Ambivalence in pop culture’s treatment of technoscience
Reading "Follow for Now: Interviews with Friends and Heroes" while scouting for LIFT speakers, I was struck by this quote from Eugene Thacker (the interview is available here):
"these sciences and technologies are normalized in a way that the general public going to a film will “accept” their inclusion as a matter of course. Certainly there are always SF geeks who dispute the technical accuracy of how the genetic mutation actually creates the superhero or villain, but on a general level these technosciences have become a part of a certain cultural imaginary. So the question is “What conditions had to be in place such that these particular technosciences could become normalized as a part of a certain world-view?” Perhaps this process is somewhat parallel to the normalization of medicine and public health practices themselves.
So I think that popular culture is relevant, not because I believe that films should educate and moralize, but because there is actually a great deal of ambivalence in pop culture’s treatment of technoscience. We can’t live without it, and yet it seems to be our downfall. The movies that moralize about the ineradicable human spirit do so using the most advanced computer graphics and special effects. There’s also a sense in many of these films, books, and comics that we as a culture are not quite sure what to do with all of this information and all these gadgets. It’s almost as if the greatest challenge posed to SF now is finding something interesting to do with all the technology that exists."
Why do I blog this? because this is one of these questions that keeps me awake at night after a daily dose of "pop culture’s treatment of technoscience". As a user experience researcher, working with designers, engineers (both from academia and companies), I am concerned by this normalization and how to take other paths, other fringes (that's actually the near-future laboratory/liftlab's concern)