In the 1970s, when I was six years old and you could meet arriving passengers at the airport gate, my dad and I waited at Houston’s Intercontinental Airport for my uncle to arrive from North Carolina. When the plane pulled in, I worked my way to the front of the crowd. I could see his big smile yards away, and I ran to meet him.
“You got here fast,” I said as I gripped him in my best bear hug.
“Next time I’ll come on a spaceship,” he replied, “and get here even faster.”
My uncle probably wasn’t the only person at the airport that day who, if asked to make a prediction about the future, would have guessed that spaceships or jet packs might soon beam us around the globe.
But they would have been wrong. Forty years later, we still get ...