Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, May 12, 2019

In [John Brunner] 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar, for instance, he peers ahead to imagine life in 2010, correctly forecasting wearable technology, Viagra, video calls, same-sex marriage, the legalisation of cannabis, and the proliferation of mass shootings. Equally compelling, however -- and even more instructive -- is the process by which Brunner constructed this society of his future and our present.



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"Recreation violence". I'll have to try that - it sounds fun.

#1 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2019-05-12 06:07 PM | Reply

#1: I'm thinking of something like the Purge or The Running Man.

#2 | Posted by Daniel at 2019-05-13 12:06 AM | Reply

One of my favorites. The Sheep Look Up really hooked me into sci-fi

#3 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2019-05-13 12:15 AM | Reply

Michio Kaku: "The Future of Humanity" | Talks at Google

Published on May 9, 2019

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2019-05-13 12:15 AM | Reply

The sci-fi book and excellent movie adaptation that predicted today's SJW--figurative for now--book burners.

"The Captain:
You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal."

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

#5 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-05-13 12:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

"The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General. "

Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron.


#6 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-05-13 01:12 AM | Reply

I thought "Idioarchy" was more predictive.

#7 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-05-13 08:20 AM | Reply

My English Lit teacher in high school finally told us his secret to accurately predicting who read an assigned book or not by looking at us. He watched who became "sad and morose" and who did not. Who could crack a smile or chuckle white reading an assignment meant to thoroughly smash one's rose tinted glasses?

Most science fiction writers were despondent in their predictions of humanity's future. By the end of a Kafka assignment, we all wanted to drag a razor across our throats! Parents wonder why their children took up cigarette smoking or getting "spliffy?"

BTW, Joe's Apartment is a spoof on The Metamorphosis.

In the end, what sells advertising blocks are stories with a happy ending, like Star Trek, UFO and Space: 1999.

#8 | Posted by MisterCarajo at 2019-05-13 08:47 AM | Reply

Seriously, despotic visions are the purview of the young. It seems I have become more optimistic as I have gotten older. I guess I have learned a bit more than I knew when I was 25. Predicting doom or complete fall of society is far fetched.
I grew up expecting to be vaporized. Duck and Cover, were exercises in futility and we knew that by third grade. This encouraged a libertine attitude among my peers. "Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die" I avoided that until I was an adult fortunately. But I certainly made up lost time.
Mankind has survived a lot. He has adapted, organized and flourished despite disasters that killed 90% of the population more than once. Climate change? We survived 40 thousand years of an Ice age, volcanic eruptions that plunged the entire planet into darkness for years, and serious climate change, like floods from the end of the last ice age that forced 80% of the population to move inland within a generation. Expecting continuity is foolish. The only constant is change. People generally do what they can to survive.

#9 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-05-13 09:35 AM | Reply

"It seems I have become more optimistic as I have gotten older"

"The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little."
-Mark Twain

#10 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2019-05-13 10:21 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

#10 | Posted by NerfHerder I don't think my optimism is poorly placed. It is amazing what people have adapted to and still do.

#11 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-05-13 12:44 PM | Reply

"Expecting continuity is foolish. The only constant is change."



As the way my father always said it: "Son, the only thing permanent in life is change."

#12 | Posted by shane at 2019-05-13 01:44 PM | Reply

But Nothing is Lost

#13 | Posted by LesWit at 2019-05-13 05:48 PM | Reply

Read Stand on Zanzibar 50 years ago, when I was a grad student. Loved it. I devoured lots of SF then. I've tried re-reading some of my favorites recently but have generally found that they haven't held up very well. Perhaps I should give Stand on Zanzibar another try.

#14 | Posted by mad_as_hell at 2019-05-13 06:06 PM | Reply

"Brunner assumed that by 2010, the US would be providing universal healthcare for all"

As most reasonable people in 1968 did.

But, we do not live in reasonable times and our leaders are not reasonable people.

But he sure got this part right....

"extremism is rife. ‘Muckers' go on killing sprees (there have been three mass killings in the US in the past four months, we're told), politics has become bitterly partisan, and religious zealots frequently turn to violence."

I don't call them "Muckers" tho. I use the F word.

#15 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-05-13 07:19 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Orwell's 1984 was commentary on Stalin's USSR. If any thing he understates the brutality of that system. Brave New World is a commentary of class and consumerism. Punctuated by the death of individualism. The best sci-if I have read are allegory for something else.

#16 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-05-13 11:00 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#16 -In Brave New World, the Cross is replaced by the upper case "T" in honor of the Ford Model T, the first mass-produced automobile. That "T" is ironic in 2019. About 35% of American voters worship a big-•ss "T", already.

#17 | Posted by getoffmedz at 2019-05-14 12:38 PM | Reply

I hope the futuristic androgynous fascists have Turner Classic Movies and 60's-70's rock. and beer.

#18 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-05-14 07:02 PM | Reply

#18 | Posted by SheepleSchism You have to admit that music is better than what is marketed by the corporate music industry today. The classic movies are classic for a reason, they are good. And never speak disparagingly about beer. That is the only way most feminist or their clucks get any. BTW, which side actually uses fascist tactics? You know, break up opposition's meetings, shout down speakers, assault people on the street, riot, etc. Might look at the tactics and beliefs of the real Fascist used in the 20s and 30s. Hell, they even dress like the originals. Black shirts literally.

#19 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-05-15 09:47 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#17 | Posted by getoffmedz, Hell I don't like the damn Yankee. Didn't vote for him. But given a chose between the Hilibeast and him, I think we got the lesser of two evils. She was corrupt from the day she graduated from law school.

#20 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-05-15 09:52 AM | Reply

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