Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Real SF Fans Can Distinguish Science From Science Fiction Even If Futurologists Cannot
I often deride Robot Cultists for their inability to distinguish science from science fiction. So, too, I often deride futurologists as little more than bad science fiction writers (or, much the same, PR hacks peddling especially hyperbolic ad-content) whose “scenarios” amount to a sub-genre of scene setting without characters, plots, themes, or style commitments to make them worth reading, and inevitably borrowing even their settings from notions usually decades old by the time the futurologists get to them on top of that. One of the keen pleasures I get from reading the work of fellow sf fans on a site like io9 is observing that few intelligent readers and watchers of science fiction exhibit anything like the inverse inability to identify science fiction with science, and, even better, reading the comments sections that inevitably savage facile futurological efforts that would smudge this distinction -- as witness the delightful righteous chorus of cackles following upon an earnest proposal that we could launch anti-asteroid robot armies by means of magnetic levitation trains, rushing through thousand-mile tunnels then upward on a superconducting cable rising twelve miles into the low orbit from the Antarctic ice sheet for pennies to the dollar with technology ready to hand.