Eek! Aliens are going to abduct me. Oh no! Skynet is going to take over the world!
There are a lot of wondrous things in the worlds of science fiction. We've seen technology from stories made real decades later and events happen just like they were written. Yet it doesn't make the horrors of sci-fi true. The fact that so many people fear these things could happen only says how well the authors did their jobs.
Are there aliens and would they abduct us? There are likely aliens, but the chances they are here are very slim. Plus would a greatly advanced race with amazing technology really resort to kidnapping and probing humans to learn about them? They would have scanners that could tell them everything they want to know, and they can observe us in our natural habitats. Nope, not creepy at all.
Will an asteroid hit Earth? Not at all likely. NASA says there are no near-Earth asteroids or comets, and their chances of identifying a big one that might cause worldwide damage early so something could be done to stop it are nearly 100%. But a Sharknado, now that's a different story!
Will AI evolve and take over the world? No. AI is only composed of what we put in it. If robots try to take over the world then someone programmed them that way. AI can never replace the ingenuity and perseverance of humans. Plus a few well placed EMP bombs will take care of the problem easily!
Dystopians are immensely popular be they primal or technologically advanced societies. If there is a worldwide disaster or war, would it be likely something like that could happen? Not really. These are pessimistic views of our future. People will want the society they lost and seek to rebuild it. No matter how dismal it looks sometimes, never underestimate the power of hope and compassion.
Let's hope we have more of a Star Trek future than a Hunger Games or an Idiocracy.
Do you have any fears that have stemmed from science fiction?
Hi Christine - it's been troubling enough growing up - thankfully Science Fiction mostly passed me by! But I can see how it's influenced our life today and will continue to do so ... with space being opened up so much more. I think I'm happy sticking with the now! Cheers HilaryReplyDelete
We can only imagine what it will be like in 50 years with how much our world has changed already.Delete
I watch developments in wonder - and the fear of being probed by aliens is not one which keeps me awake at night. My horrors are closer to home.ReplyDelete
Cool essay. My fears come from studying the past. History is scary enough and we know those events can happen. For me, the major villains are microbes, corporations, and deregulation. I like your point about our resiliency as a species/society. Even during the Black Death, society managed to keep going. There were horrible tragedies, but we did not descend to complete anarchy.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jeff. Microbes and corporations scare me more too.Delete
I must admit I'm a bit concerned about aliens, just for the fact they are the unknown. You can predict most other things, but just because our planet evolved one way doesn't mean all life-producing planets are the same.ReplyDelete
You are right. I think it would be near impossible there are other humanoid beings out there. I think we won't believe what they are like when we finally meet them.Delete
My biggest concern lately is the environment, not aliens. Although I confess, I greatly enjoy YA sci-fi thrillers :)ReplyDelete
This planet will likely kill us and not aliens from another one!Delete
I love disaster stories. They're fun. It's fun to ponder how to survive, but I've done nothing about it other than watch a lot of disaster movies.ReplyDelete
Me too. I've never thought about exactly what I'd do, but I know what I wouldn't do!Delete
I'm rather fond of Zombie movies. But the chemical, or viral, warfare I fear is more like Anthrax wiping out entire populations, but not the entire world. And I agree, short of the Earth imploding, or solar rays vaporizing all life, nothing will wipe out humanity so completely that it reduces our society to a dystopia.ReplyDelete
Zombie movies are fun!Delete
I am actually concerned about AI, because while it's true they can only do what humans program them to do, it's also true that humans don't always cover all of their bases when making something. And if you program a machine with 'learning' capabilities, it might not always 'learn' the way you expect it to. Particularly, trouble starts to develop when the machine is taught to protect itself. At what cost and to what extent, right?ReplyDelete
This dilemma makes for a great story! ...I just don't want to see it in real life. :)