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Comment: John Brunner (1934-1995)

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John Brunner (1934-1995)

Was one of the great science fiction authors ever (IMHO):

Back in the late Sixties-early Seventies he wrote a number of
novels that dealt with over-population (Stand on Zanzibar, 1968),
genetic manipulation and environmental degradation (The Sheep Look Up, 1972)
and privacy and information technology (The Shockwave Rider, 1975).

All of these anticipated (as it turns out) trends in those areas that
have been born out to a great extent in reality. Brunner got some things
wrong, but his futures of back then look a lot like the reality of now,
or where we seem to be heading.

The point being though, if you look at how people saw the futures
he was describing *then* (when he was writing), they were pretty
much universally seen as very dark and dystopian, and people tended
to think things couldn't or wouldn't be that grim.

But they *did* and now, even people who have lived long enough to
remember the world otherwise (hey, Granger) tend to think that the
state of the world now (which resembles or sometimes surpasses
Brunner's dark futures) is somehow normal or got this way naturally
and that population won't be a problem, the environment will be fine...

People look at something like Syria and just write it off as people
killing each other off for no rational reason - without even considering
that the population of Syrian is something like 25 times what
it was a hundred years ago (under 1 million in 1910 to 22-24 million now)
and maybe that could be affecting things just a bit?

Sorry folks, this *is* dystopia (with some better gadgets and tastier coffee)
and it will get worse unless we manage to make it otherwise.