David Brin's best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. His award-winning novels and short stories explore vividly speculative ideas through a hard-science lens. His nonfiction book, The Transparent Society, won the American Library Association's Freedom of Speech Award for exploring 21st Century concerns about security, secrecy, accountability and privacy.
Is there no way we know what the future is going to be like? In this Fast Forward video, Brin describes how science fiction designs thought experiments to make educated guesses.
David Brin's second short screenplay submission, Diaspora, was selected as the Los Angeles Feedback Film Festival's "Best Short Screenplay" for January. His first submission, "Bargain," won the Festival's one-page Screenplay Contest in December. Both scripts are performed and posted online. Watch Bargain and Diaspora on YouTube.
What criteria do you use to judge whether or not you like a movie? Or a novel for that matter? We all have our standards, considering issues such as story-telling, consistency of plot, whether the work is dramatic enough, whether the characters seem plausible or believable. But there’s one you never hear mentioned, and that is civilization. It’s the context within which we all live. It’s what we depend upon for our daily life, our food, our electricity... for the livelihood that enables us to be able to buy movie tickets! So why is civilization almost never a topic, never a character in our films? Indeed, the assumption that civilization is useless dominates most films, because it makes it easy to put your hero in pulse-pounding jeopardy.
Watch this speech delivered at Bard College's Hannah Arendt Center. Brin notes that wanting to preserve privacy is only the beginning: We look for Big Brothers in government and universities and corporations yet fail to see the ones living next door.
This roundtable at the Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-DC) and the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center discusses the dramatically-reduced cost of collecting and sharing information. It has become easier to track what companies and governments are doing; whistleblowers and malicious hackers alike can disseminate huge quantities of confidential information. Are we seeing an inevitable trend towards transparency? Or will companies, organizations and governments find ways to lock down their networks?
In this talk, "Will Artificial Intelligence occur by design, evolution, accident... or at all?" given to the 'braniacs' at World of Watson: IBM conf, in Las Vegas, Brin asks: given all the critical problems we need to solve very soon — on land, in the upper atmosphere, and in our seas — will we create the artificial intelligences we will need?
Trekspertise just released a beautiful, image-rich video accompaniment of a talk I gave about "What Is Science Fiction?"
In this YouTube video, two renowned futurists, David Brin and John Smart, discuss what inventions and adventures await us in the next 40 years.
Will we supply our own new diversity? Suppose we don't meet aliens. Might we satisfy our thirst for "otherness" anyway, by widening the range of who "we" are? Incorporating intelligences that are artificial, or human variants, or uplifted animals? Watch Brin's assumption-shattering talk at the Smithsonian, May 2014. (Here are the slides that accompany the talk!)
David Brin and epic SF novelist and AI theoretician Ramez Naam join the King of Scenarios about the future, Peter Schwartz, onstage at the Dreamforce Conference in San Francisco to discusswhat lies beyond tomorrow.
The Augmented World Expo posted Brin's talk about what we will see in augmented and virtual reality over the next 40 years.
Can we pause the current trend of cynical pessimism long enough to solve a few of our more pressing problems?
David Brin speaks to the Internet Society about how to discover errors before they happen.
Earth isn't a vast utopia, it is just us — more reasonable than our ancestors, perhaps. We definitely raised better grandchildren. How will they manage the planet? Will they expand into the solar system?
Adam Ford interviewed Brin at LosCon39 in Los Angeles, asking him if there's a utopia in our future, among other topics.
In this video I discuss the economics of space exploration. Every decade since the 1940s, some scientific breakthrough (or several) enabled the U.S. to stay rich and vibrant enough to then spend it all in the Great Buying Spree that propelled world prosperity and created a world-majority Middle Class. That is, every decade except the first decade of the 21st Century, amid the calamitous War on Science.
At Planetfest 2012, David Brin addresses the questions, "Will we see a new burst in planetary exploration?" and "With all the cameras, why don't we have better photos of the little green men?"
In this online tech-show, Future First (by Popular Science), David Brin and NASA director Jason Crusan are asked "Where are all the aliens?" Their answers encompass the Fermi Paradox, pondering why we seem — so far — to be alone.
See MTV's interview of David Brin during the 2012 WorldCon, where he talks about why more earth species haven't uplifted naturally. Is there a sentience "glass ceiling"?
Here's a talk Brin gave at a recent Singularity Summit addressing the question: How can an optimistic futurist reassure those alarmed by talk of transcendence and life extension?
The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD recently held a panel discussion on "The Physics of Free Will." Astrophysicists Brian Keating, Andrew Friedman and David Brin discussed what modern physics — including "entanglement" and the time-history of inflation and the Big Bang — has to say about the concept of free will, including perspectives from the foundations of quantum mechanics, cosmology, and speculations about the role of of conscious observers in the cosmos.
This 10 minute video about transparency and the Internet Miracle is an excerpt from an interview Brin gave a European television station during the recent conference (in Lithuania) on the digital future. Another excerpt explains the most difficult concept of the information age: that we should stop whining about how much elites can see, and instead be militant about looking back at them.
In September 2012, David helped dedicate a new Engineering Building at UCSD, along with luminaries from as far away as Bauhaus University. His talk focused on the building's deliberate collaboration between science and art, a melding predicted 50 years ago by CP Snow and essential to our Enlightenment. Watch the video — or read the speech.
Brin is video-interviewed on Fast Forward: Why haven't we heard from aliens? What explains the Great Silence? And why we haven't found any extraterrestrial neighbors yet?
What are the chances of an advanced extraterrestrial civilization? In this video interview with The Daily Galaxy, David Brin comments on the Great Silence, the Fermi Paradox, and intelligent life in the universe.
David Brin's science fiction novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More
Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor, and Brin's short stories and novellas, several of which earned Hugo and other awards, exploit that difference to explore a wider range of real and vividly speculative ideas. Many have been selected for anthologies and reprints, and most have been published in anthology form. Learn More
Since 2004, David Brin has maintained a blog about science, technology, science fiction, books, and the future — themes his science fiction and nonfiction writings continue to explore. Learn More
Who could've predicted that social media — indeed, all of our online society — would play such an important role in the 21st Century — restoring the voices of advisors and influencers! Lively and intelligent comments spill over onto Brin's social media pages. Learn More
David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More
Brin's non-fiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?, continues to receive acclaim for its accuracy in predicting 21st Century concerns about online security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. Learn More
Brin speaks plausibly and entertainingly about trends in technology and society to audiences willing to confront the challenges that our rambunctious civilization will face in the decades ahead. He also talks about the field of science fiction, especially in relation to his own novels and stories. To date he has presented at more than 200 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings.Learn More
Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was cited as one of the top 10 writers the AI elite follow. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More
Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's community pokes at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate and infuriate.
"Brin is a physicist of note who has been a NASA consultant, and he knows how to turn the abstractions of particle physics into high adventure.... He excels at the essential craft of the page-turner, which is to devise an elegantly knotted plot that yields a richly variegated succession of high-impact adventures undergone by an array of believably heroic characters."
— Thomas M. Disch, EW.com
"Brin's canny sensitivity about the complexities of human nature transcends gender barriers in a novel that is not so much about 'women's issues' as the necessity for change and variability. As in Earth ( LJ 4/15/90), the author demonstrates his ability to empathize with all his characters. This complex and gripping tale belongs in most libraries."
— Library Journal
"Brin is a fantastic author, who has created a dense, complex futureverse with generally amusing alien races and uplifted Earth races, who amuse even during the most dramatic events. The crux of the story is how does mankind carve out an autonomous existence in the face of alien races with much more advanced technology? Who assists them and what odds do they overcome to succeed?"
— Amazon.com customer review
"David, thank you for letting us interview you! Your insights added a great deal to the show, as you can see from how often we put you on-screen. I hope the show finds you a ton of new readers. Please thank your family for letting us invade your home. It was an honor to work with you. I hope we have a chance to work together or talk in the future."