  there were two other related writeups posted years ago in this page featuring postcards describing the future two centuries past. Compared to the ones posted today, it seemed quite crude, focusing on steam-driven machines, airships, if not trains, and early version of cars alongside horse-drawn carriages. But these crude impressions pave way to much improved ones such as the use of diesel, rather than coal or to some scale, paraffin to man over the machineries in every factory, that the once rich man's toys had became everyman's vehicle, and of massive efforts in electrifying societies in pursuit of steering development, with the creation of dams for both irrigation and electricity supply like those of the Soviet Union in its period of building and innovation.

There was even a writeup about Nazi Germany's fascination with the future, that despite Hitler's fondness for anything rural and folkish, most of the idea-concepts of the future were even fulfilled by makers such as Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and others whose creations been contributed to modern day warfare such as missiles, tanks, and airplanes; including those of Hitler's Volkswagen in which he himself allegedly said to be the one designed, yet actually with its concepts borrowed from the Czech's own Tatra. 

Well, all despite its strangeness, if not contradictory to existing realities or purely imaginative, this writer actually sees these as part of a never ending quest. In which these pictures turned realizations are in fact concepts tempered with a series of tinkering and experimentations so as to bring  it to life. A thriving society sometimes demands science so as in demanding culture. And thus somehow one would think that science fiction often anticipates reality, with those whom willing to realize had took days, months, even years to turn that was drawn or imagined into what is being held and man with. That the tales of Daedalus brought idea how man able to fly, or the tale of Mahabharata brought inspiration to the creators of atomic bomb that shook Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
 It may also consider it as ComtemporAntiquitarian, in a sense that those creations, being a realization of past blueprints made it happen generation after generation and hence continue to move forward with its first few foundations strongly stood and withstand the test of time. Few would dare to understand linking both the aspirations of the pasts and the realization of its present, of old blueprints comes new structures withstanding time and tremor; that old factories are edifices of a past long promised yet eventually forgotten. This writer may had worried about the state of flour mills at Pasig years ago, few years from now they'll be demolished while people care less about its contribution to the city's development, as well as one of a realizations once being discussed in economic and industrial circles of the past. 

Nowadays, people is still continuously searching for an idealized future regardless of being fictional or experimental in its scale. Artists, architects, engineers, inventors, writers, or any other science and technology enthusiasts trying to become gamechangers and engineers of the human spirit so as the body.

And perhaps it is part of man's quest to forge that is at first all but a blueprint. They made it in an anticipation in which few willing to "bring those figures into life" through intense research and development. And regardless of its strangeness, if not weirdness comes widespread acceptance.