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

Authors Catherine Asaro, Kim Stanley Robinson, Alan Dean Foster and Sarah A. Hoyt are joined by Toni Weisskopf (the new head of Baen Books) and Paul Levinson (author, professor and media commentator). Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the November 1, 2006 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 150 minutes] ---

Topics include:

[1] Ideas from listeners.

[2] Why do they keep raising the requirements of artificial intelligence every time someone builds a computer that meets the requirements? Catherine Asaro (author, physicist and former ballerina) discusses this and other transhumanist concerns.

[3] With the tragic loss of its visionary founder, Jim Baen, what direction will Baen Books take into the future? Toni Weisskopf, Baen's new leader, provides many of the answers.

[4] Chapter twelve in our serialization of the novel Bones Burnt Black.

[5] Can political science become an actual science rather than a pretend science as it is now? And if it embraces the scientific method can it then become a tool to benefit all people, rather than just its divisive practitioners as it all too often does now? Kim Stanley Robinson, author and a self-proclaimed science patriot, speaks of this and other matters.

[6] Are adults different today? Has intellectual maturity become a thing of the past? Instead of reaching a plateau of stability, do we now spend all our lives in a mentally malleable child-like state in which we are continually learning, growing and changing? Sarah A. Hoyt, author and life-long learner, insists the answer is Yes.

[7] Has the time come for a single unified diagram which can integrate every kind of celestial object in the universe? Is it even possible to arrange in a single continuum all the objects from the tiniest tumbling grain of dust to quasars brighter than a billion suns? Your host thinks it is, and proposes just such a diagram in this essay.

[8] What is the likelihood of technological immortality? Why is cryonics better than cremation? And do ecological preserves without armed enforcement against poachers have a meaningful future? Alan Dean Foster, author and world traveler, covers all this and more.

[9] Can every celestial object in the universe be defined accurately using a simple notation system of just five numbers? Based on the universal diagram from his previous essay, your host makes a case for an equally universal system of classification.

[10] What's it like to go head-to-head with Bill O'Reilly on his TV show The O'Reilly Factor? Paul Levinson (author, professor and media commentator) shares his experiences in that very public hot-seat.

Direct download: TFAY_2006_11_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:02am EDT