Charlie Stross: May 2007 Archives

Tories to defend Blair's Legacy

Press Association
Wednesday May 30, 2007 3:23 AM

The Tory leadership will risk infuriating traditionalists further by claiming that they - and not Gordon Brown - are the true defenders of Tony Blair's legacy.

With the ink still drying on the resignation of a front-bencher who would not toe the line on grammar schools, shadow chancellor George Osborne is to say that the party agrees with the current Prime Minister on the "essentials of the way forward" for public services.

Evil elves have clearly abducted the spirit of British politics and replaced it with a red-headed changeling with three eyes and a Martian accent.

Can anyone imagine the reaction if in 1990 Neil Kinnock had declared that he was the true heir to Margaret Thatcher's legacy, not that milquetoast left-winger John Major?

(NB: In case there was any ambiguity in where I'm coming from, this posting does not mean I'm about to start voting Conservative — or Labour. It just means I'm standing in the Tom Lehrer corner. Normal service will be resumed once I sober up from the surrealism trip ...)

Galley proofs on HALTING STATE to process, while continuing to write SATURN'S CHILDREN. Nothing to see here, move along ...

(I'll be back when I have something to say and time to say it, in other words.)

(One of the things that goes with being an SF writer is that people expect you to talk about, well, the future. Last week, engineering consultancy TNG Technology Consulting invited me to Munich to address one of their technology open days. Here's a transcript of my talk, which discusses certain under-considered side effects of some technologies that you're probably already becoming familiar with. Note that this is a long blog entry — even by my verbose standards — so you'll need to hit on the "continue reading" link to see the whole thing.)

Good afternoon, and thank you for inviting me here today. I understand that you're expecting a talk about where the next 20 years are taking us, how far technology will go, how people will use the net, and whether big shoulder pads and food pills will be fashionable. Personally, I'm still waiting for my personal jet car — I've been waiting about fifty years now — and I mention this as a note of caution: while personal jet cars aren't obviously impossible, their non-appearance should give us some insights into how attempts to predict the future go wrong.

I'm a science fiction writer by trade, and people often think that means I spend a lot of time trying to predict possible futures. Actually, that's not the job of the SF writer at all — we're not professional futurologists, and we probably get things wrong as often as anybody else. But because we're not tied to a specific technical field we are at least supposed to keep our eyes open for surprises.

So I'm going to ignore the temptation to talk about a whole lot of subjects — global warming, bioengineering, the green revolution, the intellectual property wars — and explain why, sooner or later, everyone in this room is going to end up in Wikipedia. And I'm going to get us there the long way round ...



About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by Charlie Stross in May 2007.

Charlie Stross: April 2007 is the previous archive.

Charlie Stross: June 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog