The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.
 
The Future And You--April 29, 2015

Robert J. Sawyer--Part 3. Topics: Microsoft's new HoloLens eyeglass computer which beats Google glass by providing a head up display over your entire field-of-view; the latest DARPA Robot Challenge showed us that robots are still amazingly slow, clumsy and bumbling; why the future popularity of sex robots is perfectly reasonable; making the case for human augmentation; why human augmentation will probably, over time, alter an individual's personality; benefits of the new laser-based carbon-dioxide scrubber for space travel; ideas on how to increase fairness in the judicial system; and the idea that if there had been as many smartphone video cameras during the civil rights movement as there are today, it probably would have proceeded a lot more rapidly and a lot less violently.

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers in history — and the only Canadian — to win all three of the world’s top Science Fiction awards for best novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. (The full list of includes: Frederik Pohl, David Brin, Joe Haldeman, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Robert J. Sawyer, Arthur C. Clarke, Connie Willis, Paolo Bacigalupi.) Robert J. Sawyer  is also an award-winning scriptwriter and an in-demand keynote speaker.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 29, 2015 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 43 minutes] This interview was recorded using Skype on March 22, 2015.

Stephen Euin Cobb has interviewed over 350 people for his work as an author, futurist, magazine writer and award-winning podcaster. A contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine; he has also been a regular contributor for Robot, H+, Grim Couture and Port Iris magazines; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen's Universe Magazine. For the last nine years he has produced a weekly podcast, The Future And You, which explores (through interviews, panel discussions and commentary) all the ways the future will be different from today. He is an artist, essayist, game designer, transhumanist, and is on the Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation. Stephen is the author of an ebook about the future entitledIndistinguishable from Magic: Predictions of Revolutionary Future Science.

Direct download: TFAY_2015_4_29.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:28pm EST

The Future And You--April 22, 2015

Robert J. Sawyer--Part 2. Topics: indicators we might see if the Internet were to wake up and become conscious as an artificial intelligence; clever things such a web-mind might do to make the world a better place; why Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Super Intelligence is not likely to be dangerous; why it is likely that we will develop artificial intelligence; the future of 3-D printers of ordinary stuff, and of organs for transplant; features of a post-scarcity world; epigenetics; the astounding wealth of knowledge we all have at our keyboards; the free audio books available for download from LibriVox; the Neanderthal Genome Project; and the ethical problems with cloning a neanderthal.

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers in history — and the only Canadian — to win all three of the world’s top Science Fiction awards for best novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. (The full list of includes: Frederik Pohl, David Brin, Joe Haldeman, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Robert J. Sawyer, Arthur C. Clarke, Connie Willis, Paolo Bacigalupi.) Robert J. Sawyer  is also an award-winning scriptwriter and an in-demand keynote speaker.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 22, 2015 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 38 minutes] This interview was recorded using Skype on March 22, 2015.

Stephen Euin Cobb has interviewed over 350 people for his work as an author, futurist, magazine writer and award-winning podcaster. A contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine; he has also been a regular contributor for Robot, H+, Grim Couture and Port Iris magazines; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen's Universe Magazine. For the last nine years he has produced a weekly podcast, The Future And You, which explores (through interviews, panel discussions and commentary) all the ways the future will be different from today. He is an artist, essayist, game designer, transhumanist, and is on the Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation. Stephen is the author of an ebook about the future entitledIndistinguishable from Magic: Predictions of Revolutionary Future Science.

Direct download: TFAY_2015_4_22.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:50pm EST

The Future And You--April 15, 2015

Robert J. Sawyer (the award-winning author and science enthusiast) discusses: radical life extension; how mind uploading might be misused in horrific ways; his critique of the methods used by the SETI project in their search for extraterrestrial civilizations; the most reasonable answers to the the Fermi Paradox; and his expectations concerning quantum computers, and why the NSA is buying them.

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers in history — and the only Canadian — to win all three of the world’s top Science Fiction awards for best novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. (The full list of includes: Frederik Pohl, David Brin, Joe Haldeman, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Robert J. Sawyer, Arthur C. Clarke, Connie Willis, Paolo Bacigalupi.) Robert J. Sawyer  is also an award-winning scriptwriter and an in-demand keynote speaker.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 15, 2015 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 37 minutes] This interview was recorded using Skype on March 22, 2015.

Stephen Euin Cobb has interviewed over 350 people for his work as an author, futurist, magazine writer and award-winning podcaster. A contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine; he has also been a regular contributor for Robot, H+, Grim Couture and Port Iris magazines; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen's Universe Magazine. For the last nine years he has produced a weekly podcast, The Future And You, which explores (through interviews, panel discussions and commentary) all the ways the future will be different from today. He is an artist, essayist, game designer, transhumanist, and is on the Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation. Stephen is the author of an ebook about the future entitledIndistinguishable from Magic: Predictions of Revolutionary Future Science.

Direct download: TFAY_2015_4_15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:54pm EST

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

The Future And You -- February 6, 2013

Stuart Jaffe (author and co-host of The Eclectic Review) is today's featured guest.

Topics: Google putting together a convention this month for app developers to come and write apps for Google's new eyeglass computer; Google calling for the end of passwords and pushing for some method which might be more secure than passwords; Casual terrorists verses Dedicated terrorists; the new 4K and 8K TVs (which have four times and 16 times the resolution of HD TVs); David Brin's prediction of a future without privacy (in his novel Earth) and the curious effects in Nancy Kress's novel A Beggar in Spain; the life-changing convenience of streaming TV shows and movies; ways Japanese and Korean movies are different from America movies; as well as Life extension and what Stuart might do differently if he knew he would probably live to be 300 years old.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the February 6, 2013 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 37 minutes]

Stuart Jaffe is the author of The Max Porter Paranormal-Mysteries, The Malja Chronicles, a post-apocalyptic fantasy series, and After The Crash as well as the short story collection, 10 Bits of My Brain, and many other short stories which have appeared in magazines and anthologies. He is the co-host of The Eclectic Review -- a podcast about science, art, and well, everything. He also plays guitar, is active in the theater, and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Direct download: TFAY_2013_2_6.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:28am EST

The Future And You -- May 25, 2011

This is the 200th episode of The Future And You.

Over a hundred never-before-heard 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.

Predictions and Congratulations from: Larry Niven, Joe Haldeman, Frederik Pohl, Catherine Asaro, Harry Turtledove, Gregory Benford, John Varley, Extropia DaSilva, CJ Cherryh, CJ Henderson, David Orban, Dave Freer, Giulio Prisco, Mike Resnick, Michael Anissimov, David Brin, Barry Hayworth, Paul Fischer, Cathe Smith, Michael D'Ambrosio, Tim Bolgeo (AKA: Uncle Timmy), Bryan Bishop, James Maxey, Robert Hooker, David Drake, Charlie Stross, Nancy Kress, Hildy Silverman, Michael Vassar, Randal L. Schwartz, David B. Coe, R.U. Sirius, Kevin J. Anderson, Amara D. Angelica, Gail Z. Martin, Philippe Van Nedervelde, Dale Baker, Vernor Vinge, Wayne Rooney, Larry Bowman, Joseph Sullivan, Charlie Kam, Dr. Anders Sandberg, Davey Beauchamp, Timothy Zahn, Sarah A. Hoyt, and Podcasting's Rich Sigfrit.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 25, 2011 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 90 minutes].

Direct download: TFAY_2011_5_25.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:41am EST


Katherine Kurtz, the best selling author of many fantasy novels including those in her Deryni Series, is our featured guest, in an interview recorded at the science fiction and fantasy convention, RavenCon in Richmond Virginia.

In this interview Katherine Kurtz talks about: her writing methods and style; which of her books were the most difficult to write and which ones were the most fun, and shares anecdotes from her travels, her life and her work. A friend of Anne McCaffery, Katherine has lived for a number of years in Ireland but recently moved back to the United States – the nation of her birth.

Concerning the future: Katherine describes trends within publishing today and the future of electronic publishing, and how our lives are being changed by cell phones, IM, high speed internet and online catalogs. She also discusses the annoyance of popup ads and junk-mail, her opinion of Wikipedia, and the seduction of the internet as a time-vampire. She also predicts that physical mail (as opposed to email) will someday become rare.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 7, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 48 minutes]

News items in this episode include:

1) Sophrosyne Stenvaag announces that Extropia Core (the futuristic city-state within Second Life which your host visits frequently) will Co-Host part of the NASA Future Forum next week on May 14, 2008, which will feature a preview of NASA’s Constellation Program – America’s return to the Moon and beyond. The keynote address which will be broadcast live on NASA TV will be given by NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale, who is known inside Second Life as Xena Dahl. Soph explains how listeners can attend and participate.

2) Your host also thanks Zada Zenovka for her kind gift of a new pair of designer eyes for his avatar within Second Life. Zada is one of the two artists who crafted the custom made body and skin for the author David Brin when he made a personal appearance inside Second Life a few weeks ago as part of Extropia's celebration of Yuri's Night.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_5_7.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST


David Brin, fresh from a personal appearance inside the virtual world of Second Life, is our featured guest. The best selling science fiction author, scientist and public speaker, expands on the ideas he presented there and describes his impression of that virtual world based on his first-hand experience.

David Brin has won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards and is the author of the novel Kiln People and The Life Eaters as well as six novels within his Uplift Series. He holds a Bachelor’s in astronomy, a Master’s in applied physics, and a Doctorate in astrophysics.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 23, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 49 minutes]

David Brin's appearance inside Second Life was part of the annual world-wide celebration of Yuri's Night, which commemorates the first human flight into space by Yuri Gagarin in 1961.

For nearly two hours David Brin spoke to an overflow crowd in the grand meeting hall in the Central Nexus Building inside the city-state of Extropia inside Second Life. He was interviewed by Sophrosyne Stenvaag in an expanded version of her Sophrosyne's Saturday Salon which is held every week.

Wearing a photorealistic body specially crafted for this event by the avatar artists Zeroe Auer and Zada Zenovka, David spoke about the strengths and weaknesses of virtual worlds as a place to discuss ideas--and did so while experiencing those very strengths and weaknesses as he discussed ideas. (My photos of his event may be found on Flickr.)

The city-state of Extropia has become a popular meeting area within Second Life for those who are curious about the future because it features weekly events to discuss various futuristic topics. The organization SL-Transhumanists, for example, hosts lectures and discussions about the many aspects of transhumanism such as nanotech, genotech, AI and the Singularity.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_4_23.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST


Randal L. Schwartz, the widely known computer programmer and programming consultant, is our featured guest today.

Randal has acquired a level of renown through his longstanding work in popularizing and promoting the programming language called Perl. He has authored and co-authored many widely used books on the subject, and has written over 200 articles about it for various computer magazines.

He is also the co-host of FLOSS Weekly (a podcast from the TWiT podcasting Network which features prominent guests from the free software/open source community).

In today’s interview Randal discusses the following topics:

How ethanol is not only raising food prices world-wide but its production is also a major source of carbon dioxide (a concern for Global Warming), some have suggested that switch grass may be a better answer. Google's announced desire to offer free nation-wide wireless internet access; and the legal catch-22 that municipalities have always found themselves in when they tried to provide wi-fi at the taxpayer's expense. How passports with RFID chips can be hacked wirelessly as you walk through an airport; why it is that Japanese users are getting 25 times faster high-speed internet than American high-speed users; and how Netflix.com is scrambling to keep Hulu.com from outpacing them.

Randal also describes his involvement with Geek Cruises and the Scientific American Cruises; his podcast FLOSS Weekly (which stands for Free Libre Open Source Software and may be found at twit.tv/floss); and his enthusiasm over a powerful new programming language called SeaSide. (Examples, BTW, of open source software include: Wikipedia, Blender, Gimp and Open Office.)

Randal also gets to gloat over his prediction from last year because the New York Times has reported that pacemaker heart implants with wi-fi internet connections can be hacked through the internet by a hacker on the other side of the world, who can make the device stop working or even give the patient electric shocks strong enough to kill.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 16, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 69 minutes]

Randal L. Schwartz is a founding board member of the Perl Mongers, the worldwide Perl grassroots advocacy organization and, since 1985, has owned and operated Stonehenge Consulting Services which specializes in the teaching, training and programming of Perl.

Also included in this episode is your host's eyewitness report on the Yuri's Night celebration that took place on April 12 in the city state of Extropia inside Second Life. David Brin (the award-winning and best-selling author) was the featured speaker. David was easily recognizable since his avatar wore a photorealistic skin created for the occasion by a skilled avatar artist.

During the all-day festivities in Extropia your host: met two NASA representatives as well as some Russians, drove a moon buggy; sat inside a life-sized model of Yuri Gagarin's space capsule, danced with a wide variety of beautiful women, admired Vidal Tripsa's space suit (possibly the sexiest space suit ever), watched David Brin pack the house for his open forum discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of virtual worlds such as Second Life, and took over 300 photos of the day's events. (Many of which can be viewed on Flickr.)

Direct download: TFAY_2008_4_16.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST


Greg Bear, the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of more than thirty books of science fiction and fantasy, is our featured guest today.

Greg Bear has served on political and scientific action committees and has advised Microsoft Corporation, the U.S. Army, the CIA, Sandia National Laboratories, and Homeland Security. And just recently--like your host--he has joined the advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation.

In today's interview Greg Bear describes his TV appearance on The Daily Show with John Steward, movie deals which are in the works for his novels, and his recollections of his many conversations with the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, including the very first time he met Sir Arthur back in 1968 when Greg was only 16 years old.

He also talks of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, technological immortality, mind uploading, and why he disagrees with some of the expectations of Transhumanists, and most of the expectations of Singularitarians.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 9, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 62 minutes]

Greg also discusses physics and string theory; life on extrasolar planets (including the surprisingly numerous super-hot planets which often orbit their stars in a matter of days); the world wide annual celebration of Yuri Gagarin's first human flight into space (which your host will be celebrating inside Second Life); Sir Arthur C. Clarke's many contributions to civilization; how technology will change future battlefields; and how Russia seems to be heading back into the cold war.

He also reveals his excitement that The Science Fiction Museum in Seattle will be expanding to include fantasy, and possibly horror as well. He was on the advisory board for the science fiction museum in Seattle along with Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler and Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

Greg Bear's novel, Quantico, is a near-future thriller; while Darwin’s Radio and Darwin’s Children form a sequence about viruses and human evolution. Blood Music deals with biotechnology, nanotechnology (including grey goo), the nature of consciousness and artificial intelligence.

News items mentioned in this episode include:

Robert J. Sawyer the award-winning author made two personal appearances inside Second Life on Sunday, April 6, 2008. The first in the Central Nexus building in Extropia Core, the second at a meeting of the Extropia Book Club.

David Brin the award-winning author will be making a personal appearance inside Second Life on Saturday, April 12 in Extropia Core as part of the annual world-wide Yuri's Night celebrations of the first human in space. He will be the Spotlight Guest at Sophrosyne's Saturday Salon. Soph will interview David in an open discussion event from 1 PM to 2:30 PM Pacific Time.

I am the Very Model of a Singularitarian is a clever music video now on youTube. Written and sung by Charlie Kam to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan's I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General from the popular musical play The Pirates of Penzance.

www.WikiPatents.com is a public community which features a wiki-like interface for reviewing, rating, and discussing US patents and pending patent applications. It also offers free patent PDF downloads, file histories, and advanced patent searching. Users may also vote on the marketability and technical merits of patents and patent applications.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_4_9.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST

SF authors David Brin, Spider Robinson, Nancy Kress and Joe Haldeman are guests; as are Mike Treder (on nanotechnology), David Pascal (on cryonics) and from Red Dwarf (the award winning British science fiction TV comedy series) a celebrity interview with the British actress and stand-up comedian Hattie Hayridge.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the March 11, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 79 minutes] 

Topics include:

[1] The future dominance of women in America, and the hypocrisy within our government over the funding of global warming research. David Brin (bestselling author and scientist) tackles both of these subjects.

[2] Spider Robinson (bestselling author) explains why, thanks to the internet, it is no longer possible to think you are weird (even if you are), and how this has changed us. He also describes how he learned to appreciate technology the hard way: by living without it. (And once again, as an added bonus, you will hear a song from Spider's CD, Belaboring the Obvious. This one is called Oblivion.)

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

[4] How long until we fall into the next dark age? The award winning author Nancy Kress discusses this, and describes how malaria is spreading to villages higher up the sides of African mountains because the habitat of the malaria causing mosquito is expanding, apparently thanks to global warming.

[5] Will Hillary Clinton be sacrificed by the Democrats? The award winning author Joe Haldeman worries that Hillary's own party may not prove to be the strong ally she will need to win the presidency in 2008.

[6] Hacking nanotechnology: the future of NanoWarez. The world's hackers will someday shift their focus from turning your computer against you to turning your nanotech devices and implants against you. Just how dangerous this might get is described by Mike Treder, Executive Director of The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology.

[7] Foreign cryonics: the French have outlawed it, the Brits are with us, and the Russians secretly researched a lot more during the cold war than they are willing to share now. And what about pre-death freezing? It's still illegal everywhere, but the Scandinavian nations are lax on suicide. Might they be flexible about freezing the terminally ill? David Pascal (noted marketing consultant who specializes in Social Marketing) shares his considerable knowledge.

[8] Why science has become so much more powerful than religion (an essay by your host).

[9] A celebrity interview with the British actress and comedian Hattie Hayridge, who played Holly the computer (after the computer's sex change) on the award winning British science fiction comedy series Red Dwarf.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_3_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:34pm EST

SF authors Spider Robinson and David Brin are among the guests; as are a mayor, the head of a nanotechnology organization, the legendary science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein (but only very briefly), and the TV star Erin Gray from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Silver Spoons who shares the inspiring story of how she broke into show biz.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the February 25, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 91 minutes]

Topics include:

[1] Robert A. Heinlein passed away in 1988, yet his name will appear on a brand new novel due out in September of 2006. This novel is a collaborative effort between the late legend and a younger, newer talent: one of Mister Heinlein's greatest fans: the award winning author, Spider Robinson. I asked Spider how this unusual collaboration came to be.(Following his interview, as an added bonus, you will hear the title song from Spider's CD, Belaboring the Obvious, which he wrote for his wife, Jeanne, eleven years ago while she was away in a Buddhist monastery for three months.)

[2] Are we making serious mistakes in how we're conducting the search for extraterrestrial intelligence? David Brin (the award winning author and scientist) is convinced that we are. He also describes his own answer to the puzzle of why the universe seems so completely empty of intelligent life: a situation often referred to as the Fermi Paradox.

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

[4] What's the difference between molecular manufacturing, nanotech assemblers and nanites? Mike Treder, executive director of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, makes it clear.

[5] Cryonic SWAT teams, and what you should do before the body of your friend or loved one rots. David Pascal describes what to do in those critical hours between an unexpected death and cryosuspension.

[6] Hillary vs Condoleezza. Both political machines are gearing up for the match of the century. Will 2008 be the year that America gets it first woman president? I posed this question to a Republican insider: Scott Dean, the Mayor of Harlem Georgia.

[7] A celebrity interview with Erin Gray, the actress who played Colonel Wilma Deering in the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century as well as Kate Summers in the TV series Silver Spoons.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_2_25.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:34pm EST

SF authors David Brin and Joe Haldeman are among the guests, along with: the head of a nanotech org, a marketing consultant, a cryonic insurance provider, and the actress Robin Curtis, who played a Vulcan Starfleet officer in two Star Trek movies.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the February 11, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 79 minutes] 

Topics include:

[1] David Brin (bestselling author and scientist) warns that Righteous Indignation is an addictive high chemically similar to heroin, and also describes our civilization's unfounded Crisis of Confidence.

[2] Predicting the risks and potential misuse of nanotechnology's vast and marvelous future is the mission of CRN: the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology. CRN's Executive Director, Mike Treder, provides a heads-up.

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

[4] More powerful than propaganda, social marketing has been used to engineer changes in the beliefs and behaviours of entire populations, and has suceeded with surgical precision. David Pascal, a marketing consultant who specializes in social marketing, explains this power; as well as how it is used--and misused--in today's american politics.

[5] Technological Immortality: will we develop it in the next few decades? The award winning author Joe Haldeman shares a few thoughts on the subject.

[6] A few more thoughts on technological immortality; this time from Rudi Hoffman, the world's leading cryonics insurance provider.

[7] A listener's comments on the host's use of the word dead when referring to the cryopreserved.

[8] She worked with Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and the rest of the cast of Star Trek. A celebrity interview with the actress Robin Curtis, who played the Vulcan Starfleet officer Lieutenant Saavik in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock as well as (the host's favorite of the Star Trek movies) Star Trek IV: The Journey Home.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_2_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:13pm EST