Re: SciFi&Eco: Back to the Future?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Jan 13 2001 - 02:04:09 MST

Randy Smith wrote:
> Why did Sci Fi fail to miss all the important developments of the future?
> And analysis, etc...

Huh? You mean like life extension, immortality, dinking with our
genetics, intelligent computers, uploading and the rest of the stuff I
have been reading about and drooling over for 4 decades? :-)

> >From (this URL may be in 2 pieces):
> An excerpt:
> >>
> But why was the renascence of a red-blooded, fundamentalist capitalism not
> foreseen? Why, indeed, did Huxley in Brave New World (1932), Orwell in
> Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and Clarke and Kubrick in A Space Odyssey (1968)
> have so little to say about economics, given its centrality to human life?
> Why, in effect, did they assume that technology or planning would take care
> of economic issues?

Heinlein, for one, had plenty of respect for capitalism and liberty that
was evident in many of his books "way back when".

> The answer, I think, is that none of them imagined that the clock could be
> turned back. Converts to the market often imagine they are embracing a new
> philosophy. In reality, they are old fogies who are uncritically recycling
> ideas first popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.

What a silly "analysis". That there are recurring human and social
themes is woven in with sci-fi quite thoroughly, generally speaking.
That something was dealt with or dreamed up or understood 2 or 3 hundred
years ago is hardly a reason its implications would not come up in
sci-fi. Uncritical hell. It takes a fair amount of work and
intellectual rigor to come up with why capitalism has a solit place now
and in the future.

> That was the era when the leading philosophers, influenced by Newton's
> mechanistic physics, created the myth of the atomistic individual that
> undergirds the market ideology. The intellectual history of the 19th and
> early 20th centuries is largely one of a heroic struggle to demonstrate the
> flaws in that superficially appealing story.

OK. This "analysis" is too out to lunch and obviously highly slanted to
waste further time on.

- samantha

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