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San Diego Futurist Imagines End Of Personal Privacy

San Diego Futurist Imagines End Of Personal Privacy

GUESTS:

David Brin, co-editor, "Chasing Shadows"

Stephen Potts, co-editor, "Chasing Shadows"

Transcript

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Tor Books

The book cover for "Chasing Shadows," a science fiction anthology edited by David Brin and Stephen Potts.

When President Trump's advisor Kellyanne Conway used the term "alternate facts" to describe a falsehood about the inauguration turnout, a lot of people began hearing echoes of a 20th Century literary masterpiece.

George Orwell's "1984" alerted readers to the dangers of modern autocratic surveillance and "newspeak," a language that could no longer refer to opposing political ideas. Conways's comments led to a spike in demand for the book.

Now a new compilation of short stories takes Orwell's concept of "Big Brother" one step further. What happens when technological advances let us see and hear almost everything about the people around us? Will we become a society of "Little Brothers", constantly watching each other?

Science fiction writer and futurist David Brin co-edited the collection, called "Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World." Unlike most dystopian fiction, he wanted the stories to consider what happens when information floods the world, but citizens share in the power, not just government.

"If light floods everywhere, what happens to neighbors? Will we develop habits to leave people alone? Will shy people be able to even survive?" Brin said. "A lot of the stories are about fighting back."

UC San Diego literature professor Stephen Potts co-edited "Chasing Shadows." He and Brin join KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday with more on what could happen in a society without privacy.

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