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David Brin
Works at Futurist, Scientist, Author: The Postman, Startide Rising, Earth, Existence
Attended California Institute of Technology
Lives in San Diego
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David Brin

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For my weekend posting, we re-visit the quandaries of Human Germ Cell Engineering. Can we "improve" humanity in a way that's open and slowly incremental enough to avoid the inevitable Crichton-style calamities?
This fascinating (if long) essay - Engineering the Perfect Baby - explores the scientific and moral ramifications of “germ cell genetic engineering” or the changing of genomes in ways that can be inherited and passed-down, pa...
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+Brian Rush you should add, "..may, in my opinion" to each of your points...  heh heh
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Mid-week posting: I complete my two-parter on "moving the goalposts"... how climate denialists keep changing their position with agility that leaves the sciencey side befuddled.  I complete my list of seven points that cannot be evaded this way.  They nail em!  (Don't fret, I have some ways that lefties do this, too.  Not as bad. But still badly needing skewering!)  We have to become agile folks, militantly scientific pragmatists, who the enemies of our children cannot dance around.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/04/moving-goalposts-part-ii.html
Last time, I laid down seven fundamental points that you folks should arm yourselves with, and then sally forth to help save your planet. Rhetorical weapons that are far more confrontational and in-yer-face than the denialist...
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+Rank Badjin  I couldn't give a rat's patoot what you think.  You offer us nothing but a snark, neither evidence, nor argument, nor reason.  And yes, I protest that too much is decided at YOUR level of "argument." One cannot protest that "too much."
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The Global Post is taking shape into an excellent contribution to your news-and-perspective feed. Editor Nathn Gardels has roped in some top contributors. (I’ve even added a few thoughts, from time to time.)  See, for example, this excellent piece decrypting the mess of conflicting wants and alliances in Yemen.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/graham-e-fuller/decipher-yemen_b_6965564.html?utm_hp_ref=world

Another essay dares to challenge the assumption that Saudi Arabia is the west’s natural ally in the Middle East, especially after 60 years exporting the most radical - Wahabbist - version of west-hating Islam and relentlessly vetoing almost every attempt at peace between Palestine and Israel. “They are well aware that, given Iran's young, educated and dynamic population of nearly 80 million, its strategic position as a bridge between Asia and Europe and in control of the entire northern shores of the Persian Gulf, its rich natural resources in addition to vast reserves of oil and natural gas, and deep and old culture and influence throughout the Middle East, Afghanistan and Central Asia, Saudi Arabia cannot simply compete with Iran, if Iran's relations with the West are improved, and the crippling economic sanctions imposed on Iran are lifted. So, they are doing what they can to poison the negotiations' atmosphere…”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/muhammad-sahimi/saudi-attack-yemen-iran-west_b_6965542.html?utm_hp_ref=world

The notion that Iran might be a natural ally of the west does not surprise those of us who recall the world, before 1978… or who note that Iran’s vast, highly educated urban populations would leap for a rapprochement, if the mullahs’ grip loosened an iota.  Moreover, such a twist would, at a shot, reduce all threats to Israel and radicalization of Syria or Iraq.  A pipe dream?  Not to forty million Iranians.

The question is: do the younger Saudi princes realize all this?  And that their best option would be to de-radicalize first? Perhaps even — weird thought — stop blocking peace with Israel, and instead enlisting it in coalition against Iran?

Good chess players would show flexibility, right now.
The threats emanating from Yemen are distorted and exaggerated, the stakes are actually relatively low (except for Yemenis), any imposed settlement is highly elusive and the costs to those engaged may be high. For the U.S., it can be once again somet...
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The Huffington Post is doing good reporting? Weird.. I usually dismiss them as a biased leftist news site and try to stick to less slanted sites - and I say that as someone who is so far left that I wish the Green party were viable in America, because I agree with them way more than the Democratic party. I just prefer as little bias in my news as possible.
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“After spending hundreds of millions of dollars and deploying nearly 3,000 troops to create Ebola remedy centers, the United States ended up creating facilities that have largely sat empty: Only 28 Ebola sufferers have been treated at the 11 remedy units built by the United States military…”

Before getting all outraged at this “waste,” perhaps some perspective? All right, the help arrived a bit late and our civil servants learned a lot, so that they’ll do better next time. Which is… um… kinda the point, yes? For all of its tragedy, this Ebola outbreak was on the medium-small scale, compared with the nightmare scenarios we all might face, next year or next decade. 

On that broader perspective, this exercise was, in fact, worth every penny! We’ll be quicker off the mark, next time, better skilled and equipped. 
(New York Occasions) As bodies littered the streets and the sick lay dying in front of overwhelmed clinics last year, President Obama ordered the biggest American intervention ever in a worldwide well being crisis, hoping to stem the deadliest Ebola epidemic...
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It would seem they learned nothing from Katrina at all about rapid response.  Is that perspective enough?  ;) 
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On April 12, 2015, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of a vaccine developed by Jonas Salk that prevented polio and drove it close to extinction. Just one result? Soon, a scientist, Jonas Salk, was the most popular man in America. A scientist. Inventor of vaccines.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/npr-history-dept/2015/04/10/398515228/defeating-the-disease-that-paralyzed-america

From the article: “Rumors spread that soft drinks were responsible — or too much rain or heat. In some places people stopped handling paper money and refused to shake hands. But mostly people mobilized to fight the disease by raising money for the March of Dimes, which promised us a life-saving protective vaccine. And, in the end, it gave us two vaccines — the injected killed-virus version of Jonas Salk and the oral live-virus version of Albert Sabin."

Too bad Salk couldn’t come up with a vaccine against stupid. Can you imagine a nationally-beloved scientist today, despite the endless wave of bona fide miracles we benefit from, weekly? Merchants of fear in mass media has overwhelmed any sense of gratitude.  Moreover, while some brands of dogmatic idiocy are solely the product of a fervid and jibbering insane American right, our “anti-vaxxer” movement spans the spectrum, sweeping up gullible romantics also on a vapid far-left.

Call up this article, if only to copy the lead photo, showing several dozen children surviving their polio paralysis only inside a coffin-like iron lung.  Show the picture to your troglodyte-romantic friends and tell them that the War on Science is an addiction of fools who have misplaced their Suspicion of Authority (SoA) reflex.  

Generally, SoA is a healthy reflex! But one requiring care and thought and not the lowest of all human vices.  Ingratitude. 
On April 12, 2015, the world will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Jonas Salk's vaccine that helped defeat a contagious, crippling virus.
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+August Pamplona I really can't imagine.  Like I said, I truly don't know anything.  
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At least it's only twelve...I was worried about Number 13...
We humans are doing a bang-up job of messing up our home planet. But who's to say we can't go on to screw things up elsewhere? Here, not listed in any particular order, are 12 unintentional ways we could do some serious damage to our Solar System, too.
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Good that we are thinking bigger
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David Brin

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In the Year 2525: Big Science, Big History and the Far Future of Humanity
I’ll be speaking at the Skeptics Conference, May 29 to 31 in Pasadena, CA – along with Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Gregory Benford, Michael Shermer, and Esther Dyson. Registration now open…

http://www.skeptic.com/lectures/conferences/in-the-year-2525/
Registration is now open for the 2015 Skeptics Society Conference, at Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium (May 29–31 2015). The theme for this conference is: “In the Year 2525: Big Science, Big History, and the Far Future of Humanity.”
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Love the conference title alone.
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David Brin

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Well, Republicans are nothing, if not consistent. Having doubled down on “Supply Side” fantasies for 20 years, they promised that every tax cut for the rich would “pay for itself and erase federal deficits,” after the rich used the gifts to invest in productive enterprises. They never did. And so, instead, every such cut sent us into steep deficits and debt.
 
Now? They are doubling down on the voodoo. Switching to well-proved “demand side” would have hired half a million workers to repair bridges and infrastructure — things we will have to do anyway. But sending high-velocity cash through poor pockets and stimulating the economy would admit the Keynsians were right. Indeed, preventing that recovery is one reason the GOP blocked the Infrastructure Bill. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republicans-push-for-a-permanent-aristocracy/2015/04/14/aa434f82-e2e5-11e4-81ea-0649268f729e_story.html
 
So, what do they want? To end the Estate Tax, a cut costing the treasury $269 billion over a decade, “that would exclusively benefit individuals with wealth of more than $5.4 million and couples with wealth of more than $10.9 million. That’s a tax break for only the 5,500 wealthiest households in the country.” And as proof of pure stupidity, the “populist” Tea Party movement backs up this proposal, to the hilt.
 
Read this article!  But it leave one thing out.  The Estate Tax need never be paid! Just create a foundation and use most of your riches to do some cool thing in the world, ion your name, instead of pursuing the ancient ambition of inherited aristocracy.
 
See the proof of supply side’s failures here.
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html
 
No wonder they hate science and facts. Feudalism failed across 6000 years.  So those aiming to bring it back must rely — as the Lords always did — on incantations and fantasy.
A bill to end the estate tax is the ultimate perversion of the tea party movement.
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and yet, after all these tax cuts for the rich, the treasury has brought in more revenue than at any other time in history.
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My Monday posting goes full frontal assault on climate denialism.  I used to try arguing scientific facts - like the collapse of ice sheets at the north and south poles and Greenland, along with glaciers everywhere. And ocean acidification and a zillion other facts.  Till I realized that approach played into the cult, whose members just run to AEI and Heritage and Fox for the latest mumbo and jumbo.  No, instead this time I offer you seven in-yer-face points that pin down the fanaticism, laying it bare, in ways that you (and they) may never have seen, or thought-of, before.  Study these seven tactical moves! Our children need us to stand up.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/04/moving-goalposts-part-i-vaxxers-and.html

Oh, and the old page of mine that tried reason? It's still up, in case you find anyone remaining over there, who can still reason.
http://www.davidbrin.com/climatechange3.html

(BTW... for balance, this posting also takes on lefty anti-vaxxers.  I'm an ecumenical contrarian!)
Back to the core dilemma of our era: rousing future-oriented folk (like you) to fight back against a wave of troglodytism that threatens our children's very lives. And no, I am not talking about mere voting or activism, but g...
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+David Brin "Without right-wing obstruction, we’d have been ten years farther along in energy and efficiency research and sustainables would have had break-even five years ago, instead of next year."

I doubt that. The left is just as timid with pointing out the behaviors of institutions that will need to be modified. They are just as quick to wrap them in general ideologies for legislation that they know will fail. The behaviors are in many cases worthy of not only investigation but also prosecution. 

We are not just speaking of systemic issue. It's also white collar crime. 
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Today's Los Angeles Times gives an excellent run-down on this year’s status of cameras and surveillance tech, showing how the trend is accelerating. Oh... this front page article features yours truly in the first sentence and last... and much in between.
Science fiction writer David Brin calls it "a tsunami of lights" — a future where tiny cameras are everywhere, lighting up everything we do, and even predicting what we'll do next.
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+Gilmoure T.​, for QM try reading Feynman's QED. Remarkable book, that.

Uploading to the cloud can indeed solve the computation needs for research and occasional imaging.

However, for uses like continuous video, things quickly get a lot hairier. Using the cloud works in that case only if: (a) you have enormous bandwidth, (b) you don't need instantaneous (real-time) answers, and (c) not everyone is doing it at once, which would reduce both available bandwidth and available computation capacity per user.

What all that drives you to is the biological solution: the best sensing is local sensing, both to keep it as fast (real-time) as possible, and to make sure each "unit" can handle its own processing when the need for imaging is most critical.
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My weekend posting veers from "society" and all that... to science!  Where I have some incredible advances to share with you!  From news about our galaxy to the origins of life to new kinds of solar cells that correlate with predictions in EARTH... to proof that the Age of Amateurs will open up our eyes.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/04/solar-storms-solar-cells-origin-of-life.html
It's been a while since I've posted a science roundup.  But I figure you all are tired of my socio-political rants and could use a break!  So... (while other authors are obsessing on the suddenly volcanic "civil war in scienc...
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Great
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Upcoming Trips: Next week, I’ll be keynoting Congress on the Future of Engineering Software in Scottsdale AZ along with Mark Anderson http://cofes.com

Then on June 9, I’ll speak at Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara  http://augmentedworldexpo.com

In the Year 2525: Big Science, Big History and the Far Future of Humanity -- I’ll be speaking at the Skeptics Conference, May 29 to 31 in Pasadena, CA – along with Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Gregory Benford, Michael Shermer, and Esther Dyson. Registration now open…
http://www.skeptic.com/lectures/conferences/in-the-year-2525/
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Nice. I look forward to watching it. 
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Have him in circles
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Author, scientist, futurist, public speaker
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  • Futurist, Scientist, Author: The Postman, Startide Rising, Earth, Existence
    present
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
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San Diego
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Southern California - London, Paris
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Futurist, Science Fiction Author, Scientist. Advocate for a Transparent Society.
Introduction

Scientist, Author, Futurist, Public speaker: David Brin’s novels have been translated into more than twenty languages, including NY Times Best-sellers that have won Hugo and Nebula awards. His latest, Existence, looks at the threats facing us forty years in the future. His 1989 thriller, Earth, foreshadowed cyber-warfare, the Web, and global warming. A 1998 Kevin Costner film was loosely adapted from the post-apocalyptic novel, The Postman. The Uplift novels, including Startide Rising, and The Uplift War consider a future where humans raise animals to sentient levels. Foundation's Triumph brought a grand finale to Isaac Asimov's famed Foundation Universe. 

Brin is also a scientist and futurist who appears frequently on television ("Life After People," "The Universe," "the Architechs") discussing topics as diverse as surveillance technology, astronomy, SETI, nanotechnology and national defense. His non-fiction book -- The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? -- won the 2000 Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association

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Hugo, Nebula award winner
Education
  • California Institute of Technology
    Physics, 1969 - 1973
  • University of California, San Diego
    Space Physics, 1975 - 1981
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http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/
David Brin's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Can Regenerative Medicine Reshape Our Bodies? - HuffPost Live
live.huffingtonpost.com

As scientists make biological regenerative advances, will our bodies be able to repair themselves? And, are we prepared for biotechnology's

Contrary Brin: Miscellenaneous Wonders of Recent Science
davidbrin.blogspot.com - written by David Brin

Miscellenaneous Wonders of Recent Science. Licensing Journalists public protection or guild protection. After its crushing defeat in the last election ...

positive sum | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

A recent research paper resurrects the idea ofsecurity by obscurity A notion Ive been fighting for decadese.g. in The Transparent Society The basic idea is ...

"Solutions" to the Fermi Paradox - our contest winners! (Part Two)
davidbrin.blogspot.com

First don't forget to check in on Tuesday for a Reddit "Ask Me Anything!" Last time we went over the top prize winners of our experiment/con

crazy uncle | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

Forgetleftversusright Or even arguments over taxes The centerpiece of our current Phase Three of the American Civil War is the allout campaign to discredit

The Steve Jobs Experiment: Outcomes Report | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

Skip to content. Speculations about the Future · ← Geoengineering the Earth Should we take aggressive action. October 8 2011 247 pm. ↓ Jump to Comments ...

phase three of american civil war | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

Forgetleftversusright Or even arguments over taxes The centerpiece of our current Phase Three of the American Civil War is the allout campaign to discredit

apcc | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

Forgetleftversusright Or even arguments over taxes The centerpiece of our current Phase Three of the American Civil War is the allout campaign to discredit

Arguing With Your Crazy Uncle About Climate Change | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

Skip to content. Speculations about the Future · ← People Who DontGet Transparency or PositiveSum Games. October 12 2011 612 pm. ↓ Jump to Comments ...

Contrary Brin: Arguing With Your Crazy Uncle About Climate Change
davidbrin.blogspot.com - written by David Brin

Arguing With Your Crazy Uncle About Climate Change. Forgetleftversusright Or even arguments over taxes The centerpiece of our current Phase Three of the ...

security through obscurity | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

A recent research paper resurrects the idea ofsecurity by obscurity A notion Ive been fighting for decadese.g. in The Transparent Society The basic idea is ...

zero sum game | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

A recent research paper resurrects the idea ofsecurity by obscurity A notion Ive been fighting for decadese.g. in The Transparent Society The basic idea is ...

intellectual property | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

A recent research paper resurrects the idea ofsecurity by obscurity A notion Ive been fighting for decadese.g. in The Transparent Society The basic idea is ...

pavlovic | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

A recent research paper resurrects the idea ofsecurity by obscurity A notion Ive been fighting for decadese.g. in The Transparent Society The basic idea is ...

People Who Don't “Get” Transparency or Positive-Sum Games | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

Skip to content. Speculations about the Future · ← The Steve Jobs Experiment Outcomes Report. October 10 2011 659 am. ↓ Jump to Comments ...

Contrary Brin: People Who Don't "Get" Transparency or Positive Sum Games
davidbrin.blogspot.com - written by David Brin

People Who DontGet Transparency or Positive Sum Games. A recent research paper resurrects the idea ofsecurity by obscurity A notion Ive been fighting for ...

Contrary Brin: The Steve Jobs Experiment: Outcomes Report
davidbrin.blogspot.com - written by David Brin

The Steve Jobs Experiment Outcomes Report. First some announcements Ill be holding an open house meetup in New York City on Monday October 17 around 830 pm

The Steve Jobs Experiment: Outcomes Report | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

Skip to content. Speculations about the Future · ← Geoengineering the Earth Should we take aggressive action. October 8 2011 247 pm. ↓ Jump to Comments ...

Steve Jobs | Contrary Brin
davidbrin.wordpress.com - written by David Brin

First some announcements Ill be holding an open house meetup in New York City on Monday October 17 around 830 pm at OReilly's 21 W 35th Stupstairs byodrinks

Contrary Brin: "Class War" and the Lessons of History
davidbrin.blogspot.com - written by David Brin

Class War and the Lessons of History. One aspect of our reignited American Civil War is getting a lot of airplay It is socalledclass war ...