989: Cryogenics

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Cryogenics
'Welcome to the future! Nothing's changed.' was the slogan of my astonishingly short-lived tech startup.
Title text: 'Welcome to the future! Nothing's changed.' was the slogan of my astonishingly short-lived tech startup.

[edit] Explanation

Megan, disappointed with the pace of technology's improvement (and who isn't, we all thought by this point we would have flying cars and the flying skateboard like in Back to the Future 2 or a hyper technological future like in Blade Runner) decides to cryogenically freeze herself as soon as cryogenics are invented. Cryogenic freezing is the ability to freeze oneself, so that one does not age and doesn't experience the passage of time. It is common in fiction as a useful technology for long space flights or other necessary preservation.

However, to Megan's chagrin, when she wakes up, she is told that all the other scientists and engineers that were fascinated about the future have also frozen themselves, so nothing has been invented while she was frozen. Everyone decides to try again, hoping the situation 30 years later will be different. However, if everyone does the same thing again, the situation will repeat itself and nothing will have changed.

Don't freeze yourself, engineers and scientists! We need your help!

In the official transcript, the person greeting Megan is called "someone who isn't Terry," referring to a Futurama character who does the same thing.

[edit] Transcript

[Two people, one of which is staring at a smartphone.]
Megan: Everyone's carrying sensor-packed, always-connected computers everywhere. That wasn't true ten years ago.
White Hat: It's all changing too fast, huh?
Megan: No, too slowly.
Megan: There's so much potential here. These clumsy, poorly-designed toys are nothing compared to what lies ahead.
[Megan climbs into a cryogenic chamber.]
Megan: That's why I've worked to develop cryogenic freezing. I'm gonna skip forward 30 years and use this stuff when it's good.
30 years later..
Someone who isn't Terry: Welcome to the future! Nothing's changed.
Megan: What? Why??
[Rows of other people waking up out of their own cryogenic chambers.]
not Terry: When cryogenic freezing was invented, all the engineers who were excited about the future froze themselves. So there's been no one building anything new.
not Terry: But they're all waking up now!
Megan: Sweet! I'm gonna jump forward to see what they do!
Engineer 1: Me too!
Engineer 2: Wait, uh, guys?
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Discussion

Should we begin work on www.explainexplainxkcd.com? Why is Cueball not Terry? .....

AngryBear (talk) 15:44, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

It was written in the actual transcript by Randall. Apparently a Futurama reference. 108.233.253.211 21:18, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
[Terry] is a recurring Futurama character, and he is the "employee at Applied Cryogenics whose job is to greet the newly defrosted." So Randall, in the transcript, is pointing out that the character in his Cryogenic lab is not the same as the Futurama character.
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