nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

What science fiction missed

We're closer to wild animals or they're closer to us. Afaik (with an exception of Bisson's non-realistic "Bears Discover Fire), science fiction has assumed a fairly sterile future, even when it became obvious that anything that can kill a 100-pound deer can also kill a person, and that there's no good way to keep deer out of the suburbs, especially if you're going to insist on having woods anywhere near where people live, and people do seem to be insisting on that.

Also, I strongly suspect that we've been selecting wild animals for intelligence.

And the predictions about computers were pretty indequate. E.M. Forester had it in "The Machine Stops" (1909) that people would use computers for chatter--but the field completely forgot that insight.

No one guessed what would be easy and what would be difficult--grand master chess has turned out to be a more solvable problem than vision and walking. Once upon a time, science fiction writers seemed to think that your first problem with a computer was keeping it from trying to take over the world rather than getting it to to work at all.

And no one had the foggiest that there would be whole sections of books for the general public on dealing with computers, nor that computers would make it reasonably easy for people to have a combined printing press and post office at home and this would be problematic.

Afaik, no one in science fiction has taken a real crack at just how complicated nanotech is going to be.
Tags: futurology, good comments, science fiction

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