Today’s Reality is Tomorrow’s Fiction

Science fiction has it backwards, and always has. It’s never been a forward-thinking genre despite it’s reputations and aspirations. It has merely extrapolated from the known, and just like the saying – wherever you go, there you are – so too technology and innovation always end up implementing new ways to do the same old things. Whatever can be said will be used against someone in a court of law somewhere, some time. Whatever information can be collected, will come in handy to those in power. Social media is basically breadcrumbs leading the authorities to your doorstep – ask any one who showed up at to an Arab Spring gathering in Tahrir Square, or in Turkey just this morning. Wouldn’t it be nice if people changed, but they don’t much, do they? How are we enjoying the latest recurrence of race-baiting fascism coming about just as the ‘greatest generation’ that won that last great European war are dying off?

How long do you think it’s going to take for some variation of Pokemon Go to find its way into the hands of “thought police” who will be able to “augment reality” by adding yellow stars on phone screens to AI-identified members of any designated subgroup, or before vigilantes can go around easily identifying registered sex offenders (for one example) because that data is collected and the problem with data is who has access to it. On the one hand you might think positive thoughts like ‘hey someday “they” will be able to identify and interpret the cluster-fuck of signs and signals surrounding some pigheaded moron who is about to go on a murderous rampage’, but when that day comes “they” will certainly find a way to use the algorithm to instead frame whomever the fuck they want to.

So if you want to write some science fiction, just take some new technological fad and add it to the wretched disgrace of recent human history and your job is pretty much all done.

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