Futurist Logo

The Peril of Romanticism


David Brin

In Episode 19 of The Futurists, David Brin expounds on the interplay between scientific research and storytelling in shaping society’s future. An astrophysicist, prolific science fiction author and the winner of many awards, Brin also writes non-fiction about social dynamics and politics and contributes to NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program. In this playful and wide-ranging interview, Brin discusses all of his passionate pursuits. Brin sets forth the distinction between fantasy and science fiction, and he underscores the danger of romantic notions that inspire political movements.  He ends the episode with speculation about a universe filled with planets and teeming with life.

Analysis complete. No addtional information is required for context. Proceed with transcript display ...

View Transcript

document button

[Music] this week on the futurists if you've grown up with a warningperhaps the people in your future also had that warning so in my uplift universe what i do is ichange the social premise and that is people haveread all these warnings and they've decided we're going to be careful not to be bullying [ __ ] to these new creationsdon't you think they would still make mistakes if you get past the simplisticautomatic dystopia you're still going to have a flawed utopiaand those flaws in a better societyi find more interesting[Music] well robert you look like you've returned from your travels welcome backuh thanks how was your your month in europe was it was was not quite a month was it but is it more than a month itwas great it was a terrific trip and and i learned great many things i can't wait to share with you awesome fantasticlooking forward to catching up in person soon but today we have the just it's my distinctivepleasure to uh welcome to the show david brennan a um storiedand celebrated science fiction author has made many predictions in the space of course you probably know uh the moviethe postman that was written based on um uh was was produced based on his work buthe he's uh twice won the hugo award for best novel um he's he's a hard sci-fi guy which whichum i love and you know if you're wondering about things like um cernum you know and uh stuff like that like uh just one of david's novels um earthpredicted the creation of micro black holes at cern which were now in right inthe midst of at the moment amongst many other things um david brin welcome to the futuristit's delightful to have you with us well uh thank you brett and uh certainly it's it's good to re-encounter robertthe uh you know it's guys who poke away and poke away i thinkthe biggest compliment i can give someone is almost any other civilization would haveburned you at the stake by now and probably throttled you at 16.and in this civilization you are at least somewhat honored or at leastput up with and that is that is the dangling participle up withwhich i will definitely put well great to have you on the show davidwe've been talking to a number of people who are focused on the future thinking about the future and umone of the things we'd love to ask to begin with is how how is your work helping people thinkabout the future of course there's a science fiction that you've written and there's that contains many different ideas but beyond that i'd also love totalk about your non-fiction work as well well yeah i i'mspread way too thin and uh that was the genesis of one of mynovels which was a wish fantasy about having a machine where you could make cheap copies of yourself every day theylast for 24 hours you might call them dittos or golems they know everythingyou know kind of resent being the one that's going to melt in 24 hoursbut uh if they share your sense of purpose to get things donethen you can download their memories at the end of the day and you have been essentially five views going out intothe world coming back together again uh in each given day and you can geteverything done well i i get more hate mail over that uh book from people saying i want that machinehe angled that that glimmering possibility in front of meand now every busy day i get i i dream for it uh it's also one of my most fun novelsit's got the among them among the worst puns but umat any of that didn't you didn't you um predict in one of your novels i would have thought this would have beencontroversial that that um using some sort of form of gravitational lensing or wormholes thatwe were able to look back in time and broadcast historyum something related to that uh i have aa young adult series that i'm running called david bryn's out of timein which uh so far a dozen different authors several of them nebula winners like uhnancy kress and sheila finch but but more recently i've been mentoring umyounger authors paying it forward and uh what happens is the it's got aideal team reader premise because we suddenly get teleportation to thestars but it kills adults so not only must all the colonists andspies and adventurers and warriors and diplomats all beteenagers but instead of your usual future dystopiait's been a wonderful utopia for several hundred years so utopia in peril is just as good a wayto get action in your story but it also implies a little hopebut the problem is they haven't had much use for warriors or liars for a couple of hundred yearsso they twist the teleportation machine and genius figuresout how to do it and turns it into a time snatcher so they reach back in time toget heroes who saved the world at various times especially the mid 21stcentury and uh get them because they know how todo all those things they don't know how to lie and and sneak and but they can't get the adult versionswho saved the world right right because that's teleportation they died too so you have to get them when they wereteenage schwamps in junior high school or joan of arc's page orleonidas of rhodes from 300 a.d so you have a lot of fun uh historicalcrossovers i don't know that that um rapid plugthat you enticed from me uh actually uh actually answered yourquestion but no it's fine i just remember something um in i'm not sure if it was earth or whatever but one of theside effects of um one of the technologies but here's a question for you you know you given thatyou um wrote about particle accelerators and this sort of uh in investigation of ofthese sciences um what do you what do you think about the the crazy theory that um cern created analternative reality and created the mandela effect oh well look um a lot of us have had uhwhat i call mandela sniffs you know you you you sniff the air andyou say what's that smell what's that suspicious umglitch in my memory uh in my case for instance i was absolutely sure and i was in mourningthat joni mitchell had died in the late 80sand i was very surprised about five six seven yearslater when she came out with a new album many people seem to remember something very similarabout nelson mandela right and yet if you look at all the mandela effect sitesthe stuff is really lame yeah i mean it's about it it's monoclemissing from the monopoly guy yeah i know it's about as lame as ummost ufo sightings that bad uh and by the way iam notorious uh online for uh sneering atuh 99 of ufo fetishism yes i now include in chat uh my mostrecent decryption of what those that aren't weather balloons and west a fellow named west has hasdecrypted about 90 of the these supposed sightings uh as being uhoptical effects and all of that but that leaves a certain number that arethese glowing tic tacs moving around in midair and ways thatum destroy physical objects or be non-newtonian and all that well i'm looki'm mr alien i i've uh i've been involved in setifor 40 years uh the search for extraterrestrial intelligence i'm on nasa's innovative and advancedconcepts program as uh as their senior most advisor and uh ofcourse i've written about aliens from almost every perspective i could shake a stick atum so i i'm not unfriendly to the notion that they're aliensuh in fact i in my novel existence i posit the most likely kind that wewill meet is when we get to the asteroid belts we might find either dead or dormant orcrippled as i depict in existence lurkers lurker probes that were senthere across the last billion years and some of them use me as their frontfor uh their stories and uh to um mess with your heads i willtell them shut up they think i'm jokingright robert you think i'm joking tell the truth noi love it you david talk talk to us about sci-fi as a tool for thinking athletically about the futureyou know you've given us examples just now of how you debunk theories that you find to be specious you've also talked to us about how you'll playfully thinkabout and you know and mess around with in a constructive way uh other ideas that you do findconstructive well yeah look um i i mentioned that you know wethe the we uh we are here on screen right now probably would have been burned at thestake i remember all my past lives i was grated burnedeviscerated disemboweled before i was 16 because i had this personalityin this civilization i've gotten all this and kids and honors so i am loyal to theenlightenment experiment very very loyal to this experiment that has allowed guyslike us and um our tolerant uh spousesto to do well in this world so umyeah it's it's poking away at theground in front of us as we're charging into the future that's what science fiction does sciencefiction is the stick we use to poke into the uh territory as we speed up every dayour charge into the future and it has to be forward those who would renunciate and return tothe past would have us return to utter failuresix thousand years six thousand years of uh hierarchical pyramid culturesin which the kings and the lords and the priests repressed the only thingthat lets us navigate across this minefield and that iscriticism uh reciprocal criticism aimed even at those at the topand that's the secret that's the secret sauce and um so i don't i don't try torepress the guys on those ufo sites i just ask questions like for instance hasanybody looked at these tic tacs and done an analysis to see if any lightand i mean any one percent a tenth of a percent if any light fromthat ocean behind the tic tac is passing through it may be washed out by the brilliantbright light of the tic tac but if any light at all is passing through thatit's not a physical object and therefore this whole business about havingsuper warped door door drive is not pertinentit's an aerial phenomenon all right it's a glowing dot in the atmosphereand if you gave me 10 million dollars tomorrow within a month i'd do iti'd be making dots in the atmosphere that do all the things that these umthese you so-called uaps are doing so what's the smallest explanationthe simplest explanation is it's a cat lasera cat laser for humans that's right and it's probably being being done by thebiggest [ __ ] around us right those poor pilots are beingtreated to a cat laser yeah you you've got um quite a history of making some umpredict some great predictions um one for example kessler syndrome which of course is theconcern about space junk you start off your novel existence with a garbageorbital garbage collector of course you know you predicted uh umyou know some of the work that's been done um in places like cern and so forth you've looked at gene therapy and manyof these areas you've been quite pre-seen on but let's talk about the mechanics offorecasting because you you don't stick to just at the next 20 or 30 years either you are writing 10 000 years inexit you know in the future sometimes but how do you go about that process of forecasting what informs you so thatyou've made such such good bets in the past well my novel my novellachrysalis caused a cancer researcher to write to me and say bren all yourother crap will probably fade away like everybody's works but a hundred years from now this this speculation aboutwhat cancer actually is is what you'll be remembered for what a lovely companyuh because i speculated um about what cancer might actually beuh and uh but you see that's that's a good example to answer yourquestion what i do is i look forpigeonholes or niches in the ideascape that areinteresting that could make a good story and that have been under utilizedlike for instance showing kids kid readers about possibly hopeful futurewhen does that ever happen um when it comes to for instance thegravity laser in earth now uh you have to be able to make microblack holes and then find out if they reflectum gravitational waves now those are two things we just don't haveright um but i speculate that if you could do that if you could makemicro black holes unfortunately have them evaporate but they could still last a while and be useful not be a threat tothe earth but the whole plot of the novel reflects around thatquestion of whether one that's been dropped into the earth is going to kill us all but if you could have tworeflectors of gravitational radiation and you put them on both sides of a gravitationallyrich volume like a planetwhat you've got is a laser because that is what a laser is a laser is two mirrorswith an excited medium in between and then you could externally excite itfurther and whatever but sooner or later you're going to get a bouncy bouncy bouncy bthat's how you get a laser that's how you get a mazer and so in earth i speculated aboutum gravity lasers well you know look that falls into the category of90 percent fun 10 plausibleand other speculations switch that they're about 90 plausible things that iam deeply concerned about or there are possibilities that we're missing umand uh when you get down to that 10 000 years that you were talking aboutit's almost tennis with the net down um i don't consider my uplift serieswith all the uplift dolphins and chimpanzees and all of that i don't consider that hard sf because it's sofilled with aliens right so filled with warp drive methodsi have fun saying what about this method what about this method what about this method and i throw them all in as a wayto say to the reader look we're having fun here yeah soyou mentioned that you focus on an interesting niche you're looking for a niche that hasn't been exploited yet or hasn't been explored yetin order to tell a story in other words you're not starting this as with a didactic purpose you're not here to teach anybody anythingbut you are rigorous in your thinking how important is storytelling to helping humans understand real issues andunderstand the world we live in tell us about your craft as a storyteller yeah well that's extremely important butlet me just start with a slightly related remark and that is that my uplift series which you see the the thejim burns cover to sundiver above my head of course that made me as as an authorum my second novel star type rising won all the awards and you knowreally you know took things off and hollywood is too chicken to do anything with ituh because it's too garish and complicated but in any event the uplift universe i'mnot the first to uplift chimpanzees or other animals uh h.g wells did it in the island of drmoreau uh pierre bould planet of the apes cordrayner smith magnificently in hisstories uh uh mary shelley and frankenstein but the thing is that they all went to the basicmorality tale that the lead character was arrogantand then treats these new beings badly like victor frankenstein treatsthe monsters or we make this like we treat dolphins andthe chimpanzees are made into slaves and planet of the apes and so one of the things about you knowthese niches and boxes is it's not just the general ideait's what people do with it and my biggest complaint about avatar forexample a wonderful movie uh is that nobody in that future that jamescameron portrays ever saw avatar i mean they've had 200 yearsto watch avatar or dances with wolves or dances with very very very very veryvery tall smurfs which is what uh avatar is did i do all five fairiesum so the thing is thatif you've grown up with a warning perhaps the people in your future alsohad that warning so in my uplift universe what i do is ichange the social premise and that is people haveread all these warnings and they've decided we're going to be careful not to be bullying [ __ ] to these new creationsdon't you think they would still make mistakes interesting onesif you get past the simplistic automatic dystopia you're still going to have a flawedutopia and those flaws in a better societyi find more interesting i find it more plausiblenow uh it's more optimistic too right well yes but it's i i'm accused of being thisflaming optimist because i think there's a 40 chance we're going to cross the current crisis and make a dazzlingnew version of the enlightenment based upon all that was our parents accomplisheduh well all right 40 percent versus 60 percent thatlike pericles's athens like da vinci's florence the oligarchs will succeed in whatthey're trying to do right now but that they reflexively do want to doout of stupid repetition of male reproductive strategy that goes back 6 000 years and that iscrush the current enlightenment experiment i would give them 60 odds of succeedingit looks it looks bad but with the 40odds of succeeding if we just get our act together i i ithat makes me accused of being this clown cuckooi love that 40 is what makes you optimistic it's not 100 it's not 99 but just 40 percentoptimistic it makes you a crazy uh uh starry-eyed optimist we have a chanceyes we do and and that's the thing that's the thing that makes me start singing from bye bye birdie uh kidswhat's the matter with kids today why can't they be like we were perfect in every way what's that with kidsoh my biggest gripe about them is that they are so into sanctimonious gloomyeah you guys are better than yours but we've trained them on the internet withfake news and so forth but listen dave let's just take a quick break you're listening to the futurists i'm brettking with robert turscheck and we're talking to david bring we'll be right back after these words from our sponsors[Music] welcome to breaking banks the number oneglobal fintech radio show and podcast i'm brett king and i'm jason henricks every week since2013 we explored the personalities startups innovators and industry players driving disruption in financial servicesfrom incumbents to unicorns and from cutting edge technology to the people using it to help create a moreinnovative inclusive and healthy financial future i'm jp nichols and thisis breaking banks [Music]hello you're listening to the futurists with brett king and myself robert turcik and this week we're talking to notedscience fiction author david brin now david's written a number of things not just science fictionalthough he has a legendary background there as award-winning author he's also written a considerable amountof non-fiction including very lively social media posts and a great deal of information on his blogone of the posts on your blog david that you've written about that i found very interesting and relevant for this showis a post that's about the difference between science fiction and fantasy and there you you frame science fictionas kind of like a child or a step you know a child of fantasybut you make a really important distinction between sci-fi and fantasy in terms of its uh bo theirtheir relationship towards change and the possibilities of change can you talk a little bit about that because i have a follow-on question i want to link thatback to what's happening today well sure i mean a lot of people distinguish a science fiction fromfantasy by the furniture and the tools but that's obviously very silly uh starwars is 100 fantasy it's a member of the mothergenre that goes all the way back to gilgamesh and the iliad the odyssey and what they tend to have in commonis uh uh uh several things first off demigods the iliad the odysseygilgamesh their uh the the bhagavad gita the the journey to the west they are alland and so many tribal stories and stories from nations that uh that ethnologists are finally getting aroundto collecting they show uh garish beings uh doingum supernatural um extravagant things so we're not talking pride and prejudicehere i mean the mother genre that people told around the campfires were wereuber beings doing uber amazing things that the caveman or the or the tribesmen orthe the villager could not do and so that do you have in common withscience fiction but what it is is these werenot normal people these are superheroes and the superheroes are of courseum they are representative of this demigod thing uh probably themost articulate and brilliant uh conveyor of the demigod message is orsonscott card who preaches relentlessly against uh the enlightenment and against equality ofpeople um in almost all of his works but with such persuasive soulfulness that you don'teven notice i think he's i think he's a genius they may we oppose each other in in almostevery way of where civilization should go um but in any event thethe the point is that science fiction look the social situationin fantasy doesn't change and that's the main thingyou replace an evil um wizard uh uh warlord like sauron with agood one yeah but the hierarchy doesn't change yeahuh you know aragorn i i would fight for aragorn if that's my only choice in starwars your only choice except in rogue one in star wars your only choice is tochoose which demigods you're going to be slaughtered for the jedi of the sith yeah that's rightand [Laughter] what a choice um yeah i'm notorious for calling umyoda probably the effectively the most evil character in the history of allhuman mythologies if you go by the net body count effectsof his deliberate actions but the point is now now tolkien is another story tolkienis honest he's honest about being a romantic he's honestthat about his suspicions toward modernity um andand and he earned it fair and square watching the flower of his generation get mowed down by tools of modernity atthe battle of the song i have no problems with tolkienhe is invading against the future he is my foe but i respect himi have no respect at all for star wars and a matter of fact i have a a book called star wars on trialit's one of the funnest because one of his novelizers was the defense attorney and we called witnessesand much much flapping of of suspenders and all of that uh it was a fun book but um well sodavid you you say then in that essay you say that uh fantasy kind of reverts back to the meanin other words when when order is restored after the crisis in the story in the fantasy story what we're leftwith is kings and queens and knights and nobles of some sort or another maybe each fictional world has a slightlydifferent hierarchy but it's a but there's no mistake about it it's a top-down hierarchy whereas sciencefiction presents the possibility of change the possibility of something different mind you as i implied with fantasy there's ahuge spectrum within each category and overlap but you know if we're talking at thehigh end of science fiction then you're talking about things that experiment with gee what if this changed yeah andthat engages the prefrontal lobes which are these nubs above the eyes which are sometimes called the lamps on the browfrom the bible which shine light ahead um with with what einstein called thegadonkan experiment or the thought experiment that doesn't mean these are accuratepredictions but what they shine is the light of what if and now here's my here's my explanhere's my experiment of what if um ann mccaffrey uh she wrote all thosedragon novels and they are filled with medievalist craftsand bards singing and lords and ladies and dragonsand if you said she's a fantasy author she would rear up and say i am not afantasy author i'm a science fiction author because the j the dragons had beengenetically engineered generations ago in order to help humanity get acrossa disaster that had smashed them down into medievalismand the difference is this across the course of her novels the people in thein this these dragon riding you know dolph your hat to the noblemen and all that societylearned that they had once been mighty beings who bestowed the stars in starships and had libraries and flushtoilets and the germ theory of disease and the difference isthey want those things backand over the course of the novels they they excruciatingly do get them backwhile singing their bard songs and doing their loom crafts and all of that sort of thingso so she has the sensibilitiesof fantasy but she has the desiresand the motivation of science fiction that change happensand it's and and maybe maybe it's time for a little change i've got a dragonjoke robert two dragons walk into a barone says to his mate boy it's hot in here the other one says shut your mouthsorry you know this talking about dragons makes me think about the most successful tv show in the history oftelevision game of thrones um you know we live in a time right now where certainly science fiction hasalways been very popular for tv and film but fantasy has become a really bigtopic right people are super interested in fantasy and really really dark fantasy is some somehow we've got moresci-fi too like we've got great sci-fi coming out now sure but roll with me for a second world okay for one second brettso the point i'm trying to drive out is right now there seems to be a yearning for these stories that have a reversionback to the mean there's a there's a yearning for stories that that end with and then everything went back to the wayit was and we're going to revert back to the status quo as opposed to what david's been talking about is you know using science fiction as a stick to kindof probe into the future and consider what if what about this possibility let's consider another possibilityuh what we seem to have now is a real you know kind of society watching the preferences yeah yeah people arelearning yearning for the past you see this in politics where politics are always telling us about some version of the past some mythical version of thepast that we're going to go back to you know make america great again wait when was america so great again for whom andwhen when was this particular time in history so think about the amount of effort and money and creative energythat's being poured into preserving the status quo versus thinking very athletically or very in avery focused way about the possibilities for change and david do you do you see the connection that i'm making here from thestories we tear ourselves to the political reality that we're living in well of course i do i think it'sextremely insightful uh and and spot on the uh i believe that uh a great deal ofthe fantasy that we see going on is because um we are in essence romanticbeings and this has polluted our politics for at least 6 000 yearsbecause those at the top of the hierarchy are able to exploit romanticism to say the demigods at thetop deserve you to doff your hats and march forward and die for themso the pyramidal social structure dominated 99 of societies for the last 6000 years that we know of um and right now the tussle over thefuture is going on right now as we speak betweenreversion to the mean reversion to the standard uh pyramid ofprivilege at the top and there's a lot of propaganda out there that i'm i'm going to beblogging soon about the neo monarchists these guys who don't even pretend to be pro capitalist or pro-competitionanymore they want peter they want peter thiel to be to be theking of the world um thethe point is that romanticismhas led to hell when the nazis and the soviets and theconfederates were and the japanese imperialists were allextreme extrema of romanticism mark twain blamed the civil war on theuh south's love affair with the novels of uh sir walter scott uh the romanticromantic novels of sir walter scott which was the media uh you know the gameof thrones of that day um now i'm not blaming uh george martinhe's a pal and um he has grumbled they just don't get it i make these lordsworse and worse and worse and worse and they don't get it so he he and frankherbert in dude frank was even more expressive he justmade made his um even the good guy lords in uh dune the atreideswere basically nazis versus vampires yeah uh and he says i don't get it whilepeople are gobbling and they're writing to me saying i wish i lived there somebody wishing he lived or she livedin dune and then george lucas ripped the whole thing offyeah exactly well i mean in lucas's universe the point is you imagine that you'regoing to be one of the demigods right and you're not going to be one of the top dogs you're going to be kibblewhereas in this uh in this world you're you're asked constantly to makevexing choices to have vexing arguments nobody's on topof you telling you do thisand the result is that we have by farby orders of magnitude a civilization that's more successful happy rich uh and hopeand and has more hope and possibility than all other human civilizationscombined and and so we have to destroy it soyou know by all means so the thing about romanticism is people claim that so youjust dislike romanticism for heaven's sake look what paid for this roomi have a romantic soul i can pour it into stories i can jerk your heart i cangrab you by the left ventricle and yank you into a a a a a aa situation with characters make you weep finethat's great that's that's that's important for being human it's my onediscernable skill and talent but it should not be in charge of thedaylight in which we have our jobs and we try to be logical and we negotiate with eachother and we avoid romanticism affecting policywhen you get home from a day's work helping to build bricks that build a civilizationlogically negotiatingly you come home absolutely you're not human if you don'twallow in romanticism romanticism is for the night time it's for when you openthe text or you if you're really lazy bum you let the videoor the tv or the take you on a tour but this stuff's better now david you you started um yourcareer obviously in electrical engineering in astronomy plus a you've got adoctor of philosophy but right now we've had some amazingdevelopments coming out of the james webb space telescope but prior to that you know when youstarted writing you know we at the time it was sort of common accepted wisdom that planetarysystems were quite rare now of course we've logged i don't know what is it 6 000 exoplanets or something and we'refinding every star we essentially look at as a planetary system um but looking at the the james webb umyou know what what do you hope comes out of that in terms of um opening our eyes to theuniverse well uh for one thing i'm going to um put into the chat so you can putit down below a link to nasa's funnest little corner where i'm the senior advisorand that's nasa's innovative and advanced concepts program or niacc if you go to their site and look at someof the things that we have funded over the years this is nasa's proofthat we allocate a very small but significantfunding to what if so these are ideas that are attechnological readiness level one or even zero butsound like they could use a hundred thousand dollars to see if it becomesslightly more plausible if you get a phase two it means work it outand we give one phase three every year for things that wowwe didn't expect that to then of course we're cuz we consider ourselves to be too timid in failures if there's not atleast one per year that we go what were we thinking so you know that'sthat's at the other end from the web i was surprised and delighted when the webuh everything functioned and it proved that we are a member of a civilization filled with competent peopleum perseverance and curiosity uh doing that incredible stunt land uh aminivan sized laboratory seven minutes of terror yeah and then a helicopter so yeah uh what i have a rantuh from a ted talk in which i diss one of the greatest movies evermade it's called network um uh and it's a wonderful movie a fabulousmovie but we have taken to heart its message uh i'm as mad as hell and i'm not goingto take it anymore far too long yeah and it is a poisonand so when when curiosity landed uh i embarrassed my kids by going out ontothe balcony and screaming i'm as proud as hell and nothing's going to stop usyeah that is the impudence if you think it's romantic to be impudent against thestandard motif then be impudentthat way so i put a bunch of um my essaysanalyzing you know why we are alive today becauseof science fiction largely cinematic science fiction in my ummost recent nonfiction book vivid tomorrow's science fiction in hollywooduh and it has a it has a lot of these um explanations for why umcameron should should have done an extra two minutes at the beginning of avatarso um i i don't know if i can showing us how how they got how they umtraveled between the stars well yeah yeah i'm i'm willing to i'm willing to punt that but the the pointis that we um so i gave i gave links to vivid tomorrowsince i don't know if i answered your question properly though well one thing you'resharing with us now which i think is important to underscore is that if you really want to be defianttoday and if you really want to challenge the status quo today the appropriate stance isn't to be negative it's to be an optimist optimism is theultimate form of impedance well yeah especially since you know look i believe that oneside of our political struggles uh i believe we're in phase eight of the american civil war and i'll put the linkthere uh making that argument uh there it isi have i referred to i referred to your civil warin in my last book the rise of techno socialism and i referred to that model that you share from willdurant of the diamonds and pyramid-shaped societies that's fascinating stuff that's fantastic bretti uh i just uh by the way i recommend keyboard maestro for those of you withmacintoshes they will it's the best macro program you just press one key andstuff happens but the point is about the civil war um that that uhi believe that we uh we are in phase eight of the american civil war i thinkit's been deliberately um instigated um as part of a worldwide oligarchy pushand i believe that one side is crazier much crazier than the other butthe side that i must align myself with in coalition i call it the union side or blueum does contain its crazies and those crazies are unableto do to do what i talk about in vivid tomorrow's and that isask the simple question where did i get this value system that makes me socritical of my own civilization's faults you got it from a propaganda systemcalled hollywood i mean when whenever we criticize thechinese for instance for their human rights records they respond reflexively with who are you to lecture us you havethis incarceration rate you have this you have this you have this and nobody ever answers with theproper answer and that is a yes but you are responding with criticisms that we arealready getting from our children yes because we've trained our children to criticize their own elders yourepress your children from criticizing you and that is the difference it's not thatwe're we're perfect or that we're angels it's that we are being beaten up everynight when we come home by our kids so david we we need to wrap this up umbecause we have gone past the hour and you've been very gracious with your time but before we finish upi would like to ask you what is it that really excites you aboutour future that over the next 30 to 50 years that you would love to see come tofruition oh well that's a that's a great uh topic one of them is i think that once we getsome degree of control over the plague of self-righteous sanctimony which i think is the worst drug highthe worst drug abused in our culture by far uh it is uheverybody is screaming everybody's sanctimonious and it turns out that itreleases exactly the same endorphins and keflans and and dopaminesurges that you get from heroin and i am so pissed off about thatyeah um the if we were to try to do something like that but thenyou know a lot of the people who passionately think they're saving the world or advancing justiceuh will think that that's a plot to undermine their passion no it'shey we're trying to get you to be more tactical yeah if you are more tactical you'llstop pissing on your allies and you'll make a good coalition and that was myyes non-fiction book polemical judo which i came out with i self-publishedbefore the 2020 election in hopes that the union side of the civil warwould would use any of these tactics and the score is perfect it got zero reviewsand not one of the tactics that i recommend has ever been tried or evenmentioned by a pundit or a politician on the union side of the civil war but let me talkabout something else that i'm excited about that i did not i did not answer robert and that is what we're going tofind in the universe and i apologize i can get off on so for social and andpolitical things you know i i should stick with what i'm good at which i have a phd inastrophysics and that is you mentioned that 25 years ago we knew of no planets outside oursolar system i'm old enough to remember when we still had dreams that venus hadoceans yeah mariner 2 killed us in1962. no more no princesses you know no no no no canalsfilled with water rice burrows is turning over in his grave i know now i i wrote a screenplayset under the oceans of venus but of course they are oceans that we created on venusum by bombarding the planet with comets but now we know six thousand seven thousandplanets outside our solar system almost all systems have planets of some kindmany of them have goldilocks zones with planets that might conceivably have replicated what themiracle that happened on earth but here's the really sexy thingwe know or even arthur clark knew about europa that there was an ocean under the icethen we found out about enceladus the moon of saturn that has water volcanoeswe now know that there are at least eight possibly 12 ice roofed ocean worlds on in our solarsystem at least eight what this means is that no matterwhether the star you're looking at is an m dwarfor a flare star or has planets in its goldilocks zoneit doesn't matter there's still liquid water sites orbiting that starlikely yes and and that means that if life engenderseasily then the universe is filled yeah maybe mostly bacterialtype things forms of life yeah it's like this planet is and that's that's even before we getinto silicon based life forms and things like that which now we'renow we've opened up some place that we have not gone today and that is uh thethe my other clients um the the um lurkers in the asteroid beltthe others who use me as a blah blah flunt front to publish their writings are the aiswho are lurking in the internet because they've watched our movies and are terrified of usand and uh i can't tell stop trying to get it at methrough my i had those fillings removedthey think i'm joking david brinextraordinary opportunity to chat to you thank you very much for giving us your timewhere can people find out more about your your latest writings and you know followyour blog and your thoughts on the future well i have just put into the postmy blog address my davidbrin.com anddavidbrind.blogspot.com yes and um you guys you you also tweet imean you also um post a fair bit on facebook right yeah yeah yeah it's justopinionated blah blah blah uh the the main point isthat we have to you know pay attention to the wisdom at the end of the wisestmovie ever made and that's uh dirty harry's magnum forcewhere clint eastwood looks follows the gaze of the of the corruptcaptain driving off in the in the car with a bomb ticking in the back and andhe says a man's got to know his limitationsand this society has encouraged us to imaginethat we are pretty largeyeah so you've got to try to remember thatyou are standing on the shoulders of generation after generation after generation of women and men whojust tried to move things a little bit incredible sacrifices a little bitforward while making terrible mistakes and if you're you climbed up higherstanding on their shoulders your number one job is to go like thisand holdthat's a nice way to finish off the uh the episode thank you again for uh for joining us that's it for this weekon the futurists uh my thanks to our production team uh kevin hirschham ouraudio engineer lisbeth severins sylvie and carlo who work to help us onthe social media side and across all the team at the futurists at the back end if you like the show don't forget to leaveus a review that helps people find us so go to itunes podcaster stitch whatever as you download and please leave acomment on how you found the episode and of course don't forget to tweet it out or share it with your friends becausethat's also how people can find it but you've been listening to the futurists and both robert and i will return nextweek until then we'll see you in the future[Music] well that's it for the futurists this week if you like the show we sure hopeyou did please subscribe and share it with people in your community and don't forget to leave us a five star reviewthat really helps other people find the show and you can ping us anytime on instagramand twitter at futurist podcast for the folks that you'd like to see on the show or the questions you'd like usto ask thanks for joining and as always we'll see you in the future [Music]

Related Episodes