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The line between science fiction and true science is often thin
January 18, 2013 11:25 AM   Subscribe

In 1990, Isaac Asimov was working on a TV series to bridge science fiction and science fact, "synthesizing his visionary ideas about where humanity is going." He passed away in 1992, and the series never progressed beyond the pilot, which was re-worked and released as the documentary Visions of the Future (YouTube playlist, via Brainpickings, which calls the video "essentially, the antithesis to the Future Shock [documentary] narrated by Orson Welles").

Futurologist Alvin Toffler's 1970 book Future Shock was influential enough in its own time, with Curtis Mayfield recording a song with that title (Soultrain performance) and released it on his album Back to the World. Herbie Hancock remade the song, which was released on the album of the same name.
posted by filthy light thief (12 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Visions of the Future was found via io9, which has some more thoughts on the topic and links to peruse.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:27 AM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


As Neil deGrasse Tyson told io9 last year, "Good science fiction inspires people to pursue science every time."

I wish we had some of that these days.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:30 AM on January 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Welles/Toffler previously
posted by obscurator at 11:37 AM on January 18, 2013


Orson Welles meets HG Wells.

I love it when worlds collide.
posted by Fizz at 11:40 AM on January 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Science Fiction 1990: The United States will have a Black President in 20 years.
Science Fact 2012: President Barack Hussein Obama

oooooooeeeeeeoooooooo!
posted by Renoroc at 3:19 PM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had no idea Welles did a documentary for Future Shock.
I love me some Future Shock, Toffler's or Tharg's.
posted by Mezentian at 3:52 PM on January 18, 2013


Science Fact 2012: President Barack Hussein Obama

Not just President, but judge, jury and executioner as well. Almost like real Pharaonic royalty. Cuz it better to be led.
posted by Twang at 4:55 PM on January 18, 2013


Curse you IO9! Stop posting cool stuff, and making me forget you're part of the Gawker network!
posted by happyroach at 5:26 PM on January 18, 2013


Black president, moon just happens to be the same size as the sun in the sky. Dick Tracy's wrist radio looks as primitive as a stone-age hand-axe (how about those adjectival dashes, huh?)

We are all in some jerkwater sci-fi simulation of the real world. Wake up sheeple, for all the good it will do.
posted by hexatron at 6:02 PM on January 18, 2013


I've never even heard of this documentary before, or seen anything but photographs of Asimov. Thank you so much, filthy light thief!
posted by Kevin Street at 11:35 PM on January 18, 2013


I had no idea Welles did a documentary for Future Shock.

Narrated. It was actually done by the same guy who directed The Wave [previously].

This was getting perilously close to "sell no wine before its time" Welles.

Future Shock really looks like primitive Friedman to me, now. "I talked to a cab driver in Kuala Lumpur and he is amazed at how fast the world is changing..." One big argument by anecdote, in other words.

On the other hand, the first few minutes of this Visions thing are pretty dull stuff.
posted by dhartung at 12:04 AM on January 19, 2013


Not just President, but judge, jury and executioner as well. Almost like real Pharaonic royalty. Cuz it better to be led.

Hate to break it to you but American Presidents have been doing all those things for a while now :^)

Swerving back on topic, Asimov was a frequent guest at our local Philcon Science Fiction Conference strictly because he could take the train. The man didn't fly.
posted by djrock3k at 7:52 AM on January 19, 2013


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