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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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Steve Mann called it “Brin’s Corrollary to Moore’s Law”… that cameras will keep getting smaller, cheaper, faster, better and more mobile faster than Moore’s Law.  And hence, our only option for preventing Big Brother is to use them (to look back at power), not to hide from them. Now comes Go-Pro , the sports camera maker, with its smallest unit yet. 40% lighter than last year’s best model, easier to use and less expensive. And waterproof. 
And please, all you Jeremiahs preaching safety-by-obscurity? We’re still waiting to see your plan – other than holding out your arms toward a tsunami inevitable light, screaming “stop!”
GoPro, the sports camera maker, plans to launch its smallest camera yet. The Hero4 Session, which weighs 2.6 ounces, will go on sale July 12, the company said Monday.
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look at the mobius camera... its even smaller. 
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Today's posting is an open letter to Paul Krugman - Nobelist and Keynsian, who will be debating right-wing apologist Steve Moore at FreedomFest, Wednesday.  As a former FreedomFest speaker, I know some talking points that really get through to smart libertarians, showing them how foolish it is to associate themselves with the madness that has hijacked the American right. 

 These are BASIC points, about the nature of competition and freedom, that go back to Adam Smith and Robert Heinlein, exposing a truth, that the Fox-ites are puppetting libertarianism. And that leash must be cut.

I hope Prof. Krugman will consider using these ten "judo" points which will help any smart-sane libertarian to realize... that moderate liberals can be negotiated-with, and even share some common ground with you.  While conniving, proto-feudal oligarchs are the ancient enemies of all freedom.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/dear-professor-krugman-how-to-cut.html
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Altruism is a weird anthropomorphized behavior that has a number of weird definitions and that often ignores important relationships that are too difficult to follow experimentally.  What is called "altruism" often isn't.  Worker bees are not being "altruistic" by supporting the queen.  The reproductive units that the hive produces (new queens and drones) are more related to the workers than they are to the queen.  How can worker bees supporting the hive be "sacrificing" anything when what the hive produces are more related to the worker bees than to the queen? 

The difficulty people have with having rational discussions around anthropomorphic terms like "altruism" is that they are imputing human feelings to non-human organisms.  Bees don't have "feelings".  Bees act as their genome and development direct them to act, plus some noise. 

Eusociality is a better term that better captures the idea of cooperation and division of reproductive labor between organisms.  Eusociality is essentially universal. 

The most important resource that a sexually reproducing organism requires is fertile mates.  The next most important resource is fertile mates for its own offspring.  The next most important resource is fertile mates for the offspring of those offspring.  Any organism in any generation that lacks access to fertile mates becomes extinct.  Maintaining a diverse gene pool in a species facilitates continued access to fertile mates in future generations and so is a net benefit to every member of that species that has any descendants. 

Expecting someone else to raise and educate fertile mates for your own offspring is to generate an unpriced externality (the cost of raising and educating fertile mates).  Anyone who is unwilling to contribute to the general welfare of the next generation is parasitically exploiting those who are. 
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Boeing's new Compact Laser Weapon System (LWS) is capable of generating an energy beam of up to 10 kilowatts that can, depending on the power level, be used to acquire, track, and identify a target -- or even destroy it -- at ranges of at least 22 miles. The weapon is designed specifically to track and attack moving aerial targets such as incoming artillery rounds, and low-flying aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.  Combine this with the new radars’ ability to track-back shells to pinpoint their origin, and we may be witnessing the end of Napoleon’s dictum that artillery is Queen of the Battlefield.  Of course the ones paying closest attention to all this?  Not Boeing’s customers or potential adversaries…. But sci fi authors.  
Could this be the invention that helps to revive Boeing's defense business?
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+Wade R. The discussion from the second comment onwards became about the need for defense in the first place. It wasn't a discussion about the merits of using this technology in that regard.

If it makes you feel better, I did assume from the picture, that the technology being discussed was something similar to Israel's plane mounted laser defense system. But so what? The discussion was about the need for defense, which, as you engaged with me about that, I'm sure you know. I fail to see the point of throwing a strawman up now, and pretending you didn't understand what I was getting at.

If you don't think that planes should be defended because there's no potential threat, fine. I disagree and have made my points regarding that. 
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My weekend posting is an older article that has never appeared anywhere online till now. It won the best fact article prize from Analog Magazine in 1984 -- "The Deadly Thing at 2.4 Kiloparsecs!" It covers one postulate or hypothesis to explain the apparently cyclical nature of past extinction events on Planet Earth.  (That is, till the cycle got pushed ahead by our own actions in the Anthropocene.) Come have a look at the craziest-yet-plausible theory you've seen yet!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-deadly-thing-at-24-kiloparsecs-are.html
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Like the proposed firewall for black holes, something would probably make it impossible to pass information, including matter back in time and create logical contradiction. To pass information forward in time however should be OK. We do it every day. Just write your will, and someone else will see. 😇 P. S. I don't believe in multiverses. 😈
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Here’s a cute rumination. You are offered eight different – mutually exclusive – superpower pills. 
. Seen on Tumblr, along with associated discussion: Yellow: People's minds are heartbreaking. Not because people are so bad, but because they're so good. Nobody is the villain of their own life sto...
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It turns out that red makes you immortal, in the story, but that's not obvious from the description. There's all kinds of ways rapid regeneration can kill you.
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"Amazon is changing its ratings system. The company will  assign more weight to recent reviews, as well as reviews that have been written by verified purchasers of a particular product. (Naturally, it's probably best to hear about a person's experiences with something when you know, for sure, that they have actually used it.) Amazon will also weigh reviews that have been deemed helpful by other Amazon users" The latter reform has been needed for a long time. And #2 seems reasonable, but will tend to have side effects, e.g. that authors like me will be motivated to want loyal fans to buy via Amazon, so they can also review.  Clever, Jeff.http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2486445,00.asp
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BTW might I suggest some of you might go now and leave 5 stars where they will do the most good?  Ahem... you know where?
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David Brin

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How did the CIA do in its year 2000 forecast for 2015?   Pretty good, in fact.  
Back in 2000, just before George W. Bush became president, the CIA published a 70-page report on...
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An amazingly cogent, entertaining and totally on-target dissection of one of the greatest motion pictures of all time – GHOSTBUSTERS – by Moviebob (Bob Chipman).  I only rarely see a critic cover every single point that I would have made about a work of art. But Moviebob gets down to it, mailing why this is one of the greatest accomplishments in the history and cinema, and Ghostbusters is more pertinent than ever to our times. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPoILjs6BYI
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Well, I had to subscribe to that channel... excellent review/analysis!
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A couple of pictures from the Westercon 68 Science Fiction convention in San Diego: catching up with Vernor Vinge, and an intense discussion of transparency, accountability and privacy in this panel on The Transparent Society with Larry Niven, Henry Herz, Cody Goodfellow, David Ross and Karen Wilson.
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+vladislav Ivanov Not from those authors, perhaps - but plenty of other good ones working in the field!
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The key point here is not the one pushed by law enforcement or by its civil libertarian opponents, both of whom suffer from technological myopia and “tradeoff disease” – a mental ailment that causes sincere people to make statements like “we must sacrifice a little privacy for public safety” or – alternatively – “we must be brave enough to endure some danger in order to preserve freedom.”  It is the noxious notion of the zero-sum game. That we must choose between freedom and safety for our children.  A choice that I absolutely refuse to make. A choice put forward by simplistic morons.
 
Proof: No people in all of human history have ever been safer than we are right now… and no people have ever been as free. 
 
The tech-myopia comes in when federal agents act as if tools like Stingray can be kept secret over an extended period.  My Gosh, what kind of society do they think they are living in?  All they accomplish with blanket and frantic gag orders is to increase the frisson of suspicion aimed toward them by citizens who know that they must be aware of what civil servants are doing, lest freedom vanish.
 
Temporary and tactical secrecy are useful tools for the Professional Protector Caste (PPC).  But technology and society keep moving forward and gag orders will not prevent it. 
 
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-the-big-secret-surrounding-stingray-surveillance/?WT.mc_id=SA_WR_20150701
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There was a great quote last year from one of the CIA talking heads that said something like, and I paraphrase, wish I could put my finger on it, "If you don't know we are listening in, how have you really lost any privacy?" I personally reject this point of view , consider the stingray collection program the most loathsome of all similar intrusions, especially law enforcements attitude that anything they find illegal while purportedly looking for something else is "fair game."

I do think it is good to consider this other quote, way back in the last century, 1977, from the U.S. Privacy Study, quite prescient:

"The real danger is the gradual erosion of individual liberties through automation, integration and interconnection of many small separate record keeping systems, each of which alone may seem innocuous, even benevolent, and wholly justifiable."
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My mid-week posting is about Science Fiction: scenarios for the future, ranging from Cli-Fi to Post-human…
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/sci-fi-news.html
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Well personally I'm nothing if not arrogant. But I assume that this is not an ad hominem broadside and you think there's something arrogant in my idea that humans are bound to screw up whatever they touch in this issue so far above their skill level and pay grade. I remember reading about the chaotic implications of our putting the peanut gene in the particular food crop which caused a decimation of a commensurate moth species, we can't begin to grok the tertiary and sometimes subtle effects of our actions on the natural world. Things have been evolving just fine without our help. God save the animals.
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We are thinking less like citizens….more like sides in a war.
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What is ZOMIA?
Anyway ... I see some talk of anarchy. Zero government. Yes, I understand that desire. Any government always ends up being dishonest political tool (at least partially)
But I remember what happened when many passengers Batavia, a Dutch ship that ran aground on an island and remained isolated.
They could create a utopian society. But instinct took over. Cornelitz, a wicked apothecary, dying of desire for women: Lucretia van der Mylen (said was unearthly beauty)
Cornelitz quickly located another "wolves" and taking up arms began an orgy of terror in which killed 125 people, including women and children Cornelitz killed for pleasure.
Cornelitz poor Lucrecia became his mistress.
that is to say. What I'm trying to say with this is that human nature is an obstacle throughout utopia. And I'm not exaggerating. Look at history. The same is repeated again and again at large scales. And they are not putting this factor in his calculations.
Of course, that if they find a really honest leader, then everything changes. But that percentage is almost impossible. It may be, for example, to achieve a leader who has a wonderful agenda and his words are ecologically correct. But it happens that wolves are ready. Wolves know what people want to hear. It is almost impossible to know whether an ecological sheep is actually a wolf.
Now that I'm the leader, problem solved, because I know I'm not a wolf. But I do not want to throw a candidate.
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Have him in circles
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Work
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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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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

Bragging rights
Hugo, Nebula award winner
Education
  • California Institute of Technology
    Physics, 1969 - 1973
  • University of California, San Diego
    Space Physics, 1975 - 1981
Basic Information
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http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/
David Brin's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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