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

Authors David Drake, Alan Dean Foster, Dave Freer, Paul Levinson and Stoney Compton are joined by Ginjer Buchanan (of Ace and ROC books), Lucienne Diver (a top literary agent) and Walt Boyes (The Bananaslug from Jim Baen's Universe magazine). Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 1, 2007 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 121 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News: (a) due to the host's vocal problems, this is the only episode which does not include an installment of the novel, Bones Burnt Black; (b) Death Stacks may now be played online for free without downloading anything; (c) TV channels from around the globe may be watched online for free by going to; (d) your humble host proposes his fix for the confusion produced by dropped cell phone calls; and (e) your host will appear at RavenCon in Richmond VA, USA (April 20-22, 2007) and at ConCarolinas in Charlotte NC, USA (June 1-3, 2007).

[2] Apartheid ended 13 years ago, so what are the trends within South Africa today? And what misconceptions do outsiders have? Dave Freer (born and raised in South Africa) talks of this as well as his scientific profession: ichthyology (the study of fish), and the thousands of times he has been scuba diving, and one dive in particular when he got his arm caught in a shellfish tunnel and very nearly drowned.

[3] Walt Boyes (The Bananaslug) and Stoney Compton provide a peak into the current issue of Jim Baen's Universe magazine.

[4] Are SF writers really trying to predict the future? Hugo Gernsback thought he was predicting, but were H.G. Wells or Jules Verne also trying to be predictors? Many people think so but David Drake says No and backs it with specific examples.

[5] With half the Japanese populous reading eBooks on their cell phones and Steve Jobs intent on combining cell phones with iPods for computerless downloading of music, podcasts and audio books, just how fast are the changes coming? Ginjer Buchanan (Senior Executive Editor and Marketing Director of Ace and ROC books) talks of this as well as: why William Gibson is a national hero in Japan, the increasing feminization of America, the Vatican's website, and her fear that unemployment is the fate of all those who create, transport and sell physical books: from press operators and truck drivers to clerks in the giant chain bookstores.

[6] An essay by your host entitled: My Father's Watch which concerns physics and nanotechnology and the drop we will see in energy prices during the next five to ten years.

[7] Does the world need more people rather than fewer? Paul Levinson suggests that, since intelligence is our best resource then, more people will produce more intelligence, more innovation and a more rapid improvement to the human condition. He also addresses other questions: Is another dark age unlikely because (unlike in the ancient world) today there are so many copies of Humanity's collected knowledge? And is the fall of New Orleans (due to hurricane Katrina) a good example of how civilizations fall? And if so what can we learn from it?

[8] Have audio book downloads become a bigger trend than eBook downloads? What about giving away free eBooks? Lucienne Diver, one of America's top literary agents, talks of this as well as her frustration with the large pharmaceutical companies and her skepticism over whether or not future medicine will ever provide a cure for the cryonics process.

[9] Less-than-lethal weapons will soon take their place on the battlefield, but will they actually change anything? No, says Alan Dean Foster, and explains why. He also addresses the probability of the world entering a new dark age, and he disagrees with the host's notion that New Orleans can be used as a miniature example of the fall of civilization.

Direct download: TFAY_2007_4_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT