“Looking Further: The World in 20 Years”
A Conversation with David Brin, Scientist, Inventor, and Author; hosted by Glen Hiemstra, Founder and Owner, Futurist.com
GH: Imagining it’s 2030, what is happening in the last 20 years?
DB: 30 year prediction in science fiction is the most difficult, because people will still be around in 30 years. Half of what you see will be impressive, half lackluster. Surprising things: someone will try to clone mastadon DNA. You’ll see someone trying to attempt to switch Chimp DNA to make them more human. Results will be very bad. Speaking variants of chimpanzees, variants of robots. Red-blue split: fraction of population embraces change, a fraction is crippled by fear at the thought of change. This is a serious underlying problem.
Due to anti-mercantilist trade patterns, we’re boosting the economies of lesser countries. Even though we’re in a deep recessions, we’re lifting up China and India at the same time . . through Walmart. Other countries will recognize this in the future.
Whether or not we can get past all this depends on whether or not we can overcome blue-red culture war, which David believes is being deliberately inflicted on us. Would like to think culture war has been solved by 2030 because we are awash in things that could be solved if the spirit of FiRe was swept across the country.
The one thing I do well is step back and take a new perspective. Global warming from a step back: Goldilocks zone of the sun: earth skates the continuously inner edge of the goldilocks zone. We can not make the greenhouse gases scarce enough for what’s coming in to leave.
The more a nation is interested in science fiction, the better it thrives. Chinese govt is very wary of it — allow 1930s little boy science fiction, but not thought experiments.
Working on Existence, which will be out in the next year. Details all issues we have to dance around to get to the future.
It’s not just about us and our kids. It’s about 20 years from now, 30 years from now.
Don’t assume everything has to be carbon-based. Other forms of life generally have to made by creative design.