The Dream Team Responds
I have been wondering just what reaction the authors who have been named on our list would have to the proposal. So, I took the wacky approach of, well, asking them.
I’ve corresponded with a few members of our theoretical dream team, at this point, and reprint here their comments (with their permission). The good news is, I’m hearing a fairly consistent response that — at some levels, at least — the idea of bringing ‘creative types’ into the planning process seems to have some traction. The bad news is, it sounds like it has a ways to go.
Actually, it might surprise you how many bright people are thinking along similar lines… and inviting we sci fi types to express thoughts about threats. At the middle and upper-middle level, there are brilliant people in the military and government, deeply concerned and working their butts off. I attended a conference in Washington (as dinner speaker) where several geniuses spun terrifying scenarios.
Alas, (1) it is a complex world and we make a big/complex target (2) our leadership is not very smart.
Your concern is the same one that motivated my nonfiction book The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? Only in a mostly open society will commonfolk stand a chance of holding the mighty – or the dangerous – accountable.
You can find The Transparent Society at Amazon, of course. I’ve been aware of it for a long time, and I am now consumed with guilt for having not yet read it. The shame!
Greg Bear responded with the following note:
Cool name! And thanks for posting the nomination. Truth is, I was in Washington a few weeks ago attending a conference on bioterrorism, so there are some folks listening.
The rest of the list is terrific. There are some sad spots, however–Harry Stine died a couple of years ago.
Yup, Mr. Stine’s passing has been noted. And I of course tip my hat to Mr. Bear for the compliment on my nom de plume.
I’m still waiting on a whole bunch of other inquiries I’ve sent, and I’ll of course post appropriate replies here as I receive them. Also: I have not attempted to contact every name on our list; mainly those whose work I am familiar with personally. If you’d like to attempt to contact someone yourself, please go right ahead, but drop me a line first to ensure that I haven’t already sent them a message. Mailbombing our dream team is impolite.