Interview: Mac Tonnies

February 29 2008 / by memebox / In association with Future
Category: Space   Year: General   Rating: 6

This interview was conducted by Venessa Posavec 1/10/08

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Fearless Futurist Mac Tonnies Goes Off On Mars

February 29 2008 / by Venessa Posavec / In association with Future
Category: Space   Year: 2008   Rating: 6

“A futurist is someone who can take a look at a strip-mall and experience instinctual fear.”

Exemplifying that role is Mac Tonnies, a futurist and sci-fi author who enjoys exploring everything from post-humanity to the paranormal. Armed with zingers like the quote at top and a keen sense of wit, Mac enjoys walking the line between reality and science fiction, much like contemporary Vernor Vinge (who also happens to be featured on the site today).

“A futurist’s job is to live in the future, to experience it,” points out Mac, “That can sometimes make the present a lonely place, but it can also make it exhilarating.”

Tonnies’ imagination stretches far indeed, frequently frolicking into the realm of outer space:

“We’re already seeing some exciting new thinking about democratized space travel,” say Tonnies, “for example: this could lead to a large-scale colonization of space and, ultimately, the effective end of the nation-state. As William Burroughs said, ‘we’re here to go.’ I’d personally like to see humanity become a space-faring species.”

Tonnies’ most recent book, After the Martian Apocalypse , focuses on intelligence on Mars. So, I asked him, “Where are all the extra terrestrials?”

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