An Interview With Margaret Atwood

Climate fiction, or “cli fi,” can be a dreary genre. Storytellers like to make a grim business of climate change, populating their narratives with a humorless onslaught of death, destruction, drowned monuments, and starving children. Margaret Atwood is the conspicuous exception, somehow managing to tackle the subject, including these familiar elements, with deadpan wit and an irreverent playfulness, making it both more interesting and believable. The flood is coming, her MaddAddam trilogy promises, but there is hope.

Project Hieroglyph Book Launch: Phoenix, AZ

Launch event for Project Hieroglyph’s first anthology, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (HarperCollins, 2014) at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ on October 22, 2014.

What if Computers Know You Better Than You Know Yourself?

I recently read about the launches of both an “ultrasecure” mobile phone for protecting privacy and a clip-on camera that takes a picture of everything you do at 30-second intervals. Our cultural relationship with data is more complicated and contradictory than it has ever been, and our debates on the subject almost always center on privacy. But privacy, the notion that only you should be able to control information about yourself, cloaks a deeper tension between information and meaning, between databases and insights.

ASTC 2013 Keynote – A Conversation with Neal Stephenson

The Association of Science-Technology Centers, a global organization of science centers and museums dedicated to increasing public engagement with science, hosted their annual conference for 2013 in Albuquerque, NM. Neal Stephenson and Ed Finn participated in a keynote dialog on October 21 about Project Hieroglyph, founded by Neal and headquartered at ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination.

During the conversation, Neal and Ed discuss the history and mission of Project Hieroglyph and Neal’s Tall Tower project, the power of storytelling to inspire people about science and technology, and the ongoing tension between dystopian thinking and Project Hieroglyph’s quest for thoughtfully optimistic visions of the future. The conversation was moderated by Alex Zwissler, Executive Director and CEO of the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, CA.

Don Marinelli

Edutainment Wizard and Creative Conjurer

Don Marinelli, Ph.D., is the co-founder of the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), together with the late Randy Pausch of “The Last Lecture ” fame. Dr. Marinelli’s book, “The Comet and the Tornado” recounts the coming together of a drama professor and a computer scientist to create the unique educational vision that is the ETC.