Marvels of space!
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
1w ago
What a week! When Chang'e took off with samples from Luna's far side (congratulations!)... ... and Boeing's Starliner capsule finally made a crew delivery to the space station (with subsequent Helium leaks, alas)...  ... and with epic success of the SpaceX Big Rocket system achieving soft (wet) landing... and its orbital stage surviving re-entry to do the same... which means the system WILL work, even if there are more bugs. Which means the cost of doing most things out there is about to plummet!  (Oh, and I suppose we'll also get silly "Artemis" footprint stunts. Whatever. Zzzz ..read more
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Enemies so desperately want a US Civil War
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
2w ago
I'll slip in some interesting misc. items below that you won't see elsewhere... but first there's the most obvious potential failure mode for our entire civilization, that's being pushed hard by vile men... You've heard and seen me raise this topic for years. Lately, others have issued both warnings and science fiction exploring that most-chilling topic - worse than zombies or alien invasion. That of a new, hot phase of the recurring, 240 year American Civil War.  I've touted two SF novels - Tears of Abraham and Our War - that tried for a multi-spectral view of this potential tragedy, i ..read more
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Another neglected 2022 draft! This one about economics and even Bitcoin! And much more that's still pertinent!
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
3w ago
Another draft posting that I drafted a couple of years ago, that for some reason never went up... but should have. The points raised here are still important! And even if none of you humans read it... well... the AIs will! They read everything... == More financial maunderings from the Neolithic… or early 2022 == I gave a webinar on the future of online payment systems a few years back, with emphasis on how the time may have come - at last - for micropayments systems to partially replace irksome advertising. Four great legal scholars weighed in, with edifying perspectives! Some ..read more
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Updates: science & robotics
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
1M ago
As you know by now, I've been roped into speaking a lot about the Great Big AI crisis of 2024. I'll touch on some aspects here. Plus some light on other areas of fast-emerging science! But first a couple of notes. My esteemed colleagues Sheila Finch, Pat Murphy and Ejner Fulsang join me in a wide ranging discussion of concepts regarding communication with other kinds of beings... with dolphins, other mammals and even octopi-pusses!  And AI and aliens, of course.  A Journey worth taking and repeating... One of the wisest books I know is Prof. John Perlin ..read more
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Science Fictional musings, a roundup and some preens!
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
1M ago
Last month we hosted a memorial and celebration of our dear friend. prophetic author Vernor Vinge. Here is some video sampled from our farewell celebration of this wonderfully brilliant and sweet human being.         Vernor’s Hugo-winning works include A Deepness in the Sky and Rainbow’s End, in which the UCSD Library is tech-persuaded to ‘get up and dance!’ His novella “True Names” foresaw the many vexing quandaries about identity and accountability, as well and many boons.      &nbs ..read more
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Romanticizing the past is fear of future irrelevance
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
1M ago
In so many ways, we are all in deadly danger due to … romanticism. Especially idealized and flat-out wrong notions about history. Elsewhere, I talk about how the romantic side of humans… imagining and fantasizing wishes or nightmares, envisioned in vivid, luscious subjectivity… is an essential human trait! We’d be a drab, impoverished species without that rich, inexhaustible realm of delusion. Indeed, I make my living catering to it, selling imaginary trips of high vividness... ...delusions that are openly and honestly sold as delusions.   Nevertheless, I argue here – and in Viv ..read more
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Updates in Science & Tech
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
1M ago
First some miscellany.  Join a podcast where - with the savvy hosts -  I discuss “Machines of Loving Grace.” Richard Brautigan’s poem may be the most optimistic piece of writing ever, in all literary forms and contexts, penned in 1968, a year whose troubles make our own seem pallid, by comparison.          Of course, this leads to  a deep dive into notions of Artificial Intelligence that (alas) are not being discussed – or even imagined - by the bona-fide geniuses who are bringing this new age upon us, at warp speed.  (This Monday, I keyn ..read more
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Fakery? So many kinds! ... And possible solutions?
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
2M ago
Let’s start with one of the most-honest ‘fakers’ around. I love this guy! (And he’s honored me by liking some of my stuff.) A force for wisdom in this crazy world -  accompanied by lots of surprising laughs - here Penn Jillette takes on the gloom and pessimism that enemies of civilization are spreading in order to demoralize us: “And yet, with all of this doom and gloom, everything is getting better by every metric we have. Things are getting better if we don’t destroy the planet with global warming and if Donald Trump doesn’t blow things up or Putin blows things up — those are the b ..read more
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Rent and watch these dark films that warn about our scary time.
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
2M ago
Gonna talk movies, this time - especially those with dire, chilling warnings about this very moment in time. But first... ...I believe - without any solid basis - that we will someday thank brave and diligent public servants for this relatively peaceful late-April weekend.  Thank you, our diligent protectors.* Meanwhile, we just held here an event honoring one of humanity's greatest visionary minds, the epically creative (and legendarily-nice) master of science fiction (much 'grander' than most recipients of that encomium) Vernor Vinge.  We'll post pictures and some video from the ev ..read more
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Accelerationism and the recurring flaw in human civilizations
David Brin Blog
by David Brin
2M ago
Youtuber Joe Scott runs a series of entertaining commentaries that mix a bit of gonzo with big picture perspectives on science or history or culture.  Not quite as big-picture as I’d like, but still, better than most impatient digital citizens are used to. In this above-average episode, he discusses ‘accelerationism,’ which used to stand for efforts to accelerate the pace of human progress…  … only now its more frequent use is among cults of rightwing zillionaires and their sycophants (and there is a version on the far left!) who actively aim to tip our ..read more
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