Anything beats an expensive stack of paper.
As for AIDS, it's a plague. We are human, we get plagues. They come along every so often, kill off two thirds of the population; in the next generation it's a quarter; after that it's a childhood disease.
Bruce Sterling is one terrific writer and he's relatively new, but I don't know how long he's been doing it; he probably doesn't need the publicity anymore!
Building one space station for everyone was and is insane: we should have built a dozen.
But... watching Steven Barnes taught me to treat my life like an art form.
Everything starts as somebody's daydream.
I do not believe they've run out of surprises.
I never got good at predicting what millions of people will suddenly decide is rational.
I'd repair our education system or replace it with something that works.
I'd visit the near future, close enough that someone might want to talk to Larry Niven and can figure out the language; distant enough to get me decent medical techniques and a ticket to the Moon.
In hindsight it may even seem inevitable that a socialist society will starve when it runs out of capitalists.
SF isn't a genre; SF is the matrix in which genres are embedded, and because the SF field is never going in any one direction at any one time, there is hardly a way to cut it off.
The human species really could have faced global thermonuclear war. During seventy years of Cold War we grew used to it.
We need to take command of the solar system to gain that wealth, and to escape the sea of paper our government is becoming, and for some decent chance of stopping a Dinosaur Killer asteroid.
We're looking as far ahead as we can, and we don't get penalized for mistakes.