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Charlie Stross, Paul Krugman Discuss the Future 127

Peripatetic Entrepreneur writes "At the Science Fiction World Convention in Montreal, Hugo Award winning author Charlie Stross and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman opened the show with a 75-minute, wide-ranging conversation on stage. From flying cars to decoding the genome of the Pacific Ocean to vat-grown Long Pig, it's all there. Audio is also available — video soon."
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Charlie Stross, Paul Krugman Discuss the Future

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  • Mmmm, Long Pig! Tastes just like chicken!

    • Ugh, why would anyone want to grow human flesh intended for consumption? (And no, I'm not going to LTT75MFA (listen to the 75-minute fucking article).)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Zerth ( 26112 )

        It isn't intended for consumption. It's just that if some muscle grafts fail QC for internal use, you might as well fry it up. Plus, PETA has a reward out for "vat grown meat", but they didn't specify the species.

        Human flesh that hasn't been abused for 30 years is probabally quite tasty. Or at least it smells pretty good when cooked by accident, so it might taste good when cooked on purpose.

        Especially if there isn't any same-species viral concerns.

        • Not likely vat grown human will be a legal food source. Long Pork was just word candy; keep in mind the speakers are science fiction authors.

          Even if there are no viral/prion concerns, it'll never happen; at least not in the US. The FDA or USDA would see to that.
          • Not likely vat grown human will be a legal food source.

            If there's some reasoning behind this statement then I'd like to hear it (or even, to read it).

            I have moderate grounds for concern about whether it'd be sensible to mass produce "Long Pig" ("Soylent Pink" to raise another popular SlashDot meme) ; whether my concerns are well-founded I'd leave to the biologists since fossils are more my area of expertise. I'd be concerned that any micro-organism that colonised the Long Pig vats successfully would also b

        • Human flesh that hasn't been abused for 30 years is probabally [sic] quite tasty.

          Good luck finding that on slashdot. Oh right, that's why we need the vat meat!

    • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:44PM (#29019017) Homepage Journal

      Krugman and Stross Transcript

      Paul Krugman (PK). Nobel Prize winning economist and columnist for the New York Times.

      Charlie Stross (CS). Hugo-winning science fiction author.

      Anticipation World Con, Montreal, Quebec
      August 6, 2009

      Transcription by Edwin Steussy, Apogee Communications. Please send corrections to ed âoeatâ my last name âoedotâ com.

      CS: Good evening, weâ(TM)re very pleased to be here and thank you very much for inviting us to talk.

      PK: Yeah, this is different for me, but it should be a lot of fun. ⦠(Set up problems) ⦠What do you really think the world is going to look like, say, 30 years from now?

      CS: Ummm, thereâ(TM)s a very simple answer to that and a misleading one, I think, and the simple answer is unless we are really, really unlucky the world in about 30 years time is going to look more complex. By really, really unlucky â" nuclear war, major plagues or similar â" the world in 30 years time after that is going to look a lot simpler, though not a good way.

      PK: Right. Obviously what Iâ(TM)m thinking about is the technology. Given my perspective â" I was thinking about his coming up â" and thinking that â" maybe it was just my age or something, but things donâ(TM)t seem to have changed as much in the last 30 years as myself as a sci-fi reader would have expected them to. And I donâ(TM)t know if Iâ(TM)m missing something â" kinda that perspective.

      CS: I think things have changed a lot in the last 30 years, but not in the direction that somebody 30 years ago would have expected. The 20th Century, and going back to the 19th Century, the real visible vector of change technologically was transportation speeds. You go back to 1809 and to get across the English Home Counties, the areas around London, you go via stagecoach and it would take you a couple of days to cross them, it would cost you probably about a monthâ(TM)s wages and cause you considerable discomfort. 2009, it costs about the same amount of money, it takes about the same time and the same amount of discomfort to get from here to New Zealand. The whole world has shrunk to the scale of the English Home Counties in 1809 over about two centuries. At the same time weâ(TM)ve gotten used to performance improvements in speed. Thereâ(TM)s this weird sort of political thing in the early 20th Century called air-mindedness. Everybody knew that flight was going to be the next really important technological revolution. They were all trying to find ways of making money from it or using it to demonstrate how important and modern and with-it they were and how on the cutting edge they were â" sort of like computers today with politicians. Who will never pass up a photo-op with a computer even if they donâ(TM)t even know how to type. Now the whole air-mindedness thing, the problem we ran into was ⦠it was sigmoid curve â" we had a slow start, a very rapid period of improvements where we went at about 20 years from biplanes to supersonic jets. And then the curve stopped going up â" it flattened off. And the reason it flattened off is all to do with energy. To go much faster, you need more and more energy inputs. Itâ(TM)s not a linear input increase but virtually an exponential one. We hit a point at which chemical propulsion wouldnâ(TM)t send us any faster. And for a variety of reasons including both engineering and politics, nuclear power wasnâ(TM)t an acceptable answer. And airliners today are slower than they were 20 years ago. However, the big difference is that everyone and his dog flies today, whereas 20 years ago, or 40 years ago more accurately, thatâ(TM)s where the term jet-set came from, its because those were the people who could afford to fly long distances.

      PK: And yet, let me press on. What I kind of expected. Let me show my age here. What you came out believing if you went to the New Yorkâ(TM)s World Fair in 1964 w

    • poof. gone.

      Oh. You were talking about the webpage? For a second there I thought you were talking about the economy...

    • by SethBr ( 1282524 )
      Too many people were grabbing the 50 meg file. The rest are still there (and quite comprehensible).
  • Krugman theorizes that the Third World could develop by providing long term stabilized individual and group labor contracts to multinational corporations. This has the chance to restore profitability and competitiveness while incentivizing labor through different reward systems, like food and shelter, since the money supply is so irrationally tightened in the wake of the AIG mess.

    • by Yaos ( 804128 )
      Paul Krugman is only 200 years behind the rest of the world.
  • I don't think the future of entertainment will be so different than it is today, or even 500 years ago. The medium may change, but that's really about it. Humans like to be entertained, period. Here's an interesting new development in 'moderntainment'; [] which I think could really indicate how people are starting to think about their space and entertainment, and how to make the most of something that even a few years ago was pretty much the preserve o
  • Even the second biggest one (12mb) is only 24kbps / 8000Hz and sounds like crap. And there's 8mb and 4mb versions below that! Surely a single 64kbps 220000Hz stream would of done? :s The large version is here - 96kpbs / 32000Hz.... []
  • I am the Eschaton. I am not your God.
    I am descended from you, and exist in your future.
    Thou shalt not violate causality within my historic light cone. Or else.

    Oh, and The Internet is for porn.
  • Where is my damn jet pack? What about my teleporter?!

  • I unfortunately missed the Friday Stross-Krugman panel (and look forward to seeing/hearing it online) but Krugman also did a solo second panel on Saturday, from science fiction to economics, that totally rocked. I hope that will also become available on the net. A recording of the panel should be recommended viewing for every English speaker just for the short section in that panel on how the map is not the territory. One of the better panels I've seen in a number of years, which showed the guy isn't just

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling