50 Predictions that Dune Nailed 50 Years Ago

This book really nailed what life would be like today.

This book really nailed what life would be like today.

Today, or some few days ago anyway, marks the 50th Anniversary of seminal Science Fiction novel Dune and the not-50th Anniversary of seminal David Lynch box office bomb Dune (Which is unrelated to the source material but does feature a floating space-slug with a gas-spewing vagina for a mouth.  It is… odd).  Frank Herbert’s work is a towering juggernaut of a behemoth of a mixed metaphor for success in the realm of science fiction and is, I would guess because I don’t want to bother looking it up, the most profitable and best-beloved work of science fiction of all time.  Most articles about it focus on the complex political narrative woven into the book, but few have taken the time to celebrate the many, many predictions Dune made and which subsequently became reality.  Well we are going to fix that.

  • (1) Technologically advanced and aristocratic foreigners would fuck up the power dynamics of a local population in pursuit of natural resources leading to constant warfare and the pursuit of revenge, vendetta, and genocidal cleansing.  In the desert obviously.
  • (2) A return to feudalism fueled by massive wealth inequality.
  • (6) Blue eyes are the coolest.
  • (1)3 Mind-altering hallucinogens are proven to extend human longevity by decades with basically zero downsides.  Other than addiction.

    Historians are not entirely sure what the Butlerian Jihad was like, but I'm going to assume this is accurate.

    Historians are not entirely sure what the Butlerian Jihad was like, but I’m going to assume this is accurate.

  • (22) Artificial intelligence (thinking machines) reduced humanity to a sub-human state where they were unable to think for themselves and were easily enslaved by other men with machines.
  • (26A) That’s ok though because we jihaded and got rid of the thinking machines and outlawed all computers.

    You guys remember this pompous jerk, right?

    You guys remember this pompous jerk, right?

  • (31) Humanity was ruled for 3,000 years by a human-worm hybrid god-emperor who could see the future and constantly cloned and re-cloned his favorite human companion, frequently crushing these same companions to death underneath his vast worm body.  If you don’t remember this its because Texas makes terrible history textbooks and ignores unpatriotic history.
  • (Forty-Two) Patrick Stewart is a badass.  Not so much a prediction as a known fact even 50 years when Sir Patrick would have been a strapping, and already bald, 24.

    patrick-stewart-as-gurney-halleck-in-dune

    He’s described in the book as being one of the ugliest men in the galaxy. Nailed it!

  • (LXVII) Lasguns and shields were invented by DARPA but since they caused nuclear explosions whenever used together we decided it was best not to sell them at Target.  2nd Amendment protesters claimed that it was their right to own them but scattered when Obama sent his bee army after them.

    Sting practiced for 172 days in order to learn how to fight with his hair like this.

    Sting practiced for 172 days in order to learn how to fight with his hair like this.

  • (22*pi) Knife fighting has replaced all other forms of combat.
  • (X = 3Y) Face Dancers capable of mimicking any other person were created by a cabal of (SPOILER ALERT) crypto-jewish  genetic engineers.
  • (77) Jessica betrayed her Sisterhood and had a male child.
  • (Eleventy-twenty) Kyle Maclachlan eventually found great success in the science fiction realm on shows such as Twin Peaks and Agents of Shield.  His hair has always been fantastic.

    Yes white people keep fucking up the political structure of indigenous peoples.  But look at that hair!

    Yes white people keep fucking up the political structure of indigenous peoples. But look at that hair!

  • (A Baker’s Dozen Dozens) The most powerful fighting force known to mankind routinely gets bogged down fighting much less-well-armed opponents in the middle of a desert due to the locals’ knowledge of the environment and ability to manipulate religious conviction in order to inspire fanatical devotion and suicidal violence.

    “Look, I completely understand your millennia-old religion. I read a pamphlet on it during the flight over here. Did I mention that I’m white so you should just go ahead and assume that I’m your messiah.”

  • (Reciprocal) We can now bring the dead back to life by cloning (or ghola-ing as Herbert called it) the cells of their dead bodies and then forcing the growing clones (gholas) to try and kill their parents or have sex with people who are trained to use sex as a weapon.  Sure we don’t do it all that much because it is super weird, but scientists have demonstrated it with cows!
  • (168) Is that 50?  I probably should have numbered these.  50 is a lot.
  • (Equal to the Number of Cerebus Comics) Protestants and Catholics reunited in order to definitively outlaw witchcraft.
  • (Avogadro’s Constant) Scientists are already looking to the later Dune books for ways to turn a desertified planet back into a lush, verdant world.  Not that climate change is real or anything.  Its totally being made up by the entire scientific community in order to get money from Big Green.  Its just too sad that the oil industry doesn’t make any money at all, otherwise they could fund real scientists that wouldn’t have such a conflict of interest.

    Mohiam+BeneGesserit-2000

    Hats.

  • (Log 12) Spices are very in these days.
  • (Genesis 26:4) For a little while big hats were super popular.
  • (Borjes’ Library of BabelCinnamon is an excellent addition to coffee, though it is water-insoluble so you end up with some gunk at the bottom of the cup.
  • (Fibonacci) Um… Arab languages became more and more important, adding tons of new words to the english language.  Words like jihad and padishah.
  • 50 Maybe it would have been nice if people had started paying attention to the religious differences between the Sunnis and the Shiites a lot earlier.

Well there you go.  50 predictions that Frank Herbert totally nailed 50 years ago when he published, through a company which had previously only published car repair manuals, the most important work of speculative fiction mankind has ever seen.  In another 50 years it’ll be interesting to see if some of Herbert’s more outlandish ideas (like the Greeks becoming wealthy and powerful) have come to fruition!

Dune

I’m sorry, I kind of fell asleep awhile back.

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3 thoughts on “50 Predictions that Dune Nailed 50 Years Ago

  1. Pingback: 50 Predictions that Dune Nailed 50 Years Ago - #nerdalert

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