The Internet as Envisioned more than 100 years ago!

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by SeaAndSky, May 3, 2020.

  1. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi All,

    Everyone is spending a lot of time online being stuck at home during the Wuhan/Coronavirus shut-down. So, this is probably apropos. Anyhow, I was surprised to see that a Frenchman during the era of Jules Verne was also thinking about the future and envisioned something called Telephonovision, which looks like a cross between cable television and internet. One can find out more about him and his ideas here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephonoscope Also, here: https://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/79/willems79.htm

    For example, online classes:

    [​IMG]

    Entertainment:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Skype:

    [​IMG]

    And sometimes things less wholesome--Oh My!

    [​IMG]


    There are some others showing "live" news events, but you can find them if you look. Anyhow, it may not be true that there is nothing new under the sun, but sometimes things are not nearly as "new" as we think they are.

    S&S
     

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    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  2. Cyrus

    Cyrus Senior Member

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    Ecclesiastes 1:9
    What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again
    there is nothing new under the sun.
     
  3. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    When I was a child, about 50 years ago, I fantasized about talking watches (even before the Science fiction series and movies) and now they exist... lol
     
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  4. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Firefly,

    This whole topic got started with me because my daughter ordered "Howl's Moving Castle" which I watched and found charming. I was intrigued afterwards as I often am by the interesting flying machines shown, which look a lot like this one:
    [​IMG]

    A search brought me to a site where I found the picture above, as well as analysis as to whether the craft shown in the movie could really fly. (http://studioghibliaircraftanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/06/howls-moving-castle-and-hello-again.html). If you go to the site you can see pictures of the ones in the movie that caught my attention. Anyhow, I also found that they had been derived from the work of Albert Robida (1848-1926) and saw the first image of the girl doing "online" classes (dated 1893). It also struck my attention because my daughter, like many others, had to come home from college and start doing all of her classes online like the young lady in the picture posted. I found the fact that this type of thing had been predicted in Robida's artwork and writings almost 130 years ago to be really intriguing.

    Of course, the styles and setting are quite different today. Plus, my daughter is working from a laptop rather than a Telephonovision machine. Still, a young college girl working diligently on her classwork is something of a timeless image.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
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  5. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    This topic leads me to another, that is perhaps deeper: to what extent do the "imagineers" precede and inspire the "techneers"? Many of the rocketeers of the last century were inspired by scifi writers including Jules Verne through Heinlein et al. Often, what was presented at the first stage of this process was completely unrealistic. Take for example, Jules Verne using a giant cannon to fire people to another heavenly body. (H.G. Wells did the opposite to bring martians to invade earth). This is a good recipe for . . . hmm. I can think of several fairly graphic terms, but I'll just settle for "squished" people. It does have some possible utility for bulk cargo, and some have actually looked into it seriously for that purpose. Plus, its cousin using some kind of rail or electromagnetic suspension system running up the side of a mountain to replace a 1st stage has also been looked into. However, I digress. The point is that people of imagination, some with only limited technical ability often create imaginative works that break new grounds in terms of what might be possible and inspire latter generations of "doers" and technical/scientific types to try and find a way to make it happen.

    Out of time for the moment, but more to add in due course.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
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  6. Speedwell

    Speedwell Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I remember reading the Jules Verne (in English translation) book about sending men to the moon. At the time that I read it, I already knew enough basic physics to recognise a number of flaws in the description. Nevertheless it was still an inspiring read. Others such as H G Wells and Arthur C Clarke have had 'visions' of the future which were in many ways remarkably prophetic. It makes one wonder whether there might be some genuine insight into the future, occasionally, which perhaps becomes flawed only at the point of trying to record it.

    By record I mean produce a written description or drawings and so on. That latter problem reminds me of the difficulty sometimes of trying to write down a description of a dream, often the dream fades in inverse proportion to the written word. Our everyday language is often inadequate to quickly express a fleeting thought, where it seems different parts of the mind are used for the 'vision' and language processes. I place 'vison' in quotes because I don't refer to the eyesight, but rather to the world of the imagination or inner visualisation.
     
  7. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    "And now for something completely different . . ." Monty Python

    Completely different because I am jumping into the near past on the subject of "imagineers" and looking to the possible future. As many know, Star Trek has featured a popular series of shows that inspired space-heads (including physicists and engineers) everywhere over decades. Gene Roddenberry got the idea for the "Warp Drive" used in Star Trek from a SciFi story written c. 1931. So, Campbell (the SciFi author and Roddenberry are the imagineers I am talking about). However, Campbell was probably originally inspired by Einstein's theories. Before that . . . ?

    Anyhow, it may be news to many that don't follow Physics/Space stuff (which probably doesn't include Cyrus), but a physicist named Miguel Alcubierre, inspired by Star Trek, tried to figure out whether a warp drive was possible using principles of General Relativity:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive#Relation_to_Star_Trek_warp_drive

    He found that it could theoretically be done under seemingly impossible conditions in terms of components (such as "exotic matter") and energy. Others, such as famed NASA scientist/imagineer Harold White, have continued to work on the idea, determining (for example) that doing various things with the architecture of the field generators could reduce the necessary energy from completely impossible to currently impossible levels. BTW--The result doesn't look like the "Enterprise", but is still pretty cool in a fairly recent rendering:



    Now there is a modification to the theory of gravity that would eliminate the need for one of the other "impossibles"--exotic matter:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive#In_conformal_gravity

    As you can see, bit by bit, the idea continues to advance. BTW--Conformal Gravity also looks like a good candidate to eliminate some of physics' "cheat" hypotheses (such as dark matter and dark energy). So, I will not be surprised to see it replace these theories (if positive peer review and experimental confirmation continues to hold up) as the older generation of physicists are replaced.

    Anyhow, the point of all of this is twofold. First, that imagineers and scientists/engineers (or maybe imagineers in any field and those who work in that field) work off of each other in a synergistic fashion to advance ideas. Second, that your children or grandchildren may be the beneficiary of a warp drive with the potential to travel to the stars at some point.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--an obvious corollary of my last observation is that in a future lifetime you may do the same. ;)
    PSS--the result may not look like anything we are imagining now any more than the devices at the beginning of this thread look like their modern equivalents, but nonetheless . . . it happens. For better or worse, it happens. :cool:
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  8. cloud potato

    cloud potato Senior Registered

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    www.futuretimeline.net i used to go to this website for entertainment.

    i just finished watching unacknowledged on netflix wherein the claim is made that we've hindered our evolution by at least 100 years. that zero point energy exist as do advanced civilizations with technology that moves faster than the speed of light. in the same film they said anything presented on star-trek we either a) have the technology to recreate or b) have weighed its options and declared it a dead-end.

    those aren't my thoughts towards the matter. just repeating what was said on the film.

    considering this film and our future, our understanding of reality needs to transcend in order to see advances in things like inter-dimensional travel. until then, we still consider ourselves pretty evolved despite our more obvious setbacks as a species.

    thanks for the introspection!
     
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  9. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Cloud,

    I did a quick check on the site--thanks for the reference. It seemed to be working and making predictions based on the usual SciFi/materialist paradigms. This kind of thing is interesting to me from waaaay back as a SciFi fan and I expect some of this to be true (as the material universe does--obviously--exist in some sense or another). However, failure to take into account the far greater and more expansive unseen realms, beings and purposes always make predictions of this type seem a bit absurd or at least one-sided from my standpoint. Still, things of this type can be an interesting resource and food for the imagination. On that note, I would suggest that you check out the Youtubes put out by "Isaac Arthur". He is brilliant and has a gazillion of them. I usually just indulge randomly, though I think I would get more out of them by doing them in an ordered chronological sequence.

    In terms of a star drive, I looked up at the stars once a long time ago and had a feeling that we were not yet worthy, that such expanses called for beings far more god-like in essence and ethics that humanity (at present). However, I hope that the means of going to the stars as well as our advance towards a higher level of being will advance in tandem. This may include some trans-humanism type things (to the extent I understand that term), but would by no means be restricted to those contained within materialistic paradigms.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     

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