Fictions as a tool to help dive into tech trends.
Techno-societies are societies where technologies play a major influence. Today, without internet, a lot of our daily habits will disappear. The same in less modern countries using daily digital services like chat apps or international money transfer apps. Nevertheless, some people still have some issues in taking the train in order to understand these tech and the trends that are coming.
Let's take a look of the evolution of computers: 60 years ago computers were going out of military departments to business ones. They were enormous and complex to use. Then in the 80s, everyone could have one on his/her desk. In late 90's, they were connected together thanks to internet. We went from database machines to digital document machines using database and network as spine to provide services. And today, everything holds in a pocket.
So what do you think would have been the answer to the following question if asked to someone in the 60s: What would you do if you could have access to almost all the information available in the world instantaneously, for a fraction of dollars and within an object the size of a small book?
I am pretty sure the answer would have been "what are you talking about?". The probability is really high that the brain of the interviewee wouldn’t have been able to grasp the scale of the implications of the question. Why? Because his/her daily life couldn't unify information about the implied topics.
In fact maybe not everyone in the 60s would have answered this way. We have been lucky enough to have brains anticipating some of the evolutions we are in today and we could be in in the future. These people are not scientists, neither religious prophets. They are sci-fy writers. Science fiction and mostly its sub-genre called cyberpunk has been mostly correct regarding trends in technology. Authors like Phillip K. Dick, W. Gibson, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert... have been really prolific regarding anticipating futuristic trends. VR, crypto money, decentralized governance, solar energy, smart-cities, new non fossil energy, AI, robots are at the center of this genre.
Unfortunately this literature is not studied in schools as for some it is not even a litterature. So we can call it support for brain stretching. Indeed, if you want your grandpa to do some “out of his daily routine” brain exercises, what about offering him a book like Dune or The Neuromancer. He will finally get around with what is happening and what could happen. He will have some projections so far from his daily life than coming back to our young techno-societies will sound kind of normal. Let me know the results.