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

Authors John Barnes, Kim Stanley Robinson, Elizabeth Bear, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. and Stoney Compton are joined by Ginjer Buchanan (of ACE and ROC Books), Walt Boyes (JBU's own Bananaslug) and Ricki Dean (Manager of a High School cafeteria). Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the March 1, 2007 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 155 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News items: (a) your host will appear at RavenCon in Richmond VA, USA next month (b), a new version of Death Stacks may be played online and requires no download, (c) there's no such thing as a Chinese Journalist, and (d) a 15 percent probability Al Gore will be the next US president.

[2] Generation Y is the most connected generation ever, but are its members obsessed with being in complete consensus on everything and horrified of being in open disagreement? And if so, how will this alter America ten years from now when Generation Y will comprise 40 percent of all American consumers? John Barnes, a consulting semiotician, has studied this subject in detail.

[3] Bananaslug and Stoney present a reading by Louise Marley of the opening scenes of her short story The Spiral Road which is in the February 2007 issue of Jim Baen's Universe magazine.

[4] What if everyone hypertexted within all conversations? What if you never had to define your terms because those not familiar with them could look them up faster than you could have provided the explanation. Elizabeth Bear has many ideas about this, AI, cell phones and the Singularity.

[5] What if Russia still owned Alaska? What if Lenin and Trotsky had remained nobodies and the Czar and Czarina still ruled? Seeing how history pivots on the mundane can provide insights into the changes we will all face in the future. Stoney Compton, a life-long student of history, talks of this and shares anecdotes about Alaska and its native Athabaskan Indians.

[6] Imagine you're in line in a cafeteria but federal regulations will not allow you to buy any kind of soft drink or fried foods. Now imagine ten thousand similarly restrictive cafeterias all across America. These are the cafeterias in public schools. To learn the trends our future wage earners are experiencing now, I spoke with Ricki Dean, Manager of a High School cafeteria.

[7] Many authors' careers ended when Horror book sales collapsed in the 1980's. Might this happen to another genre? Ginjer Buchanan (Senior Executive Editor and Marketing Director of Ace and ROC books) talks of this and the rising popularity of audio books. A trend the big houses are making a serious effort not to be left out of.

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

[9] What would you do differently today if you knew your generation would live 300 years? Kim Stanley Robinson tackles this question and its social ramifications since he sees it as a genuine possibility based on what he has been hearing from his friends with the field of biotechnology. He also covers cryonics, SETI and our next earth.

[10] Our stores are filled with every variety of goods, but does this variety give us only the illusion of choice? L.E. Modesitt, Jr. suggests that it does, and talks of his concern that we will be forced to rely on fossil fuels much farther into the future than anyone would like to admit.

Direct download: TFAY_2007_3_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT