The radio show I used to produce, The Infinite Mind, has gone all virtual with a series of concerts and speeches in Second Life. Tonight's featured speaker is Howard Rheingold, and tomorrow is Kurt Vonnegut. If you need a short trivia-laden primer on either of them, hey, that's what we're here for:
Howard Rheingold: The author of Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution and The Virtual Community (read the entire HTML version here for free), he's best known as one of the rare people to predict the future and get it right. Long before people realized the potential of the Internet to tie together communities, he was talking about it in the early '90s. He's often pictured wearing a fedora. You may recognize him from a Kinko's ad.
Kurt Vonnegut: As a prisoner of war, he witnessed the bombing of Dresden, which influenced or formed the backdrop for much of his literary work, including the classic Slaughterhouse-Five. Like many of the greats, he had an inauspicious start, dropping out of college and later having his masters' thesis rejected. He's now retired from fiction writing, but continues to churn out opinion pieces.
Rheingold appears at 8 EDT tonight, and Vonnegut's at 8 tomorrow.