Science fiction: The playground of the intellect

In the extra reading this week, Brian David Johnson made a rather salient point regarding regarding science fiction I found extremely interesting.  He mentions writers having written fantastic stories about various technologies or other fictional events such as attending the moon over the years.  These stories, as they become more and more abundant, become part of our pop culture and not out of the ordinary to many of us.  When many of these stories come true, and the actual technology required to allow them to live is available, they’re not nearly as fantastical since we’ve been writing about them for so long.

This makes me question, that if stories were not written about huge triumphs for mankind such as visiting the moon, would that make them infinitely more important, and blow our minds beyond comprehension?  What about on a smaller scale?  Are there technologies that appear within science or design fiction which never even get created, since we can see their potential for not being useful within their postulated realm?  When making these pieces of design fiction real, is the role of science fiction to prepare us for possible future outcomes, and allow us to test the waters and choose which future is most preferred?

Is it possible to take this a step further, and utilize design fiction, or science fiction, as a way to prepare our culture for possible negative outcomes?  Can you mitigate the possibility for large scale disaster by inserting the possibility of it into our minds through design fiction, to lessen the initial emotional blow?





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