What are the recurring themes in your work?

Yeah you know I think when novelists write, you know novelists . . . Great novelists tend to write the same book over, and over, and over again. And . . . and they don’t mean to. It’s not like they sit down and come up with a theme first. It’s just what’s on their mind and what’s in their heart. You know journalists can be the same way if we have the self-expression or the venue for expression. I . . . The thematics of what I write are repetitive enough so that I notice it. (Chuckles) And I don’t intend it that way, but I’m sort of consumed with this question of, “What’s next?”; and how you adapt to government; and how you adapt to political parties; and how you drag people into a future that’s only going to be productive and full of promise – which I think it can be – if you envision it. As opposed to if you stumble into it with all your institutions becoming aging and irrelevant. So I do . . . You know the question I ask over and over again, and I’ve asked it predominantly of Democrats the last couple of years because that’s what I’m writing my book on. But the question I ask of everyone over and over again is, “What’s next?” What are you gonna change? How do you envision the role of our government changing? You know how do we . . . how do we meet this transition? Don’t tell me, as Republicans do, that it can . . . That you know it’s all gonna be Darwinian, and you know that the future belongs to the . . . to the entrepreneur, and everyone else can just get lost. Don’t tell me, as Democrats do, that we’re gonna go back to 1955, and it’s all gonna be fine because it’s just a matter of putting the right priorities in place, and you can stop the future. Tell me what . . . Tell me what the next iteration of American government is gonna look like. I ask that question over and over. I’ll probably ask it for like 20 more years. I’ll probably be some crank in a cabin somewhere, completely lost my mind, and I’ll be writing it some other way. Recorded on: 12/13/07

What's next?

Physicists find new state of matter that can supercharge technology

Scientists make an important discovery for the future of computing.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new state of matter called "topological superconductivity".
  • The state can lead to important advancements in quantum computing.
  • Utilizing special particles that emerge during this state can lead to error-free data storage and blazing calculation speed.
Keep reading Show less

Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity

Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.

Photo by Willeke Duijvekam
Surprising Science
  • The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
  • The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
  • While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
Keep reading Show less

How to heal trauma with meaning: A case study in emotional evolution

As tempting as it may be to run away from emotionally-difficult situations, it's important we confront them head-on.

Videos
  • Impossible-sounding things are possible in hospitals — however, there are times when we hit dead ends. In these moments, it's important to not run away, but to confront what's happening head-on.
  • For a lot of us, one of the ways to give meaning to terrible moments is to see what you can learn from them.
  • Sometimes certain information can "flood" us in ways that aren't helpful, and it's important to figure out what types of data you are able to take in — process — at certain times.
Keep reading Show less