Science-Fiction and the Profit Motive of Advancing Technology


During the past few months – as you can probably tell – I have not had much time to write blogs. This is not due to a lack of ideas or motivation, simply a lack of time to collate ideas on differing subjects and post them to you folks. As well as this, my current job situation leads me to work around 50 hour weeks so my free-time is often consumed by escapism, such as gaming and reading. The paradox of this lifestyle is that the mind is left unmotivated and in a highly creative state. One thought which I have been pondering for some time is the topic of advancing technology.

As some of you may know I have an enduring passion for science-fiction, any idea about a dystopian, utopian or future situation of humanity will draw me to it. During reading and netflix watching I have found that lots of sci-fi seeks to caricature a future situation of mankind. This future civilization, advanced with heightened technology and materialism is often highly encapsulating, emotive and can be seemingly accurate. Despite this such caricatures can neglect the potent power of ostracization. How could wearing such ridiculous clothing, or bizarre-looking make-up ever become acceptable with the combined amount of ridicule that individuals are subject to during their lifetime? Your answer will most probably be that such creations are fictional and do not attempt to project a future course for mankind. And in turn: yes, I accept this, however they automatically trigger an ideological and emotional reaction with regards to the current situation of the globe.

I suppose any answer depends on how much you feel the middle class have any say over fashion trends and technological advancement. I am not really qualified to comment on the former, although I can surmise that despite capitalisms inequality of power distribution, we still have an economic situation based primarily on two parts: the producer and the consumer. Particularly in this age of advanced capitalism (in the west), brand management and consumer buying power can and does dictate trends and fashions. In this way, the power is within the ordinary populaces grasp, or at least the middle class – those who have money to pursue such trends.

recenttrendsWith regards to the latter, once again it can be argued that consumers have some control over technology, at least in the western world. Similarly to fashion trends, consumer buying power dictates where creative energy will be directed. No new gizmo or gadget will be manufactured purely for the ideas sake, unless for select military purposes. I wish to propose that new technology is highly selective under capitalism. Hence why advancements in the mobile phone and computer technology sector have been so tremendous when compared to trains or say building materials. This is quite simply because there is more profit to be had in mobile phone and computer technology than in nearly any other sector. No matter how important to the economy or societies advancement it may be. Crucially, is such a relationship sustainable? Throughout history we have already seen the consequences of profit as the the sole motive of advancement – global warming, poverty, global inequality and imperialism to name a few. In typical science-fiction fashion, do we accept humanities decline or set off into space to continue our profit guzzling destruction across the galaxy?

To conclude, whilst not one of my most informative blog topics, I find my creative juices flowing at the prospects of science-fiction at the moment. Short story ideas and blog topics galore, hopefully some more to come!
All comments welcome below…

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