Storytelling, the Eternal Art
Storytelling has been prevalent in every civilisation we know of – for instruction, for inspiration, and, of course, for entertainment. Primitive societies told stories of heroism and horror, illustrated by the light of flickering torches on masks and rock-art images, and augmented with crude percussion instruments. The media industry has just carried on the tradition, with a touch more technological wizardry.
We like to be frightened, charmed and seduced by our storytellers, be it in a realistic context or in pure fantasy, and we like a good clear moral lesson at the end of it.
Fantasy can be charming, but credibility is compelling
A lot of Sci-fi is pure fantasy, the product of a rich imagination which is not accountable to reality as we know it. Very entertaining at times, but too improbable to worry about. Futuristic Realism on the other hand takes us as we are – and we are not going to evolve much in the next few generations – and places us in a credible near-future situation extrapolated from the present.
The grandchildren of today’s children will, on a scale somewhere between possible and probable, have to deal with the consequences of exponential technological progress, over-population stress, relentless global warming, and conflict over resources – all in the context of our unremitting ethnic enmities. Our evolutionary process is, after all, rooted in aggressive competition, the survival of the fittest only. It will take enlightened global leadership of a kind unknown in our civilisation to change it. This all makes great storytelling material, liberally spiced with suspense and romance, and provides huge scope for media creativity.
The aliens we’ll meet will have had similar evolutionary processes
But on top of that, our irrepressible urge to explore and innovate will superimpose another dimension: the capacity for intra-stellar travel and our first direct interface with intelligent alien life. We are likely to meet them in an environment that we would both seek to colonise, and would resemble our home planet as closely as possible. If that is the case, our evolutionary processes, and their output, would probably be rather similar. Oxygen and water-dependence, habitat, food, language, sight, dexterity, all in common; socialised, ambitious, cunning…
How will we communicate? Negotiate? Avoid conflict? And what if they have a 100 years or more of technology advancement on us?
Futuristic Realism demands answers
Futuristic Realism asks the questions and demands answers in a credible context. If that provides the impetus for us to address the challenge of our own instinctive aggression, and the abuse of our home planet, then it will have been inspirational as well as entertaining.
PrometheusTags: Exponential Technology Development, Futuristic Realism, Global Warming, Intelligent Extraterrestrial Civilisations, Storytelling