Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.


 
Monday, August 16, 2004


Reading somewhere recently about Sci-Fi writers having a tough time predicting futures as we get closer and closer to the Singularity.

I think that's fundamentally inaccurate. I think sci-fs has become largely intellectually bankrupt because of the new generation of writers refuse to include social science - and when they do, it's always less than breathtaking. My favorite example is Foundation. Foundation was a novel based fundamentally on economics - because Asimov understood econ, he could create a world that seemed realistic, not contrived and arbitrary.

Other great examples Arthur C Clarke's Rama and his Fountains of Paradise (Hi Sir Arthur, I hope you are reading this!). In Rama, economics dictates the dynamics of the biots. Fountains of Paradise - now prophetic - understands that economics circumscribes exploration.

I read more sci-fi than I probably should. There are, to me, only two sci-fi writers currently writing who understand social science. The first is Bruce Sterling. He leaves me cold, because anyone with an understanding of the macro picture is not surprised or left with a sense of wonder by his predictions.

The other, otoh, is Stephen Baxter. I think his Evolution - written with a deep understanding of how energy economics shape advantage, selection, pressure, sociality, and structure - is one of the most momentous books I have read in a very, very long time. If you want to be provoked, I strongly recommend reading it.

-- umair // 1:10 PM // 0 comments


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