Saturday, 22 December, 2007 11:48 AM
Are We All Becoming Geeks?
results of a technologically dependent society
Tenn. – There was a time when admitting to being
a science fiction fan was tantamount to saying you were socially
inept, with acne, no friends and zero personality. However with
TV shows such as NBC’s “Heroes,” “Lost”
on ABC and even Sci-Fi Channel’s “Battlestar Galactica”
pulling in massive viewing figures on cable, it seems that the science
fiction is now very much in the mainstream.
We have all become geeks. It’s no use trying to argue that
you haven’t. The moment you put that RAZR onto your belt-loop
or in your purse you turned into a real life James T. Kirk or Lieutenant
Uhura. Own an ipod? Then you are a slave to high-tech gadgetry.
Did you see “The New Bionic Woman”? Face it; you’re
even watching science fiction on TV. We can’t escape the fact
that we live with and rely on science fiction. Like it or not, we
are all becoming Trekkies and sci-fi geeks.
“It always amazes me when people tell me they don’t
like science fiction,” says New York Times bestselling author
John Ringo, “I tell them ‘Oh you don’t? What about
the 280 songs you’ve got in that playlist on your cell phone
in your pocket!’ We have longer, healthier and more enriched
lives than any previous generation” he laughs, “and
a lot of these improvements come from sci-fi visionaries. But people
still complain and say they aren’t a part of it.”
But we are a part of it, or perhaps you prefer to think of it as
sci-fi becoming a part of us. It is staggering the number of things
we take for granted that people born as recently as our grandparents
would have considered the most far-fetched of science fiction pipe-dreams:
Digital watches, cell phones, ipods, laptops, Xbox’s, CGI
films, the Space Shuttle and Space Station, internet, heart transplants
– the list is endless. Yes, believe it or not we live the
lives of peoples once only depicted in science fiction books and
“Science fiction is about how technology changes society.”
explains Ringo, author of the new novel “Sister Time,”
“Anyone working in IT, communications, or electronics is a
sci-fi nerd, right? But these people are now the high earners; they
are the ones being courted by the advertisers, so in-turn they are
a prime target for TV companies and major studios who produce shows
and movies they will want to watch – and that in turn changes
But it is not just the movies that we watch that is reshaping society.
The very fact that there are millions of IT and communications jobs
these days also creates changes. As Ringo points out; “In
the 1960’s the only people making money out of technical science
jobs were the handful of people developing missiles. Today there
are millions of people making a living from jobs once thought of
as the property of science fiction. Follow the money.”
What then of the future, where will science-fiction lead us to next?
Our grandparents couldn’t believe it when our parents were
holding walkmans, our parents can’t believe we are holding
ipods; what will our children, or their children be holding?
“People won’t hold anything,” replies Ringo without
hesitation, “it will be full-implant. You won’t need
to hold anything because you’ll have a tiny chip in your head.”
It might seem like a crazy notion, but just think how crazy the
idea of an ipod would have been 30 years ago.
Stone-age. Bronze-age. Iron-age. The 21st century surely heralds
the dawn of… The Geek-Age.
About John Ringo
John Ringo is a nationally recognized best selling author and authority
on science fiction. He had visited 23 countries and attended 14
schools by the time he graduated high school, which left him with
a wonderful appreciation of the oneness of humanity and a permanent
aversion to foreign food. Ringo studied marine biology until he
realized the pay is awful, at which point he turned his attention
to database management and it’s associated paychecks. However,
fate stepped in and John became a professional science fiction writer,
authoring amongst others the New York Times best-selling series
“The Posleen Wars.” John has also done stints as an
op-ed writer for The New York Post and as a guest commentator for
Fox News. Having spent his younger years in the 82nd Airborne where
he rock-climbed, cave-dived, rappelled, hunted, spear-fished and
sailed, he is now content for others to risk their necks, preferring
himself to read, write and hang out in cigar bars. His latest novel
is “Sister Time” available from December 2007. John
Ringo’s website can be found at www.johnringo.com.
Source: News and