Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fan Letter

I once wrote a fan letter to Robert Anton Wilson. He never wrote back. He died. Maybe he died so he wouldn't have to write me back. I think some of the things that I said were very wrong. I finally realized this today after stumbling across the unaired 1994 pilot for the television show, 24. I found it here: 24, 1994

This is the letter:

Hey Bob,

I’ve been a fan of your work since high school and I’m currently an assistant editor at Weird Tales.

I recently reread your Prometheus Rising and the section on Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave ignited some thought within me. I have some questions and comments concerning it.

You make the prediction (or perhaps you are quoting Toffler) that “the average man or woman of 1983 will be as obsolete in 2003 as the medieval serf is now [1983].” Now, as we’re quickly approaching 2003, this really doesn’t seem accurate (of course, I could be entirely wrong because I was around five years old in 1983 and I can barely remember it). Why do you think this prediction didn’t occur?

Obviously there is a noticeable difference between the present and 1983, but I see no way how the medieval serf comparison can be feasible. Sure, our lives are now more dependent on computers, but have they actually brought such a drastic change to our lives? The only radical change that I can think of is that it has severely increased our level of communication and made the world seem that much smaller.

I was thinking that maybe big business has impeded our progress - perhaps our society would be more technologically advanced if they stopped buying up and locking away patents for items (because if these items were actually manufactured, they would lose out on profits) that would improve our way of life, or at least make easier. It makes me think of the possibility of big business being more harmful to the development of our society than ever was the Inquisition.

I’ve heard members of the science fiction community proclaiming the death of futuristic science fiction. Perhaps the writers of such forms of fiction have become dissatisfied with their predictions of the future not coming true? Maybe they should of added many hundreds of years to the settings of their stories - I wonder if even then, the predictions would be more accurate.

You yourself have predicted that life extension would become available by 1995. I wonder if the reason that this has not yet occurred is because of big business impeding study in this field. Perhaps because death is more profitable than life?

I would really appreciate if you would comment on these issues.


Bradley Sands

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