In the Future, Will We All Be Geniuses?

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Tiffany Kelly reviews Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway:

Surprisingly, Doctorow doesn’t see his work as a dystopian novel. In fact, he thinks it’s precisely the opposite. Despite depicting a world that is changed by our own technological advancements and ideologies, Doctorow is optimistic about future generations of humans. Walkaway follows characters who do just that—they walk away from society in search of something better. As the literary world keeps churning out dystopian novels, it’s a relief that they’re not all doom and gloom.

I guess it’s a matter of taste whether you find Doctorow’s future world dystopian or not. But it’s sure as hell not jetpacks and vacations on Mars. And the inflation rate! Holy cow.

However, there was one part of the novel that sure was utopian. It was also the part that bugged me the most. As near as I can tell, there’s barely a single character in the entire Walkaway society with an IQ less than 150 or so. OK, maybe 120. How did that happen? What happened to, you know, all the ordinary people? What’s the point of depicting a near-future society where you pretend that the rabble no longer exists and everyone is a genius?

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