I often wonder how a tenth century worldly denizen of the western world might view life today. Or for that matter an eighteenth century person. The world has changed so radically, and yet we take it all in, in stride, and even demand more and more changes, technologically, socially, medically. (The only thing that hasn’t changed is politics!) But let me ask you – what would dazzle his eyes and mind most if John Doe of 1770 were beamed up by Scottie to 2018?
The most dramatic feature that would seem totally unbelievable in Mr. Doe’s eyes would be these monster birds flying the sky carrying hundreds and hundreds of passengers on their wings. If a pebble falls to the ground, why doesn’t an ‘iron ship’, larger than the sailing ships of his day, fall down to earth. That would be an absolute conundrum.
The next most mind-defying feature of today’s life would be John Do’s ability to speak to his cousins in another country, in real time, and actually see their faces and their humble abode, visually, right now, in real time! That would indeed be powerful magic that surpassed the crystal ball that his seer always used.
Then would come the iron horse that took you wherever you wanted to go and even took itself to your destination while you read the Kindle (and what’s that??) And the horses are so miniature that they hide under the bonnet of this machine they call an ‘automobile’!
I do suppose that the tiny fires in the ceiling that produce such bright light instantly, without needing to be fueled or even seemingly lit, emanating a light much brighter than his hand-held fiery torch – and making the night look like day – what a marvel!
And when John Doe has an asthma attack, instead of dying he would simply draw a breath on his magic puffer and, presto, he feels immediate relief. Or when he brakes his leg in mortal battle, he might even have a prosthetic applied that he could actually ‘feel’ and ‘control’.
John’s kitchen looks very different than Home and Garden’s magazine version. It is an ugly darkly unsightly sooty affair, whereas in today’s kitchen you could eat off the marble counters let alone the beautifully tiled floors. And all those ‘food maker’ machines! Where is their brain located – they just seem to know what to do with the food that constantly challenges John’s muscles and stamina.
Yet, our life today will look so ancient to John Doe XXIII in but 50 year’s time. So beam me up Scottie! I am curious.