Category Archive: Transition

Jul 27

Another Fine Mess

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon discuss why big problems call on us to get better at thinking. We’ll Only Have a Year to Prepare For a Cataclysmic Super-Eruption A new microscopic analysis of quartz crystals taken from the site of a massive volcanic eruption that occurred 760,000 years ago in eastern California suggests we’ll …

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Jul 22

Strange New Worlds: Stranger and Newer

Phil and Stephen discuss big developments in astronomy. We’re learning more about new worlds every day. Saturn’s biggest moon could support a new kind of alien life Researchers in the US have been analysing the chemical composition of Saturn’s largest satellite, and think the presence of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) molecules in the atmosphere could pave …

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Jul 20

Amazing Materials, Amazing Products, Amazing Industries

Phil and Stephen discuss accelerating progress in producing materials and finished products How synthetic biology will make more money than the entire computer industry This company plans to grow armies of drones in giant tubs of chemicals 3D printing with bamboo fiber Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using bamboo fiber in 3-D printing …

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Jul 18

Changing Our Minds: Rethinking How We Think

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon look at why we aren’t just changing our thinking — we’re changing HOW we think. The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete Petabytes allow us to say: “Correlation is enough.” We can stop looking for models. We can analyze the data without hypotheses about …

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Jul 15

Robo-Drivers and Robocops: Life, Death, and Artificial Intelligence

Phil and Stephen reminisce about the good old days when “killer robots” was just a joke. Deadly Tesla Crash Exposes Confusion over Automated Driving Amid a federal investigation, ignorance of the technology’s limitations comes into focus The crash occurred on a Florida highway when an 18-wheel tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of a …

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Jul 13

The (Amazing) 16-Year Leap: The Immortality Paradox Part 2

Phil and Stephen discuss some “serious” ideas for life extension — including Ray Kurzweils’ upgrade on when immortality starts — which are somehow more aggressive than the “crazy” ideas. Beyond Resveratrol: The Anti-Aging NAD Fad Sinclair’s report sparked excitement about NR, which was already on the market as a supplement called Niagen. Niagen’s maker, ChromaDex, …

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Jul 11

Head Transplants and Frozen Brains: The Immortality Paradox Part 1

If we are going to achieve immortality — and how exactly do we define that? — do we need extreme interventions or a more modest approach? Phil and Stephen discuss some “crazy” ideas for life extension. But first a quick mention: Juno has landed and is up and running! And now back to our scheduled program… How …

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Jul 07

Total Geek: Real Aliens, Fake Star Trek and Other Geeky Goodness

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon do some erious geeking out. Yes, There Have Been Aliens In our recent paper, Professor Sullivan and I did this by shifting the focus of Drake’s equation. Instead of asking how many civilizations currently exist, we asked what the probability is that ours is the only technological civilization that …

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Jul 05

The Declaration of Amazing 2016

Phil and Stephen review the Declaration of Singularity and amazing stories that indicate we will probably be making it sooner than some might expect. The Declaration of Singularity A reminder of why we fight! Chisels to Genes: How We’ll Soon Grow What We Used to Build Jason Kelly, founder of Gingko Bioworks, said that the company …

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Jul 01

The Future and Unlimited Possibility

Phil and Stephen discuss three varieties of possibility and list examples of each: 1. The Adjacent Possible The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself. Possibilities that we are only a step …

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Jun 29

Why Dumb Ideas Matter (and Can Be Amazingly Powerful)

Phil and Stephen talk about the surprising usefulness of dumb ideas. The 10 Craziest Startup Ideas Of All Time Blippy LayoffSpace Gamecrush Audioo Agester Chat With a Star The Meet Pen Cuecat Shweeb Withings 10 STUPID BUSINESS IDEAS THAT MADE MILLIONS 1. Pet Rock 2. Million Dollar Homepage 3. Holy Ink 4. “Positive” Attraction 5. Plastic …

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Jun 24

Schooling Bezos: Debating with (and Giving Suggestions to) the Founder of Amazon

Phil and Stephen examine whether they agree or disagree with Jeff Bezos on some points he made in a recent talk: 6. Gawker’s opponents need a ‘thick skin’ 5. Amazon Prime Video ‘helps sell more shoes’ 4. Amazon isn’t trying to kill UPS 3. AI will have a massive impact on society in the next …

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Jun 22

Artificial Intelligence Is Here and It’s (Wait for It) Amazing

The AI future seems to be arriving sooner than expected. Phil and Stephen review some amazing recent developments. Long Promised Artificial Intelligence Is Looming—and It’s Going to Be Amazing 10 Stats About Artificial Intelligence That Will Blow You Away 1. $5.05 billion market by 2020 2. 6 billion devices will request AI support 3. $5.4 …

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Jun 10

Arguing (and Agreeing) with Elon

Phil and Stephen provide a reality check on some recent seemingly outrageous statements about the future by Elon Musk. Will we really be on Mars in less than a decade? Are we really just two years away from fully autonomous cars? Are we really living in a computer simulation? Elon Musk Just Made These 5 Bold …

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Jun 08

Miracle and Wonder: Amazing Developments in Medicine

Phil and Stephen review some recent (amazing!) news from the world of medicine. Researchers created a robotic hand that is eerily human-like and can learn on its own AI ‘doctors’ will diagnose your X-rays Stanford researchers ‘stunned’ by stem cell experiment that helped stroke patient walk Lab-Grown Kidneys Proven To Work: Now Moving To Being …

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Jun 06

Space: Final Frontier or Next Big Thing?

Phil and Stephen discuss how our perception of outer space may be shifting. Still a realm of great mystery and scientific curiosity, space also promises to be a new land of opportunity. Recent news stories reflect both trends. Three Spiral Galaxies Created a Black Hole Rosetta spacecraft finds key building blocks for life in a …

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Jun 03

Superhero Smackdown! (And Other Geeky Goodness)

Phil and Stephen go full fanboy with their combined reviews of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. Warning: spoilers and more spoilers! A few topics: Everybody has been pretty hard on Batman vs. Superman but what are its good points? New Spider-Man: Awesome or Totally Awesome? Civil War: the ultimate in comic book …

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Jun 01

Amazing Engineering: Disruptive Technologies Are Transforming Everything

Phil and Stephen present a roundup of amazing news stories showcasing big steps forward in engineering. Augmented Reality Market Worth 117.40 Billion USD and Virtual Reality Market worth 33.90 Billion USD by 2022 Nanomaterials could double efficiency of solar cells by converting waste heat into usable energy China Unveils Elevated Bus That Passes Over Cars …

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May 31

The Winds of Robowar: Countdown to the AI Takeover

Are the robots really planning to take over? If so, how will they do it? Phil and Stephen use current news stories to show how the plan may already be unfolding! Step 1: They get inside our heads. The most popular trends in cognitive computing IBM Watson-based cognitive computing is being adopted by more and …

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May 27

Would You Marry a Robot? (And Other Geeky Questions)

There are some questions that only a geek would ask.  Phil  and Stephen review some of these and, being geeks, attempt to answer them. Why can’t dying patients have ANY drug they can get their hands on? More on “what do we do with all the old people?” But this one applies to adults of …

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May 23

Is Technology Out to Get Us?

…or out to save us? Phil and Stephen review some recent news stories to confront the hard question of the overall value of technology. Is it good for us? Is it making our lives better or worse? China’s robot revolution This dark side of the Internet is costing young people their jobs and social lives …

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May 20

Outshining the Milky Way: Big Developments in the Final Frontier

Phil and Stephen discuss recent developments in space. Boeing TV Spot, ‘You Just Wait Nuclear Power Can Make Rocket Engines Twice As Fast Nuclear thermal rockets could be much more efficient than conventional rockets A piece of uranium the size of a marble could get us to Mars Same technology may be used for deep-space …

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May 18

The Big, Fat Amazing: Fast Trains, Giant Robots, Universal Translator

Phil and Stephen provide a roundup of amazing news stories: We’re about to see a mind-blowing demographic shift unprecedented in human history MegaBots raises $2.4 million to create league of human-piloted, giant fighting robots Hyperloop Technologies becomes Hyperloop One, pulls in $80 million and announces global partners Hyperloop One hits 116 mph in 1.1 seconds …

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May 17

The Robot Executive

Phil and Stephen discuss the tremendous career progress that robots seem to be making. Here’s the first demo of Viv, the next-generation AI assistant built by Siri creator The world’s first artificially intelligent lawyer was just hired at a law firm ROSS is a piece of artificial intelligence software. It uses the supercomputing power of …

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May 13

The Great Unknown: Perplexing Cosmic Mysteries

Phil and Stephen discuss cosmic (and not-so-cosmic) puzzles that defy explanation. Parallel Universes:Theory and Evidence A Dozen Black Holes Are Mysteriously Spewing Energy In the Same Direction Which is exactly what Russ Taylor, lead author of a forthcoming study in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, thinks may be happening. As Science News …

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