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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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Reflecting on the value of a Ph.D.: The Big Prize? To be able to say… “I know how to study a problem to its very core, dissect it and discover something that no one on Earth ever knew before. I added something previously unknown to human knowledge.”
For this posting, let's go all over the place! In a semi-random walk of items that share one trait. They're... well... interesting! Starting with -- A wide-ranging interview – covering future interactions with extraterrest...
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It's the discovery that counts, not the degree. Patents are another form of expression.
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David Brin

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Eep! In Existence, I portray a conclave of zillionaire-lords meeting in the Alps to at least try to make the New Feudalism not-stupid, this time, unlike the horrific statecraft and silly rationalizations that aristocratic castes produced, across 6000 years. I wrote that scene as a suggestion, in case the new lords win and repress our brief, 2 century enlightenment experiment. Odds still favor that outcome. Feudalism always won, in the past.

Alas, despite my suggestion, all signs indicate that this round of proto-feudalists will be as delusional as every other. Like kings and lords and priests of old, they let flatterers tell them how smart they are.  Still, is there hope? Shall I lift my head, in wonder, when the archetype beta-minus billionaire who thinks he’s an alpha seems to ‘get’ how stunningly awful is the 21st Century Republican Party that he and his brother helped to forge?

“It's a nightmare scenario for Republicans, but conservative billionaire Charles Koch says ‘it's possible’ Hillary Clinton could make a better president than the remaining candidates in the GOP primary.  As far as the growth of government, the increase in spending, Koch said. ‘It was 2.5 times [more] under Bush than it was under Clinton.’”

Um?  And every single other metric of US national health has done better across democratic administrations than GOP ones. Every metric.  Every single one. Now think, Charles.  What might that mean?

http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/hillary-clinton-president-gop-pick-charles-koch/story?id=38622141

See the comparison of outcomes.
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html

To be clear, despite having had total power to do anything they wanted — owning all three branches of government completely, from 2001-2007 — the GOP did not one thing about any ranted agenda items wanted by their tea party ground troops, except in four categories: massive tax cuts for the uber-caste, deregulating Wall Street, granting sweetheart deals for resource extractors, and conspiring to keep the true cost of wars off the books. Oh, yeah and Medicare Part D.  That’s five.  Period. All of them budget busting nightmares that transformed Clintonian surpluses into artery gushers of red ink. But beyond that? Utterly useless torpor.

BTW Charles, most of those were things that you wanted and demanded from your servants. You made this bed, sir.
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That was a bit ironic, coming from a fellow who called HC a republican. I do not mind Sandersites proclaiming that they are holding their noses while supporting her.  But only if they have adopted a congressional or state Assembly race to make their own and give the next dem prez what matters, a DP Congress.  THAT is what will determine whether any of Bernie's ideas come 70%+ true.
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Except for a two-year manic phase from 2009-2011, the United States Congress has for 20 years been the worst, most lazy and worthless US national legislature in living memory, as well-reflected in opinion polls which rate the institution far below the DMV and circus carnies.  Under Speakers Tearful John Boehner and role-model-for-all-boys Dennis Hastert, the House of Representatives held fewer hearings and fewer days in full session, passed fewer bills and (despite frivolous rage over Benghazi and emails) issued fewer subpoenas than almost any others across the last century. 

To be clear, despite having had total power to do anything they wanted — owning all three branches of government completely, from 2001-2007 — the GOP did not one thing about any ranted agenda items wanted by their tea party ground troops, except in four categories: massive tax cuts for the uber-caste, deregulating Wall Street, granting sweetheart deals for resource extractors, and conspiring to keep the true cost of wars off the books. Oh, yeah and Medicare Part D.  That’s five.  Period. All of them budget busting nightmares that transformed Clintonian surpluses into artery gushers of red ink. But beyond that? Utterly useless torpor.

A tradition that continues under new Speaker and obsessive supply-sider Paul Ryan, whose refusal to provide funds to stop the Zika Virus or let the FAA keep airplanes safe or for his bllionaire clients to face audit all fall into this grand tradition. See this highly partisan but highly accurate denunciation. “The Speaker of the House is burnishing his credentials for 2020 but doing what John Boehner did best: Nothing.” 

And this is their White Knight?
The Speaker of the House is burnishing his credentials for 2020 but doing what John Boehner did best: Nothing
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Har! +Alex Dupont ... given that the smartest people in our civilization like to have me around, and I am paid to explore ideas and concepts that you could not lift yourself from your knuckles to even blink at, I think we can end this with two sounds... first my lazy chuckle of dismissal...

... followed by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz snore....

Maybe tonight I can gather the energy to ban you.... zzzzzzzz
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David Brin

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Tomorrow (Saturday) I will be signing books and blathering – along with Vernor Vinge - at 2pm at Comickaze, at Liberty Station near Point Loma, San Diego. Pick up a copy of my new collection, Insistence of Vision. Stop by and chat…
Public · Books · Hosted by Comickaze - Liberty Station - Barracks 15. Guests. 21interested. 8going. 33invited. Invite Friends. Invite Friends. clock. Saturday, April 23 at 2:00 PM in PDT. Tomorrow · 15–22° Partly Cloudy. pin. Show Map. Hide Map. Comickaze - Liberty Station - Barracks 15 ...
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David Brin

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Can't believe I posted that earlier piece about the Swiss Sub company offering floating palaces, without linking to my article about "SeaSteading" and the real, underlying motive I suspect lying beneath such efforts.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/08/seasteading-some-problems-on-way-to.html
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+David Brin I'll hunt it down.
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David Brin

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Another mid-week posting on Sousveillance, Surveillance and Accountability. It's been called "Brin's Corollary to Moore's Law." That cameras get smaller, faster, cheaper, better and more mobile at a rate much, much faster than Moore's Law.  This time we'll see how MAVs or micro air vehicles* will outnumber insects in some places! Getting credible vids of famous people to mouth any words you like! Why BitCoin is probably now a government operation. And much more about the core matter of our time.

(*... as portrayed in EXISTENCE.)
It's been called "Brin's Corollary to Moore's Law." That cameras get smaller, faster, cheaper, better and more mobile at a rate much, much faster than Moore's Law. This article clues you in to the latest aspects, e.g. lensle...
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HF si HV CNN
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David Brin

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Supply Side (voodoo) so-called "economics has failed in every prediction... ever.  “If facts could kill the supply-side myth, it would be dead already.” Yet it is pushed with endless religious zeal because it always, always benefits the GOP donor caste.  When facts become Enemy #1, it helps explain the War on Science.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/04/25/how-falsehoods-flourish/
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+Allen Shockley I limit comments to specifc circles because reasons (makes moderating a lot easier). Adding is liberal, you've been included. Re-sharing the post to comment also works (and usually results in an add).

Hormones may not be the perfect analog, ion-mediated exchange also comes to mind. But something along those lines, mediating demand and/or availability of resources, generally, seems better than most alternate descriptions. In econ texts the usual is "money is blood". That's far weaker on many grounds. Money's what causes what's in blood (a transport analog) to be taken up or disposed of: oxygen, lipids, glycogen, etc.
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David Brin

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"How SF split off from 'competence porn'." The latter genre - like The Martian - thrills fans with a can-do spirit that used to be core to science fiction, both on-page and on-screen. In io9, Charlie Jane Anders writes: "This shift coincides with the decline in space opera on television, and the rise of apocalypses and "disaster porn," which are at least partly a wish-fulfillment fantasy about life becoming simpler and less confusing again. We have "competence porn" in the present day, but when we imagine the near future, we reach for "disaster porn.""  I revere Charlie Jane for (among other things) clearly citing the current, largely dismal mood in SF as dull, unimaginative and unhelpful, contributing to decayed confidence in real life problem solving. 

Where I part company is over why. This is not a matter of near-future vs far.  Competence and hope - set amid thrilling danger and good writing - can be found in SF set amid all kinds of futures -- near, middle and far -- as evoked by Stargate and Firefly, by the works of Banks and Vinge. (And some of the rest of us try, as well.)  No, the plague of zombies and apocalypses and illogically red-eyed dystopias has one central cause -- laziness. Plotting is vastly easier when there are no helpful institutions or professionals, when power is automatically and simplistically evil, when there's no citizenship and the hero's neighbors are all bleating sheep.  Relax any of those cliches? Then suddenly an author or director has to put down the joint and think.  That is why "competence porn" - about folks taking on tomorrow's problems with energy, focus and good will - is so rare.  It is also why a cliche-fatigued public is starting to turn eyes, raising them from fields of undead, looking not toward demigods, but toward engineers.
  
See this explicated here:  http://www.davidbrin.com/idiotplot.html
Science fiction used to be almost synonymous with "competence porn," stories about smart people who solve challenges by knowing what they're doing. But lately when it comes to movies and TV, it seems like Americans love competence porn, and they love science fiction... they just don't love them together. What happened?
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This tendency to frame dramatic events in the near term within catastrophes ("disaster porn") seems to be easily explained. It's hard to imagine events in which a (superlatively competent) hero could have dramatic effect, of global significance, in the present time or foreseeable future.

We are all too aware of the myriad factions and figures whose support of the status quo is entrenched.

The idea of a heroic figure proactively undertaking real change in this world, absent some catastrophic event , is akin to Cuchulain's beating at the foamy crests of the sea's waves (http://www.csun.edu/~hceng029/yeats/yeatspoems/CuchulainsFight) ... it's hard, nigh on impossible, for most of the contemporary audience to imagine.

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David Brin

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Weekend posting is about Space! The White House teams up with the makers of "The Martian" to promote space homesteading. I review three cool space-related books.  A new, 24 engine VTOL plane straight from the "Gernsback Continuum!" Phil Plait on cool stuff you never knew... and more and more!
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Don't forget about NASA Space Apps! http://2016.spaceappschallenge.org
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David Brin

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The first 11 months of 2014 were the warmest on record. Then 2015 overtook it, with an average global temperature of 58.62 degrees. And the first three months of 2016 have already surpassed marks set in 2015. See more from PolitiFact, which does not even mention accelerating ocean acidification - two words that even denialists on Fox veer away from ever mentioning.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/apr/21/earth-day-2016-6-things-know-about-climate-change/

Notice that even Lyin’ Ted no longer offers his howler about “no warming” and has moved on to other outright fibs. Note also that while many previous GOP presidential candidates made 2015 the year they grudgingly said that we must do something about human generated greenhouse warming (Bush, Fiorina, Jindal and five others) the only ones left standing are utter denialist cultists.

 This is about our grandchildren. The confederacy must not win.
Forty-six years after environmentalists dedicated April 22 to Earth, the United States and China will sign the Paris Agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. In light of the historic deal between the world’s two largest polluters, we look back on some of our recent fact-checks on the issue. Here are six things everyone should know about climate change. 1. The vast majority of experts say humans are contributi...
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True. Or all human fight together against the confederation, or the Confederates will destroy us all separately.
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David Brin

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Longtime colleague Kevin Kelly takes us on a detailed tour of the varied (and many) endeavors in Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality that are looming at us from companies like Magic Leap, Occulus, Microsoft, Apple and many others.  Kevin’s fascinating account introduces the innovators who will change everything, as much as they were changed by the arrival of the computer monitor, then the laptop, the web browser and the cell-phone.
 
Some of us have tried hard to portray these future possibilities, going back to 1980s cyberpunks. Vernor Vinge took things to new levels of possibility and plausibility in Rainbows End… as I tried to do, in Existence. We are in for interesting times.
Virtual reality is posed to become a fundamental technology, and outfits like Magic Leap have an opportunity to become some of the largest companies ever.
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Even View-Master has a headset you can put your phone in and explore.
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David Brin

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Failed prediction! SmartPop has featured on its site an excerpt from STAR WARS ON TRIAL, my closing statement, after 2 dozen sages debated and testified for and against the series, on a number of charges.  Among my remarks at the end is this half-hope, if anyone ever made a 7th SW film to follow Return of the Jedi:

"Yes, I do believe that good Luke will start a new Jedi Order that’s more akin to what good Qui-Gon envisioned. More egalitarian, like the karate studios that any kid can attend nowadays, adding a little skill and discipline to his or her eclectic lifestyle. (Heck, without Yoda, anything is possible.)."

Alas, while JJ Abrams is brilliant at characters, millions of fans let him get away with repeating hoary SW tropes in almost every scene... including the basic premise that Luke learned NOTHING from the horrific blunders of his masters.  Instead, he has repeated every single mistake, down the line, from restarting a narrow, elite Jedi Order in just one place, to allowing a fragile-willed apprentice to slaughter all the pupils, then (worst of all) GIVING UP!  Fleeing into hiding, instead of going "my bad!" and fixing the mess he made. Thus copying Yoda and Obiwan down the line.

Cowards, all.

But enjoy SWOT!  You'll have fun with the back & forth as brilliant SW mavens give me heck!

http://www.smartpopbooks.com/essay/closing-statement-for-the-prosecution?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
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Is it really any surprise that whiny "Cannot Get My Ship Out!" Luke failed to learn from the mistakes of the past? He was never the brightest lightsabre in the galaxy.
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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
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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
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"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

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

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

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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
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Arguing With Your Crazy Uncle About Climate Change | Contrary Brin
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Contrary Brin: Arguing With Your Crazy Uncle About Climate Change
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pavlovic | Contrary Brin
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Contrary Brin: People Who Don't "Get" Transparency or Positive Sum Games
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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
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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

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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

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