DAVID BRIN's speculations about the future

David Brin is best-known for shining light — plausibly and entertainingly — on technology, society, and countless challenges confronting our rambunctious civilization. His best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. Other novels are translated into 25+ languages. His short stories explore vividly speculative ideas.

Brin's 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.

As a scientist, tech-consultant and world-known author, he speaks, advises, and writes widely on topics from national defense and homeland security to astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction, creativity, and philanthropy. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications.

Here are net-accessible articles, interviews, and essays predicting and pondering how we can create outstanding near & far futures.

Is it the future we want?

Or the one we let others create? Does the universe have plans of its own?

artificial intelligence

get ready for artificial intelligence!

What will happen as we enter the era of human augmentation, artificial intelligence and government-by-algorithm? Will we see the explosive or exponential transitions predicted by Vernor Vinge (who gave 'singularity' its modern meaning), as championed by Google chief technologist Ray Kurzweil?

the art of propaganda

let's uplift ourselves first!

Will bitter ideological rifts dominate the 21st Century, as they did the 20th? Or might we shrug off some of the obsolete intellectual baggage we've inherited from past thinkers who (in fact) knew much less than we do now? David Brin's questionnaire regarding ideology and human destiny pokes at the deeper assumptions that underlie the many assumptions we take for granted.

David Brin at Google Headquarters

exploring above, improving below

Here's one SciFi Author's take on space technology innovations in the near and distant future, presented at Vint Cerf's Space Technology Innovations Conference at Google Headquarters.

Brin predicts 2050

making a different 2050

What technologies will make a difference in the future? This you-tube interview with David Brin takes us on a Journey into 2050 and is part of the Futurium Talking Futures interview series.

predictions saved

screening out the alarmists & pundits

Can we uncover who is anticipating new, un-dreamed of threats — and listen to them, instead? Brin worked to establish Predictions Registries, a method that might help us identify new oracles, to better "score" the credibility of those who want us to trust their vision of tomorrow. (Readers maintain a Predictions Registry page that tracks hits and misses for Earth.)

Brin at Tedx in San Diego

what's next? the horizon of our dreams

Fifty years from now, will we have destroyed the world? Or saved it? It's not too soon to ask. If we don't give serious thought to our trajectory as a global society, if we spend too much time looking backward nostalgically rather than ahead thoughtfully, we will succumb to our worst or most fearful selves.

Brave New World original cover detail

are we raising a generation of Lindberghs and Earharts?

We are ready for the dawn of a new era, one of private space ventures. And, fortunately, the politicians seem perfectly ready to welcome non-state activity. We may, at last, be ready to embark on the equivalent of the the great age of "barnstorming" aircraft development, that our grandparents saw in the 1920s, when risk — and even some loss — was considered part and parcel of courage and exploration.

Startide Rising cover

should we upgrade the intelligence of animals?

This article (by George Dvorsky) discusses the promising scientific innovation that "... scientists have successfully enhanced the intelligence of rhesus monkeys using a brain implant, albeit temporarily.... Ongoing advancements in pharmacology, genetics, and cybernetics hold huge promise for the further development of 'uplift' technologies."

resilience is people power

is the age of amateurs upon us?

Throughout the 20th Century, the trend in our culture was monotonic, toward ever-increasing reliance on protection and coddling by institutions, formally deliberated procedures and official hired guns. Of course it’s too early to forecast a major counter-trend. But indications are provocative. Advances in technology seem to be rapidly empowering average citizens, even as professional cynics forecast freedom’s demise.

philanthropy's future ambitions

encouraging billionaires (& trillionaires) to invest in the future

Widespread interest has been generated by Brin's concept, outlined in "Horizons and Hope: the Future of Philanthropy, of an "Eye of the Needle" (EON) Foundation. EON proposes an entirely new kind of proactive charitable institution, one that offers the super-wealthy (and us, too) a unique incentive: Invest now in a brighter tomorrow.

David Brin's internet connections

the future role of the internet

In this YouTube video, David Brin looks at a moment when we did something right — when we unleashed the internet to the world. Can we continue to create new agile systems to adapt to an ever-changing future, enabled by a growing age of amateurs?

resilience and anticipation

the future of resilience

In each of the last six centuries, the West was shaken by new technologies that transformed three things — vision, memory and attention — providing human beings with greatly augmented powers that thereupon triggered crises of confidence. Must change be so disruptive?

funding the future

can crowds make smart decisions?

Author David Brin on the rise of crowdsourcing platforms. He discusses how the human brain creates and tests a gedankenexperiment, a 'thought experiment' to explore the future consequences of our actions.

alliances for the future

strategic desiderata

Might believers in modernity find ways to break free of the doctrinal rigidity that has been imposed on us by fanatics of both the so-called Left and the so-called Right? Is it possible to negotiate a list of needs and wants that all can stand behind?

prophets and losses

prophecy as political manipulation

Proclamations of doom — and deliverance from its negative effects — are perennial flowers which have sprouted whenever turmoil causes nations and peoples to feel uncertain about the future. For example, King Croesus bribed the Delphic Oracle for good news, so the priests told him what he wanted to hear — if he marched on Persia he would destroy a great empire. He marched, and the empire he destroyed was his own.

Continue reading more articles, interviews, and speeches about the future.

a brief intro to science fiction author DAVID BRIN

To learn more, visit his books page, or see his "about me" page or detailed biography.



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

shorter fiction

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

Contrary Brin blog

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

social media influencer

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 scientist


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

transparency expert

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

speaker & consultant

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 300 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings. Learn More

future/tech advisor

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 appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More

Contacting BRIN

All the Ways in the World to Reach David Brin

an ornery, contrary BLOG, and other insightful wormholes!

Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's incendiary posts on science, sci-fi and politics and its engaged, opinionated community poke at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate — and infuriate. See for yourself, and if you like — subscribe for more.

Questions? Concerns? Email DAVID BRIN at mail@davidbrin.com


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pages about DAVID BRIN

  • latest news and activities
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  • speaking/consulting references and testimonials & a list of past appearances
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  • Brin's novels and books
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  • all about Brin's uplift universe
  • a selection of book reviews
  • Brin's special-order books for sale
  • Brin's advice for new writers
  • Brin reviews sci fi films — including The Postman
  • a compilation of great sf books to read
  • recommended sf films
  • science fiction that teaches
  • BRIN's nonfiction explorations

  • privacy, security, accountability and transparency
  • designing and crafting our amazing 21st Century
  • predicting and projecting our near and far future
  • leading and following our politics and economy
  • keeping track of changes in science and technology
  • scanning our sky for habitable (inhabited?) worlds