Everyone is a Genius in the Future YKTTW Discussion

Everyone is a Genius in the Future
All characters have an intimate knowledge of how the futuristic technology of their daily lives works.
(permanent link) added: 2011-09-27 00:26:30 sponsor: mechanixis (last reply: 2012-10-30 08:26:25)

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Do We Have This

It's the future. The world is now teeming with fantastic technology to append to our every need - there's space travel and robots and rayguns.

Naturally, because technology has developed so far, so too has the layperson's understanding of this technology. Anyone on the street can tell you how their household Matter Replicator works - why, they use that thing every day! Just like how anyone who drives a car understands an internal combustion engine works.

In reality, science and technology are two very different things. You can use technology without ever understanding the science that drives it; using a lot of technology does not mean you know a lot of science. Many writers disregard this, and thus characters can have long, off-the-cuff discussions about their universe's technology and how it works. Common reasons for this are either to provide exposition into how the universes technology works or to show off how civilized and intelligent this vision of the future is.

Very frequently results in Techno Babble. This also leads to characters being innately adept at repairing or modifying technology, when in reality one would probably call a repairman or some other specialist.

The most prominent example I can think of is obviously Star Trek, in which almost any two non-specialist characters can have a detailed conversations about warp-core schematics or modify their phasers to perform any number of tasks for which they were not designed.
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