Sci-Fi As An Early Warning System

MIT’s Dan Novy thinks speculative fiction can help tech innovators make better products:

Frederick Pohl once said that it wasn’t the job of science fiction authors to create the automobile 330-1but to describe the traffic jam. It follows that it is our job as technologists not to avoid creating the automobile, but to look at the traffic jam and design so that doesn’t happen. Thinking about these things at the beginning and iteratively throughout the process allows us to create better technology. Just as storytelling gives you more lives to live, speculative design or science fiction prototyping gives you more iterations to consider before your creation goes out into the wild and becomes hard to control. Once a genie is out of the bottle, it isn’t inclined to allow itself to be stuffed back in.

Previous Dish on the growing field of space law here.