Sunday, November 02, 2008

hard sf fashion victims prisoners of history

i've noted before that GUI toolkit designers betray their age since the look and feel of given guis (think windows 98,nt,xp,vista, MacOS in various guises, or tcl/tk or X10 with athena widgets, xerox smalltalk browsers, etc etc,)
all look like hifi equipment from different eras - my hypothesis is that the GUI has the fashion of the designer's first hifi (60s clunk and wood, seventies brushed aluminium, eighties matt black, etc etc - same for knobs/buttons etc)

so in SF we see the same thing - when authors describe future scenes (in life, bars, clubs, etc) clothes, music, and so on all reflect the authors' teenage years - whether its 60s fun, or 70s glam (star wars), 80s punk/newave (stepheson/thrash skateboarder music), 90s goth (accelerando) etc etc

it would be nice if just for once, someone in the tech/geek/futurist world had the imagination and wit to do something less retro (as well as maybe, just for once pretty please, having characters and plot that don't reek of derivista).

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home