Tap to unmute

14 science fiction stories in under 6 minutes

  • Publicado em 13 Mar 2022
  • I can't make science fiction any more. So, to get the ideas I have out of my head, I went to a Standard BBC Quarry, and put all of them one video. Pull down the description for a list of the books that inspired these!
    ACCELERANDO by Charles Stross (2010): novel created from short stories. www.antipope.org/charlie/blog...
    Arguably the peak of late-noughties singularity fiction, a fad for the "rapture of the nerds" that's mostly passed now. It's still worth a read, even if its early sections are already feeling a little dated:
    BIT PLAYERS by Greg Egan (2014): short story. subterraneanpress.com/magazin...
    Part one of a trilogy that continues in 3-Adica and Instantiation, available in this short story collection: amzn.to/3tLn1dO [that's an Amazon affiliate link]
    EVERYONE IN SILICO by Jim Munroe (2004): novel. jimmunroe.net/writing/free_eb...
    A book from the peak era of Adbusters, talking about corporate-sponsored mind-uploading, the author tried to invoice a load of brands for the entirely-uninvited "product placement".
    LENA by qntm (2021): short story. qntm.org/mmacevedo
    Terrifying Wikipedia article from the future. And while it's technically about uploading, it's also not about uploading: qntm.org/uploading
    THE AGE OF EM by Robin Hanson (2016) amzn.to/36eqGJl [affiliate link]
    BBC Micro-style on-screen counter thanks to the Octagon Simulator from Graeme Cole: www.greem.co.uk/octagonsimula...
    I'm at tomscott.com
    on Twitter at tomscott
    on Facebook at tomscott
    and on Instagram as tomscottgo

Comentários • 2 744

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott  6 meses atrás +4650

    I know sci-fi isn't just "Black Mirror"-esque ideas, but apparently that's what my head mostly comes up with!
    Also, this feels like a good time to plug the other channel I run, Tom Scott plus, where so far I've tried parkour, been remixed into hyperpop, flown a plane while blindfolded, and learned to ride a bike: brclip.com/user/tomscottplus

    • L T Mundy
      L T Mundy 4 meses atrás

      Tom: Some of these scenarios could/would be a possible Johnny Mnemonic reboot.

    • D C
      D C 6 meses atrás

      You made a video that documented your clothing choices for presenting. In it (or was it on the 2 truths 1 lie game) you wondered at what point you couldn't pull off the red shirt/hoodie situation.
      Sorry mate, i think you're there.
      Time to upgrade to red collared shirts and sweaters/beanies for cold times.

    • Steve Bounds
      Steve Bounds 6 meses atrás

      Upload on Amazon is about uploading your conscience before death. It’s very much along the lines of what you bright up.

    • Hashimoto Kingoro
      Hashimoto Kingoro 6 meses atrás

      1:35 You'd be lucky if they just shut down your speech centers. Now imagine ransomware attacks on your crotch!
      "If you don't pay up, your willy will eventually start to necrotize from lack of oxygen."

    • Orson Zedd
      Orson Zedd 6 meses atrás

      What if Christianity was real but God is moving on to other projects and reality will no longer be supported

  • Build-a-Buddha
    Build-a-Buddha 6 meses atrás +2516

    Tom: "I'm not great at writing fiction."
    Meanwhile, at Disney: "Somehow, Palpatine has returned."

    • lShadowdark
      lShadowdark 9 dias atrás

      @MisterDutch93 Fantasy is just Sci-fi without science on it, and Star Wars has a lot of it, they already explained how a Lightsaber is made (in their own rules ofc), they even explained (to the hate of a lot of fans) how The Force works, even animals can have it. they ecplained how a death star worked (ot at least one of them), and the list could go on. In Fantasy we have to take a lot of rules for grantes and accept some things will never be explained "because that is how it is on thir world" we don't need an explanation of how Gandalf's magic works or how and why The Ring works like that, how a dragon lives without food on a mountain, etc.

    • meek.boi_
      meek.boi_ 3 meses atrás

      @idot no. It's space opera a.k.a. science fantasy

    • Violent Silence
      Violent Silence 5 meses atrás +3

      "Somehow, Boba Fett survived"
      "Somehow, Darth Maul survived"
      Lets not pretend that the writing or world building in Star Wars has ever been more than just the embodiment of the rule of cool. It was a fun franchise for the original trilogy, but it has always been more of a toy advert than some great exercise in writing

    • PK 65
      PK 65 6 meses atrás

      @MisterDutch93 Stop defending them, it was a lazy cashgrab. Doesnt matter which genre it is, bad writting is bad. You can love it if you want but theres no justification other than the people who make those kind of movies thinks like children and it shows with what they have to tell.

    • Robert Coffey
      Robert Coffey 6 meses atrás

      @Alpheus Madsen That would be the greatest retcon Disney's pulled off yet.

  • David Wolfberg
    David Wolfberg 6 meses atrás +528

    "we regret that your afterlife will not continue" is such a fantastic and ominous line

    • MrDuckAlmighty
      MrDuckAlmighty 10 dias atrás

      I'm definitely using that for a table top rpg story

    • FateMadMan
      FateMadMan 21 dia atrás


    • tradde11
      tradde11 5 meses atrás +4

      Wow, there's a bunch of good ones in there. But this one is awesome.

    • Dubanx
      Dubanx 6 meses atrás +1

      Right? Absolutely terrifying.
      That said, I can't see it happening simply because the people in the afterlife will make profitable enough slaves to keep funding said afterlife, and it's not like they can say no.

  • Shoopus
    Shoopus 6 meses atrás +294

    Tom Scott has finally lied to us
    "I'm not good at writing fiction"
    Haha no I'd read a book series from you

    • But, why?
      But, why? 3 dias atrás +2

      As someone with a million ideas I gotta say having a good idea is only like 5% of writing a story. A story with a mediocre idea but good writing, plot and characters is a lot more enjoyable than a story with a good idea but mediocre writing, plot and characters.

    • Fisto the Dorc
      Fisto the Dorc Mês atrás

      I suppose it's not necessarily a lie; They did say they're bad at writing, not brainstorming.

  • ObadiahtheSlim
    ObadiahtheSlim 6 meses atrás +98

    I kinda missed your "this is not the future, just a future" type videos. A little quick speculative fiction for the near future. They are always fun to watch to see what you got right and what you got wrong after we've move closer to it being less speculative and instead just fiction.

  • Connor Ellis Music
    Connor Ellis Music 6 meses atrás +40

    The ending was even more creepy for me, walking home at night. The video ended and there was no more sound. Just eerie quiet.
    I thought the simulation WAS ending.

  • SovietOnion
    SovietOnion 6 meses atrás +2214

    “I’m not great at writing fiction.”
    Trust me, Tom, a lot of successful authors and scriptwriters aren’t good at writing fiction.

    • Brent 13377331
      Brent 13377331 Mês atrás

      @Archvaldor's Warcraft Hacks or a career at ubisoft pre 2022

    • Old World Patriot
      Old World Patriot 2 meses atrás

      James Patterson for one

    • Adil Mohiuddin
      Adil Mohiuddin 6 meses atrás

      @Jonathan Brooks what is bad about it?

    • Lytse Draak
      Lytse Draak 6 meses atrás +1

      True. I picked up a book in a library once, written by a journalist who wrote for 3 different newspapers. I don't doubt they are a good journalist, but that book was badly written. I think it only got published because the journalist was a good journalist and the theme was appealing to the masses. The dialogue, for instance, was terrible, it felt like the two people stood in front of each other just saying their lines for 2 pages.

    • Youtube wont let me have a one word name
      Youtube wont let me have a one word name 6 meses atrás +1

      Ive got to remember this when I feel like what I write isn’t good enough. It could be worse!

  • Raykkie
    Raykkie 6 meses atrás +126

    4:07 Already the case with high-tech implants. There's (real) horror stories of people just unsure when their eyes will just shutdown due to a lack of update and/or repair. And just plain unable to have a surgery to remove them. It's horrible.

    • The Zip Creator
      The Zip Creator 2 meses atrás +3

      @Jannik Heidemann the corporate machine doesn't care about human rights

    • MySerpentine
      MySerpentine 3 meses atrás +2

      @Jannik Heidemann Considering what's happening with Roe Vs Wade . . .

    • Will Warburton
      Will Warburton 5 meses atrás +16

      @BetBryce this is enormously callous and unfeeling wtf

    • AreaDenial
      AreaDenial 5 meses atrás

      @BetBryce They paid for eye implants once, they can pay for it again. And again... and again...

    • BetBryce
      BetBryce 5 meses atrás

      They lost it once, they can deal with it again.

  • sjors wijnhoven
    sjors wijnhoven 6 meses atrás +29

    I really like the 'afterlife server' ending thingy. Obviously the servers would be held up by alive people, so it creates an ethical dilemma about what being alive means and if you can just decide to stop 'dead' people from existing. I hope that sentence made any sense😅

    • MartinWastlund
      MartinWastlund 5 meses atrás +2

      Don't worry, you made perfect sense ;)

  • Nope
    Nope 6 meses atrás +116

    I know how embarrassing it can feel to put stuff like this out there so good on you Tom, respect.

  • ClonedGamer001
    ClonedGamer001 5 meses atrás +7

    "I would be filming in the quarry but they're quarrying"
    I don't know why that sentence made me laugh as much as it did.

  • Aabhas Lall
    Aabhas Lall 6 meses atrás +4228

    "It seems like a bad idea to potentially induce that much existential angst", says Tom Scott, after casually inducing too much existential angst.

    • TWDDerSharkmarine
      TWDDerSharkmarine 6 meses atrás

      @Ishari ah i see, that make sense, i learned new things :D

    • Ishari
      Ishari 6 meses atrás +1

      @TWDDerSharkmarine it's not really that it came after (I mean maybe it did chronologically, but that's not important). What's important is that they came from the same language called proto-Germanic (or more likely a group of similar regional dialects). So the relationship between English and German isn't one like father and son, more like siblings (or maybe cousins). They have the same (grand)father.

    • Pamastymui
      Pamastymui 6 meses atrás

      Tom Scott 920034 disgrees.

    • TWDDerSharkmarine
      TWDDerSharkmarine 6 meses atrás

      If i remember, didn't the English came _after_ German, or did i get that reversed?

    • Vigilant Cosmic Penguin
      Vigilant Cosmic Penguin 6 meses atrás

      Well then, I'm sure we can trust his judgement on the subject.

  • Russel CS
    Russel CS 6 meses atrás +15

    I actually really, really liked when you did sci-fi stuff. It's been good inspiration for worldbuilding and scenarios for roleplay. Shame to see it go away completely.

  • Adam Harvey
    Adam Harvey 6 meses atrás +9

    Imagine learning that your entire existence was a theoretical focus group that will end in a minute or so and feeling anything other than immense relief that this isn't what _actual_ existence is like.

  • Comrade Garrett
    Comrade Garrett 6 meses atrás +13

    Imagine how personality development would go in the "influencer"/streamer situation. I can imagine people who just binge their favorite streamers all the time throughout their childhood and adolescents and their own psychological makeup starts to develop in tandem to the streamer - but only in the ways the streamer feels and behaves on screen. Taking parasocial to a whole new level. Knowing someone's stans would be almost like knowing a warped version of the person themself.

  • Steve Hudson
    Steve Hudson 6 meses atrás +6

    That was definitely what they refer to as a "strong ending"! Thanks for the good laugh Tom.

  • Tjalve
    Tjalve 6 meses atrás +3049

    "This is a story from a future.
    Not THE future. Just A future."
    That's how the best Tom Scott videos start.

    • Nora
      Nora 6 meses atrás

      LITERALLY the best

    • ianrandmckenzie
      ianrandmckenzie 6 meses atrás

      All sapient species should be so lucky as to have their singularity's sole purpose to censor out 20th century copyrighted materials for the rest of existence.

    • Ron S
      Ron S 6 meses atrás +1

      Only people with an IQ higher than the average are allowed to vote.
      Consequences - No Tory government, No Brexit, much less racism, the ones who didn’t qualify to vote will be treated equally and will benefit from it and will join the voting crowd in a 10-20 years’ time.

    • P W
      P W 6 meses atrás +3

      "A long, long video ago, in a future far, far behind....."

    • Tjalve
      Tjalve 6 meses atrás +11

      @Safe-Keeper That one is downright scary.
      I know there are people walking around with cards saying "Do not resuscitate".
      In the future, there might be people walking around with cards saying "No Second Life", or something like that. And quite likely, I will be one of them.

  • username4294967296
    username4294967296 6 meses atrás +8

    Love that you mentioned Greg Egan. My favorite book of his 'Permutation city' goes deeper than any other sci-fi I've read into what it means to be an uploaded consciousness.

  • LoveMusicReplay
    LoveMusicReplay 6 meses atrás +7

    The "linking your brain to an influencer's emotions" would not be how you think. Most influencer personas are an act. It would be interesting to see played out

  • Evan Riker
    Evan Riker 6 meses atrás +10

    Hey Tom, May I recommend “The Original” an audio original by Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal. It goes into some of your implant ideas.

    • MEver316
      MEver316 6 meses atrás +1

      As an avid Sanderson fan and listener of audiobooks I'm very ashamed I have not listened to this already. Thanks very much

  • Kai Engelbrecht
    Kai Engelbrecht 6 meses atrás +2

    Tom, a great video as usual! And what a coincidence, just started watching the second season of 'Upload', a nice TV show about.... being uploaded into a digital afterlife!

  • Izzy
    Izzy 6 meses atrás +2

    I'd definitely love to see someone turn these into larger works

  • Amethyst Orchard
    Amethyst Orchard 6 meses atrás +1

    amazing terrifying ideas, I love your horror scifi stories, Tom!

  • TheDestruktr
    TheDestruktr 6 meses atrás +1

    I love all of these. I'm a fan of existential angst, and so I would love to see you orchestrate some kind of media based on something in this video :)

  • Crusade Against Tomatoes
    Crusade Against Tomatoes 6 meses atrás +1

    These ideas are amazing, I would love to see them come to life!

  • J vdB
    J vdB 6 meses atrás +5556

    Another idea: Thoughts can be copyrighted. If someone thinks of a science fiction story, they now have the rights to it and will chase after any initiative to create it. The creative industry grinds to a halt as only the most ridiculous plots and ideas are able to pass legal scrutiny.

    • iczesmv
      iczesmv 6 meses atrás

      Only works can be copyrighted.

    • Sage Ardor
      Sage Ardor 6 meses atrás +1

      Intellectual Property but in a literal sense.

    • FernBear 🌿🐻
      FernBear 🌿🐻 6 meses atrás

      @Austin Barrett They actually legally own the ideas in perpetuity as far as I understand. I thought so with the 3 month window too.
      It's for life, as long as the company is alive. One could cheat and use "stolen" ideas you invented on someone else's pay but somehow the US does not project people for that. It is very sad. As I don't want to be immoral then stealing ideas is right out for me.v:/

    • The plural is actually "asparageese".
      The plural is actually "asparageese". 6 meses atrás

      Meanwhile, fans of Animorphs: _Iskoort vibes intensify_

    • Austin Barrett
      Austin Barrett 6 meses atrás

      @Kaitlyn L That was the dangerous precedent set when Marvin Gaye’s estate sued Robin Thicke over Blurred Lines and won. If I remember correctly, the songs weren’t even the same progression, just similar (not identical) instrumentation, both featured a baseline with an arguably similar feel (but not same notes), and both had the same general tone and message.

  • Akrinor Noname
    Akrinor Noname 6 meses atrás +11

    I've always liked your science fiction. Granted, I can't watch them a lot (especially "Singularity, ruined by lawyers") but that's because many of them seem plausible.

  • Indigo Industrial
    Indigo Industrial 6 meses atrás +5

    "The Tunnel Under The World", by Frederick Pohl is a classic from 1955 which uses a miniaturised world in place of virtual reality that would be used today.

  • Notchie
    Notchie 6 meses atrás +1

    i'd love to see more videos of the scifi stuff, I always loved them

  • chlocka
    chlocka 6 meses atrás

    Tom, I've been waiting for years for more of your brilliant stories hinting at the future's technological stumbles. Thank you for these, hopefully they don't become our experiences

  • Hello Future Me
    Hello Future Me 6 meses atrás +1864

    If anyone wants to read more about brain uploads and digital consciousness, and the very weird things it can do to what a 'person' is, then Greg Egan's Diaspora and Permutation City are fantastic!

    • Gary Boyle
      Gary Boyle Mês atrás

      @Aeon official Are you getting younger?

    • What's Kraken?
      What's Kraken? 5 meses atrás

      fancy seeing you here

    • tradde11
      tradde11 5 meses atrás

      Neal Stephenson's Fall: or Dodge's Hell. Read that recently about a billionaire's brain being scanned and then emulated in the cloud. Very good, or so I think.

    • Carter Lavering
      Carter Lavering 6 meses atrás

      qntm (who you may know from the SCP Foundation or as the inventor of Absurdle) wrote an incredible short story about this called Lena, go check it out!

    • Filip Krasilnikoff
      Filip Krasilnikoff 6 meses atrás

      @Teguh Ilhami Not me, I am eternal.

  • Louis Lamp
    Louis Lamp 6 meses atrás +1

    Based on your ideas, I think you should read the trilogy that begins with The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi.

  • Alison Brizzell
    Alison Brizzell 6 meses atrás

    Loved these. You are creative and talented. I didn't think that my respect for your BRclip persona could get higher, but it has increased. Love your work!

  • ByronTheUsurper / Eatinggamer 39

    The last idea would be perfect for a youtube indie horror series like the walten files or local 58! Definitely not too creepy for that!

  • David Jeffers
    David Jeffers 6 meses atrás

    I have always loved your scifi videos, I hope you can find another outlet for those ideas you're comfortable with.

  • astro_gabe
    astro_gabe 6 meses atrás +1371

    I've had this idea in my head for a while but I'm not good enough of a writer to make it work: You know how CPUs have tick rates? Imagine you're the first human implanted with a brain-machine-interface, but the computer's tick rate is so much faster than the brain that you suddenly start experiencing millions of "simulated" years in a matter of IRL-seconds. Stuck in your own brain-prison for an eternity.

    • Robert Coffey
      Robert Coffey 3 meses atrás

      @Anthony Alexander After growing accustomed to watching most youtube videos at anywhere from 1.25 to 1.75x playback speed, this is already my reality unless they talk fast.

    • Anthony Alexander
      Anthony Alexander 3 meses atrás

      I like this! cool idea. or maybe every time you have a thought it feels like years but in reality its been a split second. So listening to people IRL becomes unbearable.

    • Robert Coffey
      Robert Coffey 6 meses atrás

      @FulyAutomatdLuxuryLGBTplusTranshumnistSpaceLeftCom Welcome to Christianity, where the modern premise is that non-believers will be tortured for an infinite time for finite crimes.

    • WyvernYT
      WyvernYT 6 meses atrás +1

      @UFBMusic I hope some of the casual readers here will be curious enough to look up the original short story. Varley's a good author.

    • UFBMusic
      UFBMusic 6 meses atrás +1

      @WyvernYT I never thought I would see someone mention Overdrawn at the Memory Bank in the wild! I know of it via the movie starring Raul Julia that was used for an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

  • Ingemar Johnsson
    Ingemar Johnsson 6 meses atrás

    Tom, in these dark days we need a film like yours today, thank you so much.

  • Abi Robins
    Abi Robins 6 meses atrás

    I've adored your science fiction videos in the past, I frequently go back to watch them

  • Macronic
    Macronic 6 meses atrás

    Tom, your ideas are amazing and I appreciate you sharing them, but right now they hit a little close to home. I already feel like the world is dividing into the rich vs poor, and a dystopia of subjugated underclass is all but inevitable at this point as insatiable hunger for money drives us away from our humanity. I don’t disagree with your ideas, I just don’t want to feel like this all the time.

  • Elle
    Elle 6 meses atrás +1

    4:07 is depressingly similar to the company Second Sight shutting down, resulting in people with Argus bionic eye implants being unable to repair the implants or obtain much-needed consultation before medical procedures (such as whether they can safely receive an MRI) :')

  • StaK_1980
    StaK_1980 6 meses atrás +270

    "It seems like a bad idea to potentially induce that much existential angst" Tom apparently has never seen a Kurzgesagt video 🙂

    • John Flemings
      John Flemings 5 meses atrás +2

      Exurb1a has entered the chat

    • Æ Sam
      Æ Sam 6 meses atrás +5

      @Evi1 M4chine Haha, do you even watch Kurzgesagt? After each video they put up a pages and pages full of sources, extra reading and the experts they referred to. They even ask Brian Cox, for goodness sake! Professional in existentialism? Quote me Nietzche, Kierkegaard and Sartre without opening your eyes. Unless you're talking about their inexperienced videos from 8 years ago, do not badmouth the glory of the hardworking Kurzgesagt birds anywhere. And I do believe that this discussion would come to an end once you provide proper evidence of this so-called fallacy.

    • Mr Shift
      Mr Shift 6 meses atrás +4

      @Evi1 M4chine Well sure, how would you made the videos on topics they usually touch?
      Some examples? Lmao

    • KuK137
      KuK137 6 meses atrás +10

      @Evi1 M4chine They do ask experts, though? Mind giving some examples and potential solutions they ignored?

    • Silvio Ankermann
      Silvio Ankermann 6 meses atrás +18

      @Evi1 M4chine Do you have an example? I'm curious

  • Mathias P
    Mathias P 6 meses atrás

    I can't tell anyone just how much I would love to have those stories made in any shape, way or form.

  • Liam Brazier
    Liam Brazier 6 meses atrás +4

    I love Jeff Noon’s writing for these sorts of eye-opening idea stories - especially his short story collection ‘Pixel Juice’ that rattles along quite like this video in the ideas-per-minute ratio.

    • Mark Richards
      Mark Richards 6 meses atrás

      Agreed, Vurt and Pixel Juice were awesome reads for me

  • Todd Heath
    Todd Heath 6 meses atrás +2

    Funny thing, the show I watched filmed in that quarry had a main character also named Tom in real life. Somebody call me a Doctor!

  • ThatGreenGuy
    ThatGreenGuy 3 meses atrás

    I love existential angst and I'd love to see idea 14 realized into a full video based just around that idea

  • Tyler Loconte
    Tyler Loconte 6 meses atrás +396

    "we've decided to no longer support the afterlife" is too gosh darn real

    • ZT1ST
      ZT1ST 6 meses atrás

      Can make it realer - combine having some people who's consciousness are already "in the afterlife", but it's Digital Rights Managemented, and the server goes through a Facebook's DNS error step, causing those people to start to get DRM'd due to not being able to hold a server connection to a server that is online, but can't be connected to, and the engineers whose job it is to get it back online, and deal with the aftermath of finding out that some people get reconnected arbitrarily because of the DRM being kicked back in.

    • Jack Kraken
      Jack Kraken 6 meses atrás +2

      Google:"Who would do such a thing? Kill off products that people love. Definitely not us"

    • Kaitlyn L
      Kaitlyn L 6 meses atrás +3

      @Zorktx Andnand oof, that’s… ouch.

    • Zorktx Andnand
      Zorktx Andnand 6 meses atrás +1

      @Kaitlyn L I know, but marketing found out that this personal hell makes people more likely to pay then just stop existing 😅

    • Daniel Cole
      Daniel Cole 6 meses atrás +1

      Opensource afterlife would just be the chaos of Gmod and VR Chat

  • Caitlin Haley
    Caitlin Haley 6 meses atrás

    Idea number 10 is very very close to what the show Upload on Amazon already is! Definitely check it out if you're interested in the topic, it's a really good show and season 2 has either just come out or is about to!

  • pablo jams
    pablo jams 6 meses atrás

    A lot of similar ideas like this are touched upon in a book called “Feed” by MT Anderson. People having brain chips where ads are sent to your thoughts and people communicate via this neural link. But there’s also people who are too poor to afford the premium brain chip and there’s dangerous surgeries to install the cheaper bootleg ones. Very interesting book

  • ShadowofManda
    ShadowofManda 6 meses atrás

    OK, that last idea was awesome! I would love to see a series of videos with that format.

  • Sophie Robinson
    Sophie Robinson 6 meses atrás

    This falls in well with the “Writing Excuses” DVD I got in my Schlock Mercenary mystery box.

  • Ario Tandyo Saleh
    Ario Tandyo Saleh 6 meses atrás +1

    Cyberpunk 2077's sub theme is consciousness uploading and its sequences, a lot of characters comparing it to digital prison as well. It's an interesting subject with a lot of big story characters in it but experienced by just a passerby (the main character.) Always loved that part because it's unnerving with the setting of Cyberpunk's "internet" and we just don't know what happened and what will happen.

  • Mukatsuku
    Mukatsuku 6 meses atrás

    Someone should make a list of films and programmes that have incorporated these ideas. I certainly feel like the brain upload one has been done in a variety of forms, though the only ones that touch on it that instantly come to mind are the memory implants in Blade Runner and the holidays in Total Recall.

  • Working for Their Future
    Working for Their Future 6 meses atrás

    Tom, thanks for the chuckles, the inspiration and knowing I’m not the only person on the planet who believes that my thoughts/ideas should be shared freely unless the Big Co. is going to gain more Big Dough from it! *not leaving that cash on the table, either*
    Cheers from Canada!

  • Michael Vaughan
    Michael Vaughan 6 meses atrás

    That influencer sharing emotions one seems very familiar. I'm having a vague memory of a story about a depressed influencer letting it leak through the facade on stream and contributing to a suicide epidemic.

  • Zahlenteufel1
    Zahlenteufel1 6 meses atrás +320

    Honestly, at this point I'm tired of the techno-dystopias. When are we gonna enter the stage where people start imagining utopias again?
    Don't get me wrong, the cautionary tales have their place but at some point we're gonna have to start being constructive.

    • Daniel
      Daniel 5 meses atrás

      The problem is, a story needs trouble to be entertaining, and the bigger it is, the more entertaining it is, so it makes sense that a lot of stories go through the idea of making the world itself the problem, and have the whole story revolve around that. on the other hand, utopias are boring, I'd say there are more works that are "seemed like a utopia but was actually a dystopia" than there are actual utopias

    • Withme Verissimus Whostoned
      Withme Verissimus Whostoned 6 meses atrás

      @thewiseturtle plot twist... the future you imagine is only a dream, and so are you, and everyone, and everything in this whole existence for it all is just a figment of my imagination.

    • Detson
      Detson 6 meses atrás

      @BritishTeaLover For sure. The story usually centers around the eccentrics and outcasts of the Culture or outsiders who encounter the Culture.

    • BritishTeaLover
      BritishTeaLover 6 meses atrás +2

      @Detson oh I've read them, and I agree that's one where it's mostly a utopia, but those books aren't really set in the Culture itself, it's usually other, darker, places where they take place.
      Plus the Culture does have a bit of a darker underbelly which gets hunted at at times.

    • Detson
      Detson 6 meses atrás +1

      @BritishTeaLover See “the culture” novels.

  • Fran Delfin
    Fran Delfin 6 meses atrás

    Well, even though the last one seems too deep and shows a complete different approach for an existential crisis, I feel a chill when was listen to the firsts ones. They sound like something that might actually happen in the very near future. You are mean Mr. Scott, I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight

  • Sara Scoggan
    Sara Scoggan 6 meses atrás

    I liked the idea about fictional people starring in videos most...I once had a bit of a story idea where alien filmmakers had technology to just envision a movie in their heads and then simply record it. No actors/actresses to pay, no special effects budget, etc. If you could imagine it, it was in the story....kind of like books. :)

  • Markius Fox
    Markius Fox 6 meses atrás

    #14, I really like that one. Probably a great idea to have not done a dedicated video on that, as conspiracy theorists would have RAN with it for sure.

  • Damien Bernard
    Damien Bernard 6 meses atrás

    Ideas1, 2 and 3 made me think of the game "The Red String Club", very nice and short narrative game.

  • SW J
    SW J 6 meses atrás +465

    Tom: "I'm not very good at writing fiction."
    See, that's already a fictional statement. Ought to go in the count, that.

  • VaTreeGuy
    VaTreeGuy 6 meses atrás +1

    Some fascinating and heavy thoughts and ideas there! Quite a creative mind, although they do all give a small window into your dystopian view of the future... If Freud was right.

  • Planet Zhoo Zhoo
    Planet Zhoo Zhoo 6 meses atrás

    You reminded me of Upload, a series I watched on Amazon Prime - scary, and does incorporate a lot of the upload ideas. You can live a great afterlife if you can afford it but terrible if you run out of credit!

  • Huh Neat
    Huh Neat 6 meses atrás

    I love how even if you didn't make these, you still went with that last one just to give us a funny

  • Jacob Degeling
    Jacob Degeling 6 meses atrás +1

    There were a few dr who storylines there: the digital afterlife, where dead people were uploaded at the moment of their death, then turned into cyber men (series 8, 12th doctor) to try and take over the world.

  • XaleManix
    XaleManix 6 meses atrás +572

    I remember Tom doing a talk about the idea of blocking people in real life and a digital afterlife video, both of which were pitched with the 'this could actually be real and you didn't notice yet' conceits. Both gave me week-without-sleep existential angst.
    Brilliant ideas from Tom Scott on the dystopian future we are headed for trying desperately to miss.

    • XaleManix
      XaleManix 6 meses atrás

      @bethany81707 that's the hope, right?

    • bethany81707
      bethany81707 6 meses atrás +2

      We're *trying* to miss it?

    • John Easterling
      John Easterling 6 meses atrás +6

      Yup, had all of my online friends prove they existed after that one but it was less than satisfactory

    • batlrar
      batlrar 6 meses atrás +16

      The best defense (not my idea, although I'm not sure who thought it up originally) against that type of angst is merely that "it doesn't matter". That's not to say that nothing matters, but rather the opposite - no matter if we're real or not, we exist in some form, and therefore everything that could possibly interact with us physically or mentally matters to us. I mean, just think about how much that thought affected you at the time - you think, therefore you exist in some definition, therefore things impact you and you impact things.
      Besides, if you're not real, then you're part of one *heck* of a simulation and you should feel proud about that!

    • John Smith
      John Smith 6 meses atrás +8

      There was an almost series of future videos from Tom which were fascinating and scarey in the same measure.

  • Air Catcher
    Air Catcher 6 meses atrás

    id love to hear your thoughts on uploading more. Do you think there's any way for it to go properly?

  • L B
    L B Mês atrás +1

    "Influencers" idea - William Gibson touches on this in his Sprawl series (Neuromancer, Count Zero & Mona Lisa Overdrive) as SimStim. His writing is the pioneering work for our current understanding of cyberpunk. As yours and his ideas seem to exist in the same space, I think you would like his writing. Check him out.

  • bastardacademic
    bastardacademic 6 meses atrás

    @Tom Scott Some of this, under slightly different guises, can be seen in Warren Ellis' Doktor Sleepless comic from about a decade ago. Check it out, I think you were in very close sync to a lot of the ideas in there.
    That last one though, very Roko's Basilisk-esque

  • Michael
    Michael 6 meses atrás

    Hey Tom, some of the ideas remind me of the TV Series (on Amazon Prime) Upload. Check it out, I find it is a really cool tv series!
    And then, of course, some remind me of the book 1984 by George Orwell.

  • Heidi Larson
    Heidi Larson 6 meses atrás

    Props to whoever made the digital mock-up visuals for this video!

  • Woxli
    Woxli 4 meses atrás

    Fall, or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson also covers a lot of what you talked about regarding brain uploads as well. It covers years from the beginning of the technology and what could happen if humans lost control of it.

  • vrenak
    vrenak 6 meses atrás

    I really like the last one. Both to keep the simulation running, and as an existential dread idea.

  • Efajigaloop The First
    Efajigaloop The First 6 meses atrás

    The TTRPG Ecplipse Phase definitely has a lot of similarities to the upload stuff you described, with uploads being copied, stolen, modified, bought and sold, and so on by corporations

  • The Man Downstairs
    The Man Downstairs 6 meses atrás +680

    I can imagine for the "influencer but literally" storyline some streamer having to desperately avoid having intrusive thoughts to keep their audience safe. these stories definitely have some potential!

    • Iska Mag
      Iska Mag 6 meses atrás +1


    • Timothy Daggett
      Timothy Daggett 6 meses atrás

      I think Ready Player 2 drifts this way for a bit, or at least begins to open the idea up.

    • Michael
      Michael 6 meses atrás +1

      influencer has someone break into their home and kill them, causing all their followers to die in the process as their brains received those signals forcing a shutdown due to body trauma (even though their own bodies didn't have it happen, the brains felt like it did so they die).
      But hey, maybe the story could be someone trying to 'purify' the world of all the 'sheep' who just sit around all day following their influencers that were effectively plaguing the world, so the killer goes from one mega-influencer to the next, slowly wiping out a notable subset of the population who were celebrity worshipper types. Imagine if you could wipe out all followers of a terrorist leader, or conspiracy nutjob pushing extremist views, with a single attack, without worrying about hurting bystanders

    • Squid Gunslinger
      Squid Gunslinger 6 meses atrás

      You could easily have a collection of short stories based on influencers and brain chip links

    • NorthSudan
      NorthSudan 6 meses atrás +1


  • Corey Woods
    Corey Woods 6 meses atrás

    I love your stories Tom. I really like the Google passwords one

  • Mother Reaper
    Mother Reaper 6 meses atrás

    This was really fun, thanks Tom!

  • Yadse wn Dé
    Yadse wn Dé 6 meses atrás

    Last idea scared me but the idea about the hackers intrigued me would love to see that play out in a show we may be in contact one day.

  • Michael Fulton
    Michael Fulton 6 meses atrás

    The mind-uploading company going out of business reminds me of "The Lifecycles of Software Objects" by Ted Chiang, which I read in the collection Exhalation, which I highly recommend.

  • Kelley Wiler
    Kelley Wiler 6 meses atrás +376

    On idea 7, this premise is used in Kate Wilhelm’s short story “Baby, You Were Great”. An audience can feel the actresses emotions, so they need to be authentic.

    • Jay Philbin
      Jay Philbin 5 meses atrás

      Also the movie “Brainstorm”…

    • uelssom
      uelssom 5 meses atrás +1

      Also in Neuromancer with the SimStim

    • willythemailboy2
      willythemailboy2 6 meses atrás

      Niven as well, if I remember correctly. Something about extreme exotic vacations and selling the memories from them.

    • Aixle
      Aixle 6 meses atrás

      Isaac Asimov played with this idea to an extent aswell

    • JB
      JB 6 meses atrás +7

      The movie "Strange Days" (1995) is based around a recording device that allows playback of memories and corresponding emotions in other people. Old movie and a lot darker and immersive than the plot summary suggests.

  • NotDrumstick
    NotDrumstick 6 meses atrás

    Loved this video, I hope you do another sometime!

  • Ryan50Ryan
    Ryan50Ryan 6 meses atrás

    The last one would make an amazing short film. Not saying the others wouldn't, but the twist is the kind of stuff that I like.

  • Scribe
    Scribe 5 meses atrás

    The idea about a digital afterlife shutting down reminds me of a video Loading Ready Run made called The Reactivation, which adds an interesting wrinkle: it's not just that the brain uploading company went under, but the compression method was on the losing end of a format war, and the backup isn't actually activated until long after the person's death.
    This being a Loading Ready Run video, this idea is played for comedy.

  • Mahatma Randy
    Mahatma Randy 6 meses atrás

    William Gibson had influencers in a story back in the '80s. They mostly appealed to teenaged girls who wanted to experience the glamorous life, and plugged in to experience what the influencer was feeling.

  • c182SkylaneRG
    c182SkylaneRG 6 meses atrás +237

    To be perfectly honest, I've thought quite highly of your sci-fi stories in the past, right after I stop being mortally terrified by the thought of how close they are to reality and just how easy it would be for most of them to actually happen.

  • James Bear
    James Bear 6 meses atrás

    The Altered Carbon series is a great trilogy for mind-machine interfaces.

    IIAOPSW 6 meses atrás +14

    As the brain science gets more and more understood and the ability to engineer thought patterns becomes more and more exact, the fraction of deviation from the mean which is considered "a disorder" or "a disability" gets tighter and tighter. People whom we would today consider normal functioning adults are forced into procedures to "cure" them.

      IIAOPSW 5 meses atrás

      @Daniel in living memory, lobotomies were handed out to malcontent adolescent, gayness was a diagnosable disorder, and in some countries political dissidents were sent to insane asylums. Oh but don't worry, we can trust modern psychiatrist to tell the difference between a real disorder and a form of individuality that is being stamped out for someone else's benefit. This time will be different. Surely.

    • Daniel
      Daniel 5 meses atrás

      While interesting, I feel like it would be normal, no? like, the same has happened with medicine, we today consider "diseases" a lot of things that would have been very common in the past, think how most people will take medicine if they get a sore throat or anything.
      If the same would happen to mental health, I honestly think it would be very beneficial, people would be more happy in general

  • Clockwork Kirlia
    Clockwork Kirlia 6 meses atrás

    Awesome stuff! I will miss your old "A Future" videos, but I totally understand why you might not want to keep them going with your current vibe.
    Shoutout to the algorithm, keep on keeping on.

  • Matt Larson
    Matt Larson 6 meses atrás

    I don’t know how much more “existential angst” my heart can take right now- you and I did spend the entire decade of the 80s hearing Ronnie and Maggie telling us we were gonna die in a huge fireball.

    • Boo Bah
      Boo Bah 6 meses atrás

      What I remember is the press trying to convince us that whatever thing they didn't like that Thatcher and/or Reagan were doing was going to lead to nuclear war.
      Grey goo was existential dread. Memories/skills in pill form? That was existential dread.
      Larry Niven's "The Fifth Profession" featured slow-boat interstellar traders, with one of their products being professions-in-a-pill. Complete with reflexes and attitudes; a pill for 'space sailor' includes a devotion to the survival of the ship and obedience to the captain in addition to things like navigation and movement in free fall. It was not the most disturbing profession-pill discussed in the story.

  • fantasticmio
    fantasticmio 6 meses atrás

    The Bobiverse books touch on the idea of uploading minds, and it also shows that company being bought (sorta), and the consequences of someone else owning the rights to your mind.

  • Bob H
    Bob H 6 meses atrás

    Do you know the book Welcome to Scarfolk? It's like a lore book for a fictional, dystopian village. With so many ideas and no compunction to flesh them out, maybe you'd be good at something like that.

  • Rita 25 y.o - check my vidéó
    Rita 25 y.o - check my vidéó 6 meses atrás +36

    The brain machine interface ideas: Check out the books Lock-in and Head-on by John Scalzi. It has a lot of these.
    For the upload stuff: Bobiverse series by Dennis E Taylor. And "Fall, or dodge in hell " by Neal Stephenson
    Good books!

    • Richard Casey
      Richard Casey 6 meses atrás

      Also An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green did the interface bit well.

  • Long Knoll
    Long Knoll 6 meses atrás

    I love writing but I'd have nothing on Mr Scott's creativity powerhouse!

  • Tom Lum
    Tom Lum 6 meses atrás +1140

    "Legacy" intelligence neural implants inherited down from parents fits the education inequality theme quite well! Maybe they're made of a rare metal and scarce like GPUs these days.

    • Michaelle Yoonmin4Life
      Michaelle Yoonmin4Life 6 meses atrás

      I thought this was terrifying enough... And then I read the "artificial scarcity" replies.
      Why does my brain insist this seems quite possible?

    • Boiqi
      Boiqi 6 meses atrás

      Similar to Full Metal Alchemist, imagine a Philospher's stone of a civilisation of people sacrificed to put their combined knowledge into a single neural implant.
      Creating a semi-omniscient being with the thought processing and knowledge of millions of people but inherently still human thoughts.

    • Joshua Pearce
      Joshua Pearce 6 meses atrás +1

      Worse, it's just artificial scarcity.

    • Vigilant Cosmic Penguin
      Vigilant Cosmic Penguin 6 meses atrás +1

      Ooh, what if the element of being inherited from the family had an aspect where people are also conditioned to think the same as their parents because they have the same implants!

    • GambitsEnd
      GambitsEnd 6 meses atrás +3

      For a larger impact in the message, the material could be artificially scarce, like diamonds. Where everyone could have the same technology, but a highly controlled supply in combination with marketing makes it a very exclusive, highly expensive product only the high wealth class can obtain.

  • Joseph Coulter
    Joseph Coulter 6 meses atrás +1

    how do you feel about an indie game being made on one of these? that last one seems perfect for a game since you can hint at the player being simulated through the mechanics

  • Mary Lea
    Mary Lea 6 meses atrás

    I want more of these! Fantastic.

  • Koinu
    Koinu 6 meses atrás

    Stross already put a possible solution for that last bit out there, from the end of Accelerando: simulation must die either way + only one bit of output.

  • wutbro
    wutbro 6 meses atrás

    I love all of this! Wanna see more

  • Sage Ardor
    Sage Ardor 6 meses atrás +266

    Just for the record, Tom, I would pay good money as a consumer to watch a cyberpunk film where the protagonist's brain chip gets ransomware and they have to find out how to decrypt their memories and restore their speech center. That is not only a commentary about the dangers of going "too far" with technology, but also fascinating from a communications standpoint with how they would figure out a way to articulate their goals to others.

    • Ekki
      Ekki 6 meses atrás

      @Eve Ransomware is low stakes stuff that only affects people who forego caring about a computer because of how computers were marketed. Definetly not the kind of holes in security a brain integrated chip would have.
      Also, even for ransomware, there are cases of people sending a heartfelt email working. Because ransomware is still individually checked by people who are actively targetting famous/rich/powerful people. Harming for harm's sake is a thing of movies, not a reasonable fear in the real world.
      The snarky remark is because I'm tired of the same boring story (and conspiracy theory) circulating from the people ironically saying that we're being dumbed down by Hollywood.

    • Vigilant Cosmic Penguin
      Vigilant Cosmic Penguin 6 meses atrás

      That would be an exciting thriller, where the protagonist has to figure out how to fix things before it's too late.

    • Random O'Clock
      Random O'Clock 6 meses atrás

      @Mackandelius CrossCode does something similar, although ransomware is not the cause. Would recommend.

    • EGBrandan
      EGBrandan 6 meses atrás +2

      Why do I feel like this would be most likely to get made in Hollywood if someone pitched it as the plot of "Charades: The Movie" the same way as that Battleship one?

    • Hideyoshi
      Hideyoshi 6 meses atrás +5

      @Kyureki Hana accept the majority of people's friends aren't only online, and most don't usually use the exact same password for everything. And even if one of your accounts is hacked, it's fairly easy to recover it. Generally, the only times you're going to have a problem with everything is if you're being targeted by a nation-state, and at that point you have bigger problems than not being able to post on instagram.

  • Zoe Bentley
    Zoe Bentley 6 meses atrás

    Viewer beware after about 5:13.
    The problem is actually that Tom Scott is *too good* at fiction.

  • TheLazyBot
    TheLazyBot 12 dias atrás

    That last idea's twist was hype, I could definitely see that taking off