10 Sci-Fi Dystopias That Are Everyday Realities Today

Ray Bradbury once said, “I wasn’t perplexing to envision a future. we was perplexing to forestall it.” Really, that’s a whole indicate of scholarship fiction. The genre has never been about presaging new technologies. Instead, a purpose is to advise us about a dim destiny to come, if we don’t change a path.

Occasionally, we listen and learn, and afterwards multitude improves. But other times, we don’t. And while a benefaction day seems utterly typical to us, a existence is that a complicated epoch was once a horrible, terrifying calamity that sci-fi writers desperately attempted to stop.

10 ‘Number 12 Looks Just Like You’ Warned Us About South Korea’s Plastic Surgery Obsession

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When The Twilight Zone initial aired on TV, cosmetic medicine hardly existed. It was usually used for a comprehensive misfortune medical cases. The suspicion of someone stealing their face restructured usually for a consequence of looking flattering still seemed outlandish to many people.

But not to a writers of The Twilight Zone. As it turns out, they knew accurately what was coming.

In a partial “Number 12 Looks Just Like You,” we’re taken to a destiny where any chairman is approaching to go by a “transformation” during age 18. This medicine totally changes their face to resemble one of a tiny series of pleasing models. It’s such a large change that teenagers are allocated therapists to understanding with a highlight of watchful to spin beautiful.

When they wrote it, a Twilight Zone writers were usually disturbed about girls regulating too many make-up. But in South Korea, a universe is some-more like “Number 12 Looks Just Like You” than even a writers could have predicted.

A intolerable one in 3 girls in South Korea have had cosmetic surgery, and usually like in a story, a formula are drastic. So many so that cosmetic surgeons now have to palm out certificates explanation that a appealing lady in doubt is unequivocally a same drab-looking chairman on her ID.

Just like in a story, cosmetic medicine is a common graduation present for girls after high school. It unequivocally seems like they’re vital in a Twilight Zone. Girls pang by high school, incompetent to live adult to a imaginary standards that adults have created, and afterwards adapting to one of a few faces as shortly as they spin 18.

9 ‘The Veldt’ Warned Us About Video Game Violence

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When Ray Bradbury wrote his brief story, “The Veldt,” televisions were usually entrance into homes for a initial time, and these inventions altered everything, generally parenting. It’s kind of tough to suppose how relatives did it before Dora a Explorer was around to assistance out. Raising a child was a many opposite thing behind in a day . . . and Bradbury was shocked about how it competence change.

In “The Veldt,” Bradbury writes about a family that uses a “nursery”—basically, an interactive TV—to keep their kids entertained. The children finish adult being lifted some-more by a hothouse than by a parents, and that’s when a kids start going savage. It gets so bad that, when a disturbed relatives finally tighten a hothouse down, a kids murder them.

Perhaps Bradbury’s story sounds kind of far-fetched. How could TV make a child murder his parents? Well, a thing is, it indeed happened. The accurate events of a story played out in genuine life.

A 14-year-old child named Noah Crooks was spooky with video games, and usually like in a story, his mom began to worry about how it was inspiring him. His grades were going down, and he was apropos some-more and some-more disposed to violence. And usually like in a story, his mom motionless to tighten a video games down.

Noah didn’t take this well. He erupted in a fit of fury and murdered his possess mother.

Sure, Noah isn’t accurately normal, nonetheless conjunction are a kids in a story. They’re portrayed as an impassioned sign of a incomparable problem. Ray Bradbury wasn’t observant everybody would murder their parents. Instead, he argued that children would remove adequate parental superintendence that it could presumably happen. And maybe Bradbury was right. Maybe TV and video games have unequivocally messed us up, nonetheless we’re usually so used to them that we don’t even comprehend it.

8 ‘The Machine Stops’ Warned Us About Facebook Friendships


When it came out in 1909, “The Machine Stops” seemed like a bit of an overreaction. The write had usually started to enter into people’s homes, and E.M. Forster was already disturbed that multitude was somehow ruined. He illusory a absurd destiny where people would spend all their time indoors, sitting during machines, while promulgation short, purposeful thoughts to thousands of “friends” they’d never met, and “liking” things as their categorical source of tellurian interaction.

Sure, this substantially sounded paranoid in 1909. After all, it was usually a telephone. But today, a existence is roughly accurately like a universe in “The Machine Stops.” The story’s depiction of long-distance interactions is eerily identical to amicable media. The suspicion of carrying thousands of online friends you’ve never met is a terrifyingly dead-on prophecy of Facebook. And a approach people in a story send out short, one-sentence thoughts is fundamentally an old-timey Twitter.

But it’s some-more than usually a inventions, though. The whole enlightenment Forster expected in 1909 is usually like ours. For example, Forster portrayed amicable media as a form of distraction. When a protagonist of a story starts to feel unhappiness for her son, she’s immediately pulled out of her thoughts by a ability to “like” things. And according to some people, that’s accurately what happens in genuine life. Some explain that amicable media unequivocally does confuse us from a families and emotions by giving us hard-to-ignore jolts of stimulation.

There’s also a opinion toward a outdoors. In a story, going outward for pleasure is deliberate weird. Now, many people won’t contend that out loud, nonetheless it does seem to be a perspective today. According to one study, usually about 1 percent of Americans indeed attend in nature-based activities.

The final outline of a story is that a tie to inlet and a families is what brings us happiness, not amicable media. Similarly, a investigate of college students showed that complicated Facebook users are some-more expected to be depressed, so maybe that outline hits home for us, too.

For a story combined in 1909, a overlaps are incredible. The usually thing Forster got wrong was that he suspicion some robotic tyrant would force us into this scenario. In reality, we were happy to do it ourselves.

7 ‘The Fun They Had’ Warned Us About Online Learning

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When Isaac Asimov wrote “The Fun They Had,” he wasn’t unequivocally disturbed about any sold issue. Actually, he usually wrote this story—a story of kids training on computers—as a preference for a friend. But what might’ve seemed insignificant in Asimov’s time is fast apropos a existence today.

The story tells about a destiny where children learn exclusively during home, on computers. When a computers mangle down, a kids find out that students used to learn in classrooms, and suddenly, they start wondering about “the fun they had” in a past.

We aren’t utterly during that indicate yet, nonetheless we’re stealing there. When Asimov penned this tale, all preparation took place in classrooms, and hardly anyone was homeschooled. Today, a rate of homeschooled kids has tripled to scarcely dual million in America alone.

Learning on computers is apropos a reality, too. As of 2011, 30 percent of all college students were training around a Internet. But it’s not usually singular to adults, though. Schools are already compelling online, computer-based training in nurseries. According to advocates, this will shortly be a norm.

When we consider of Asimov’s time period, this was a truly crazy prediction. In a 1950s, personal computers didn’t even exist, and a suspicion of giving adult propagandize must’ve seemed sincerely far-fetched. But today, a technological innovations that Asimov wrote about are fast apropos a approach we learn.

6 ‘Marionettes, Inc.’ Warned Us About ‘Waifus’


Ray Bradbury’s “Marionettes, Inc.” is a small silly.

In this brief story, dual organisation have such a tough time putting adult with their wives’ affections that they buy look-alike robots to mount in for themselves during home. But a spin is that a women like a robots improved than their husbands. And in a end, a categorical impression is pressed into a bin and henceforth transposed by a robo-hubby.

On a face, this sounds flattering ridiculous. It’s not like we’re so reluctant to put a small work into a relations that we’d reinstate a partners with dolls . . . are we?

Well, in Japan, that’s accurately what’s happening.

Japan is traffic with an widespread of flourishing disinterest in sex. Currently, 61 percent of unwed Japanese organisation have never antiquated anyone, and 45 percent of women between a ages of 16 and 24 contend they have no seductiveness in carrying sex whatsoever. So given did half of Japan remove seductiveness in carrying relations with other people? Because it’s too hard.

Experts have consistently blamed this materialisation of ostensible “herbivore” asexuals on people usually giving up. Things are so critical that one mercantile researcher indeed due a taxation travel on intimately appealing people. He hopes this will give uglier organisation a possibility when it comes to dating, so augmenting a inhabitant birthrate.

But while these “herbivores” contend they have no seductiveness in sex, that’s not accurately true. While they competence not put in a bid required to attract tellurian girls, they’re ideally happy to start regretful relations with synthetic ones. These organisation spend their time personification with practical girlfriends on computers, purchasing amorous figurines of animation characters, or dating “waifus”—pillows with cinema of girls on them.

This materialisation isn’t usually singular to Japan, either. America has “iDollators,” organisation who have given adult on attracting tellurian women. Instead, they’ve “married” picturesque sex dolls, as seen in a video above.

There’s something about “Marionettes, Inc.” that feels like Bradbury usually wrote it for a laugh. But weirdly enough, we’re unexpected vital in a universe where life-like dolls unequivocally are creeping into a bedrooms.

5 ‘The Brain Center At Whipple’s’ Warned Us That Robots Would Take Our Jobs

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In 1964, Rod Serling wrote a Twilight Zone partial that finished with one a heading twists. The partial focuses on Wallace V. Whipple, a male who fires a employees during his production association and replaces them with robots. In a episode’s mocking ending, Whipple ends adult stealing transposed by a drudge himself.

Similar to many other Twilight Zone episodes, “The Brain Center during Whipple’s” indeed expected a future. First of all, while drudge factories are totally a thing these days, we competence not comprehend how space-age they are. We’re distant past a indicate where we usually have a few machines and computers to make a pursuit easier. More and more, factories are increasingly operated by robots, usually like Serling predicted.

Experts are presaging that, over a subsequent 20 years, we are going to see about 50 percent of all jobs disappear. But we’re not usually articulate about bureau jobs, and that’s what’s so spot-on about “The Brain Center during Whipple’s.” Just like Wallace V. Whipple, a managers who had us transposed are starting to be transposed by robots themselves.

A mechanism module has been combined and tested that not usually chooses employees, nonetheless it indeed seems to make improved employing decisions than humans do. When a module was put in assign of picking who to hire, a tip choices stayed on a staff for an normal of 29 days longer than a other applicants. So for those we during Amazon who are losing jobs to smoothness drones, take a small comfort. The robots are entrance from your boss, too.

4 ‘Solution Unsatisfactory’ Warned Us About The Cold War


The universe altered after America invented a atomic bomb. This terrifying arms wreaked such drop that it brought an finish to World War II. It also gave us a universe where America was a superpower, and nations carried adequate weapons to destroy a planet, so giving arise to a Cold War. And when that icy dispute ended, it left us in an epoch where a US patrols other countries, tying their entrance to weapons of mass drop in a name of peace.

That’s not a story lesson. That’s a outline of Robert Heinlein’s story “Solution Unsatisfactory,” combined before a Manhattan Project even began.

Heinlein wrote this story before a US had entered World War II. The tract was inspired—according to Heinlein—by an editor seeking him to write a story about “radioactive dust” being used as a weapon. But a uncanny thing about “Solution Unsatisfactory” isn’t that Heinlein got a atomic explosve right. (In fact, he suspicion it would be some-more like a biological weapon.) It’s that he expected a subsequent 60 years of story roughly perfectly.

Like Heinlein guessed, a introduction of chief weaponry caused us to live in consistent apprehension of approaching chief destruction. During a Cold War, children even watched “edutainment” videos on how to tarry an canon as partial of a unchanging propagandize curriculum. But Heinlein’s story goes even further. He warns of a destiny when America would play a partial of universe police.

In his story, America binds adequate weapons to destroy a whole planet. It afterwards uses them to emanate a “Peace Patrol” that army everybody else to give adult their militaries. It’s roughly accurately what’s function today, with America’s stream efforts to keep countries like Iran from apropos chief powers.

Heinlein ends his story by warning that America substantially won’t be means to keep adult a purpose as general assent officer, and a universe will substantially destroy itself. That should be a flattering discouraging prediction, given how many of a destiny Heinlein indeed got right.

However, a usually thing he didn’t envision is how restored we’d spin to this dystopian life. Heinlein finished his story by writing, “I can’t be happy in a universe where any man, or organisation of men, has a energy of genocide over we and me.” And really, either we speak about it or not, that’s a universe we live in right now. Only we’ve usually schooled to go on with it, to stop worrying and adore a dystopia.

3 ‘Static’ Warned Us About Our Obsession With Nostalgia

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If we wish explanation that a enlightenment has spin spooky with nostalgia, usually record onto Buzzfeed. You don’t have to hunt tough to find an essay with a pretension like “Only ’90s Kids Will Remember This.”

The Twilight Zone warned us about this problem, too. The 1961 partial “Static” tells a story of a male in his late 50s who finds an aged radio that usually plays programs from his childhood. He becomes spooky with a radio, and he won’t do anything nonetheless listen to it. Soon, his friends spin disturbed about his mental health, and they take his radio away.

Does that sound familiar? The radio is fundamentally Nickelodeon’s TV hire that usually plays ‘90s shows, or any other “retro TV” hire or website clinging to cocktail culture, for that matter. Basically, any aspect of a party is spooky with a past.

Take movies, for example. Josh Kurp of Uproxx looked during a tip 10 grossing cinema for any year given 1990. He found that, out of any strike so distant this decade, there are usually 6 that aren’t remakes or sequels. It seems we’re eternally revisiting a childhood, usually like a male by a radio. And this competence be some-more of an emanate than we realize.

Originally, “nostalgia” was a mental illness, not something we were ostensible to take honour in. The word came about to news a crippling yearning for a past, that in spin leads to depression. These days, some worry that we’re stealing stranded in a rut given of a concentration on a past, both artistically and culturally. Perhaps, like a male in a Twilight Zone episode, we’re all sitting by a machine, personification behind a past memories . . . and maybe that’s a problem.

2 Fahrenheit 451 Warned Us About Our Obsession With Reality TV

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Fahrenheit 451 is about some-more than usually blazing books. It’s about a enlightenment that frankly gives adult on a intellectualism and amicable connections, all interjection to TV. Sure, nobody is environment books on glow right now, nonetheless some other tools of a novel are eerily identical to a existence today.

In a book, a hero’s wife, Mildred, spends many of her time examination a “parlor family” on TV as they play out their typical lives. She seems some-more emotionally invested in these characters than she is in her possess family. Mildred insists that she has an requirement to keep adult with what they’re doing, and she ignores her father to concentration on a show, even putting “audible seashells” in her ears to tighten off a universe around her.

It’s eerily tighten to complicated existence TV shows, generally ones like a Kardashians. People currently have a weirdly low turn of believe about that family. If we revisit a right websites, we can find daily updates on all a Kardashians are doing. Some people have, during slightest in a half-kidding tone, even certified to meaningful some-more about these socialites than their possess families.

Bradbury’s “audible seashells” are real, too. Only today, they’re in a form of earphones. That’s some-more than usually a technological prediction, though. These buds have altered society, usually as Bradbury insincere they would.

Headphones have been credited with changing a universe of art by stealing a amicable requirements. Where song was once a open art, people now have their possess tastes given they listen to their iPods alone. And people mostly put on headphones as a approach of saying, “Don’t worry me. we wish to be alone.” So while we aren’t blazing books yet, it’s substantially given we’d have to accumulate with other people first.

1 The Sheep Look Up Warned Us About Beijing’s ‘Airpocalypse’

Asian male wearing mouth facade opposite atmosphere pollution

John Brunner’s 1972 book, The Sheep Look Up, warns of a universe scorched by pollution. The people in a story use H2O filters to drink, and usually a lowest risk celebration daub water. They wear masks when they go outward in sequence to tarry a smog. And chemicals have positively ravaged both H2O and land.

If we live in China, this competence usually sound like a news report.

Modern China has incited into a accurate place Brunner described. People in China exclusively splash purchased H2O given it’s vulnerable to splash from a tap. Even a bad equivocate daub H2O if possible, given vital health problems can start if we splash anything that comes out of a Chinese sink.

And, yes, people wear masks outside. But things have left even serve than many people would expect. Air wickedness in Beijing has recently reached what’s being called “doomsday levels” or a “airpocalypse.” Pollution there is 18 times aloft than a protected level, creation it an comprehensive prerequisite to enclose a mask.

One of a many impassioned cases of wickedness can be found in a waters of Qingdao. Due to chemicals, a H2O has been overshoot with so many immature algae that it totally covers a surface. It’s an comprehensive disaster with baleful implications, nonetheless for a people in China, it’s usually bland life. Because that’s all we can do when we live in a dystopia. Just lift on.

Mark Oliver is a author and a teacher.


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