I found this article on Mashable that really intrigued me. In class we talked about Technological Determinism, and at the time, I tended to agree that technology does control our lives a lot of the time. If someone doesn’t have a cell phone or is not on Social Media often times they are seen as being hopelessly outdated. There are times when one feels compelled to learn this program or that program because everyone else knows it. Once, I was let go from a temp job because I didn’t know Excel well enough for my superior. I knew the basics, and was more than willing to learn, but that wasn’t good enough for her.
However, this article brings up a good point. It says that in 2007 China allowed it’s first ever government approved Science Fiction & Fantasy convention. Why did they suddenly do this when Science Fiction & Fantasy had be disapproved of for so long? Because they realized that the Chinese where brilliant at putting existing things together, but had no imagination to create new things. When they interviewed American innovators at Google, Apple and Microsoft, they found that all of them had enjoyed science fiction as children.
I am a lover of Science Fiction & Fantasy myself – I’ve even attended many Sci-Fi/Fantasy conventions. Sometimes I get laughed at for doing this by people who don’t “get” it – but I have always appreciated the creative potential of it most of all. I came from a family who did not encourage creativity – in essence they were a lot like the Chinese government – didn’t see the point of it. As I got older, I discovered Sci-Fi & Fantasy and found that it’s an amazing feeling to attend one of these conventions and be surrounded by so many creative-minded people. I believe that, my own creativity was nurtured by my love of Sci-Fi & Fantasy in a way that it never would have been otherwise. I’m also a book lover in general and I think this idea can also apply to fiction of all kinds if you don’t like Sci-Fi/Fantasy. After a day at work or reading articles for class – I usually feel the need to relax with a good fiction book.
I can’t believe that I didn’t see this side of the argument until now, but maybe it’s because many people don’t approve of those of us who go to Sci-Fi/Fantasy conventions – so I’ve learned to keep the “business” and “fun” sides of me somewhat separate. Whatever the reason, this article has changed my view on the Technological/Media Determinism debate.