Writer and futurist Michael Lindemann postulated on what life might be like in the year 2035, when he appeared as the main guest on Tuesday night. His novel Excelsior which has just been published under his pen name Michael Paul, explores a variety of future developments which Lindemann based on geopolitical trends and realistic extrapolations.
The field of biotechnology will drive many of these changes. We'll be able to increasingly rid ourselves of diseases and birth defects and "human cloning will be a fact of life," Lindemann said. In this brave new world, if for instance, there are a hundred clones that are virtually identical, he suggested they may develop unusual psychological profiles. Bioweaponry will continue to evolve, and new generations of designs will attempt to target specific populations, Lindemann projected.
Commercial space travel (likely to arrive prior to 2025), is something investors like Robert Bigelow have been backing, Lindemann said. While he estimated the cost of a week's vacation at a space hotel would run $15,000 to $20,000, new types of transportation may make such trips readily available.
It was the summer of 1998 when the image of the "grey" alien seemed to cross the mass market threshold and could be found appearing on everything from cardboard plates, Bic pens, cups, party hats, napkins, table cloths, gift wrap, lottery tickets, bumper stickers, games, balloons, and lollipops.
In documenting this phenomenon in an article for SF Weekly.com titled Zap Crackle Pop: Aliens in Pop Culture, I had occasion to interview tonight's guest Michael Lindemann. The image of the grey "has the penetrating simplicity required of all good cultural icons," said Lindemann, who at the time was the editor of the highly respected UFO information source, CNI News.
But was the ubiquity of the alien face more than just that years' "it" graphic design? Were unseen tentacles pulling the strings, preparing us for a great disclosure? "There is no direct proof of an orchestrated public awareness/conditioning campaign," Lindemann told me. "But," he went on to say, "if I were in charge of maintaining public order in the face of possible or impending alien revelations, I would do exactly what I see happening -- create a profusion of somewhat conflicting but mutually reinforcing images --good aliens, bad aliens, silly aliens, scary aliens, serious aliens, scientific aliens, comic-book aliens, conspiracy aliens, etc.--, all aimed at producing a general trend in public awareness that both informs and desensitizes, to the effect: Of course they're here. We already know that. So what?"
Spin analyst John M. Curtis joined George in the first hour of Tuesday's program, offering commentary on the recent deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein.The killing of Saddam's sons was "a huge boost for the Bush administration," whose approval ratings had recently fallen, Curtis pointed out. He speculated the Hussein brothers' penchant for living lavishly may have contributed to their demise, as they may have been unwilling to hide out or sequester themselves in caves or tunnels.
Bumper music from Tuesday July 22, 2003