June 11, 2007
David Brin's Respect
Discover Magazine has a short interview up with science fiction author David Brin. They ask him how he’s chalked up such a good record as a prognosticator, and this is what he says:
Peering ahead is mostly art. We all have tricks. One of mine is to look for “honey-pot ideas” drawing lots of fad attention. Whatever’s fashionable, try to poke at it. Maybe 1 percent of the time you’ll find a trend or possibility that’s been missed. Another method is even simpler: Respect the masses. Nearly all futuristic movies and novels — even sober business forecasts — seem to wallow in the same smug assumption that most people are fools. This stereotype led content owners to envision the Internet as a delivery conduit to sell movies to passive couch potatoes. Even today, many of the social-net and virtual-world companies treat their users like giggling 13-year-olds incapable of expressing more than a sentence at a time of actual discourse.
Good, prescient stuff throughout.
And! If you haven’t read the thrilling tale of the Streaker and her neo-dolphin crew, then by all means, do so immediately!