Feb 13th 2017 by dawfragman • 12 Questions • 4306 Points
My bio: Three years ago I decided to get into the fight of preparing children for the workforce of tomorrow. I ran and won a seat on a School Board in Hampton Roads. In that time I've learned a lot about local Education and championed causes that I think make our community a better place.
The Department of Education has limited influence on k-12 education. Local leaders, such as members of the local School Board, make a surprisingly large number of decisions in public education. I believe that public education is the most efficient path to the American dream.
Proof: Here is post on my public facebook page for proof.
If you have any further questions, you can follow or like me on facebook. To be a leader of the people I need to hear from the people, so ask me questions.
EDIT: I want to thank everyone for participating in my AMA. This was a great experience for me to connect with all of you. I plan to do another AMA in June 2017. Want another AMA sooner? Just write a comment on this facebook post. I hope that I was able to give all of you the insight you need to make change in your local schools. I know from talking with school board members from around the country that school boards really want to hear from people in the community. The government should be made up of ordinary people like me and you. Engage with your local leaders and it will be.
To David ... First, what are your plans to continue books in the Uplift universe, and do you have plans for a sequel to Glory Season?
And second, how would you contrast your vision of near future Earth in 'Earth' with your view on near future now, especially after current election. I always loved your idea of requiring people to consume certain amount of news before they are allowed to vote, but in current (apparent) propaganda war, would this even be feasible, with all the echo chambers?
You should take a few minutes and explore r/personalfinance. You'll encounter countless young Americans who are clearly ill-equipped for life beyond school. Most do not understand basic budgeting, let alone tax code. Many run into financial distress before they turn 30. How does your local school district teach our tax code and budgeting to students? What sort of programs are available to the students that prepare them for managing debt and their personal finance?
Hi Janareta. I am a little way into my big Uplift Book returning to Creideiki and the folks I abandoned on that planet long ago. (I am getting death threats from my 35 year old former self!) I have lots of sequel notes for Glory Season, Postman etc but none of those will happen till I get the self-duplicator from KILN PEOPLE! ;-) -- But I have two new books! INSISTENCE OF VISION and CHASING SHADOWS! See more at http://www.davidbrin.com -- db
Financial Literacy is actually an integral part of the curriculum in our schools. In fact, Menchville and Woodside high schools were named 2015-2016 W!SE blue Star Schools for their students' performance on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Test. The national certification test is given to high school students upon completion of the personal finance course. To earn the Blue Star designation, students attending the school must achieve a 75% pass rate on the test with either a majority of students at a given grade level taking the test or an average score of 80% or higher by students who take the test.
I'm the guy who put your video on /r/videos!
My only question is around what age did you start to drum and play guitar at the same time?
Miniature nukes. How the heck can we not allow or, perhaps, contain them?
Hello. Just wanted to say we aren't ignoring your comment, but rather, answering are appearing below, along with other comments. Thank you for your input! -- C.A>
Secretary Devos wants the Federal Government to establish Charter Schools, which I think violates the 10th amendment US Constitution. The constitution of Virginia gives local school boards the authority to establish Charter schools. I think that authority should remain with a local body so that Charter schools can be customized to the localities they serve. In Newport News we have a great charter school because the school board worked with the community to establish a winning model. Devos is advocating an over reach by the Federal government. So I'm not excited about the new Devos administration.
What's your take on the the time frame for practical fusion energy generation? Is it something that will be unnecessary by the time it's possible?
Boss Super Octave pedal is next on my want list after a Crybaby wah pedal
I might be a little (a lot) behind. I keep wondering what scientists know that makes them so convinced that the barriers are political instead of practical. Is the math already worked out? Because I thought that they were still trying to figure out how to contain the reaction for an extended duration. Is it really just a matter of testing what they are already fairly certain of?
FYI. Saw Catherine speak at WorldCon(ChiCon) in 2012. Turns out your EM Drive info was quite solid. :D
A one man band? Was juggling not enough? Did you want to get weirder with it?
The disinformation you open with is not exactly new, tho... we just give it different name. But point taken. @David, in Existence there was no mention of any 'information gatekeeping' function within the information infrastructure everyone accesses every moment of the day. Do you assume this can be fixed? And if so, with algorithms or crowdsourcing?
Constructive criticism here. My time in Virginia schools in Chesapeake (Grassfield) 2007-2011 was inundated by SOL's that rarely challenged the knowledge base of students and frequently were laughed at as jokes of the system. They were a complete downplay of how intelligent the students were and shaped classrooms to be less effective than previous years. I hope that now the bar has been set higher. Plenty of students coasted because the bar had been set so low.
Ah, can't juggle. Had to figure up somethin else.
I'm not sure I completely agree. There is an importance nuance.
Inventing and innovating is at the core of societies ability to adapt. And this is a somewhat private process that often goes against the status quo. This makes it harder to perform when every decision can be judged before it bares fruit.
We need a social system that reflects the power of the decisions being made. One that encourages diversity whilst at the same time tying us together in a shared global community. One where transparency is automatically increased with the degree of power involved. One that encourages freedom of individuality, but keeps dangerous technology heavily supervised.
BTW: I'm a long time fan. Earth was very formative for me in 90s. I wish more authors would write near future science fiction. It must be very hard to write as it is sure to always gets it partly wrong, but it is so informative and provides a vision for us to work with.
Hello Mr Brown, I'm a resident of Norfolk with kids in the public schools here. If a voucher program were to be put in place like Mrs. Devos favors, how do you think it would affect the public schools in our area?
Yo! Thanks man! I appreciate you support and positivity. I dig YYZ but of course they have a lot of great stuff!
When and where did you come up with the idea and then take it to a respectable level? I love how you strum and drum!
I recall a few years ago you mentioned that Startide Rising was under consideration for a movie version. Is that still in the works and, if so, where in the process is it?
I read the book at 16 years old and absolutely loved it! A movie version with today's special effects would be fantastic.
Coincidence. There are... nibbles... as we speak. No jinxing. It's ridiculous that anyone can resist the elevator pitch... "dolphins... in SPACE!"
All public schools in Virginia have the same funding model. Funding is based largely on the number of students enrolled in the school division.
I am going to use round numbers to make this example straightforward. Let's say the cost of educating a child is $10K per year. For public schools in Virginia $1K comes from the Federal government, $4K comes from Virginia, and $5K comes from the county or city. Again these are rough numbers just for this example.
The $1K from the Federal Government covers special initiatives like Title 1, Title 2, etc. It varies and usually has lots of strings attached. For example, Title 3 only goes to children who speak English as a second language.
The $4K from the State of Virginia works like this: Take the total budget for education and divide it by all of the students enrolled in public schools.
The $5K from the city or county works like this: The city council or board of supervisors has agreed to appropriate $5K per child in large part because the neighboring locality is appropriating say $4K per child. The idea is to remain competitive with other localities.
Here is how the voucher system will work in Virginia according to voucher bills proposed by the General Assembly. An example bill is, HB 2042. The $4K in funding from the state will be sent to the child. Wherever the child enrolls that is the school that receives this funding. Recall that the city or county is also funding based on enrollment. In response to decreased enrollment, the locality will reduce the budget for the school by $5K to account for the lost student.
Finally, the Federal Government is also funding based on enrollment. In response to decreased enrollment, the federal government will reduce the budget for the school by $1K. There is no net gain. The public school just loses its funding. The loss of funding forces the school division to lay off its teachers, principals, etc.
How do you go about practicing something like this? Obviously learn the individual parts, but do you chunk two at a time and add on the third later, or do you just roll through slowly with all the voices?
Okay, maybe this is a really predictable question but ... What's your take on Trump, especially when it comes to nuclear security and the fears so many people seem to have about his presidency altering the country and the world in significant ways? Think this will all make its way into your writing?
Are there still yard signs "DOGS AND SAILORS KEEP OFF THE GRASS"? HAHAHA
Lots of respect for you, what kind of music do you listen to?
A bit more of a present-day question, on the subject of nuclear weapons and their use.
I have a number of family members (aunts, uncles, older cousins, etc.), and various friends and co-workers I've had over the years, who have all either agreed with, or actively argued for the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike to solve our problems, mostly in the Middle East.
Do you have any recommendations for what to say to these people, all of whom lived through the days of "Duck and Cover" and the threat of nuclear annihilation, to dissuade them from the notion that using nuclear weapons, let alone as a "first strike," is a good idea?
In addition to that, do you have any thoughts on why people who spent half or more of their lives living under the threat of global nuclear annihilation would think that the use of nukes at all would be a good idea?
I know it will sound cliche but as much as I can! I love Beethoven and Stravinsky. I can't get enough Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker. I still jam to Led Zeppelin and Soundgarden. More recent bands include Royal Blood, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Lissie, Chon, The Lemon Twigs, Kimbra, Tune-Yards . . . on an on!!
We have a severe problem that irrational people can take the American ethos of Suspicion of Authority (SoA) and be coaxed into turning it NOT against their oligarch oppressors, but against all the smartypants professionals who know stuff. Those professionals KNOW that crime has declined in America. We know that a hundred times more Americans died under George Bush as died under Obama from violence at the hands of Muslim antagonists. A hundred times. But you'll never get the New Confederates to look at the evidence. Indeed, facts only enrage them against us.
If every Middle Eastern nation declared war against us tomorrow, what could that alliance do to us? Fear of them is pathetic and cowardly. We outnumber them, even united! Their combined economies and militaries are a fingernail clipping, next to ours. Terrorism? Show me the terrorism! There's been almost none!
Our parents, in the Greatest Generation, endured more losses in any week of WWII than we have across the entire War on Terror, including 9/11! Yet the GGs never whimpered and whined and moaned and thrashed and threw tantrums the way confeds do, screeching "Islamic terrorists!"
Note it is folks who do NOT live in the cities who rail in fear. City folk - who are the targets - shrug and get on with business. -- db
I hope you're right regarding intelligence agencies civil servants. The problem is that more and more, meaning well is not enough. You need to Act Well, and unfortunately that means doing what Snowden did !
Oh nice! Check it out: a few years back I dig a classical drum set series! I did two Beethoven Pieces. Piano Sonata No. 14, Mov. III https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X4o8Sht5Ww And String Quartet No 12, Mov. III https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ywZfH0edEQ
Catherine here: It is certainly still a deterrent. However, you make a good point. It only takes one person in a position of power to upset the careful balance we currently maintain in the world. The scientific and technological infrastructure to create such weapons isn’t easy to come by, but that doesn’t mean other countries and/or individuals can’t eventually develop them. We need to become well educated on the dangers, and to use our judgment in selecting leaders who can protect our best interests, not only in weapons development, but in dealing with the rest of the world in a manner that will encourage cooperation in protecting humanity from destruction. We also need a strong education focus on STEM fields that help train those who can develop counter measures to the means of mutually assured destruction; and a focus on political science/diplomacy, to train more people who can deal in a positive manner with discussions about weapons control among the international community.
Hey, thanks for your detaillied answers. My question is, what are the sci-fi stories or books that gave you the Wow-effect? You know, when you read it and think "damn, this idea mentioned in here is so... Genius or insane, but very interesting". And maybe the best you have read so far?
Well... so many... Poul Anderson's BRAIN WAVE? Almost anything by Fred Pohl. Greg Bear's BLOOD MUSIC. Vernor Vinge's MAROONED IN REAL TIME. Almost anything by Catherine Asaro! Nancy Kress. -db
Given your use of the larger concept in Sundiver, have you heard of the recent proposal of a quantum cascade laser system that is powered strictly by heat, with no electrical input, and produces a cooling effect by emitting light? https://phys.org/news/2012-11-powering-lasers.html
Do you think this could be used, not just to power a high-energy laser, but to make highly effective and efficient heat sinks that emit laser light at a much higher rate than even the most emissive materails we could make a heat sink out of?
Hi! I learn to do this by myself. Though I have had a mentor for drumming, composition, and general musicing. His name is Paul F. Murphy. He is amazing!
This is Catherine, not David, so I"ll keep my response brief. Do you have a link to the proposal of the laser? I'd like to take a look and see what I think.
I've read like 5 books in my life front to back; I just can't get into them. But one book I couldn't put down was Robert L. Forward's Dragon's Egg! Have you read it, and do you have a recommendation from your works that you think I might like?
Catherine here: Dragon's Egg is brilliant. If you like diamond hard sf, then from my works I would suggest Primary Inversion (preferably the ebook version, which was updated from the hardcover) and its sequel The Radiant Seas. They involve relativistic projections, other physics, math, chemistry, and also military science (e.g. futuristic weapons development and space battles at relativistic speeds). I ended up publishing a paper in the American Journal of Physics about the scientific extrapolation I used for the relativistic background.
Also you might enjoy my book Spherical Harmonic, which involves an imagined universe based on the Hilbert space described by the spherical harmonic eigenfunctions that solve the Laplace Equation. Some prose in the book is even written in the shape of the sinusoidal waves found in the spherical harmonics.
Some of my books also include essays in the back about the science. For example, The Quantum Rose is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast in a science fiction setting, so it's not hard sf. However, the book is an allegory to quantum scattering theory, and I talk about the science in an essay at the end of the book. That happened because I was writing my doctoral thesis in coupled channeled quantum scattering theory at the same time I was writing the first draft of Quantum Rose, and I couldn’t separate my thoughts on the two.
Catherine, I love your work! Why is there not more sci-fi that also treats romance and sex like you do? Are male authors really out of touch or is there just a negative stigma against romance?
Looking to play all the time! When everyone else is spent, I still want to music.
Aw.... I agree that Catherine writes REALLY good romance woven into stories about science. "The Moon Pool" makes you justabout cry! But am... I... really chopped liver? ;-(
(Actually ;-)! -- db
What was the first instrument you learned?
What was the last?
What do you think of the development of railguns, lasers and anti-ballistic missiles greatly reducing the threat of ICBM-delivered nuclear weapons?
How would this affect international relations, if MAD was less certain than it is today?
Hmm first instrument I started playing was drum set. Singing was the last. Still working on ALL!! I am primarily a drummer. That's been 95% of my gigs for the past 10 years!
HI, Matterbeam. At this point, I'd say that the threat is spreading out among more types of weapons, so it's diffused in that sense, but that nuclear weapons still pose a substantial threat.
Have you heard the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?
What gear did you use to get that killer guitar tone in the Tom Sawyer video?
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis "the wise"? I thought not. It's not a story the Jedi would tell you. It's a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life... He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying. The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural. He became so powerful... the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. It's ironic he could save others from death, but not himself.
The guitar is a project guitar a buddy built. The amp was a PRS rig (belonged to the studio - Annapolis Audio Lab--Awesome place!!). I use a Boss OC3 Super Octave pedal which splits the guitar signal and tracks a sub octave to make the bass line. That's it!
Look up Manicheanism. I deem George Lucas's universe, his moral system and messages and theology to be among the most evil I have ever seen. I am hoping THE LAST JEDI's title comes true and that galaxy can sigh relief, spreading a cure-plague that kills every midichlorian and frees them from mutant force abusers, light and dark.
See STAR WARS ON TRIAL!! db
Hi, just watched the video posted on /r/videos and it was brilliant, your singing reminded me of someone, whilst I think on that answer me these.Please
How did you learn to do this? What gave you the idea of doing this? and was there any inspiration behind the style of playing/singing?
Can you recommend some good high science Sci-Fi? I haven't read much of the genre but I really enjoyed the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson and (unrelated) the Hyperion Cantos.
Hi! Thanks for watching and for reaching out. I taught myself to do it over time. Guitar and drums with my feet initially. Them expanded from there. I started when I was young and the idea just came from wanting to playing all the time. As for inspiration, I draw inspiration from all things. When I play and sing I just go for it. I don't necessarily try to sound like any one thing. Though for the Tom Sawyer video I wanted to be in the ball park but still sound natural to myself. Does that make sense? Ha!
I have posted a lot of lists, over time. Here you can find compilations about science fiction http://www.scoop.it/t/speculations-on-science-fiction
... and about using Science Fiction to teach Science http://www.scoop.it/t/using-science-fiction-to-teach-science
... and about teaching Science Fiction itself! http://www.scoop.it/t/teaching-science-fiction --db
That was rad. I loved it, my dad (lifelong Rush fan) loved it.
I play many-an-instrument too, just not at the same time. My question:
When you set out to learn a track in this way, what's the process like? Obviously learn each separately, but how does it all get glued together? How long does it take?
Several writers in geo-politics (Peter Zeihan, George Friedman of Stratfor, etc.) seem to think, well, yes, the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but the U.S. can ride it (and anything climate change can throw at us) out. Do the two of you think we have the resources/privilege of being isolationist in the face of the world's challenges, and what do you think the results of such a strategy would be?
Right on! Thanks man! The process varies. Often I can basically pull off everything together pretty quickly. But If I have to break it down the practice concept is the same as learning for a single instrument. Analyze the movements and sounds slowly. Increase speed. Do it a lot. This tune took a little bit but I was playing on gigs here and there for about 6-8 months before I decided to record it. I just started doing this seriously about a year ago so I am experiencing somewhat rapid growth right now. Which is great!
I have met those guys and deem them to be vastly overrated. They go along with the hellishly stupid over-rating of the "Islamic" threat. They ignore the spectacular creativity that was engendered by the renaissance of the last 70 years. The only way their forecasts can come true is if: (1) A non-linear destructive dual use tech appears (see above), or (2) The current confederate madness (phase 8 of our civil war) keeps getting worse, slamming down upon the professional classes who created all our wealth and power. (3) If the propaganda system that has pushed this meme of cowardly pessimism continues.
There are ZERO statistical supports for "hell in a hand basket." Despite relentless downer and anti-professionals propaganda and economic sabotage by parasitical oligarchs, we still have vibrant science, inventive tech and an economy that moves forwar.
Those jerks are fools. As is anyone who listens to them. --db
Do you play anything else? Can you do do simultaneous playing with other instruments? I'm super impressed with what I've already seen, and am just curious.
Thanks for all the great stories... Didn't have any questions but enjoy both of your work and this AMA
Thank you! I dabble on several other instruments. The only others I have played simultaneously are keys with drums. There are many drummers who do this and do it well so I didn't go too far in that direction. Kenwood Dennard and Josh Dion do it very well. Nate Wood plays drums, bass, and keys simultaneously and it is amazing! I'm am mostly just exploring guitar, drums, and vocals at the same time.
Anyone re nuclear power or energy?
Any suggestions for someone like me who's just starting to learn guitar?
Play a whole bunch! And make sounds you like!
Can you do syncopation?
I want to play guitar and sing at the same time, and I find it really hard to sing when the melody rhythm doesn't match the strumming pattern. For example, a not so complicated song, Demon by Imagine Dragon, I can sing and play guitar separately, but not at the same time. Any advice?
Sure. I can do syncopation. Best thing to do is do it a real whole lot!