1) Do I really think everyone should be barcoded?
Of course not.
Seriously...you thought it was for real? After hearing about responses to the photographer who thought everyone should be limited to just one photo a day, you still thought this was a dead-serious part of the discussion? The term "Empress of the Universe" wasn't a clue that this was a science fiction writer making something up?
2) So why....?
The format of "The Forum" has this sixty second idea thing in it. I was told it was the entertaining, fun part of the show. I interpreted that as "light-hearted interlude." Participants are asked to come up with an idea--however impractical, impossible, unnecessary, and/or undesirable. The BBC staff picks one and the person whose idea it was is then supposed to present and defend it.
I don't know about the others, but I tossed out several ideas over the phone, and they didn't seem to create any interest. The idea is supposed to be related to the day's topic (there went my idea for putting solar panels on top of cars in all sunny climes...) It's not supposed to be related to things the participant has already given as points they might want to make in the main discussion (there went another idea or two, including an implant to manage aberrant brain chemistry in soldiers so they wouldn't commit stress-related errors, have rage episodes, maybe even prevent PTSD) or points put forward by the other participants when their main statements are known (and there went something else I didn't even mention to them.) When the first few got "Yes, but..." reactions, I thought "Oh, good, someone else's idea will be used." I'd been told the right one would be picked on the weekend. The weekend went by. Whew. Off the hook.Then came Monday. "We're really looking forward to your 60-second idea." What??!! I guess it's understandable...if you've got a science fiction writer on tap, let her come up with ideas. Maybe they'll be...off the wall. Exciting. Innovative.
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Apologies for delay in checking screened comments. LifeStuff of various kinds (much good, like arrival of Editor Letter) scrambled the circuits and made remembering that comments were screened...unlikely. And now I'm 10 minutes from leaving the house for this weekend's convention (A-Kon) and I've worked through only some of the comments. I'll get to the rest sometime next week, assuming the large box with the full marked-up manuscript in it, that arrived last yesterday, doesn't eat every second and every functioning neuron for the next two weeks. Haven't opened it yet, since I had to pack last night.