I’ve done my part, yes I have.

Okay, so you all know Wikipedia.org? Well,I was goaded by my good friend Peter Vanderwhatever into contributing. So I did. My medal is in the mail, yes?

In other news about thing that involve the internet and the word “free”, I’m getting a Linux Pack from Novell that features 10gb of things that involve Linux, including — and this is why I jumped at the chance — Suse 9.1 on DVD. I had a bit of trouble installing Suse on my computer (at least the newest builds) via FTP for reasons that I don’t understand. 8.whatever was too unstable for my liking. Or maybe it was just my KDE build. Hmmm.

Here’re some pix.

So yeah, my sisters were fooling around with the camera, so I touched up what they had done and these pix are the result. HF.

My pics look kind of threatening and such, but I had to get a few before I decided to shave off the sideburns. And aren’t Lisa and Becka just the most adorable? What? Kittens are more adorable.

Oh well. l8r y4ll

More l33t!

And because todays entry is so easy to read, try on a little bit of this for size. Be aware that if you can actually read this fluently, you’re crazy, and I “dislike” you.

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T minus 4 days.

It’s Friday today unless I’m very much mistaken, and it’s the sort of Friday one might find in stories that involve a lot of melodrama: wet, slightly windy, a bit nippy.

It all reminds me to bring extra blankets to Camp Tammy this year. It might not be a week of the best weather we’ve ever seen, but then that’s never been a problem on a week of vacation away with a group of 140 or so friends. I’ll just take cards along and we can play “President” (a name I use euphemistically in place of its other and less savoury nomenclature) is things get boring. Not all 140 of us at the same time. Just the select few.

But without saying too much in public (and yall are going, oh like right, that’s ever stopped you before), CT could be — alright, will be — very interesting this year. The interpersonal dynamics and power plays; the people whose love will be tested with a week of hanging out with eachother; the people who decide not to spend the week together but instead to hang with their respective friends and hate themselves for it; the people whose love is taboo or disapproved of; the people who seem happy but aren’t really; the people who have never before know what was out there and are suddenly tempted by possiblities. These things.

Well, as for my and my house (okay, I don’t have a house but my and phat car and moneybags), we will not be playing the field. Bah, girls. They’re all the same. Sort of. Some days.

I’m reminded, for no particular reason, of the Derek Webb lyric from “Standing Up for Nothing”:

I can’t stop staring at myself.
It’s my face reflected in this empty plate,
and I can’t decide if it’s the devil
or if it’s just something I ate,

cause he’s been down there all morning;
he’s patiently waiting at my gate.
He’s throwing rocks at my window,
saying, “Hey won’t you come on out and play with me?”

And I know who you say you arem
but these crows can’t be made to stop.
You gotta lift me from this hardened tree.
I ain’t standing for nothing.

Lack of interest leads to
lack of knowlege leads to
lack of perspective leads to
lack of communication leads to
lack of understanding leads to
lack of concern leads to
this complacency denotes,
this approval denies
the truth.

So today’s entry is l33t!

I decided (because of the excellent tools available), to render yesterday’s entry in l33t, because that’s sort of fun, isn’t it? So here we go. 1 c411 17 “7h3 C4r”.

“Th3 C@r”

I driv3 l0ng di$t@nc3$ $0|v|3ti|v|3$. It’$ |v|y j0b. I’v3 b33n t0 @riz0n@, 3v3n. B33n @ l0t 0f pl@c3$. L0t$ 0f kil0|v|3tr3$.

I inh3rit3d thi$ c@r fr0|v| |v|y f@th3r @b0ut thirty y3@r$ @g0. @ l0t 0f p30pl3 driv3 n3w F0rd$ @nd l00k @t |v|3 lik3 I’|v| driving @ T. But it $till w0rk$ — I’v3 g0n3 t0 @riz0n@ with thi$ thing. Thi$ i$ wh@t I t3ll th3|v|, but th3y n3v3r li$t3n. Th3y g3t in th3ir F0rd$ @nd driv3 0ff $h@king th3ir c0ll3ctiv3 h3@d$. |v|3$$ up 3xp3n$iv3 h@ird0$. I u$u@lly $hrug it 0ff @nd k33p driving.

But th3 0th3r d@y I $@w th3 0dd3$t thing. I w@$ in up$t@t3 N3w Y0rk, 0n3 0n3 0f th0$3 r@r3 c0untry r0@d$ th@t $33|v| t0 n3v3r 3nd, @nd $33|v| t0 b3 p0pul@t3d l3$$ by fu3ling $t@ti0n$ @nd |v|0r3 by liv3$t0ck. Th@t’$ pr3tty n0r|v|@l, @t l3@$t in |v|0nt@n@. But th3r3 in N3w Y0rk I w@$ driving @l0ng h@ppily wh3n I $@w @ c@r 0n th3 $id3 0f th3 r0@d, 0bvi0u$ly in tr0ubl3. 0n3 th3 fr0nt tyr3$ w@$ |v|i$$ing, th3 @xl3 up 0n bl0ck$.

I $t0pp3d, b3c@u$3 th@t’$ wh@t I d0. I h3lp p30pl3. It’$ |v|y j0b. Wh3n I w@lk3d up t0 th@t $lightly du$ty l@t3-|v|0d3l, h0w3v3r, I n0tic3d 0nly 0n3 0ccup@nt, @$l33p @t th3 $t33ring wh33l. Kn0cking 0n th3 wind0w, I $@w hi|v| $tir, ju$t @ bit. Th3n @ bit h@rd3r. @nd @ bit h@rd3r y3t. H3 w0k3 with @ $t@rt @nd $t@r3d up @t |v|3, n0t @ bit @nn0y3d.

H3 r0ll3d d0wn th3 wind0w. “Wh@t d0 y0u w@nt?” h3 $n@pp3d. “C@n’t y0u $33 I w@$ $l33ping?”

I w@$ t@k3n @b@ck f0r @ $3c0nd. N0r|v|@lly p30pl3 @r3 h@ppy t0 $33 0th3r p30pl3. F0r|v| $0|v|3 $0rt 0f @b$urd c0|v||v|unity in th3 |v|iddl3 0f n0wh3r3. “D0 y0u n33d h3lp?” I @$k3d. P0lit3ly. P30pl3 lik3 p0lit3 p30pl3.

“Why w0uld I n33d h3lp?” H3 $33|v|3d incr3dul0u$, lik3 I h@d ju$t 0ff3r3d t0 $3ll hi|v| @n 3xtr@ kidn3y.

I p0int3d t0 th3 fr0nt wh33l. “I n0tic3d th@t y0u’r3 |v|i$$ing @ tyr3.”

“It’$ n0t |v|i$$ing,” h3 grunt3d, fr0wning. “Th@t’$ th3 w@y it’$ $upp0$3d t0 b3.”

“H0w d0 y0u driv3 @ c@r wh3n it’$ up 0n bl0ck$?” It $33|v|3d lik3 @ p3rf3ctly n0r|v|@l qu3$ti0n t0 |v|3.

H3 $t0pp3d grunting @nd $t@rt3d gr0wling. “$@y$ wh0? Thi$ thing run$ fin3.”

“|v|@yb3 it d03$,” I $@id, d3ciding $udd3nly th@t thi$ |v|@n w@$ 3ith3r @ nutc@$3 0r 0n $0|v|3 $3ri0u$ drug$, “but c@r$ @r3 |v|3@nt t0 driv3, @nd thi$ 0n3’$ |v|i$$ing @ tyr3, @nd y0u c@n’t driv3 with0ut @ tyr3.”

“Y0u $0und lik3 0n3 0f th0$3 $tupid |v|3ch@nic$.” H3 0p3n3d th3 d00r @nd $t00d up @ bit ru$tily, l00king @t th3 @xl3 up 0n bl0ck$. “I’|v| t3lling y0u, th@t’$ th3 w@y it’$ $upp0$3d t0 b3.”

“Y0ur c@r i$ $upp0$3d t0 b3 up 0n bl0ck$.”

“Y3$!” H3 p0int3d @t it. “I$ th3r3 $0|v|3thing |v|i$$ing h3r3 th@t y0u c@n’t $33 thi$ i$ th3 w@y it i$?”

“Th3n why d0 y0u h@v3 c@r?” I @$k3d. “Why n0t ju$t build @ $h@ck?”

“Y0u $till think y0u’r3 @ |v|3ch@nic.”

“I d0n’t think I’|v| @ |v|3ch@nic, but I d0 kn0w @ thing 0r tw0 @b0ut c@r$,” I t0ld hi|v|.

“L00k, I d0n’t n33d y0ur h3lp,” h3 r3pli3d, $udd3nly. “I d0n’t n33d y0ur h3lp g3tting thi$ thing running.” @$ if h3 h@d h3 d3cid3d right th3n th@t, y3$, th3r3 w@$ @ pr0bl3|v| @ft3r @ll.

“Y0u’v3 g0t t00l$ @nd @ tyr3?” I @$k3d, $till trying. Nutc@$3$ @r3 n0t $@f3 0n th3 $id3 0f th3 r0@d. Th3y b3c0|v|3 hitch-hik3r$ @nd $3ri@l kill3r$.

“I $@id I c@n fix it!” h3 $h0ut3d @t |v|3, l3@ning int0 th3 c@r, ru|v||v|@ging @r0und in th3 gl0v3 c0|v|p@rt|v|3nt. H3 c@|v|3 up with @ cl3@r b@g 0f @ whit3 p0wd3r (@nd I th0ught t0 |v|y$3lf, d3finit3ly drug$). “$33 thi$?”

“Y3@h.” I 3y3b@ll3d th3 b@g. N0t drug$. Pr0b@bly c0@r$3 $ug@r. “I$ th@t $ug@r?”

“$ur3 i$!” h3 $@id, $udd3nly h@ppy, grinning lik3 @n idi0t. “@nd thi$ i$ g0ing t0 fix thi$ c@r.” H3 un$cr3w3d th3 g@$ c@p @nd b3g@n p0uring th3 $tuff in b3f0r3 I c0uld $t0p hi|v|.

“D0n’t p0ur $ug@r int0 y0ur g@$ t@nk!” I $h0ut3d.

Th3 b@g 0f $ug@r f3ll t0 th3 gr0und, @nd I f0und |v|y$3lf f@cing th3 |v|uzzl3 0f @ r3v0lv3r, @ v3ry 0ld-l00king r3v0lv3r. “It’$ |v|y d@|v|n c@r!” h3 $cr3@|v|3d, $pitting. “D0n’t t3ll |v|3 wh@t t0 d0 with it!”

@nd $0 I w@tch3d @$ h3 p0ur3d th3 r3$t 0f th3 $ug@r int0 hi$ g@$t@nk, w@tch3d @$ h3 $@t b@ck in th3 driv3r’$ $3@t, w@tch3d @$ h3 turn3d th3 k3y. It turn3d 0v3r w3@kly @ f3w ti|v|3$, @nd $putt3r3d t0 lif3. @nd, in @ cl0ud 0f blu3 $|v|0k3, di3d.

“$33?” h3 p0int3d pr0udly @t th3 d@$hb0@rd. “W0rk$ lik3 @ ch@r|v|!”

I didn’t w@nt t0 t3ll hi|v| th@t h3 h@dn’t fix3d th3 pr0bl3|v| @t @ll. 0r th@t h3’d cr3@t3d @ w0r$3 0n3. I didn’t w@nt t0 t@lk t0 @ gun-wi3lding |v|@d|v|@n. N0, I’d |v|uch r@th3r l3@v3.

@nd $0 I did. I tri3d t0 h3lp, I r3@lly did. It’$ |v|y j0b. C@n’t h3lp it if p30pl3 w0n’t l3t |v|3 d0 |v|y j0b. @ft3r @ll, |v|y g0df@th3r wr0t3 th3 |v|@nu@l f0r th@t c@r. H3’$ th3 0n3 th@t t0ld |v|3 c@r$ g0 pl@c3$, @nd n0t t0 put $ug@r in th3 t@nk. H3 t0ld |v|3 @b0ut th3 guy$ th@t inv3nt3d th3 c@r.

I l00k3d in |v|y r3@rvi3w |v|irr0r @$ I l3ft, w@tching th@t n@|v|3l3$$ |v|0d3rn $h00t 0ut th3 0th3r thr33 tyr3$. H3 pr0b@bly didn’t b3li3v3 th@t p30pl3 @ctu@lly inv3nt3d c@r$ @nyw@y$.

The Car

I wrote a story about some annonymous culture clash. You know, the old-fashioned dude meets the modernist? I call it,

The Car

I drive long distances sometimes. It’s my job. I’ve been to Arizona, even. Been a lot of places. Lots of kilometres.

I inherited this car from my father about thirty years ago. A lot of people drive new Fords and look at me like I’m driving a T. But it still works — I’ve gone to Arizona with this thing. This is what I tell them, but they never listen. They get in their Fords and drive off shaking their collective heads. Mess up expensive hairdos. I usually shrug it off and keep driving.

But the other day I saw the oddest thing. I was in upstate New York, one one of those rare country roads that seem to never end, and seem to be populated less by fueling stations and more by livestock. That’s pretty normal, at least in Montana. But there in New York I was driving along happily when I saw a car on the side of the road, obviously in trouble. One the front tyres was missing, the axle up on blocks.

I stopped, because that’s what I do. I help people. It’s my job. When I walked up to that slightly dusty late-model, however, I noticed only one occupant, asleep at the steering wheel. Knocking on the window, I saw him stir, just a bit. Then a bit harder. And a bit harder yet. He woke with a start and stared up at me, not a bit annoyed.

He rolled down the window. “What do you want?” he snapped. “Can’t you see I was sleeping?”

I was taken aback for a second. Normally people are happy to see other people. Form some sort of absurd community in the middle of nowhere. “Do you need help?” I asked. Politely. People like polite people.

“Why would I need help?” He seemed incredulous, like I had just offered to sell him an extra kidney.

I pointed to the front wheel. “I noticed that you’re missing a tyre.”

“It’s not missing,” he grunted, frowning. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

“How do you drive a car when it’s up on blocks?” It seemed like a perfectly normal question to me.

He stopped grunting and started growling. “Says who? This thing runs fine.”

“Maybe it does,” I said, deciding suddenly that this man was either a nutcase or on some serious drugs, “but cars are meant to drive, and this one’s missing a tyre, and you can’t drive without a tyre.”

“You sound like one of those stupid mechanics.” He opened the door and stood up a bit rustily, looking at the axle up on blocks. “I’m telling you, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

“Your car is supposed to be up on blocks.”

“Yes!” He pointed at it. “Is there something missing here that you can’t see this is the way it is?”

“Then why do you have car?” I asked. “Why not just build a shack?”

“You still think you’re a mechanic.”

“I don’t think I’m a mechanic, but I do know a thing or two about cars,” I told him.

“Look, I don’t need your help,” he replied, suddenly. “I don’t need your help getting this thing running.” As if he had he decided right then that, yes, there was a problem after all.

“You’ve got tools and a tyre?” I asked, still trying. Nutcases are not safe on the side of the road. They become hitch-hikers and serial killers.

“I said I can fix it!” he shouted at me, leaning into the car, rummaging around in the glove compartment. He came up with a clear bag of a white powder (and I thought to myself, definitely drugs). “See this?”

“Yeah.” I eyeballed the bag. Not drugs. Probably coarse sugar. “Is that sugar?”

“Sure is!” he said, suddenly happy, grinning like an idiot. “And this is going to fix this car.” He unscrewed the gas cap and began pouring the stuff in before I could stop him.

“Don’t pour sugar into your gas tank!” I shouted.

The bag of sugar fell to the ground, and I found myself facing the muzzle of a revolver, a very old-looking revolver. “It’s my damn car!” he screamed, spitting. “Don’t tell me what to do with it!”

And so I watched as he poured the rest of the sugar into his gastank, watched as he sat back in the driver’s seat, watched as he turned the key. It turned over weakly a few times, and sputtered to life. And, in a cloud of blue smoke, died.

“See?” he pointed proudly at the dashboard. “Works like a charm!”

I didn’t want to tell him that he hadn’t fixed the problem at all. Or that he’d created a worse one. I didn’t want to talk to a gun-wielding madman. No, I’d much rather leave.

And so I did. I tried to help, I really did. It’s my job. Can’t help it if people won’t let me do my job. After all, my godfather wrote the manual for that car. He’s the one that told me cars go places, and not to put sugar in the tank. He told me about the guys that invented the car.

I looked in my rearview mirror as I left, watching that nameless modern shoot out the other three tyres. He probably didn’t believe that people actually invented cars anyways.

Quotes and satire.

Have you ever worried that your child is a computer hacker? So have many parents, as this little article well explains. Among other things, it reveals that Linux is a Soviet hacker program designed to steal credit card info, and that Quake is a artificial hacker environment used to conduct secret meetings.

So on to some quotes. I had Monday off of work, and in the headache-afflicted haze that filled that day, I surfed Slashdot.org and found some interesting comments.

Jack O’Neill of Stargate SG-1: “Do you like Guinness, sir? It makes a good substitute for… food.”

Lyndsay: Do I detect a note of sarcasm?
Frink: Are you kidding me, this baby’s off the charts.
CBG: Oooh a sarcasm detector, that’s a real useful invention.
*detector explodes*

Annonymous Coward on Slashdot.org: (speaking of the possibility of Lucas making eps 7,8,9 of Starwars) “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.”

TopShelf on Slashdot.org: The following was suggested as a title for Episode III, but might be even more appropriate to 7, 8, and 9 as a whole: Dead Horse, Meet Mr. Stick.

MaxPublic on Slashdot.org: If you were a Mensa member you’d be spending so much time praising your own intellect and insulting your ‘inferiors’ the pattern would make a ‘whooshing’ sound as it flew over your head, unnoticed in the neon glare of your ego.

DrXym on Slashdot.org: Not content with raping the childhood memories of fans of the original movies, he’s now doing the same for fans of the prequels. All seventeen of them.

Look, ma, no Avril!

So yeah, I thought it would be important for my mom to know what I’m listening to, because after all, a sermon once said it was important. Thus, a list of my current tunes. The Group or Performer is in bold, and the Album Name is italic. I hope no one minds italic.

Belle and Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Chevelle, Wonder What’s Next
Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlantacism
Dido, No Angel, and Life for Rent
Jars of Clay, Much Afraid
Jimmy Eat World, Bleed American
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
Lauryn Hill, Unplugged
Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, and The Moon and Antartica
Norah Jones, Come Away With Me, and Feels Like Home
Sonic Youth, Sonic Nurse, and Expirimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star
Turin Brakes, Ether Song
Wilco, A Ghost is Born

As it turns out, I’ve also watched a movie or two lately. I will provide commentary.

Bend it Like Beckham. A very good movie if you ignore the continuation of institutional rebellion as presented. Basically a young Sihk teen goes against her parents wishes and become a footballer (which for all you Americans is soccer player), while her older sister is about to be married to the handsome son of a wealthy Sihk family. She eventually falls in love with her soccer coach, inspiring the jealousy of one of her football friends. It’s a good movie regardless of its faults. It’s sort of a cheap version of Fiddler on the Roof. Nothing rememberable, but a pleasant watch. 7.6 out of 10

The Princess Diaries. Okay, it has Julie Andrews. Otherwise, a cutsie fairy-tale for pre-adolescant girls. 6.5 out of 10

The Punisher. A stupid, stupid, stupid revenge flick about a guy who kills the people who killed his wife and kid. Based on a comicbook. Sucks in a major way. Was a punishment to watch, really. 2.3 out of 10

Elephant. Gus Van Sant’s films are typically very gentle with their male protagonists. Elephant, a film about a Columbine-like shooting, does the stars (unknowns Gus Van Sant picked from a high school somewhere in California, I believe) the same justice. It offers no morality or explainations of why two boys would do something like that, content instead to merely record the lives of those involved. In that way, it’s strikingly different from just about every other Hollywood film that deals with a similar problem. Excellent film, and a strangely moving ending. 8.3 of 10.

Spirited Away. Japanese animation hasn’t fallen into the same computer-animated rut American animation houses have died of. Spirited Away is an Alice in Wonderland-ish tale of a girl caught in a strange and wonderful world. Nonstop images and action that puts Disney’s Alice to shame. 8.5 of 10

And that’s it, folks. Have a good day.

The future, as Robert Sawyer sees it.

Robert Sawyer has this to say about the future, and I’ve quoted it entirely below.

July 13, 2004 – 20:06
It’s 2014, and life is the same. Only better
By Robert J. Sawyer

As a science-fiction writer, my job is predicting the future. And that’s gotten harder with each passing year. Moore’s law tells us that computing power doubles every 18 months. If that holds up — and i believe it will, with breakthroughs in nanotechnology, new techniques of producing three-dimensional circuits, and new substrates for microprocessors — then in 10 short years, we will have computers 128 times more powerful than those that exist today. Can anyone guess how that much computing muscle, widely available and inexpensively priced, will affect our day-to-day lives? Well, let’s find out.

Here are some of my predictions for a typical day in late 2014; feel free to track me down in 10 years’ time and tell me i’m wrong!

Our mornings will still begin with waking up. But forget the old-fashioned alarm-clock buzzer. Tomorrow’s bedside clock will be a sophisticated brainwave monitor. It’ll keep track of your sleep cycle, gently bringing up the room lights at precisely the right time so that you’ll feel rested, not cardiac arrested, as you awake.

Today, your coffee can be brewed while you sleep; tomorrow’s robokitchen will have an entire hot (but low carb!) breakfast waiting for you. Also waiting will be an electronic-ink newspaper, with stories geared to your particular interests culled from sources worldwide (with foreign-language news automatically translated into English).

Of course, you aren’t the only one who has to get going in the morning. Your spouse and kids will be taken care of, too — with smart toilets analyzing their urine and sensor-rich toothbrushes checking their saliva to make sure everything is ticketyboo; most health problems will be caught early and be trivial to correct.

Your spouse might telecommute — perhaps half of all white-collar workers will do so in 2014 — but you might still have to physically go to your office. Along the way you’ll take your kids to school.

No point quizzing them on facts as you travel along, though. In a world in which any information can be easily accessed anywhere, mere memorization is no longer part of the curriculum. But analysis of information — knowing how to think — ah, that’s the ticket!Naturally, your electric car will drive itself, communicating with millions of chips that have been steamrollered into the asphalt covering our roadways. No more traffic accidents; no more gridlock.

Once you’ve dropped the kids off — yes, learning can be done online at home, but socialization still happens best in a real school and at a real playground — you will use the rest of your commute time productively, catching up on full-motion-video e-mail and reading reports (or having them read to you by totally realistic voice synthesizers). You’ll arrive at your office relaxed.

Throughout the day, your wristband — a combination cellphone, PDA, camera, and e-book display, all controlled by spoken commands — will be your lifeline.

You’ll have just one phone number, good worldwide with no long-distance or roaming charges, and the wristband will screen calls for you, with a computer-generated avatar kicking in to deal with most routine matters.

Still, even 10 years from now, much business will require face-time. No problem. One major wall of your office in, say, Toronto, will be a vast flatscreen, showing you your company’s Vancouver office. You’ll be able to walk up to the wall and chat with whomever is depicted as casually as if you were both sharing the same water cooler.

Your cubicle will have a smart wall of its own, giving every worker the appearance of having a window; yours might show real-time footage of Lake Louise, assuming that global warming hasn’t melted the adjacent glaciers and flooded everything. And no matter which office chair you sit on, it will adjust automatically to your body’s proportions.

Of course, we’ll all live in an enhanced reality. Today’s bulky virtual-reality goggles will have been replaced by contact lenses that overlay textual information on your vision; the lens will be in constant communication with the computing powerhouse in your wristband. You’ll never be in the embarrassing situation of not remembering the name of an acquaintance you happen to run into; facial-recognition technology will identify the person, and provide you with all pertinent details instantaneously.

You’ll want to make some time in your day for exercise — and the microprocessors in your running shoes will keep track of your pace, telling you when to slow down or speed up for maximum effect. Meanwhile, nanotechnological probes will be working their way through your bloodstream, clearing plaque out of your arteries, and getting rid of dangerous chemicals.

And naturally, your wristband will be recording everything you see and do, with software indexing it all as you go along.

You won’t have to worry about losing your car keys in the future — your biometrics will identify you whenever necessary — but you might forget where you’ve put your sunglasses and hat (sadly, both of which you’ll probably always need when venturing outdoors). No problem: just ask your wristband, and it’ll tell you where they are.

Recording your entire life will take a lot of storage, but the cost of data storage will be essentially zero by 2014, so that’s no problem. The images of your life will be beamed through the air to an archive that only you can access; quantum cryptography — unbreakable even in principle — will have made such transmissions totally secure.

On the way home, you’ll stop to pick up a few things at the grocery store. No standing in line, though, to check out: you’ll just waltz out the front door, as the Radio Frequency ID chips in the products you’ve bought allow their costs to be tallied and your account automatically debited.

You might make dinner yourself, if you enjoy cooking. But if not, your automated kitchen will again take care of everything, including doing the dishes. And you’ll have a humanoid robot, too — the descendant of today’s dancing Honda Asimo — that will take care of all the other housework.

After dinner, you’ll have your pick of any TV show or movie ever made, available instantly on your wall-screen TV.

(Micropayments will work flawlessly: you’ll be able to access any premium information off the expanded, full-motion-video Web, with the creator compensated automatically.)

Meanwhile, your kids will be off in their rooms, enjoying fully immersive virtual reality experiences — who’d have thought homework could be such fun? Eventually, though, it’ll be time for them to get ready for bed. Smart washcloths will make sure they clean everywhere, including behind their ears.

And, a little later, you’ll turn in for the night, as well. But perhaps just before you fall asleep, a thought will occur to you — something you just have to remember to do the next day.

Except you don’t have to remember it at all; all you have to do is mention it to your wristband — yes, you’ll go to bed with it on. And then you’ll fall asleep, totally relaxed, confident that your technology will remind you of this, and everything else that’s important, come the bright and wonderful morrow.

So, have I got it right? Only time will tell. But, as I said at the outset, if I’m wrong, feel free to look me up in 2014 and let me know. Of course, if you do, I’ll bend your ear then about what life will be like in 2024.

Which of course will most likely be possible in 2014, yes. But then there are a lot of things that are possible today that aren’t being done in a major way. Memes and processes tend to take a while to drift into the mainstream consciousness; this fact is something SF writers tend to ignore (at their own peril). Even in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, AI was a vital component of the plot — yet we’ve come nowhere close to making actual artificial intelligence.

Sawyer may indeed be right, and these things may indeed come around, some more quickly than others. But then again, some might take 20, 30 years. If they’re ever done at all.