Ladies Who Lunch

At WorldCon 2009 in Montreal. Paul Krugman and Charlie Stross were debating technology and the future from a more economic perspective.

Here, I’m paraphrasing from memory. They were videotaping, but I’m not expecting the conversation to show up on YouTube anytime soon (although it should).

Krugman: Look at the kitchen. In thirty years, it’s not likely to change that much…

Stross: Ah, this is something I’ve been looking into lately. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals|PeTA did a very stupid thing this year. I mean besides trying to get people to call fish “sea kittens.” They are offering $1 million to the first person who can produce vat-grown meat.

What they don’t seem to realize is how close we are to doing just that. There’s a considerable amount of investment and research going into producing a particular kind of meat: long pig. The biotech industry is working long and hard to produce human organs for transplantation.

I have a story idea I’m working on right now, that involves ladies who lunch… on each other. They’re using this technology to produce their own meat. And then there’s the very confused policeman who’s trying to decide what, if anything, he should charge them with.

So I think in thirty years it’s likely we might see some big changes in the kitchen.

Krugman: (after a long pause, looking slightly shell shocked) You’re saying we’ll all be Polynesian?

Stross: We’ll all be poly-something.

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