Ray Bradbury on Future Tech

In both of Ray Bradbury’s short stories, The Veldt and There Will Come Soft Rains, Bradbury warns the reader of a future in which humans are basically obsolete due to technology advanced enough to live a human’s life without them.

The Veldt

This short story is a warning of the hold technology will have (and maybe already does have) on humans. Although the kids in the story have the power to control the nursery through their thoughts, it is still the nursery that controls them for without the nursery the children would not feel resentment toward their parents and their parents would, perhaps, actually do their job of parenting. I think the ending of the story shocked me the most but also drove Bradbury’s point home. Technology desensitizes us from the real world and perhaps one day it will get to a point where killing our own parents doesn’t even ellicit a flicker of emotion from us.

There Will Come Soft Rains

This short story was less of a warning, I think, and more of a prediction that technology will last long after we are gone. In fact, technology will be so advanced that it will run without humans there to operate it. I had a few problems with this short story though. First, the house was so advanced that it could cook food, clean itself, and even dispose of a dead dog, but it was not intelligent enough to realize that humans were no longer living in it and that the world had ended. Also, the date that the house “died” was August 5, 2026, which is only 10 years from now. Bradbury was way off on his prediction of the future in 1950 when he wrote this piece. I don’t see a house that advanced becoming a reality in the next 10 years.