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Current Topic: Futurism

C-SPAN Book TV - In Depth with Ray Kurzweil
Topic: Futurism 2:58 am EST, Nov  6, 2006

Author, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil will be our guest for In Depth on November 5th (LIVE Noon-3pm ET). Mr. Kurzweil is the author of several books on the subject of artificial intelligence, including "The Age of Intelligent Machines," "The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence," and his latest, "The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology." His companies have made major breakthroughs in print, sound and speech recognition technologies. As a result of his work, he was awarded the 1999 National Medal of Technology by President Clinton.

There does not appear to be an easy way to link to where the streaming video for this is on C-SPAN. At the time of this posting, it's linked off the main page. I'm guessing it will be in the search database tomorrow.

C-SPAN Book TV - In Depth with Ray Kurzweil The Road Ahead -- Oct. 24, 2005 -- Page 1
Topic: Futurism 1:24 pm EDT, Oct 18, 2005

Tim O'Reilly, Malcolm Gladwell, Clay Shirky, Mark Dery, Esther Dyson, David Brooks, and Moby.

There is not an easy way to sum up this interview. This is my best attempt:

The world is flat, but planes still fly in arcs, and golf scores are staying the same. We think the center is bigger than it appears. We are optimistic. It's all one big evolving intelligent grand design. Breakfast is rad. The Road Ahead -- Oct. 24, 2005 -- Page 1

The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul
Topic: Futurism 6:17 pm EDT, May 30, 2005

What Gnarly Computation Taught Me About Ultimate Reality, the Meaning Of Life, and How To Be Happy

A nonfiction book by Rudy Rucker


We're presently in the midst of a third intellectual revolution. The first came with Newton: the planets obey physical laws. The second came with Darwin: biology obeys genetic laws. In today's third revolution, we're coming to realize that even minds and societies emerge from interacting laws that can be regarded as computations. Everything is a computation.

Does this, then, mean that the world is dull? Far from it. The naturally occurring computations that surround us are richly complex. A tree's growth, the changes in the weather, the flow of daily news, a person's ever-changing moods --- all of these computations share the crucial property of being gnarly. Although lawlike and deterministic, gnarly computations are --- and this is a key point --- inherently unpredictable. The world's mystery is preserved.

Mixing together anecdotes, graphics, and fables, Rucker teases out the implications of his new worldview, which he calls "universal automatism." His analysis reveals startling aspects of the everyday world, touching upon such topics as chaos, the internet, fame, free will, and the pursuit of happiness. More than a popular science book, The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul is a philosophical entertainment that teaches us how to enjoy our daily lives to the fullest possible extent.

The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul

NIC - 2020 Project
Topic: Futurism 12:24 am EST, Jan 16, 2005

] Mapping the Global Future is the third unclassified
] report prepared by the National Intelligence Council
] (NIC) in the past seven years that takes a long-term view
] of the future. The National Intelligence Council, as a
] center of strategic thinking and over-the-horizon
] analysis for the US Government, takes this as one of its
] key challenges.

China and India will be leading Globalization, which fully appears to be unstoppable. Terrorism, of course, will still be an issue. The spoils of technological advancement will go to the developing nations under the cloud of the global economy. The EU will continue to expand.

I didn't read this in too much depth. Its easy to parse quickly, although many sections are not exactly easy to read due to the authors' desire to make it look pretty.

NIC - 2020 Project - Private craft flies into space - Jun 21, 2004
Topic: Futurism 11:33 am EDT, Jun 21, 2004

] Rocket plane SpaceShipOne reached an altitude above 62.5
] miles (100 km) during its brief flight Monday morning,
] making it the first privately built craft to fly in
] space, controllers said.

] Shortly after, the space vehicle landed safely at the
] same place from which it took off.

Welcome to the era of corporate space. Lets hope science fiction has properly prepared us. - Private craft flies into space - Jun 21, 2004

Grim Pentagon Climate Change Scenario
Topic: Futurism 5:40 am EST, Feb 23, 2004

As the planet's carrying capacity shrinks, an ancient pattern reemerges: the eruption of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies.

As Harvard archeologist Steven LeBlanc has noted, wars over resources were the norm until about three centuries ago. When such conflicts broke out, 25% of a population's adult males usually died.

As abrupt climate change hits home, warfare may again come to define human life.

Grim Pentagon Climate Change Scenario

The First Church of the Grey Goo
Topic: Futurism 11:50 pm EST, Dec  8, 2003

] The Grey Goo is eternal. It is omniscient and
] omnipresent. It may be the uncontrolled spread
] of buggy self-assembling Nanotechnology, but
] perhaps it is also the cloud of super-intelligence
] that will out-evolve humanity.
] You must learn to love the Goo, for it loves you.
] You shall become as one with the Goo. It is your destiny.

The future may not need us, but the grey goo loves us.

The First Church of the Grey Goo

CNET | Cyborgs unite!
Topic: Futurism 7:31 pm EDT, Aug 27, 2003

] CNET caught up to Mann at his home lab in
] Toronto, where he was planning a pair of "DECONism"
] events, featuring music controlled in part by brain
] waves. An electrode attached at the base of a
] participant's skull reads electrical impulses, which a PC
] can use to alter audio characteristics such as volume or
] tempo.

Declan McCullagh catches up with Steve Mann.

CNET | Cyborgs unite!

Wired News: Futurist Fears End of Innovation
Topic: Futurism 2:11 am EDT, Apr 28, 2003

] Author Howard Rheingold believes the freedom of
] technologists to innovate is under attack as never
] before.

] "They would very much like to get us back to the days
] when there were three radio stations and one telephone
] company," he said. "We're going to have to fight to
] remain users and not be turned back into consumers."

] "Incumbents (are) using their political or economic power
] to push back or thwart newcomers," he said.

] After the talk, Rheingold said, "An era is coming to an
] end. Geeks and consumers are under assault. We really
] have to organize to protect our rights."

] Esther Dyson, former chair of ICANN and a noted
] technology impresario, said she agreed with Rheingold's
] thesis "in spades."

] "Technologists always say they just code, they don't make
] laws," she said. "But they should be going to Congress.
] Our rights are in jeopardy."

] "You can't change the law unless you participate in the
] lawmaking process," Doctorow said. "Technology is
] relentlessly lowering the barrier to entry in that
] process."

Wired News: Futurist Fears End of Innovation Technology | Are we doomed yet?
Topic: Futurism 2:05 am EST, Mar 31, 2003

] The computer-networked, digital world poses enormous
] threats to humanity that no government, no matter how
] totalitarian, can stop. A fully open society is our best
] chance for survival.

This one goes in the "Bill Joy is Wrong" folder. Technology | Are we doomed yet?

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