Doctorow as a "presentist"
More about present and near future sci-fi with this interview of Cory Doctorow in The Guardian. It practically addresses "why he's not interested in predicting the future using science fiction, but influencing it". Doctorow describes himself as a "presentist", that is to say someone who writes metaphorically about the present (something every sci-fi writer do as he points out) and therefore "comment on the now" to "extrapolate the future". He then contrasts this with other forms of engagement with reality:
"The job of a science fiction writer, historically, has been to understand how technology and social factors interact," he says, "how technology is changing society. An activist's job is to try to direct that change."
Why do I blog this? simply find intriguing this sort of meme lately about the "near future". It's therefore interesting to observe what sci-fi has to say about it: an intriguing locus of interaction between the social and technologies. The reason why I am digging this down lately is that fiction plays an important role in both shaping our imagination towards various inventions and setting up the scenes about possible alternatives.