016: What is Super-Now Prediction?

Today on the podcast we talk about a simple way to predict the future — simply exaggerate current trends. But this doesn’t lead to accurate prediction, it leads to “Super-Now” predictions where everything is shinier, faster, or on steroids, but nothing is actually new. We cover a lot of classic and modern Sci Fi that fails in this regard and talk about several of the people who are pushing back against the conventional wisdom that the more things change, the more they stay the same. We discuss the movies SLEEPER, STAR WARS, WALL-E, IDIOCRACY, SECONDS and ETERNAL SUNSHINE, and work by Greg Egan, Cory Doctorow, David Marusek, Ramez Naam, Ray Bradbury, Gary Shteyngart and Albert Brooks.

“I’m appalled by the notion of ‘eternal human verities’ — a loathsome concept, foisted by brooding, husk-like academics, proclaiming that people will forever be the same, repeating every Proustian obsession, every omphaloskeptic navel-contemplation, and every dopey mistake of our parents and their parents all the way until time’s end. A horrible concept that is-fortunately disproved by history and science and every generation of bright kids who strive to climb a little higher than their ignorant ancestors. And to raise kids of their own who will be better still. The greatest story. The greatest possible story.” (David Brin)


Relevant Links