Futurological Congress ( Polish: Kongres futurologiczny ) is a science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem , published in 1971 . It is a disappointing forecast for the development of human society in the context of increasing social confrontation and the rapid depletion of natural resources: the ruling circles, using chemicals, plunged all of humanity into a kind of virtual reality , an illusory world of almost complete abundance and prosperity. Only a few can see the true state of things, and only for a short time. The real reality is the complete collapse of civilization.
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Date of writing||1971|
|Date of first publication||1971|
|Publishing house||Wydawnictwo literackie|
Iion Quiet goes to the Futurological Congress in a dysfunctional Latin American country. The congress discusses the most pressing issues of the future futurology. The theme of the sexual revolution is widely represented. The situation in the country is explosive - from time to time various emergency situations occur. In the midst of Congress, riots begin. The authorities are trying to stop them with psychotropic drugs - “pacifier bombs” or “booms”. This leads to other unrest - the rebels and the police come together and start to feast, talk heart to heart or go crazy together. I. Tikhiy, together with fellow journalists, takes refuge in the lower floor of the basement, suspecting that the “boomboarding” could soon develop into a bombardment. Twice they are trying to take them to the surface for salvation, but this turns out to be a hallucination. For the third time, Silent refuses to leave the lowest floor. Then former officers of the previous regime injured him with a pistol.
Quiet defrost in 2039 , in the "bright future". There he tries to get comfortable and understand the new order of things. He is studying a renewed language, new orders, the life of a chemocratic society. A lot of things shock him - the possibility of resurrection even against the will of the deceased, a new understanding of family and marriage, education, science, the introduction of robots.
Then he gradually learns about the "masks" (hallucinogens that create virtual reality) and that reality is masked and embellished; that there are various antidotes for hallucinogens, corresponding to different degrees of admission to truth (different levels of truthfulness): the Earth is dying. Consumer paradise, the wonders of medicine and weather control are just a universal hallucination. There are different layers of virtual reality - all residents of the "civilized world" are in the most prosperous; in order to go to another level of reality closer to the truth, a chemical preparation is required.
The head of a chemical manufacturing company suspects Tikhov of organizing a revolutionary underground. During a personal meeting with the director, who then goes into a fight, Tikhiy suddenly finds himself in the basement, where members of the congress are hiding from bombs. His freezing and life in the future were also hallucinations.
Some words and phrases from the language of the future
- Algebrain is a preparation for studying mathematics.
- Bustoria is a school subject that replaces history. They study not what was, but what will be.
- to palace - to remove the palace for some time.
- girocracy - corruption (from the expression “grease”, “grease”).
- interference is a temporary hybrid creature that appears during the interference of revision programs. After turning off the device, the time of their existence reaches three minutes.
- Corrupt computer - a robot (computer) -bribe taker.
- masks are substances that hide reality.
- resident - a prohibited drug that partially neutralizes the action of masons.
- the primitivist is a dim-witted robot.
- a jerk is a simulation robot who doesn't want to work.
- thawed - a person who was frozen many years ago and then thawed.
- revision - three-dimensional television.
- Robot-shake, Robotrouten - Robot-idler.
- R o botyaga - a robot worker.
- a simulator ( in a new sense ) is a non-existent object that pretends to exist.
- scandalol - a drug to stimulate scandal.
- Tryntravinyl - a drug for sedation.
- hamant - a robot boor.
- tsifranin - a rural robot.
- the alien is an alien robot.
- Lem's ideas influenced later works, and not only in literature. There is an opinion [ whose? ] , that the “Matrix” , for example, was created, among other things, under the influence of the “Futurological Congress”. For the first time, the idea and problems of the existence of virtual civilization were described by Lem in the futorological monograph “Sum of Technology” in 1963. What was later borrowed to create the "Matrix" Lem called phantomology, and devices for the formation of virtual reality phantom machines.
- The problem of virtual reality was also considered by Lem in the story “Boxes of Professor Corcoran” in the series “ From the Memoirs of Iyon the Pacific ”.
- Ari Volman , director of the animated film " Waltz with Bashir ", in 2013 made the film " Congress " based on the novel.