Bruce Sterling’s CFP 2002 Speech

Bruce Sterling gave the closing keynote at Computers, Freedom and Privacy in San Francisco last Friday. It’s another great Sterling piece. This time he talks about going computerless at a technical conference (he wrote this talk out in longhand); Steven, the annoying Dell kid; corruption in Bollywood; desperation in Hollywood; why John Ashcroft doesn’t care what you and I think of him; and a good reason why the Bushies are into bunkers.

My belief is that there is a central motivation in the Bush Cabinet. It doesn’t get much press play, but this is the enlightening, analytical key to most of the vagaries of their behavior. The key is that the Bush Cabinet does not want to get killed.

This is what the Cheney “undisclosed location” business is all about. This is what the Cheney “secret government” is all about. I don’t know where all those midranking officials are going, with their toothbrushes and their pyjamas, but I can promise you one thing: it’s out of nuclear blast range of downtown Washington DC.