WDYT: The Real History of Science Fiction

This weekend the first episode of the mini-documentary series on the history of Science Fiction premiered on BBC America. The first episode was about “Robots.”


Do you think it had enough substance?

I like the diversity covered in the special, but I admit, I still longed for a more insightful look into the underpinnings of robots and our own exploration of our imagination as well as our tendency to fear and embrace cynicism towards technology and the future.

The interviews were good. It was nice seeing Rutger Hauer recall his incredible moment at the end of Blade Runner.

We are all running from time. Some circumstances make it very apparent how fleeting time can be yet we have seen so much. It begs the question – have we lived?

Blade Runner, I think will continue to be a timeless film that exposes the fragility of human beings both physically and psychologically. It also has a danger danger warning of how where we dare to dream, we need not forget who we are and be careful not to tread lightly about the things that we create. There is already the tendency to look at other living things with a cold satisfaction of being superior or having the mentality that they do not matter if what we need matters more. I am not saying all people believe this, but our behavior often warrants re-examination as we are very destructive even in our quests to raise human beings higher into the reaches of living better. We pillage our planet, we rob for the future, but we don’t often understand the consequences. Our future should embrace technology to reduce the struggle and destruction of the very place we live.

Our future doesn’t have to be dystopian.

We are at an exciting junction in history. According to a recent Pew Research report, ““The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage.”  However, people are still weary of technology.

Overall, respondents to Pew’s survey were upbeat about how technology will shape the near future. In the report, 59% of Americans think tech developments will make life in the next half-century better, while only 30% said they will make life worse. 

They’re a little less optimistic about some science-fiction staples, though. Only 39% think it’s likely scientists will have figured out how to teleport things (or, presumably, people), 33% say we’ll have long-term space colonies by 2064 and a mere 19% expect humans will be able to control the weather.

nterestingly, some of the advances that may be closest to becoming reality are the ones survey respondents were most worried about.

Nearly two out of three Americans think it would make things worse if U.S. airspace is opened up to personal drones. A similar number dislike the idea of robots being used to care for the sick and elderly, and of parents being able to alter the DNA of their unborn children.

Meanwhile, only 37% of respondents think it will be good if wearable devices or implants allow us to be digitally connected all the time.

With the advent of Google Glass and other wearable technology, that may not be such a distant dream. And already, researchers are developing robots to provide elder care, 3D printers are replicating parts of the human body and government regulators are considering allowing nonmilitary drones to legally operate in U.S. airspace. (CNN)

I have to admit even though I am a lover of technology. I often worry about the future consequences of new technology or the over usage of technology. I recently spent time with some extended family, and I got to have dinner with them. I hadn’t sat down to a table in so long where no one took out their cellphones and were fiddling with them. It was refreshing and made me feel happy. I feel sometimes glued to my smartphone. Stepping away and yet embracing technology isn’t such a bad thing. Being cautious isn’t honestly a bad trait either, but when we succumb to fear, this should be our worry. We will never move forward in anything if we resign ourselves to fear and cynicism.

Stepping off my soapbox.

What do you all think? Please leave your feedback in the comment fields.

(WDYT = What do you think?)


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