Life imitates (science fiction) art in Levy's book
I am old enough to have watched the first moon landing on television with my parents. My childhood coincided with shows like “Lost in Space,” “Star Trek,” and “The Jetsons.” It seemed like everything was possible.
Author Joel Levy, in his book “Reality Ahead of Schedule: How Science Fiction Inspires Science Fact,” notes that while not every popular idea from science fiction has come to pass (for instance, we don’t have flying cars—yet!), nevertheless “there is a myriad of vital and ubiquitous technologies that science fiction not only predicted, but in many cases helped come into being.” In other words, it’s a case of life imitating art instead of the other way around.
If you have read or watched any science fiction at all, you know that’s true. In Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” radio program scripts from the late 1970s, the bewildered main character, Arthur, constantly refers to a small electronic book which contains information about everything in the known universe. Sounds a lot like a smart phones or tablets people use daily, doesn’t it? The video screen calls we saw portrayed in Stanley Kubrik’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey” are now a reality. In fact, people are commonly using virtual meeting rooms now for school or business (or for making inadvertently hilarious Zoom Room bloopers to cheer everyone up while we slog through the COVID-19 crisis).
On a more disturbing note, was George Orwell right about the dystopian world of the future ...
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