At the End of the Day

He’s a rum sort of cove, your weather. Just ten days after Brits were gleefully told to expect a sub-tropical August, they’re now being warned that Arctic winds will plunge the UK into the coldest spell of August weather for almost a century. Thermometers that were forecast to be bursting through the top of the tube are now, we hear, set to plummet as two weeks of wet and windy weather shove that mercury down into the bulb reservoir at the bottom.

Here in somewhat chilly Lot et Garonne, summer never quite happened as such. There’s been a lot of pleasantly mild sunshine, but most days this gives way to blanket cloud in the afternoon….which then in turn ushers in sunny evenings accompanied by nippy east winds. Now, I hear, we are told that there will be an Indian Summer during September. Given the extraordinary heat of April (which felt more like July) I am wondering how the remaining pack of 2014 months might be shuffled.
As a species, we are and always have been crap at predicting the future. When I was in Grammar School, it was generally taught (and accepted) that we would all have fewer children, and thus calls upon the welfare state would plummet. This – added to endless free atomic energy – would leave most of us retiring at 45 to a life of untold leisure and speed-of-light travel around the Universe. As late as the 1980s, in fact, there were still futurologists agonising about how the leisure facilities for we lucky Time Lords could be provided in a manner sufficient to alleviate our boredom.
But this appalling track record of insight about the future never holds the soothsayers back. John L. Casey, president of the US Space and Science Research Corporation, said last week that the Sun has entered a cyclical period of “solar hibernation,” powering down just enough to alter the Earth’s climate significantly. The result will be a much colder planet — “not an ice age, necessarily,” said Casey, but a “difficult cold that will start to damage our crops, globally, within the next 10-15 years.”

“We are absolutely unprepared,” he added, menacingly.

Just three years ago,The Observer offered a prediction that suggested, ‘the danger of a great power war in the 2010s is probably low; in the 2020s, it will be much greater’. That’s not really what one feels living through the present.

The unfeasibly large bollocks largely put out by the futurology industry is perhaps best personified by this stream of something or other from the Nesta website:
‘In the longer term, [virtual reality] may take us closer to sci-fi holy grails like the Holodeck or, once VR is integrated with the web, cyberspace as William Gibson so poignantly described it in Neuromancer:

“A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding…”

While it is clear we won’t be jacking into the Matrix next year (we’ll have to wait for brain controlled computers for that), I predict that when we look back at 2014 from whichever virtual worlds we inhabit in the future, we will see it as the year when, with the launch of Oculus Rift, Virtual Reality became really real.’

It would be well nigh impossible to exaggerate the sheer density of codswallop in the above. What, FFS, is the nonspace of the mind, and jacking into the matrix? Is this something to do with virtual jacking off?

And as for virtual reality becoming really real…well, what can a chap say to that?

Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody’s having them dreams
Everybody sees themselves walkin’ around with no one else
Half of the people can be part right all of the time
Some of the people can be all right part of the time
But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that
“I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours”
I said that.

Bob Dylan, 1961.