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

Jerry Pournelle (author, journalist, editor, technology columnist, and military textbook writer) is today's featured guest.

Topics include: Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Larry Niven and other authors he has been friends with; how the downfall of the Soviet Union was an engineered event, planned decades in advance, which worked exactly as planned (and specifically what that plan was); how he orchestrated the political campaigns of Barry Goldwater, Jr., and Sam Yorty; his friends and involvement in the Survivalist Movement, and his being editor of the magazine Survive which was closely allied with the magazine Soldier of Fortune; political stories from The Cold War and Mutual Assured Destruction; a few words about his and Larry Niven's new novel Escape from Hell; the difficulties of his chemotherapy; the good news that he is now cancer free.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the January 28, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 65 minutes]

Doctor Jerry Pournelle has written more than thirty novels and at least thirteen books of non-fiction. More than a dozen of his novels, he coauthored with his friend Larry Niven, including The Mote in God's Eye, Lucifer's Hammer, Footfall, Inferno; and their new sequel to Inferno: Escape Fom Hell.

Novels, however, have been only a portion of Jerry Pournelle's work. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he acquired Master's degrees in both experimental statistics and systems engineering, and Doctorates in both psychology and political science. He cowrote a military textbook called The Strategy of Technology which was required reading at West Point and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He helped to write a portion of Ronald Reagan's State of the Union Address concerning a missile defense system which the media at the time enjoyed making fun of and calling Star Wars, since they believed the technology needed to shoot down incoming missiles with our own missiles was impossible. He worked in operations research at Boeing, The Aerospace Corporation, and North American Rockwell Space Division. He was founding President of the Pepperdine Research Institute. And he was a columnist for Byte Magazine beginning in 1982.


Direct download: TFAY_2009_1_28.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Alan Dean Foster (author of over 100 novels of science fiction and fantasy and noted world traveler) is today's featured guest.

Many of this interview's topics were made possible only because of Alan's longstanding enthusiasm for traveling to places tourists rarely go. He seeks the places where wildlife is still unspoiled; and where the ancient ways that predate writing still exist. He knows they are fading rapidly, and wants to see them before they are gone forever.

Topics include: how cell phones are changing even the third world with amazing speed; primitive cultures accepting technology, and leapfrogging passed the intermediate technologies; the rise of ebooks overseas, as well as how traditional publishers may watch their income evaporate when people buy ebooks online directly from the authors, which would cut publishers out of the loop; how policing oceanic piracy is forcing the naval ships of nations which are normally enemies to cooperate, and how this may build relationships of respect: a precursor to trust.

He also shares some personal anecdotes: about writing movie novelizations such as Aliens 1, 2 and 3--and why he didn't write number 4; how he met Diana Rigg (who played Emma Peel on The Avengers) as well as Julie Newmar (who played the original Catwoman on Batman); his trip with James Gurney (author of Dinotopia and illustrator for National Geographic) who joined him on travels through Malta, Tunisia, Morocco, Dakar and Gibraltar.

He also described his intention to travel to the Western Indian Ocean, which is part of the area threatened by the pirate's that have been in the news so much lately for hijacking cruise ships and oil tankers and holding everyone aboard hostage, sometimes for many months.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the January 21, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 64 minutes]

While most of his novels involve worlds he has created himself, such as those in his Commonwealth series and Spellsinger series, and those in his various trilogies such as The Damned, The Taken and Icerigger, a portion of his time is spent writing novelizations of successful movies and TV shows. Examples include: the first three Aliens movies, The Chronicles of Riddick, Outland, Clash of the Titans, Starman, The Thing, Alien Nation, Transformers, The Last Starfighter, and the first Star Wars novelization, which he co-wrote with George Lucas.

The quality and extent of this body of work won him the 2008 Grand Master award from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.


Direct download: TFAY_2009_1_21.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Doctor Bob Boan (scientist and author) is today's featured guest.

Dr. Boan's work has involved US Government space programs for the intelligence departments, but he has also done work for NASA and for commercial communications.

He is coauthor (along with Doctor Travis S. Taylor) of the book: An Introduction to Planetary Defense: A Study of Modern Warfare Applied to Extra-Terrestrial Invasion. This book makes a serious and scientifically rigorous analysis of exactly how to defend Earth against an attack from space. Today that would mean from an alien force, but eventually this might mean human forces which have been deployed into space.

John Ringo (the New York Times, Bestselling Military SF Author) called it: '...the definitive book on the defense of the Earth against a potential alien incursion... the book also serves as an important primer on the potential future of warfare on every level. It is tightly grounded in current day realities of war and extrapolates thoughtfully but closely about future potentials. It should be on the reading list of anyone who is serious about national security and the future of war.'

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the January 14, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 34 minutes]

In today's interview Dr. Boan says: 'Our schools are based on conformity, but we need to encourage greater creative thinking. Let the kids color the cows purple and draw jewelry on them; they'll learn cows don't wear jewelry soon enough.' And he suggests: beyond identity theft, we need to be aware of 'personality theft:' literally the specific details of who we are: the details of our lives, and what makes us unique.

Dr. Boan also describes why he thinks: China may be the place where the next big software security innovation gets developed; software development is being pushed most by video games; and nuclear power's bad rap is not only unjustified, it is hurting our future by ensuring our continued dependence on foreign oil; software has only begun to change our lives to the extent that it will; there are three areas that are already important but which will soon become exceedingly important: data archiving, data retrieval, and data security. He also talks about: robotics, AI, Virtual Reality, and movies with virtual actors rather than real ones.

News in this episode: Kim Stanley Robinson (the bestselling author) will be making a personal appearance inside Second Life at noon Pacific time on Saturday, January 17, 2009. He will be speaking and answering questions in the Grand Meeting Room inside the Central Nexus Building in the City State of Extropia Core. The event will be hosted by Sophrosyne Stenvaag. Your host plans to be there taking pictures.


Direct download: TFAY_2009_1_14.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Phillis George and Billy George are today's featured guests. Both Phyllis and Billy have worked in banking for many years, however, this interview is NOT about the current bailouts and other well publicized banking debacles. Those thoroughly examined topics can be left to the army of other interviewers. This interview is about the trends within all of banking, and especially at your neighborhood bank, and how these trends are changing your bank into what it will eventually become.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the January 7, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 68 minutes]

Topics include: how Billy George discovered a crook working inside his bank who was stealing money from his account; why the  scam called Check Kiting is becoming impossible in more and more locations; methods of sending money--without a check--to people in the US and Mexico; circumstances in which fear over identity theft make no sense; and why sometimes the people you think will be early adopters resist new technologies, and those you think will resist already love it.

Also, how some banks are dumping their problem customers in order to improve customer service for those who are not a problem; why your check sometimes clears the bank while you're still talking to the merchant you just handed it to; why banks like their employees to bring their cell phones to work, as long as they don't use them very much; the benefits of online banking which go way beyond saving money; as well as credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, and cards with computer chips inside them.

All this, combined with other misunderstandings about banking which cost people money. For example: many people don't understand that a loan officer's job is to sell them a loan. They are no different than a car dealer. Their job to sell the customer the loan that is best for the bank, not best for the customer.


Direct download: TFAY_2009_1_7.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT