What is the Difference Between Science Fiction and Futurism?

Many futurists write science fiction and many science fiction writers are futurists. Have you ever wondered why that is? It does stand to reason that someone that has an interest in the future, and where technology is leading us, would also enjoy writing science fiction. It also makes sense that some who does a good bit of writing in the Sci Fi Genre would need to have some thoughts on where we are headed as a species and what scenarios we will encounter in the future.

The difference between Sci Fi and Futurism is fairly straight forward in definition, so let me give you my take on it, seeing as I do a bit of writing in both areas. Futurism is predicting the future without the use of characters and a storyline. Science Fiction is a literary art, where a story is told and characters are involved. You see, some things you cannot say in real life, as it is not politically correct, but you can tell of it in a storyline.

This gives the author a lot of leeway. Interestingly enough many things that have been written in Science Fiction novels are now common place; electric submarines from Jules Verne and Satellite Communication by Arthur C. Clarke for instance.

One thing I have found is that if you come up with a potential eventuality far off into the future, no one has any reference to understand what you are talking about and might think it’s too far-fetched if they did. In this case you lose credibility. However, if you wrap the idea into a story, then it all seems believable and it should get people thinking.

Additionally, a well-known Sci Fi writer will have an avenue and a loyal readership to get their ideas and concepts out to the masses. I hope this article helps you see the difference between the two and how they can work together for the benefit of all. Think on this.

Decision Matrix Considerations at NASA

Decision Matrix Considerations at NASA

Determining components for Rovers, Spacecraft, Lunar Colonies and ISS is no easy matter in the race for Space. Additionally it is difficult to trust ones life to the components all built by the lowest bidder when it is know that such technologies, prototypes and one offs will mean life or death for real people; that is to say astronauts, research scientists or even wealthy space travelers whose funds are necessary for the advancement of the human race. Luckily there are many brilliant individuals working on Artificial Intelligent scripts and programs to help with the decision matrix to evaluate our best options for safety, efficiency and utility. Some of these programs are written in;


One individual who stands out as an up and coming scientist in this field is Richard Campanha whose script along with some in house testing on Dr. Christie Iacomini’s


part with Paragon were what ultimately helped the script become useful in developing a decision matrix script for evaluating processes of manufacturing components to do a certain task on the Lunar Base Station. By developing a simple script capable of comparing over 5 different types of autonomous fuel/life support producing factories, that were previously unable to be compared. This method was generalized and allowed for any future ISRU plants to be compared and contrasted.


By determining the best system the United States can realize its dreams of a Moon and Martian Colony. By putting a self-generating and rocket fuel factory on Moon in a Lunar Colony we can advance mankind’s exploration of the Solar System and have a re-fueling station. This will allow us a way to move more out equipment, weight, supplies and people out of our atmosphere without the fuel expenditures needed to carry more fuel for the actual journey.

For mankind and the United States of America to realize our dreams and successfully complete our Roadmap to the Moon, Mars and Beyond it will take the best and brightest amongst us and the inner strength of us all. Thankfully we have the brilliant minds we will need to make this dream a reality. Think on it.

The Singularity and Why It Won’t Happen

The Singularity is defined as a moment in the future when computers exceed human intelligence, become self-aware and the future of humanity becomes, according to pundits, “unpredictable and unforeseeable”. It makes me laugh to hear such profound sounding comments because I thought the future already was unpredictable and unknowable.

I’m not half as articulate as Ray Kurzweil and other proponents of this school of thought but I have tried, using my novel The Melongic Order of Happiness as a basis to explain why it won’t happen. The computer is at the top of a human technological pyramid where the underpinnings to create it are the widest of any technological pyramid in our history. That pyramid already consumes resources at a rate that the planet cannot sustain.

Just as radio technology quickly reached its physical limitations with the speed of transmission pegged at the speed of electromagnetic waves, so too will the switching speeds of computers reach their limits. The thickness of logic circuits will reach a physical limit of one molecule or greater. The only way around this limit is to build more computers and have them share the computations, and to share the workload we would have to build more and faster communications systems.

IBM held a stunt event in conjunction with two former Jeopardy champions. They pitted their supercomputer Watson against the past champions in a multi-day event. Watson did badly the first day and had to be tweaked. It eventually won, but one thing about this contest really stood out for me – none of the clues were visual in nature.

The human’s strongest suit lies in our ability to compute visual information. We think in terms of pictures and all the other senses come in a distant second in terms of computing power. It’s the reason the human eyes are embedded inside the brain – to give it an edge in transmitting visual information to the multiple processors of the human mind.

For IBM’s Watson to have truly won the Jeopardy game against the two former champions, it should have been able to look at a picture or video and answer questions relating to them, such as a video clip of a former president, and the question is ‘Who is FDR?’ The futurists have glossed over this shortcoming when discussing The Singularity. For a computer, or any combination thereof, to exceed the computing capacity of the human brain, it first must be able to ‘see’.

I contend that the resource limits of the Earth have already been reached and that for a technological pyramid to be developed that would allow the development of a computer that can use visual information the way a human does would put the planet over the edge of resource consumption. In fact, the novel argues that The Singularity is unobtainable for that reason. The resource hungry industry required to produce it would put demands on the Earth that divide humanity into two warring camps. Once a division exists in the bottom ranks, there is no longer the human capital required to continue building the beast.

Think of a Ponzi scheme that runs out of investors at the bottom of the pyramid. The Earth will run out of elements to sustain growth, and once humans cease to cooperate with one another for philosophical reasons, that particular evolution will come to an end.

There are numerous examples of this already. In the novel, I chose for the world to run out of oxygen, fish, real food, and many other elements necessary for the continual growth of human development. The Earth is running out of resources to sustain such exponential growth already, just ask any environmentalist.

All the big fish in the sea are gone either through consumption or pollution. Gold is a good example of a resource that has finite limits. If it were discovered that a new form of energy could be supplied with gold-filled batteries then such a development wouldn’t happen for obvious reasons. To state the obvious, there isn’t enough gold on planet Earth. Nevertheless, humans would scrape off the Earth’s crust down to the mantle in search of it.

Ray Kurzweil wishes to live forever in human form and needs a supercomputer to help him solve the technical problems to achieve that goal. Unfortunately for Ray, all DNA has a nasty surprise in its myriad code that leads inevitably to the death of the host. The surprise is that all DNA can only be copied so many times before the information contained therein becomes corrupt. It’s a program that is designed to self-destruct. Sorry Ray.

But if he and millions of others were allowed to exist even for a slightly extended period, I think I’ve shown how that will exponentially increase our numbers and put unsustainable demands on all Earth’s resources. When they realize that they’re attempting to use the same resources needed to sustain life, it’s at this point that humans begin to fight.

Theoretically, we have already reached the age where computers are smarter than humans. There’s a calculator with scientific functions on my smart phone that I have little use for. It’s already smarter than I am. Does that mean my smart phone can become self-aware and start telling me what to do? Will it be able to stop me from taking a two pound sledge to it?

The only threat to humans can come from animate objects, not inanimate. We humans have within our nature, the ability to kill other life forms to sustain our own. That’s when an organism is self-aware. All competing forms of life have not done well against humans. Archeologists and paleontologists note that where animals have gone extinct the underlying cause is that humans had moved into their territory. If computers were to compete with humans for Earth’s resources, I’d put my money on the humans being able to procreate and destroy faster than any other species. To sustain life, we destroy others, organic or synthetic, even our fellow man.

The Wisdom of Youth – Or The Folly of Old Age

I have been blessed on my travels through this world to meet people who have taught much that enabled me to re-evaluate time worn wisdom.

My personal experiences of working with the elderly over a two year period and observing and listening to their perspectives I came to believe more and more that a life without purpose and meaning is a life not worth living. For many older people once they have undertaken the roles life has presented them with, they are left with huge amounts of time to fill. To end ones retirement years as many do, by watching the television screen dish out superficial programmes in the name of entertainment, must numb the real heartbreak of feeling useless in a Universe that appears to treat them as someone to be fed and watered, where real communication is lacking and a loneliness and emptiness of purpose is their lot.

There was a time when the “senior” years was regarded as a time for the “wisdom of the elders” – perhaps in some cultures this remains true, but here in the U.K. this reflection does not ring true.

Yet the wisdom of living a life of purpose and meaning with knowledge that we are part of a universal consciousness and not simply a small human being of little importance was emphasised for me when I met a young ex Israeli Soldier who shared much of his perspectives of his life’s experiences with me. Yet where will the future find him say in forty years into the future?

When young we do not give thought to how we will spend the time available to us perhaps we are physically challenged and can no longer do the things that inspired us as a youth. To take some time and reflect on this could be useful and prevent long years of misery. Sadly this was the lot of some of the residents I worked with as I attempted to bring new energy and inspiration into their lives, some responded but most had given up the ghost long before I arrived in their lives.

I must concede that age is not a factor in wisdom, only experience can teach wisdom, not books, not movies that at best can point a way and at worse be a total distraction from the very need to take up the challenge of first- hand experience. Listening to the wisdom of our hearts may be the first step. That in itself is a challenge in the clamour of the noise of polluting forces as it succeeds in pulling us as far away from our hearts and souls as it is possible to go.

As a progressive and evolving being,

man is where he is that he may learn

that he may grow;

and as he learns the spiritual lesson

which any circumstance contains for him,

it passes away and gives place

to other circumstances.

James Allen