The Importance of Science Fiction

On Sunday evening, my wife Lauren and I went to go see the movie The Avengers at a near by movie theater.  So many of my friends had been talking about it.  I just had to see it.   While I didn’t grow up with comic books, I definitely have enjoyed getting to know the characters with the recent flurry of movies from Marvel.

The movie was phenomenal.  You can’t help but get swept up in all the all the action and all the futuristic technology.   I wish I could get my hands on a fraction of all the Tony Stark had in his lab.

The movie reminded me of a talk that I’d heard by LeVar Burton a few weeks earlier at the MamaBear conference in Mountain View, CA.  He talked about a lot but one thing that especially resonated was the importance of science fiction to society.  It’s important for us to dream and have something to shoot for, when we’re thinking about what the future might hold

I was a HUGE fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation growing up so when I think of LeVar Burton, I think of Geordi La Forge.  I can’t imagine how surreal it must be for LeVar.  20 years ago, I’m sure people laughed at the notion of the visor that he wore on the show.   Now we have the Google Project Glass.  On the show, they had the tricorder.  Now we have the iPhone.    It’s amazing how fantasy & reality are becoming so similar.

While people may balk at what they see in The Avengers, the idea of a centralized computer that talks to you and controls all the systems in your house, a clear computer screens that you can swipe with your hands Minority Report style, or even mechanized computer suit that you wear like Iron Man, I know that these technologies are under development and aren’t that far off from being mainstream.

So… who are the dreamers?  Who are the writers that are not just paving the way for the next 5 years but for the next 50?

Instagram & Angry Birds are great but… who’s shooting for the moon?

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