History · Sci-Fi · TV & Movies

Star Trek Computers Aren’t All That Retro

On original Star Trek computers and the history of technology — the remaining points of interest out of that “Star Trek and material culture” paper. 🙂

Comparative Geeks

leonard-nimoy-obit-videoSixteenByNine540-v2 Spock at his computer station.

Last month we talked about Star Trek: The Original Series miniskirts, how they came to be and what they signified. While researching the paper that eventually turned into that post, I found out some interesting things about technology too. Most sci-fi isn’t actually futurist, meaning it doesn’t actually attempt to predict the future in an accurate way. Most sci-fi is designed to make a social statement by taking a situation to an extreme, or to explore possibilities by asking scientific what-if questions, or both. It’s not meant to be a “history of the future.”

Star Trek did those social things, and fantastically well. It’s famous for them. However, it also turns out that Gene Roddenberry, creator and showrunner of Star Trek, was an enthusiastic futurist who wrote papers on the future of technology and was invited to lecture at NASA as well as several…

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