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.
Brin, who has a relevant web site here, replied with the following:
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.