Notes from the Electronic Cottage 10/8/20: Science and Fiction

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

The great science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke once observed that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” While that may have been true in days gone by, it doesn’t seem so true to day. Science fiction movies like “Minority Report” from 2002, TV series like “The Last Enemy” from 2008, and novels like the 2020 “Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution” deal with futures that are filled with technology but that technology is not of the “Gee-Whiz” type of the old Flash Gordon movies, or even of the Star Wars movies. All of the tech in these more recent stories is technology that is more developed than today’s, to be sure, but that is nonetheless entirely recognizable for those of us alive today. The question is how will these not-so-far-in-the-future technologies affect our daily lives and those of our grandchildren. Fiction may have something to tell us about science.