Following on from the video above.

My friend Katie has been sending me a lot of (very good) folk music recently and it’s made me think again about the strange connection, common among the people I know, of having a keen interest in history / mythology (both ancient and modern highly fantastical stories) and likewise having an equally keen interest in science / technology (and therefore stories of an SF bent). Yes, I am aware that there is a considerable overlap.

On the face of it they seem to be quite opposite. SF, especially “hard” SF seems bolted down to a set of very solid logical constructs whereas fantasy (including historic / classical fantasy such as Beowulf) is wildly open in the worlds that the stories are set in.

Yet, on the most obvious face of it, the commonality between the two appears to simply be that neither of them are “right here, right now”. Ie – the common thing we all have in common is escapism – or to put it another way the kind of minds that don’t want to be constrained to thinking about the every day.

 and I used to talk about “us” (the people who seemed to be like us, that we felt we mostly understood and felt safe with) and “them” (everyone else, the majority). This discuss was always about what makes us “us” and them “them”. For years we tried to pin down what these differences were – without success. I’m wondering today whether “escapism” is another strong proto-identifier to these kinds of people.

From observation it seems to be true that the vast majority of people have minds that are locked into the “hear and now” – even in terms of the fiction they consume. Whereas those who seek The Different – even to the extend of “becoming” a different person by roleplaying – tend to band together.

Interestingly, from reading the most highly recommended Future Shock it seems likely that only those with highly adaptive brains are likely to be able to cope with the increasingly incredibly volatile future that’s fast approaching.

Discuss! 🙂