On Saturday, I gave a speech at Maker Fair 2010 on “Hacking The Future” where I talked on predicting the future through a variety of influences. One that I shared was the role of science fiction.
It’s staggering how much of what we do today is last generations science fiction! Did you know:
- Suba was predicted in “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” by Jules Verne in 1875
- Test tube babies in “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley in 1932
- Robots in “Rossun's Universal Robots” by Karel Capek in 1920
- Cable TV in “1984” by George Orwell in 1949
- Screen saver in “Stanger In A Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein in 1961
- Internet in “London Times of 1904” by Mark Twain in 1898
What used to be a facination with dreaming of the future is now critical for our future success. To put this in context, the 10 most in-demand jobs for 2010 did NOT exist in 2004. What does this mean for society?
We are preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist … for technologies that have not yet been invented … for problems we don't know are problems.
So how do you prepare? As part of my day job, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about “what's next”. One inspriation I use is science fiction. In my case, I've been a long time fan of Philip Dick (the inspiration for Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall and Paycheck)
What science fiction writers are stretching your thinking? What are they predicting?
* Speech was insipred by a great speech by Karl Fisch titled “Shift Happens”
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