Note — Nov 25, 2018

Why We Need Utopian Fiction Now More Than Ever

We seem to be presented with dystopia after dystopia in tv and film in recent years. Eleanor Tremeer thinks we should consider more utopias, to help us dream and bring about a better future. Also cites some good arguments by Laurie Penny, and the term “ambitopia” by Redfern Jon Barrett for stories like The Expanse and Black Panther.

Although it could occasionally come off as preachy and naive, Star Trek remains inspirational for one simple reason: It allowed us to imagine a happy ending for humanity in a time when that seemed impossible. Now, as we face a future filled with corruption, yet more conflict, and the looming doom of global warming, imagining our happy ending may be the first step to achieving it. […]

At its core, utopia is just the idea that we can work together to create something wonderful. […]

After all, our lives certainly look rosier after we’ve spent an hour watching how much worse off we could be. And that’s the crux of the issue: We don’t want to watch perfect worlds when we aren’t living in one.

To wit, this example by Igor Schwarzmann on Instagram:

Blade Runner. Neuromancer. Snow Crash. Those are all cautionary tales, dystopia’s that are supposed to help us make decisions today. They’re not desirable futures. They’re the opposite. If you are designing products or, as it is here the case, conferences that aim to emulate those dystopia’s you’re making them real, accepting them not only as our current theme but prevents the space in which something actually better can become real.