Back to the Future…is now?

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By Stewart Grant
I’ve often found futuristic-based movies to be intriguing. Fortunately, most of the stories don’t end up coming true. “Judgment Day” did not occur on August 29, 1997 as The Terminator movies had forecast, and the end of the Mayan calendar didn’t cause worldwide devastation as shown in the movie “2012”.
This week features a special moment on the calendar, because on October 21st, 2015 we will finally reach the point in time that Marty McFly visited in the 1989 hit movie “Back to the Future 2”.
A key storyline in Back to the Future 2 revolved around sports betting, and this arose from Marty McFly learning of the long-shot Chicago Cubs winning the 2015 World Series. For a team that hasn’t won the Fall Classic since 1908, this prediction seemed wildly unlikely. However, now that we’ve arrived in real-time October 2015 and only four teams remain in the MLB playoffs, amazingly the Cubs have a decent chance of winning it all and thus fulfilling the Back to the Future prophecy.
Although Back to the Future’s flying cars and hoverboards have not become mainstream in our present world, the technology does exist in some developmental form. In many ways, our present world has advanced even further than what Marty McFly experienced on his trip to the future. Most notably, the existence of the internet in our daily lives was not foreseen. We are connected to information in so many ways that are stunning to anyone who grew up in the 1980s or earlier.
I’ve been lucky enough to have known grandparents and great-grandparents who lived a long time, and I always enjoyed learning about what life was like when they were young. It’s difficult to imagine a world without cars, without airplanes, and most significantly, without electricity. There’s no generation on earth that will experience the amount of technological change as someone who lived from the early 20th century to the early 21st century.
That being said, I often reflect with amazement about the changes that we’ve seen in just the past few years. Cameras have shrunk to the size where they can be swallowed in pill format, or they can be attached to drones that give us a birds-eye view of anything we choose. GPS technology has saved countless marriages, as couples no longer have to fight about directions when they’re driving. Self-driving cars are quickly becoming a reality. And 3D printers are continuing to develop at a rate where they will become commonplace. The list goes on and on.
On this Wednesday, October 21st, 2015, I encourage you to take a moment to put yourself in Marty McFly’s shoes, and marvel at how far we’ve come. It’s an amazing time to be alive.