Science Fiction to Reality Timeline

In: Culture History Science

25 Apr 2012

When scientific advances were first theorized vs when they became reality. After a close viewing I would say whoever wrote this wasn’t particularly well-read, or even a very good geek – a lot of things on both sides are just plain wrong. Great idea. Crappy execution. Anybody want to try their hand at a version that includes da Vinci, Verne, and Heinlein (just for starters).


3 Responses to Science Fiction to Reality Timeline



April 28th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

A chart that includes da Vinci, Verne, and Heinlein would be interesting, but I think you missed the point of this one. The column on the left appears to be no more than a list of the most famous and iconic sci-fi images in contemporary popular media (almost exclusively film) – certainly there’s no place for da Vinci on such a list!

For example, the chart makes no claim that Star Wars was the first depiction in literature of interplanetary travel, just that it’s the most famous such image in the public’s mind today.

Similarly, the list on the right lists the most well-known/successful implementations today, by the general public’s standards.

In short, the topic of this chart is pop culture’s view of technology. So the fact that it leaves out things outside of pop-culture doesn’t mean the creator isn’t well-read or geeky – those things are not what the chart is about.

I did think the chart made some creative juxtapositions – for a “voice command computer,” it used the Hitchhiker’s Guide as its fiction example, and not 2001: A Space Odyssey, which came out in the same year. This actually served to draw my attention to both, and to how they both presented effectively the same technology in very different types of stories.



April 30th, 2012 at 2:12 pm

The infographic is a great idea – but their research sucks…

The Jetson’s hovercar listed as 1988? It first aired on TV in prime time in 1962!

Voice command computer – Hitchhikers Guide in 1976?
Since they match that tech up with Siri, you can see the same type of interaction with a computer on the old Star Trek from the mid-1960s!

Same with Universal database (also stated as being first seen in Hitchikers Guide) – no, that was the old Star Trek too.

The chart just randomly selects appearances of technology and then lines them up with one permeation of that technology – they’re not choosing the first instance for either side of the chart; even if you limit the examples to commonly known examples.

Tactical lasers listed as being developed in 1998? What – none before that? No head mounted displays before 2005? I remember HMD consumer models for gaming before that.




May 3rd, 2012 at 11:50 am

This is great! Thanks for sharing. How about less geeky infographics?

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