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Tagged with “science fiction” (346)

  1. Ada Palmer on Pandemics, Progress, History, Teleology and the Singularity

    The problem with teleological narratives is that they make us ignore the fact that change is often made by people who didn’t intend that change to happen…

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  2. GGG#359: Ian McEwan | Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy - Science Fiction Writer Interviews, Movie Reviews, Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi Books and Writing

    Ian McEwan joins us to discuss his new novel Machines Like Me.

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  3. GGG#395: The Mandalorian Season 1 Review | Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy - Science Fiction Writer Interviews, Movie Reviews, Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi Books and Writing

    Erin Lindsey, Rajan Khanna, and Matthew Kressel join us to discuss the new Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian, created by Jon Favreau.

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  4. Psychohistory: Isaac Asimov and guiding the future

    100 years on from Isaac Asimov’s birth, Matthew Sweet looks at one of the bigger ideas contained in some of his 500 books; Psychohistory.

    The idea, from Asimov’s Foundation series, was that rather like the behaviour of a gas could be reduced to statistical probabilities of the behaviour of billions of molecules, so the history of billions of human beings across the fictional galactic empire could be predicted through a few laws he called ‘Psychohistory’.

    The idea inspired many to think that social sciences and economics can really be reduced to some sort of idealized set of physics principles, making future events completely predictable. It and similar ideas are still breeding enthusiasm for such things as data science, AI, machine learning, and arguably even the recent job advert by Downing Street advisor Dominic Cummings for more ‘Super-Talented Wierdos’ to work for government. But how do we see what is real and what is not, what is Sci-Fi and what is hype, what is reasonable and what is desirable, in the gaps between innovation and inspiration, restraint and responsibility?

    Jack Stilgoe of University College London has a new book out ‘Who’s Driving Innovation?’. Science and Tech journalist Gemma Milne’s forthcoming book is called ‘Smoke and Mirrors: How hype obscures the future and How to see past it’. Una McCormack is an expert on science fiction writing at Anglia Ruskin University, and Alexander Boxer is a data scientist who’s new book ‘Scheme of Heaven’ makes the case that we have much to learn about human efforts to deduce the future from observable events by looking at the history of Astrology, its aims and techniques.

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  5. Free Will, and the Nature of Time | Robert Wright & Ted Chiang [The Wright Show]

    01:33 How Ted’s Story of Your Life became Arrival

    26:32 Experiential and theoretical grounds for determinism

    33:58 If the future is set… Why bother?

    54:02 The Predictor—an imagined device that will freak you out

    63:24 Wormholes and time travel

    84:27 Are free will and determinism compatible?

    Robert Wright (, The Evolution of God, Nonzero, Why Buddhism Is True) and Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)

    Recorded on May 22, 2017

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    Original video:
    Downloaded by on Fri Dec 27 21:01:28 2019 Available for 30 days after download

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  6. Who and What Will Get to Think the Future?

    It’s 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needle-less injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today’s science and technology less than dazzling? Inspired by Neal Stephenson’s 2011 article “Innovation Starvation,” in which he argues that science fiction is failing to supply our scientists and engineers with inspiration, and the new anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, this event will explore a more ambitious narrative about what’s coming. From the tales we tell about robots and drones, to the narratives on the cutting edge of neuroscience, to society’s view of its most intractable problems, we need to begin telling a new set of stories about ourselves and the future.

    Join the conversation online using #abetterfuture and by following @FutureTenseNow.

    With: Ted Chiang Author, Stories of Your Life and Others

    Moderator Ed Finn Director, Center for Science and Imagination, Arizona State University

    Original video:
    Downloaded by on Fri Dec 27 21:10:15 2019 Available for 30 days after download

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  7. Ted Chiang on Free Will, Time Travel, Many Worlds, Genetic Engineering, and Hard Science Fiction

    Steve and Corey speak with Ted Chiang about his recent story collection "Exhalation" and his inaugural essay for the New York Times series, Op-Eds from the Future. Chiang has won Nebula and Hugo awards for his widely influential science fiction writing. His short story "Story of Your Life," was the basis of the film Arrival (2016). Their discussion explores the scientific and philosophical ideas in Ted’s work, including whether free will is possible, and implications of AI, neuroscience, and time travel. Ted explains why his skepticism about whether the US is truly a meritocracy leads him to believe that the government-funded genetic modification he envisages in his Op-Ed would not solve the problem of inequality.

    Exhalation by Ted Chiang

    Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

    Ted Chiang’s New York Times Op-Ed From the Future


    man·i·fold /ˈmanəˌfōld/ many and various.

    In mathematics, a manifold is a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space near each point.

    Steve H…

    Original video:
    Downloaded by on Fri Dec 27 21:09:58 2019 Available for 30 days after download

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  8. Nnedi Okorafor: Sci-fi stories that imagine a future Africa | TED Talk

    "My science fiction has different ancestors — African ones," says writer Nnedi Okorafor. In between excerpts from her "Binti" series and her novel "Lagoon," Okorafor discusses the inspiration and roots of her work — and how she opens strange doors through her Afrofuturist writing.

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  9. Episode 371 - With Mary Robinette Kowal - The Functional Nerds

    In episode 371 of the Functional Nerds Podcast, Patrick Hester and John Anealio welcome back Hugo-award winning author, Mary Robinette Kowal! Her book – The Calculating Stars – is out with its companion in the duology – The Fated Sky – will be out in August!

    About The Calculating Stars: A meteor decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for a climate cataclysm that will eventually render the earth inhospitable to humanity. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earth’s efforts to colonize space, as well as an unprecedented opportunity for a much larger share of humanity to take part.

    One of these new entrants in the space race is Elma York, whose experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too—aside from some pesky barriers like thousands of years of history and a host of expectations about the proper place of the fairer sex. And yet, Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions may not stand a chance.

    About Mary Robinette: Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of Ghost Talkers, The Glamourist Histories series, and the Lady Astronaut duology. She is a cast member of the award-wining podcast Writing Excuses and also a three-time Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction appears in Uncanny,, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago. Visit her online at

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  10. Writers, After Dark #13: Mary Robinette Kowal | Writers, After Dark

    This week, Hugo Award winning and Nebula Award nominated author Mary Robinette Kowal talks about her Lady Astronaut duology, which is itself a prequel to her Hugo winning short story “Lady Astronaut of Mars”.

    Mary talks about the research into space flight, space travel, and the science and engineering that went into her world-building and story, nearly-forgotten history of the role of women in rocketry and the space program, and meeting with the actual scientists putting people and deep space exploration robots into space.

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