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If the science fiction of the past is already real, will a past Utopia become our future?

Many years ago, I read in a sci-fi anthology (but I can't remember any other details) a short story about some "wonderful" shoes that could be worn for a long time without wearing out and then, when you stopped wearing them, they just dissolved. It turns out that now that kind of shoes, or something very similar, is already a reality.

A few days ago, an interdisciplinary team from the University of California at San Diego announced the creation of a new biodegradable material that can be used precisely to produce different type

s of footwear and that, when that shoe is no longer in use, dissolves in salt water in a matter of a few weeks. In fact, it serves as food for fish.

Although the shoes now created in California are not the first biodegradable shoes, they are the first to incorporate biodegradable polyurethane, so that they are worn like any other shoe with plastic soles, but then they disintegrate, either in water or on soil. 

Beyond those details, what really strikes me is the fact that, once again, science fiction anticipates reality. Or, to put it another way, what was previously just an unattainable fiction produced by a highly imaginative mind is now a real product. The question then arises: how many other previously impossible ideas will soon be real? Maybe they already are.

There are, of course, countless examples of science fiction becoming real science (and technology). Famous examples include Jules Verne's submarines and space rockets, as well as examples from Star Trek (communicator, tablets, automatic doors) and Star Wars (flying motorcycles).

But putting those and other examples aside, the real question is whether, just as biodegradable shoes went from a utopian idea to a real product, will the dystopias of the past become the reality of the future (perhaps even the near future)? 

In the 19th century, Mary Shelley warned us in her well-known and famous novel Frankenstein about the dire consequences of using technology with the goal of deifying human beings. In more recent years, movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Terminator, and The Matrix, from different perspectives, warn of technology out of control, capable of enslaving or annihilating us.

Now, these works of fiction are very similar to recent advances in science and technology that seem to be heading precisely towards that human deification, be it, for example, with a direct connection between the human brain and a computer or be it by downloading our personality (our consciousness?) into a digital avatar.

Before someone says that this is not possible and that it will never happen (it used to be said that nothing heavier than air could fly), I invite you to look for information on Neuralink (of Elon Musk) and on StoryFile (life.storyfile. com), a platform that uses augmented reality, conversational artificial intelligence, natural language, and video to create virtual conversations, with a living person or with a deceased person. 

Will the utopias of the past be the realities of the future? 

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