Neal Stephenson’s Past, Present, and Future

I finally got around to reading the Reason interview with Neal Stephenson.

It is quite obvious to me that the U.S. is turning away from all of this. It has been the case for quite a while that the cultural left distrusted geeks and their works; the depiction of technical sorts in popular culture has been overwhelmingly negative for at least a generation now. More recently, the cultural right has apparently decided that it doesn’t care for some of what scientists have to say. So the technical class is caught in a pincer between these two wings of the so-called culture war. Of course the broad mass of people don’t belong to one wing or the other. But science is all about diligence, hard sustained work over long stretches of time, sweating the details, and abstract thinking, none of which is really being fostered by mainstream culture. Since our prosperity and our military security for the last three or four generations have been rooted in science and technology, it would therefore seem that we’re coming to the end of one era and about to move into another.

Kottke goes pro

Jason Kottke is quitting his job to blog full-time. He’ll support himself with reader donations. Normally, I’m not very enthusiastic about people trying to make money off of their personal blogs. To be honest, very few blogs seem good enough to be something for which I’d pay money or endure advertising. I’m even iffy about the text ads in the Boing Boing RSS feed. But in the roughly six years that I’ve been reading and writing blogs, kottke.org has been the most consistently interesting personal blog I’ve found, nearly every post is worth reading and pondering. So go start reading and toss Jason a few bucks, you won’t be disappointed.