I had my sixteenth birthday in March of 2001.
At that time, there was all manner of dark crap on the horizon, but I was riding a wave of being a few months away from never having to go back to my
school again. I knew I would be free, or at least a closer approximation of it than I had ever been before!
It was a dangerous place, and so my joy at the prospect of never having to return made me feel pretty good in some respects. Right around that
period, my mother and father were divorcing as well, so (weirdly) everything was alright with me. I was playing cricket regularly, and all I was
thinking about the future was, " I wonder what it will be like to re-sit my GCSE's at a proper educational facility, rather than the insane place I
have just left. I wonder if I will make actual friends? I wonder, if after all I have been through, I am capable of normal interaction with other
However, regarding my desire for the FUTURE? That hope had already been dashed! It was 2001, and there was no base on the moon, Arthur C Clarkes
vision of our time had not been realised, and our petty and pathetic squabbles as a species were still gutting our planet of resources, destroying
lives by the countless thousands, and would only get worse in years to come, all of which was holding us back, and by my reckoning we were at least
forty to fifty years behind our optimal pace of advancement.
That said I had just signed up to my first email account that year (and have kept since, and is still my only mail service online), and had begun
conversing with people over the internet, from all over the world. I remember taking my first stumbling steps in cyberspace, thinking to myself "Isnt
this all just a little pedestrian? Why is this thing so SLOW?". That was the final nail in the coffin of my dreams really. It was only when I first
hit the net, when I realised just how boned we were, and that even my now modified hopes for the future were still going to be scuppered before they
And I was right in all my concerns, so it turned out. September of that year saw an unforgettable moment in history, which I happened to be watching
the news channels at just the right moment to catch the begining of and saw the entire fiasco unfolding from end to end. This lead to the scenario we
are all facing now, and after that event, I really didnt expect anything else. I remember saying to a friend of mine, who happened to be watching
those events with me on the day "You know what? Its bad enough that all these people are dying, and who ever did this is going to be seriously boned,
but that aside, this crap just doomed our future to be just like our past."
It was that moment that totally destroyed my hope that this species would actually begin to colonise space, or develop relativistic propulsion
methods of any kind, let alone a decent warp drive, or indeed the powerplant required to run one, within my lifetime. Given that my most honest, and
wonder filled dreams when I was five years old, were of actually working and living in space, as depicted by the works of Clarke and others, actually
living out there as a matter of course, rather than being Earthbound in an era where space flight was still by offical appointment, rather than the
same as getting on a plane and hopping the channel, given that I had modified that desire to "colonies within my lifetime, served by craft capable of
doing an Earth - Mars run in two weeks." I found all that a bit of a downer.
It is now my belief that this species will not even colonise the moon before I die. I will not live to see the actual creation of a warp drive or
anything similar, since we are only taking the baby steps to understanding the mass manipulator that is the Higgs Boson. By the time I die, I doubt
wether we will even have worked out how to avoid killing one another.
edit on 6-9-2013 by TrueBrit because: Grammar edit.