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inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #101 of 131: Berliner (captward) Mon 12 Jan 04 07:24
    
It's the kind espoused by a once-handsome ex-pop star from
Philadelphia. 
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #102 of 131: Coleman K. Ridge (ckridge) Mon 12 Jan 04 07:29
    
Silly. It is the notion that socialism is so clearly the best way out
of this mess that one need only explain it properly for rational people
to embrace it. True so far as it goes, but there turned out to be a
shortage of rational people. Shaw was a Fabian socialist, and a lot of
his prefaces point out that his plays are both socialist propaganda and
great art.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #103 of 131: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Mon 12 Jan 04 08:14
    
Well, it's always hard to out-guess the Bush Administration,
as heaven only knows what wacky crank has got their ear, 
but let's just, for the fun of it, assume that I'm Karl Rove.  

What's the deal with the Moon and Mars pitch?

1. We wanted to say something cool during the Wright Brothers
re-enactment, but the plane fell  into the mud.  

If Beagle was chirping on the surface of Mars while
Spirit had crashed into a crater at Mach 5,  we wouldn't
have said one word about Mars or the Moon.  What we really 
want out of all this is a chance to look great on TV.  And
we got one. It's not a serious investment of our political capital.
We're blowing smoke about stuff that could only happen
twenty years from now.  In other words, from our
point of view, never.

2.  Just as a general principle, Dad had prudence but
no vision, while Son has vision but no prudence.  Forget
the prudence thing.  It's a proven vote-loser.  It doesn't
hurt to throw loose cash at Big Science during a massive
deficit.  Reagan blew tons of money "throwing deep" 
on the Superconducting Super Collider, got absolutely
nothing out of it, and nobody cares or remembers.
Hell, he's going to replace Roosevelt on the dime.

3.  The International Space Station is leaky.  It's
stupid, expensive and useless, not just because it's a white elephant
with no real scientific or commercial uses, but because
it's "International."  We don't do International. We
only do Unilateral.  Declare a unilateral Mars Mission.
Then we can mothball the international Station and also get
rid of that colossal PR disaster, the Shuttle.  We
get rid of those relics by claiming we're doing something much
grander and greater, and then some other Administration
shuts down the  silly Mars thing and it's not our fault.
Genius!

4.  It doesn't matter what happens to big-brain computer geeks,
but if the aerospace biz gets offshored, we won't
be able to bomb anybody.  We need to sink some taxpayer
bucks into the aerospace biz because Airbus is eating Boeing's
lunch.  If we just give them cash, though, we'll have to
have another embarrassing trade-war climb-down like we
did over the steel tariffs.  So let's announce that we're
going to Mars.  Then our aerospace corporate welfare gets
camouflaged with some sci-fi spin.  We also get to have
an industrial policy even though free-marketeers always hate that.
It's great to have an industrial policy, you can buy votes with it.
Lotta aerospace in Arnie's California, let's buy them!

5.  The Space Race won us the Cold War.  Why not the
War on Terror?  We've got a serious dream gap with this bin Laden guy.
His mean-spirited, heavily armed world of resentful
fundie oil sheiks looks way too much like our own Administration.
If we declare that the Official American Future involves trips
to Mars, he's got no PR counter to that. What's he gonna
do, cite the verses on Mars in the Koran?  

Bin Laden's got no feel-good thing.  Astronauts on Mars, that's a
feel-good thing.  We've got everybody plenty scared now,
they know our military threats have credibility.  We
need a kinder-gentler angle.  Not a mushy, kiss-the-babies one,
though.
We need one with big macho rockets.  Kinder, gentler,
interplanetary space missiles.  Man, I am digging this.

6.  India and China are launching Moon probes and taikonauts.
They got some headlines for that.  We'll throw 'em a little
of the old Fear Uncertainty and Doubt here.  They're
trying to upstage the Microsoft of Space Flight.  
The Chinese and Indians should stick to what they do best,
making cheap shoes and running call-centers.  We're
the ones with the copyrighted stars on the flag, and let's 
make sure that everybody's still got that straight.

7.  It's news above the fold in the Post and
Times that doesn't smell like napalm in the morning.
We need some of that, it's a relaxing change of pace.
If Spirit and Opportunity are really popping wheelies
and busting rocks all over Mars for three months,
it's gonna be a fun spring season!  Get in front
of the parade and wave the flag!  What can it hurt?
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #104 of 131: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) Mon 12 Jan 04 09:56
    
So it boils down to, we're not going to have a space program.  This amounts
to the dismantling of the space program as we know it?  Whatever happened to
radio astronomy and the kind of feel good vibes espoused in "Contact" with
bongo boy and Jodi Foster?
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #105 of 131: Coleman K. Ridge (ckridge) Mon 12 Jan 04 10:29
    
We have to have enough of a space program to keep communication,
navigation, and surveillance satellites running. We can't do without
those anymore, and we are are going to need them even more if the
weather goes funny. We don't need the moon or Mars for that, though,
and we don't need people up there either. Robots and space chickens
will do.

It was very exciting when the Mir kept breaking down and the old
experienced cosmonauts would smack it a few times and make it go again.
I would love to see cheap space stations made to be repaired many
times up there for the long haul, inhabited by experienced
space-dwellers. But I really only want it to happen because it would be
so cool and would make such good stories. That does not seem like
adequate justification for spending billions of dollars of public
funds.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #106 of 131: Ron Sipherd (ronks) Mon 12 Jan 04 12:44
    
> It was very exciting when the Mir kept breaking down

It reminded me of the space jalopies in Alfred Bester's "The Stars My
Destination".
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #107 of 131: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Mon 12 Jan 04 18:31
    
Vinay, from off-Well, writes:




Let's talk about money for a moment. Bernard Lietaer, one of the
coauthors of the Euro, is now pushing a world currency designed to cure
- well, the common cold, but specifically the urge to turn ecological
assets into hard cash, and global trade imbalances.

http://www.google.com/search?q=bernard+lietaer+terra&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8


Do you think this matters? Does it have legs?

On another front, is there any chance whatsoever of making money in
space? Or is commercial exploitation of space basically a distant
dream?
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #108 of 131: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 12 Jan 04 20:45
    
I'm waiting for the private space missions, myself, and remembering those 
commercial shuttle flights in 2001. Let the entrepreneurs handle it. 
Wouldn't that be more interesting than a space program run by bureaucrats?
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #109 of 131: Coleman K. Ridge (ckridge) Tue 13 Jan 04 07:00
    
Drifting some, well considerable, how do you think Iraq will play out?
There's an article in this week's NYT Magazine about a Ph.D. in
counter-insurgency who is getting a chance to test his theories in
Iraq. His theory is that if you use too much force, you make more
insurgents, and if you use too little, you get beaten. His book is
called "How to Eat Soup with a Knife." In practice, he finds, it is
more difficult than that.

Perhaps the government will decide that we need to have locals enforce
order for us, a local, a ruthless, dictatorial, non-religious, heavily
armed local. That would be entertaining.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #110 of 131: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 13 Jan 04 10:50
    
Vinay, from off-Well, writes:

Let's talk about money for a moment. Bernard Lietaer, one of the
coauthors of the Euro, is now pushing a world currency designed to
cure
- well, the common cold, but specifically the urge to turn ecological
assets into hard cash, and global trade imbalances.

http://www.google.com/search?q=bernard+lietaer+terra&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8


Do you think this matters? Does it have legs?

*Well, you've got to be quite the optimist to engage in major
currency reforms.  A lot of people have some claim to success
in the Euro; victory has a hundred fathers while defeat is
an orphan.

*If the Euro's got an "author" it was Pierre Werner,
a politician from Luxembourg who had a great French-German
name, and a long life, and a whole lot of wiles and patience.
http://www.optimists.cc/optimists/pwobituary.htm

*Werner also used to handwave about a single world currency.
This would have obvious benefits, but I also have to wonder
what would happen if such a thing were mismanaged and
hyperinflated.  What if the whole world was so hopelessly
indebted to itself and went broke?  Who would bail us
out then, Mars?

*This isn't the first time I've heard of Bernard Lietaer,
who has some interestingly weird ideas but, like the Pope,
not a lot of battalions.

On another front, is there any chance whatsoever of making money in
space? Or is commercial exploitation of space basically a distant
dream?

*I think there is honest, modest money to be made in
sending satellites into low earth orbit.  The planet needs
those  for ships, navigation, earth sensing, weather
forecasting. Satellite TV has set down a lot of roots.  It's
a real business, if you leave out the bank-busting astronaut
pageantry.  

*Even 450 million or so isn't a bad price for
Mars pics in my opinion.  That's what, less than two bucks a head
for the US population? We're really enjoying this Mars thing.  It's
genuinely entertaining.  Nothing wrong with that.

Drifting some, well considerable, how do you think Iraq will play out?

*They're a basket-case.  You can liberate a lot of popular energy
when you have a national insurgency to drive the hated invaders from
the national soil, but you need some guy of the caliber of
Kemal Ataturk or Ho Chi Minh to pull that off.  He
needs a clear cause, and fame, and a realistic game plan, and a
victory condition
so that people know when to stop killing, and the ability to impose
order in liberated areas.  Detonating ambulances and killing
collaborators
and foreigners more or less at random just cannot do those things.
A national liberation front isn't a frenzied slave rebellion.


There's an article in this week's NYT Magazine about a Ph.D. in
counter-insurgency who is getting a chance to test his theories in
Iraq. His theory is that if you use too much force, you make more
insurgents, and if you use too little, you get beaten. His book is
called "How to Eat Soup with a Knife." In practice, he finds, it is
more difficult than that.

*I tend to think that the ur-text of this struggle is "Lawrence
of Arabia."  It's pretty much all there, really: spies, bribes,
attacks on convoys, suicidal sacrifice, war crimes, cynical
embedded journalists, torture in the police station, capturing
Damascus and having it catch fire because nobody can run the
fire trucks or the electrical generators, Arabs ignoring the
overlords for the wild pleasure they take in cutting each other's
throats, bemused white-guy imperialists who would sort of
like to help them out Rudyard-Kipling style, but are reduced
to just kinda emptily staring....  That may have been a long
time ago, but it's pretty much fresh as yesterday's news.

Perhaps the government will decide that we need to have locals enforce
order for us, a local, a ruthless, dictatorial, non-religious, heavily
armed local. That would be entertaining.

*Kemal Ataturk.  I do find it hard to believe that any coalition
of aliens can stitch the Moslem world together with bayonets.
They are going to have to find authentic political talent
who can give them a convincing reason to live.  And they're never
going to find that in Al Qaeda.  Those guys are nihilists
who kill everybody they can get their hands on, including their own.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #111 of 131: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 13 Jan 04 17:30
    
Can you bring us up to date on the Viridian Design project? Is it what you 
hoped it would be when you created it?
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #112 of 131: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 13 Jan 04 18:19
    
A friend of mine in GBN just found some AIDS demographics for me.
They're UN population projections, and they may be more than
a little rubbery, but at least they are back-of-the-envelope scenarios
by people who know what they're doing.

Forgive me for deluging the readership with numbers and charts
here, but proper futurists live on this stuff.

First, the estimated situation NOW.  As background, the median
age for dying of AIDS after infection is ten years.  Look at
the percentages in some of these southern African countries.
We're looking at situations where a *large majority* of today's
teenagers in those countries will get AIDS at some time in
their lifespan.

         Country  

Estimated number of HIV  positive persons  aged 15-49 in 2001 

 HIV prevalence among  persons aged 15-49  (percentage)  

Africa   
  
1  Angola   320 000  5.5  
2  Benin   110 000  3.6  
3  Botswana   300 000  38.8  <--------
4  Burkina Faso   380 000  6.5 
5  Burundi   330 000  8.3  
6  Cameroon   860 000  11.8  
7  Central African Republic   220 000  12.9  
8  Chad   130 000  3.6  
9  Congo   99 000  7.2  
10  Côte d'Ivoire   690 000  9.7  
11  Democratic Republic of the Congo  1 100 000  4.9  
12  Djibouti  1   30 000  7.1  
13  Equatorial Guinea   5 500  3.4  
14  Eritrea   49 000  2.8  
15  Ethiopia  1 900 000  6.4  
16  Gabon  1   27 000  3.6  
17  Gambia   7 900  1.6  
18  Ghana   330 000  3.0  
19  Guinea  1   78 000  1.8  
20  Guinea-Bissau   16 000  2.8  
21  Kenya  2 300 000  15.0  
22  Lesotho   330 000  31.0  
23  Liberia  1   114 000  6.5  
24  Malawi   780 000  15.0  
25  Mali   100 000  1.7  
26  Mozambique  1 000 000  13.0  
27  Namibia   200 000  22.5  <------
28  Nigeria  3 200 000  5.8  
29  Rwanda   430 000  8.9  
30  Sierra Leone   150 000  7.0  
31  South Africa  4 700 000  20.1 <--------
32  Sudan   410 000  2.6  
33  Swaziland   150 000  33.4  
34  Togo   130 000  6.0  
35  Uganda   510 000  5.0  
36  United Republic of Tanzania  1 300 000  7.8  
37  Zambia 1 000 000  21.5  
38  Zimbabwe  2 000 000  33.7 <--------   

And by contrast:

1  Russian Federation   700 000  0.9  
2  United States of America   890 000  0.6 
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #113 of 131: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 13 Jan 04 18:21
    
*As they explain here, the methodology is a little shaky.
Lots of unknowable variables.

http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/adultmort/Adultmortality.htm

  In considering this assessment of the demographic impact of
HIV/AIDS, the reader should bear in  mind that there is much
uncertainty surrounding both the estimated prevalence of the disease in
different  populations and the path that the epidemic will follow in
the future. Furthermore, more needs to be known  about the dynamics of
the epidemic itself. For example, it is not certain that the
progression from HIV  infection to AIDS and from AIDS to death will
occur according to the same model schedule in all  populations or even
in most populations in a geographical region. The introduction of
therapies that  increase the survivorship of infected persons would
require the use of different models. Similarly,  estimates of the
chances of transmission of the disease from mother to child also need
to be validated in a  variety of settings, and will need modification
if concerted action is taken to prevent mother-to-child  transmission
by the use of appropriate drug therapy. Changes in the assumptions made
regarding any of  these modelling inputs could result in sizeable
changes in the projection results. Consequently, the data  presented
here should at best be considered as indicative of the possible toll
that the epidemic might take  under the specific assumptions made.    
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #114 of 131: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Tue 13 Jan 04 18:26
    
*Then the brass tacks.

In the seven most affected  countries, whose adult HIV prevalence in
2001 was above 20 per cent, AIDS is projected to bring  population
growth almost to a halt. Thus, the population of those seven countries
is projected to increase  by just 4 million people between 2000 and
2050 or less than 1 per cent. In the absence of AIDS, their  overall
population would have nearly doubled. While the average annual growth
rate in this group of  countries remains above zero during 2000-2050,
in fact their overall population declines over the 20202030 decade
(data not shown).    

  Because of increased mortality, population growth in Botswana has
already been significantly  reduced and population decline is projected
to begin in 2005-2010. The average annual growth rate of  Botswana’s
population dropped from 3.3 per cent per year in 1980-1985 to 2.1 per
cent in 1995-2000 and  is expected to decline further to –0.4 per cent
per year in 2005-2010 (figure 8). By 2050, Botswana’s  population is
expected to be 1.4 million, 20 per cent smaller than its population in
2000 and 63 per cent  lower than the population projected for 2050 in
the absence of AIDS.    

In South Africa, the epidemic started later than in Eastern and Middle
Africa. Yet, by 2001, one  out of every five adults in the country was
infected by the disease. While HIV prevalence is lower than in 
neighbouring Botswana and Zimbabwe, because of its larger population
South Africa has more than  double the number of persons infected of
the two other countries combined. According to projected levels  of
future HIV incidence, 48 out of every 100 persons aged 15 in South
Africa in 2000 will likely become  infected by age 50. <----

*Kind of staggers the imagination, doesn't it?
"Welcome to South Africa, 2035!  Half of us have AIDS!"


Although the full impact of the epidemic is yet to be felt,
projections over the next  decade or two reveal a dire situation. Life
expectancy, which was barely affected in 1990-1995, is  projected to
drop to 41.5 years by 2010-2015, 26.8 years below the level it would
have had in the absence  of AIDS.     When the higher mortality induced
by HIV infection is coupled with the low fertility levels  prevalent
in South Africa, the country is expected to begin experiencing
population decline in 2005-2010 <----

*That's a year away!

 (figure 10) and continued population reductions are projected to
persist until 2050. By then, South  Africa’s population is expected to
be 9 per cent lower than the country’s population in 2000 and 44 per 
cent lower than the 2050 population projected in the absence of AIDS.  
 


*The global summary:

By 2050, world population is expected to  be 479 million lower than it
would have been in the absence of AIDS. Africa alone is expected to
have  320 million fewer inhabitants in 2050 than it would have had
without AIDS.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #115 of 131: Dennis Wilen (the-voidmstr) Tue 13 Jan 04 18:38
    
Malthus lives.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #116 of 131: Dan Flanery (sunspot) Tue 13 Jan 04 20:03
    
How on Earth is AIDS going to infect half the population of South
Africa?  Is anal intercourse outside of marriage that common?  Because
the transmission rates for vaginal intercourse are very low.  Or is
their blood supply compromised?

And how are the men getting infected in the first place?  I can see
how the women might get it if they're engaging in anal sex, but the
men?  Is IV drug use rampant in South Africa?
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #117 of 131: Dan Flanery (sunspot) Tue 13 Jan 04 20:16
    
On a completely different subject, Slashdot today carried a story
about a new kind of nuclear rocket.  Well, I guess it's not all that
new, but I hadn't heard about it here in my cave:

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/01/13/1816227&mode=thread&tid=12
6&tid=134&tid=160

As a lot of people have pointed out in the thread, are rockets like
this even going to be necessary?  It looks like the technology might be
coming into place to take the space elevator from fantasy to reality,
perhaps within the next decade:

http://www.spaceelevator.com/docs/521Edwards.pdf
http://www.isr.us/SEhome.asp?m=1

Given what you know, do you think the space elevator will be coming to
a space near you anytime soon?  (Sorry, couldn't resist!)  And what do
you think the implications would be?  Orbital power sats beaming
essentially free juice back to Earth?  Asteroid mining?  Orbital and
offworld colonies?  Those are all the usual suspects, but I'm wondering
if there might be some unusual suspects.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #118 of 131: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) Wed 14 Jan 04 05:30
    
What would you like to see in a sci fi movie?
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #119 of 131: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 14 Jan 04 07:53
    
I am digging that space elevator, actually.  The devil is in
the details, but I think it's less farfetched than it sounds.
The best-laid plan for one that I've seen is actually
a very flimsy, delicate, feminine thing, kind of like
a long black typewriter ribbon into low orbit.
It has an elegance.

If you had one, you could gently and almost soundlessly
distribute a lot of hardware into low orbit without
massive explosions, cartwheeling space junk,
stratospheric chemical pollution and the other hassles
that come with chemical rockets.

When it comes to interplanetary travel, you have two
realistic choices.  You can either send small unmanned
packages that take years and years and don't mind
frying in radiation, or else you go for fusion and fission
power that is capable of moving humans and their
life support systems quickly.  Chemical rockets
just don't have the muscle.  You've got to waste
so much overhead lugging chemicals that the project
becomes ungainly.

Fission is filthy.  Fusion is always "fifty years away."
Otherwise we'd have done it already.

Launching nukes up through the atmosphere is
not that pleasing an idea, but quietly reeling
little pieces of nuke up a typewriter ribbon and
assembling them far away, that's not too bad a notion.

I'm not quite sure what people are supposed to
do out there -- I never saw how solar and asteroid
mining were supposed to pay off, practicallty speaking -- 
but there might be some people with a few
dozen billion bucks in resources who just plain
want to go look around.  They could make some speeches,
knock some golf balls around, pick up some souvenirs --
hey, it happened once.  Why not again?
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #120 of 131: turing testy (cascio) Wed 14 Jan 04 10:44
    
One argument for asteroid mining is that the environmental costs of
Earthside mining are pretty severe, so when those are included, the cost of
mining in space (given the existence of elevators) may be competitive.

Also: if/when we finally get working fusion reactors, Helium-3 is far more
abundant on the Moon and asteroids than on Earth, and 3He allows a cleaner
and much more efficient fusion reaction than the more common Helium-2
isotope.

Regarding space elevators: bear in mind that completing the first one makes
subsequent elevators all the cheaper to build. With the ribbon version (as
opposed to the KSR-Mars Trilogy Giant Tower version) it's relatively easy to
put the Earthside base off the equator, making them even more economically
feasible. Also, since you need the other end of the elevator to be at or
beyond geosynchronous orbit, you have a helluva lot of momentum at the top
of the spike -- it's an ideal location for launching out of the Earth's
gravity well at a good clip.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #121 of 131: Dan Flanery (sunspot) Wed 14 Jan 04 10:52
    
Yeah, an elevator out to 91,000 miles or km or whatever (I didn't work
on that Mars probe, I'll have you know) can shoot payloads straight to
Jupiter.  And small, fast-rotating bodies (like asteroids, or the
moons of Jupiter) can make due with very short elevators.

Are the orbital solar panels not worth it?  Because I thought the 24
hrs of daylight and no atmospheric interference (clouds, etc.) made
space-based solar almost twice as efficient as ground-based solutions. 
If you could get stuff up there for $100 a pound instead of $2,000 a
pound . . .
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #122 of 131: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Thu 15 Jan 04 08:48
    
On the subject of Viridian Movement, I have to plug "Worldchanging."

http://www.worldchanging.com

Email, which was the substrate of Viridian List, is almost
broken now by the deadly combination of spammers and Microsoft.
Given that I have a daily weblog and a monthly
magazine column, I don't have enough hours in the
day to agitate as much as I would like.  I'm not
going to abandon the list, though.  I derived a personal
education in design from running that thing.
Nowadays I do quite a lot of design writing.
Running the list keeps me up to speed on the issues.

These Worldchanging guys, however, have much more of a 
"movement" thing going on. They are a genuine cadre.
They met through Viridian List, they whipped this
weblog together in an impressive spasm of competence,
and they are just blogging that thing till the world
looks level.  I am really pleased with that website.
Most everything they talk about or link to is of direct
relevance to my interests, and it has just the cultural
sensibility that I want to see widely promulgated.

I don't contribute much to "Worldchanging" myself, but I feel
a real sense of accomplishment at becoming an
eminence grise there, somewhere in the link-list.
One throws one's bread on the waters and lo
it returns ten-fold.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #123 of 131: an impressive spasm of competence (tinymonster) Thu 15 Jan 04 09:57
    
^-- Hmm... I just may keep this one.  Thanks, Bruce!
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #124 of 131: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 15 Jan 04 21:06
    
I was happy as a clam to join the Worldchanging team - it's the closest 
thing we have to CoEvolution Quarterly aka Whole Earth Review, now more or 
less defunct (with the last issue, edited by Worldchanging's Alex Steffen, 
sadly unpublished).

I think CQ/WER (actually called Whole Earth Magazine in its final 
incarnation) was the single biggest influence on my life and thought. 
Bruce, you edited an issue and I know you read it for a while, did it get 
under your skin, too?

(Note to all: we end this tomorrow, so post 'em if you've got 'em.)
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #125 of 131: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 16 Jan 04 07:42
    

I wish I could have edited Whole Earth as a regular gig.
But my opportunity costs were too high.  I've never
seen a magazine, even plump, glossy, commercial ones,
where the staff and editors weren't busier than
a family with newborn twins.  I just don't have it
in me to focus that hard.  I would have to settle
down on one enterprise and shoot off my thundering herd of
hobbyhorses, and, well, I don't have the heart.

The "single biggest influence in my life and thought"
has always been science fiction.  I veer away from
it sometimes, because I like to dabble and I
don't much care to concentrate, but that was
my formative milieu.  It's a nice, loose, scatterbrained one.
It really suits my proclivities.

The last three books I've written were an
experimental fantasy novel, a nonfiction futurist
book and a technothriller.  Now, though, I'm at work
on an SF book set in the 2060s.  And man, that's
like a holy cause.  It's really got me gritting my teeth
and hyperventilating.  It's quite a taxing effort, but,
well, it's what I'm best at.  "The ever-popular
tortured artist effect" -- it's kinda tedious, but,
y'know, one takes pride in it. 

This Mars cartoon is top o' the blog charts today.
Man that guy is funny.

http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war30.html
  

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