[TE] MEDIA: Talk of the Nation, 11-30-99

Kathryn Aegis (k_aegis@mindspring.com)
Tue, 30 Nov 1999 22:13:39

On today's National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation, a panel was convened on the topic of science fiction and science, comprised of:

         David Brin (science fiction author)
         William Gibson (cyberpunk author)
         Ann Simon (lead consultant to the X-files)

What was interesting was the prevalance of transhumanist themes in the discussion.

--some discussion centered on a new theme of optimism in science fiction
and speculative fiction, where things go very well for humanity. Verner Vinge's singularity was mentioned in this part of the discussion

--nanotechnology was mentioned as one potential path of development

--a caller asked about the interaction between human and technology. In
the subsequent discussion, Gibson said "We are in some real ways posthuman, and there is no going back from that."

--Ann Simon mentioned that the X-files is actually stimulating young people
to consider careers in science, becuase it is one of the few places in mainstream media where science and scientists are portrayed in a positive way.

--David Brin brought up The Transparent Society during a discussion of
neoluddite backlash. Ann Simon had just voiced her fear that there would be an upheaval against other technologies patterned on the one now ongoing against genetic engineering of foodstuffs. Brin said that if a significant portion of society turns its back on technology, it would actually create the kind of elitist divide that the neoluddites fear in the first place. He then described the concept of ubiquituous information and how it could benefit everyone.

Kathryn Aegis
Assistant to the Executive Director

Disability Rights Council of Greater Washington 11 Dupont Circle, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

phone:  202-234-7550
fax:    202-234-7510
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email: rights@erols.com