Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 3 weeks ago

why do futuristic scifi movies always set the date for incredible futuristic technological age at like 20-40 years into the future?

when its really like 200+ into the future to realistically actually attain that level of technology

It really ruins the believably for me that they keep doing that.

why cant they just set it at a more realistic future date ?

everyone has like flying cars and androids are becoming sentient and we've colonized space in like 20 years... so unrealistic

it needs to be like 200 years to be possible!

8 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago

    How do you know it's 'incredible'?

  • 3 weeks ago

    "It's difficult to make predictions, especially about the future." - someone wittier than me.

    Twenty years ago, the idea that in 2019, everyone would be able to afford an internet-enabled computer that fits in their pocket and doubles as a camera, TV, music player, credit card, encyclopaedia, shopping service, airline boarding pass... and by the way, makes phone calls too... would probably have seemed far-fetched to most people.

    Most of the time, technology advances by making small improvements to what already exists, but every so often, someone makes a breakthrough that changes everything. The small advances are fairly easy to predict; breakthroughs, by their nature, aren't.

    Flying cars exist now. The reason they're not everywhere is that you need a pilot's license to fly one, and hardly anybody is willing to spend that much time and money. (And they're not really that much of an improvement over the non-flying variety for short journeys.)

    Space colonisation... the technology to build a permanent manned moonbase exists (though it's doubtful whether it could be self-sufficient at this point), but no government is willing to spend the enormous amounts of money that it would require.

    Sentient robots require a breakthrough. Probably dozens of breakthroughs. To give just one example, machines currently lack what philosophers call "agency". Loosely speaking, this is the ability to want something, or the ability to set goals for oneself. Without that, a machine simply does what it's programmed to do, or what its owner or user wants it to do.

  • 3 weeks ago

    You're not watching the lower budgeted ones then, there are tons of sf movies that show a few years, a decade or even 2 decades ahead. Not 200 years.

  • John
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    I think a more realistic answer from the writer's perspective.  I was at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 and they had video phones coming right up.  Still haven't quite come up yet.... If you set something in "Stardate 4142" it becomes pure fantasy. As in "The Time Machine" the future was so far distant, and so strange, that literally anything could happen in the plot. If you set something within the next 100 years or so, it becomes "our time" and we can relate. It is London of the near future but it's still London. People use computerized phones but they are still phones. It just makes it more about our own world than some complete fantasy. Star Wars can only exist because it is so far away in time. None of those things make any sense in our world, or the foreseeable future.

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Because you're you're deliberately ignoring real world revolutions in technology.  

    The "smart" phone went from an unknown thing to the dominant social revolution in thirty years.  Cell phones are now available to 90% of the world's population.How many years did it take the car to penetrate every facet of society? One generation.

  • 3 weeks ago

    First, if you chop up the past century into 20 year blocs and look at the technological jumps in each, such grand advances in the coming 20-40 years don't seem so impossible.  

    20 years ago most of the floor space of a Best Buy store would have been dedicated to CDs and DVDs, the internet was still largely text and static image based and most phones still had monochrome, one-line displays.... 40 years ago the VCR was the "latest & greatest" and the in car cup holder was still years away...

    Another factor is what I call the "arrogance of the now."  We believe such amazing leaps are possible because we and hour direct heirs will be the ones making them, not total strangers in a strange society 200+ years from now.

    If you look at even post-apocalyptic fiction that does take place hundreds of years into the future you'll note that the historical "apocalypse" happened during or very near the generation of the author/creator.  Again, the sense is matter how far into the future we look and no matter how fantastic the world has become....we today want to have our stamp on it.

  • Marli
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Ask the authors and film makers why.

    Considering that my generation did not expect home computers, cell phones, space stations, huge flat screen tvs, micro surgery and ever smarter computers and robots in our lifetimes; and that the authors and film makers are my age and younger, I think their predictions are plausible to 50 - 100 years.

    • With film and TV, you also have to consider the available technology, budget and schedule. For instance, the reason for the transporter in Star Trek was that they couldn't afford to do the special effects of a ship landing and taking off in every episode.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    I agree. Orwell set his dystopian vision just 36 years into the future from when he was writing 1984. Nearly twice as far ahead and we are now seeing the interactive flat screen televisions that he predicted would be in every home. If Bladerunner is to be believed Philip Dick's vision of the future would be this year (notwithstanding some of it being in a Frank Lloyd Wright House from the 1920s). 

    • Zac Z
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      According to Christopher Hitchens' introduction to a 2003 edition of the work the title 1984 was chosen simply as an inversion of the year 1948, the year in which it was being completed, and the date was meant to give an immediacy and urgency to the menace of totalitarian rule.

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