The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.

Authors Robert J. Sawyer, Mike Resnick, David B. Coe, Edmund Schubert, Randal L. Schwartz and Stoney Compton are joined by Walt (The Bananaslug) Boyes and Davey Beauchamps. Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the June 1, 2007 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 167 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] News about your host's recent throat surgery, and listener feedback about the implanting and hardwiring of computers into the human brain.

[2] Should we fear artificial intelligence? Once we make machines that are smarter than us how will we control or contain them? And if we try, won't they just outsmart us? Robert J. Sawyer explains why AI has dangerous possibilities which are being ignored today; and will continue to be ignored until, because of the accelerating pace of technological advancement, it will be too late. He discusses near term dangers, and ponders humanity's ultimate fate. Will we become pets or partners to machines, or something else for which we have no word?

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

[4] Are state lotteries really an unethical tax upon the very people who can least afford them: the naive and gullible? Does the widespread popularity of gun ownership in America make the United States the only nation on earth that is unconquerable? Mike Resnick covers these and other subjects such as: Will Puerto Ricans ever vote for statehood knowing it will mean they'll have to begin paying income taxes? Will the US ever have socialized medicine? When Castro passes away, will Cuba embrace consumerism?

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

[6] Did the documentary An Inconvenient Truth reveal as much about Al Gore and his political aspirations as it did about Al Gore's beliefs concerning climate change? David B. Coe describes what he sees as the many lessons from the movie including the probability that Al Gore will run for president in 2008, and his chances against Hillary and the other Democratic candidates.

[7] In the next seven to fourteen years your monthly electric bill will drop to zero permanently, and you will drive a car every day which costs you nothing to fuel. An essay by your host about the soon-coming abundance of really cheap solar cells.

[8] Are public libraries embracing the vast information access powers of the internet? The movement is called Library 2.0 and Davey Beauchamp (a professional librarian, and part-time writer and voice actor) has been helping it work its way into the quiet book-lined rooms of traditional libraries. Davey also describes trends in anime, his work on the second Writers for Relief anthology and announces that he has just been hired to write a rock opera based on the legend of Blue Beard the Pirate.

[9] In the next three to five years diabetics will all stop poking needles into their fingertips forever. A mini-essay by your host about RFID chips which will be implanted inside human patients and provide constant medical measurements without wires.

[10] What methods has Microsoft used that have given it a reputation for aggressive monopolism? And is it true, as some claim, that Microsoft's new Vista operating system has stolen 45 things from Apple's OS-10. Randal L. Schwartz talks of this as well as his experiments with podcasting and Geek Cruises.

[11] Will the online science fiction and fantasy magazines survive? Edmund R. Schubert, editor of Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, describes the strengths and weakness of this business; the money to be made and the trends he sees developing.

Direct download: TFAY_2007_6_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT