Category Archive: Podcasts

Dec
18

Mind = Blown: SF Movies with Big Ideas

Serious science fiction has made something of a cinematic comeback lately with movies like Gravity and Interstellar earning both critical acclaim and doing nicely at the box office. Interstellar has also reintroduced an important and (somewhat neglected) sub-genre, the Big Ideas Movie. But where does it rank compared with the original Big Ideas space movie, 2001: …

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Dec
05

WT 100: Transforming the World One Podcast at a Time

Phil and Stephen have done more than 400 podcasts about the future over the years. Tonight marks the 100th show since this program changed its name from FastForward Radio to The World Transformed. So, 100 shows in, how are we doing at transforming the world? The guys review some of their favorite shows and topics …

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Nov
13

Modern Problems: On Comet Landings and Battery Life

Phil and Stephen discuss the triumph that is this week’s historic landing of the Philae space probe on comet 67P, and the odd circumstances by which unwanted shade and low battery life might cut the mission short. In an oddly related story, the Hubble Telescope has just celebrated its 25th anniversary. In other news, scientists are doing creepy mind-control …

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Nov
06

The End of Space Tourism?

In light of the recent Spaceship 2 disaster, Phil and Stephen discuss the past and future of space toursim. The discovery of the oldest map of the cosmos is a reminder that we have been pursuing the great Out There for a very long time. Some are now asking whether space tourism can survive. Have we reached …

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Oct
30

The Hoverboard Imperative: Why Some Technologies Insist on Coming into Being

Next year is not only the 30th anniversary of the release of the original Back to the Future, it is the year that Marty and Doc travel to at the end of the film. And it is the year that the movie Back to the Future II is set in (at least initially.) What do the …

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Oct
21

The Philosophy of Mind Uploading

Phil and Stephen welcome author Keith Wiley to discuss his book: A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind Uploading. One day soon we may be able to transfer human minds to computers. But for that to be possible, there is a good deal that we will need to understand about the process of transferring minds, as well …

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Oct
16

Is Technology Just Using Us?

From a recent TechCrunch piece by Christian Cantrell: This is only one example of how technology has a tendency to self-propagate; to use humans as a vector to create copies and mutations and derivatives of itself; to recursively generate demand for itself in order to not only ensure its own survival, but its constant and even exponential …

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Oct
16

The Little Blue Light that Changed the World

Phil and Stephen discuss a wide variety of topics that show just how quickly, and completely both the world and our understanding of it are changing. Why the inventors of the LED deserved a Nobel prize. How transparent solar cells will redefine what we do with windows. Why NASA is researching ways to make people sleep for a …

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Oct
03

Fountain of Youth: Right in Front of Us?

Phil and Stephen discuss the possibility of achieving significant human life extension via existing, commonplace drugs. What if the cure for aging was right in front of us all along? And even if it isn’t, what are the chances that we’re going to find it soon? And are we really closing in on learning the programming language of aging? …

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Sep
25

Flipping the Switch

Maybe transforming the world doesn’t have to be so much work. Maybe we can make some of the biggest and most sweeping changes with the flip of a switch. Is India flipping the switch on space travel with its on-the-cheap Mars mission? Can we flip a switch and do away with unhappiness? Is there a switch we …

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