The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 19.0°F | Mostly Cloudy

Imminent CollapseThe Future Is When?!

Bill Andrews
CAMPUS LIFE ASSOCIATE EDITOR

My goodness friends, it’s already 2006. Just stop for a moment, and take a look around. Most of you are old enough to remember how things were 10 years ago; is this what you thought the future would be like? I, for instance, am very disappointed that there haven’t been better advances in electric or flying cars (though, to be fair to the prophecy, those won’t be in style till 2015 at the latest). And where are the jetpacks and moon bases predicted in the 1950s?

I mean, a lot of goofy sci-fi futures came true. Just read Jules Verne. Fax machines, phones, spaceships, all some crazy-ass stuff in the 19th century, but my man — nay, our man — Jules foresaw it all. Not how it worked, of course, he’s no Asimov, but it was impressive nonetheless. Even Star Trek, that show so campy it has its own boy scout troop, had some good stuff in it. I mean, their high tech communicators were just cell phones, right? Anti-matter fuel? Pretty cool. And beaming people around like there’s no tomorrow? Well, I’m always hearing we’re right on the brink of doing that, probably using quantum something. Not to mention the photon torpedoes and phaser weapons and every alien being humanoid, because those things were dumb and mentioning them would weaken my point.

So, the future’s possible. We do have a lot of cool stuff, like iPods, laptops, and GPS in cars (and by “we,” I mean people much richer than I). We just have to want it (the future) enough. We have to strive for it, and appreciate the future we have while searching for and building the future we want. This is MIT, after all; we practically invent the future right here.

That’s why, gentle reader, I offer you a small piece of the future right now. That’s right, I’m actually referencing the headline this week: the future is now! Sure, not the flashy, shiny, jetpacky future of our dreams, but a legitimate, required part of the future. A part so important, it’s worth all this hype. It’s just one word, but as you read it, know that you will be a part of a historic presenting of the future.

Fin .

That’s right, fin . It’s pronounced “fee-NAY,” and if you don’t have a cool word processor that can do an accent, just go with fine’. Then it’s like street fin . Now, what does it mean? Fin cannot be described, it can only be felt.

“Oh, man, look at that fin car! That’s incredible!”

“Darling, you look absolutely fin in that outfit.”

“How ya feelin’?” “Aw, baby, watch out, I’m feeling fin tonight!”

I think you get the drift. Fin is just that extra something you get from living in the future. It’s only just now possible for things to be fin . I should know. As some of my friends can tell you, I actually stumbled onto this bit of the future some time ago. For years, I tried using it and introducing people to it, earning only funny stares and derisive laughter for my troubles. I should have known it was not yet time. After I saw fin wasn’t going anywhere, I gave up on it, dejected, demoralized, defeated. But then 2006 dawned, and in a conversation with my fianc e (that’s right) it hit me: fin ’s time had come.

Thus is the future unveiled once more @mit.edu. The new year is upon us, and some crazy stuff’s gonna go down, I just know it. Okay, so the first major discovery was mine, don’t let it get you down; you all have the rest of the year! If my fin experience has shown me anything, it’s that the future is worth waiting for, and worth fighting for; it haunts me that if only I’d persisted, fin might have been ready for use months ago. So go ahead and invent some amazing stuff you engineers, discover unthinkable laws scientists, do some … good … uh, calculus mathematicians. And stay cool humanities majors, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Above all, though, keep striving to bring the future closer and closer. After all, you know what they say: “Time waits for no man, but the future’s one lazy slacker.”

Well, they’re not saying it yet….