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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

William Gibson: the Rolling Stone interview.

In the past ten years, we've seen incredible advances in nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Does any of it amaze you?

My assumption has always been that at some point we would lock on to a literally exponential increase in human knowledge. That was my best guess, somewhere back in the Seventies. There hasn't been anything that made me sit back and say, "Golly, I would never have imagined that." The aspects of recent history that have caused me to do that have been, in every case, manifestations of retrograde human stupidity.

How do you mean?

It's been an extraordinarily painful decade or so. I just never in my wildest dreams could have imagined that it could get as fucked up as this guy [George Bush]. It still amazes me how dumb so much of our species can manage to be. But that's kind of like being amazed at life.

Does any of it scare you? A new synthetic life form or nanobot running amok?

That could happen. It could all go to gray goo. But it just isn't in my nature to buy a lot of canned food and move to Alaska and try to escape the gray goo.