I hear phrases like these in the news and on science websites:
- Quantum computing (This is a reality now)
- Potentially habitable exoplanets (One was recently discovered only 14 light years away)
- Spooky action (this was observed this year)
- Metamaterial wormhole teleports magnetic fields across space (This actually happened in a lab this year)
- We understand how memories are stored and that it’s possible to alter them
- Elon Musk’s Hyperloop to be tested
- Mars observed to have liquid water
- NASA accepting applications for new astronauts – ones to be selected to go to Mars
This is only a small sample of what’s happened this year. These are things that would only have been dreamed of a quarter century ago. They were science fiction. They are reality now.
How do you think science fiction has become reality recently?
Have you ever been in a situation that would require you to behave in a civilised manner or to refrain from doing anything, yet you want to do something completely different? For example, you see drunk man irritating passengers on a train, yet due to societal standards, you’re supposed to ignore the person. But in your mind, you’re thinking of many things to say or do to get the person to be quiet or get off the train.
I have many train stories that ended with me doing nothing, since if I did anything, people would look down on me for not minding my business. Such is life in Japan. Things I have seen include the following:
- A man stole a seat from a pregnant woman by sneaking behind her and sitting down just as she was about to sit down.
- A drunk man was talking with several passengers, then went to a junior high school boy who looked so terrified, he was looking around at people to help him.
- A man nearly walked into my wife and I in the train station, and then he followed us. We waited for the train, but he came behind me and kneed me in the leg, then shouted at me, saying I should get out of Japan.
- An older man who had been hiking, was sitting between two seats, while his backpack was on a third. He had his hiking boots off and was massaging his feet. The train was packed. My wife was pregnant. I commented to her that some people are so rude, and another man looked at me, hopeful that I’d do something. I guess he wanted some entertainment.
- Multiple times people pretended to sleep in the priority seats the moment they see an elderly person or a pregnant woman.
I can go on. But have you ever taken moments like this, imagined how you could change it, then wrote a brief story about it? Let me know in the comments below.
First, I’d like you to watch this video. After that, please read on. It’ll make it easier to respond to my questions.
That is my daughter. She’s 2 years and 7 months old at the moment, and as you can see, she doesn’t exactly speak English like a normal Canadian kid. Well, that’s because we live in Japan, and she spends much of her time hearing Japanese. Her language is mixed. But this isn’t the important thing.
What I’d like to know is this: How would you react if you read this scene in a novel that was not meant to be funny? Let’s say a serious novel about a young family’s struggle to become successful. If this video were written out just the way it looks, how would you react? Could you take it seriously? Is reality truly stranger than fiction?