A song to make you cry... and determined...
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
14h ago
I am trying to post only weekly, these days. But this needs doing.  At all political extrema the fashion is to pour cynical hate on the deeply-flawed Great Enlightenment Experiment, and the nation that - for well or ill - is its leader. That hate is a sick version of the food that experiment needs, in order to flourish - interrogation by our righteously unsatisfied children. We question ourselves and that is good. We teach our next generations to question us and all leaders, which (historically unusual) trait is both good and necessary, if we are ever to rise fully beyond barely upright k ..read more
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The Best Economic/Political Prediction of the last few years
CONTRARY BRIN
by David Brin
5d ago
Who made the Best Economic/Political Prediction of 2020? I assert that it was yours truly. Sure, some savvy folks projected (I did) that Vlad Putin would enter into a warlike spasm end-game, once western agencies were unleashed (post-Trump) to fight back. Others were on target with election forecasts, or tech breakthroughs, or investment strategies… and I am on-record (from 15 years ago) predicting that 2023 would see the ‘flying car.’  Amateurs can get it right, sometimes.  But how about forecasting the exact pattern of US federal deficit-to-GDP ratio, across all administrations ..read more
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What Putin and Other Haters of the Enlightenment Experiment Really Want
CONTRARY BRIN
by David Brin
5d ago
First some good news? Bringing manufacturing back home to the U.S. - onshoring, re-shoring or near-shoring – is happening at a greater clip.  “The construction of new manufacturing facilities in the US soared 116% over the past year, dwarfing the 10% gain on all building projects combined, according to Dodge Construction Network. There are massive chip factories going up in Phoenix: Intel is building two just outside the city; Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is constructing one in it. And aluminum and steel plants are being erected all across the south…” reports Bloomberg. &n ..read more
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Science advances for a new year - We are (or can be) amazing!
CONTRARY BRIN
by David Brin
5d ago
Looking back at 2022: a roundup of scientific achievements... from asteroids to AI and (possibly) fusion. Science journal calls the initial data and images from the James Webb Space Telescope the 2022 Breakthrough of the year. In light of my many past discussions of citizen science and the rising Age of Amateurs, here’s a list of existing citizen science programs and platforms.  I was honored to participate in the 50th anniversary volume following up on Alvin Toffler's classic futurist work Future Shock, with the release of: After Shock—“Future Shock at 50” project. You can ..read more
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Finally, the question of WHY the mad right (and parts of the left) wage war vs. nerds?
CONTRARY BRIN
by David Brin
5d ago
Am I exaggerating when I call this phase of the U.S. Civil War an outright campaign against smart people?  Earlier I referred you to when Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, while campaigning for Herschel Walker in Georgia, made this so explicitly by repeatedly taunting kale-eating “high-IQ stupid people.” The same folks who are dissed as “snobs” by Tucker Carlson and his Ivy League colleagues who fake folksy accents on Fox.  It didn't begin in 2011, when Rush Limbaugh started his crusade against the "Four corners of deceit" (science, media, government, an ..read more
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Lifting our gaze to... the Moon? And beyond?
CONTRARY BRIN
by David Brin
5d ago
 I have some way cool space news to report below. But first a familiar rant. While I disagree with this White House white paper on USA efforts to colonize the Moon, I understand the reasons for issuing this statement.  “It’s very clear that this (the Artemis mission to rush US astronauts to a footprint ritual on Luna) is not just about the research and the science, but it’s also going to be about the economic prospects from the moon,” explained Namrata Goswami, an independent space policy analyst. “Until now, the US has been very reticent to so clearly engage in a manufacturing use o ..read more
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The Destiny of Russia at war
CONTRARY BRIN
by David Brin
5d ago
 War tends to shake or shatter assumptions, each day making the previous day's speculations obsolete. Still, I will finish this quick post with some ruminations about what may come next.  But first, let's go back - way back - 6 weeks or so to this posting from the Institute for the Study of War November 12, just after Russian forces performed their humiliating retreat from Kherson.  "Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson City is igniting an ideological fracture between pro-war figures and Russian President Vladimir Putin, eroding confidence in Putin’s commitment and ability to delive ..read more
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Science fictional scenarios - From recent news to GATTACA and much more!
CONTRARY BRIN
by David Brin
5d ago
A PLUS-SIZED POSTING FOR THOSE OF YOU STUCK WITH METERS OF ARCTIC SNOW OUTSIDE YOUR FRONT DOOR... I try to vary my postings among several main topic areas. Yeah, a fair amount of (maybe too much) politics and international stuff and war... And big Science News dumps! About space and astronomy, most often. but also postings about biology and such, that lead to fascinating discussions in the CONTRARY BRIN comments community! (See below.) Then there's science fiction. Let's do that, this time. Down below I'll talk about projects to build future scenario models of the Earth! But first ..read more
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Fixing class & political disparities without (much) revolution
CONTRARY BRIN
by David Brin
5d ago
All right the US midterms weren't so bad... unless you count the distressingly large number of places across America where 48% of our neighbors are frantically imbibing Kremlin agitprop and pro-oligarchy koolaid... ...or the desperate dumbness of our friends and allies on the left, for refusing even to talk to Hispanics (especially males) to find out why that essential part of the coalition is drifting away. Gosh, even amid guardedly good news, the topic always has so many under-examined angles. Perspectives that you never see in the pathetically unimaginative, 2-D punditry, e ..read more
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General science updates plus amazing tech... starting with a wonder!
CONTRARY BRIN
by David Brin
5d ago
First, for some Big Picture think? Want another wise-guy interview?  For the Closer to Truth TV series, Robert Kuhn interviews me on the topic: “Does ESP Reveal the Nonphysical?” Okay this is just wonderful. Saturn's moon Titan is one of my favoritetourist haunts! "...one of the jewels of the solar system. Its greenish-blue hues are reminiscent of Earth, and it's the only other place in our part of the cosmos that we know to have roiling seas and wondrous clouds. But Titan is kind of strange; an alternate reality Earth. Its clouds and seas, rivers and lakes aren't composed of water ..read more
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