The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.

Authors Eric Flint, Mike Resnick, David B. Coe, Marjorie M. Liu, Catherine Asaro and Sarah A. Hoyt are guests, as are: Lucienne Diver (a major literary agent), Toni Weisskopf (the new head of Baen Books) and Walt Boyes (the soon to be famous Bananaslug). Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 1, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 152 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News Item: This show is now teamed with the largest SF online magazine in the world Jim Baen's Universe.

[2] Can the magazine equivalent of an e-book compete with magazines printed on paper? Launched this summer with the legendary publisher's name on its masthead and the support of Baen Books behind it, Eric Flint explains how he and the staff of Jim Baen's Universe intend to find out, as well as what they've learned already.

[3] The podcasting debut of Jim Baen's Universe. Walt Boyes interviews Mike Resnick (winner of five Hugo Awards).

[4] How rapid is the growth of home schooling? Is it really better than public school? And are parents even qualified to teach their kids? Catherine Asaro (author, physicist and former ballerina) who has home schooled her own daughter for years and now teaches advanced mathematics to eighty other home schooled children, emphasizes that it's not just for religious families anymore.

[5] Toni Weisskopf (the new head of Baen Books) describes her take on the singularity, technological immortality, global warming, the next fall of civilization, the Chinese going to the moon, faster-than-light travel, cryonics and SETI.

[6] Another installment in our serialization of the novel: Bones Burnt Black.

[7] Is the future we live in today already weirder than the futures we dreamed of decades ago? Sarah A. Hoyt (author and polyglot) thinks so, and insists that if science increases our healthy years by a few more decades this will produce a huge cascade of changes throughout society.

[8] Lucienne Diver (one of publishing's top literary agents) describes trends within the publishing industry, as well as her worries and hopes for the future outside the biz.

[9] How can you verify scientifically the day when men and women are equal? Your host has devised an empirical measurement completely devoid of bias.

[10] How soon will parents give in to the temptation to use increasingly available eugenics technologies to improve their own children? Marjorie M. Liu (N.Y. Times bestselling author and former lawyer) describes the inevitable legal and judicial problems soon to be dropped in society's lap. She also startles the host with her revelation that there are judges sitting on the bench right now who have not passed the bar, have never been lawyers and have no degree in law.

[11] In the face of our looming energy crisis is it time for passionate environmentalists to rethink their knee-jerk opposition to nuclear power and hydroelectric dams? David B. Coe (author and environmentalist with a PhD in environmental history) risks his environmentalist street creds by insisting that it is.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_12_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Authors Catherine Asaro, Kim Stanley Robinson, Alan Dean Foster and Sarah A. Hoyt are joined by Toni Weisskopf (the new head of Baen Books) and Paul Levinson (author, professor and media commentator). Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the November 1, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 150 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] Ideas from listeners.

[2] Why do they keep raising the requirements of artificial intelligence every time someone builds a computer that meets the requirements? Catherine Asaro (author, physicist and former ballerina) discusses this and other transhumanist concerns.

[3] With the tragic loss of its visionary founder, Jim Baen, what direction will Baen Books take into the future? Toni Weisskopf, Baen's new leader, provides many of the answers.

[4] Chapter twelve in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[5] Can political science become an actual science rather than a pretend science as it is now? And if it embraces the scientific method can it then become a tool to benefit all people, rather than just its divisive practitioners as it all too often does now? Kim Stanley Robinson, author and a self-proclaimed science patriot, speaks of this and other matters.

[6] Are adults different today? Has intellectual maturity become a thing of the past? Instead of reaching a plateau of stability, do we now spend all our lives in a mentally malleable child-like state in which we are continually learning, growing and changing? Sarah A. Hoyt, author and life-long learner, insists the answer is Yes.

[7] Has the time come for a single unified diagram which can integrate every kind of celestial object in the universe? Is it even possible to arrange in a single continuum all the objects from the tiniest tumbling grain of dust to quasars brighter than a billion suns? Your host thinks it is, and proposes just such a diagram in this essay.

[8] What is the likelihood of technological immortality? Why is cryonics better than cremation? And do ecological preserves without armed enforcement against poachers have a meaningful future? Alan Dean Foster, author and world traveler, covers all this and more.

[9] Can every celestial object in the universe be defined accurately using a simple notation system of just five numbers? Based on the universal diagram from his previous essay, your host makes a case for an equally universal system of classification.

[10] What's it like to go head-to-head with Bill O'Reilly on his TV show The O'Reilly Factor? Paul Levinson (author, professor and media commentator) shares his experiences in that very public hot-seat.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_11_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:02am EDT

Authors Kim Stanley Robinson, Alan Dean Foster, Sarah A. Hoyt and Stephen L. Antczak are joined by Tony V. Baughman (newspaper reporter) and Peter Stampfel (longtime editor, musician and bottle cap collector). Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the October 1, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 130 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News briefs: (a) the battle over passports being required in order to cross the US/Canadian boarder, (b) how you can watch television channels from around the world online for free, and (c) this show The Future And You has won the Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction News Podcast.

[2] While others debate whether or not the problem of global warming is real, the best selling author Kim Stanley Robinson is ready to move past all that and talk about solutions.

[3] Life throughout the universe may develop most readily within oceans, but does this universe contain more planets with oceans under their crust than under an atmosphere? (In this essay your host's logic forces him to conclusions which disturb even him.)

[4] Will the rise of eBooks allow authors to bypass traditional publishers and take away their piece of the pie altogether? The best selling author Alan Dean Foster has much to say on the subject.

[5] Is it possible to flip today's missile defense paradigm on its head and transform it into both a defensive and offensive weapon? (Your host explains how it can be done in this brief essay.)

[6] Collecting things as a hobby is a product of the rise of mass production: so explains Peter Stampfel who has been an avid bottle cap collector for 58 years. He also shares another song from his CD The Jig Is Up. This one is called The Squid Jiggin' Ground.

[7] Another installment in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black, in this case, the second half of chapter 11.

[8] From the very beginning, our species has been radically and constantly modified by its tools. In what ways are the popularity of air travel and the Internet modifying our species now and for all time? The author, Sarah A. Hoyt--an unwilling frequent flier--draws some serious conclusions.

[9] How long will the comic book and manga industries continue to be flush with movie money from Hollywood? And what other trends are developing which will alter their futures? An interview with Stephen L. Antczak, an author of science fiction and of comics.

[10] Do traditional newspapers have a future? And if so, what is it? The Internet giveth, and the Internet taketh away. Tony V. Baughman, an experienced newspaper reporter, pulls no punches.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_10_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:36pm EDT

Authors Alan Dean Foster, David Drake, Sarah A. Hoyt, Stephen L. Antczak and Doctor Travis S. Taylor are joined by Peter Stampfel, a professional editor and performing musician. Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the September 1st, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 123 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] Is it true that immaturity in adults is becoming universal? A new scientific study says: Yes, definitely.

[2] What unexpected changes are occurring in the third world? Author, and world traveler, Alan Dean Foster describes his first-hand experiences.

[3] Did you know that we are currently in a Golden Age for collectables? Your host makes a case for this in an essay.

[4] Would you perceive yourself--along with everything else in the universe--differently if you spoke a different language? Author Sarah A. Hoyt (formerly a professional translator and still a bit of a polyglot) discusses how languages affect individuals and humanity.

[5] What are the trends within the independent film industry? Author and filmmaker Stephen L. Antczak gives us an insider's view.

[6] Why is Fantasy dominating over Science Fiction in books, movies and TV? And what's all this stuff about a new category of Fantasy novels which are filled with sex? Long-time editor at DAW books, Peter Stampfel, spells it all out; after which he lets the host include another of his songs, this time one he wrote himself: Me and Old Dog Tray.

[7] Another installment in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[8] What are the changing trends and public perceptions of Motorcycles? Author David Drake aught to know, he's been riding motorcycles instead of cars for over 30 years.

[9] What's next in manned space exploration? How are we going to refuel the Hubble Space Telescope? Is the US military really planning for war in low earth orbit? And is it true the Chinese are gearing up to go to the moon? Author and scientist Doctor Travis S. Taylor covers it all.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_9_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Authors Alan Dean Foster, Spider and Jeanne Robinson, David Drake and John Ringo are joined by Doctor Travis S. Taylor (rising author and noted scientist) and Peter Stampfel (professional editor and performing musician). Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the August 1, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 150 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News briefs on: an invisible form of online shopping fraud; the fact that this program The Future And You is now a finalist for a Parsec Award; and two paragraphs from Cory Doctorow's brilliant commentary entitled: Science Fiction is the Only Literature People Care Enough About to Steal on the Internet.

[2] Alan Dean Foster describes his view of the future and how it relates to his many novels of science fiction and fantasy. He also reveals how you can find a secret Easter egg hidden on his website.

[3] Spider and Jeanne Robinson describe their courtship and collaboration, as well as their vision of the future which is distilled in their Hugo and Nebula award winning Stardance trilogy; a vision which embraces and expands upon transhumanism by describing what we as a species may transform ourselves into next. Spider also explains how he expects humanity to create Heaven retroactively.

[4] Peter Stampfel (submissions editor at DAW books and a performing musician) provides an unflinching insider's look at the terrible and wonderful trends within the music business; especially concerning recording contracts and performing live before an audience. As a bonus, we also hear another song from his album: a bouncy Glenn Miller number called Elmer's Tune.

[5] Chapter nine in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[6] David Drake who reads and translates ancient Latin for fun and relaxation, discusses lessons from antiquity; similarities between the USA and ancient Rome; and one of the host's (Stephen Euin Cobb's) favorite British miniseries: I Claudius. Stephen also asks David how he thinks the USA might meet its eventual and inevitable end. After all, someday the USA, like the Roman Empire, will no longer exist.

[7] John Ringo makes a serious case for his conviction that global warming is a scientific hoax perpetrated by the desperate need of researchers for grant money, sustained through academic coercion, and fed to an accepting public by media outlets locked in an endless competition for the most sensational headline.

[8] What if someone invented a Faster Than Light Drive before the end of this year? What if astronauts could get to the nearest star in a week; or any of the thousand nearest stars in a month? How would that change our world and global politics? Granted it's not likely to happen so soon. Most people figure it will take centuries before we invent FTL; if it can be done at all. But if Doctor Travis S. Taylor is correct, we may have FTL within 32 years. Within yours or your children's lifetime someone could be on their way to the stars. But then the question becomes: will these explorers speak English or Russian or Chinese?

Direct download: TFAY_2006_8_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:13pm EDT

Authors David Drake, John Ringo and Jeanne Robinson are among the guests, as are Peter Stampfel (associate editor at DAW books), Doctor Travis S. Taylor (scientist, author and discoverer of two exoplanets) and a few very brief comments by Spider Robinson. Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the July 1, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 110 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News-briefs concerning: Jim Baen's stroke, coma and death; China going to the moon; the claim that diamonds are only semi-precious stones; the first World eBook Fair; the latest mind games that online crooks play; the third annual Death Stacks tournament (a game invented by your host); and this show being nominated for a Parsec Award.

[2] Co-author of the bestselling Stardance novels, Jeanne Robinson, tells of her Stardance Project which originally had her scheduled for a Space Shuttle ride into orbit, then was temporarily shelved due to the Challenger Disaster in 1986, but is now back on track thanks to recent advances in CGI film making. (Spider Robinson, her husband and co-author, makes a few brief comments.)

[3] Peter Stampfel, associate editor at DAW books, explains problems with the new Google Books project which plans to make searchable pretty much all the text of all the books in the world. Also, Peter Stampfel's current musical project: a compilation of one song from every year in the 20th century. And as a bonus we include a song he wrote and performed from his CD You Must Remember This, entitled: Take Me Away.

[4] Chapter eight in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[5] Doctor Travis S. Taylor (scientist, author and discoverer of two exoplanets--planets which orbit stars other than our sun), talks about exoplanets, how planets are born, and the anticipated discovery of many new earths. He also describes how amateur astronomers can now discover these extrasolar planets using off-the-shelf, store-bought equipment. The interview also covers his Hard Science Fiction novel Von Neumann's War which he co-wrote with the bestselling author John Ringo. This novel asks the question: how would we defend ourselves if our solar system was invaded by billions of self-replicating robotic Von Neumann machines.

[6] David Drake on the weakness of science fiction as prediction and the accumulation of historical errors in popular culture.

[7] John Ringo disputes the idea that the Singularity is an event that could actually occur, as well as the practicality of hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_7_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:32pm EDT

Authors David Drake, John Ringo and Joe Haldeman are featured guests; as are Peter Stampfel (Editor at DAW Books) and three professional models: Aria Giovanni, Aimee Sweet and Linda Tran. Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the June 1, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 104 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News-briefs concerning: the questionable ethics of the giant video game companies in general and Nintendo in particular; some hard numbers on global warming; the internal tug-of-war at CNN over Lou Dobbs and illegal immigrants; and how this show's host has been offered the email addresses of a quarter billion people.

[2] David Drake on the surprising truth of what's holding back the popularity of e-books. He also talks about his participation in the new online science fiction and fantasy magazine from Baen Books called: Jim Baen's Universe.

[3] Joe Haldeman has just won yet another Nebula award. Your host asks him to describe the ceremony, what emotions it produced in him and a bit about the book he won with which is called: Camouflage.

[4] The many disturbing trends within book publishing are explained by Peter Stampfel who has been the submissions editor at DAW books in New York City for twenty-five years. He also describes an obscure form of quasi-homosexual fan fiction called: Slash Fiction. A lifelong musician, he also provides a song from his CD The Jig is Up called: Song of Man.

[5] Chapter seven in our serialization of the novel: Bones Burnt Black.

[6] John Ringo makes the case for nuclear power (especially pebble bed reactors) and mentions his short story which will appear in Jim Baen's Universe.

[7] Celebrity interviews with three nude models who specialize in the erotic: Aria Giovanni (Penthouse Pet September 2000), Aimee Sweet (Penthouse Pet August 1998 and Perfect Ten model for Spring of 1998), and Linda Tran (who has appeared in magazines, calendars, videos and Pay-Per-View).

Direct download: TFAY_2006_6_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:57pm EDT

Authors Greg Bear, Vernor Vinge, Spider Robinson and Nancy Kress are joined by this year's winner of the Phillip K. Dick Award, M.M. Buckner; and the actress Lydia Cornell who played Ted Knight's daughter, Sara Rush, on the TV comedy Too Close for Comfort. Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 1, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 72 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] This year's winner of the Phillip K. Dick Award, M.M. Buckner, gives the blow-by-blow on what it feels like to win such a prestigious and career-changing award.

[2] Once we all have our brains wired (or wifi'ed) directly into the internet, Greg Bear warns that we'd better have powerful firewalls protecting us from hackers. Anyone who doesn't may have to spend a lot of time with their brain in the shop.

[3] If the much talked-about singularity never comes to fruition Vernor Vinge suggests that there may be severe limits on how far we develop advanced nanotechnology and artificial intelligence; limits which might make technological immortality a goal we can never reach.

[4] Chapter six in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[5] Spider Robinson discusses SETI and speculates on the remarkable science of Nicola Tesla.

[6] Nancy Kress on three brief subjects: Faster than Light Travel (FTL); SETI verses theology; and medical life extension verses technological immortality.

[7] A celebrity interview with the actress Lydia Cornell who is most famous for playing Ted Knight's daughter, Sara Rush, on the TV comedy show Too Close for Comfort.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_5_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT

Authors Vernor Vinge, Greg Bear and Spider Robinson are joined by the astronomer Doctor Greg Matloff and the actor Jordan Marder from American History X, Virtuosity and LA Confidential. Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 8, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 100 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] When asked who I should interview about the future, more of my guests mentioned this man's name than any other. Vernor Vinge has spent decades describing a catastrophic future event which is simultaneously alluring and disturbing. Finally, a definitive explanation of The Singularity.

[2] Greg Bear discusses that for which his fiction is best known: speculations on nanotechnology. What can we expect both near term and long term? What about assemblers and the ultimate results of nanotech? And what about nanotechnological immortality?

[3] Another installment in our serialization of the novel: Bones Burnt Black.

[4] Will our next earth be better than this one? Spider Robinson thinks it might. He also admits that Faster Than Light Travel is impossible, but he's quick to point out that, as humans, impossible is what we do best.

[5] How soon will the world run out of oil? And what will it mean to the balancing act between global warming and the next ice age? Doctor Greg Matloff provides facts and defines questions.

[6] A celebrity interview with the actor Jordan Marder from the movies: American History X, Virtuosity and LA Confidential as well as Clive Barker's film Lord of Illusions.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_4_8.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:02pm EDT

SF authors Greg Bear, Spider Robinson and Nancy Kress are among the guests; as are experts in robotics, demographics and nanotechnology; along with the actor Michael Berryman, who may be best known as the star of Wes Craven's original version of the motion picture: The Hills Have Eyes.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the March 25, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 77 minutes] 

Topics include:

[1] Technological Immortality: when nearly everyone in the world is really, really old what kind of civilization will we have? The bestselling author, Greg Bear, paints a strange picture of the future. He also speaks about his movie deals, his involvement with The Science Fiction Museum in Seattle and his books, one of which, it turns out, is in publishing limbo.

[2] Computers implanted in the human body and wired into the human brain. Nancy Kress, the award winning author, points out that we already have a little of this but that far more is on the way.

[3] Non-lethal warfare and Non-violent religions: pointed comments from the bestselling author, Spider Robinson.

[4] Another installment in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[5] How will nanotechnology change our wars? From battlefield nanotech that protects and augments the individual soldier, to nanotech manufacturing which may destabilize the global economy and lead to future wars: this, from Mike Treder, the Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology.

[6] A veteran of the televised Battle-bot competitions, Lionel Vogt (noted futurist and transhumanist) tells about some of the robots he has built.

[7] An essay by your host entitled: Why you will get two completely different answers if you ask a biologist or an evolutionist the simple question: 'Why is water clear?'

[8] The coming Latino dominance of the USA. Within sixty years the USA will be a Latino nation in the same sense that Brazil and Argentina are now. Based on current demographic trends, this does not seem a possibility but an inevitability. David Pascal, a marketing consultant, describes the statistics.

[9] Two thousand people singing happy birthday to, and then a brief celebrity interview with, the actor Michael Berryman who may be best known as the star of Wes Craven's original version of the motion picture: The Hills Have Eyes.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_3_25.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:41pm EDT