What features in today's sci-fi do you think will become reality?

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Following Clarke's thinking “Magic's just science that we don't understand yet.”, I am quite switched off with today's sci-fi it is basically 'magic' but dressed up to be technological.

It seems to me (maybe just my POV) that decades ago there was a more balanced mix of stuff that was at the edge of what we might achieve and stuff that will remain in the realm of magic.

Many of the plot lines these days strike me as wholly dependent on the sci-fi 'working'. What I mean is that many of the sci-fi classics (books and films) could be reasonably placed in other more real settings today and, excepting for a certain lack of tecchy 'pazazz', the underling stories of people and their interactions themselves could still be told.

Whereas today, it is essential that some crazy magic works. In particular there seems to be an over-reliance these days on time travel as the key 'enabler' of the story to be told.

Take Star Trek for example, many of the features are actually real today, from personal communicators to Picard using his ipad. Stuff we all do today, but it seems far fetched then, yet just a few decades ago.

So, reversing my thinking above, another question has been entering my thoughts and that is; in sci-fi today, what are we seeing in those films and series today that is most likely to exist within a century?

Is there anything you guys have noticed that we don't have yet but looks 'realistic' in our lifetimes? Perhaps it's something you have 'inside information' on and are working on already?
 

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  • #2
BillTre
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I would guess it depends on what you are reading.
The Martian (movie, didn't read the book) was a good example not too unreasonable ScFi.

Things in ScFi I would expect to be in the more possible universe of ScFi would probably be non-magical electronic gadgets (like you mentioned).
another possibility that appeals to me and I am not aware of being used that much is biology and what I would expect to be its manipulative use in both people and non-people.
This, I think, has great possibilities.
 
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On a darker note, with CRISPer tech and the human genome being sequenced how far away are the eugenics plagues?
 
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(Those were in Star trek)
 
  • #5
Klystron
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To be charitable to the newer writers, the division between fantasy & science fiction (F&SF) blurs beyond recognition while SF suffers greatly from lack of technical expertise and (possible) lack of imagination. As a life-long Stan Lee / John Romita fan, I still must ask "How many Spiderman reboots and sequels do we require?".

During pandemic closures, I have been rereading my sparse SF novel collection roughly spanning 1960's through '90's. Even non-scientist authors and medical people such as Michael Crichton hewed to a scientific line more closely than most contemporary authors. I rarely read new SF novels, replaced with streaming new and old SF series and movies. Acting and actor quality coupled with advanced CG and FX have improved. The words the actors are forced to utter amid obvious plot twists, not so much.

As for realizing technology from SF sources, look no further than intelligent watches that instantiate the old comic book wrist communicators. Aircraft control radars have largely left the ground in favor of airborne and satellite installations envisioned by Clarke, Heinlein and others. Martin Caidin's bionic man/woman are now as real as the latest powered prosthetics.

Near future tech? I agree with @BillTre that biology provides rich examples. "Everything old is new again" as the old song says with raging pandemics as real as today's news.
 
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On a *much* lighter note than my last post...

Mr. Klystron, it's your mention of Stan Lee and Marvel that I have to say, though you don't know me, I've Forrest Gumped my way through some astounding situations that should have killed me. So it's with some no little chagrin I list the things that should have turned me into a super hero, but hasn't seemed to taken effect yet.

Experimental vaccine? Please. I've had some doozies. One in particular gave some 20 percent of the people it was given to a novel form of the disease it was supposed to protect them from. I was one of the 80 percent and even today, forty years later, I still show a strong antibody response to hep B without actually having hep B.

Exposure to ionizing radiation. As in according to NASA guide lines if I made astronaut at my age they still wouldn't let me into space.

Times two.

And the one I had the most hope for...

I was, honest to God, once bitten by a radioactive cat. (Don't ask.) I mean, who wouldn't want that one!?

I also used to care for vast collections of small animals and upon coming home in the evenings I'd play a rousing game of "guess what bit me!" on a near daily basis. The one that threw people the most was a set of teeth marks on my hand that showed a light bulb shaped outline with a double row of "molars" on one side and an open, (no chin) outline on the other side. That and the twenty seven teeth still in the injury. Entirely my fault. Had my hand in the wrong spot during feeding time with a normally well behaved critter.

(Anyone else ever notice MDs seem to have an odd obsession with gathering up and counting the things they remove from people?)

So, at 60, I've kinda given up on the whole transmogrifying into one of the X-Men. Drat the luck.

Sorry about the babble. Cabin fever from the lockdown is doing a number on me.
 
  • #7
Vanadium 50
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Take Star Trek for example, many of the features are actually real today, from personal communicators to Picard using his ipad. Stuff we all do today, but it seems far fetched then, yet just a few decades ago.
I'm sorry, but that is complete and utter hogwash.

Let's start with "personal communicators". Here is the cover of the 1965 Radio Shack catalog.

1609417895473.png


This was the year before Star Trek aired.

According to the Intertubes, Picard's "iPad" was aired on October 12, 1992. Five months after the Apple Newton was demoed.
 
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  • #8
Buzz Bloom
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On a darker note, with CRISPer tech and the human genome being sequenced how far away are the eugenics plagues?
Hi BigDon:

Are you referring to the movie about a society that generally selected the "best" combination of parental DNA for their children. (I do not remember the title.) I can see this as a possible near future technology. Although there are certainly possible bad effects, I would not characterize it as "plagues".

Regards,
Buzz
 
  • #9
Buzz Bloom
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I am thinking of a Star Trek technology (mostly in Second Generation) for producing various items (mostly meals) based on a variation of the teleportation technology which transformed stuff from raw material to desired objects. The current real "3D printing" technology seems to be getting more and more close similar results.
 
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  • #10
Klystron
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Hi BigDon:

Are you referring to the movie about a society that generally selected the "best" combination of parental DNA for their children. (I do not remember the title.) I can see this as a possible near future technology. Although there are certainly possible bad effects, I would not characterize it as "plagues".

Regards,
Buzz
Hi Buzz, @BigDon,

One version of the applied eugenics theme appears in the movie Gattaca.
Aldous Huxley wrote the much earlier definitive SF novel Brave New World.
Robert Heinlein shamelessly (his word) borrowed from Huxley to write Beyond This Horizon.

Gattaca has a stunning cast and visual effects. Brave New World remains a mainstay of literature.

I (shamelessly) prefer Beyond This Horizon. Heinlein correctly predicts upstanding American citizens packing a variety of handguns, drawn at the least excuse. The main character orders and carries a custom .45 caliber Colt semiautomatic pistol virtually identical to current popular high-end handguns.
 
  • #11
Vanadium 50
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I am thinking of a Star Trek technology (mostly in Second Generation) for producing various items (mostly meals) based on a variation of the teleportation technology which transformed stuff from raw material to desired objects. The current real "3D printing" technology seems to be getting more and more close similar results.
Captain, it looks dangerous. We should ask the transporter room to print us up a couple of redshirts.
 
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  • #12
berkeman
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I am thinking of a Star Trek technology (mostly in Second Generation) for producing various items (mostly meals) based on a variation of the teleportation technology which transformed stuff from raw material to desired objects. The current real "3D printing" technology seems to be getting more and more close similar results.
Captain, it looks dangerous. We should ask the transporter room to print us up a couple of redshirts,
3-D printed apples -- yum!

1609461275549.png
 
  • #13
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Following Clarke's thinking “Magic's just science that we don't understand yet.”, I am quite switched off with today's sci-fi it is basically 'magic' but dressed up to be technological.

It seems to me (maybe just my POV) that decades ago there was a more balanced mix of stuff that was at the edge of what we might achieve and stuff that will remain in the realm of magic.

Many of the plot lines these days strike me as wholly dependent on the sci-fi 'working'. What I mean is that many of the sci-fi classics (books and films) could be reasonably placed in other more real settings today and, excepting for a certain lack of tecchy 'pazazz', the underling stories of people and their interactions themselves could still be told.

Whereas today, it is essential that some crazy magic works. In particular there seems to be an over-reliance these days on time travel as the key 'enabler' of the story to be told.

Take Star Trek for example, many of the features are actually real today, from personal communicators to Picard using his ipad. Stuff we all do today, but it seems far fetched then, yet just a few decades ago.

So, reversing my thinking above, another question has been entering my thoughts and that is; in sci-fi today, what are we seeing in those films and series today that is most likely to exist within a century?

Is there anything you guys have noticed that we don't have yet but looks 'realistic' in our lifetimes? Perhaps it's something you have 'inside information' on and are working on already?

About "you have 'inside information' on and are working on already?".

Yes. We don't have full theories yet of how our consciousness works. But we can interact with it already just like we didn't have theories or even knew about function of heart thousands of years ago but our bodies automatically used it to pump oxygen to the lungs.

There is a non-physical part to the body that is extension of the brain. Although we know memories occured in the brain and a lot of unconsciousness processing takes place in the brain (for example all kinds of brain damages can affect your thinking). Still there is extension that creates the full range of our awareness and consciousness (related to the Hard Problem vs the Easy Problem).

30 years ago I met and worked with over 500 people (akin to X-men Xavier's School For Gifted) fixing damages in the non-physical part of body. For example. A certain damage can make a person open to non-physical influence by entities that have somehow evolved beyond the physical plane (a certain hidden dark matter sector we don't know). So we can see easily how possessions occured. What we do is to remove the entities or fix the nonphysical part to disentangle the entities. Then the person would have dramatic and instantaneus freedom from the entities. Scott Peck has written a book about possessions see:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1439167265/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Not only can we treat possession, we can even induce it by letting the entities anchor into the body. We also observed drug addicts have damaged non-physical part which let the entities take hold making them commit crimes.

The nonphysical qualia extension is also responsible for range of other phenomena. Generally, emotions are contagious and interactive at distance. For couples who are very harmonic, the field is compatible. There are those incompatible who repel. This is true for non lovers too. In the case of bullying, the field is incompatible with a group of people who tune in to the victim. Someday we can protect the bullied by just observing their fields and anticipating when trouble would occur. So we can act before any bullying at school happens.

In daily life. This is active for ordinary people too. When we crave violence or feel lower emotion, we are trying to resonate with the lower subdivision of this hidden sector. When we feel love or empathy to the world, we are resonating with higher aspects of this hidden sector. And this is all very obvious in plain sight (speaking of sight, I think (just me) it's like synesthesia that encompasses this nonphysical aspect so the person can scan it, although it's more complex because it uses the complete qualia mechanisms of the brain).

I spent 15 years trying to understand the physics of it. Physicists totally ignored it and instead focusing on Multiverse or other theoretical models without effects on our daily life.

You asked about "you have 'inside information' on and are working on already?"'. Hence I'm just sharing. For me what I encountered are 100% proven to me already . In fact I'd be equally happy if they didn't exist. I only follow the truth. (I'm far from James Randi but can prove it. Hope he opens up the challenge again which expired last 2015. He is deceased now). For the rest in the world, of course they don't believe. Many physicists are even angry with all of this. But in a Multiverse with different laws of physics. We just happen to live one ruled not only by QFT, QR, but something additional. This is logical so why physicists are so angry hearing any of this. All this may be apparent a hundred, 500 hundred or maybe the 30th century but i'm certain someday, it will come. This answered the OP queston "what are we seeing in those films and series today that is most likely to exist within a century?" .
 
  • #14
Klystron
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Following Clarke's thinking “Magic's just science that we don't understand yet.”, I am quite switched off with today's sci-fi it is basically 'magic' but dressed up to be technological.
Correction. Clarke wrote, "Technology sufficiently advanced may be indistinguishable from magic."
 
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Take Star Trek for example, many of the features are actually real today, from personal communicators to Picard using his ipad. Stuff we all do today, but it seems far fetched then, yet just a few decades ago.
With Clarke (and Kubrick) in mind, were there not a couple of ipad-like screens onboard Discovery? I need to watch the film again.
 

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