Regular readers will be aware that I venerate Captain* Bruce Sterling as not only a damn fine author but also one of the greatest minds on the face of the planet. OK, so he’s never invented a new type of engine, or solved Fermat’s last theorem or anything like that, but he’s a synthesist; he can pull together all the disparate threads of the world and weave you a big scary rug from them – a rug with a pattern that makes sense.
If you want the proof, go and listen to a recording of Sterling speaking at the SXSW Interactive festival earlier this week. He talks about blogs, crowdsourcing, computers as unreliable platforms, climate change, terrorism and a whole raft of other stuff, and it’s all part of one continuous flowing thing. He’s a big-picture guy, and pretty damn funny at times to. Give up an hour, sit down and listen. I challenge you to not be challenged by the things he says.
[*As far as I know, the only person in the world who refers to Bruce Sterling as ‘Captain’ is me. I expect if I met him, and called him ‘Captain’, he’d have some very short sharp words to say. I wouldn’t care. I am not old enough to be completely beyond certain forms of hero-worship and placing-upon-pedestals.]