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.