A very late Monday blog entry, but I think an important Cracked Monday entry: you see, we have to admit that one serious problem with sci-fi, even often the kind of sci-fi that caters to intelligent people who should really really fucking know better, is that it tends to play heavily on a ridiculous fear of the future. And an incredibly ridiculous idea that doing anything better than we do it today is somehow "playing god" and will lead to our own destruction.
This has been going on for a very long time:
Its funny, but it also has truth to it. We know, for example, that things like harnessing electricity met with that kind of reaction. That the automobile met with that kind of reaction. That the study of human anatomy was treated with fear and disdain. Frankenstein is a story about that and its 200 years old.
Older still is the claim that the printing press would destroy social morality. And while we don't have the evidence, I would bet every last peso in my possession that back when our most amazing ancestors invented the written word, there were other assholes around saying "you're playing gods by doing this! It will destroy and/or enslave us all!"
We have that going on right now, with things that we know right now are making our lives better rather than worse. Most educated people (though perhaps not enough for comfort) look at the anti-vaccine idiots and understand them to be idiots, for example. And yet some of these same people turn around and proclaim that genetic modification or man/machine interface or virtual reality will doom us.
Our failure is a product of our success. Far too few people, even supposedly intellectual sci-fi nerds above it all, really understand or even appreciate that the lifestyle they (average schlubs) lead today is greater than that which even the mightiest kings of the earth could have even dreamed about only a few centuries ago; and that almost ALL of this is due to inventions and innovations that ignorant fucktards of earlier time claimed was "playing god".
Our civilization is in desperate need of a history lesson. Anyone who has really studied history would NEVER wish for a return to the halcyon days of constant struggle for survival (and no, I'm not talking about how you have to work 40 hour work-weeks; I'm talking about how from one month to another most humans didn't know if their children were going to starve to death or not), of being powerless to a monstrous bitch called 'mother nature' who far from being a Wiccan Love-Goddess was actually an uncaring she-demon who your life had to be a constant and direct struggle to survive against (its not surprising that most 'nature-loving' real ancient pagans actually venerated anything that would give them an edge against nature!). A past where you could never know or learn anything about anything more than a couple of miles from your house or what shitty bits of wisdom got spread by word of mouth, and where you might have had a thousand great ideas but no way to disseminate or preserve them for the future. A past where if you didn't shit blood that week it was a cause for celebration, where you could literally expect half of the children you ever knew to die as children, and where even in China (one of the most advanced ancient civilizations around) if you lived to the age of 60 it was considered an accomplishment in and of itself worthy of bringing prestige and blessings to your entire fucking clan. A bigger deal than if someone lives to 100 today, which most of us just think of as "filler news". The fact that we now have people with significant frequency nearing or reaching the triple digits; that we have added DECADES to the lives of almost every human being around (particularly if you consider that half of you reading this would not have live to see your 10th birthday if you did not live in an industrial society), is just something we ever even talk about in the news when there isn't a more amusing story about a puppy or something. THAT is the absolute proof of how successful we have been at harnessing science and playing god. We've done a shitload better than those "gods" we're so afraid of offending that to this day spend most of their busy schedule systematically murdering african babies.
So fuck anyone who fears what we're capable of doing. What we've done so far is drag ourselves kicking and screaming, through mountains of corpses and pools of blood, in a struggle against everything that ever wanted to destroy us as a species, and make our life so comfortable that we have reached the danger of not knowing how fucking lucky we are, and thinking that 1% infant mortality rates and old-age pensions are just " natural" and have nothing to do with the incredible efforts of human science.
With that, I give you 5 technologies portrayed as "dystopian" in sci-fi that would potentially radically improve our world.
Currently Smoking: Neerup Poker + Brebbia no. 7