L5 and science fiction memes

From: Gene Doty (gdoty@fidnet.com)
Date: Mon 05 Jul 2004 - 23:01:07 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: L5 and science fiction memes"

    These postings suggest the following to me:

    It's common for people to say that "science fiction writers predict the future." (For some people, this seems the only justification for sf.)

    Arthur C. Clarke's imagining geosynchronous communication satilletes is a commonly cited example, although there are others.

    My point: rather than "predicting the future," a writer like Clarke is creating a meme and sending it out. If it finds appropriate vectors for replication it becomes a reality in the non-fictional world.

    I think the difference is that the common attitude attributes a kind of prophetic ability to the sf writer, whereas a memetic view sees the writer as a vector for memes that may or may not develop beyond the bounds of the fiction.

    I was infected with the space travel and immigration off-earth memes at 
    about 12 years old. They're still strong in me, although I've not acted 
    on them as Keith has. Anybody have any ideas about how the information 
    coming back from Saturn (the Cassini-Huygens probe) will affect the 
    whole space-exploration memeplex?
    Gene Doty
    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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