The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.
 
The Future And You--April 24, 2013

This is the 300th episode of The Future And You.

A hundred new predictions about the future from dozens of past guests, a few possible future guests, several listeners and an assortment of people actively building the future we are all going to live in.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 24, 2013 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 48 minutes].

And If you enjoy the many predictions in this episode you may also enjoy the 200th episode (May 25, 2011) which also contains over 100 predictions from past guests.

Direct download: TFAY_2013_4_24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:05am EST

October 14, 2009 Episode

Gregory Benford and Aubrey de Grey (who both spoke at the Singularity Summit held earlier this month in New York City) are interviewed, as well as two attendees of this singular event which is so intently focused on the future.

Topics: the Singularity and artificial intelligence in general, and this year's Singularity Summit conference in particular. (The goal of this episode, in addition to being informative, is to provide a little of the convention's feel and mood--and if possible--it's energy.) Other related topics include life extension and mind uploading.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the October 14, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 25 minutes]

Doctor Gregory Benford is a Nebula award winning science fiction author. He has a doctorate in astrophysics, and is on the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California. 

Doctor Aubrey de Grey is a medical doctor known for his work in promoting human life extension. He is an author and theoretician in the field of gerontology, and the Chief Science Officer of the Methuselah Foundation. He has been interviewed by 60 Minutes, the BBC, the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, the Washington Post, TED, Popular Science--even by Stephen Colbert for his comedy show The Colbert Report.

News Items include my activities at the Singularity Summit, such as people I met, talked with, ate with, and had ice cream with. The short version is that I had a lot of fun and met a lot of cool and exciting people, the long version contains considerably more detail.

 

Direct download: TFAY_2009_10_14.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST

Chris Phoenix (nanotechnology scientist, author and researcher) is today's featured guest. (This is the second half of the interview we started last week.)

Chris Phoenix is the co-founder and Director of Research for CRN (the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology). He is also a Scientific Advisor for The Nanotechnology Group, Inc., on the Scientific Advisory Board for Nanorex, Inc. and a Senior Associate at the  Foresight Nanotech Institute.

Topics discussed include: his ideas about the Singularity; why molecular manufacturing may prove to be impossible to regulate; his theory concerning the Cambrian Explosion; his programming work with Doctor Aubrey de Grey concerning human life extension; his several talks at the BIL conference (which is held the same week as the more famous TED conference); and a cure for dyslexia.

He also suggests the possibility that an artificial intelligence of superhuman intellect might use our increasingly Byzantine system of laws to manipulate civilization since it will understand them and we won't; and the possibility that by coming as a series of many small changes the big changes of the next few decades may quietly sneak up on most people without their awareness.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the October 22, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 55 minutes]

Chris Phoenix has worked in the field of advanced nanotechnology for over 15 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Symbolic Systems and a Master's in Computer Science, both from Stanford University.

He has written many articles, essays and research papers about various areas of nanotechnology including medical applications and molecular manufacturing, such as his peer-reviewed paper, Design of a Primitive Nanofactory, as well as his comprehensive outline of Thirty Essential Nanotechnology Studies

Direct download: TFAY_2008_10_22.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST

Chris Phoenix (nanotechnology scientist, author and researcher) is today's featured guest.

Chris Phoenix is the co-founder and Director of Research for CRN (the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology). He is also a Scientific Advisor for The Nanotechnology Group, Inc., on the Scientific Advisory Board for Nanorex, Inc. and a Senior Associate at the  Foresight Nanotech Institute.

Topics discussed include: an anecdote about the nanotechnology class he took from Eric Drexler; the state of nanotechnology--and especially molecular assemblers; his four different speaking topics at this year's BIL conference; and the work being done by Zyvex.

He also explains the ideas he presented when he spoke at Doctor Aubrey de Grey's Third SENS Conference on the topic Getting Ahead of Aging; as well as some of the ways nanotech might help in life extension, the potential benefits of nanotech as a replacement for human blood, how soon he expects human longevity to become indefinite, and what methods he thinks are the most promising.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the October 15, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 52 minutes]

Chris Phoenix has worked in the field of advanced nanotechnology for over 15 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Symbolic Systems and a Master's in Computer Science, both from Stanford University.

He has written many articles, essays and research papers about various areas of nanotechnology including medical applications and molecular manufacturing, such as his peer-reviewed paper, Design of a Primitive Nanofactory, as well as his comprehensive outline of Thirty Essential Nanotechnology Studies

Direct download: TFAY_2008_10_15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST


Authors Kevin J. Anderson and Doctor Aubrey de Grey are joined by professional comedian Grant Baciocco as well as Walt (The Bananaslug) Boyes and Stoney Compton.  Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the November 1, 2007 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 100 minutes]

Topics include:

[1] Can catching a cold cause you to become obese? The explanation, which is still theoretical, is that because this particular virus reproduces in fat cells it has evolved the ability to stimulate the human body to create more fat cells.

[2] Kevin J. Anderson feels that if nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing turn out to meet their potential they will change human society and the human race forever, and that this will be a bigger change than any change we have experienced in all of human history.

He says Vernor Vinge's Singularity is a fascinating and scary possibility. Though a long-time Mac user and early adapter, he feels the curve of the singularity has already passed him by.

One of his worries for the future is that we have lots of smart people working on scientific advances when they have no clue what the effect on society will be. As an example, he sites a US project from the sixties called Operation Plowshare in which nuclear warheads were to be used in place of earth moving equipment for construction projects such as blasting tunnels through mountains for interstate highways and creating municipal reservoirs for public drinking water.

[3] Walt Boyes (The Bananaslug) and Stoney Compton give us an inside peek at what's in the latest episode of Jim Baen's Universe Magazine.

[4] Cryonics is a very good bet, says Doctor Aubrey de Grey who sees resuscitation from a cryo-preserved state as a natural extension of the work he's already doing in Medical Life Extension. He is pessimistic about cancer, however, and does not expect a cure within the next few years. He feels that cancer will be one of the most difficult problems of Life Extension to overcome.

He also uses empirical evidence to make a case for his notion that because Life Extension raises people's perception of the value of life, in the future wars will become less and less common.

He also suggests that the reason the US medical system is so expensive compared to those of the rest of the civilized world is not that it is not socialized but that America is such a litigious society. A lot of the money goes to lawyers, rather than to medical professionals.

[5] The final installment in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[6] An interview with the professional comedian Grant Baciocco in Atlanta Georgia where he had just accepted a Parsec Award for the weekly, family-friendly podcast which he co-created with Dougg Price called The Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd.

A technogeek but no transhumanist, Grant Baciocco is one of the early pioneers of podcasting. He discusses trends in comedy including the recent increase in vulgarity, his use of SeatGuru to always get an aisle seat when flying, and trends in theme parks--especially the new interactive animated characters which talk with and answer questions from their audience.

Direct download: TFAY_2007_11_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST


Senator, and presidential candidate, John McCain is joined by Jack McDevitt, Eric Flint, Doctor Aubrey de Grey, Alethea Kontis, Stoney Compton and Walt The Bananaslug Boyes. Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the October 1, 2007 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 121 minutes]

Topics include:

[1] News and Listener Feedback.

[2] John McCain (presidential candidate and senator) openly threatens to close down half or more of NASA if elected president, but favors federal funding of nanotechnology and (though the issue has split the pro-life community in which he includes himself) also supports the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

[3] Eric Flint is optimistic about the future but is highly skeptical of both nanotechnology and the Singularity; Hooey, he calls them both. He recalls that the late Jim Baen also thought nanotechnology was nonsense and yet, paradoxically, was a big fan of the Singularity. Eric laughs as he explains that, the word contradictory was made for Jim Baen.

[4] The BananaSlug (Walt Boyes) joins forces with Stoney Compton (author of the alternate history novel Russian Amerika) to give us an inside peek at what's in the latest issue of Jim Baen's Universe Magazine.

[5] Jack McDevitt reveals one of the little hypocrisies we all share: We say we want the schools to make our kids smart, but what we really want is for them to make our kids think like us. He also laments that our government has stopped looking for the subset of asteroids which threaten to hit the earth—a project which would cost little and yet might easily save millions of lives.

[6] Another installment in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[7] Can we see huge increases in human life expectancy in 20 to 30 years? Doctor Aubrey de Grey says this is achievable even without the form of nanotechnology called molecular manufacturing. He adds, however, that a robust molecular manufacturing ability will be needed to extend human life expectancies indefinitely. (...a situation Transhumanists have nicknamed Escape Velocity.)

Doctor de Grey also describes a project attempting to produce Friendly AI. (Strong AI specifically engineered to be incapable of harming humans-—apparently reminiscent of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.) Having once worked in artificial intelligence, the doctor describes Friendly AI with some familiarity, but not a lot of confidence in its eventual success.

[8] Is the science fiction and fantasy short story market moving more strongly online? And do people who read online tend to gravitate to the shorter of the short stories? Alethea Kontis (a fantasy editor for Solaris Books in the UK and a buyer for Ingram in the US) says there are now several professional-level magazines online and their popularity and influence is growing. And, even though electrons are cheap, the desire for shorter stories is putting pressure on the magazines and writers to provide readers with stories that are shorter and more tightly written.

Direct download: TFAY_2007_10_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST


Authors Jack McDevitt, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Randal L. Schwartz and Stoney Compton are joined by Uncle Timmy (chairman of LibertyCon) and Walt, The Bananaslug, Boyes from Jim Baen's Universe magazine. Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the September 1, 2007 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 113 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News Items (your host has been promoted to Contributing Editor at Jim Baen's Universe Magazine) and Listener Feedback (about The Singularity and how the Golden Age of Phone Surveying is drawing to a close).

[2] Jack McDevitt, author of the Nebula Award winning novel Seeker, as well as thirteen other novels, has made a career out of imagining our future. Here he describes what he anticipates and wishes for our future, as well as what he fears.

[3] Walt Boyes and Stoney Compton tell us what's in the latest issue of Jim Baen's Universe Magazine.

[4] If you can cause a mouse to live an unnaturally long life you can win a huge cash prize. Inspired by the now famous space-commercializing X-Prize, The Methuselah Mouse Prize is just as real but is designed to popularize and promote innovative medical research in Life Extension. Doctor Aubrey de Grey of the Methuselah Foundation--who is both a gerontologist and a transhumanist--speaks of this and other aspects of medical life extension.

[5] Another installment in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[6] What would you do if you were unjustly arrested on felony charges as a computer hacker? Randal L. Schwartz knows what he would do since this actually happened to him.

[7] In his twenty years of running a science fiction convention, Uncle Timmy (the founder and chairman of LibertyCon) has spent quality time with some of speculative fiction's greatest visionaries. In this candid interview Uncle Timmy reveals memories and anecdotes from behind those many scenes.

Direct download: TFAY_2007_9_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST