Something - FunScience FICTION Reviews
31 years ago Red Dwarf gave us a glimpse into our future with ‘The Last Day’. Sure Mechnoids like Kryten 2X4B 523P are not yet common, but aggressive upgrades are. What makes ‘The Last day’ interesting is that every decade I watch this the more I see us merging with the future we see here.
In 1989 watching DivaDroid International replace Kryten felt like an industrial reaction akin to planned obsolescence, the process companies use to ensure there is future demand, with the balancing being between producing a product that feels high quality and up-to-date, but which will fail at an appropriate point in the future, forcing the consumer to buy the next version or their car, their washing machine, their product.
By the time the episode turned 10 computers were an important part of my life and I saw this much more on the computing front. Yes computers broke, but more often new software would come out that your ‘old’ computer could not run. At the time I was building my own PC and so it was rarely a new box but components and although no one forced me to purchase a 440BX Motherboard, it felt like a necessity to function.
As the episode hit 20 the internet was now associated with everything and software patches including these for operating systems became common with computers ‘asking’ if we wanted the latest updates, these weren’t the everyday minor changes but large upgrades to fix problems that came around occasionally. Words like ‘security updates’ would make the changes feel required although the blue screen of death made us a bit cautious.
Now at 30 we are no longer asked, all our devices update automatically unless you hide them away from the internet, some updates have been known to slow down the performances of a device to ‘protect’ the aging battery and maybe create some sales for the new faster model, other updates can completely change how the software looks and feels, these are no longer optional they are considered required. When this episodes hits 40 will we have accounts with Apple, Sony, Microsoft and others where the hardware is automatically updated, at 50 will Mechnoids come and collect and replace hardware while we sleep, at a 100 will our Mechnoids not have a fixed working life before packaging themselves up to be collected and disposed of by their replacement?