The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Dude, where’s my hovercar?

D.J. Carter

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I want my hovercar. Something that drives with a joystick. Paint the thing any color. It could be sleek or bubbly, as long as it really cooks.

I, like many of my generation, feel cheated.

I used to see futuristic lines, forms, surfaces in NKU’s Brutalist architecture. It captured my imagination. Now it’s just cold textured concrete all around, the same old same old, like everywhere else.

What’s the point?

Our futurism and techno posturing is stale and weary.

We’re supposed to be in space!

My generation needs a frontier, some unique and real freedom.

We want our hovercars racing and exciting high technology teching. Space opera is at our soul.

The first generation raised almost entirely on plastic wants the truth of the universe or at least a stab at it.

We yearn for a genuine human experience. We have the postmodern need to find it, in a true way, with unique means we own.

I see older generations who just take what they can get and I know our hearts do not settle.

So where’s my hovercar?

Today I blame business culture, tomorrow government, and the next day myself. Business does have some things to answer for.

I believe that as much as business does for science and technology, it holds them back. The problem is much deeper here than the inherent lag in detailed plans of organized product obsoletion.

Much of big business puts the death grip on technological progress in the interest of short-term goals.

They encourage narrowly scoped research.

Businesses will pimp a product well beyond it’s time, fighting away the new.

The easy examples are the positive technologies that the oil and automotive industries have fought and secreted away.

Business is stuck in a destructive mode.

It sells people what it wants to sell them how it wants to sell it.

Our reality isn’t buying what we want. It’s buying what we are told to want, allowed to want, and what we need.

There is a crucial element of possibility left out of the arrangement.

Interesting folks were refilling ink-jet cartridges with metallic ink to print intricate circuit boards on a variety of materials.

The couple next door to you may have printed on cloth, assembling the TRON suits that the children inside them had always wanted, and on the cheap.

Several printer makers denied these peoples’ experience by manufacturing anti-refill countermeasures into their printers.

This is a shortsighted variety of dumb.

Don’t allow business to take away consumer options or rights and destroy novelty in my world.

The printer makers may have curbed an ink-jet revolution. Realize that in the end profits of opportunity mean more than profits of control.

I find hope in what is going on in the exciting world of duct tape. MacGuyver would be proud.

Check out ducktapeclub.com. Here’s a product, already an all purpose tinkerer’s dream, marketing and encouraging creative uses while digging out a pop cultury niche. This is solid business. I’m contemplating the camo tape. Hard.

Now many corporations are diligently working on making space flight more accessible.

There are several private space programs actively competing for the $10 million dollar X Prize for pioneering private space flight.

Companies are pressing into the human genome and genetics. They’re working toward Nanotechnology of extraordinary potential, even right here in Kentucky.

There is an industry/university conference next week in Louisville.

Let’s support and honor those companies that appreciate and embody our values. We worship corporate executives, movers, and shakers for little reason today.

We hold themup as the best and brightest with sparse rationale.

It’s just like our celebration of dull reality show winners as sorts of Machiavellian geniuses.

Let’s encourage those who are right on to help us to get to where we want to be.

Here’s to hovercars for everybody.

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Dude, where’s my hovercar?