The Wave of the Future
VARIOUS PEOPLE have proposed that the cities of the future should be covered by vast domes to keep out the rain and make it possible to keep the whole city at a constant temperature, and there is little question that this idea eventually will be put into effect. There has been some discussion as to whether these domes should be opaque, so as to protect people from sunlight and such, or transparent so people can look at the sky. My own feeling is that they should be transparent. You might not think the sky is much to look at right now, but in the year 2000 it could be quite a different matter. I am referring to the prospect of cloud control.
At present, scientists have no control over the time that clouds are going to come by or the shapes they will assume. Sometimes there are so many clouds that there is not enough light outside, and sometimes there are no clouds at all; and their shapes are completely irregular and meaningless. It is not good for science to have no control over something. By the year 2000, however, it will be possible for scientists to control clouds so that they come over at regular, stated intervals and have predetermined geometric forms. For instance, the clouds might be cubical on Mondays, tetrahedral on Tuesdays, dodecahedral on Wednesdays, etc. The educational value of this should not be underestimated. And clouds will be timed so accurately that you will be able to set your watch by them.
Now, I can predict in advance that there are going to be some sentimental old ladies who will object to this. For instance, they will say there are some people who like to look at clouds, and they will point out that children like to imagine faces and animals and such in the funny shapes of clouds. They will claim that controlled clouds would be too boring to look at. However, this difficulty can not only be remedied, but turned to advantage. The scientists of the future will be able to make clouds move and change in definite patterns, so that they will make pictures and act out stories, just like television. Thus the clouds of the future actually will be far more interesting and entertaining to look at than those of today. In fact, there will be regular, planned, educational programing in the sky, which will help teach children all the scientific facts they will need to know to get along in the world of tomorrow. And cloud-vision will be even better than educational television, because people won't be able to switch to a channel with violence on it.
Remember, they are your clouds and they should be controlled for your benefit.
Another thing these old ladies and bleeding hearts worry about is that the advance of science and industry could destroy the world of nature. These fears are totally unnecessary. A National Park System has been founded in the United States to protect our plants and wildlife, and in the future our National Parks will be even better, far better, than they are today. For instance, in the year 2000 every animal will have a tiny radio transmitter permanently attached to it so that zoologists can keep track of its location and condition. This will enable them to help sick animals or those who get themselves into trouble. Biologists will change the terrain when necessary and will plant all the right food plants to make sure that animals get proper nutrition. (In fact, some of this is even being done right now, today, in a few of our national parks.) For a nominal fee, the public will be admitted to the parks—under the supervision of trained guides to ensure that thoughtless persons do not damage our precious natural heritage. The animals may even have their brains wired so that they can be made to act out their quaint habits for the education of the spectators at a command from the guide.
The bleeding hearts and the ignorant old geezers who are still living in the past think the advance of technology could take away some of our freedom. But this is superstitious nonsense. Exactly the opposite is true. The science of tomorrow will make it possible to have far more freedom than we have today. In fact, by the year 3000, we will be able to eliminate all laws, because people will be fixed so they will never even want to do anything that isn't for the good of society. Each baby when it is born will have its mind adjusted by scientists so that it will grow up to be a healthy, happy, public-spirited citizen, anxious to be useful to the community.
And if anybody doesn't like all this, the psychologists of the future will be able to fix him so he does like it.
—THEODORE J. KACZYNSKI.