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

Philippe Van Nedervelde, international spokesperson for the Lifeboat Foundation, is today's featured guest. (He is also Executive Director for the Foresight Nanotech Institute in Europe, and a Global Task Force Member for the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology.) Philippe describes the Lifeboat Foundation, its work to define and evaluate the many coming risks to humankind, and how the foundation has already begun formulating specific recommendations on how we may prepare for these risks.

This episode also contains an essay by your host describing the dramatic changes which the internet will experience in the next five to ten years; as well as an announcement of a presentation which will be given on March 9, 2008, at Extropia Core inside Second Life by the esteemed pioneers of international transhumanism and extropy: Natasha Vita-Moore and Anders Sandberg. Their topic: Do humans have a natural right to augmentation and enhancement?

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the February 27, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 93 minutes]

Some of the risks include: unfriendly AI (Artificial Intelligence), devastating asteroid strikes, bioweapons and pandemics, replicating and nonreplicating nanoweapons, nuclear, biological, and nanotechnological attacks. But one of the scariest of these has become known as ADC (Asymmetric Destructive Capability), in which large scale destruction can be accomplished with relatively small scale resources. Another scary risk is called SIMaD, which stands for Single Individual Massively Destructive, or as Philippe describes it, The Unabomber on steroids.

Philippe Van Nedervelde is a regular keynote speaker at conferences and other events, and has made presentations throughout Europe to audiences of all sizes and compositions including academic, business and governmental such as European Union parliamentary hearings.

He is the award-winning founder, CEO and majority-owner of E-spaces, a VR production house which has delivered networked or multi-user Virtual Reality or tele-virtuality and interactive 3D graphics projects for customers including NASA, UNESCO, the European Commission, Flemish Government, Ericsson Business Networks, Nokia and IBM.

Philippe holds a master's degree in communication as well as a post-graduate degree in Media and Information Science from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_2_27.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Giulio Prisco (futurist, scientist, corporate consultant and until recently the Executive Director of the World Transhumanist Association) is today's featured guest. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and on the Global Task Force on Implications and Policy for CRN, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology.

Argent Bury (a digital person living exclusively within Second Life) provides an essay concerning the tension between immersionists and augmentationists within her virtual world.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the February 20, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 79 minutes]

Giulio Prisco also covers the prejudice and intolerance between immersionists and augmentationists, and mentions that the day before the interview, Cervantes University held its very first college class within Second Life, and discusses many aspects of the future of virtual realities.

A virtual reality expert and consultant for companies wishing to use and benefit from many different VR platforms, Giulio describes what's available now, and what will be available in the decades to come. From the current photorealistic graphics, to the total immersion through full sensory feedback directly wired into the human nervous system.

He describes various VR platforms including Second Life and its competitors, as well as the possibility that all the platforms will become linked together into a unified whole, just as the internet was once many separate little nets that could not share content.

Giulio Prisco is also the Director of the futurist consulting consortium called FutureTag, as well as founder and CEO of Metafuturing (a company specializing in Science and Technology Consulting, Internet Services and Virtual Reality). Based in Madrid, Spain, he founded the Spanish transhumanist group FASTRA. He is a former physicist and computer scientist, as well as a former manager at ESA: the European Space Agency.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_2_20.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Catherine Asaro, scientist and Nebula award winning author, is our featured guest; while Glen Walkerson who writes tech-manuals for the F-16 fighter jet provides a brief bonus interview.

Catherine Asaro describes her thoughts on the rise of nanotechnology, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the ongoing feminization of civilization, and how non-lethal weapons might alter the nature of war. Glen Walkerson shares a few comments on the new F-22 fighter jet, which is under production, as well as the F-35 fighter which is still in development.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the February 13, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 41 minutes]

Catherine Asaro is the author of 16 novels which have been described as a blend of hard science fiction, romance and space adventure. 11 of her novels belong to her Saga of the Skolian Empire. Her novel The Quantum Rose won the Nebula Award for Best Novel of 2001 and she is a three-time winner of the Romantic Times Book Club award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

From UCLA she received a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry. From Harvard she received a Masters in Physics and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics.

She has done research at the University of Toronto in Canada, the Max Planck Institut für Astrophysik in Germany, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Her research involved using quantum theory to describe the behavior of atoms and molecules. She was a physics professor until 1990 when she established Molecudyne Research.

A former ballerina, she has performed with ballets and in musicals on both the east and west coast of the United States. In the 1980’s she was a principal dancer and artistic director of the Mainly Jazz Dancers and the Harvard University Ballet.

She has also published short stories, reviews, essays, and scientific papers in refereed academic journals. Her paper Complex Speeds and Special Relativity, which appeared in the April 1996 issue of The American Journal of Physics, forms the basis for some of the science in her novels.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_2_13.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Paul Levinson (author, media commentator and professor) shares his ideas concerning nanotechnology, SETI, the Fermi Paradox, the probability and impact of our finding another Earth, and the impacts already made upon society by PayPal and eBay. He also explains why he believes that Wikipedia is one of the most exciting innovations in communication today.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the February 6, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 55 minutes]

Paul Levinson is professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University in New York City. He has a Bachelors in Journalism, a Masters in Media Studies and a Doctorate in Media Ecology.

He is the author of five novels of science fiction and/or fantasy; as well as nine non-fiction books. He served as President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America from 1998 to 2001.

As a commentator on media, popular culture, and science fiction he has been interviewed over 500 times on television and radio. And his op-eds have appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, New York's Newsday, and the New York Sun.

Prior to his academic career, Paul Levinson was a songwriter, singer and record producer in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with recordings by the Vogues, Donna Marie of The Archies and Ellie Greenwich. As a radio producer he worked with Murray the K and Wolfman Jack.

Also included in this episode: (a) a piece of music from Chris Armstrong's CD entitled: AI Awakens; (b) how to visit Boc Cryotank (your host's avatar in Second Life) at Sophrosyne's Saturday Salon (a weekly gathering of transhumanists, extropians, and other future-minded people); (c) your host's birthday; and (d) the news that your host has accepted an invitation to join the advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_2_6.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT