Science fiction can save the world. For real.

It’s not too "out there" to suggest that contemporary science fiction writers are to the cyberspace era what Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell were to the Industrial Revolution: Commentators on the impact of technology on society and human nature. Their novels, like the novels by certain science fiction writers, ultimately changed the way people looked at everything from labor to the environment.

Science fiction author David Brin has explored these and other themes in Earth, Sundiver, The Postman and many other books. He speaks in this episode of Podium about the ideas that have shaped his imaginative life — and shares his belief that science fiction has the power to forestall the worst of humanity’s doomsday scenarios.

Also huffduffed as…

  1. Science fiction can save the world. For real.

    —Huffduffed by adactio on June 14th, 2010

  2. Science fiction can save the world. For real.

    —Huffduffed by iamdanw on June 15th, 2010

Possibly related…

  1. David Brin on Singularity 1 on 1: What’s Important Is Not Me. And It’s Not You. It’s Us!

    —Huffduffed by jplindstrom one year ago

  2. The Partially Examined Life: Sci-Fi and Philiosophy with David Brin

    "Discussing David Brin’s novel Existence (2012) with the author.

    What’s the point of thinking? Brin sees the future as a pressing threat, and Existence speculates that the reason we don’t see evidence of life on other planets is that no species survives its technological adolescence. The solution? We need to be smarter than our parents and work to give our kids the tools to be smarter than we are. In the book, the ultimate hope comes from a concerted effort to develop and diversify the coalition of Earth’s intelligent life, to make “humanity” encompass more than just the biological humans that we currently are.

    In our present political difficulties, Brin sees the solution as positive-sum games: institutions like science and markets that (are supposed to) result in everybody benefiting overall. We need to keep elites (whether corporate or governmental) from screwing these games up, and to use technology to foster reciprocal accountability. The government is illicitly spying on people? Spy back and call them out when power is abused! Instead of vainly trying to hold back technology, just make sure that it’s not restricted to elites, that there can be effective debate re. its uses.

    The point of thinking for Brin is to “be a good ancestor.” Philosophy and science fiction can help through thought experiments that visualize the outcomes of our ideas and can help in developing scientific theories. Philosophy’s most Brin-approved task is to promote the critical argumentation needed for reciprocal accountability. The “examined life” is not just for navel-gazers, but for societies prone to catastrophic mistakes."

    —Huffduffed by m 3 weeks ago

  3. 95- Future Screens are Mostly Blue | 99% Invisible

    We have seen the future, and the future is mostly blue.

    Or, put another way: in our representations of the future in science fiction movies, blue seems to be the dominant color of our interfaces with technology yet to come. And that is one of the many design lessons we can learn from sci-fi.

    Designers and sci-fi aficionados Chris Noessel and Nathan Shedroff have spent years compiling real-world lessons that designers can, should, and already do take from science fiction. Their new book, Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons From Science Fiction is a comprehensive compendium of their findings.

    All music (after pledge preamble) is by OK Ikumi.

    Podcast: Download (Duration: 24:49 — 22.8MB)

    —Huffduffed by adactio 3 months ago