Social Question

mattbrowne's avatar

What are some worthwhile but unusual visions of future societies?

Asked by mattbrowne (31451 points ) June 24th, 2011

Of course we all want peace and the elimination of poverty, pollution, illness, illiteracy and so forth.

Yet I’m looking for important but often overlooked visions. Let’s be creative here.

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8 Answers

PhiNotPi's avatar

Pure communism. Communism often gets overlooked because it has a bad history if collapsing into a military dictatorship. But if it was somehow possible to make everyone work together for a common good without greed, Marxist communism (not Stalin, Chinese, or North Korean communism) would actually be a very good society.

Seelix's avatar

Robert J. Sawyer’s Neanderthal Parallax (a trilogy of novels) presents an interesting view not of the future, but of an alternate present. The books are really great and Sawyer, being a Canadian author, deserves a lot more recognition for him than he’s garnered.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Seelix – I read Sawyer’s Flash Forward, Mindscan and a couple of others, but not any of the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy. I checked out some reviews and they send mixed messages.

Seelix's avatar

Drat – I missed the edit window. That last line ought to be “more recognition for them”.

Anyway, it’s great to hear that you know of him! He’s a great guy.
I really enjoyed the Parallax. Admittedly, a little of it is personal bias because I’m from Sudbury (where much of Hominids takes place). But I really think that, for any sci-fi fan or anyone interested in sociology, it’s worth reading the first novel just for that. The love story aspect of the series can be a little cheesy, but I found Sawyer’s view of Neanderthal society to be really interesting.

I’ve read most of his other novels, and while his style is consistent throughout, I liked the Parallax more than any others.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, he’s a great guy. I even swapped an email with him once, when I pointed out that Geneva is 6 hours ahead of Atlanta not 5 hours as mentioned in ‘Flashforward’. He admitted the mistake and said he would tell his publisher before the next revision gets printed.

wundayatta's avatar

I am intrigued by Paolo Solieri’s arcology concept.

flutherother's avatar

There’s an exhibition running at the British Library in London just now on this topic. The idea that gripped my imagination was that of China Mieville in his book The City and the City where two distinct cultures share the one geographic space, a city with two names.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The Gene Roddenberry vision of the 23rd century.

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