The Futurist page is a new section in the vinceunlimited universe designed to collate all the relevant stuff off the website for a particular type of reader, in this case the futurist sort.
In time, or shall I say, the future, this page will be fully populated with all the futuristic and forecast based content found within the vinceunlimited site. It will grow and develop so please be patient and check back in due course. Or the future, whichever comes first.
These are the first articles originally written and published between 2003 and 2005 in the original version of the vinceunlimited website and represented opinions at the time, based on contemporaneous knowledge. They are reproduced below updated and edited only where necessary.
If you feel moved enough to add anything, why not drop Vince a vMail and have your say.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.125 1 Jun 2018
First Published: Version 5.003 6 Oct 2017
The result of an accident between a car and a small child
I have just read about a development of a technology from one major car manufacturer that encompasses radar, cruise control and the ability to follow white line markings whilst steering to effectively allow the car to drive itself.
All these technologies are already produced but this car combines them all.
The car in question is a Honda Accord - the pensioners of Britain must be wetting themselves with glee.
All this relies on effective road marking of course but nobody has yet made that quantum leap into the future to envisage who might have to take responsibility should it all go pear-shaped.
Can we look forward to the accident case where the driver claims that he was not actually controlling the car, whereas the manufacturer will be pointing to some small print in their instructions whilst the insurance company attempts to blame the road maintenance companies?
All of which means the poor motorist that was crashed into will be a pensioner himself before he gets compensation.
All of which he'll spend on a new Accord.
And the circle will continue ad infinitum…
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.125 1 Jun 2018
First Published: Version 2.03 14 Jun 2006
Animal Parts As Spares
A monkey transplant
One of the big issues facing mankind today is the moral question of whether we should be allowed to grow animals purely for use as spare parts for humans. Technological advancement is reaching the point where soon we will be able to grow compatible human parts within live animals.
And in 2017 the UK issued plans to make organ donor presumed consent a thing. If we have to go to the trouble of opting out then so can the mammals. Unless they fill out a form on the internet.
Imagine, a man's spare spleen, if you can, grown by a dog. Or a newborn baby's amputated lower arm being re-grown by a monkey. Or an arse transplanted from a horse onto a woman (I'm sure I've seen her already).
The issue centres on whether it is moral to do this. I believe it may be immoral not to do it. I would argue that mankind is no more than a species, albeit a very successful one and one which we are lucky to be a part of. And like all other species humans have developed the best way to survive and prosper. Being able to harvest parts from other species is just another development in the clear superiority of humans. All species use the resources available to them and just as our food farming is a clever extension of this ability so is improving this to include repair of damaged or old body parts. It is a natural extension. Nature.
And who wouldn't choose to live longer, providing the quality of their life through use of renewable, healthier parts was assured.
The only concerns I would personally have is to impose controls on the supply. I couldn't accept that the system was open to be abused by undesirable people. And I'm not scaremongering about a dozen cloned dictators. That just couldn't occur. No, I would worry about persistent drunks using surrogates to grow banks of spare livers. And I would have concerns about stinking smokers using animals to constantly transplant their lungs. Transplanting their brains might be a better idea.
My own view is that I would be happy for a pig to grow a heart for me, then for me to have it transplanted when mine is worn out. And I could enjoy a good bacon sandwich afterwards. Long live technology.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.003 6 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Image added and updated in Version 5.003 6 Oct 2017
The Millennium Dome
A tribute to the Greenwich blister
An enormous carbuncle or visionary monument? That is the question
Many say that the cash should have been spent on the NHS instead? They questioned the extravagance of a structure built of a seemingly temporary design and only there for a year. And no one can see where the £800m and counting went. So why am I a supporter of this apparently whitest of elephants?
Let us consider some facts. The Dome was built in the UK, not a third world country riddled with debt and plagued by civil war. We are a first world power so shouldn't we be able to afford a bit of luxury? The money is better spent on this plaything for a few than on another weapon of mass destruction.
And I do not believe that one hospital or nurse has been cancelled because of the project. I agree the National Health Service is currently under funded and would be happy to pay additional taxes if I could guarantee an efficient service but I do not confuse this issue with the Dome. That is the job of the British Press.
As for the contents I am not a believer of criticism without seeing things first hand. So I visited this monument in it's heyday in early March 2000 and enjoyed the whole day. The content was generally of an excellent nature and there was more to see than I could in the day's visit. In particular I noted that the Journey Zone was top draw stuff (Incidently, I could not find the actual top shelf stuff).
The only disappointment was the main show. Set on too grand a scale with things happening everywhere and a pretentious story line too far up its own tent-pole to make any sense.
I predict that the Dome will eventually be fondly remembered. The media in this country is controlling how we perceive the image of this stunning structure and up to now the press has been slagging it off. Its image is at a low point so the media-mongrels [deliberate misspelling] will soon decide it is time to re-launch it as a success story.
And as for the slogan 'Only open for a year'. It will still be up and running in some form in 20 years - Mark my words.
Think about the publicity that we could get for our country if we had all got behind it - I believe it is big enough.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.013 27 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts the East London Thames skyline including The Millennium Dome and was taken by the author in August 2003. It was added in Version 5.013 27 Oct 2017
Looking Through Gary Gilmore's Eyelashes
During mid September 2005 a surgical team made an announcement that they were to become the first to carry out a human face transplant and it unleashed a whole raft of press comment about the morals of such a procedure.
Too many commentators have taken the weak journalistic option of trying to stir up outdated, backward and religious prejudices by suggesting that there will be a moral outcry. As usual this counters the brilliant scientific advancements heralded in these new procedures.
The additional twist this time is identity and the allegedly dubious grounds that taking someone's face will mean adopting their identity and perhaps personality. This is despite the surgeon's assurances that the face is shaped by the bones, not the skin.
However, this does not deter those who think that the procedures could lead to cosmetic demands.
My personal belief is that if it did so what? If someone is prepared to fund research through vanity then let them carry on.
And so what if it changes the way someone looks or raises questions about identity? What rule says that identity has to be fixed? If they bring out such a law I'll grow a beard. And so will my wife.
Taking the arguments about altering identity a little further I note that one interesting thought that hasn't yet been raised until now is the spectre that one day a celebrity may offer their face after their demise. Think about the consequences for a while.
Currently playing on some sub-standard channel on my Freeview box is a programme called 'I Want a Famous Face'. This is the latest in the current trend of titillating, voyeuristic cosmetic surgery programmes that follows desperate wannabes sadly seeking to look like a celebrity because their own self-esteem is too low.
A natural extension to this idea is having the actual face they so desire. And bidding wars could send the value of deceased celebrity faces sky high. After all their fiscal worth in life is elevated, why not in death?
Been There Done That
These concepts are not particularly new. 'Gary Gilmore's Eyes' was a song was released following the real life transplantation of a dead killer's donated eyes.
This spawned a fictionalised Hollywood film called 'The Eyes of Laura Mars' suggesting that the transplanted eyes held secrets about how Laura met her demise.
'Face Off' was a grand Hollywood blockbuster featuring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta who as goodies and baddies respectively routinely swapped identities during the movie to maintain a high level of thriller element and not a small amount of confusion.
Even before that, in the grand old days when everyone was in black and white a film was released called 'The Hands Of Orlac' which featured a talented concert pianist who having lost his hands in an accident had a pair transplanted from a deceased killer. The twist this time was that the hands were more concerned with stabbing than tinkering with the ivories.
So what of the future?
I predict that this will become commonplace.
I'll further suggest that there will be routine face swapping. Maybe a business face for the day and a party face for the evening. Presently women change their hair colour, length and shape and tint their eyes with contact lenses so changing faces is a logical extension.
Maybe friends will have fun swapping faces to confuse their parents.
Of course, society will gradually learn to distrust external features and we will eventually be judged on who we are and not what we look like.
And me personally? I have never wanted to alter my face, my desire is technically easier but way more complex. I don't want to look like Brad Pitt, I want everyone to think that my look is as good as Brad's.
Oh, and I'm thinking about putting in a bid for Jennifer Aniston's face.
Not that I want to wear it - just sit on it.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.110 1 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 in Sep 2005
The world's first partial face transplant with parts from a stranger was claimed to be carried out on Isabelle Dinoire in Sep 2005 who had her face mauled by her dog. The work was carried out by Dr Bernard Devauchelle, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Benoit Lengelé, a Belgian plastic surgeon, and Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. The operation was successful but her immune system's response was difficult and she eventually died in 2016 following a long illness.
An earlier transplant was reported by The Guardian on a 9 year old Indian boy, Sandeep Kaur, who had his face ripped off by a thresher machine in 1994. His mother's quick reactions allowed reconstruction of his own face by Dr Abraham Thomas, one of India's top microsurgeons. This is recognised as the first face transplant. The Guardian reported that in 2004 Sandeep was training to be a nurse.
'I Want A Famous Face' is an American documentary reality TV programme first shown on MTV which originally ran between 2004 and 2005
Gary Gilmore was an American double murderer who was successfully prosecuted and eventually executed in Utah in 1977. Within hours two people had received transplants of his corneas
'Gary Gilmore's Eyes' by songwriter T.V. Smith is a single performed by punk band The Adverts produced in 1977
'The Eyes of Laura Mars' is a 1978 film written by John Carpenter and David Zelag Goodman
'Face Off' is a 1997 film written by Mike Webb and Michael Colleary
'The Hands of Orlac' is a 1924 film written by Maurice Renard
Jennifer Aniston is lovely
Crystal ball time
Welcome to the future. Check out my computer specification of the future. My guess [in October 2003] for year 148AV (anno. vincy).
AOF-serve Brooklyn 2020, carbon fibre micro case with AMD (touchy) ZZR series 38.9THz quadbus bio-platform, still running through 56k Dos, on 93Gb TAM (total access memory) and 222Mb standard video RAM boosted with a 4D-VR 12Gb acceleration card giving graphics from a 6789 x 2212 screen utilising 32 million and one colours. They found another one! Hurrah!
Storage is a bio-neural vector imaging carbofile store with immeasurable capacity pseudo-hard drive utilising aluminium organospheres. Unfortunately, still no room for those video files. Outside access is via a 4649M video-modem through we-will-actually-pay-YOU-fifty-eurodollars-serve.com Still connecting at about 33k usually.
Software is Aircon, which is much better than Windows.
Audio is supplied through multi-phase ver. 6.947.34a displayed on a widescreen 73" plasma projector SCD with Dolbyson Pro-logisense sensurround implant mini-speakers with built in giga-woofer (boooooooooooooooooooooooom!).
RolexPro Diamonte with Applechip processor and superlite mini-screen, glued to inside of contact lens. Thought activated inputs. Solar powered, with 11-month backup battery, developed by the Norwegians, unsurprisingly.
Still got my Canon Bubblejet, although I have now changed the ink cartridge.
Author: Vince Poynter Version 5.009 19 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Links and minor editing added in Version 5.009 19 Oct 2017