Tomorrow Happens

...trends slamming at us from the dark

David Brin

David Brin
San Diego, California, USA
October 06
Bio David Brin’s novels have been translated into more than twenty languages, including New York Times Best-sellers that won Hugo and Nebula awards. His 1989 ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed cyberwarfare, the World Wide Web, global warming and Gulf Coast flooding. A 1998 Kevin Costner film was loosely adapted from his post-apocalyptic novel, The Postman. ............................................ Brin is a noted scientist, futurist and speaker who appears frequently on television (Life After People, The Universe), discussing trends in the near and far future, on subjects such as surveillance, technology, astronomy, and SETI. His non-fiction book, The Transparent Society, deals with issues of openness and security in the wired-age. ............................................. David Brin web site: Twitter: Facbook:

A notion has spread -- foisted not just by cable news, but all media -- that the recent U.S. mid-term elections manifested some kind of tidal surge favoring Republican Party policies. Alas, the most disturbing thing about that meme is how pathetically easy it is to refute.

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OCTOBER 25, 2014 2:19PM

Voter ID Laws: Scam or Accountability?


During this (or any) electoral season, it pays to get off the left-right political axis – and examine particular political issues on their own merits. So let’s take a closer look at one of them… Voter ID laws. 

Voter-ID-laws-blogTo some, these laws deal with a problem -- elector/

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Back when I published research on optical ellipsometry, “polarization” seemed an innocent-enough term — and indeed, lately there have been applications that let us peer into the very origins of the universe. Alas though, more and more, we hear talk about a polarizatio

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Is there one thing that an average US citizen can do, right now, to help end the current phase of America’s ongoing civil war?


may-day-pac-lessigOnly a few days are left in the crowd-funding campaign for Lawrence Lessig’s citizen-centered Super Pac: MAYDAY-PAC. Aimed at changing the pla/

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Get ready, because I am about to use a concept from Basic Calculus to reveal to you Americans out there a lie that you’ve been taught to believe - almost all of you. No matter which party you support, you “know” one thing about their attitudes and behavior... how Republicans an

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Those who want to shut down both light and enlightenment 

The Yiddish word "chutzpah" means gall and utterly arrogant nerve. It should be re-spelled to "koch-spah" after this news… that the ever-meddlesome Koch brothers are now funding a major campaign against state efforts to ramp

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Veteran U.S. diplomat and Middle East expert Dennis Ross made some interesting points about President Obama's trip to Saudi Arabia in an L.A. Times editorial: "Next Test for Obama: Soothing the Saudis." He referred to the Saudis biggest concern, the rise of militant Shiite Islam and an axis of Iran-I/… Read full post »

MARCH 14, 2014 5:15PM

Standing Up for Abe Lincoln

I generally approve of Jon Stewart.  Among many reasons: he brings top opposition guests onto his show and argues with them respectfully, hearkening back to the style of William F. Buckley, on Firing Line… only punctuated with a little elevated potty humor. Stewart's mostly-liberal a/… Read full post »

It's important that we all participate on Tuesday, when the Powers of state and oligarchy will measure the strength of our determination!  More on that below…

… but first a couple of transparency-related announcements.

THEWORLDPOST looks like a bold endeavor --/… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 1, 2014 2:51PM

Does Inequality Matter?

During his State of the Union Address, President Obama brought into the open, a topic we've all been mulling, lately… the worrisome rise in wealth and income disparity.  Especially in the U.S., where two generations have grown up under the blithe illusion (unprecedented in human/… Read full post »

JANUARY 27, 2014 6:09PM

Turn Your Heads!

A friend recently asked me to explain our present political insanity, in the United States of America.  Especially, he was puzzled as to why there are elements of anti-science mania on the left (e.g. anti-vaxxers) when the War on Science is clearly in large part an epi-pRead full post »

The authors of The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility, have offered an interesting and balanced article on Politico appraising why so much of the media has become polemical and angry-immature, here and now in the 21st Century.  In Are Americans Addicted toRead full post »

== The Right to Record Police Officers ==

I have called it the most important civil liberties matter in our lifetimes, even though it was hardly covered by the press. In 2013 both the U.S. courts and the Obama Administration declared it to be "settled law" that a citizen has the… Read full post »

Face-recognition has reached your smart phone, bringing science fiction closer and also (I expect) a storm of controversy.

Nametag, an upcoming app for Android, iOS, and Google Glass, will allow you to photograph strangers and find out who they are -- complete with social networking and onl/… Read full post »

JANUARY 1, 2014 9:09PM

A Message for a New Year

… here is a “Brin-Classic”   that I’ve updated as my wish for all of you as we embark upon a new era…

I hope to start 2014* with an upbeat tone -- something bright and hopeful. For, indeed, I am a hopeful kind of guy. I believe in our future. I have/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 29, 2013 12:34PM

Where do we stand - verging on 2014?

On New Years Eve, the Bloomberg system will syndicate worldwide my year-end essay -- more of a scary-provocative story -- about the real meaning of "the fourteenth year." 

== Reasons to believe a better world is possible ==

I have long inveighed against a pair of matched personality fl/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2013 12:29PM

A blue ribbon panel recommends fixing NSA

In the wake of Edward Snowden's revelations about the U.S. Intelligence Community -- and the subsequent storm of protest -- President Obama appointed a blue ribbon commission to survey the situation and report back with recommendations.  Headed by Richard Clarke, chief counterterrorism advi… Read full post »

DECEMBER 23, 2013 11:23AM

Security, Sousveillance and Smart Wigs

== Penetrating the Bubble ==

In my novel EARTH (1989) I spoke about the problem of user bubbles… where internet inhabitants inevitably create filters that allow in materials that agree with their preconceptions and prejudices and exclude inconveniences, even clear refutations. /… Read full post »

The lash-back against the NSA's Snowden-revealed practice -- the "vacuuming" of vast amounts of meta-data about hundreds of millions of people (e.g. phone call traffic analysis) -- has begun.  "U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, in Washington D.C., called the NSA program “almost-Orwellian,&/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 11, 2013 1:04PM

Declare what you own!

The difficulty of maintaining a civilization of empowered citizenship -- the "diamond-shaped social structure" about which I often speak -- was well described by the famous historians  Will and Ariel Durant, in The Lessons of History.  

"…the unstable equilibrium generates a cri/Read full post »

For a decade and more, I have pointed out that Republican members of the Senate and House do not work very hard.  Completely apart from issues of fanaticism or craziness or left-versus-right, there is the quantifiable matter of work ethic. Take for example this item that's much in the/… Read full post »

Bitcoin is very much in the news. In fact, recent headlines -- that the Bitcoin system has experienced a fair number of "heists" lately, combined with the Chinese government's decision to ban banks from trading in the ephemeral digital currency -- combine to make this the topic of the/… Read full post »

Ah… and so we return to the perennial topic that this astrophysicist never would have expected to stand at the center-of. How we should deal with an increasingly information-rich world.

== A Transparency Riff Worth Reading ==

Evgeny Morozov's fascinating rumination in MIT's Technology Review o/… Read full post »

Proxy-Activism-NewIt's the season when many of us sit down and discuss the year's allocations for helping the world… call it giving, tithing, donating, or just joining others in making a better world for our grandchildren, or, as Jonas Salk described our basic duty -- "to be good ancestors."

For those wh… Read full post »

Following up on my previous posting, about the rationalizations of the new aristocracy, this time I plan to reveal to you a pernicious trend among some of society's best and brightest.  But first, will you indulge me with a riff of background?

In Existence,  I portray a grand conf/… Read full post »