Adjusting goals and dreams

So… I was browsing the winner’s list of the Hugo Award for Best Novel (an award given each year for science fiction or fantasy stories.) I first clicked on titles I’ve already heard of, like Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Frank Herbert’s Dune, and then also peeked into the Wikipedia pages of titles I’ve never heard of before.

I looked at the dates, 1953 onwards, it seems to me that there was a theme—an air and dreaming—of the development of humankind. If we humans had evolved just a bit more, we would have developed telepathy, levitation, bilocation, telekinesis, precognition, instant and remote healing, eternal youth, freedom of the mind and body (and all that) and many psychic powers as listed so eloquently in, for example, various Indian religions that seemed to have influenced Western dreaming.

Fast forward to the year 2022. Nowadays people dream of being able to have a safe place to sleep without having to worry about next month’s rent, being able to afford electricity, food, medical services and their data plan. And as far as the development of humankind is concerned: being able to sit and walk without being crushed by pain, maybe even being able to perform some Insta-worthy acrobatic feats, and being somewhat free of common chronic diseases, including restlessness and restless legs—this sort of things—seem to be the height of all striving. What a harsh adjustment of dreams for society in general, me thinks. Where’s the mystery? Where’s the unknown? Where are our dreams? What is life without dreams and visions and goals for humankind?