Johnny Depp's new film Transcendence has had futurist fandoms in a lather for months.
For a long time, I was a crusty critic of twitter, I would now say wrongheadedly so.
In a recent conference promoting not only their latest gizmos but their company's animating vision as well, Google executives declared they were working toward a future in which technology "disappears," "fades into the background," becomes more "intuitive and anticipatory." Commenting on this apparently "bizarre mission for a tech company," Bianca Bosker warns that their genial and enthusiastic promotional language masks Google's aspiration to omnipresence via invisibility, an effort to render us dependent and uncritical of their prevalence through its marketing as easy, intuitive, companionable.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, celebrity tech CEO Peter Thiel is upset that movies like The Matrix and Avatar make technological innovation seem "destructive and dysfunctional."
It isn't easy to understand why the American response to comparably lethal mass-casualty events involving bombs and involving guns are so very different -- the one seeming to result always in more citizens under more surveillance, the other seeming to result always in more guns on the streets -- but in the aftermath of the latest illustration of this rather joyless and surreal ritual pairing of re
In works like Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World, Tim Wu has written clear and incisive critiques of a whole generation's conjoining of facile to flabbergasting market libertarian/ crypto-anarchist/ neoliberal assumptions and aspirations and conceits to an irrationally exuberant, digi-utopian, techno-triumphalist hype endlessly promising an end to borders, nation-states, identities, limits-to-growth. Of course, by 2006 the writing was really on the wall as far as the crypto-anarchistic Extropian no death! no taxes! Cyberspace home of mind crowd went -- and, gee, just sayin', some of us were already pointing out how imbecilic this sort of vision was in 1996, if not well before then -- but, the point is, Tim Wu was a critic of a prevailing techno-utopian ideology that symptomatically played out in variations and in levels of intensity across layers of discourse from the pages of WIRED to B-movie plots to ad copy to editorials to DARPA reports.
Over at the IEET, the Institute for Ethics (where actual ethics are rarely discussed) and Emerging Technologies (where the technologies are rarely actually emerging), futurologist Dick Pelletier has penned another of his incomparably desolating consolations, this one entitled (I kid you not), Overpopulated Earth?
Paul Krugman is right to say that the cancellation of Google Reader provides yet another demonstration of the failure of private profitability to provide for the maintenance of public goods, even though I disagree that it seems hard in the least "to envision search and related functions as public utilities," which is i
Claiming he has "lived with the shadow of the fall of Rome, [and] the failure of its intellectual culture," Tim O'Reilly fears that too many today "lack the will and the foresight to face the world's problems squarely, but will instead retreat from them into superstition and ignorance." More specifically, he warns that "conservative, backward
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November 28, 2014 - What is blue energy? It is energy derived from whenever fresh and saltwater meet. Watch the video to understand how this form of energy works.
November 28, 2014 - Antibiotics have been the principle means by which humanity fights off bacterial infections. But the over subscribing of these life saving drugs has given the bugs the ability to mount defenses.
November 27, 2014 - The list of diseases appearing in unfamiliar places continues to increase for lots of reasons. These include:
- Human-engineered water projects such as dams, canals and irrigation.
- Agricultural intensification and the use of insecticides.
- Urban crowding and poor sanitation.
It’s hard to imagine the digital world has only begun, but market leaders need powerful new tech to stay ahead. Instead of small improvements, they need to accelerate and own the future. Consider leaping to leadership: The biggest business opportunity is transforming the Earth into world where everyone can succeed. Expandiverse Technology is the first opportunity to build tomorrow’s Digital Earth.
November 25, 2014 - A technology developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may help fight global climate change by making steam power plants more efficient through the invention of a new coating material. Whether coal-fired, gas-powered, geothermal, nuclear, biomass or solar thermal, all these energy sources get used in power plants to produce steam.
November 24, 2014 - I ask the above question in light of a headline that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Toronto Sun, "Girl, 11, nabbed in B.C. Kinder Morgan pipeline protest."