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

Authors Elizabeth Bear, Walter Jon Williams and L.E. Modesitt Jr. are joined by Toni Weisskopf (the head of Baen Books), Ginjer Buchanan (from ACE and ROC books), Scott Dean (mayor of Harlem GA) and Bananaslug and Stoney (from Jim Baen's Universe magazine). Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the February 1, 2007 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 126 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News Items: (a) Trends in wine. (b) A low-tech nanotech breakthrough. (c) An AI programmer releases a free, open-source version of Death Stacks (a game invented by your host, Stephen Euin Cobb). (d) Your host's 2007 appearance schedule. (e) Your host has shaved his head.

[2] Would you trust Microsoft to provide the operating system for your eventually augmented brain? Can atheists be both devout and non-militant? Elizabeth Bear hits these topics as well as non-lethal military weapons and her ongoing involvement with SETI-@-home.

[3] Bananaslug and Stoney provide a peak into the new issue of Jim Baen's Universe magazine and even get Elizabeth Bear to read a sample of her work.

[4] Will some of the big publishing houses get hurt during the transition to eBooks? Will some fold entirely? Toni Weisskopf (the head of Baen Books) describes how the big houses are bracing themselves.

[5] Venice Italy is still sinking. Rich in history, the thousand year old city is threatened by every tide and storm surge, and may next have to deal with the effects of global warming. Scott Dean (the mayor of Harlem GA) just returned from nine days of walking through this city with an uncertain future.

[6] Which science fiction authors most accurately depict the future? Ginjer Buchanan (Senior Executive Editor of Ace and ROC Books) names four heavyweights and backs her picks with their novels and credentials.

[7] Another installment in our serialization of the novel: Bones Burnt Black.

[8] Is the media worsening all social and political conflicts by presenting them to us as though they are between polar opposites? Has the media learned that disagreements which are subtle or nuanced or (God forbid) respectful will not sell papers or draw a TV audience? L.E. Modesitt Jr. describes this and how cell phones may be slowing maturity in young adults by preventing them from ever being on their own when facing life's problems.

[9] What does Walter Jon Williams mean when he says that, The war against utopia has been won? And is he right in believing that biotechnology is likely to produce immortality within forty years? He also describes how consumer databases have already been used not only to market products to people but also to market political ideologies during campaigns.

Direct download: TFAY_2007_2_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT