Technology lets low-cost providers take market share away from established companies, as Detroit auto makers and Paris fashion house designers have seen. Even high-tech companies have a hard time building sustainable businesses now that good ideas are copied so quickly that they become commodities.
In a time of great change, fiction can sometimes provide better understanding than facts alone. “As the pace of technological change accelerates, the job of the science fiction writer becomes not harder, but easier—and more necessary,” he writes. “After all, the more confused we are by our contemporary technology, the more opportunities there are to tell stories that lessen that confusion.”