If you read one essay about the brilliant metaphors in a classic action movie and how they can help us appreciate the future, let it be Tim Carmody's recent piece on Aliens as a story about technology. Here's a taste.
What I love about Aliens is that it juxtaposes these massive, romantic themes with a much more prosaic view of tech, and of space. In Aliens’ future world, space is just a place where people work. There’s two borrowed phrases from Ridley Scott’s Alien that are important here: “truckers in space,” and “the used future.” The tech is sloppy, it’s everyday, it’s ugly, it’s pragmatic — it’s craven. What saves Ripley from drifting through space forever isn’t the love of the gods: it’s a deep salvage team, who are pissed off that they broke into the ship’s hull for nothing because there’s a live human inside.
Despite having watched the entire movie a month ago, this piece makes me want to watch it again. The themes of technology vs. biology that he explored here sound much more nuanced and developed than what I soaked in while watching it.