Sunday, March 03, 2013

Dis Cover Unworthy of Discover

Notice anything odd about this magazine cover?

The cover, which appears on Discover's March, 2013, issue, looks like something dredged from a 1950s science-fiction serial.  A guy in a suit lifting off to his next sales meeting represents Evolution's Next Stage? Does it get any more pedestrian, or vintage, than that? What's the next breakthroughlawn-mowing robots?

America's visionary futurists peered over the edgeand all I got was this lousy jet pack.

Is it really plausible that the editors behind this popular science magazine can't envision a future grander than one that might have dazzled them in grade school? Or, maybe technological deprivation is an idea that media owners would like us to get used to.

The cover image is so dated that its cheesiness looks insidious. Is it an artifact of the project to deliberately dumb us down? Another exercise in normalizing middle-class expectations of a stagnant-to-declining standard of living?

Surely the technological imagination can conjure something more exciting than this to sell us as Evolution's Next Stage. The next stage in evolution?  Try THIS.


  1. Could contribute to why no one reads "Discover" seriously anymore?

    Just saying as I haven't thought of reading it in years.

  2. Right. I saw this cover at the library, and it kind of haunted me. The jet pack seemed so out of place, so comically backward.