2001: A Space Odyssey

by Joe Gillespie — Jan 1, 2001

It was a great movie. Now we have it for real!

'2001: A Space Odyssey', apart from being a rare visual treat was one of the very few sci-fi films where the conventions of 'floor' and 'down' was dispensed with, and quite rightly so, there is no 'down' in space, it's just cheaper to make movies that way.

Even as far back as 1968, the onboard computer 'HAL' had a voice-driven interface, but the screen display was still command-line.

We now have the space station orbiting Earth, admittedly not the spectacular wheel from the film and many of Arthur C. Clarke's predictions have come true, but he didn't foresee the Graphical User Interface or, for that matter, the internet, and those are probably more significant to most of us than all the other stuff.

Another sci-fi concept that keeps cropping up again and again is that of the 'greys' – small, thin alien beings with big bulging eyes, you see them everywhere. Now, I'm not going to speculate on the existence of this particular race. Like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, you either believe in them or you don't.

But there are greys on Planet Earth, millions of them all around you. They could be in your family, they could be personal friends, teachers or employers. I'm sure you'll recognise them – but they are not aliens. They are the grey people whose only purpose for being on the planet is to nurture and perpetuate convention – and stifle creativity.

This first month of the year 2001, I offer a two-fingered salute to all that is conventional.

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