Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Science fiction and magical thinking

I suppose it might be nice to speak a little about the fallacy of science fiction as realistic.

The 'future', as such, is an idea with no extrinsic reality. It is supported or sustained by language structures like "What if...", "Suppose...", and "Hypothetically speaking...". Thus ideas that depend on the idea of the future can be of two kinds: ideas that are fantasy, invention, and daydream, or ideas that falsely assert their own reality AS THE FUTURE.

I had wondered why so much science fiction was so pervasively negative, and now I have my answer. It is because it must pretend to a reality, act as if the future is real now, that does not exist. It is based on a lie.

That is not to say it is not nice and interesting to think about what is now and what it will become in time to come. But what is now and what will be are, respectively, real and unreal.

The game of science fiction to a very large degree seems to be about who can most professionally pull the wool over their and their readers eyes as to what is real now, and create the illusion that something is real now which is not.

Science fiction seems to rely almost totally on magical thinking. And the way to avoid it is to deflate the ego-invested (and ego-invented) notion of futurity-as-reality, and instead focus on the human drama of the story, which is timeless anyhow.


Blogger WryterBoi said...

Can I be inflammatory?

What has been is just as unreal as what is to come. No matter how much depth we seek to bring to our memories, we are to borrow from William Zissner, 'inventing the truth' no matter how well we think we remember events.

To extend your argument to its logical extreme, everything that doesn't take place in the present is false.

All fiction makes a choice about what truth to present; that's why it's called point-of-view - and some of the best characters can be unreliable narrators.

3:53 AM


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