The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.
January 27, 2010 Episode

Gregory Benford (Nebula Award winning author, physicist and professor) is today's featured guest.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the January 27, 2010 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 37 minutes] This interview was recorded on January 16, 2010.

Topics: A new life extension product he is involved with (Genescient ) which will be available in the summer of 2010; life extension in general and his vision of its possibilities; how global warming might be mitigated using geoengineering methods such as carbon capture; what he learned by being co-founder and co-editor of the SF fanzine Void; the work of his friend Stephen Wolfram (inventor of Mathematica) including the new online calculating engine Wolfram Alpha.

In popular culture Gregory Benford: is a science fiction writer with over twenty novels to his credit; has won the Nebula Award twice; in 1989 was host and scriptwriter for the television documentary series A Galactic Odyssey; and also served as scientific consultant for Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In academia Gregory Benford: has a doctorate in physics; is a professor of physics at the University of California; conducts research in plasma turbulence and in astrophysics; has published well over a hundred scientific papers; and has served as an advisor to the Department of Energy, NASA and the White House Council on Space Policy.

Direct download: TFAY_2010_1_27.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

January 20, 2010 Episode

J.C. Hutchins (the award-winning novelist of the 7th Son technothriller trilogy) is today's featured guest.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the January 20, 2010 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 47 minutes]

Topics: his innovative approaches to marketing his fiction through the Internet such as his viral videos (vlerbs he calls them) as well as free ebook-downloads and free audio book-downloads and, of course, the results he has been seeing. We also talk about innovative methods used by Cory Doctorow; the problematic trends going on in traditional book publishing; and the Amazon Kindle, one of which he owns and enjoys a great deal.

J.C. Hutchins has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Asimov’s Science Fiction, on the BBC and Italian National Radio.


Direct download: TFAY_2010_1_20.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

January 13, 2010 Episode

Celebrating the new decade with Part Two of the summary of the changes your host expects we will see during the next ten years.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the January 13, 2010 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 31 minutes] This was recorded on January 2, 2010.


By the end of this decade a wide variety of nanomaterials will be in almost all consumer products, and nanomaterials will become a mature field of engineering. Molecular manufacturing, however, will probably not be a mature engineering field, though many of the steps need to get us there will have been made.

The US war on terrorism will spread to many progressively tinier places scattered all around the world--places which are poorly governed, or not governed at all.

Atheism will increase, and the geographical locations where it carries a stigma will continue to shrink, but religions will still enjoy widespread popularity.

Cell phones will become increasingly computer-like, and increasingly Internet connected. However, cell phones will be replaced almost completely in the second half of the decade by eyeglass computer cell phones which will have full-color 3-D displays in their lenses which can highlight and label what you are looking at in your surroundings or show you the TV show you missed last night.

The Democratic Party might be foolish enough to split into two parties.

By 2020 there will be more robots than humans in the developed nations. These robots will perform a wide variety of tasks, and a great deal of work, but it will still be a decade or so before they are as smart as people.

A thousand miniature mole-like robots arrayed under the ground in a grid patten, and oriented like a vertical wall, will sweep once through an archaeological dig site and examine every grain of dirt for evidence of some past civilization. On that day archaeology will be changed forever.

By the end of this decade there will be at least a hundred digital video cameras for every human being in the developed world. Their ownership will be split between individuals, corporations and governments; but the balance of power will shift to the individuals because they have a thousand times more eyes than the corporations and a million times more eyes than the governments; as well as because individuals are quick to post online what annoys them so that it can annoy everyone else too. This ocean of cameras will cover the earth with a relentless scrutiny which will change civilization in many ways. For example: Although new crimes will be invented, the traditional crimes we are familiar with today such as smuggling, auto theft and burglary will become more an more impossible to get away with. Terrorists too will eventually fail and fade away under the relentless watch of six billion eyes: it will become increasingly impossible to hide their equipment, their actions, and finally themselves, in a world in which Google Earth can display every square inch of the planet in real time. Even the biggest and most powerful dictators will cringe under the coming scrutiny. Law abiding citizens will find it simultaneously annoying and reassuring.


Direct download: TFAY_2010_1_13.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

January 6, 2010 Episode

Celebrating the new decade with a summary of the changes your host expects we will see during the next ten years.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the January 6, 2010 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 35 minutes] This was recorded on January 2, 2010.

Topics: All human knowledge will be available online; the brilliant new movie Avatar (and why my friends Extropia DaSilva and Khannea Suntzu insisted I watch it in 3D on an IMAX); free-roaming surgical robots smaller than insects will allow surgeons to perform delicate operations which are impossible today; cheap solar cells will be everywhere but cheap battery technology may lag behind and limit their potential (temporarily); the long bitter fight against TV moving online has begun and may get ugly; Amazon's Kindle and the inevitable fall of the giant chain book stores; why World of Warcraft will avoid becoming photorealistic; why old municipal waste dumps will become the new gold mines; Fareed Zakaria's recent guest who advocated a geoengineering solution to global warming, thus placing the regulation of the earth's temperature under direct human control; why luddism may become popular and maybe even trendy; professional genealogists as a group will be shamed, discredited and ridiculed as charlatans when personal DNA testing becomes widespread and shows that their work is riddled with errors; the Chinese government will have to make a choice soon, and if they get it wrong many Chinese will suffer and die. Other topics include: human life expectancy, artificial intelligence, the Internet, cell phones, voice recognition, The Singularity, cleaning robots, and why movie theaters will remain popular even though we'll get a better seat, sound and image in our home theaters.


Direct download: TFAY_2010_1_6.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT