August 31st, 2006

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Things to Come

The 'point' of SF isn't to make accurate predictions, but listening to a radio program about HG Wells, I was struck by the predictions he made at the dawn of the 20th century, about mass warfare and universal health care for instance. I wonder whether it is possible to make predictions at the start of this century.

This isn't what I think ought to happen, but what I think will.
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The strangest thing

Memetherapy asks some writers 'what is the strangest thing you believe?'. I like the answers. Consciousness - yes, that is 'strange' beyond belief, and yet I believe in it. The two options of quantum collapse or the existence of many parallel worlds are both strange, and one of them (or something even stranger) must be true. The very existence of life on our planet is so very strange. The big bang is strange.

For me the strangest thing of all, because I can't understand how it can be true, and yet I firmly believe in it, is free will. That we, some tiny specks on a planet, are free, when almost all the other matter in the universe is merely reactive. Incredible.

But leaving aside those sort of philosophical 'strange things', I suppose the strangest concrete thing I believe is that aliens exist. I think it's unlikely we are the only living things in the universe, and yet how strange to think there are other lives out there.

What is the strangest thing you believe?