How do you design the future? Today we talk with cyberpunk founder and design theorist Bruce Sterling and feminist/activist writer Jasmina Tešanović about speculative design, design fictions, open source hardware, the maker movement, and the soft robots of our domestic future. Plus we go behind the scenes of the creation of a design fiction by Bruce, Jasmina, Sheldon Brown, and the Clarke Center—a video installation called My Elegant Robot Freedom.
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In conversation with novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz, celebrate the release of Gaiman’s magnum opus with the author. Join DC All Access Live at 7PM EST and watch mythological history unfold before your eyes. With a special introduction from DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee, this promises to be an evening full of insight and surprises.
New York Times best-selling writer Neil Gaiman returns to The Sandman with a prequel story to his trailblazing Vertigo series in The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition, out on November 10. Rendered in artist JH Williams III’s lush panoramas, The Sandman: Overture takes readers from the birth of the galaxy to Morpheus’s capture, before the events of The Sandman #1, and sheds new light on one of the towering masterpieces in comic book history.
Pre-signed books will also be available for purchase from Community Bookstore at http//www.communitybookstore.net.
Time travel is time research
Gleick began with H.G. Wells’s 1895 book The Time Machine, which created the idea of time travel.
It soon became a hugely popular genre that shows no sign of abating more than a century later.
“Science fiction is a way of working out ideas,” Gleick said.
Wells thought of himself as a futurist, and like many at the end of the 19th century he was riveted by the idea of progress, so his fictional traveler headed toward the far future.
Other authors soon explored travel to the past and countless paradoxes ranging from squashed butterflies that change later elections to advising one’s younger self.
Gleick invited audience members to query themselves: If you could travel in time, would you go to the future or to the past?
When exactly, and where exactly?
And what is your second choice?
(Try it, reader.)
“We’re still trying to figure out what time is,” Gleick said.
Time travel stories apparently help us.
The inventor of the time machine in Wells’s book explains archly that time is merely a fourth dimension.
Ten years later in 1905 Albert Einstein made that statement real.
In 1941 Jorge Luis Borges wrote the celebrated short story, “The Garden of Forking Paths.”
In 1955 physicist Hugh Everett introduced the quantum-based idea of forking universes, which itself has become a staple of science fiction.
“Time,” Richard Feynman once joked, “is what happens when nothing else happens.”
Gleick suggests, “Things change, and time is how we keep track.”
Virginia Woolf wrote, “What more terrifying revelation can there be than that it is the present moment?
That we survive the shock at all is only possible because the past shelters us on one side, the future on another.”
To answer the last question of the evening, about how his views about time changed during the course of writing Time Travel, Gleick said:
I thought I would conclude that the main thing to understand is: Enjoy the present.
Don’t waste your brain cells agonizing about lost opportunities or worrying about what the future will bring.
As I was working on the book I suddenly realized that that’s terrible advice.
A potted plant lives in the now.
The idea of the ‘long now’ embraces the past and the future and asks us to think about the whole stretch of time.
That’s what I think time travel is good for.
That’s what makes us human—the ability to live in the past and live in the future at the same time.
Science fiction has always been an outlet for our greatest anxieties. This week, we delve into how the genre is exploring the reality of climate change. Plus: new words to describe the indescribable.
Jeff VanderMeer @jeffvandermeer, author of the Southern Reach Trilogy and Borne, on writing about the relationships between people and nature.
Claire Vaye Watkins @clairevaye talks about Gold Fame Citrus, her work of speculative fiction in which an enormous sand dune threatens to engulf the southwest.
Kim Stanley Robinson discusses his latest work, New York 2140. The seas have risen 50 feet and lower Manhattan is submerged. And yet, there’s hope.
British writer Robert Macfarlane @RobGMacfarlane on new language for our changing world.
Throughout the show: listeners offer their own new vocabulary for the Anthropocene era. Many thanks to everyone who left us voice memos!
An eight-year-old boy’s encounter with a robotic toy doll ends up changing the course of technological history. Steven Johnson talks with special guests Ken Goldberg and Kate Darling, as we look at the uncanny world of emotional robotics. What if the dystopian future turns out to be one where the robots conquer humanity with their cuteness?
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/wonderland-podcast/episode-1-babbage-and-the-dancer
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Thu, 13 Oct 2016 13:00:40 GMT Available for 30 days after download
About John Searle’s TED Talk
Philosopher John Searle argues that consciousness is what makes us human. He makes the case for studying consciousness and accepting it as a biological phenomenon.
Nobel physicist Frank Wilczek sees beauty as a compass for truth, discovery, and meaning. His book, A Beautiful Question, is a long meditation on the question: “Does the world embody beautiful ideas?” He’s the unusual scientist willing to analogize his discoveries about the deep structure of reality with deep meaning in the human everyday.
In the late 19th century, a painting by a virtually unknown artist took England by storm: The Roll Call. But after that brilliant first effort, the artist all but disappeared. Why?
The Lady Vanishes explores the world of art and politics to examines the strange phenomenon of the “token”—the outsider whose success serves not to alleviate discrimination but perpetuate it. If a country elects a female president, does that mean the door is now open for all women to follow? Or does that simply give the status quo the justification to close the door again?
The question is astonishingly simple: In the year 2015, with GPS and satellites and global surveillance everywhere all the time, how does a massive airplane simply go missing? To find the answer, writer Bucky McMahon boarded one of the vessels searching for Malaysia Air 370 in one of the most isolated and treacherous stretches of ocean on the planet. In telling the story of the search crew and the massive amounts of technology, money, and human capital being spent trying to find this airplane, McMahon tells a story of our time—of a world completely dependent on nets of redundant technology, yet completely lost and broken when those nets suddenly break. McMahon joins host David Brancaccio to discuss his October 2015 story, “The Plane at the Bottom of the Ocean.”
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/esquireclassics/the-plane-on-the-bottom-of-the-ocean-by-bucky-mcmahon
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/
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