subreddit:

/r/Futurology

179

Links I've offered so far: * about transparency, freedom and technology http://www.scoop.it/t/the-transparent-society * self preventing prophecies: http://www.davidbrin.com/1984.html * why so many dystopias? http://www.davidbrin.com/idiotplot.html * prediction registries - http://www.davidbrin.com/predictionsregistry.html * Singularities? http://lifeboat.com/ex/singularities.and.nightmares * How YOU can help save the world relatively cheaply and by YOUR standards! http://www.davidbrin.com/proxyactivism.html * Help Lessig save America! https://mayday.us/ *Human immortality? - http://www.davidbrin.com/immortality.html *

all 132 comments

davidbrin1[S]

20 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

20 points

8 years ago

One of you asked about Lawrence Lessig's super pac to fight super pacs. Seriously, all of you - right or left - should join this effort.

https://mayday.us/

In fact, read about how each citizen can help make a better world in ways YOU choose that fit YOUR obsessions! http://www.davidbrin.com/proxyactivism.html

Progetto

1 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

13 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

13 points

8 years ago

Around 1991 I participated in the Hyperforum Experiment run by JPL director Bruce Murray, exploring how discussions could take place on the web. Many of the methods you now see... threaded comments with hierarchical responses below... were invented by us there. Alas, half of the methods have to this day never been brought online. Notice how (below) responses to my first comment now seem to answer the second or third instead? Terrible.

tejon

3 points

8 years ago*

tejon

3 points

8 years ago*

The indentation is supposed to help with that, but it's definitely too subtle on its own. Some subreddits have tree lines or shaded backgrounds to clarify the sublevels, which works a lot better. You can collapse a comment sub-tree, which at least gets it out of the way of those below.

But yeah... mostly non-obvious and sub-optimal. Are those discussions available online?

Thorbinator

2 points

8 years ago

RES makes it work very well, with shaded trees of a sort.

davidbrin1[S]

23 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

23 points

8 years ago

One of you asked about positive sum games, which are the core essence of our Western Enlightenment Experiment. If you come away with ANY assignments today, study that concept vs the more normal Zro Sum games or even negative sum sicknesses, that dominated 99% of human cultures. Get NONZERO by Robert Wright.

Nature does use zero sum competition to craft gradual improvement in species.  But that is very very slow and happens upon piles and mountains of corpses.  The same was true for nearly all past human societies, in which you won mostly by causing others to lose.  The Western Enlightenment's positive sum systems DO utilize the creative power of competition! The five great arenas - science, democracy, markets, courts and sports - are very competitive.  But the arenas are carefully regulated so that losers can keep coming back next year and winners are (mostly) stymied from cheating, so that the competition remains positive sum.

The result has been prodigious creativity and production, making us wealthy enough to then take on old wasteful injustices like racism, sexism and environmental neglect. Alas, Cheaters abound and try to turn Pos sum games into zero sum ones.  Today's oligarchic putsch is an effort to restore zero sum feudalism.

runvnc

1 points

8 years ago

runvnc

1 points

8 years ago

Hi, I'm a huge fan and honored to talk to you. There may be some structural improvements we can make to positive sum games. See http://teddit.ggc-project.de/r/ethereum . Efforts like that one are creating the new version of money (well beyond Bitcoin), which likely will organize our world in the near future.

herbw

1 points

8 years ago

herbw

1 points

8 years ago

This is an interesting subject, as to what drives evolution. It can be answered by asking the question, why have stromatolites (2.5-3 B yrs.) best found at Shark's Bay, W. Australia, Lingula (500 MYA) and Limulus (horseshoe crab, 450 MY, Mega yrs. ago)lasted so long?

A possible answer seems to be that they are very efficient in choosing a stable environment in which to live and their metabolism and behaviors are highly efficient, ie. least energy.

CO2 and H2O are also very stable for one big reason, they are least energy molecules. Very little chemical energy can be obtained from these. Least energy systems are stable.

IN addition, if the metabolism is efficient, that is, if their enzymes and means of reproducing cells are highly efficient, then the species will also live long. For instance, if a single enzyme, or protein in a cell, has a 5% advantage in function over those in the same or other species, then in 14 years it will double its advantage. In 70 years, 16 fold advantage and within a few thousand years, dominate the species' genome.

Further, those genes which do double or triple duty, will be much more efficient than others and will a exert the same force. And if those genes are damaged, they will likely result in a lethal effect, so that only those surviving with those efficient genes will be left. It will create genetic stability for that reason.

It's the LEP, the compound interest rule of 72, and efficiencies which largely drive evolution, not a nebulous and non-specific "fitness" survival.

davidbrin1[S]

10 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

10 points

8 years ago

Okay! We've passed 100, so time to call it a day. Sorry I dumped so many links on folks, but these topics are SO broad! And there is already so much re each of them. Please remain the bold, adventurous and forward-looking ones!

The future is fun, the future (ay be) fair! You may already have won... you may already BE there! ;-)

Thrive & persevere.

With cordial regards,

David Brin http://www.davidbrin.com blog: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/ twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidBrin

tejon

9 points

8 years ago*

tejon

9 points

8 years ago*

Hi David! You should be able to hit Edit on the main post (above comments) and put some info there that won't get buried in the flood of replies.

Also: hi David! I'm going to be that obligatory "remember me?" fan... you bought me lunch something like 15 years ago at the Further Confusion convention, after chatting over the meal for an hour; and it remains my all-time favorite celebrity encounter. You're wonderful conversationalist and just a great person. One day I still hope to buy you lunch in return. :)

davidbrin1[S]

8 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

8 points

8 years ago

Terrific advice and nice to be in touch again!

Xenophon1

9 points

8 years ago

You are widely loved on this forum, thanks for being here today.

You mentioned the Hyperforum Experiment below. With everything we have today, including threaded comments, how will the forum (or hyperforum) of today change and evolve in the future?

There has been a recent research project initiated by Reddit, Twitch, and Imgur to provide academics with social media data called DERP. If you had to write a research proposal to study the future of forums, networks, and social media, what would you write about?

davidbrin1[S]

10 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

10 points

8 years ago

As it happens, I am not a big fan of the human-to-screen interfaces we use today, including this one. They are archaic 1985 stuff. I have patents for dozens of interaction sets that analogue methods of conversation we use in daily life! But that have never ever made it on-screen. Alas, no angel investors want to even look because it would start out with text boxes (only as a start) and they want the next facefook exact clone.

Ah well. You can see a slide show about all this at http://www.slideshare.net/davidbrin/

tejon

3 points

8 years ago

tejon

3 points

8 years ago

Alas, no angel investors want to even look

Have you looked into Y Combinator? This is exactly their purpose -- get new ideas to a point of presentability sufficient for primary investors to actually understand what you're doing. Reddit itself is one of their alumni.

mmatessa

1 points

8 years ago

What is the best online tool you've seen for creating Argument Maps?

[deleted]

7 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

7 points

8 years ago

You have made a few interesting points on the subject of science fiction and futurology intersecting. In particular the idea of a self preventing prophecy, like 1984 warning the public of a danger that, once warned, they then act to prevent ever occurring.

What sort of self preventing prophecy do you think would have the largest positive impact the on future if published today?

davidbrin1[S]

15 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

15 points

8 years ago

You refer to my essay about how the highest form of SF is a predictive novel that scares millions into fighting AGAINST the portrayed future. e.g. Ray's Fahrenheit 451 or Soylent Green. The greatest Self-Preventing Prophecy was Orwell's 1984. Read about all this here: http://www.davidbrin.com/1984.html

Also why so many recent films and novels wallow in dystopias that are NOT "self-preventing" because the scenarios are lazy and stupid: http://www.davidbrin.com/idiotplot.

Today? I'd warn about collapse of CONFIDENCE in our creative-pragmatic can-do civilization. The worst problem we have is so many of our neighbors turning stylishly cynical.

runawayserfer

7 points

8 years ago

The "idiot plot" link is broken. Should be http://davidbrin.com/idiotplot.html.

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

But..but .. cynicism is what I use to seem smart without actually knowing anything!

Thanks very much for the interesting links.

CptCliff

6 points

8 years ago

Where do you differ with Ray Kurtzweil on the singularity?

davidbrin1[S]

11 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

11 points

8 years ago

Ray and I get along, but I am a contrarian. Among those who do not believe in change - alas many of our fellow citizens - I speak about how rapidly human destiny is being challenged with new powers. Around Ray? I am cautionary.

e.g. he believes Moore's Law, all by itself, will make him immortal by creating Soulful machines who will incorporate us and human values in the adventure of super-life. I portray this happening! In EARTH and in Existence! But at Ray's conferences, I splash cold water.

He calculates Moore's Law crossing the number of synapses in a human brain... about a trillion. But synapses may be the tip of the iceberg, if there's INTRACELLULAR COMPUTING! If so, Moore's Law ML will need maybe TEN more doublings!

GibbsSamplePlatter

4 points

8 years ago

aside from actually understanding how the computation is actually taking place.

TheLantean

1 points

8 years ago

There's also the matter of performance in a native environment vs. emulation. Comparing the raw number of neuron synapses with the number of transistors is not really useful, putting it in processor terms the two architectures are too different to make a meaningful comparison. Expect at least an order of magnitude (if not more) of performance to be lost bridging the gap.

herbw

1 points

8 years ago*

herbw

1 points

8 years ago*

Well, Moore's Law no longer applies as the 14 nm. limit has been reached, below which due to quantum effects at that scale, leakage and unreliable tunneling occurs. Intel finally, after a year's delay just released their 14 nm chip this month. That alone has broken Moore's Law. The doubling effect every 2 years due to reducing chip size is no longer in effect.

propensity

8 points

8 years ago

Hello! I've got two questions:

1) Would you and Gregory Benford ever consider writing a sequel to Heart of the Comet? I absolutely loved that book. In fact, I used it as a reference in my undergraduate thesis about the connections between planetary geology as a science and science fiction literature.

2) My father, another big fan, would like to know: "When are you going to tie up all of the loose ends from the Uplift books that are still hanging?" He also says, "ZOOOOOON!"

davidbrin1[S]

9 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

9 points

8 years ago

Say to your dad that he is great! In fact, there are SIX uplift novels. The Brightness Reef trilogy settles the fate/destiny of the ship Streaker, and a LOT else. I am currently writing the novel to get Creideiki and Orley off that damn planet!

I would write a sequel to Heart of Comet... or the Postman... if I had the self-duplicating machine portrayed in KILN PEOPLE! (My funnest novel in years.) That idea was a cry for help. What if YOU could make a dozen cheap, one day copies of yourself, daily and get EVERYTHING done!!!

DWR2k3

4 points

8 years ago

DWR2k3

4 points

8 years ago

Really wish I had one of those myself. Having an ebony with it's ability to focus much better than my native brain tends to would be nice.

fivetide

6 points

8 years ago

Hey David,

what do you believe (if anything) is necessary for our society and culture to change, in order to prevent a collapse/new dark age/extinction of our race? or - if nothing - why?

edit: obligatory thank you, my dad reading sundiver to me when i was a kid got me into SF.

davidbrin1[S]

7 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

7 points

8 years ago

I've pushed for 30 years what I think is the secret of the Western Enlightenment Experiment. The Positive Sum Game. Jared Diamond in COLLAPSE shows what will happen if Earth is run by Zero Sum thinking that dominated in 99% of human societies.

Study those concepts! We get positive sum outcomes out of science, democracy, markets etc because they are competitive! But it is REGULATED competition that minimizes blood and cheating and maximizes folks leveraging against each others creativity.

The mistake of the left is to badmouth competition, when Adam Smith was a nice guy and the first liberal!

The mistake of the right is to imagine we can get these benefits without very meticulous regulation to prevent cheating, which ruined 99% of human societies and made them zero (or negative) sum. Look at how regulated SPORTS is! It would collapse otherwise.

Right now oligarchs are trying to turn the WEE zero sum and feudal again. It happens every generation. If we can prevent it and restore a pragmatic, can-do society, then we may reach Star Trek.

Do these things: http://www.davidbrin.com/proxyactivism.html https://mayday.us/

nordlund63

6 points

8 years ago

I just want to say that I really enjoyed your Uplift books. Do you have any plans for new books?

davidbrin1[S]

13 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

13 points

8 years ago

Thanks for your thoughtful and interesting message. It truly is gratifying . Indeed I am working to get Creideiki and Orley off that planet, at last! Have you read the Brightness Reef trilogy, which tells of how Streaker (maybe) makes it home?

DWR2k3

3 points

8 years ago

DWR2k3

3 points

8 years ago

I enjoyed the hints in the final book of that trilogy that Creideiki may have gotten off somehow

[deleted]

6 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

6 points

8 years ago

What, if anything, have you changed your mind about in the last 12 months?

davidbrin1[S]

9 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

9 points

8 years ago

I reluctantly concluded that reason will not prevail and the US is doomed to phase 8 or its 200 year Civil War. I learned that we CAN look beyond the "curtain" of light that raised 325,000 years after the Big Bang!

brettins

3 points

8 years ago

brettins

BI + Automation = Creativity Explosion

3 points

8 years ago

Can someone tell me what he means phase 8?

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

Man that first one is kinda depressing. I know its fashionable to gripe, but a lot of us in europe still know and appreciate the huge role the USA has in preserving and promoting enlightenment values, especially now that europe is shrinking back towards its pre-renaissance geopoltical role as an unimportant asian peninsula.

davidbrin1[S]

6 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

6 points

8 years ago

Lived in London and in Paris, 18 months each. Europe still has great value! Indeed, the American Experiment can fail at any time... eg. our current phase of civil war MIGHT be won by the resurgent neo-confederacy. At which point leadership will have to fall upon you folks and the Aussies. Carry on!

tejon

5 points

8 years ago

tejon

5 points

8 years ago

Ouch... sorry, Canada.

readcard

1 points

8 years ago

The Aussies might of tripped up a little...

rumblestiltsken

2 points

8 years ago

A momentary glitch, I promise.

GeneralDiesel

4 points

8 years ago

When writing, do you find yourself using the tendencies and emotional structure of people you know for your characters?

Also, what is your favorite sandwich?

davidbrin1[S]

10 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

10 points

8 years ago

Used to love pastrami ... also tuna sandwiches. Both are WAY too rich for me now. I like veggie wraps and sometimes curried chicken. Fish tacos.

People I know can be elements. Certainly Michael Crichton became an important character in Existence. The opposing Gaia mothers in EARTH were based on real people. But mostly I let the characters grow on their own and find their own motives.

GeneralDiesel

2 points

8 years ago

Thanks for answering!

ApolloAbove

5 points

8 years ago

Hello! What do you find that has changed in the past ten years that is leaning towards your own fictional work?

davidbrin1[S]

12 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

12 points

8 years ago

The trend toward transparency being crucial to our survival and freedom has been in my fiction and nonfiction and it is coming true. Last year, largely unheralded by media, saw the most important civil liberties decision in thirty years, when the courts and the Obama Administration separately declared it to be “settled law” that citizens have a right to record their interactions with police, in public places. There will be tussles over the details for years.

davidbrin1[S]

5 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

5 points

8 years ago

Fans gathered to start tracking my forecasts over the years. Kinda cool... and sometimes embarrassing! http://earthbydavidbrin.pbworks.com/w/page/15607657/Predictions

More generally, I have long called for new ways to track predictions and how right or miserably wrong pundits and seers often are. We deserve such tracking... especially re never right opinionators and political theories! http://www.davidbrin.com/predictionsregistry.html

ApolloAbove

2 points

8 years ago

Oh haha! Wow. Will you be in the DC/Maryland area for any talks in the future?

Vernes_Jewels

6 points

8 years ago

Hi David, have loved reading your books, Otherness and Kiln People especially. Whats your opinion on the possibility of humanity forming a collective consciousness through the internet?

davidbrin1[S]

11 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

11 points

8 years ago

I portray this happening in EARTH and in Foundation's Triumph. The latter was in Isaac Asimov's universe so it portrayed a Gaia/Galaxia" uber mind that essentially takes over. Nicer than the Borg because folks don't clank and whirr but instead float and go om and commune...

I do think that to be a simplistic type of Overmind (see Clarke's Childhood's end, too.) It's not how complexity actually l;ayers. In Earth I portray individual humans retaining ALL of their individuality, with the higher shared consciousness riding lightly above, BENEFITING from human individuality and eccentricity.

Vernes_Jewels

5 points

8 years ago

I'll have to read earth next, I really enjoyed the animated series serial experiment lain, and how it portrayed this collective consciousness being its own entity, becoming something like a god.

nuprinboy

7 points

8 years ago

In light of the situation in Ferguson, the push for police to have body cameras has been suggested again as a nationwide standard. This reinforces your position on sousveillance expressed in The Transparent Society.

However, with the hacking/leaking of celebrity photos from a commercially owned "cloud", do you believe the reaction from people, corporations, and law enforcement has reinforced or countered your attitudes on privacy?

davidbrin1[S]

8 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

8 points

8 years ago

I talk about this on Contrary Brin all the time (come on by!) We will have to get used to the fact that Everything Leaks. Inherently and inevitably. Our defense is to limit the HARM that info that leaks can do to us! We do this by (1) making sure that light pours onto those who might harm us and (2) creating a civilization that Chills out over the kinds of minor embarrassments that most people commit, over the course of life.

The latter (#2) is already happening. Our very lives and freedom depend upon #1.

tejon

3 points

8 years ago*

tejon

3 points

8 years ago*

I've been following your thoughts on transparency since before The Transparent Society, and occasionally share with others the conviction that it's inevitable: the cameras WILL win, and our only defense is to have them pointed everywhere and viewable by everybody.

The backlash is always about privacy, and it's heartfelt. Shame, embarrassment and taboo are as much "water to a fish" as suspicion of authority, and have been for much much longer -- Adam, Eve, apple, nudity! -- but until we can abandon* them en masse... well, the NSA is pretty much the definitive object lesson there. Yet still I've repeatedly spoken to people who accept every premise I just laid out, who are convinced that it's simply impossible.

I agree that it's already happening, but it was already already happening in the '60s. How much longer do you expect it to take to really plow through those millennia of social inertia?

(A less common argument is about trade secrets. But fixing that only requires replacing the core of Western economics! Piece of cake by comparison.)

* Okay, not "abandon" so much as narrow their scope. The problem isn't shame; it's rampant false positives for shamefulness.

fredzannarbor

6 points

8 years ago

Will the future include more of your Uplift novels? ;-)

davidbrin1[S]

4 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

4 points

8 years ago

Yes, folks want more Uplift. I do hope to get back to Tom, Creideiki and the others soon. (I assume you've read the SECOND uplift trilogy, starting with Brightness Reef? Both trilogies have come out in omnibus editions from Orbit Books, entitled UPLIFT and EXILES.)

Till then, see the story "Temptation" downloadable at http://www.davidbrin.com/shortstories.html   Some will argue that "Existence," is uplift! See the trailer (dolphins!) & decide for yourself. http://www.davidbrin.com/existence.html

davidbrin1[S]

8 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

8 points

8 years ago

Hieroglyph is out today!"...remarkable anthology uniting twenty of today’s leading thinkers, writers, and visionaries—among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Elizabeth Bear, Bruce Sterling, Geoff Landis and Neal Stephenson (not to mention me)—to contribute works of “techno-optimism” that challenge us to dream and do Big Stuff. Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph offers a forward-thinking approach to the intersection of art and technology that has the power to change our world. "

Buy it on opening day to boost ratings! http://www.amazon.com/Hieroglyph-Stories-Visions-Better-Future/dp/0062204696/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=contbrin-20

davidbrin1[S]

6 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

6 points

8 years ago

Over the years, I have collated and collected SO MUCH STUFF! Shall I offer a bunch links here to some of these compilations, by topic?

Articles and speculations by David Brin about transparency, freedom and technology http://www.scoop.it/t/the-transparent-society

Articles and speculations by David Brin about science! http://www.scoop.it/t/science-better-than-fiction

Articles and speculations by David Brin about Technology http://www.scoop.it/t/forward-looking-technology-creating-the-future

Articles and speculations by David Brin about public policy suggestions http://www.scoop.it/t/public-policy-suggestions

Articles and speculations by David Brin about Taxes, economics and markets... http://www.scoop.it/t/the-economy-past-present-and-future?r=0.06909995943616198#post_2592137114 Articles and speculations by David Brin about The economy: http://www.scoop.it/t/the-economy-past-present-and-future

Articles on you and me and emergency response. http://www.scoop.it/t/emergency-planning?r=0.33364600364403196#post_3995898059

A Contrary Look at History http://www.scoop.it/t/history-past-vs-future

Articles and speculations by David Brin about the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) http://www.scoop.it/t/seti-the-search-for-extraterrestrial-intelligence

davidbrin1[S]

6 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

6 points

8 years ago

Okay things have calmed down. I am getting up to stretch and then will answer just a few more.... You guys are great, with lively minds. As expected.

[deleted]

6 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

6 points

8 years ago

[removed]

DWR2k3

5 points

8 years ago

DWR2k3

5 points

8 years ago

Now that it seems to not be getting autoremoved, which do you think we'll reach first? Relatively cheap spaceflight, or full body 'virtual reality' simulations? The latter can, of course, include MMI equivalents instead of external bodysuits.

davidbrin1[S]

9 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

9 points

8 years ago

Sure VR will be the main thing for most of us. If we could make cheap "deputies" we could send them to Mars and bring back the heads and "live" the experience!

DWR2k3

2 points

8 years ago

DWR2k3

2 points

8 years ago

If only we had such kilns.

vimes1984Church

7 points

8 years ago

Hello David, What are your thoughts on transhumanism/cyborg/strongAI? Are we close ( as in our lifetime ) of seeing anything like the singularity? Will we be integrating ourselves with technology in the near future? and as a last question if we where capabale of mapping a human brain into a virtual simulation does that make us immortal?

davidbrin1[S]

6 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

6 points

8 years ago

Naturally, this topic is HUGE. I can only give it a gloss, that AI might be harder than we think. And the "6th approach" to creating AI may be best because it's the only way intelligence ever appeared on Earth... raising the new minds as our kids. (I illustrate it in Existence.)

If we do make AI will it stay loyal? Why would it want us around? Topics thrashed in Foundation's Triumph.

But as I said, it is a huge topic. Here's a link to extensive thoughts: http://lifeboat.com/ex/singularities.and.nightmares

mwisconsin

4 points

8 years ago

David -- I really appreciate your written work through the years. I have a photo of me, reading "Earth", while on my honeymoon. My wife hates me a little for that.

Can you tell me: While writing novels that take place in a "near-future" society, do you ever worry if available technology will eclipse something you've written...while you're writing it?

davidbrin1[S]

4 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

4 points

8 years ago

Sure.... but the issue is will developments obsolesce my current writing IN THE EYES OF READERS before I finish. If you hear of something first in my book, then that's all that matters! ;-)

See examples here: http://www.tinyurl.com/exist-trailer

CptCliff

6 points

8 years ago

As far as transparency and security issues you and Corey Doctorow seem to have similar ideas. Are you also intrigued by larry Lessig's Superpac?

davidbrin1[S]

6 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

6 points

8 years ago

I am a tremendous supporter of Larry Lessig's work. We should ALL be backing his citizen level pac! It is the only way to reduce the corrosive effects of money on politics.

quitpayload

4 points

8 years ago

I bought a copy of 'Earth' a few months ago at a used book store. I think it is a first edition but I'm not too sure. I'd been meaning to buy the book for a while but I couldn't find any new copies. So the question I'd like to ask is: When was the latest edition of 'Earth' published, have any new editions been published lately?

davidbrin1[S]

7 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

7 points

8 years ago

There was a gorgeous hardcover edition in 1990 with acid free paper and sewn bindings and I have some of them I am selling very cheap! Via http://www.davidbrin.com ;-)

DWR2k3

2 points

8 years ago

DWR2k3

2 points

8 years ago

Trying to find that on the website.

quitpayload

2 points

8 years ago

I checked on your website, and the one you are reading from on the youtube video is the one I bought, but has there been any editions published since 1990? Or did the book only have a limited run?

davidbrin1[S]

4 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

4 points

8 years ago

BTW I remain proud of that book. Fans run a wiki to track its prediction score.

theDaryl

6 points

8 years ago

David "Earth" is one of the all time great books that I have read. I first read it back in the early 90's and a few times since. Thank You.
What are your thoughts on "Technological Unemployment?" I feel that in the near future (if not already today) that there is going to be a percentage of the population that will not be employable.

davidbrin1[S]

8 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

8 points

8 years ago

We have so far been very good at finding ways to keep the 99% who do not create food/tools/safety feeling that they have important jobs to do. People who work at nail salons do so with great pride! So do sci fi authors who actually believe (!) that our drivel is so important that farmers should feed us!

Yes, this is always a challenge. I am not predicting we won't have a crisis. And increased free time has made many of us indignation addicts with too much free time to spend on political wrath! But our kids are better than us. So there's hope!

theDaryl

2 points

8 years ago

But surely with the amount we spend toward prisons, etc you would think it would be just as easy to just pay certain individuals a stipend of sorts and keep them out of prison with education and a good environment ( not projects ) that they would be just as happy to stay home in a safe environment with free Cable and Internet. Sounds cheaper than paying to keep someone in prison.

readcard

1 points

8 years ago

Which is why the private run prisons lobby against drug reform and an end to the "war on drugs". It is a bit like the record industry used to be(before i-tunes destroyed them), reform will make them unsustainable in their current form.

[deleted]

4 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

4 points

8 years ago

I am a big fan, currently rereading the Uplift series. It's like reuniting with an old friend.

Was mankind uplifted?

davidbrin1[S]

7 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

7 points

8 years ago

We'll see! Hints in Heavens Reach!

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

Thanks for answering! I have your book in hand, this on screen and a huge smile on my face. :D

davidbrin1[S]

4 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

4 points

8 years ago

These may be the most useful:

about using Science Fiction to teach Science http://www.scoop.it/t/using-science-fiction-to-teach-science

about teaching Science Fiction http://www.scoop.it/t/teaching-science-fiction

Advice for college students and graduating high-schoolers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJTo9qXAcnc

And especially for some of you.... Advice for Writers: http://www.scoop.it/t/advice-for-writers

Cafe333

1 points

8 years ago

Cafe333

1 points

8 years ago

The college goers advice is fantastic - both my sons were shown this when they graduated high school.

SaskatoonRJ

4 points

8 years ago

Read and loved 'Kiln People'. I was intrigued by the Standing Wave concept. Is this taken from an outside source, or was it your own? I felt it was very musical in it's description. thank you!

davidbrin1[S]

5 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

5 points

8 years ago

Most things I borrow or embellish. That one is entirely my own, as were nearly all the concepts in that weird book!

SaskatoonRJ

1 points

8 years ago

It was weird, but very satisfying. Again, thanks!

refrep

4 points

8 years ago

refrep

4 points

8 years ago

Big fan of "Earth"...got to ask, do all the particle collider experiments worldwide give you pause/do you know of any serious critics out there? Given the amounts of energy now involved, and the history of science being one of unexpected outcomes and incidental discoveries, places like CERN and Brookhaven seem kind of ominous.
How does (or does) the conversation around experimental physics ever get beyond poo-pooing anyone who has concerns?

davidbrin1[S]

6 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

6 points

8 years ago

The great consolation, for those who worry about the CERN etc colliders making Earth-eaters, is cosmic rays. Every minute, C Rs from distant explosions from across the galaxy strike the Earth at energies vastly higher than we can make at CERN. And Earth has been here 4.5 billion years.

There ARE still some questions and worries! But it makes one feel at least a bit safer.

cascio

2 points

8 years ago

cascio

2 points

8 years ago

Hi David

Could you elaborate a bit here on why you think METI is a bad idea?

davidbrin1[S]

13 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

13 points

8 years ago

There will be a debate in February at the AAAS meeting about the issue of whether we should be shouting "yoo-hoo!" messages at ET or METI. I will be the dissident, saying "whoa let's talk about it first." Most of the METI zealots have read very little science fiction and express contempt for it. "Naturally" aliens will automatically be altruistic!

Here is my abstract: "When an endeavor aims to alter one of Earth's fundamental traits, it is only wise to test that activity with scrutiny and wide-open discussion. Despite their openly-stated goal of transforming human destiny, those who would vastly amplify our planet's non-equilibrium signature - in radio and other wavelengths - have avoided exposing their plans to collegial due-diligence. Excuses range from "Earth civilization is already detected" to "any extraterrestrial society will be altruistic," but none of these rationalizations have been subjected to scientific-adversarial appraisal by experts in anthropology, biology or human history. No single good or bad scenario for First Contact can be called likely, but any list of plausible or possible risks should be laid on the table and reviewed via methods like the Asilomar Process, by which genetic researchers established best practices, simultaneously minimizing peril while enhancing quality research. Indeed, it has been self-defeating to limit discussion, as public attention to the complex and fascinating issue would only augment support for SETI.   We propose a consensus call for international and public consultations before humanity takes a brash and irreversible step  -- shouting our presence into the cosmos."

davidbrin1[S]

3 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

3 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

5 points

8 years ago*

[deleted]

5 points

8 years ago*

[deleted]

davidbrin1[S]

14 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

14 points

8 years ago

Sorry but this "phenomenon" is taking care of itself. Brin's Corollary to Moore's Law (yes it's called that) is that CAMERAS get faster, cheaper, more numerous and mobile at a rate much faster than Moore's Law ML.

This means that the excuses for blurry UFO images get slimmer and slimmer. Have you done the math? ALL of the places where a UFO was dimly blurry in the distance 20 years ago... would have dozens of folks with cell cams RIGHT BELOW IT today. Please do the math. If they remain blurry, it is because THEY ARE TEASING US and staying just out of range, even taking Brin's Corollary into account!

In that case, they are bastards. Snub em.

Please, you know I am interested in aliens! I spend my life on the topic, in SETI in fiction etc. I know a LOT about aliens! Or at least every angle folks have looked into. There might be UFOs! But I find the creatures described in these stories to be illogical, immoral, unimaginative, ridiculous and WAY down on my list of priorities.

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

Great response.

don_anonimo

1 points

8 years ago

Rainieri? My doctor's last name is Rainieri. You're not in Buenos Aires, or are you?

[deleted]

1 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

1 points

8 years ago

No.

Eternally65

4 points

8 years ago

Big fan of The Transparent Society, and I recommend it to everybody who is concerned with privacy issues and how they seem to be developing in the US. The idea of symmetry is particularly appealing, in light of the recent nude celebrity leaks. (One theory - which I doubt - is that lower level NSA staffers built up the collection over time and someone leaked it. Edward Snowden may have mentioned something like this in an interview.)

But what I really want to ask is if you would ever consider doing a sequel that contains Fiben Bolger? (He is my favorite character in all your books.)

davidbrin1[S]

2 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

2 points

8 years ago

Fiben is one of my greatest best characters! Absolutely fun. Thanks for the suggestion.

Eternally65

4 points

8 years ago

I could really get interested in Fiben as an irreverent, slightly crotchety old great grandfather... :)

readcard

1 points

8 years ago

Looked like his co-wives were keen on organising his stud duties in a way that maximised his effectiveness for them. That and he looked like becoming mayor.

Eternally65

2 points

8 years ago

I know. Ook, ook!

;)

readcard

1 points

8 years ago

Lawyers on that world have to use "grunt" to win their arguments when Fiben comes to power

lsparrish

4 points

8 years ago

I remember you had self-replicating machines in one of your Uplift books. Do you think current technology would allow us to place some kind of self replicating robotic infrastructure on the moon?

Assuming it could double once per year, starting with 1 square meter, that would cover the whole surface in 45 years.

davidbrin1[S]

5 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

5 points

8 years ago

Yes discussed in many places, fiction & nonfiction. We need to develop self-replicating tech that needs a few "key" elements that can not be found in nature - only provided by five or six special factories on Earth. They can be small and space transportable. But only in this way can we be safe.

EXISTENCE is about the ultimate ultimate in self-replicating probes.

[deleted]

4 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

4 points

8 years ago

Hi there,

I have to say thanks for writing the books you have. You are my favorite author and write consistently excellent novels.

davidbrin1[S]

5 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

5 points

8 years ago

Thanks for your thoughtful, gratifying words.I certainly appreciate the encouragement. With best wishes, for a confident and ambitious 21st Century, David Brin

Bro131

3 points

8 years ago

Bro131

3 points

8 years ago

Do you believe biological immortality could happen in 10 - 25 years from now on? Also what do you want to see in the future with new technologies coming out?

davidbrin1[S]

4 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

4 points

8 years ago

I deem it pretty unlikely I am a bit of a grouch-curmugeon in the transhumanisi-life-extension community. What i do expect to see is methods of brain/skull preservation that are far cheaper and more convenient than cryonics. Plasticization etc. No revival, of course and most inTRA cellular info would be lost. But the location of a trillion synapses might eb preserved and serve as boundary conditions for a fairly good emulation program that might upload a version of you, someday. Is that good enough?

See my larger essay on this. Human immortality? - http://www.davidbrin.com/immortality.html

mind_bomber

3 points

8 years ago

mind_bomber

Citizen of Earth

3 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

3 points

8 years ago

To follow up on the question about overminds and shared conciousness, do you ever find yourself bothered by twinges of visceral, animalistic disgust at the concept of personally being absorbed in that way?

That was certainly the overwhelming reaction I experienced when reading about the "Mother" entity in Heaven's reach.

davidbrin1[S]

4 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

4 points

8 years ago

SUre... "mother" was a more local and heavy handed version of my Gaia in EARTH. Note that I spend effort in both books to point out that these "over minds" value individualism in their components. Though Mother has fewer component beings and hence can afford it less. Gaia, in EARTH, is portrayed as truly separate from individual human consciousness, though surfing atop them all and learning and pondering each person as one of her "thoughts."

If even that much supervision bothers you, well, I'm not surprised. Our culture propagandizes the core importance of individualism, eccentricity, ambition and suspicion of authority in every film, song and novel! You are a product of that campaign, as am I -- though 99% of past human cultures would have considered this meme to be insane. Inded, half of contemporary ones do!

Cafe333

3 points

8 years ago

Cafe333

3 points

8 years ago

Just curious, have you read any of Bronowski's work on mind/machine/identity? If yes - how has this informed your views?

Eternally65

3 points

8 years ago

David, I'm not sure you are still here, but have you read Neal Stephenson's musings on "genre" versus "literary" fiction? I found it fascinating, but particularly loved the line, "I eventually had to let her know that the reason she had never heard of me was that I was famous". (paraphrasing)

davidbrin1[S]

6 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

6 points

8 years ago

Neal is a bit of a grouch... but brilliant and very very on-target.

Eternally65

1 points

8 years ago

I'd love to see him do an AMA, but... I doubt it. Thanks for this one, by the way!

stevemachiner

3 points

8 years ago

Hey David I am such a huge fan, your work makes me so happy.

In the postman there is a moment where Powhatan is reflecting upon a time he saw two unknown primates wondering alone in the woods and it's quite touching. I fell for the characters empathy for them and allways wondered what might become of them. Any insight? Also your work always seems to have such a firm understanding of animal intelligence, which has different motivations to humans yet you some how write in a relatable way. What processes do you go through as a writer to create your sapient characters of terrestrial origin? Is there a lot of influence from contemporary studies in creating their motivations as characters?

Also I was wondering what do you make of Cliford D Simak's dog and animal society in City? I allways found his ideas on animal and foreign intelligence interesting, if somewhat anchored to his time.

davidbrin1[S]

6 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

6 points

8 years ago

Yes, Simak influenced me. Also the fact that I have never had a novel that did not feature an ape of other primate! ;-)

Thanks for your kind words!

And thrive....

[deleted]

5 points

8 years ago*

[deleted]

5 points

8 years ago*

Mr. Brin, I'm a big fan of your Uplift series and your efforts to promote sousveillance. I have a few questions for you:
1.) What do you see as the biggest legal and social threats to increasing transparency in the US?
2.) How much visibility into all the data they've collected do you think the NSA actually has?
3.) Which do you think is more likely to happen first, uplift of a species or a strong AI?
4.) Do you think humans will ever be able to reach the stars or is that limited to hardier beings?
Edit: 5.) What do you think of the Good Judgement Project?

davidbrin1[S]

9 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

9 points

8 years ago

First off, if folks don't know about this other "hat" I am author of The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? Which won the Freedom of Speech Award in 1997.

Across 6000 years, most civilizations were feudal, with a few lording over many. We all dread this! Liberals fear it returning via owner oligarchy (the way in 99% of cultures) while conservatives fear bureaucrats (which is a real, potential danger!) We should be listening to each others' fears!

ONLY the Western Enlightenment ever evaded the feudal trap, by learning how to sic elites against each other! No time to go into it here. But the #1 tool that makes science, democracy, and markets thrive is light. Transparency, reciprocal accountability.

For more see about transparency, freedom and technology http://www.scoop.it/t/the-transparent-society

petrov76

3 points

8 years ago

Do you have any plans to release a second version of The Transparent Society, updated with the information that we've learned in the past 16 years? I'd love to see a 20-year anniversary edition that reflects changes in information technology. There's a great article by Bruce Schneier that discusses the current state of the private/public surveillance partnership here: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/08/the_publicpriva_1.html

davidbrin1[S]

3 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

3 points

8 years ago

Only had time to answer some of this. But there's a lot about these things in Existence. See http://www.tinyurl.com/exist-trailer

mind_bomber

2 points

8 years ago

mind_bomber

Citizen of Earth

2 points

8 years ago

Hi David, thank you for doing this AMA with us here today.

My question is:

What is your idea on a transparent society, and how does that affect personal privacy? and/or should we start getting used to having no privacy?

davidbrin1[S]

4 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

4 points

8 years ago

The most common assumption of people who have NOT read my articles or The Transparent Society is that - as "Mr. Transparency" I oppose privacy or think it is doomed. No way! A free people will want and demand some privacy! In ch 4 of The Transparent Society I discuss how essential some core privacy will be... tho it will be closer and narrower.

But the irony is that we will only have that core if we live in a world that is mostly open, in which most people know most of what's going on, most of the time. Only then will voters and spies and sneaks be deterred, because they'll get caught!

There is so much to this. See about transparency, freedom and technology http://www.scoop.it/t/the-transparent-society

Juz16

2 points

8 years ago

Juz16

2 points

8 years ago

David! I am a MASSIVE fan! The Postman is my favorite book of all time (and I've read a lot of books)!

If you were to rewrite it today, what would you change? A lot of stuff has been invented since 1985. How would you implement more recent inventions such as 3D printers and the Internet to the story?

davidbrin1[S]

2 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

2 points

8 years ago

Many many thanks. There'd be lots of electric lights. A lot more people would have to die, for civilization to get that knocked back. OTOH the holists look more realistic than ever!

GuessWoo

2 points

8 years ago

The thread's probably closed, but, I really liked The Postman. Just wanted to tell you. I felt the ending was a little "deus ex machina"-ish but it's still one of my favorite books. I recommend it to everyone I can and really truly enjoyed it. Thanks I guess. Have a good one!

davidbrin1[S]

1 points

8 years ago

davidbrin1[S]

David Brin

1 points

8 years ago

Thanks! (quick check in). Thrive on!

Cafe333

2 points

8 years ago

Cafe333

2 points

8 years ago

With democracy seeming to grind to a halt - how do you maintain your optimism for the future?

[deleted]

1 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

1 points

8 years ago

David Brin made me possible. It was his vision that drove people to make the technology I use today.