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

Authors Timothy Zahn and Kevin J. Anderson are joined by Professor Paul Levinson (media commentator), as well as by Stoney Compton and Walt (The Bananaslug) Boyes. Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 1, 2007 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 98 minutes]

Topics include:

[1] News Items:
(a) Paris Hilton has signed up for cryonic preservation.
(b) Controversial new documentary claims there is an aggressive and widespread conspiracy within American universities to harass and persecute anyone who admits they believe in Intelligent Design.
(c) This is the second anniversary episode of The Future And You, and the first anniversary of this show being teamed with Jim Baen's Universe Magazine.
(d) Bones Burnt Black serialization is complete. (This episode contains no installment).
(e) Hank Reinhardt (renowned weapons expert and beloved husband of Toni Weisskopf--head of Baen Books) passed away on October 30, 2007.

[2] Could the reason SETI hasn't found any intelligent life in the universe be because there isn't any out there? Earth constitutes only one data point says Timothy Zahn, and my training in physics and mathematics tells me that extrapolating from only one data point is fraught with danger.

Timothy Zahn's confidence is high, however, that we will someday have computers wired directly into our bodies, but say's: I'll wait for the third or fourth generation of the technology to see what the side effects are. He also talks about medical life extension, The Singularity, nanotechnology, cryonics, and faster than light travel.

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

[4] Kevin J. Anderson (co-author of the best selling Dune prequels) sees artificial intelligence eventually merging with humans rather than becoming our enemy. He anticipates that computer implants will become popular, and is willing to have one wired into his brain too-—after other people try them first. He even suggests that this might someday lead to humanity developing a Hive Mind. He also talks about SETI, FTL, nanotechnology, and cryonics.

[5] Professor Paul Levinson does not believe artificial intelligence will ever become so advanced that it is unintelligible to humans. Because of this he does not buy into any of the apocalyptic descriptions of The Singularity in which machines out-pace humanity and go their own way. Instead he sees artificially intelligent machines becoming intimately integrated with human minds, resulting in our becoming better humans. He also describes the affects cryonics might have on society.

Direct download: TFAY_2007_12_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EST