here are the segments I was talking about from the Csicsery reading today on pages 3 and 4:

“SF embeds scientific-technical concepts in the broad sphere of human interests and actions, explaining them , mythologizing them, and explicitly attributing social value to them. This embedding may take many literary forms, from the exhumation of dead mythologies, pseudomimetic extrapolation, and satirical subversion, to utopian transformation and secularized apocalypse. It is an inherently, and radically, future-oriented process. Imaginary worlds of sf are pretended resolutions of dilemmas insoluble and often barely perceived ill
the present. The exact ontological status of sf worlds is suspended in anticipation. Unlike historical fiction (of which sf is a direct heir), where a less intense suspense operates because the out come of the past is still in the process of being completed in the present’s partisan conflicts, sf is suspended because all the relevant information about the future is never available. Because future developments influence revisions of the past, sf’s black box also involves the past, in the hesitation that comes in anticipating the complete revision of origins.”

“sf is not a genre of aesthetic entertainment only, but a complex hesitation about the relationship between imaginary conceptions and historical reality unfolding into the future. SF orients itself within a concept of history that holds that science and technology actively participate in the creation of reality, implanting human uncertainty into the natural/nonhuman world.”

“SF has become a form of discourse that directly engages contemporary language and culture, and that has, in this moment, a generic interest in the intersections of technology, scientific theory, and social practice.”

So Jeff was talking about how science fiction allows us to see how nova impact and change our society and how as designers, we need to consider social impact. The movie iRobot came to mind when he mentioned a passage from the reading:

“The sense of the sublime most characteristic of post-world war II sf is the technoscientific sublime, which entails asense of awe and dread in response to human technological projects that exceed the power of their human creators (Csicsery, 7)”.

The movie overview:

“It’s the year 2035, and the community now has the help of robots. These robots have three laws integrated into their system. One, they cannot harm a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Two, they must do whatever they’re told by a human being as long as such orders don’t conflict with law one. Three, they have to defend themselves as long as such defense doesn’t conflict with laws one or two. One day, the writer of the three laws, Alfred Lanning, apparently jumps out of the tenth-floor window of U.S. Robotics. The majority of the Chicago Police Department believe that he committed suicide, but Detective Del Spooner (Smith), who hates robots, thinks he was murdered, and the number one suspect is a Nestor Class-5 robot who calls himself Sonny. However, if it was Sonny, then that means he would’ve had to have broken the three laws. With the help of Dr. Susan Calvin, Spooner must now discover the truth before it’s too late” -youtube video description.

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