Science fiction or reality? Posted by Jordi Sierralonga
Every year they chanted “We present the car of the future!” News about the auto show. But how can a future vehicle exist in the present? We were kids and we were growing up and these cars had never been traded. Optical illusion collided, in times of fat cows, with the need to adapt to a real environment for which we denied evidence: from climate change to energy crises and the economy. It is true that we do not agree with Flying Skateboard from “Back to the Future II” (appeared on sale in 2015!); Although, unlike the auto show, this sci-fi story of the 1980s was not intended to create a technological chair but to entertain us.
Other times, science fiction is diluted with real science. We find examples in cinema, but also in literature and comics. Some of these stories even awaken servant ghosts. And so, while werewolves and aliens seemed harmless to me—they remained locked in fantasy—everything changed when I read Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.” I devoured the nineteenth century novel like me Discover a shocking fear. And not because of the alleged ugliness or behavior of the creature designed by Dr. Victor Frankenstein, but because The responsibilities that come with creating life through synthetic technologies. A lively ethical debate heightened after watching the movie Blade Runner (it’s impossible to forget the last words of the Rutger Hauer replica) and culminated in a clone Dolly the sheepin 1996.
I advocate scientific progress, though I oppose its misuse for commercial purposes. Such is the case with the sensational news about the mammoth-cloning race: a media claim that we should not confuse achievements on fossil DNA with extinctions, or genetic research and its applications in medicine. That is, such a resurrection would mean cloning a “monster”: the hybrid product of genetic material recovered and manipulated from an extinct mammoth, and the egg of a living snake. an experiment where an Asian elephant lends her womb—not voluntarily—for fetal development; A dangerous and useless whim without an interest in zoology or conservation. Something very close to Shelly’s nightmare.
And what happened with the premiere of “She” in 2013? The movie wants to take us to the near future. But it’s been known that far from immersing us in a science fiction movie, it turns us into “autobiographical” viewers of the society in which we actually live. People who, above expressing emotions with other humans, are attached to their operating systems. Of course we have Alexa and Siri personal assistants who are still a long way from the artificial intelligence of Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson in the original), but they sure are. We’ve seen relatives or acquaintances interact with their devices more than they do with their biological counterparts. And so, when Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with Samantha, it doesn’t seem strange or far away. Another fantasy world is actually real?
In the comic Semillas (Astiberri, 2021), writer Ann Nocenti and cartoonist David Aja describe the dystopia that Humanity, clinging to technological hope, is dying, having neglected nature. Science fiction authors move through scenarios that scientists have already been developing for years: climate change, the energy crisis, the emergence of new epidemics, and the loss of biodiversity. Without going any further, during the recent edition of the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, I came across a fantastic program full of fantasy films whose plots – and more as we go – are revealed in the context of Serious environmental and social problems in the future: “After Yang”, “Polaris”, “Rubicon”, “Slash/Return”, “Tropic” or “Vesper”. Perhaps that’s why director Paul Urquijo’s proposal was so interesting. In his wonderful “Irati” he justifies the myths and wisdom of the ancient indigenous people of the Irati Forest (Navarra). There is no doubt that real history lies in nature, biology and survival.
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