Coleman K. Ridge (ckridge) Fri 16 Jan 04 08:09
It is hard to play the futurist game about AIDS in Africa. Africa does not effect the rest of the world as much as it is affected by it. Will the AIDS epidemic in Africa have any long-term effects, taking the misery and death it causes to be short-term effects? I can suggest one possibility. The huge number of AIDS orphans could give rise to a new kind of society in Africa, in which few people know how to be parents, because few have had one.
turing testy (cascio) Fri 16 Jan 04 08:28
Jon, Alex & I are happy that you're part of our team, too! (Other active WorldChanging contributors are Dawn Danby in Toronto, Zaid Hassan in London, and Alan AtKisson in Stockholm.) Thanks for your support of our work, Bruce. You've long been a real inspiration for me and for Alex. About science fiction: SF books set in the 2060s are rare these days. How difficult has it been for you to write something set in the "readers may actually live to see this" future, given the pace of political/technological/social/weirdness churn at present?
Yannis Stefanopoulos writes to ask (bumbaugh) Fri 16 Jan 04 11:37
Yannis Stefanopoulos from off-Well: Bruce, do you believe that industrial design will continue to be a viable occupation into the middle-and-late-century, or will some kind of electronically-mediated 'democratization'/'mass-customization' of the design & production process (as explored in the Tomorrow Now's "The Lover" chapter and certain of your Metropolis contributions) negate, somewhat, the traditional role of the professional designer?
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 16 Jan 04 15:58
Well, we're not on Mars or the Moon yet, but the swift obliteration of the NASA installed base has already begun. Tough break about the Hubble. That thing was actually useful. Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 13:18:05 -0800 (PST) From: Alex Filippenko <...@astron.berkeley.edu> To: Subject: horrible news: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 4 and future cancelled. Subject: SM4 Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 12:56:34 -0500 From: Steven Beckwith <...@stsci.edu> Reply-To: Steven Beckwith <...@stsci.edu> To: Colleagues, A few minutes ago, we concluded a meeting at which Sean O'Keefe, the NASA Administrator, announced his decision to cancel SM4, the next servicing mission to Hubble. It was his decision alone, and I will discuss the details with your personally. I will be holding a town-hall meeting in the auditorium at 3:00 pm today for everyone who is interested to answer your questions about the decision and talk about the future. Steve Just coincidentally, this arrived just moments before the Hubble message: Mars Mission a Trojan Horse? By Suneel Ratan Story location: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,61937,00.html 02:00 AM Jan. 16, 2004 PT President Bush's plan to go to the moon and to Mars without much additional funding will force NASA and Congress to make hard choices -- particularly regarding the space shuttle and the hugely expensive International Space Station, observers said. The Bush plan increases NASA's budget by just $1 billion over the next five years. That means the space agency has to figure out how to carry out the mission -- first a return to the moon and later a trip to Mars -- without a lot of additional money in its budget. The first places to look for resources are the station and shuttle, which consume about a third of NASA's $15 billion budget. One question that's sure to arise -- assuming Bush's vision for the moon and Mars sticks -- is whether to kill the station and shuttle now, instead of in six to 12 years as the plan currently envisions, said Howard McCurdy, a space historian at American University in Washington. That would free up at least $25 billion over the next five years to go to the moon and Mars.
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 16 Jan 04 16:10
Yannis Stefanopoulos from off-Well: Bruce, do you believe that industrial design will continue to be a viable occupation into the middle-and-late-century *The occupation may not call itself "industrial design," but yes. or will some kind of electronically-mediated 'democratization' *No way /'mass-customization' *Yes way of the design & production process (as explored in the Tomorrow Now's "The Lover" chapter and certain of your Metropolis contributions) negate, somewhat, the traditional role of the professional designer? *That "tradition" only dates back to the 1930s. And during that time, people calling themselves "designers" have been working themselves into most every possible nook and cranny in the industrial process. They've never yet managed to take over the whole shebang, because if they did, they wouldn't be called "designers," they'd be called things like "moguls," "eccentric millionaires," Steve Jobs or Richard Branson, maybe. *There's already plenty of "electronic mediation." That might as well just be named the "Web Designer's Full Employment Act." It doesn't democratize the situation so that I the customer become the designer. It just means that I need some mediators for my mediators' mediators. *Let me demonstrate this for you. For somebody who's not a graphic designer, I know a lot about graphic design. I know enough to go address the national meeting of AIGA. And I know so much about webloggers that I've had webloggers infesting my bathroom. *Now go check out MY OWN weblog. It's full of little mass-customization buttons I can push to do stuff like stick insufferable cute icons onto my blog. The graphic design on this sucker are AWFUL. I know they are. I could probably fix them, even. Sort of. But I ain't gonna. Cause I don't wanna. I have no graphic design talent. I don't want to pretend I have talent. Anyone who expects my blog to manifest graphic design talent is living in a dreamworld. *Do drop on by. Don't be a stranger! http://blog.wired.com/sterling/
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 16 Jan 04 20:10
This has been a great little jam session; today's the day we end the conversation. Thanks to Bruce for exploding our heads for a couple of weeks and for doing this every year, like clockwork. Onward!
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