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(The Millions)   Some sci fi writer from 1969 correctly predicted some life today, including a President Obomi. No word on Obomi's birth certificate   (themillions.com) divider line 43
    More: Amusing, President Obomi, fictional world, artificial brain, racial tension, network news, big bets, subplots, sci-fi  
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5587 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 27 Mar 2013 at 8:46 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-27 09:11:07 AM
Thanks Obomi
 
2013-03-27 09:19:58 AM
With the amount of science fiction books published every year, eventually SOMEBODY is gonna make spookily accurate predictions.

Most of them get it totally wrong.
 
2013-03-27 09:25:34 AM
Is the author dead? If so, how did he die?
 
2013-03-27 09:26:41 AM

Gunther: With the amount of science fiction books published every year, eventually SOMEBODY is gonna make spookily accurate predictions.

Most of them get it totally wrong.


True, but you would expect to only be right on a couple plot points, not that many the size of the list is whats impressive.
 
2013-03-27 09:27:52 AM

s2s2s2: Is the author dead? If so, how did he die?


Lack of healthcare? Drone strike?
 
2013-03-27 09:37:04 AM
"President" HUSSEIN Obomi
 
2013-03-27 09:39:26 AM

s2s2s2: Is the author dead? If so, how did he die?


Got runned over by a time machine.
 
2013-03-27 09:40:25 AM
Well, let's see how prescient the author was in 1969:

(1) Random acts of violence by crazy individuals, often taking place at schools, plague society in Stand on Zanzibar.

You mean crazy individuals like Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray?

(2) The other major source of instability and violence comes from terrorists, who are now a major threat to U.S. interests, and even manage to attack buildings within the United States.

Weather Underground


(5) Europeans have formed a union of nations to improve their economic prospects and influence on world affairs. In international issues, Britain tends to side with the U.S., but other countries in Europe are often critical of U.S. initiatives.

The EEC had been around since the 1950s - some form of economic union to compete with the US was inevitable.

(6) Africa still trails far behind the rest of the world in economic development, and Israel remains the epicenter of tensions in the Middle East.

Tension in the Middle East is not a new thing; just read the Bible. Nor does it look to end soon, either: as Dave Barry once said, "In the aftermath of a nuclear war, when the only surviving life form on earth is cockroaches, the cockroaches on the Middle East will be tense."

(7) Although some people still get married, many in the younger generation now prefer short-term hookups without long-term commitment.

Yeah, they didn't call it "the swinging 60s" for nothing.


(12) TV news channels have now gone global via satellite.

Our World

(13) TiVo-type systems allow people to view TV programs according to their own schedule.

The first home VCRs were available in 1963.

This seems like one of those articles 30 years ago that described how many of the "predictions" in 1984 came true, when most of them were already true when Orwell wrote the book in 1948.
 
2013-03-27 09:51:24 AM
Some science fiction author? John Brunner was a seminal New Wave author who won the Hugo and Nebula.  Most of what he wrote was a refreshing shift from the rather bland style of the Heinleins and Asimovs and helped moved science fiction into a legitimate literary pursuit. To Stand on Zanzibar is an excellent and beautifully written novel.
 
2013-03-27 09:53:35 AM
i read stand on zanzibar a long time ago and i remember liking it, but don't remember any specifics of the plot.  i do know that john brunner is (was) a damn good writer and i've read several books of his that were all excellent.
 
2013-03-27 10:10:38 AM

puckrock2000: The first home VCRs were available in 1963.


Yeah, in the sense that personal jet packs are available today.
 
2013-03-27 11:27:35 AM
Obomi pls

actuallyamdolan.com
 
2013-03-27 11:36:40 AM

vudukungfu: s2s2s2: Is the author dead? If so, how did he die?

Got runned over by a time machine.


DAMN YOU OBOMI
 
2013-03-27 12:19:20 PM

puckrock2000: Well, let's see how prescient the author was in 1969:

(1) Random acts of violence by crazy individuals, often taking place at schools, plague society in Stand on Zanzibar.
You mean crazy individuals like Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray?

(2) The other major source of instability and violence comes from terrorists, who are now a major threat to U.S. interests, and even manage to attack buildings within the United States.
Weather Underground

(5) Europeans have formed a union of nations to improve their economic prospects and influence on world affairs. In international issues, Britain tends to side with the U.S., but other countries in Europe are often critical of U.S. initiatives.
The EEC had been around since the 1950s - some form of economic union to compete with the US was inevitable.

(6) Africa still trails far behind the rest of the world in economic development, and Israel remains the epicenter of tensions in the Middle East.
Tension in the Middle East is not a new thing; just read the Bible. Nor does it look to end soon, either: as Dave Barry once said, "In the aftermath of a nuclear war, when the only surviving life form on earth is cockroaches, the cockroaches on the Middle East will be tense."

(7) Although some people still get married, many in the younger generation now prefer short-term hookups without long-term commitment.
Yeah, they didn't call it "the swinging 60s" for nothing.

(12) TV news channels have now gone global via satellite.
Our World

(13) TiVo-type systems allow people to view TV programs according to their own schedule.
The first home VCRs were available in 1963.

This seems like one of those articles 30 years ago that described how many of the "predictions" in 1984 came true, when most of them were already true when Orwell wrote the book in 1948.


Isn't a major factor in predictions to notice a trend and anticipate its change/results/continued development. Not that I don't respect your analysis. You cast many a valid point but the fact still remains that "prediction" is still the accurate noun in this situation.  For instance from my wikipedia consultation I see they even note his correct prediction of the world population, something one could have easily just extrapolated on a graph in 1968.I haven't read the book however, so I'm unsure how vague or exact the other predictions are.

Does Obomi have Afram heritage?
 
2013-03-27 12:27:52 PM

sjmcc13: Gunther: With the amount of science fiction books published every year, eventually SOMEBODY is gonna make spookily accurate predictions.

Most of them get it totally wrong.

True, but you would expect to only be right on a couple plot points, not that many the size of the list is whats impressive.


This; it's eerie how accurate (or close to it) he got to today's society.
 
2013-03-27 12:28:01 PM
Christ what an imagination he had
 
2013-03-27 01:01:10 PM

luidprand: Some science fiction author? John Brunner was a seminal New Wave author who won the Hugo and Nebula.  Most of what he wrote was a refreshing shift from the rather bland style of the Heinleins and Asimovs and helped moved science fiction into a legitimateSLOBBER SLURP POLISH POLISH GULP RUB SWALLOW



STOP LIKING WHAT I DON'T LIKE!!!
 
2013-03-27 01:19:30 PM
Chad Mulligan quotes from the book

Logic:The principle governing human intelligence. Its nature may be deduced from examining the two following propositions, both of which are held by human beings to be true and often by the same people: "I can't so you mustn't," and "I can but you mustn't."

Leadership: A form of self-preservation exhibited by people with autodestructive imaginations in order to ensure that when it comes to the crunch it'll be someone else's bones which go crack and not their own.

Unfair: Term applied to advantages enjoyed by other people which we tried to cheat them out of and didn't manage.

Rather painfully, we managed to digest Darwinian evolution so far as physical characteristics are concerned within half a century of the initial controversy. (I say "we," but if you're a bible-thumping fundamentalist I expect you at this point to take the book by one corner at arm's length and ceremonially consign it to the place where you put most sensible ideas, along with everything else you decline to acknowledge the existence of, such as mainly shiat.)

We're aware of the scale of the planet, so we don't accept that our own circumscribed horizons constitute reality. Much more real is what's relayed to us by the TV.

Any society which gives lip-service to the idea of equal opportunity is going to generate jealousy of others who are better off than you are, even if the thing that's in short supply can't be carved up and shared without destroying it.

If you want to know what's shortly due for the guillotine look for the most obvious of all symptoms: extremism. It is an almost infallible sign - a kind of death-rattle - when a human institution is forced by its members into stressing those and only those factors which are identificatory, at the expense of others which it necessarily shares with competing institutions because human beings belong to all of them.

In an individual one would regard it as evidence of insanity to see someone repeatedly undertaking enterprises that resulted in his losing precisely what he claimed he was trying to achieve; it is not less lunatic to do it on the international scale, but if youve been catching the news lately youll have noticed its being done more than ever.
 
2013-03-27 01:33:38 PM

puckrock2000: The first home VCRs were available in 1963.


I'm pretty sure it was 1966.

But the important thing is that 1969 wasn't that long ago, and a lot of the things he predicted were already starting to happen when he wrote the book (like Detroit turning into a ghost town; that started when the car companies started leaving the city in the 1930s).
 
2013-03-27 01:39:51 PM
Shockwave Rider is pretty good Brunner too.  I also liked Spinrad's "Little Heroes" to read along with Zanzibar.
 
2013-03-27 01:50:53 PM
Brunner's works are good for getting an understanding of what was cutting edge thinking in the 60s and 70s. Because of that, they seem a little dated and histrionic today, but the lyrical writing, excellent characters, and fascinating world building make them more than worthwhile reading. The underrated Squares of the City, for example, discusses how psychology and architecture can intermesh and is based on the planned cities of the early-to-mid 20th century, like Brasilia and Tel Aviv.
 
2013-03-27 02:28:08 PM
Other science fiction books have occasionally made successful predictions, from Jules Verne's Around the Moon (1865), which eerily anticipated many details of the Apollo program, to William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984) with its descriptions of cyberspace and hackers.

Isn't that because much of the terminology was lifted straight from Gibson, including the term cyberspace?
 
2013-03-27 02:30:43 PM
How.....eerily prescient of you, Mr. Brunner.
 
2013-03-27 02:44:43 PM

ArkPanda: Other science fiction books have occasionally made successful predictions, from Jules Verne's Around the Moon (1865), which eerily anticipated many details of the Apollo program, to William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984) with its descriptions of cyberspace and hackers.

Isn't that because much of the terminology was lifted straight from Gibson, including the term cyberspace?


Yeah, seriously, so many people who were inventing the concepts we think of as "the internet" were either huge fans of Gibson, or fans of the same sources he drew his own inspiration from. Also, nerds.
 
2013-03-27 03:32:27 PM
Books closely predicting future events, while not common, are not that rare either. In 1898 the novel "Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan" was published about a disaster concerning a ship of unheard of size and speed, at least for 1898- the following synopsis is from Wikipedia:

Similarities to the Titanic

Although the novel was written before the Olympic-class Titanic was even designed, there are some remarkable similarities between both the fictional and real-life versions. Like the Titanic, the fictional ship sank in April in the North Atlantic, and there were not enough lifeboats for the passengers. There are also similarities between the size (800 ft (244 m) long for Titan versus 882 ft 9 in (269 m) long for the Titanic[2]), speed (25 knots for Titan, 22.5 knots for Titanic[3]) and life-saving equipment.

Beyond the name, the similarities between the Titanic and the fictional Titan include:[4]

Both were triple screw (propeller)
Described as "unsinkable"
The Titanic was the world's largest luxury liner (882 feet (269 m), displacing 63,000 long tons), and was once described by newspapers as being "designed to be unsinkable" and "virtually unsinkable".[5]
The Titan was the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men (800 feet, displacing 75,000 tons, up from 45,000 in the 1898 edition), and was deemed "practically unsinkable" (as quoted in Robertson's book).
Shortage of lifeboats
The Titanic carried only 16 lifeboats, plus 4 Engelhardt folding lifeboats,[6] less than half the number required for her passenger and crew capacity of 3000.
The Titan carried "as few as the law allowed", 24 lifeboats, less than half needed for her 3000 capacity.
Struck an iceberg
Moving at 22½ knots,[7] the Titanic struck an iceberg on the starboard side on the night of April 14, 1912, in the North Atlantic, 400 nautical miles (740 km; 460 mi) away from Newfoundland.
Moving at 25 knots, The Titan also struck an iceberg on the starboard side on an April night in the North Atlantic, 400 nautical miles (740 km; 460 mi) from Newfoundland (Terranova).
Sinking
The unsinkable Titanic sank, and more than half of her 2200 passengers and crew died.
The indestructible Titan also sank, more than half of her 2500 passengers drowning.
The Titanic went down bow first, the Titan actually capsizing before it sank.


Jules Verne, HG Wells and other Science Fiction writers predicted a lot of inventions that didn't yet exist when they wrote about them. I am sure if you were to read authors well known or forgotten from the last 200 years you'd find lots of eerie similarities to events that happened after the books were published.
 
2013-03-27 04:12:00 PM
Hister.
 
2013-03-27 04:24:42 PM
GIS for President Obomi

farm3.static.flickr.com
 
2013-03-27 05:04:20 PM
This is bad news... for Obomi.
 
2013-03-27 05:32:58 PM
The most prophetic thing I've read was Project for a New American Century.
 
2013-03-27 06:27:24 PM
I love "Stand on Zanzibar" (and "The Sheep Look Up"). I grab them off the shelf every few years and re-read them. Always catch something I missed/forgot from the last time I read them.
 
2013-03-27 07:01:38 PM

Mixolydian Master: GIS for President Obomi

[farm3.static.flickr.com image 237x344]


Now THIS is a farking.....


*dons sunglasses*


.....Obomi-nation.

/Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!
 
2013-03-27 07:06:39 PM
all you Obomi haters are racist
 
2013-03-27 07:28:56 PM
Been reading lots of Asimov recently. A common point in many of his works is that AI/computer brains are so expensive that a businessman suggests removing the AI from fifty year old autonomous cars to fit into new cars. Hardly a prediction of Moore's Law there...
He also had a society with AI robots being common but the hero needs to find a payphone to call someone.
 
2013-03-27 08:10:53 PM

s2s2s2: Is the author dead? If so, how did he die?


Heart attack at a convention IIRC.  It was between '94 and '96 (I was at work when I heard about it via the newfangled intratubes, and remember talking to a co-worker about him for a while).
 
2013-03-27 11:32:09 PM

Flint Ironstag: Been reading lots of Asimov recently. A common point in many of his works is that AI/computer brains are so expensive that a businessman suggests removing the AI from fifty year old autonomous cars to fit into new cars. Hardly a prediction of Moore's Law there...
He also had a society with AI robots being common but the hero needs to find a payphone to call someone.


Most sci-fi got it glaringly wrong. They extrapolated bigger and better machinery because by the 1960s that's what 1860-1960 looked like.
 
2013-03-28 12:16:45 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Flint Ironstag: Been reading lots of Asimov recently. A common point in many of his works is that AI/computer brains are so expensive that a businessman suggests removing the AI from fifty year old autonomous cars to fit into new cars. Hardly a prediction of Moore's Law there...
He also had a society with AI robots being common but the hero needs to find a payphone to call someone.

Most sci-fi got it glaringly wrong. They extrapolated bigger and better machinery because by the 1960s that's what 1860-1960 looked like.


Even 2001, made in 1969, had payphones. Did anyone ever predict modern smartphones? Or that they'd be so cheap that schoolchildren could afford them?

/2001 did have iPads though. So I'll give them that.
 
2013-03-28 01:33:10 AM
This was somewhat impressive. The President Obomi thing was pretty eerie. The rest is clever, but nothing that special. Carry on.
 
2013-03-28 02:43:40 AM

Xanlexian: Obomi pls


Brilliant
 
2013-03-28 10:17:02 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Flint Ironstag: Been reading lots of Asimov recently. A common point in many of his works is that AI/computer brains are so expensive that a businessman suggests removing the AI from fifty year old autonomous cars to fit into new cars. Hardly a prediction of Moore's Law there...
He also had a society with AI robots being common but the hero needs to find a payphone to call someone.

Most sci-fi got it glaringly wrong. They extrapolated bigger and better machinery because by the 1960s that's what 1860-1960 looked like.


In one of the Foundation novels, Foundation and Empire IIRC, an officer in the Empire's Navy was amazed at a personal shield generator the size of a walnut, since the smallest Empire unit was the size of a house.
 
2013-03-28 03:54:01 PM
The difference between President Obomi and President Obama is that Obama hasn't taken any stand on Zanzibar--or much of anything, it sometimes seems to his Democrat and Liberal critics.

(rimshot)

But seriously, folks, most of those predictions weren't all that difficult, and the author gets other things wrong or is dated by them. Par for the prophetic course, despite the length of the list. Prophets, I always say, are much better at predicting the past than the future, and even predict the present better than the future. You can see this pattern in the work of all the famous prophecies (the Bible included--take a look at Daniel and Daniel-based prophecies) and is repeated by Saint Malachy, Nostradamus, etc.

Clear and easy-to-identify prophecies of stuff that had already happened at the date of writing (rather than the alleged date of writing), some hits at current affairs and a lot of vague, fuzzy and wrong shiat about the future is the normal course of prophecy. You can date the prophecies by the break between predictions of the past and predictions of the present or future. For example, the Book of Daniel was clearly written after Alexander the Great and the Hellenization of the Holy Land. Revelation is clearly dated to the reign of Nero or Diocletian at the latest. Nostradomus clearly wrote from the era in which he lived, and Malachy simply made up a list of emblems and mottos for future Popes which were vague enough for everybody to find them in every pope, the way that every star sign fits your personality if you believe it does.

I took a test once and found four star signs that fit my personality better than my own and an equal number that were worse, leaving four that were so-so, including my own. No better than you would expect from chance or random "placebo" type effects.

The moral is, it is indeed, stick to predicting stuff that has already happened, would be Nostradumbasses. And make your speech not too explicit when predicting anything you can't read about in the morning homeopaps, Bubba.

I've been reading a far amount of SF from the 1960s, etc., in addition to what I read as a kid, and they often get some things right and some things painfully wrong. It's hard nowadays to read futuristic novels where people still use typewriters and where computers are still room-sized analog devices.

I think it would be fun to write a SF parody where you go out of your way to get as many things ludicrously wrong as possible, but color within the lines of period expectations. Say, write a 1950s style novel with painfully stupid attitudes towards women and race, along with flying cars and moving sidewalks.

By the way, moving sidewalks were invented in the XIXth century--they had them in very limited use in some places such as New York in the 1890s--we don't have as many as we used to because they are enormously costly and useless despite our enormous and costly butts, but they were about 50 or 60 years old when the cartoon The Jetsons made use of them as a futuristic and comic device.

I have seen them used in airports and they have them in some places where they want to move people at a given rate whether people want to move or not. For example, the Mona Lisa hangs above an escalator in the Louvre so that they can keep people moving along. Otherwise 99% of visitors would never catch a distant glimpse of the famous (and quite small) painting. (It's about the size of a small computer screen, a family portrait or a book.)

One thing I dislike is future slang. It is usually really horrible and annoying. Very few writers can come up with plausible and not too infuriating slang. Philip K. Dick had a few  good ideas but some of his language is dated as well as some of his basic expectations (or fears) of the future. For example, the United Nations is hardly a superpower to rival the USA, Russia or China, and it has not got a space program. All in all, Phatdick, as he called himself (because he couldn't call himself "Lover of Horses Dick"--I just got that) is one of the best but still a bit off sometimes. His attitude towards women (the women in his personal life) shows through in his novels. It is a bit "stereotyped" so that you recognize the pattern of relationships over and over. I don't care but this is hardly unusual. Generals are always fighting the last war, as they say.
 
2013-03-28 03:58:52 PM
The best way to debunk Nostradamus is to collect books on his "prophecies" from different periods of history and different countries, and then note carefully (OR CARELESSLY FOR THAT MATTER) how every century and every country is entirely convinced that all of the prophetic Quatrains are about their own time and their own place.

The US, France, Germany, the UK, Russia--Nostradamus correctly predicted four centuries or more of events (once they were past and could be recognized as true) in all of the countries where people read him.

He did this very economically using the same four lines of bad verse and vague but popular symbols for every country and every event in all time.

If people are still reading this crap (and they are, despite the end date of history being stale-dated), in a thousand years time, new countries, new dictators and so forth will be predicted just as accurately as they were in the 1600s, the 1700s, the 1800s, etc.

It's not prophecy. It's a Rorschach Blot Test for stupid and credulous people, especially the ones who think they are clever and a hard sell.
 
2013-03-28 07:00:26 PM

brantgoose: One thing I dislike is future slang. It is usually really horrible and annoying. Very few writers can come up with plausible and not too infuriating slang.


One of the things I notice in Asimov's work is the opposite, A character will call what is supposed to be a common device by its full clumsy technical name. It would be like us always saying "I went to the automatic teller machine and entered my personal identification number..."  Just always stood out, though how much of that is down to the fact that we now have devices like that with common abbreviated names I can't decide.
 
2013-03-30 09:03:01 AM

brantgoose: It's hard nowadays to read futuristic novels where people still use typewriters and where computers are still room-sized analog devices.


this is my biggest gripe with older science-fiction.  i recently read non-stop by brian aldiss and it takes place in the distant future on this enormous generation starship, and the characters are using stuff like microfilm and paper books and writing things down on paper.  the novel was really great, but little anachronisms like that pull me away from the narrative.

brantgoose: One thing I dislike is future slang. It is usually really horrible and annoying.


don't read the book ambient by jack womack.  almost all of the dialogue is done in this bizarre slang and grammar that is actually kind of hard to read and understand.  personally i loved it because it felt so unique and trying to figure out what some of the dialogue meant was like solving a word puzzle.
 
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