Forward to next post: Open Thread 174
A few months back, I put down a book by an author I had previously liked, about one-third of the way through, and stopped reading. The problem — well, one of several — was that although this was a book set in the near future, where characters walked around with cellphones and used the Internet, the author handled information flow among the characters as if it were still the 1970s.
As an illustration to older SF authors of how the present works, in the hopes that they might extrapolate thereform when imagining the future, I present the story of Melissa Stetten and Brian Presley (via):
Ms Stetten is a twenty-something model living in New York (though possibly not a native). Yesterday she was on a plane when the fellow sitting next to her, wearing a wedding ring, tried hitting on her. She turned him down, and tweeted about it. He kept at it.
Over the course of the conversation, Brian mentioned not just his first name, but also that he’s an actor, and born in Oklahoma. Eventually he brought up that he’d just been working on a project with Matthew McConaughey, and that’s all it takes nowadays. Inside a minute, one of Stetten’s followers had found him on the IMDB.
Things got worse for Brian from there — lied about his marriage, turned out to be lying about being “clean and sober”, etc. The story’s been picked up by a Hollywood gossip site, so I imagine he’s got some ’splainin’ to do back home. I’m interested in this not so much for the sake of schadenfreude about some actor I’d never heard of (although it is fun) as for the implications for science fiction. How much have you read recently that gives you that glimpse of the possibilities of heavily networked societies? How many authors (other than Charlie Stross) are really writing about the possibilities of a crowd-sourced panopticon? And how many are still living in the ’70s?