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Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future 191

An anonymous reader writes: A few years ago, author Neal Stephenson argued that sci-fi had forgotten how to inspire people to do great things. Indeed, much of recent science fiction has been pessimistic and skeptical, focusing on all the ways our inventions could go wrong, and how hostile the universe is to humankind. Now, a group of scientists, engineers, and authors (including Stephenson himself) is trying to change that. Arizona State University recently launched Project Hieroglyph, a hub for ideas that will influence science fiction to be more optimistic and accurate, and to focus on the great things humanity is capable of doing.

For example, in the development of a short story, Stephenson wanted to know if it's possible to build a tower that's 20 kilometers tall. Keith Hjelmsad, an expert in structural stability and computational mechanics, wrote a detailed response about the challenge involved in building such a tower. Other authors are contributing questions as well, and researchers are chiming in with fascinating, science-based replies. Roboticist Srikanth Saripalli makes this interesting point: "If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions mostly from science fiction rather than what's being published in technical papers."
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Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

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  • by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @08:36PM (#47914091)

    According to the structural engineer, yes a 20 km tower is probably possible. There's nothing in material science preventing it. The detailed engineering to figure out how to build and assemble the largest structural members in the base have not been worked out, but at least in theory, it can be done.

    Presumably Neal Stephenson will finish a story telling us what the hell it's for.

    • Re:Spoiler (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Barny ( 103770 ) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:31PM (#47914309) Journal

      Well, the single thing limiting how big a skyscraper we can build right now has nothing to do with structural limits and materials.

      Elevator traffic. At some point you reach an elevator event horizon where adding a new floor on top means losing one or more floors at the bottom due to needing more elevators to move people to those new floors.

      • by dpilot ( 134227 )

        This presumes that people regularly leave the tower, or at least the upper floors of the tower. Science fiction has plengy of examples where Elvis may never leave the building. Probably not workable in today's society, but what if everything needed for daily life could be reached within a few floors.

        Think in terms of the arcologies in "Oath of Fealty".

        • There is already a sizable portion of the slashdot community which never leaves the basement in which it resides... ;-)
        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          This presumes that people regularly leave the tower, or at least the upper floors of the tower

          Yes. Most definitely. If you can't get everyone out in a relatively short time then you have utterly failed as an engineer or architect. It's an assumption considered as important as an aircraft being designed to be able to get off the ground.

      • Its strange that nobody mentions Paternosters when this elevator event horizon is brought up. I never encountered problems with the one at Sheffield University, and according to Wikipedia Hitachi are working on safer versions.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

      • Elevator traffic. At some point you reach an elevator event horizon where adding a new floor on top means losing one or more floors at the bottom due to needing more elevators to move people to those new floors.

        You could make the tower into the Anchor Point for a Space Elevator.

      • Looks like someone played Simtower back in the day? My guess that in a building that large most people would not leave the tower on an average day, so it's more like an arcology in SimCity 2000. It's an interesting point though, as the proposed design would not have living spaces in a lot of the areas where the jetstream would be found (the idea would be to let the wind pass though the open structure to reduce lateral stress) though those areas could not be completely empty as there would have to be eleva

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's for Islamic extremists to bomb or fly future super heavy planes into, thereby killing 100,000+ people.

      The bigger you are, the harder you fall.

    • Old news. This was attempted [wikipedia.org] over 2000 years ago, and it ended badly.
      • Re:Spoiler (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @11:27PM (#47914821) Homepage

        Old news. This was attempted over 2000 years ago, and it ended badly.

        Phooey. It only failed because they didn't use XML.

      • Well if we're taking inspiration from a 2000yo book of philosophy, we can solve the problem of god killing the tower of babylon by taking inspiration from a 100year old book of philosophy (Niztche's "The gay science") and just kill god before he kills us!

      • I remember the Tower of Babel, all 37 feet of it, which I suppose was impressive at the time. And when it fell, they howled divine wrath. But come on, dried dung can only be stacked so high.

        - Castiel, in Supernatural

  • and by logging on, sell your future.
  • This is inspiration incarnate. Now we can create any sort of wondrous future we desire and the main project heiroglyph page is all I needed to see for proof. It's marginally functional without javascript!!!!

  • by Midnight_Falcon ( 2432802 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @08:49PM (#47914151)
    and I think watching Star Trek: The Next Generation as a child inspired me to become an engineer.

    Star Trek painted a very optimistic picture of humanity, of a few generations from now mankind not being focused on money, but instead ideas, and progress/wellbeing for all of humanity. About technology (foremost the replicators) really making the world a better place.

    Contrast this to the reboot of Battlestar Galactica , which paints a very dreary portrait of advancement of science/artificial intelligence causing the downfall of humanity..

    • by Prune ( 557140 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:06PM (#47914215)
      Contrast this to the reboot of Battlestar Galactica , which paints a very
      realistic portrait of advancement of science/artificial intelligence causing the downfall of humanity..


      FTFY
    • by Barny ( 103770 )

      Heh, I was raised on Anne McCaffrey. I had dreams of integrating brains with computers, meeting alien species in a non-hostile manner, flying around on bio-engineered dragons and, above all, things generally working out okay for the majority of people.

    • Some good, some not so. TNG always had an undercurrent of wanting to 'fix' people. I really found Troi and crew obnoxious and disturbing. Picard never had any problems with assigning her to invading other minds.

    • Agree, I worship Picard. The warrior-poet, the tactician, the scholar.

      But you want to talk shitty, grim future? I see your Battlestar Galactica and raise you Warhammer 40k!

      http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/... [wikia.com]

      IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE THERE IS ONLY WAR

      "It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor of Mankind has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of mankind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible

    • by doug141 ( 863552 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2014 @10:53AM (#47917449)

      Counter point: Star Trek needed a universe in which they could tell not just one dystopian story, but a new one every week, by visiting a planet that went off the rails in one of the same ways we might.

    • It paints an optimistic picture but it sure wasn't well thought out. Please don't misunderstand me; I enjoyed TNG too, but let's think through just a couple of things it featured: (1) Unlimited energy and the ability to create any object instantly like food, clothing and shelter; (2) Holographic VR simulators indistinguishable from reality... Sounds like a Federation full of Holodeck-addicted lotus-eaters to me. Captain Kirk *loved* destroying dystopian societies like that. Once again though, I loved to wat
      • Yes, there's tons of holes in it -- e.g. everyone speaks English via the dubious "Universal Translator," money seems to sort of exist with latinum and somehow Starfleet officers seem to have it..etc etc...but there are also tons of holes in other SciFi.

        William Shatner actually ended up making TEK to essentially describe a dystopian future of people addicted to quasi-holodecks :) But it was awful! It, also, had tons of holes in it..despite being more, dystopian.

        In the end it's not about the holes in

  • by RJFerret ( 1279530 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @08:56PM (#47914173) Homepage

    "If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions mostly from science fiction rather than what's being published in technical papers."

    Shouldn't that read...

    "If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions mostly from the Bible rather than anything remotely reasonable."

    We need the populace to elect different folks before the dream of the former would be true.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tj2 ( 54604 )

      "If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions mostly from the Bible rather than anything remotely reasonable."

      We need the populace to elect different folks before the dream of the former would be true.

      You're close. It should read "If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions entirely from the people who bought them with campaign contributions and bribes, and will never vote to fund anything they are told by their owners not to."

  • The Consensus of Experts wins the day again!
    Hooray for the the future! The more we try change nature, the better life will be!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Very, very wrong. Clearly they have not considered out of how many civilizations in the universe, what percentage of them annihilate themselves with nuclear war/neutron bombs/etc before exploring space? I think that we continue to be our own greatest enemy. We should not lose sight of this.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:59PM (#47914407) Journal

    Anyone remember the seventies pre-Star Wars? You couldn't produce an SF film unless it had a downer ending. The magazine of fantasy and science fiction was full of depressing dystopian stories. Dangerous Visions, Last Days of Man on Earth, Driftglass... The book stands were loaded with depressing scifi. It wasn't a particularly uplifting time. I remember wondering at the time whether the industry go through cycles, where to differentiate yourself you have to write depressing fiction, and then everyone follows along, and then to differentiate yourself you have to go with, I dunno, a happy ending, and everyone follows suit, back and forth. Or whether literature and media tend to track some manic-depressive cycle of society. Or drives it.

    • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @11:02PM (#47914713) Journal

      Anyone remember the seventies pre-Star Wars? You couldn't produce an SF film unless it had a downer ending.

      Highlights of the early 70s include the USA abandoning the gold peg, the CIA overthrowing the government of Chile, the Vietnam War showing itself a failure, the oil crisis, Pol Pot killing millions in Cambodia, African countries overthrowing their leaders, etc etc etc.

      The 70s were a dark and stormy time.
      And don't forget that the Cuban Missile crisis, despite happening the previous decade, had a serious effect on the US psyche.

    • Anyone remember the seventies pre-Star Wars? You couldn't produce an SF film unless it had a downer ending.

      Rather than cyclical I'd suggest that it might be just the historical filter. The SciFi you remember looking back are the upbeat, wonderful future stories. It's similar to the filter that gets applied to modern music: it always seems to appear that things were better in the past because you forget the bad songs and only remember the good ones.

      • Re:Filter of Time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2014 @08:00AM (#47916259)

        It's similar to the filter that gets applied to modern music: it always seems to appear that things were better in the past because you forget the bad songs and only remember the good ones.

        Just so.

        It's why I listen to oldies stations when I'm driving.

        90% if everything is crap. But for oldies, the 90% filter has already removed most of the crap before it has a chance of being repeated.

        So the oldies stations playlist is taken from the "non-crap" survivors of the era in question. Unlike stations playing modern music, where the crap filters haven't yet engaged effectively.

  • Life does tend to imitate art, although the cycles are a few decades out of sync.

  • I'm not optimistic.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by NormAtHome ( 99305 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:15PM (#47914469)

    I see so many problems with the world and very little being done to work those problems out; one of the biggest (in my opinion) being the energy crisis and the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels. What the world needs is clean, cheap energy i.e. hydrogen fusion or something similar. You see articles in the science news every once in a while but many of them turn out to be frauds or nothing ever comes of them.

    • by cavreader ( 1903280 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:48PM (#47914629)

      There are currently a lot of smart and well funded global efforts to create alternative energy sources. And people would be surprised how much money the current Oil companies are investing in alternative fuel research. They know eventually that fossil fuel use will decline and they would like to be as dominate in the alternative energy market as they are in the hydrocarbon extraction market. Whoever gets there first with a viable alternative energy source will reap enormous profits. And as long as we are talking about science fiction I think harnessing zero-point energy technologies would be really cool.

  • by bitflusher ( 853768 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:17PM (#47914485) Homepage
    The thing about the extremes of positive and negative stories.. Dystopian = everything is rotten, yet there is some hope Utopian = everything seems perfect at first, yet these is something is deepely wrong in the background. Now what is the positive story? The reader decides to focus on positive or negative overall aspects. Take a utopian version of hunger games. The main character of hunger games. She grows up in the capital. There is welth and lots of great food, parties and everything. There is even a great yearly entertainment thing where less fortunate kids from the districts get the opertunity to show worrier skills and make themselves and their families rich. When she volentiers for a job to help these kids prepare (a job that can make you famous) the harsh reality becomes apparent. These kids and family are repressed and live awful lives just to make the life in the capital possible. When she tries to speak up she gets to feel just how awfull the powers in the can be, even her family and friends are punnished for her attempts to speak up. Same world other view. In the end what story is more positive?
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:56PM (#47914681) Homepage

      Keep in mind utopian failures are not a societal thing they are a species thing. In all cases human utopian societies are subverted and corrupted by a parasitical sub-species of humanity, psychopaths. Quite simply remove them and a lot of humanities problems will go away with them. Empathy and a full set of human emotions are a functional developmental requirement for a human to effectively fit in and cooperatively support the endeavours of the society that they are a part of. Rather than preying upon it and demanding to have far more than others up to and including to the point of triggering the collapse of that society.

      So rather than a dystopian view of breeding and future citizen nurturing licences a positive view is likely in order.

      • Keep in mind utopian failures are not a societal thing they are a species thing. In all cases human utopian societies are subverted and corrupted by a parasitical sub-species of humanity, psychopaths. Quite simply remove them and a lot of humanities problems will go away with them.

        Be careful trimming our claws. You wouldn't want the 501st to have fought without a Lt. Speirs now would you?

        "Winters assessed Speirs as being one of the finest combat officers in the battalion. He wrote in his memoirs that Speirs had worked hard to earn a reputation as a killer and had often killed for shock value.[7] Winters stated that Speirs was alleged on one occasion to have killed six German prisoners of war with a Thompson submachinegun and that the battalion leadership must have been aware o

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      Utopian = everything seems perfect at first, yet these is something is deepely wrong in the background.

      The original book that provided the name was about how it couldn't happen without downsides. A perfect society requires perfect people and nobody is born that way, so it sucks to grow up in someone's vision of Utopia. "The Scarlet Letter" and some stuff about the Salem witch trials is about Utopian societies of the past and how much it sucks to not fit into the ideals of the Utopian society. Some of the

  • Really?

    It seems that we are going to have to fight off aliens for our survival. Given that any aliens that come here are going to be more advanced than us, I wouldn't say thats optimistic.
    .
    And even if we don't come across intelligent aliens, the (human) Galactic Empire will become corrupt and collapse, witth whole planets wiped out.

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      It seems that we are going to have to fight off aliens for our survival.

      Er, why does it seem that?

      Is it because any aliens that come here are going to want to take our resources? That seems unlikely, since any aliens capable of coming here would also be quite capable of gathering all the raw materials they need from other locations closer to wherever they came from -- avoiding interstellar freight costs is a huge incentive. (the exception might be "exotic" materials that can be found only on Earth, e.g. DNA, which might explain the cattle abductions -- but they only need samp

    • It's funny because they said they want the books to be more "accurate", and they've decided this means "unicorns shitting rainbows".

      We're writing books about the logical conclusion of what we see around us. By the nature of evolution and survival of the fittest, the most violent carnivore always rises to the top: it survives best, it develops a brain capable of developing new ways to kill things, and then it murders the shit out of bears and tigers trying to eat its children. Being that you have physi

  • The National Institutes of Health [nih.gov] are one of (or perhaps the, depending on whom you ask) largest funding sources for research from the federal government. I know many people who have reviewed grant applications there, and they would be rather astonished to see

    Roboticist Srikanth Saripalli makes this interesting point: "If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions mostly from science fiction rather than what's being published in technical papers."

    Because at NIH indeed you are placed on a grant review board because of your techical knowledge of the matter. On top of that, the applications are all supported by citations in technical (and peer-reviewed) papers.

    As best I understand funding at DOE and NSF works much the same way; your odds of getting funded are astronomically better if you have good primary literature to support the experiment you propose. Now, if your funding plans revolve around convincing your favorite congress-critter to write in a line (or a full bill) to get you some money, that might work too but it generally isn't the most reliable way to establish a career path.

    • MOD PARENT UP (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm a private contractor working at the NIH, and this is 100% true. The grant review process is so strict that when ARRA gave billions of dollars to the NIH to fund *new* research, the NIH had to go back to the President and say, "we have to be able to use some of this money to supplement *existing* research too ... we can't just start awarding grants to people who didn't make the cut because their *science* was bad."

      There are a lot of M.D.s and Ph.D.s here, and they take that stuff *really* seriously. Th

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:55PM (#47914675) Homepage Journal

    The pessimism and dystopia in sci-fi doesn't come from a lack of research resources on engineering and science. It mainly comes from literary fashion.

    If the fashion with editors is bleak, pessimistic, dystopian stories, then that's what readers will see on the bookshelves and in the magazines, and authors who want to see their work in print will color their stories accordingly. If you want to see more stories with a can-do, optimistic spirit, then you need to start a magazine or publisher with a policy of favoring such manuscripts. If there's an audience for such stories it's bound to be feasible. There a thousand serious sci-fi writers for every published one; most of them dreadful it is true, but there are sure to be a handful who write the good old stuff, and write it reasonably well.

    A secondary problem is that misery provides many things that a writer needs in a story. Tolstoy once famously wrote, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." I actually Tolstoy had it backwards; there are many kinds of happy families. Dysfunctions on the other hand tends to fall into a small number of depressingly recognizable patterns. The problem with functional families from an author's standpoint is that they don't automatically provide something that he needs for his stories: conflict. Similarly a dystopian society is a rich source of conflicts, obstacles and color, as the author of Snow Crash must surely realize. Miserable people in a miserable setting are simply easier to write about.

    I recently went on a reading jag of sci-fi from the 30s and 40s, and when I happened to watch a screwball comedy movie ("His Girl Friday") from the same era, I had an epiphany: the worlds of the sci-fi story and the 1940s comedy were more like each other than they were like our present world. The role of women and men; the prevalence of religious belief, the kinds of jobs people did, what they did in their spare time, the future of 1940 looked an awful lot like 1940.

    When we write about the future, we don't write about a *plausible* future. We write about a future world which is like the present or some familiar historical epoch (e.g. Roman Empire), with conscious additions and deletions. I think a third reason may be our pessimism about our present and cynicism about the past. Which brings us right back to literary fashion.

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )

      When we write about the future, we don't write about a *plausible* future. We write about a future world which is like the present or some familiar historical epoch (e.g. Roman Empire), with conscious additions and deletions. I think a third reason may be our pessimism about our present and cynicism about the past. Which brings us right back to literary fashion.

      I'd argue that we do try to write about the future, but the thing is: it's pretty damn hard to predict the future. What people do is take the current point in time and extrapolate it to whatever point they want, be it tens or hundreds or thousands of years into the future. If TV is big rounded cathodic tubes and is starting to get very popular now, then in the future it'll be ubiquitous, you'll have TVs in your bathroom and they'll have created some really fancy cathodic tube designs, with TVs taking up ent

      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2014 @01:57AM (#47915329) Homepage Journal

        I'd argue that we do try to write about the future, but the thing is: it's pretty damn hard to predict the future. ...
        The problem is that if we look at history, we see it littered with disruptive technologies and events which veered us way off course from that mere extrapolation into something new.

        I think you are entirely correct about the difficulty in predicting disruptive technologies. But there's an angle here I think you may not have considered: the possibility that just the cultural values and norms of the distant future might be so alien to us that readers wouldn't identify with future people or want to read about them and their problems.

        Imagine a reader in 1940 reading a science fiction story which accurately predicted 2014. The idea that there would be women working who aren't just trolling for husbands would strike him as bizarre and not very credible. An openly transgendered character who wasn't immediately arrested or put into a mental hospital would be beyond belief.

        Now send that story back another 100 years, to 1840. The idea that blacks should be treated equally and even supervise whites would be shocking. Go back to 1740. The irrelevance of the hereditary aristocracy would be difficult to accept. In 1640, the secularism of 2014 society and would be distasteful, and the relative lack of censorship would be seen as radical (Milton wouldn't publish his landmark essay Aereopagitica for another four years). Hop back to 1340. A society in which the majority of the population is not tied to the land would be viewed as chaos, positively diseased. But in seven years the BLack Death will arrive in Western Europe. Displaced serfs will wander the land, taking wage work for the first time in places where the find labor shortages. This is a shocking change that will resist all attempts at reversal.

        This is all quite apart from the changes in values that have been forced upon us by scientific and technological advancement. The ethical issues discussed in a modern text on medical ethics would probably have frozen Edgar Allen Poe's blood.

        I think it's just as hard to predict how the values and norms of society will change in five hundred years as it is to accurately predict future technology. My guess is that while we'd find things to admire in that future society, overall we would find it disturbing, possibly even evil according to our values. I say this not out of pessimism, but out my observation that we're historically parochial. We think implicitly like Karl Marx -- that there's a point where history comes to an end. Only we happen to think that point is *now*. Yes, we understand that our technology will change radically, but we assume our culture will not.

        • Imagine a reader in 1940 reading a science fiction story which accurately predicted 2014. The idea that there would be women working who aren't just trolling for husbands would strike him as bizarre and not very credible.

          1920 maybe. By 1940 women were doing factory work building planes for the war effort. Hell Google WAFFs. Have a look at the video of Queen Elisabeth changing a land rover tire....

          An openly transgendered character who wasn't immediately arrested or put into a mental hospital would be beyond belief.

          Google "Molly House" Transgender was around in Victorian times.

          I'm not saying you are wrong per-say. But almost all of the things you quote, if you went back a bit further would be considered normal. A bit further again and are considered wrong.

  • Conflict makes for interesting stories - which is why stuff like "Ghost in the Shell" with a future full of amazing things dishes up stories of people using them to commit crimes.
  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @11:55PM (#47914919)

    I don't think we're pessimistic because they wrote of dark futures. I think we're pessimistic because we see our society rotting and see no way to cut the rot out and rebuild.

    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      You do realize people have been saying this since society's could write. So it's nothing new. And yet our actual futures just keep getting better. So it is also wrong.
  • Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists pollyannaishly forget about the ultimate, unstoppable evil: Corporations and their politician lapdogs.
  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2014 @08:05AM (#47916285)
    Science fiction writers make up all kinds of stuff and expect their readers to suspend reality, that's the way the game is played. But to make real progress in science or engineering your ideas and decisions have to be based on reality.
  • by Squidlips ( 1206004 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2014 @08:51AM (#47916579)
    Thousands of tons of ice on such a tower would take it down pretty quickly. If nature cannot send up granite spires that high, man's inventions will not get that high either, or at least for very long.
  • "If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions mostly from science fiction rather than what's being published in technical papers."

    And, yes, I do remember Jon Katz.

  • For the real world, eh? Let's see. Optimism will not stop Ebola in its tracks. Optimism will not unfan the flames across the middle east and other regions, nor will optimism lower food prices—optimism was doubtless not why Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire—or create the three or four or more new Saudi Arabias necessary to fuel the oil craze (of Americans in particular) for a few more years. Optimism will not make the fracking boom any less of a bubble, nor cause the Oil Majors to stop speakin

  • I posted comments on several of the hieroglyph projects, and was truly enjoying the conversations... but I got marked as spam and kicked. my login stopped working. still don't know why. My comments were on target, scientifically sound, and had no links, and were't too short, too long, or too often... about once a week or so.

  • There's a TED talk relevant to this. Sorry I don't have the time to look it up.

    in a nutshell, the role of sci-fi is to pierce the barrier between what we know and what we don't know. It shines a light into that darkness and says "Hey, there's something interesting here." But that's it. it's just a glimpse.

    The scientists and engineers are the true explorers who hack a path into that void. But before they do it, they need a reason to go that particular direction, an inspiration. It also helps to have a framew

  • Sci-Fi can paint any picture it wants, but so far it has never asked, "Will people still be useful in the 21st Century?" Great question and the answer is likely no, and that answer in no way leads to Utopia in my opinion.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/17/... [cnn.com]

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