Life is Not a Science Fiction Story
Posted: Feb 11, 2010
Many transhumanists are under the mistaken impression that the world they live in operates like a science fiction novel. It doesnít.
This cognitive confusion seems to underlie some of the conflicts between moderate technoprogressives, like me, and the more exuberant types who expect that radical, wondrous changes are always just around the corneróbecause they read it in a book.
Donít get me wrong. I love reading science fiction. I find it fascinating, compelling, mind-expanding, and occasionally even well-written. But I try to remember the second word in that genre description: fiction.
You see, the real world is not a story. It is not designed to be easily understood, to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It doesnít have a moral. It cannot be edited to improve clarity and flow.
The actual world we inhabit is complex, confused, arbitrary, random, chaotic, contingent, and messy. Itís hardly the stuff of a best-selling novel, or at least not the kind that seems to incite such zeal among transhumanists who believe that what they read in a book or saw in a movie must be true.
No, if real life was a science fiction story, it would be very different.