Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Does Being Right Ever Count For Much?

Dousing the overheated political lamp for a moment.... how about another item for those prediction registries?

Remember my Sun-ghosts from SUNDIVER?

Now glance at:

"The new computer simulations suggest that in the gravity-free environment of space, the plasma particles will bead together to form string-like filaments that then twist into corkscrew shapes. The helical strands resemble and are themselves electrically charged and attracted to one another. The computer-modeled plasma particles can also divide to form two copies of the original structure and even "evolve" into more stable structures that are better able to survive in the plasma. "These complex, self-organized plasma structures exhibit all the necessary properties to qualify them as candidates for inorganic living matter," said study team member V.N. Tsytovich of the Russian Academy of Science. "


As I recall, there are two wikis to track my predictions (one by Tony Fisk)

Plus - http://www.technovelgy.com/ tracks modern events/trends that were first mentioned in science fiction

DOes a track record like this actually gain one influence? Ah, human nature. It's amazing there was ever an Enlightenment, at all.

I recently went into one of the wikis to deposit a few of the hits I've collected, just over the last year. Only spent a few minutes, though. Any volunteer who wants to help keep these up to date... maybe cross referencing them... ;-)

The latest hit? The cover story of this month's (8 or 9 2007) Scientific American says that saccades (tiny eye movements) not only allow us to see, but quantify on what we are focused when looking at a scene. Is Citizen personality-testing (as in Sundiver) far behind?

And if so, will this be a tool for some elite to use, to oppress us forever? Or - if we share it - will this keep us from being dominated by monsters, ever again?

Stay tuned.


Oh, I am posting an updated Ostrich Paper tonight, on Kos. Please swarm it.


David Brin said...

Kos posted at:


You'll see input from many of you. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of accountability and stuff, have you seen this, Dr. Brin?

See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign

On November 17th, 2005, an anonymous Wikipedia user deleted 15 paragraphs from an article on e-voting machine-vendor Diebold, excising an entire section critical of the company's machines. While anonymous, such changes typically leave behind digital fingerprints offering hints about the contributor, such as the location of the computer used to make the edits.

In this case, the changes came from an IP address reserved for the corporate offices of Diebold itself. And it is far from an isolated case. A new data-mining service launched Monday traces millions of Wikipedia entries to their corporate sources, and for the first time puts comprehensive data behind longstanding suspicions of manipulation, which until now have surfaced only piecemeal in investigations of specific allegations.

David Brin said...


So the companies will learn to do this from
hidden IPs.

And Wiki will have to ban or asterisk
untraced IPs.

And civil libertarians will complain
this squelches anonymous speech...

...and we're off... again...

Acacia H. said...

You know, Dr. Brin, I remember an old tabletop wargame called "Battletech" from a couple decades ago. In it, they had "monomer fibers" that acted like muscle fibers when electrical currents were applied to them. Indeed, I utilized something similar (though using polymers) in creating background information for mechanical walkers ("mecha") for my own unpublished science fiction.

I recently read an article in a scientific magazine about silicon and... I don't remember if it was chromium or plastic... tubes that acted like, you guessed it, muscle strands when an electrical current was applied to them.

Science fiction seems to pave the way for science fact more often than not. I halfway expect to learn in a decade or two that we've discovered a theoretical method of breaking the speed of light that is effective and efficient. After all, we've almost everything else in scifi coming true....

Rob H., Tangents Reviews

Anonymous said...

How to get an ostrich to pull its head out of the sand?

I think the problem may be: the ostriches are afraid. Rather than pulling an FDR and saying some version of "we have nothing to fear but fear itself" we got color coded levels of fear, endless descriptions of how terrorists are coming to kill your kids, and how islamonazis will take away your beer, make your women ware burkas, impose islamic law and win the war against christmas.

I think what Hillary, Barak, John, or Ron needs to start doing is incorporate this theme into their run for POTUS. I AM AN AMERICAN, AND I'M NOT AFRAID OF TERRORISTS! End every speech with it, get the crowd to chant it with you, make buttons and bumper stickers. Every time someone wants to torture, start wars, or take away our civil rights because they are afraid of terrorists tell them I am not afraid, this is America the home of the brave and we will protect you from those scary terrorists.

harry potter5 said...

Dr. Brin, with all this stuff from your books becoming a reality, I respectfully request a Pixolet from "The Practice Effect."

Thank you in advance from my soon-to-be post-singularity 1998 laptop.

Anonymous said...

The Fundementalist Christian attack on the officers corps well under way, here comes one on the Men.

"Osama Bin Laden himself could hardly hardly have hatched a better plot to incite widespread war between Christianity and Islam, and the Pentagon's endorsement of "Operation Straight Up" and that ministry's plan to bring the bigoted, hateful religious ideology inherent to Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins' "Left Behind" book series to American troops in the front lines casts into question the basic competence, not to mention the sanity, of every Pentagon official involved in the decision to endorse such mind boggling idiocy.

Left Behind: Eternal Forces", a game depicting fundamentalist Christians religious warfare will be distributed to US troops.

Courtesy of the PENTAGON.

Now, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will be able to unwind by playing out a sanitized version of what in reality may the most savage type of war humans wage."


Personal favorites of mine?

Some of the "toughest" enemy units are Rock Stars and Activists (their names, not mine).

They will also be promoting this twisted hate in a series of USO-STYLED (this is not the USO) performances given at bases all over Iraq.

Invite the troops in to meet a prizefighter and see the Flying Wallindas, and then hit them with the "Jews, Muslims, and Queers must all die" rag.