Some follow-up notes on my earlier post about Hieroglyph.
First off, I'm just as fed up as anyone else is with SF as a "wet blanket", as someone else put it. I do not believe the point of SF is to talk obsessively and commiseratively about how much the future is going to suck.
But I also don't think the point of SF is to talk about how great the future would be if only we invented this or that. The two are, I think, manifestations of the same mindset at different extremes. One is naïve optimism; the other, naïve cynicism.
There's a middle way between those two that combines both vision and skepticism, and very little such SF has ever been produced. I would further wager that very little of it will ever be produced (Sturgeon's Law), because of the gravitational pull that both extremes exert on someone trying to walk that path.
I should not have made it seem like I did not want a project like Hieroglyph to be produced at all, only that I'm skeptical of how useful it'll be if it amounts to little more than a shill for a bunch of things that haven't been sold yet.
ADDENDUM TO THE ADDENDUM: Regarding Cory Doctorow - I apologize for the acid tone of my earlier statements about his work. That said, I still plan to read the book and see how his work and everyone else's holds up in the light of what I mentioned. I'd honestly like to have my gut feelings proven wrong here.
Other Lives Of The Mind