3 Fascinating Things Science Fiction Got Wrong About The Future And 3 it Got Right

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It’s fascinating to look at past works of science fiction with the benefits of hindsight. Science fiction writers often try to predict what is going to happen in the future and what trends or travesties will shape our world. Sometimes they are successful and other times they have been far from the path that reality actually decided to take us down.

One of the most interesting examples of this is arguably Back To The Future Part II. The reason for this is that Back To The Future Part II and some of III are set in 2015. The ideas of what the future would hold are entertaining yet completely ridiculous. We’re still waiting for the promised hoverboards that were meant to be floating around our streets. Before you even suggest it, the ones on wheels don’t count. So, let’s take a look at some of the trends that have shaped science fiction over the past few years including those that were spot on and those seemingly still beyond the realms of possibility. 

Extinction Level Event

Things Science Fiction Got Wrong 
 - Extinction Level Event

Thus far, science fiction writers that have suggested the possibility that an extinction-level event could occur in our time have been pleasantly surprised. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t see an event like this in our lifetime. One could argue that if we don’t make some changes relating to climate change this will devastate our planet and make it unlivable. We’ll touch a little more on this further down. But even if you’re not concerned about climate change, it’s difficult to ignore that if a fairly decent-sized rock hits our planet, it’s game over. 

The good news is that tech has now reached a point where we’ll know if a rock is going to hit us at least a good few weeks in advance. Or, at least, experts will. Scientists are quite concerned about this prospect too and there’s a lot of research lately exploring whether it would be possible to hit an asteroid before it hit us, essentially knocking it off course. This isn’t quite as exciting as oil riggers flying up there as All American Heroes but it’s a pretty interesting prospect nevertheless. Although, there’s no guarantee we’d be told if an asteroid was going to hit. After all, it would just create mass wide panic and funnily enough, a new film due to hit Netflix in December, is going to aim to answer how our world leaders would actually handle a disaster like this. 

Nanotechnology

Things Science Fiction Got Wrong - nanotechnology

Science fiction loves to explore the future of medicine. Will we solve the problems that cause aging or will we just continue to age yet live longer, leading to a poorer quality of life? Various works of science fiction have explored the potential concepts that could shape the future of medicine over the next few years. Some are somewhat realistic and others are a tad more far-fetched. 

But one of the more recent concepts that has shown up time and time again is nanotechnology. Nanotechnology has popped up in science fiction since at least the early nineties. It also showed up again in the latest Bond film, this time with a virus that could be crafted to ensure it killed people with certain DNA. At one point Q notes that this cyber-virus, once caught, can never be removed. 

What’s fascinating about this is that nanotech is actually being worked on right now and it has a massive level of potential. It could be used to heal wounds deep within the body with limited to no surgery. It could also be used to check for signs of problems in the body so that an individual can immediately get the treatment they need. There’s a reason why people are so fascinated by this idea. While the writers of Bond might have taken a darker approach, the possibilities tied to nanotech are absolutely dazzling. We’re just not sure how many years it will be before these incredible concepts come to life in the medical world. 

Flying Cars And Other Vehicles

Flying DeLorean Time Machine - Back to the Future

Let’s return to Back To The Future for a moment. Back to the Future predicted flying cars, flying boards and self-tying shoes by 2015. Now, if you’re interested, in 2015, Nike actually managed to create a concept pair of self-tying shoes. So, give it a few years and they might actually hit the market for real. But what about those pesky flying cars and hoverboards? 

Well, the prospects on that might be a tad bleaker. You see, the issue surrounding flying cars and hoverboards may not be whether you can but whether you should. Scientists in Jurassic Park may not care about crossing the lines of science but governments around the world are a tad warier. Flying cars simply create a multitude of issues. How do you stop people from flying in the wrong places? How do you ensure that the level of accidents in cars doesn’t go through the roof? Experts could probably address these issues but we’re not even at the point to do so. We’re still trying to perfect the electric car, forget about the flying one! 

Flying cars might come in the future. But not in the way you would expect. These vehicles will look more like mini helicopters and would be used largely for transport around urban areas like major cities. As for hoverboards, well, you saw the issue people had with the fake hoverboards that rolled onto the streets a couple of years ago. So, we wouldn’t hold our breath here. 

Cloning

Things Science Fiction Got Right  - Cloning

Since we mentioned Jurassic Park, it’s worth touching on the subject of cloning and whether science fiction writers went beyond the boundaries of reality. Interestingly, while the people that cloned Dolly might be stubbornly quiet, there has been word recently that researchers are going to attempt to bring a woolly mammoth back from extinction. Do note that this isn’t cloning but rather gene altering, which is basically what Jurassic Park was all about. So, could you see woolly mammoths in a zoo one day? We wouldn’t rule it out completely but we still think the chances of that happening are pretty slim.

As for real cloning, science fiction has warned time and time again about the dangers, moral questions and ethics that come with pulling too much on that particular thread. However, some people are convinced that cloning has already happened because multiple researchers have claimed that the science is already there. It’s the government standing in the way of this one. That would explain why Paul Rudd refuses to age…

Exciting Entertainment Complexes

Back to the Future Jaws 19

Pick up any science fiction book and you’ll probably find that it has at least one mention of some awesome, public entertainment options. There’s the holodeck in Star Trek, and if we’re hitting Back To The Future one more time, that film also promised holographic movies. Sure, we’ve had 3D movies, but people are starting to wonder what’s taking so long with the holograms? The good news is that you will likely see holograms in your lifetime and if you don’t, your kids sure will. How immersive these will be is difficult to say, but it is worth noting that the trend isn’t really heading in this direction.

COVID-19 sped the process up but more often than not people are choosing to find entertainment at home. Fewer people than you think head to casinos these days and with how BetRivers bonus codes are available, we’re not at all surprised. It’s far easier to just play online.

What about the movies? Again, a lot of people would rather stay at home. Sony was thrilled when Venom 2 had a plus ninety mil opening weekend. But it crashed back down to earth in the second weekend and Bond opened lower than expected. People aren’t interested in returning to the cinema or at least not as much as they used to be. As Spielberg, Jackson and Lucas predicted, cinema could become like the opera where people only head there for massive event films. This could significantly limit the level of tech and innovation that is implemented into entertainment complexes like this. 

Proof Of Alien Life

Proof of Alien Life

Finally, this one is a little difficult to nail down. Various science fiction writers have suggested that in the future we would see proof that aliens do exist and are among us. Men in Black made us laugh at the notion, Independence Day thrilled us, and Alien arguably scared those first in the audience to death. So, how far are we from proving the existence of alien life?

Not as far as you might think. It was brushed over during the COVID-19 pandemic but there were various leaks that came from military officials. It’s a little harder to ignore first-person accounts from guys that swear loyalty to home and country compared to those who look like they woke up drunk in a field the previous morning. The reports were so significant that the Pentagon eventually released a statement on the matter earlier this year. The ultimate word from this statement was essentially: we don’t know.

However, two years before this another report from a top Pentagon official suggested the US government had crafts that “were not made on this earth.” Interesting word choice for those who believe in parallel universes but we digress. Ultimately, if aliens are among us they’ll probably need to make quite a song and dance because it’s unlikely the government will decide to tell us.

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