The future is here! Sort of…

I was watching 2001: A Space Odyssey again. Such a contrast to today’s special-effect-based space operas… an incredible movie by two giants, and not a bit of CGI in it, either (Sigh…)

Anyway, in the beginning Dr. Heywood arrives at the space station, and is subjected to a “Voice Print Identification” process as he enters a secure area. And it was in this very week that my bank had me record my voice for voice print ID, a new regulatory requirement for phone based transactions in this country.

Space Station

So, it is 2010, and the futuristic technology that Clarke and Kubrick envisioned in 1968 for use in 2001 is here. Unfortunately, that’s the least interesting prediction of this imaginative movie: we don’t have ubiquitous video telephony (Skype excluded), we don’t have a moon base, we don’t travel to Jupiter, and we don’t have an elegant space station that provides artificial gravity by rotating on its axis.

We do have a space station, true, but it looks like a pile of accreted floating junk… 🙁

3 Responses to “The future is here! Sort of…”


  1. 1 mike darnell

    One of the most incredible testimonials to the genius of Kubrick is that most of the shots of working in a zero-gravity environment and drifting through space still had to be based on his imagination as there was no existing “real” footage yet.

    He got it so right that as you say it still looks great today…

  2. 2 Nico Baaijens

    Hi Nathan,
    I share your admiration for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    Guess I’ve enjoyed this marvellous motion picture 30 to 40 times. Can’t get enough of the ‘futuric’ atmosphere and the mystics in particular.
    Did you notice the ‘arrogance’ in HAL’s voice when he won the game of chess: “Sorry Dave… It seems you missed it…”.

  3. 3 Nathan Zeldes

    Oh yes… this is the perfect SF movie. Sheer genius!

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