Sometime after 9/11, I was invited to a conference with various experts who were to offer out-of-the-box advice on combating terrorism. The group included a science-fiction writer, which I thought was an innovative touch. He could probably be counted on for wild, amusing ideas, but no one in authority would pay attention to him . . . right?
Wrong. Unfortunately, people who make real decisions about national security and warfighting were-and are-listening. The Department of Homeland Security and even U.S. Special Operations Command are actually consulting science-fiction writers on a regular basis. When I first heard this, I thought the story itself was fiction. Unless these sci-fi authors had other credentials, what respectable policymaker would pay one second's attention to their meanderings? Even one of the writers, Jerry Pournelle, stated that he and the others were just "well-qualified nuts."
Am I the only one worried about the notion that in the great struggle for civilization, we have been reduced to paying for advice from the world of make-believe?