Basement Films: Ethereal Man

Sean Strain

Recently, there was a Time article with the eye-catching title The Year Man Becomes Immortal. In the article, it predicted a time in which machines become so advanced they can out think even the smartest human and soon they would begin to create technology on their own without the aid of humans. While mankind takes years to develop new gadgets and gizmos, these machines would supposedly be able to produce new ones everyday. One such advancement would be discovering how man could upload their consciousness into a computer.

This sounds very much like The Matrix, yet many individuals believe this is the future. Yet, people also believed we would have flying cars, jet packs, and teleporters by now. Those people must cry themselves to sleep softly every night. There is also the people who believe we will never get much further into the future as the world will end in 2012 because the Mayans didn’t make a calendar for anything after that. You also have the fundamentalists who believe the Book of Revelations is the truth and those who believe we will abandon the husk of our planet for worlds unknown.

Of course, if you have a more cynical mindset, you will believe the human race will simply destroy themselves and end on an anti-climactic note. With global warming, war, and other man-made terrors, it is probably more plausible than mankind eventually uploading itself to the net.

A movie I saw recently that showed a world ravaged by overpopulation and other problems was Soylent Green. This movie depicts a New York in which the population is quadruple what it is now, leaving no more land for people to live, a shortage of food, and there is only one sanctuary on earth with healthy trees. In the movie’s plot twist (stop if you hate spoilers) is that a corporation is harvesting the dead as the world’s food source to keep the world from starvation.

As the current state of the world, it is easy to imagine such a possibility as the world of Soylent Green and hope for our world in which we are all immortal (which has its own terrors when you think about it). We obviously cannot predict the future, so the only thing we can possible do is work in the present to ensure a more positive future.