What I've been thinking a lot about lately that is tangential to this is what are we missing in our vision of the future?
I've been reading a bunch of Asimov sci fi from around 1950-1952. Keep in mind that Asimov was an actual scientist (professor of biochem) and thought constantly about science and the future and he utterly missed two things
- gender roles. Asmov's women are basically 1950s women.
- digitization. I don't even know where to begin, but in one novel ships can jump through hyperspace and instantly traverse thousands of light years. BUT to calculate a jump, the pilot pulls out a printed, bound ephemeris and a slide rule and calculates the jump coordinates.
In other words, writing at a time when the nuclear power industry was promising "energy too cheap to meter", it was easier for Asimov to imagine space ships with adequate power to bend space and create gravity wrinkles that would allow them to jump through space, but he couldn't imagine a device that would know where the stars were and how to use that information to navigate.
It makes me wonder what are we missing? I expect that it's changes in biology that we can't envision, even though Ray Kurzweil tries.