Shineanthology’s Weblog

An anthology of optimistic, near future SF

The Interlinked Universe, part 1

network-graph-1Via a roundabout way that includes a mixture of both social life and business, I chanced upon a book called “Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution” by Ronald Bailey, which looks at the future of biotechnology in a positive light: better health, longer lifespans, and no gray goo (and a reviewer stating: ‘the book adds some balance to a debate that has been dominated in recent times by exaggerated risks and overblown fears’. Sounds familiar, right?).

Following through Ronald Bailey, I found he works as the science editor of Reason Magazine, part of the Reason Foundation (linking to libertarian — or libertarian-like — organisations doesn’t automatically mean that I fully agree with them. Keep in mind, though, that for SHINE I am looking for stories that are optimistic or imagine innovative solutions, and I hope [expect] to be surprised with unexpected viewpoints, and challenged by contrary thinking. Therefore I conscientiously try to read outside of my comfort zone regularly).

On a sidetrack, there was a review of the book on the Innovation Watch website. That website is very interesting, especially the links on its ‘Future Pages’ column: Green Heroes, Idealog (New Zealand idea site), The Social Times, and more.network-graph-21

All these websites see the future as highly interesting, complex, but also doable, as something we can still make. Typically, none of the ‘Future Pages’ links on Innovation Watch refer to SF. Is nobody in the SF community getting the feeling that SF is being overtaken left, right and centre? Good thing that I’m an optimist: I see this as an opportunity. There is a huge potential audience out there interested in SF: in relevant SF.

It makes me wonder about this interlinked Universe, and the power of getting people together through social websites (or the social semantic web as John Breslin on Cloudlands has it). And then you get these tidbits via Twitter from FreePress.net:

The Brookings Institution estimates that each percentage point increase in broadband adoption results in nearly 300,000 jobs each year.

Check it out (quote is from the second page, second paragraph). Who said the economy is dead? It’s in recession, but might hopefully turn towards actual business instead of self-serving castles in the sky.

UPDATE: it seems that President Obama (or one of his advisors) has been paying attention to the report of the Brookings Institute:

“It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online.”

network-graph-31

Anyway, the above is what I mean when I FaceBook and Twitter that a strange kind of focus can broaden your horizons.3triangles

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