Thursday, December 20, 2007

BLDGBLOG interviews Kim Stanley Robinson

Posted by goatchurch at 3:05 AM
Go read it!

Some highlights:
Robinson: It’s a failure of imagination to think that climate change is going to be an escape from jail – and it’s a failure in a couple of ways.

For one thing, modern civilization, with six billion people on the planet, lives on the tip of a gigantic complex of prosthetic devices – and all those devices have to work. The crash scenario that people think of, in this case, as an escape to freedom would actually be so damaging that it wouldn’t be fun. It wouldn’t be an adventure. It would merely be a struggle for food and security, and a permanent high risk of being robbed, beaten, or killed... People who fail to realize that… I’d say their imaginations haven’t fully gotten into this scenario... [P]eople kind of shrug and think: a) there’s nothing we can do about it, or b) maybe the next generation will be clever enough to figure it out. So on we go...

It’s almost as if a science fiction writer’s job is to represent the unborn humanity that will inherit this place – you’re speaking from the future and for the future. And you try to speak for them by envisioning scenarios that show them either doing things better or doing things worse – but you’re also alerting the generations alive right now that these people have a voice in history.

The future needs to be taken into account by the current system, which regularly steals from it in order to pad our ridiculous current lifestyle.
His comments lead strikingly on from this morning's rant over at the Myron Ebell Climate -- (chronicling his part in the suicide of the human species). Oh, and for a bonus he's seen through the nonsense of economic growth:
...the whole thing comes out of a kind of spiral: if only you could consume more, you’d be happier. But it isn’t true... [You] fall down a rabbit hole, pursuing a destructive and high carbon-burn activity, when [you] could just go out for a walk, or plant a garden, or sit down at a table with a friend and drink some coffee and talk for an hour. All of these unboosted, straight-forward primate activities are actually intensely satisfying to the totality of the mind-body that we are.
So pay attention all you Science Fiction writers of the future. This is the future, so put aside your time machines, talking robots, and so forth, and tell us what it's really going to be like. BLDGBLOG already has a warning for you not to be seduced by liberation hydrology, but I don't think we need that yet at the rate we're going, do we?

BLDGBLOG really has a lot to offer. What it needs, though, is a random article button to make it easier to dip into all that goodness.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice. Thanks for posting, I always enjoy news about KSR.

Oh, and your blog too....

12/21/2007 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also see his tour de force presentation about climate change given at Google:

12/22/2007 02:12:00 AM  
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