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June 7th, 2007
One week in May I accompanied a group of technically savvy science-fiction writers to Washington, D.C., to consult with the Science & Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security. While working in the White House Science Office in 1992, I had organized the group named "Sigma" as a creative resource to supply much-needed imagination to the federal government in its efforts to understand future science and technology.
Some critics have grumbled that the government should not waste its time on science-fiction writers. After all, what has science fiction ever "forecast," other than atomic energy, atomic bombs, cloning, airplanes, aerial warfare, military tanks, rocket ships, laser beams, space travel, communications satellites, space probes, personal and business computers, the Net, virtual reality, data visualization, joysticks, cyberwar, invisibility, stealth technology, robots, automation, artificial intelligence, television, color TV, cell phones, microwave ovens, water beds, detergents, cloning, genetic manipulation, human enhancement, life extension, designer drugs and their widespread use, germ warfare, micromachines, nanotechnology, domestic terrorism, asteroid and comet impacts, the possibility of alien life, and the threat of a world dictatorship?
Arlan Andrews Sr., a professional engineer and science-fiction writer, lives in Corpus Christi.
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