March 27, 2006

Sure, If By "Gentlemanly" You Mean "Howling, Screeching, And 0-19 In Targeted Election Campaigns"

Bruce Sterling gave the closing speech at SXSW earlier this month, which I was listening to as a podcast. Dude has a fairly advanced case of BDS, but the following part made me think. He was bemoaning how cities are having to pay to implement broadband and wireless themselves, saying that the federal government should be doing it.

And I look at wireless spreading in London, and the spread of broadband in Korea. I've got broadband in Serbia, where the phone companies are literally run by criminals in exile. And my broadband in Serbia costs $20 a month - and it works!

Our people in Washington are drinking their own bathwater. They have forgotten how to build anything. They are busy monetizing stuff for their re-election campaigns. It is decadent, it is sclerotic, it looks like the Soviet Union. These guys in power are so eager to monetize the net that they are turning the USA into a banana republic with rockets! Not just politically backward - technically backward! That's the part that's unforgivable.
Which, if you filter out the BDS, basically says "We're at risk of losing our technological superiority if the Federal Government doesn't step in." My first thought, South Park Republican that I am, was "That ain't Washington's job." My second thought was "Well, Washington (mostly) built the Interstates, and that worked fairly well, and NASA work has led directly to a lot of useful things, and of course the Internet exists because the DoD started research leading to it," so I was at least willing to listen further. Then he grunted out this turd:
The reality-based community are fatally easy to push around, mostly because they're so gentlemanly and ladylike, but when you actually ignore reality for years on end, the PAYBACK IS A BITCH, BROTHER! And I should know, because I'm a science fiction writer! [bold emphasis added, caps in original]
and I stopped listening, because if he thinks the 'reality'-based community is "gentlemanly and ladylike," he's got a reality disconnect at least as bad as those he's ranting against.

If you're interested in reading a transcript of the whole thing, you can find it here.


Posted by Chris at March 27, 2006 04:15 PM

Category: Unclear On The Concept