A Polish protestor's drone, Portland's pirates and a political posting provide the proof
When I was a child, I had a poster on the wall of my bedroom. It depicted a sleek, anthropomorphic robot beneath a line of bold type that declared “The Future is Now!” Of course, the poster put the lie to itself. The very absence of sleek, anthropomorphic robots in the world around me proved that the future was indeed not “now,” but awaiting me at some yet undetermined point in time.
As it happens, that moment arrived 10:34 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 18, 2011. I was able to recognize it through the concurrence of two separate yet interrelated events, both of which could only occur in the future of my childhood imaginings.
While awaiting slumber's sweet embrace, I was plowing through the most granular details available about our YouTube channel using the site's formidable suite of audience metrics. I noticed a “spikelet” in the viewership of our Portland Pirate Festival video from earlier this year. Like Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, I instructed my Alienware M11x to “zoom and enhance.”
At first, what I found made about as much sense as snake scales in a replicant's bathtub. The surge in views was coming from Firedoglake.com, a left-leaning news and political blog website. Zoom and enhance.
Eventually, I tracked down the link that was generating the hits. It was embedded somewhat incongruously into a long string of responses to the Occupy Wall Street protests and marches that had occurred earlier in the day. Zoom and enhance.
The post that contained the link to our video was actually a response to another post, which itself was just a link with the title “The Peoples' Drone.” You have to know I'm going to click on that.
Along with this exceedingly unlikely series of connections that brought me to it – impossible without an advanced, seamless, planetary computer network – what I found confirmed for me that we are indeed living in the future.
During demonstrations in Warsaw the previous weekend, a wily protestor who took “latajacakamera” (“flying camera” in Polish) for his or her nom de guerre put a bird up to observe the action from the air. Here is the footage:
Only in the future – admittedly, a future that is more William Gibson than George Jetson – do eastern European protestors fly drones over demonstrations, causing a “butterfly effect”-type shift in viewership of an aerial pirate festival video on the other side of the planet, that can be traced back to its original source with a couple minutes effort.
No doubt – these are the days of miracle and wonder.