Writing About The Future - Page 6


Page 6 of 9 FirstFirst 123456789 LastLast
Results 51 to 60 of 84

Thread: Writing About The Future

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by clark View Post
    Lemmee play Devil's Advocate...
    I can see your point, but i'll see your Devil and raise you a Cherubim.

    Creating an entire world isn't necessarily easier than researching the real world. For one, even easy to research places, like an Emergency Department, are very often poorly portrayed in fiction - to the eyes of someone who worked there for 6 years anyway. Most people don't notice and when i scream out all the incorrect nuances no one cares anyway. Apparently people want believable rather than realistic in their fiction.

    Then, even a fantasy world needs tons of research (a good one anyway). Didn't Tolkien dissect the all the Norse mythology he could get - that stuff's not easy to get through. I once read P.K.Dick describing having to know all the nuances of ancient Greek literature - just because he's a writer and should know that sort of thing (maybe that was just him though).

    And if you're doing hard sci-fi then you've got your work cut out: there's a fanbase that expect nothing less than utter consistency with the known laws of science; with the time spent researching you might as well pick up a physics degree.

  2. #52
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Anywhere but here.
    Posts
    1,499
    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    That's quite dehumanising language - about 1% of the human population doesn't count as human in those terms: some 70 million people. Certainly seems to be part of the spectrum of human experience, though far from mainstream.
    If you'll quote the whole bit in context, you'll notice I was speaking about something coming along after the human race was gone? So yes, it was dehumanizing in that what was described is a trait of a rather large percent of a population.

    If it's a trait 1% don't share, that's one thing. Most or all don't? Something else entirely, don't you think?

    But then, when you get into taxonomy, one small physical trait can make all the difference in the world, between classifying one animal and another.

    So how would that work if there's not only physical differences, but biological as well?

    I'm certainly thinking 'not human'.






    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  3. #53
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    395
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    Also, it would be best to define the terms we ( you ) are speaking of; Are you talking about Biological Asexuality, or Mental/Emotional asexuality or some combination of both?
    When we talk about asexuals, we are using the established definition of asexual in terms of human beings: An individual whose inborn sexual orientation is such that they do not experience sexual attraction to other people, or to a lesser extent variations created by having only fragments of normal sexual orientation to other people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    I'm having a conversation/discussion. And that's something I can do with no fear at all.
    Especially on a subject like this, that no particular impact or direct effect on me.
    Okay.. but you are talking about real people that exist and who are in some cases actually talking with you, so do try not to dehumanize them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    ..gender-neutral and androgynous, incapable or reproducing without the aid of laboratories and machines, and more than 50% of a population.
    I see no movement toward that. I see pressure to CHANGE the present definition of what masculinity is like, but not to erase the category completely.
    And that is because, to be quite blunt, masculinity as it has been is.. really bad. Centering the central ethos of half of the population around a pathological need to cripple themselves and do everything inefficiently, then to oppress and terrorize the other half of the population to prevent them from being able to do the same things is.. well.. garbage and a millstone around the neck of the culture that has adopted that ideal. It isn't mandatory, there are various counterexamples and the like scattered here and there that just didn't happen to have a bunch of iron and things like that lying around.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by galaxydreamer90 View Post
    I have decided that in this future most people will now live in space in space stations.
    Why? On another thread I proposed a story where people lived in what appeared to be an enormous space station but it could simply have been that it used to be a planet before the population re-engineered the whole thing. If the back story is that mankind messes up the place where it lives so much that it has to move elsewhere, then it will also do that to the space station.

    The problems that humans have are the consequence of themselves, so they take those problems wherever they go. The things that we perceive as problems on our planet are a direct consequence of our having evolved on it; the planet itself doesn't have any problems that it can't sort out eventually.

    On a smaller scale one sees this happening in the case of refugees from countries that have descended into chaos. If the chaos is actually the result of the mentality and culture of the country's residents, then moving to another country can't work because they'll just take those flaws to the new country with them. The solution is for the people themselves to change wherever they live. Space stations are not the ideal place to live, so if humans couldn't manage to live on an ideal planet like the Earth then they'd never have any chance of dealing with the problems on a space station. This is another aspect of needing to explain how your utopia works.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    It would be ironic if utopia were our extinction event, like a huge giant massive cosmic 'game-over'.
    I gave up thinking about my idea of utopia years ago when i realised that I, or rather people like me, wouldn't exist in it, so you are most likely right. As I mentioned above, we are the problem that this planet has, the reason why it isn't utopian. Anyone who can imagine a utopian world with humans dominating it has a lot of explaining to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    10,000 Years from now humans will still exist (barring a cosmic catastrophe such as a near-by gamma ray burst, or a continent-sized comet dropping by to say, "Hi.") but they won't be significantly different from us biologically, just as we are not significantly different from out ancestors of 10,000 years ago.
    That's why I made the point about humans evolving not by changing but rather by fully realising what they were already capable of. My fiction writing focuses on human abilities that have lain dormant for millennia as the development of technology as a crutch has dominated human progress. It is claimed that what distinguishes humanity from other animals is that we became tool-makers instead of evolving further to solve our survival problems. Now we are wondering whether we stunted our evolution in order that the tools could evolve faster, even to the point that eventually they acquire their own ideas about how evolution should continue. Where we once used weapons to fight each other and deal with other threats those weapons may now have developed to the point where they can decide the strategies for themselves and we are starting to wonder whether we actually want to go there.

    In effect that is why I have become interested not in advances in quantum computing, as a long term computer nerd like me might be expected to, but in the question as to whether the human brain itself is capable of a form of quantum computing already and whether that has been its advantage over what we see as highly advanced tools up until now. It's the same as the attitude that I have to my car. It is a high performance model but I still refer to it as a petrol-driven wheelchair and prefer to travel by public transport when it is convenient, which puts it in a different perspective. Public transport and a space station are similar in both being big complex machines that support our life-styles, but often fiction writers go to the opposite extreme and present utopia as being devoid of evident technology.

    H G Wells had it right all along in The Time Machine, that the question is whether mankind will evolve into Eloi or Morlocks or whether both are actually essential. In fact the real time machine in his story was humanity itself, not his mechanical invention, which is probably the point that I have been trying to make. Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis addressed a similar issue, that too having the elite race and the workers and the issue wasn't whether such a world should exist but how it should be managed to remain stable, which was not by oppression but by cooperation. If mankind evolves simply by delegating responsibilities then to whom or what will we delegate and will that in itself become our weakness as Wells's Eloi and Lang's elite encountered?

    There are two ways to tackle such a subject, either as a frivolous but enjoyable space opera or as a more profound view of the human condition. You have to consciously decide which way to take it or at least how to balance those aspects for the story to have any integrity.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    So how would that work if there's not only physical differences, but biological as well?

    I'm certainly thinking 'not human'.
    Fair enough.

    Whether they're changed enough to be considered a different species depends on a few things. How the population became asexual (technological, natural biological, engineered biological, some mix...). 10000 years isn't enough time to evolve from sexual to asexual reproduction and i can't imagine what selective pressures could realistically drive evolution naturally that way (though it has happened in bdelloid rotifers). With the other two it totally depends on the direction it takes. If we have a population with no reproductive organs, entirely reliant on technological means for reproduction, but otherwise the same as humans i'm not sure we could class them as a different species. They could still take their DNA and mix it 'normal' human DNA to produce offspring otherwise identical to those created by sexual reproduction. Species (like life) isn't a very well defined concept in science which makes it hard to gauge.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    So how would that work if there's not only physical differences, but biological as well?
    Wait, can biological differences be separated from physical differences?
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Wait, can biological differences be separated from physical differences?
    Diving this deep into the topic will require a more precise use of terminology, methinks. Since we are talking about the human organism, then, technically, any physical difference would be a biological one also. However, there can be dramatic physiological (physical) differences within the same genetic species (biological?). For instance, a six foot eight inch tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Swede has dramatic physiological differences (a different phenotype) from a Congolese pygmy, but both are still very much of the same species.

    At this point we should start talking about things like phenotypes and genotypes instead of physical and biological traits.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Diving this deep into the topic will require a more precise use of terminology, methinks. Since we are talking about the human organism, then, technically, any physical difference would be a biological one also. However, there can be dramatic physiological (physical) differences within the same genetic species (biological?). For instance, a six foot eight inch tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Swede has dramatic physiological differences (a different phenotype) from a Congolese pygmy, but both are still very much of the same species.
    Differences in height, hair color, blue-eyes and to some extent nationality (ethnicity) are all ultimately genetic differences even within a single species, which is still biology. There are zero natural physical differences I can think of between earth-based organisms that are no solely a result of biology. Other than identical twins, no two individuals are genetically identical and therefore no two individuals are physically identical.

    Of course one could bring in cosmetic surgery, amputations, steroids, scars, burns, haircuts, tattoos, stretched-necks, stretched-ears, bones-through-noses, etc at this point as examples of "non genetic physical differences" but I don't think that's what he was referring to, nor would it be related to the topic in any way I can figure.
    Last edited by luckyscars; December 4th, 2018 at 04:40 PM.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    There are zero natural physical differences I can think of between earth-based organisms that are no solely a result of genetics. Other than identical twins, no two individuals are genetically identical and therefore no two individuals are physically identical.
    The problem is that genotype to phenotype mapping is not one-to-one. Two tigers with identical genes will have different stripes. There's also environmental determinants in under or over-expressing many genes, meaning given identical genotypes two organisms in even slightly different surroundings can express different phenotypes (not to the point of having tentacles instead of arms though).

    This paper's an interesting read, getting away from the 'DNA as blueprint' metaphor. Also further evidence that sci-fi is just as hard to research as 'normal' fiction, if not harder.
    Last edited by epimetheus; December 4th, 2018 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Is it a metaphor or an analogy?

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Differences in height, hair color, blue-eyes and to some extent nationality (ethnicity) are all ultimately genetic differences even within a single species, which is still biology. There are zero natural physical differences I can think of between earth-based organisms that are no solely a result of biology. Other than identical twins, no two individuals are genetically identical and therefore no two individuals are physically identical.

    Of course one could bring in cosmetic surgery, amputations, steroids, scars, burns, haircuts, tattoos, stretched-necks, stretched-ears, bones-through-noses, etc at this point as examples of "non genetic physical differences" but I don't think that's what he was referring to, nor would it be related to the topic in any way I can figure.
    The conversation had devolved into a discussion of physical vs biological differences. I was simply pointing out that those terms aren't accurate for the discussion. In discussing the nature of humans 10,000 years from now talking about 'physical' vs 'biological' traits is going to cause confusion (and it seems to have done just that). More precise language is needed.

    BTW: Even identical twins are not genetically identical for long. Environmental factors make subtle alterations between individuals at the gene level very early on. For all practical purposes identical twins are genetically the same, but there are small, detectable, differences.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.