Future Suction

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This is a phrase coined by Sir Terry Pratchett to define the polar opposite of "Future Shock". In the great Discworld tradition of every idea, concept and condition having its opposite state - refer to concepts such as Knurd, Anticrime and Insorcism - this is Terry's autodefinition of a condition he himself suffers from in the real world. In his latest publication, A Slip of the Keyboard, he discusses the ways in which technology has depressingly lagged behind his personal expectations. Far from things changing too quickly for him to catch up with, thus engendering a state of panic, fear and anomie ("Future Shock"). all the wrong sorts of things are changing and evolving far too slowly. This engenders a state of irritation, impatience and low-level frustration.

For a man brought up on science-fiction, who lived and breathed and ate sci-fi in book, television and film form, some things just are not arriving quickly enough. Terry declares himself especially frustrated with the way "portability", as advertised with regard to personal computers, meant lugging around something with all the dead weight and versatility of a baby hippopotamus. his head filled with visions of tricorders and the sort of personal computer that fitted into the palm of a hand and was truly intelligent and interactive, the younger Terry Pratchett was prone to demanding why we didn't have them yet.

I remember my first portable computer. It weighed fifteen pounds. The power supply was separate and in may ways resembled a small brick. The damn thing nearly killed me. The next one weighed only eight pounds...

(From Essay: Palmtop, first published in 1993. Reprinted in A Slip of the Keyboard)

Terry described this desire for things envisioned by the human race through the medium of sci-fi, but (alas) not actually with us yet, as Future Suction. In other places, this attitude has been defined as Dude! It's 2014! Where's the personal jetpack they promised me in 1965? Where is my hoverboard? The flying car? and so on. It is noticeable that his sarcastic comments on "portability" as envisaged by computer salespersons found its way into The Light Fantastic as the Druidic stone circle, the marvel of the silicon chunk, whose parts may only be safely transported via advanced druidical magic.