By far the most amazing (and implausible) feature of fictional tech is its power to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.
ACTUAL TECH: Change one byte of code and it’s all like, “I’m done for! Go on without me!”
There is a disturbing kernel of truth in the reboot-remedy. Complex software can indeed often be restored to normal function with a reboot. But our collective faith in the power of the reboot to restore them — even when the hardware has been on fire for two hours — is rather cute. And it’s even a little dangerous, in the sense that STEM literacy is actually important in a civilization that runs on STEM. “Dangerous” might seem hyperbolic, but the disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is a terrific specific example of why it matters.
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about [either].”
…and less all the time. The frontiers of science and technology are expanding relentlessly, leaving the average person further and further behind.