Sci Fi Saturday: The Off Button

It has been suggested that you, as a museum professional, need to read more science fiction. Doing so will make you a better futurist, which is exactly why you went into museums – to talk about the future.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

Here now is Ray Bradbury’s truly prophetic 1953 “The Murderer.” For those of you who need your multimedia fix, you can also watch “The Murderer” as presented on The Ray Bradbury Theater television show.

While Bradbury’s tech is wrong, his estimate of our obsession with it is not. The futurist implication is simple: we have become hyper-connected and we need to escape from it once in a while or we’ll go mad. Museums could become safe havens from the cacophony. Of course being unplugged in that sea of human expression would leave people feeling disconnected. After a while they’ll abandon the museum for the nearest McDonald’s with a wi-fi hotspot. There they can have coffee and surf your online collection.

About T.H. Gray

T.H. Gray is the self-appointed court jester and Dr. Demento for the history museum field. A lifelong museum professional and reenactor, he is a graduate of the prestigious Peale-Barnum Public History Museum Studies Program. Until 2011, when the AHS hired him away, he was on staff at the Benjamin Dover Memorial Museum & Swimming Pool ("Our History is All Wet!"). He remembers when museums were still about history, science, and art. BTW, all of these posts say they are by T.H. Gray because he can't turn off the byline. Credit, when due, is given. View all posts by T.H. Gray

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