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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
56,188 followers|18,812,575 views
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56,188 people
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Author, scientist, futurist, public speaker
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  • Futurist, Scientist, Author: The Postman, Startide Rising, Earth, Existence
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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
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http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/

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Heartbleed: Yes It's Really That Bad, says the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).  Heartbleed exploits a critical flaw in OpenSSL, which is used to secure hundreds of thousands of websites including major sites like Instagram, Yahoo, and Google. This article in WIRED also suggests that you can redouble your danger by rushing to trust fly by night third parties offering to fix the flaw… and meanwhile, "big boys" of industry aren't offering general solutions, only patches to their own affected systems.

http://archive.wired.com/insights/2014/04/great-stampede-heartbleed-bugs-password-change/

The crux?  (1) change your passwords on sites where financial or other vital info is dealt-with, then gradually work your way through the rest, as each site offers you assurances.  (2) try not to have the passwords be the same. (3) help ignite political pressure for the whole world of online password security to have a rapid-response component (not dominance) offered by a neutral agency… one that is totally transparent, neutral and separate from all law or espionage "companies." And…

…and (4) might I ask if you've noticed that this kind of event happens about twice a year? And it has been that way since the 1980s?  Each of the events a scandal in its own right… hackers grab half a million Target card numbers… or Microsoft springs a leak… or Goldman Sachs… or Equifax… or Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange and Edward Snowden rip off veils of government secrecy… and pundits howl and the public quakes and no one ever seems to draw the correct conclusion -- -- that everything eventually leaks!  And that maybe the entire password/secrecy model is inherently flawed.  Or that there is another, different model that is inherently far more robust, that has only ever been mentioned in a few places, so far.

Here is one of those places.

http://www.scoop.it/t/the-transparent-society
Image: CJ Schmit/Flickr When a vulnerability is uncovered that can affect most everyone who uses a computer, how should the public find out about it? Shoul
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It's only one version of OpenSSL and there isn't a software title out there that hasn't had similar issues especially proprietary titles. The difference is this is being sansationalized. OpenSSL doesn't deserve to be singled out. This is the modern policy: take advantage by giving little support, trust and then blame. 

Ecosystems in the context of software distribution are a single point of failure by the way. Your trusted source is a huge target. 
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Astronomers apply no significance to the way lunar eclipses - or 'blood moons" sometimes come in groups of four or "tetrads. But that has not prevented a spate of blood moon mysticism. The four eclipses in this tetrad occur on April 15 and Oct. 8, 2014, and April 4 and Sept. 28 next year… all of them occurring during Jewish holidays.  Which has provoked a bunch of Christian (not Jewish) mystical last-days mongering. Both of the ones in April occur during Passover, and the ones in October occur during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-blood-moon-total-lunar-eclipse-tetrad-20140416-dto,0,48813.story

Okay, here's the narrative:  In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain and Christopher Columbus discovered America, giving the Jews a place to go. In 1948, the modern state of Israel was born, and in 1967, Israel won the Six-Day War and recaptured Jerusalem…. During the 300-year interval from 1600 to 1900, there were no tetrads at all.

Here's just one of the "interpretation" sites.  And it's okay.  This too will pass.  http://www.jesusonmymind.com/services
The first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses -- that riveting "blood moon" -- has occurred. The tetrad has begun! ;
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+Pamela Hagen Unless your a preacher whose livelihood depends on scaring people to give you money. Then events like this are pure gold.
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U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.  "…ordinary taxpayers end up picking up the tab, either in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increases to the federal debt,” USPIRG said."

In total, the U.S. loses $150 billion in federal revenue and another $34 billion in state revenue annually because of money parked in tax havens. That’s almost 5 percent of total federal revenue.

Um… can we let that sink in?  that's $1,200 out of YOUR pocket, every year.  Is this "transparency thing" still an abstraction to you?  

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-15/tax-havens-leave-u-s-filers-thousand-dollar-tab-report.html

See where I explore this (though I do it more entertainingly in EARTH!)
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/04/money-flows-that-might-prevent-new.html

And tangentially in my latest posting!  
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/04/future-perspectives-and-does-aclu-at.html
U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report.
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Shortsightedness on the part of scammers.
Sent from my Cricket smartphone
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My Sunday posting is about sci fi again.  Last time it was movies and other media on the near and far horizon. This one talks about the literary side -- starting with congratulations to this year's Hugo Awards nominees!  Then going on to science fiction with a Latin beat!  And the nova from China… and more news about the good stuff...

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/04/science-fiction-ii-literary-stuff.html
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The Yiddish word "chutzpah" means gall and utterly arrogant nerve. It should be re-spelled to "koch-spah" after this news… that the ever-meddlesome Koch brothers are now funding a major campaign against state efforts to ramp up solar energy.  It would be one thing if they limited their attacks to ending tax rebates and minor subsidies for solar and wind… hypocritical, given how much they have benefited from vastly larger oil-gas-coal subsidies, tax breaks and almost free access to resources on public lands. 

No, they are also targeting "net metering" which is the law allowing a homeowner who owns a rooftop solar unit to sell excess power back to the utility.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-solar-kochs-20140420,0,7412286.story#axzz2zSLfKKoM

Please read that again.  The Koch brothers do not want you selling your excess power to the market.  Their beef is with filling energy markets with millions of little-guy producers.  Their "institute" proclaims that its aim is to "preserve the public utility power company concept" -- a state mandated monopoly system in which single companies control all access to energy.  Some enterprise capitalists! Some libertarians!

But let's dig deeper to the heart of it.  WHY are the Kochs (and their Saudi partners) doing this right now?  Because solar energy is taking off.  Because efficiency and durability rates have been skyrocketing, in part because we had the wisdom to use some mild incentives to boost an important new industry, the way US Postal contracts stimulated air travel, in the 1920s, or public roads spurred the rise of the automobile.

Only with this difference: renewable energy systems are improving far FASTER than airplanes or automobiles did, in their nascent days. And more spectacular tech advances loom on the horizon, that they can see coming fast.

Dig it well.  The Kochs would not be doing this if renewables weren't taking off and a looming threat to the brothers' bottom line.  Millions of autonomous citizens, generating and selling their own power is no longer a sci fi pipe dream.  It is coming true fast… and the parasite dinosaurs are bellowing.
The Koch brothers and large utilities have allied to reverse state policies that favor renewable energy.
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I think it's important to understand what an economy is. Most of those who preach getting economics out of the hands of government are suggesting that it be in their own political context. In my opinion it's all trading one for another. 

Republican = Oligarchy
Democrat = Socialism
Libertarian = Anarcho-Capitalism
Progressive = Coercion 

This is an account of their actions as opposed to their nomenclature. All ancient ideas that exist - even today - in cyclic crisis. We're just being fooled by new names. 

An economy economizes and distributes resources. When there is a great deal of disparity, it is due to an economy not being implemented. What we are under now is not an economy. It is only being given the name economy. 

Distribution is being disrupted by idealistic "property rights" and the many excuses for it are not supported by Ethology and most definitely not Ecology. It's just a primitive being trying to impose its fresh from the colon notions on natural systems. 

Orwell, Huxley and Machiavelli are as relevant today as they ever were. 
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THE FOREVER WATCH by David Ramirez is a vivid and imaginative and solidly crafted novel about crime and danger and deep, deep secrets aboard a generation ship carrying the last of humanity to a distant star.  Recommended.

http://www.amazon.com/Forever-Watch-David-Ramirez/dp/1250033810/
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+Mark Mercer: That has not been my experience.  Books marked "Simultaneous Usage: Unlimited" easily convert using Calibre to EPUBs, without the DRM-stripping plug-in, while failure to include that line blocks the file from being converted.  At its root, Amazon's AZW format is the MobiPocket format from the days of the Palm Pilots.
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A large fraction of social science research has focused on the most-accessible supply of survey and test subjects -- westerners and especially Americans -- under the assumption that "we're all the same under the skin" and hence tests that dive below obvious cultural biases ought to show what's basically human.  Lo and behold, it seems that westerners and especially Americans and "weird" compared to almost all other cultures in ways exposed by Prisoners' Dilemma type games and many others that study - say - individuality.

http://www.psmag.com/magazines/magazine-feature-story-magazines/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

In fact, anyone who compares western - and especially American - values and processes and history and so on, compared to almost any other culture that ever existed, would have been able to tell you that.   The question is "crazy" as in dangerously unhinged?  Or in the sense of "our one chance to escape the traps that mired every other civilization into a pit of dashed hopes and potential?"  The jury is still out.
Joe Henrich, Steven Heine, and Ara Norenzayan are shaking up psychology and economics with their view of how culture shapes human thought and behavior.
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+Max Cook I don't think that we can assume that culture has no natural cause. I would suggest that religion comes from early observations. The perspective of the hunter/gatherer would seem to be relevant. My best guess is that they would have experienced a living world. Most of what they would have interacted with would have been alive. We're not significantly more intelligent than they were 50,000 years ago. The religious beliefs were polytheistic and there were notions of transcendence of the known life forms. That could come from a basic understanding of the system. Many of the more modern hunter/gatherers had an understanding of the ecology woven into their belief systems. This would seem to be applying observation to the unknown. 

Everything was anthropomorphized. That trend continued. I would like to point out that monotheism and the dawn of civilization occurred at roughly the same time. That was when humans started storing grain. A History teacher (well she was my English teacher but she had more of a History background) once told me that there was an emergence of the notion of finality that influenced our views in our early history. Even a flat Earth is finite. Someone must have asked "where did the gods come from?". 

Our views are also influenced by our ideologies. We tend to throw them around without Epistemic Justification. The universe doesn't likely care weather or not we decide to quantify our notions with physical evidence and continue to advance or live within a niche - like all the other animals - with limited understanding. What is is certainly; however there is no justification for claiming that it must be. 

The natural usage of bullshit is fertilizing the flora... that then feeds the fauna... that then feeds the carnivore... that dies and feeds the flora etc. All of our ideologies only impose some kind of context on this process. We are as full of it as we ever were and I see no end in sight. 
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My new posting is about how the ACLU and other champions of liberty seem at last to be "getting" the modern age - that we are best served by looking back at power, not hiding from it. Also(!) learn more about the big "Science and Science Fiction" event hosted by the Smithsonian in DC, in May… featuring Brian Greene, Kim Stanley Robinson and me.  And a number of other interesting items of news!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/04/future-perspectives-and-does-aclu-at.html
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My Sunday posting is about sci fi again.  Last time it was movies and other media on the near and far horizon. This one talks about the literary side -- starting with congratulations to this year's Hugo Awards nominees!  Then going on to science fiction with a Latin beat!  And the nova from China… and more...

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/04/science-fiction-ii-literary-stuff.html
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The Amazon store makes it seem that the book is already for sale in English translation as a Kindle e-book.   It sounds like a fascinating and deep read.  Do you know if the e-book is already available?  I know the paper edition will not be out till Oct of 2014.  Thanks for letting us know about this book.  It's the type of science fiction that tends to bring out the best and worst of mankind.  +David Brin 
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Super cool animation of what will happen in 4 billion years, when the Andromeda Galaxy collides with ours. Plus some highly evocative artists, conceptions of what the sky might look like, from the surface of Earth about that time.  Of course, it takes our solar system over 200 million years to orbit the center of the Milky Way, so these scenes would be give or take a hundred million or so!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Andromeda_and_Milky_Way_collision_sequence.jpg
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+Mateusz Kuś Hey, it's only a few thousand years at Warp 8. After we invent the warp engine. 
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