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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view



UPCOMING EVENTS: David Brin



MULTIMEDIA: David Brin Topics

Fiction Writers Panel - Envisioning the Starship Era

What’s next—the horizon of our dreams

Utopia in Exile

Reinvent Climate Management Full Roundtable

Brin, Gerrold, Castelluci, Dean - Panel: A Quiet Place to Write

Vernor Vinge, David Brin, Phil Osborn, Mitch Wagner - Panel on The Technological Singularity

Bionic Bodies

David Brin Reads from Existence: Chapter Three

“So you want to make gods. Now why would that bother anybody?”

Target 2061: Reinventing Civilization Across Half a Century

The Beginning of Existence

Glory Season Book Trailer

‪Graduating? Things every High School Senior Should Know‬

David Brin’s EXISTENCE: Official Trailer

Our Reborn Future in Space




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David Brin Topics




How to regain trust in the NSA era: The IGUS Gambit

by David Brin

How might the Obama Administration best respond to wave after wave of "NSA revelations" that roil and cloud the political waters?  Ironically, almost none of Edward Snowden's leaks—or those of Julian Assange—revealed anything that was illegal per se. What they have done is stir a too-long delayed argument over what should be legal!



Is World War IV taking shape?

by David Brin

World economics seer Louis-Vincent Gave, of the Gavekal Partnership, has explained the pivotal meaning of the Crimea Incident in a larger context which he calls a looming "World War IV" —the conflict between the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam, in which Sunnis control larger reserves of oil, but Shia populations are restive in the very places where that oil is pumped. If a rising axis of Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq takes hold - (the latter three Shia-ruled, currently) - then fear will tighten across the Sunni belt.



Innovations to help us conquer space

by David Brin

I just attended the NASA Innovative and Advance Concepts group (NIAC) symposium at Stanford —(I am on NIAC's Council of External Advisors)—watching and appraising and questioning terrific presentations about future-potential "game-changing" space technologies.  In four days the recipients of NIAC seed grants, showed us how NASA's small but strategic investments in exceptional… even risky… technologies might prove valuable—even vital—if given a chance.



Does Inequality Matter?

by David Brin

During his State of the Union Address, President Obama brought into the open, a topic we've all been mulling, lately… the worrisome rise in wealth and income disparity.  Especially in the U.S., where two generations have grown up under the blithe illusion (unprecedented in human history) that matters of class are no-big-deal. Knowing that we're about to discuss the calamitous effects of a rising plutocracy, some of you will click away.



What If the 21st Century Begins in 2014?

by David Brin

As if you didn’t already have enough to be nervous about, here’s something creepy to ponder as the new year opens. This what-if isn’t technological, social, political or even science-fictional. Rather, it’s a bit of wholly unscientific, superstitiouspattern-recognition. The last two centuries (and possibly more) didn’t “start” at their official point, the turning of a calendar from 00 to 01. That wasn’t when they began in essence, nor when they first bent the arc of history.



“Neo-Reactionaries” drop all pretense: End democracy and bring back lords!

by David Brin

Following up on my previous posting, about the rationalizations of the new aristocracy, this time I plan to reveal to you a pernicious trend among some of society's best and brightest.  But first, will you indulge me with a riff of background? In Existence,  I portray a grand conference, held in the Alps around the year 2045.  The secret meeting has been called by a consortium of "trillies," or trillionaire families, with the objective of commencing a new, world-wide era of Aristocratic Rule.  But their goal is not just to re-institute the ancient pyramid of privileged domination, but this time to start off on the correct foot. To get it right.



Looking to the Future: An Interview

by David Brin
As I prepare to speak to the European Union's Horizon 2020 Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania, on November 6, here is an interview that I gave to one of the major European journals covering the event.



DIY Biology or Our Biohacker Future

by David Brin

Biohackers constructed their temple for amatuer bio-creativity in 2009, with the establishment of Brooklyn-based Genspace, the world’s first government-compliant DIY biotech lab.



Pondering Pax Americana and the government ‘shut-down’

by David Brin

While Americans await the recoil of their government's impending shut-down, I recommend, for light reading/listening, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, especially the last sentence, which is a tonic for those who have been taught the koolaid mantra that "all government is vile, all the time." Ask yourselves what our parents in the Greatest Generation would have said to that noxious oversimplification.



A Transparency Tsunami!

by David Brin

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is working on the Biometric Optical Surveillance System (BOSS) allowing authorities to identify individuals by their faces—from images collected by street cams, driver’s license photos, mug shots or other sources. As Ginger McCall points out, there is little or no "legal oversight of such technologies."  And I agree!  Oversight and "under-sight" or sousveillance is absolutely essential lest this lead to Big Brother!



Bringing back feudalism—is libertarianism an unwitting tool?

by David Brin

R.J. Eskow - on Salon - offers "11 Questions to see if Libertarians are Hypocrites."  And yes, most of Eskow's posers certainly do set up some stark and thought-provoking contradictions - even hypocrisies - in the oft-touted positions held by many who today use the "L-word" to describe themselves. The article is well-worth reading and it does skewer especially those who bow in obeisance to Ayn Rand, the patron saint of resentful ingrates who want desperately to blame society for being  under-achievers. And yet…



Ocean Geo-Engineering, Whale Poo, SeaLand and Rising IQ

by David Brin

Some of my earlier postings discussed ocean fertilization as a means of geo-engineering remediation to address rising carbon dioxide levels and global climate change. Now here's a really interesting, if slightly icky realization: Sperm whale poo may be a vital part of keeping the seas vibrant and healthy!



Reasons for Optimism and Concern: Can Technology Save the World?

by David Brin

I cannot recommend too highly an excellent article that appeared in The Guardian— Technology as Our Last Best Hope —about the concept of ecological modernism, which sees technology as key to solving big environmental problems.



Ocean Fertilization, Geoengineering, and the Politics of Science

by David Brin

My last posting about Climate Change remediation got a lot of attention, positive and negative,  so let me emphasize: I do not consider any form of "geoengineering" to be a substitute for responsibly investing in energy efficiency and finding ways to maintain a great civilization without ruining our planet.



The Science of Climate and Geo-engineering… and more

by David Brin

On June 18 I joined a blue ribbon panel (via Google Hangout) on the topic of Reinventing Climate Management: Staring Down the Possibility of Geoengineering, led by scenario thinker Jamais Cascio, author of the book Hacking the Earth: Understanding Geoengineering. He moderated a terrific group of scientists and other innovators (plus me… for comic relief I guess) wrestling with this issue, joined by visitors from the web with questions and ideas.



Calling all flash mobs! Defend the planet from noisy fools!

by David Brin

On Science 2.0, Hank Campbell interviews the folks from Lone Signal who plan to beam "messages to ET" starting on Monday, targeting signals at the Gliese 526 star system. Read their profit-and-ego-centered rationalizations, then scroll to the bottom and see the announcement of their opening party in New York City on June 17.



Science Fiction: A lament - then Optimism and the Next Generation

by David Brin

First: Sad News - Though expected, the passing of author Iain Banks came as a shock and a blow.  I first met Iain in London, where I lived in the mid-1980s, when we were both brash young newcomers.  I've always respected his literary fiction, but even more deeply admired his science fiction, especially the last two decades.  His Culture Universe was among the few to confront straight-on the myriad hopes, dangers and raw possibilities that might be faced by a humanity-that-succeeds….



Is the world improving… despite our grouchy dogmas?

by David Brin

Poverty and violence are decreasing worldwide, at truly amazing rates. And of course - as we have seen - this fact seems anathema to grouches of both the far left and the entire right. But it does prove that the Great Program instituted by George Marshall, Harry Truman, Dean Acheson and Dwight Eisenhower has been working, in a spectacular mix of good development assistance and the better half of capitalism.



“Consensus” science? And more science potpourri

by David Brin

First, before getting down to science, congratulations to my bro Kim Stanley Robinson, for winning this year's Nebula Award for best novel. 2312 is an epic that spans the solar system and a myriad fascinating ideas. And felicitations also to the other Nebulists - the delightful/brilliant Nancy Kress and the talented Andy Duncan and Aliette de Bodard. Learn more at the SFWA site.



Mixed News from Space

by David Brin

Amid fretful resignation, we learn of the likely loss of the magnificent Kepler mission...which discovered as many as three thousand planets beyond our solar system.  (About 10% of them now confirmed.) Only two of the four gyro systems are still working, not enough for the probe to aim at more than a hundred thousand stars with uncanny accuracy, each day. While this will be a sad loss, the epoch introduced by the Kepler Mission bodes well for you understanding of the universe.



Dilbert, Skynet and the latest from the transparency front

by David Brin

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) and I have both agreed and disagreed about transparency, for years. In his posting, Crime and Privacy, he has opined, for example, that Ironically, the more the government clamps down on individual privacy, the more freedom the residents will have. When the government can detect every sort of crime, it will be forced by public opinion and by resource constraints to legalize anything it can detect but can’t stop.”



Science - Technology Roundup

by David Brin

The “High Quality Research Act,” sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), would strip the peer-review requirement from the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant process, inserting a new set of funding criteria that is significantly less transparent. Smith, sponsor of the highly controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that would expand U.S. oversight over copyrighted intellectual property on the internet, published an editorial in Roll Call describing how his vision of science funding is based not upon the impacts new research may have on the scientific community, but whether that research will “create jobs.” He went on to boast about how much of the House science committee’s $39 billion in agency budgets gets dumped onto nuclear, fracking and “clean coal” projects.



Sensible Tax Reform, Wealth disparities.. and Gun Control

by David Brin

Optimism is so out of fashion these days, on both the left and the right, that  - ironically -  a guarded optimism has become the natural state for any genuine contrarian. I could try to ignore that reflex and stay true to my natural dour cynicism.  But facts are lining up with those who see light at the end of the tunnel. For example, I often cite Professor Steven Pinker's proof (The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined) that on average, per capita levels of violence have declined steeply (if unevenly) around the world every decade since 1945.



A potpourri of ironies for the weekend

by David Brin

Baseball fans, here’s a unique (true?) tale of how - just after World War II - a baseball team consisting of Stratford-on-Avon actors and ex-POWs would dress in Elizabethan blouses and crush teams from nearby US air bases. “A dream team “with Paul Robeson (Othello) on first base, Sam Wanamaker (Iago) on second, Laurence Olivier (Coriolanus) on third and Peter O’Toole (Shylock) at shortstop.



Science-Fictional News—some dark and some hopeful

by David Brin

Shall we start with something positive?  In a world of media flattened by cowardly sameness and copycat repetition, the Syfy Channel  apparently intends to keep the faith and offer us some challenging material, next year. Two miniseries will join the previously-announced adaptation of Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle"— Larry Niven's "Ringworld" and Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End."  Some other projects sound above-average, as well.  Will a renaissance of creative boldness arise out of …SyFy?



See-it, believe-it proof… plus smart mobs and cool science

by David Brin

We'll start this time with CHASING ICE —a documentary by and about one of the world's greatest adventurers, who spent years with his brave & hardy team designing, building and setting up some of the world's toughest cameras to endure the planet's harshest environments, all to track by time-lapse whether glaciers are growing or shrinking.  It's spectacular to watch, long before you finally get to see the hard-won footage.



Questions I am frequently asked about… (Part V) Transparency, Privacy and the Information Age

by David Brin

l now complete my compilation of questions that I’m frequently asked by interviewers. They can all be found on my website. This final section is about….



Hugo Awards and other Science-Fictional News

by David Brin

Congratulations to this year’s nominated novels (and their brilliant authors) for the 2012 best of the year Hugo Award in Science Fiction.



Technologies that might change everything

by David Brin

Straight from the pages of Existence… though sooner than I expected… researchers now claim to have the entire Neanderthal genome in published form, as clear as that of “any person on the street.” Okay, start your countdown till someone announces she is pregnant with… That will be a real boat-rocker…
...but there are other events on the near horizon that may be more important to saving our world.



Questions I am frequently asked about… (Part IV) Prediction and the Future

by David Brin

Continuing this compilation of questions that I’m frequently asked by interviewers. This time about…..

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