The Quickening is a concept about the acceleration of events as time draws to a close. The term can be applied to many different situations but the one that stands above all others is the end of time. Now I'm not a doomsayer and I don't believe the end of the world is at hand (although I acknowledge that it very well could be) but the advent of technology in the last decade or two can be mind-boggling when you stop to consider it. What started me thinking on it was a story in the news today about the effect of the iPad on the cable and satellite TV industry. It seems that Apples iPad would be the medium through which the internet kills off traditional television and cable programming in much the same way as iTunes (and similar music download services) are killing off record and distribution companies.
The internet is fast becoming the goose that lays the golden eggs and in the process the other geese are dying off from neglect. The traditional newspaper industry, the recording industry and cable and satellite TV companies are finding their market is rapidly diminishing as more and more people get their news, download music and watch streaming television on a computer and/or the iPad.
Where we once viewed concepts such as laser guns, teleportation, androids and other far flung ideas that permeate science fiction as exactly that - fiction - we now have working laser guns (which the US Navy demonstrated just yesterday), the teleportation of minute particles, intelligent robotics, invisibility cloaks and even a type of replicator.
Truly we are living in a time of quickening or to put it another way I quote Captain Aubrey from the film Master and Commander - Far Side of the Universe when admiring a new wooden ship hull design: "What a thoroughly modern world we live in!"