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History of the Future 9: The Future in the 1970s.

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Presentation on theme: "History of the Future 9: The Future in the 1970s."— Presentation transcript:

1 History of the Future 9: The Future in the 1970s

2 This Session America in the 1970s: Big picture America in the 1970s: Big picture Political and economic turmoil Political and economic turmoil Loss of national confidence Loss of national confidence Vietnam Vietnam Watergate Watergate Oilshock Oilshock Contiuning social change Contiuning social change

3 Vietnam (continues) Nixon elected in 1968 with peace promise Nixon elected in 1968 with peace promise Reduces US troops on ground, starts talks Reduces US troops on ground, starts talks Expands war in other areas (Cambodia, etc) Expands war in other areas (Cambodia, etc) Domestic opposition grows Domestic opposition grows My Lai massacre reported in 1970 My Lai massacre reported in 1970 National Guard kills 6 at Kent State, 1970 National Guard kills 6 at Kent State, 1970 Congress pushes for end Congress pushes for end Final agreement in Jan 1973 Final agreement in Jan 1973 US takes no action in 1975 as South falls US takes no action in 1975 as South falls Undermines Americas faith in its power, morality Undermines Americas faith in its power, morality Destroys political consensus on foreign policy Destroys political consensus on foreign policy

4 Détente Begins under Nixon Begins under Nixon Visits China in 1972 – exploit divisions with USSR Visits China in 1972 – exploit divisions with USSR New treaties with Soviets New treaties with Soviets Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) Continues under Carter Continues under Carter Reversed in 1979 Reversed in 1979 After Soviet invasion of Afghanistan After Soviet invasion of Afghanistan Renewed arms race follows Renewed arms race follows

5 Watergate Burglary of Democratic office by Nixon operatives Burglary of Democratic office by Nixon operatives Covert action against political enemies from 1970 Covert action against political enemies from 1970 Break-in occurs in 1972, foiled Break-in occurs in 1972, foiled Story develops slowly Story develops slowly Pressure grows, investigations deepen Pressure grows, investigations deepen Investigations, tapes, firings Investigations, tapes, firings Nixon resigns facing impeachment in Aug 74 Nixon resigns facing impeachment in Aug 74 Undermines faith in politicians, presidency Undermines faith in politicians, presidency

6 Oil Shock – Energy Crisis Following 1973 war with Israel Following 1973 war with Israel OPEC bars US exports; hikes oil prices OPEC bars US exports; hikes oil prices Price rises from $3 to $18 Price rises from $3 to $18 Tips economy into recession Tips economy into recession Stagflation – new phenomenon Stagflation – new phenomenon Happens again in 1979, Iranian Revolution Happens again in 1979, Iranian Revolution Idea of energy policy gains popularity Idea of energy policy gains popularity Small cars, alternative energy boom Small cars, alternative energy boom Telecommuting is one response Telecommuting is one response

7 America Under Siege America at the mercy of foreigners America at the mercy of foreigners Defeat in Vietnam Defeat in Vietnam Oil shock Oil shock Iranian Hostage crisis following 1979 revolution Iranian Hostage crisis following 1979 revolution American industries crumble to imports American industries crumble to imports Steel Steel Consumer electronics – TV Consumer electronics – TV Motorcycles, cars Motorcycles, cars

8 Social Change 60s things become mainstream in 70s 60s things become mainstream in 70s Drugs Drugs More sexual partners, cohabitation More sexual partners, cohabitation Health food (if not communes) Health food (if not communes) More divorce; later marriage More divorce; later marriage Far more married women working Far more married women working Increasing social fragmentation Increasing social fragmentation Lifestyles Lifestyles Music Music Races Races

9 Environmentalism Environmental Protection Agency (1970) Environmental Protection Agency (1970) Set up by Nixon! Set up by Nixon! Consolidates pollution control programs Consolidates pollution control programs Strengthened under Carter – risk assessment duties Strengthened under Carter – risk assessment duties Technology Policy Technology Policy Office of Technology Assessment – 1972 Office of Technology Assessment – 1972 Non-partisan reports on technological issues Non-partisan reports on technological issues Carter administration favors energy research Carter administration favors energy research Interest in renewable sources, conservation Interest in renewable sources, conservation

10 Feminism Growing movement in 1970s Growing movement in 1970s Some radicalism – lesbianism as political statement Some radicalism – lesbianism as political statement Possibility of all-female society Possibility of all-female society How inherent are gender differences? How inherent are gender differences? Would women run a better world? Would women run a better world? Political push Political push Equal Rights Amendment passes congress in 1972 Equal Rights Amendment passes congress in 1972 Non-discrimination in law and work Non-discrimination in law and work Family-friendly workplace Family-friendly workplace Ideas live on, term becomes unfashionable Ideas live on, term becomes unfashionable

11 Science Fiction Eclipse of traditional magazines Eclipse of traditional magazines Galaxy at end of 1970s Galaxy at end of 1970s Omni (1978) Omni (1978) mixes SF with popular science and futurology mixes SF with popular science and futurology 800,000 circulation 800,000 circulation Star Wars (1977) changes everything Star Wars (1977) changes everything More written by women More written by women

12 Few entirely new themes Influence of new wave still felt Influence of new wave still felt Traditional themes continue Traditional themes continue Time travel Time travel Space war, etc Space war, etc Literary quality inches up Literary quality inches up More rounded characters More rounded characters Less atomic war Less atomic war More economic/environmental pessimism More economic/environmental pessimism

13 Big Dumb Objects Mankind discovers huge alien artifacts Mankind discovers huge alien artifacts Leading new topic of hard SF in 1970s Leading new topic of hard SF in 1970s Many examples Many examples Ringworld, Larry Niven (1970) Ringworld, Larry Niven (1970) Rendevous With Rama, Clarke (1973) Rendevous With Rama, Clarke (1973) Orbitsville, Bob Shaw (1975) Orbitsville, Bob Shaw (1975) Gateway, Frederick Pohl (1977) Gateway, Frederick Pohl (1977)

14 More Women As readers As readers Starts in 1960s, partly with Star Trek Starts in 1960s, partly with Star Trek As writers As writers James Tiptree Jr – leading short story writer James Tiptree Jr – leading short story writer Pseudonym of Alice B. Sheldon (1915-1987) Pseudonym of Alice B. Sheldon (1915-1987) Some follow feminist agenda Some follow feminist agenda Ursula K. Le Guin Ursula K. Le Guin Suzy McKee Charnas, Motherlines, 1978 Suzy McKee Charnas, Motherlines, 1978 Approach dwindles by mid-1980s Approach dwindles by mid-1980s

15 More Women II Others insert strong female characters in traditional SF frameworks Others insert strong female characters in traditional SF frameworks Joanna Russ, The Female Man, 1975 (fighter) Joanna Russ, The Female Man, 1975 (fighter) Some incorporate traditional female roles Some incorporate traditional female roles Anne McCaffrey, Dragonflight (1968) Anne McCaffrey, Dragonflight (1968) Component stories won Hugo & Nebula Component stories won Hugo & Nebula Start of series Start of series Girls adventure stories – ponies as telepathic dragons Girls adventure stories – ponies as telepathic dragons Vonda McIntyre, Dreamsnake (1978) Vonda McIntyre, Dreamsnake (1978) Healer woman Healer woman

16 Reign of the Dinosaurs Golden Age authors continue to dominate Golden Age authors continue to dominate Heinlein Heinlein Long, self-referential, books Long, self-referential, books Asimov (returns to SF in mid-70s) Asimov (returns to SF in mid-70s) Clarke Clarke None of them break much new ground None of them break much new ground


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