“I am unflinching optimist. I’m also convinced that awful things are going to happen, and everything is going to suck,” author and io9 cofounder Charlie Jane Anders begins her recent TEDx Talk at Harvard College.
In “The Paranoid Optimist,” Anders discusses how both her work and writing seeks to unravel such tangled contradictions: her dueling fears and hopes about the future; the man who can see the future falling in love with the woman who can see multiple futures in her Tor.com story Six Months, Three Days; and the struggle between science and nature in her forthcoming book, All the Birds in the Sky.
But “science versus nature” is actually a false dichotomy, Anders argues. If we’re going to make it through the next hundred years, she says, we’ll have to open our minds to most dichotomies—especially those where both factors pave the way for progress—and use SFF for problem-solving. Watch the entire TEDx Talk:
All the Birds in the Sky is available January 26.