SNS: Special Letter: Looking Further: Much Better, or Much Worse, in 20 Years?

SNS: Special Letter: Looking Further: Much Better, or Much Worse, in 20 Years?

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Volume 17, Issue 4      
Week of January 27, 2014

In This Issue

Feature: Looking Further: Much Better, or Much Worse, in 20 Years?

  • About David Brin
  • About Brenda Cooper

Introduction and Publisher’s Note: From our first year hosting the Future in Review conferences, I knew we wanted to include the very best science fiction authors on the planet. The reason was patently obvious: just as Star Trek led to many real inventions today, these author / seers are really the “wise ones” of our society. They take the time not only to assess the futures enabled by leaps in science and technology, but also to provide the social and historic context that often leads to very accurate predictions of where we could go, or should not go, as a society.

Not surprisingly, what one finds among this group is an increasing remove from the terms and tasks of “science fiction” and an increasing number of personal efforts (books, consultations, talks, engagement) focused on improving the world today.

David Brin and Brenda Cooper perfectly represent this trend. David is a physicist and important author of many books outside the science fiction genre (where he remains among the world’s topmost award-winning writers); Brenda is a public officeholder, a computer scientist, a CIO, a science fiction author, and she is working today on a book about social responsibility.

The best science fiction has always come from people like this – like Asimov and Heinlein – who, first of all, are among the best observers of the human condition as well as of what is real in nature (i.e., science). Their ability to meld these has consistently given us invaluable insights into how humans will create their own futures.

In this conversation from FiRe 2013, David and Brenda do just that, in one long series of brilliant (and often surprising) insights into the brutal truth of who we are, and the informed vision of where our natures will take us – science and all. – mra.

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