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Dr. David Brin, Monday, 9-23-13 September 24, 2013

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Dr. David Brin, Monday, 9-23-13


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Guest:  Dr. David Brin.  Topics:  Dr. Brin discussed a wide range of topics including space, potential intelligence, personhood, sci-fi, & much more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  Please visit www.davidbrin.com for more information & his books, www.davidbrin.com.

We welcomed Dr. David Brin to the show for this 1 hour 9 minute wide ranging discussion on a variety of topics.  Dr. Brin started by summarizing his background, then we talked about starships and the story he wrote for the book “Starship Century,” The Heavy Generation.  We talked about this science fiction story without giving away the ending and Dr. Brin said he might later turn it into a full book.  Dr. Brin then talked about fairness and other society interests, some on gender differences, wastefulness of talent, plus the need to err in favor of the stated even if it was false.  Listen to his explanation of this.  This took us to somewhat of a political discussion regarding the state of America, science, the media, education, and more.  We spent lots of time talking about science, scientists and criticism, and he explained that when he write a book, he circulates it to 50 people for harsh criticism, not flattery.  Dr. Brin also talked about competition with science, suggesting it to be a highly competitive field.  He talked about the upcoming Personhood Beyond The Human Conference he will be speaking at in December at Yale University regarding personhood status for dolphins and chimps.  What he had to say might surprise you.  Listeners asked about our media, a topic Dr. Brin had much to say about.  He was also asked why it was so difficult for society to value space and its importance to our future given what we in the industry believe we know and understand about space.  This was part of the overall science and media discussion.  Another topic was adult science literacy.  Surprises await you in this discussion.  Dr. Brin had much to say about cynicism, being negative, and not understanding the gifts we have as a society and nation, and the importance of being uplifting and associating with uplifting people.  We talked about Mars One, Inspiration Mars and learned that he had signed up for Mars One to help further the discussion but does not believe the mission will happen. He is supportive of Inspiration Mars but believes the launch window is too close and that the project should have started 10 to 15 years ago.  We talked about space colonization, the best way to go to Mars for settlement, Apollo 8 as an inspirational model & how uplifting things are in other parts of the world such as India.  Invention and creativity were also discussed and he noted that since 2001 inventing was lacking.  Inventing is uplifting & we need to start inventing again in this country.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Brin can be contacted through is website.


1. Jim Davis - September 25, 2013

Dr. Brin was very interesting and entertaining; his style of discourse reminded me a lot of Zimmerman only coming from the political left.

I can’t say I was at all impressed with Brin’s rants against cynicism. He seems to define a cynic as someone who does not share his views. Regardless, one man’s cynicism is another man’s realism; there is plenty of room for both “glass half full” and “glass half empty” viewpoints in this world. Indeed, I think both are necessary for progress.

His thoughts on the effects of the atomic bomb on the ways wars are fought seems hopelessly naive. Has he never heard of the Congo Wars or the Cambodian Civil War?

2. DoygSpace - September 24, 2013

A very interesting show indeed.

David’s comment about the 2000s being the only decade not having a major American invention got me researching. To a fair extent it seems to be true but it depends upon how one places the invention. For example, I always thought that penicillin was a major invention of the ’40s. Turns out that it was first discovered on the 20s but really got big in the 40s. So, which decade do you put it.

Likewise with the 2000s. I would say the three biggest inventions would be:
– Google
– Digital cameras
– Smart phones
But even there, it’s a defitional issue. Of the three I would have to say that Google is the biggest. But Google is a company, not a device. So is it an invention? I think so. But then again, it technically started in late 1998 but only really exploded in 2004. So, I’d put Google in the 2000s.

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