How Sci-Fi Reflects Our Hopes And Dreams Why This Radical History Of The Haitian 1 day ago   01:37

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Without science fiction, you might not be reading this. You also might not be doing your holiday shopping on Amazon while streaming a John Legend’s new Christmas Album on Spotify and looking for a “cuffing season” buddy on Hinge. In short, if not for sci-fi, you might not be taking part in any of the modern wonders the Internet has bestowed upon us.

This is because Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, may never have conceived of the idea if not for Arthur C. Clark’s “Dial F For Frankenstein,” a short science fiction story that first appeared in Playboy and helped inspired the young inventor. It’s just one example of the symbiotic relationship science and science fiction have had throughout modern history.

VICE News recently spoke with noted science fiction authors and scholars, including The Martian author Andy Weir and The Expanse co-authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Frank, for a series exploring the often inspiring, occasionally terrifying, and always thought-provoking ways science and sci-fi have overlapped and shape the world around us.

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dreamcatcherMAS
Dammit make it as a long documentary ffs
Max Jerome
Vice what is the point of uploading these one minute clips? If I wanted to sit down and watch something that was only 1 minute long I would watch porn. Give us 5 minutes on each topic or don't post at all.
Cassini127
Liked the video first!
Shane Will
first
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Why This Radical History Of The Haitian How Sci-Fi Reflects Our Hopes And Dreams 1 day ago   03:42

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Last month, Verso Books published The Common Wind, a radical work by the historian Julius Scott that shows how enslaved people in the Caribbean in the late 18th and early 19th century were able to communicate with each other, exchanging knowledge that helped them resist, revolt, and even escape.

In academia, The Common Wind is the book of the moment. But Scott actually finished it, as his PhD dissertation, in 1986.

Back then, Dr. Scott was a graduate student at Duke University. The Common Wind was his magnum opus, a subaltern tale that occupied a then-burgeoning space in historical writing – a “history from below” that focuses on the disenfranchised rather than the powerful. Specifically, it details how underground communication networks helped bring about the Haitian Revolution of the 1790s, a rebellion in which enslaved people rose up against the French who had colonized their island as a stop in the Atlantic sugar trade. The revolt was successful, ultimately making Haiti the first country to be founded by formerly enslaved people.

“What I really tried to do was set the broad context for trying to understand that within this world, which was based on the ultimate in human un-freedom, there were a lot of little specks where people tried to establish for themselves a little bit more mobility, and sometimes were able to grasp some freedom.” said Dr. Scott.

When PhD students earn their degree, the next step is often to find a publisher for their dissertation, the book-length culmination of doctoral research. Dr. Scott, however, took a different route. Despite some early publishing offers, he instead devoted his energies to teaching (he now lectures at the University of Michigan) while The Common Wind sat unpublished for decades.

Meanwhile, the work’s legend grew, passed around academic circles and cited hundreds of times. One early reader was historian and professor Marcus Rediker, who recommended the book to Verso Press for publication, and wrote the foreword to the version published in November. “The fugitive existence of this book is, I think, almost uncanny for its resemblance to the fugitive existence of the underground that spread the news of the Haitian Revolution, which the book describes,” said Dr. Rediker.

“I really didn't quite understand for a long time how much my dissertation was having an impact and an influence,” Dr. Scott said. “I saw people would cite it. Books came out where people acknowledged the impact my dissertation had had on the way they thought. It was all kind of a big shock to me.”

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