… Read the rest
That an octopus called Paul had a better success rate than Goldman Sachs when predicting World Cup results (credit to the Wall Street Journal for the headline “Octopus Beats Vampire Squid”) tells you something about the wisdom of guessing the future in public.
Guessing what the world will look like in 50 years’ time, however, is pretty safe, as I won’t be here to see myself proved wrong. Or will I?
If Google’s director of engineering has his way, we’ll all be around indefinitely – in the cloud at least. AI (artificial intelligence) guru Ray Kurzweil is one of a number of technologists, inventors and futurists who believe that the ability to upload our minds to the web, create virtual bodies, and thereby live forever, is within touching distance.
Kurzweil invented the first flat-bed scanning and optical character recognition systems, foresaw the internet explosion and correctly predicted that a computer would beat a chess Grandmaster by the turn of the century.
Tag Archives | Future
“In the first half of the 20th century, the prevailing idea was that humans could be masters of nature and the universe. We thought that human power was unlimited. We thought- ‘we can change rivers, we can move mountains,’ we can actually conquer nature. Then sometime in the second half of the 20th century, we made the realization that the relationship between nature and humans is actually much more complex than that.” -Dr. Michael Nosonovsky.
If you love technology, congratulations! You’re living in what is, without a doubt, the most exciting time for it in human history. We’ve got self-driving cars, Oculus Rift, ubiquitous pocket-dwelling supercomputers and giant televisions in nearly every home. It’s almost enough to make you forget about ISIS, Ebola, killer asteroids and climate disaster.
So let’s dampen the fear mongering feedback loop a bit further by jumping the technological brainwashing (I use that phrase with great affection) up a few notches.… Read the rest
The New York Times discovers a couple of California garage tinkerers who have made a real hoverboard, as in Marty McFly’s ride in Back to the Future:
… Read the rest
LOS GATOS, Calif. — A lot of things can hover. There are helicopters. There are hovercraft. But for the last three decades, a generation of engineers and movie fans have been waiting for something else: a hovering skateboard like the one in “Back to the Future Part II.”
The hoverboard is fiction, the vision of screenwriters who created the film about Marty McFly, a teenager who travels from 1985 to Oct. 21, 2015, and uses a floating skateboard to flee a gang of bullies.
The movie had other futuristic items, like flying cars and self-tying shoes, but none touched the imagination as much as the hoverboard. For the last 25 years, garage tinkerers, physics professors and top engineers at Google have been trying to make one.
This article by Arthur House in The Telegraph reads like a William Gibson cyberpunk novel, but it’s reality, here and now. He says “Forget wearable tech. The pioneers of our “post-human” future are implanting technology in to their bodies and brains. Should we stop them or join them?”:
… Read the rest
Ian Burkhart concentrated hard. A thick cable protruded from the crown of his shaven head. A sleeve sprouting wires enveloped his right arm. The 23 – year-old had been paralysed from the neck down since a diving accident four years ago. But, in June this year, in a crowded room in the Wexner Medical Centre at Ohio State University, Burkhart’s hand spasmed into life.
At first it opened slowly and shakily, as though uncertain who its owner was. But when Burkhart engaged his wrist muscles, its upward movement was sudden and decisive. You could hear the joints – unused for years – cracking.
via Boing Boing:
In 1977, Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger predicted a utopian, space-faring, enlightened future. 37 years later, writes Jason Louv, it’s finally starting to show up.
In my second year of college, I bought a copy of Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger at a New Age bookstore in downtown Santa Cruz.
It had a naked space goddess on the cover, and threatened to reveal the “Final Secret of the Illuminati.” I read it in one sitting, and when I closed the book, I’d not only learned said group’s final secret, I felt like I was one of the inner circle.
I immediately loaned it out, and watched it circulate among about a dozen people before vanishing into the Santa Cruz synchronicity vortex. Everyone I talked to had about the same experience.
Get a copy of Robert Anton Wilson: Maybe Logic today.
As one of the most celebrated of technology pioneers, Elon Musk (Tesla cars, SpaceX, etc.) knows a thing or two about where technology is headed, and he’s not at all sure there will be a positive outcome for humanity per this interview with Walter Isaacson for Vanity Fair:
… Read the rest
Tesla and SpaceX C.E.O. Elon Musk said he was worried that people didn’t understand how fast artificial intelligence was progressing, and expressed his concern that, in a worst-case scenario, a “super-intelligent” machine might decide to destroy human life.
Musk was speaking to Walter Isaacson, the president and C.E.O. of the Aspen Institute, on stage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in San Francisco. Musk, uncharacteristically wearing a suit, detailed his fears after teasing the announcement of Tesla’s secretive project called “the D.”
“I don’t think anyone realizes how quickly artificial intelligence is advancing. Particularly if [the machine is] involved in recursive self-improvement .
The next big thing for many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors is food. Paul B. Farrell explains ‘Food 2.0’ at MarketWatch:
Silicon Valley: “The Next Start-up Craze” is “Food 2.0” predict MIT Technology Review’s editors. “They are taking on corporate giants such as ConAgra, General Mills, and Kraft that spend billions on research and technology development.” Still, you can bet a successful new food-tech start-up is likely to have one of the Big Ag firms along as a venture partner or later as buy-out sugar-daddy.
Big Ag’s Monsanto: The global food industry, especially Big Ag capitalists like Monsanto, which controls 27% of the global seed market, is already having trouble feeding a global population of seven billion today. You can bet your corn futures that Monsanto will need many new ag technology breakthroughs if it expects its stock to double again like it had the past four years. And Big Ag is already facing heavy backlash over genetically modified food as it is.
Just what I wanted to hear after finishing up a reading binge of Philip K. Dick’s short stories.
via CNet (Please follow the link to read the entire article.):
… Read the rest
What have you done for society lately, huh? Nothing. It’s not your fault. You’re just past it. You should accept it. You just sit on the sofa all day, eating Kettles New York Cheddar chips and watching “Frasier” reruns.
-You’re strangling me.
-It’s for your own good. Well, for the good of us all, really.
And so might end a beautiful human life, one that promised so much and, as so many lives do, delivered slightly less.
Such is a scenario recently posited by Nell Watson at a conference in Malmo, Sweden. Watson is an engineer, a futurist, CEO of body-scanning company Poikos and clearly someone who worries whether engineering will always make life better.
If your Friday calls for some philosophical discourse, I’ve got your remedy. Check out this 13 minute interview between Bertrand Russell and Woodrow Wyatt from 1960.
After posting the debate between Norman Mailer and Marshall McLuhan, I decided to hunt for some more goodies. Some of you mentioned having seen the Mailer/McLuhan piece before. So if you know of anymore videos like that and you feel so inclined to share, let me know! I’m sure the Disinfo crowd will appreciate it.
… Read the rest
In short, the main problem with our society is that our education system is designed to instill obedience, and it has done so extremely well. We have willingly consumed propaganda to the point where our hypnosis has turned us into servants of totalitarian regimes:
“The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin uses the term inverted totalitarianism in his book Democracy Incorporated to describe our political system. In inverted totalitarianism, the sophisticated technologies of corporate control, intimidation, and mass manipulation, which far surpass those employed by previous totalitarian states, are effectively masked by the glitter, noise, and abundance of a consumer society.”
Bill Hicks – JFK
Further information on the JFK assassination at: “Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City”, and “The Death Of John Kennedy: The Media helped sell the lie of the lone assassin”.