The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.

Kim Stanley Robinson, the best selling and award-winning science fiction author is today's featured guest.

Topics include: Kim Stanley Robinson describes his reaction to being chosen as Guest of Honor for the 2010 World Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne Australia. He also describes the benefits and challenges of the January 17, 2009 personal appearance he did in Second Life.

He also explains his conviction that we will never develop artificial intelligence, or the singularity, or mind-uploading. But he enthusiastically agrees with the desirability of increasing human longevity as much as possible, even if that means centuries, and even if it throws a monkey wrench into population control. He equates increasing longevity with decreasing human suffering. However, he doubts that an indefinate lifespan will come soon enough for anyone alive today.

Earth's current population, he says, may be the result of an Oil Bubble, and may be unsustainable after we run out of oil. He also explains why some people may be disappointed concerning the relationship they have with their robots in the future, since they will watch their machine for some glimmer of personality but will not find it.

He also talks about his involvement with the Clarion Writer's Workshop. About his teaching there this summer; about his teaching there once before in 1988; about being a student there in 1975; about the teaching methods used at Clarion; and about how, when it was forced to relocate, he helped Clarion find a new home at his alma mater (UCSD).

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the February 18, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 80 minutes]

Kim Stanley Robinson's writings have won the Hugo, the Nebula, the Asimov, the John W. Campbell, the Locus, and the World Fantasy Awards. He has a Bachelors degree in literature, a Masters in English, and a PhD. also in English. He considers science fiction to be one of the most powerful of all literary forms, which explains why his doctoral thesis was titled The Novels of Philip K. Dick.

Probably best known for his Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars); his other novels include: Fifty Degrees Below, Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt, and most recently, Sixty Days and Counting (which describes the first year of a new and innovative environmentalist president, and may be becoming historical fiction). His newest novel is called Galileo's Dream but will not be released in the US until January of 2010.

News in this episode: As many as 50 planets like the Earth are expected to be discovered during the next three years. They will be discovered by the Kepler orbiting telescope, which will begin it's search a few days after NASA launches it on March 5, 2009. As a side result it will also locate many thousands, or even tens of thousands, of planets not like the earth.


Direct download: TFAY_2009_2_18.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST