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Tagged with “futurism” (5)

  1. Vernor Vinge Is Optimistic About the Collapse of Civilization | Underwire | Wired.com

    Noted author and futurist Vernor Vinge is surprisingly optimistic when it comes to the prospect of civilization collapsing.

    “I think that [civilization] coming back would actually be a very big surprise,” he says in this week’s episode of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “The difference between us and us 10,000 years ago is … we know it can be done.”

    Vinge has a proven track record of looking ahead. His 1981 novella True Names was one of the first science fiction stories to deal with virtual reality, and he also coined the phrase, “The Technological Singularity” to describe a future point at which technology creates intelligences beyond our comprehension. The term is now in wide use among futurists.

    But could humanity really claw its way back after a complete collapse? Haven’t we plundered the planet’s resources in ways that would be impossible to repeat?

    “I disagree with that,” says Vinge. “With one exception — fossil fuels. But the stuff that we mine otherwise? We have concentrated that. I imagine that ruins of cities are richer ore fields than most of the natural ore fields we have used historically.”

    That’s not to say the collapse of civilization is no big deal. The human cost would be horrendous, and there would be no comeback at all if the crash leaves no survivors. A ravaged ecosphere could stymie any hope of rebuilding, as could a disaster that destroys even the ruins of cities.

    “I am just as concerned about disasters as anyone,” says Vinge. “I have this region of the problem that I’m more optimistic about than some people, but overall, avoiding existential threats is at the top of my to-do list.”

    http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/03/vernor-vinge-geeks-guide-galaxy/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Why William Gibson Distrusts Aging Futurists’ Nostalgia | Underwire | Wired.com

    Few things seem more pathetic than a science fiction writer who pines for the “good old days.” Just a whiff of that sort of crippling nostalgia sets off a red alert in the crackling mind of William Gibson, the novelist who coined the term “cyberspace” and is known for his piercing insights into what the future might look like.

    http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/02/william-gibson-geeks-guide/all/1

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Michio Kaku talks about SETI and interviews Ray Kurzweil

    Explorations is an hour long science program heard nationally on the KU national radio satellite band. Explorations covers the world of science, war and peace, and the environment. In the first half, we have commentary and interviews with top scientists and environmentalists. In the second half, they take listener phone calls from the greater New York audience.

    http://www.thoughtware.tv/videos/watch/4061

    —Huffduffed by adactio