083 Science-Fiction inspires, not predicts

The immense, limitless potential of human imagination is amazing, just to put it softly. The ability to see what there isn’t is an innate trait to humans and it’s what makes us so different and so much more intelligent than all other organisms on Earth. Imagination and thinking has forever sparked our race’s creativity by making us form a picture of what there really isn’t and then transforming that imagined reality into objective reality.

Often, many tend to believe after watching high-tech science-fiction movies that “this stuff is gonna be there in our world 50 or so years from now”. For example flying cars. We believe that the world will have flying cars in the relatively near future. But thinking so, leaves the not so apt impression on us about the impact of science fiction. This kind of thinking leads us to believe that Sci-Fi authors are predicting the future. Rather the fact is that that’s not the case. Science fiction inspires the future.

Not only has science fiction inspired so many young children—who may (or may not) be the very important and famous persons of today—to take up the vast fields of S.T.E.A.M. as paths to their profession, but it’s impact lies also on the enormous breakthroughs and improvements of the state of the art technology we carry here with us today.

I won’t dive deep into the complicated analogues and the examples of the ways science fiction has influenced the scientific and artistic societies of today, but one very significant example includes the mobile phone. The first mobile phone was invented in 1973. It was called the Motorola DynaTAC, invented by Martin Cooper. Rumor has it that Cooper was inspired by an episode of Star Trek where Captain James Kirk uses his “Communicator”, but he later reveled that he got the inspiration from Dick Tracy’s wrist radio. Still imaginative fiction though!

Star Trek technology: Captain Kirk (William Shatner) uses a communicator in Star Trek
Captain Kirk with his Communicator. Image Credit: Paramount/Everett Collection Inc.

Anyway, the main point is this: imagination and science fiction doesn’t really have the power to predict the future, instead it has the ability to influence, carve, and make the future.

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