If you want to test your ability as a writer, to keep the action and interest and intellect...and empathy all going at the same time, while building a world and dealing with ideas and issues -- I think you're pretty much behooved to write science fiction. We science fiction authors, we poke at the universe using these prefrontal lobes...and we know that this is the seat of the thought experiment. As a futurist, it's job to stimulate these front lobes...that the Bible may have referenced as Moses having lamps on his brow...
Western Civilization famously changed everything with innovations such as market economics, democracy, mass education, and science, empowering millions to compete, cooperate, and invent as never before. But there's been a price. Each generation must deal with sudden expansions of vision, memory, and attention . . . now accelerating faster than ever.
Today, some forecast that vast information flows will empower tomorrow's citizens to converge and tackle problems with greater agility than governments or corporations—an era of creative "smart mobs." Is this plausible? Can new innovative visualization and collaboration tools boost millions of new problem solvers? Underlying all of this is a deeper question: Can our civilization maintain its 200-year commitment to openness, transparency, accountability, and confident belief in progress, or will a growing "relinquishment movement" fight back against the onrush of change?
David led an amazing roundtable of people working both inside and outside NASA, including Geoffrey Landis, Chris McKay, Rusty Schweickart, and Ariel Waldman, as they roughed out some of the ambitious new goals that could animate this next era in space, ranging from mining asteroids, to setting up solar energy stations in orbit, to exploring for life in the roofed water worlds of our solar system. We also talked about the critical next steps would be needed to lay the groundwork for this next era – like dropping the cost of getting payloads into space by an order of magnitude, or finding a way to manufacture rocket fuel outside earth.
David Brin is the award-winning author of the highly regarded ‘uplift’ novels that include Startide Rising (1983), The Uplift War (1987), Brightness Reef (1995) and most recently, Existence (2012) -a fictional look at the Fermi Paradox.
Science fiction writer and futurist David Brin bucks the current trend of cynical pessimism, arguing that Western history since the Enlightenment is marked by slow but steady progress, and calling for open dialogue to solve pressing problems.
Topics covered: Who's doing the heavy lifting of creating the future? Imagination the greets tragedy and boon of human nature. Science one of the four great pillars that freed us from the "Great Delusion" A contrarian on immortality...
On MTV's interview, David Brin discusses uplift: why haven't more Earth species self-uplifted naturally to full sapeince? With dolphins and apes clustered at a similar level, and with crows, parrots, sea lions ... even prairie dogs ... not far behind, is there a sentience "glass ceiling" that stymies bright creatures, for some unknown reason? And, if so, why did we smash through so hard and far and fast? Here's an even bigger question. Is it then our duty and obligation - now that we have the tools of science - to turn around and offer other "pre-sapient" species a helping hand? Or would that be horrible hubris?
Indignation, Addiction and Hope: Does it help to be “Mad as Hell?” My talk at TEDxUCSD For a generation, we’ve been taught that the best way to deal with our problems is to get mad as hell! Recent science exposes this as a scam that has produced the largest and most disastrous addiction in civilization. Sometimes problems merit indignation! But are we abandoning our greatest gift – the ability to actually solve problems.
Fifty years from now, will we have destroyed the world? Or saved it? It's not too soon to ask. Little more than 100 years ago, the mundane acts of our 21st Century daily life were strictly the purview of the gods: To take flight and traverse a continent in just hours...To splash daylight across a massive arena on a moonless night with the touch of one finger..
"The more god-like we've become, the more our humility is affected." And if we don't give serious thought to our trajectory as a global society, if we spend too much time looking backward nostalgically rather than ahead thoughtfully, we will succumb to ourselves. Because, "the default human society is flawed", and it is up to us to fight against that default.
One platform, Your voices, Our Futures: A series of interviews from the European Union's ICT Conference in Vilnius. Video 1 explores the role of Science Fiction in exploring the future; Video 2 talks about how technologies can make the difference in the future; Video 3 highlights the important role the internet will have in the future; Video 4 explores how technologies can help us face future challenges; Video 5 presents David's views on the future vision for Europe.
Brin's newest novel EXISTENCE explores the ultimate question: billions of planets are ripe for life. So where is Everybody? David's main thread: how will we shape the days and years ahead -- and how will tomorrow shape us?
What’s the point of thinking? Brin sees the future as a pressing threat, and Existence speculates that the reason we don’t see evidence of life on other planets is that no species survives its technological adolescence. The solution? We need to be smarter than our parents and work to give our kids the tools to be smarter than we are. In the book, the ultimate hope comes from a concerted effort to develop and diversify the coalition of Earth’s intelligent life, to make “humanity” encompass more than just the biological humans that we currently are.
We are in a race to cross a very dangerous zone, between where we are and where our grandchildren may be. Will they will know how to manage the planet? How to expend beyond the planet? How to stay calm? How to argue in a fare and decent way, bypassing politics? this isn't a vast utopia, it is just us, much more reasonable, having raised better grandchildren. in order to get there, we have to get past all these pifalls. We have already got past the one called the nuclear war, it is pretty impressive. There are so many others along the next twenty, thirty years, that is our job. And if we make it,we might be the fist intelligent life form to make it.
What are you looking forward to in the future? How do we prepare for the future? In this episode of 5 Burning Questions, we talk with science fiction author, futurist, and scientist David Brin. Brin recently visited Arizona State University's Center for Science and the Imagination to discuss his thoughts about the future.
Does Science fiction predict the future? Not necessarily, but science fiction does pose thought experiments, asking What if? And these thought experiments can motivate people to prevent a dark future from coming true. Tales such as Orwell’s 1984, Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and Soylent Green were all powerful self-preventing prophecies, which gave us a glimpse of a future we wished to avoid.
Writer and futurist David Brin aruges for the academic validity of science fiction, as the literature best suited to expanding out horizons while explorng solutions to society's most pressing problems.