Seminar in Composition A blog for Annette Vee's section of Pitt's SC


Sci-Fi Technology No Longer a Thing of Fiction?

In the linked CNN article, physicist Michio Kaku claims that some technologies previously only existing in science fiction can practically be expected to be created in a relatively short amount of time. With the rate of technological advancement today, he gives a deadline of around 50 years for advancements such as internet in contacts, augmented reality, and shape shifting matter to come into existence. Obviously these technologies are mind blowing today, and don't seem like they should be readily possible.

With a whole new generation of technology, the pros are clear enough: making things more convenient and making tasks easier to accomplish. However, we also have to consider the cons that come along with this new array of machines. For example, longer lifetimes in humans will allow for more to be accomplished in a lifetime, but it would also contribute to overpopulation and other problems. That being said, how will these technologies benefit humanity? What challenges and obstacles will arise from using these technologies? Do we really need things like the ability to bring back extinct species? Is that trying to play god or does it have enough potential to still be worth it? Do you think that humanity will ever manage to invent such things as warp drives and terra-formation?

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  1. It seems strange to think that sci-fi could imagine things before they existed, but there is significant precedent for this. In this article by National Geographic:
    they talk about how H.G. Wells wrote science fiction stories about things that soon became reality. The most obvious one is the submarine, but in some ways he also predicted less obvious ones like the garage door and the laser. H.G. wells also suggested to Winston Churchill (then an important member of the British Navy) the possibilty of building so-called landships, battleships that could move on land and crush trenches and barbed wire. Due to attempts to hide these new inventions they were put into boxes labeled “tanks” and they have been known as such ever since. I think it is only natural that our inventions would be those that have a previous place in science fiction, oftentimes. They are the ideas that are in the public conscious, and often they are there because they are logical continuations of existing technologies.

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