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Sci-fi writer Vernor Vinge on health

Growing up, a lot of my friends were into Star Trek. They read Heinlein, Clarke and Bradbury. (I, on the other hand, liked reading plays like Death of a Salesman or the authors Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald.) I often felt lost in space when conversations with my buddies ventured into the terrain of the Vulcans.

So it was with a lot of apprehension and a bit of anxiety that I took on an interview with the celebrated sci-fi writer Vernor Vinge for the latest issue of Stanford Medicine magazine, which includes a special report on big data in medicine. We thought it would be interesting to get Vinge's perspective since he's been prescient about some aspects of where the world of big data is headed.

So bear with me if my ignorance or lack of reverence seeps through. I did find our conversation fascinating. Though I have to admit, I didn't understand it all. I got lost somewhere in "the singularity." Look it up!

We've condensed the longer conversation into a Q&A in the magazine - a deeper dive is available as a podcast.

Live long and prosper. See, I am not totally hopeless.

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