IA: Mainstream writers I don't read much of, I'm afraid. I read mostly non-fiction: new books on science, mathematics, things like that. Most of the stuff I write, except for my novels, is non-fiction. I have to keep up with science. And that is most of my reading. SW: Do you have any vision of what the near future of Mankind has in store? IA: I have several - some bad, some good, depending on what we do. I can see a computerized world, with robots doing most of the dull work or a space centered world with people moving out into orbit about the Earth and reaching the asteroids. But I can also see a polluted world in which the quality of life sinks and one in which there is a nuclear war and we destroy ourselves. There is nothing that MUST be, everything depends entirely on what we decide to do. Naturally I would like to see Civilization to continue and improve. I think everyone would. But still, people tend to do things that harm Humanity. SW: When I wrote in my letter that it is great to live in the world advanced fifty years in time (comparing Eastern Europe and the United States) you disagreed... Why? IA: Well, you can always catch up with technology. One hundred years ago Japan put a mind to it and caught up to Western Europe. When there is a model to follow it is easy. However advancing, as we do, means also that we probably pollute the environment more than any other nation does and we use up more resources more wastefully. These things are not particularly admirable. Not all "advancement" is advancement. SW: Who do you think will be the next president of the United States? Will this be good or bad for the United States? IA: Oh, that I can't say. I know who I'm voting for - I'm voting for Dukakis. But I vote Democratic all the time. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't. I'll vote Democratic this time. SW: If you were to choose a place and time to live in, when and where would you choose? And why? IA: It would be right now, right here. I'm used to this world. I know how to get along in it and it has some things in it I don't want to give up - like modern medicine. Without it I would be dead now. My angina was very bad and I didn't think I had long to live. I've had a triple bypass surgery and now I feel fine... I had half of my thyroid taken out sixteen years ago, because it was cancerous. If not for that I'd probably be dead by now. That's why I don't look (3 of 7)11/16/2005 11:15:29 AM
towards a simpler life without antibiotics, without modern surgery, anesthetics etc. In this simpler life in the Past there are also slaves. Who knows? I might have been a slave. So I'll take it right now, with all its faults.
- Spring '11