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Spider Robinson Bitches About "The Future"
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Via MarsBlog, via Instapundit, here's an editorial from SF writer Spider Robinson in the Globe.

Basically, it's one big bitch session about how Robinson feels cheated by this early millenium, ripped off of the promises of utopia, presumably from the early days of reading and writing sci-fi.

I want my money back. War, plague and pestilence (think SARS) -- this millennium sucks.

I'm a science-fiction writer: I look forward by training and inclination. Future equals good.

Well, that's pretty damned simplistic. Some things get better, others get worse. On the whole, though, I think he's right. I think the net level of education, of freedom, of rights, among your average world citizen has continued to increase steadily, even moreso going into the 21st century.

Robinson says he's forward-looking, but he certainly seems to be pining for the past. His piece, hardly illuminating or insightful, recycles the same basic shit some people have been saying since they huddled around the campfires, "The world's going to hell in a handbasket."

Yeah, thanks for the news flash, Spider.

There has been war, but there has also been the destruction of two horrible regimes, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein's horrorfest. Admonitions to the contrary, it would be hard for things to be worse than they were under either of these governments.

And for the destruction being wreaked by AIDS, and the uncertainty of SARS, there are vast new vistas in biotechnology unfolding before our eyes, with advances in stem cell research and genetics possibly leading to a new, powerful generation of drugs and treatments.

I wouldn't dare try to convince anyone that everything's rosy all over, but those that look at the world and only see the bad, who cast aside all hope for a bleak, trudging pessimism, are doing so willfully, instead of truly representing the state of things.

The other day on Greg van Eekhout's blog there was a discussion of bitter newbies which then shifted to talking about bitter middle-aged writers. I have noticed a strange strain of virulent Ludditism, resentment, and disappointment in some aging SF writers, who, feeling cheated by the promise of early SF, become borderline technophobes pining for "the good ol' days".

If I ever get like that, having lost all perspective, unable to realize that each human era is essentially a mixed bag...I grant you all permission to slap me silly.

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