Before and after science (fiction)

To get going again, some words from our new sponsors.

John Thackara, “In the Bubble” (if you haven’t read it yet, why not?):

“…switch attention from science-[fiction] dominated futures to social fictions in which imagined new contexts enrich and otherwise familiar world. Design scenarios are powerful… because they make a possible future familiar and enable the participation of potential users in conceiving and shaping what they want”

H.G Wells, in an 1891 essay “The rediscovery of the unique”:

“Science is a match that man has just got alight. He thought he was in a room – in moments of devotion, a temple – and that his light would be reflected from and display walls inscribed with wonderful secrets and pillars carved with philosophical systems wrought into harmony. It is a curious sensation, now that the preliminary splutter is over and the flame burns up clear, to see his hands and just aglimpse of himself and the patch he stands on visible, and around him, in place of all that human comfort and beauty he anticipated – darkness still.”

T.S Eliot (in his 1940 commentary on H.G. Well’s ‘The first men in the moon’):

“We can have very little hope of contributing to any immediate social change; and we are more disposed to see our hope in modest and local beginnings, than in transforming the whole world at once. On the other hand , though the immediate aims are less glittering, they may prove less deceptive: for Mr. Wells, putting all his money on the near future, is walking very near the edge of despair; while we must keep alive aspirations which can remain valid throughout the longest and darkest period of universal calamity and degradation”

Last word to Mr. Wells:

“If the world does not please you, you can change it.”

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