Thursday, December 01, 2005

Radical Evolution (ISEPP lecture)

Joel Garreau is typing as fast as he can to bring possible futures into everyday thinking.

He writes for a lay audience, women mostly, as they're the big readers and book buyers around this holiday season.

He's a layman himself, a reporter with The Washington Post on his resume, not a techie, not some heavily degreed guy.

Joel frames his story in earthy terms he hopes will reach into truck stops and blue collar diners where people of good sense and imagination will ponder his core question: what does it mean to be human, and how will we retain what we value even while altering what it means?

The new human-altering technologies he's looking at comprise his GRIN (Grunch's smile?): Genetics, Robotics, Infotech, Nanotech.

From behind the camera after dinner, I asked if human nature wasn't itself a continuing surprise and revelation, already many times transformed.

And I recommended the science fiction museum in Seattle; we exhibit our fears and longings in distopian and utopian scifi. Neal Stephenson's works (Diamond Age etc.) had already come up in discussion, so I thought this commercial appropriate.

I was pleased my friend Dave Fabik was able to join me. He'll make a great Wanderer (plus he was aboard Meliptus yesterday which makes it official).

I was also pleased by Nancy's continuing enthusiasm for my blog.