Sunday, January 06, 2019

In 1983 Isaac Asimov predicted the world of 2019. Here’s what he got right (and wrong)

Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything.

— Henry Miller, born in 1891

Has Silicon Valley (The Idea) Lost Its Creative Soul?

The ideal of super-smart people using those super smarts to create disruption for the betterment of all, or as Steve Jobs once put it, engineers working, quote, “to solve most of humankind’s problems.” He said that more than 20 years ago. There’s been a lot of history since then. There’s been a lot of money made, too, but also there’s been the emergence of certain kinds of problems that are only possible because of technology. – Wired

For writers, “morals clauses” are being used more and more (NYT).  The days of Henry Miller are gone, it seems.

Big Think: “Isaac Asimov was one the world’s most celebrated and prolific science fiction writers, having written or edited more than 500 books over his four-decade career. The Russian-born writer was famous for penning hard science fiction in his books, such as that in I, RobotFoundation and Nightfall. Naturally, his work contained many predictions about the future of society and technology. Some of those predictions came true, such as our ability to use what he called sight-sound communication to contact anyone on Earth. But others — a machine that can convert yeast, algae and water into foods like “mock-turkey,” for instance — never manifested.
In 1983, the Toronto Star invited Asimov to predict the answer to a specific question: “What will the world look like in 2019?” It was a fitting time to pose the question, the Star’s editors figured, because 1983 was 35 years after George Orwell penned 1984. Asimov wrote that it was pointless to imagine the future of society if the United States and the Soviet Union were to engage in nuclear war, so he assumed that wouldn’t happen. He then broke down his predictions under two main themes: computerization and space utilization…”