inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #126 of 131: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #127 of 131: 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? 
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #128 of 131: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #129 of 131: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #130 of 131: 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/
  
inkwell.vue.204 : The 2004 Bruce Sterling State of the World Address
permalink #131 of 131: 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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