Mark Jason Dominus talks about the stock set of questions that Powell's Bookstore asks authors for mini-interviews on their website (Marks's answers).
In his "Universe of Discourse" entry on the subject, he talks about the question "Which country do you believe currently leads the world in science and technology? In ten years?", to which he ends his answer with a very interesting comment:
Sometimes I have to have dinner with predictors. It never goes well. Two years ago at OSCON I was invited to dinner with Google. I ended up sitting at a whole table of those people. Last year I was invited again. I said no thanks.
Despite whatever you make of that answer, even if the question may have been boring, it seems to me that Mark has a lot to say in response.
This reminds me of something Robert McNamara, the former U.S. Defense Secretary, said (and I think the current Secretary Rumsfeld may have quoted it too) something like this:
Answer the question you wished you were asked, not the one you were.
That's exactly the tact I took when I answered the same questions for Powell's. I come out sounding like quite the Luddite.
There are, I've read, three major groups of people in economies: producers, consumers, and critics. All three of those have different interests. Although a Producer might write a book, the Consumers interested in it aren't at all like the Producer in personal interests. Both Mark and I (as well as many of the other interviewees) beg off the question about video games, but I have a feeling that question is there because the average age of video-gamers is in the low-thirties (so says many sources this month). That Consumer segment has the money, and that's what they want to read about. Being a Producer means satisfying the Consumer, so being interviewed is really just another performance rather than a peek into a Producer's actual life.
Or, something like that.