Sci Fi and the skeptic

Read any good books lately?
User avatar
Poodle
True Skeptic
Posts: 10851
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:12 pm
Custom Title: Post-bloom
Location: NE corner of my living room

Sci Fi and the skeptic

Post by Poodle » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:21 pm

It would appear from other topics here that a lot of forum members, presumably of a skeptical bent, read a lot of sci fi books.

I'm one of them, but I've never really wondered why. Is there something about sci fi which particularly appeals to the skeptical mind?

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Real Skeptic
Posts: 23828
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Sci Fi and the skeptic

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:47 pm

Poodle wrote:It would appear from other topics here that a lot of forum members, presumably of a skeptical bent, read a lot of sci fi books.

I'm one of them, but I've never really wondered why. Is there something about sci fi which particularly appeals to the skeptical mind?
For me, it's a matter of looking at a future world to see how science might affect our world. Rejuvenation? Teleportation? Mechanically assisted telepathy? Space travel? Scifi books take one or more things we might have in the future and puts it into a social framework. We can then see how the author speculates it would change things for us.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"
WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

User avatar
Major Malfunction
Has No Life
Posts: 14606
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:20 am
Custom Title: Dérailleur Énigmatique

Re: Sci Fi and the skeptic

Post by Major Malfunction » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:01 am

Yup!
This being was produced using the same process as other beings, and therefore, may contain traces of nuts.

User avatar
Nessie
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3074
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: Sci Fi and the skeptic

Post by Nessie » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:37 pm

Sci fi has predicted, whether intentionally or not many discoveries and products we now have. It does not take itself seriously like so much pseudoscience and myth making does. It helps a sceptic to unwind at the end of the day.
Audiophile, motorbiker and sceptic.

User avatar
Jeff D
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1132
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:24 pm

Re: Sci Fi and the skeptic

Post by Jeff D » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:41 pm

I have not read any new "science fiction" in about 10 years. Earlier in my life, I read a fair amount of it, but "it" might be more accurately labeled as fantasy, speculative fiction, or SF. I never liked the term "sci-fi" and did my best not to use it.

These days, I read 10 or 12 non-fiction books for every fiction book that I read. Given my age (over 55), I have never been a computer gamer.

From where I sit, the correlation between a skeptical bent and a taste or appetite for sf or science fiction or fantasy is weaker than it might seem to be. Perhaps the real correlations are the separate or coincidental correlations between liking SF and nerd culture in general, and between skepticism/critical thinking with nerd culture in general. The "nerd culture" to which I am vaguely referring is the subculture that encourages intellectualism to be worn proudly on the sleeve and on the pocket protector, if no propeller beanie is available.
Jeff D

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Real Skeptic
Posts: 23828
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Sci Fi and the skeptic

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:48 pm

Nessie wrote:Sci fi has predicted, whether intentionally or not many discoveries and products we now have. It does not take itself seriously like so much pseudoscience and myth making does. It helps a sceptic to unwind at the end of the day.
It's important to note that scifi doesn't claim to portray the future, in the vast majority of cases. This distinguishes it from people like Sylvia Browne.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"
WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

User avatar
Poodle
True Skeptic
Posts: 10851
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:12 pm
Custom Title: Post-bloom
Location: NE corner of my living room

Re: Sci Fi and the skeptic

Post by Poodle » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:44 am

I hadn't heard of her. Her Wikipedia entry is certainly an eye-opener.

User avatar
Old Snake
New Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:22 pm
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Sci Fi and the skeptic

Post by Old Snake » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:06 pm

It's a bit off-topic for this thread, but if anyone's looking for a fantasy series that has elements of skepticism in it, then definitely check out Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy. It's one of the best series I've ever read, but I don't read much Sci-Fi, so I can't help there. :?
Please come check out my history blog, Parva Historia.