Best current-times prophets

  • #1

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In my opinion, the film that predicted our times best is "Soylent Green," and the author who did so was John Brunner, with his The Sheep Look Up and Zanzibar. What do you guys think?
 

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  • #2
phinds
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In my opinion, the film that predicted our times best is "Soylent Green," and the author who did so was John Brunner, with his The Sheep Look Up and Zanzibar. What do you guys think?
I don't think we're eating people yet.
 
  • #3
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Idiocracy is very realistic. :(
 
  • #4
phinds
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Idiocracy is very realistic. :(
Sadly, we do seem to be headed that way.
 
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Well, we have overpopulation, the forrests are going away, soon enough we'll have to eat bugs, pollution is at a gargantuan rate, and, not so long from now, we will sun-bathe in Siberia in January. That's how.
 
  • #7
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Well, we have overpopulation, the forrests are going away, soon enough we'll have to eat bugs, pollution is at a gargantuan rate, and, not so long from now, we will sun-bathe in Siberia in January. That's how.
It's been a LONG time since I watched Soylent Green, @gabriel alexander, but on that basis, 'yes' you're right! Pretty scary, when you lay it out like that :nb)
 
  • #8
jim mcnamara
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@gabriel alexander Even if the very worst happens, climate wise, most of the impact you mention will affect people newly born in ~30 years. And the worst first impact will likely be sea level rise in coastal areas. So sunbathing in Siberia will have to wait longer.

However, it is your thread, if hyperbole suits you, go for it. Just do not buy land in Florida to pass on as an investment for your grandkids.... :biggrin:
 
  • #9
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Just do not buy land in Florida to pass on as an investment for your grandkids....
Some models predict enough sea level rise that it's not just Florida, @jim mcnamara. We're miles from the coast, but I have joshed with our neighbors that we're going to be have beachfront properties the way things are going!
 
  • #10
Vanadium 50
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It's hard to give credit for a correct prediction to something that hasn't happened yet.
It's also hard to give credit to "overpopulation", especially leading to starvation and cannibalism when the fraction of people dying of famine has dropped by two orders of magnitude since the film.
 
  • #11
jim mcnamara
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FWIW - most models predict 1 - 3 feet sea level rise by 2100. That puts a larger part of Florida underwater - the same is true for all costal plain areas at low elevation. Everywhere. It is just more fun to play the hyperbole game.

If the models are correct, an assumption, then the economic costs in the US will be close to unbearable. A seawall that closes the ocean to all of the coastline, river deltas and bays for the Eastern US would have to extend from Texas to the St Lawrence river. Ain't going to happen. People will bail out - literally - and move.

Economists dealing with the subject of climate change ( read with proper perspective, if possible):
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-economists-worry-reversing-climate-change-is-hopeless-morning-brief-110537963.html
 
  • #12
jim mcnamara
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Plan B could be: think Venice on a grandiose scale. Raise millions of houses, buildings about 6 feet use boats instead of cars and trucks.... but what if sea rise continues? Hmm.
 
  • #13
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About a third of the Netherlands is below sea level today, so its not an impossible task to hold back the ocean!
 
  • #14
phinds
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About a third of the Netherlands is below sea level today, so its not an impossible task to hold back the ocean!
Uh ... you want to do a comparison of the coastal length in the Netherlands vs the rest of Europe plus America, to say nothing of South America? Dream on.
 
  • #15
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Since we talk about flooded cities, is it possible to give the present day street level to the water, and build bridges and roads between skyscrapers and rooftops?

I also think cyberpunk is still rather realistic, we achieved much with cybernetic limbs, and started to develop brain computer interfaces.
 
  • #16
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Oh...where to begin?

1, The movie, set two years hence, claims 40 million people in New York and "a heat wave all year long". That hasn't happened yet. It's hard to give Fleischer credit for prophesy based on estimates that things will be less bad in a century than he predicts in two years.

2. I know of no model that predicts 3 feet of sea level change in 80 years. There were extreme ones ~20 years ago that got to 3 feet, but 20 years of those have passed. The IPCC estimates are more like 6 inches by 2100.

3. "Your mileage my vary". I always thought that sea level was sea level, but in fact, different places see different changes. I don't understand this. In the words of Ralph Wiggum, "that's unpossible!" In the US, the Atlantic seems to be more affected than the Pacific, and most of that is in the mid-Atlantic states. Florida has a substantially smaller measured increase. The peninsula you should be worried about is Delamarva.

4. Yes, it is possible to do what GTOM says, and it's already happened a century and a half ago: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising_of_Chicago
 
  • #17
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Considering that the previous century saw round-about 12 inches of sea level rise, I think the expected 12 inches in the 21st century is probably not going to result in mass cannibalism.

Trouble in Florida due to sea level rise is probably as much as 500 years away. Look back 500 years and tell me who lived in Florida. Look forward 500 years and tell me who will live in Florida. Maybe you are borrowing invented trouble.

Considering that there are more forested acres in the USA now than at 1900, and the increase in CO2 is causing the green cover of the planet to increase, maybe we won't need to start eating cock roaches any time soon.

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/more-trees-than-there-were-100-years-ago-its-true

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth

So the future as shown in _Soylent Green_ would appear to have been averted.

There are challenges, but these are not a problem.
 
  • #18
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Cannibalism: can it be a realistic option on a space mining colony, far from Earth?
 
  • #19
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Cannibalism is an inefficient source of protein, whatever you have to feed your human livestock you could just eat yourself. Raising chickens, which is about a 1.6 feed conversion ratio is much more efficient (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed_conversion_ratio) (although I could not find the feed conversion ratio for humans)

Plus, we are a decade or so away from widespread cultured meat and dairy, which will be more efficient than any livestock
 

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