Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Possibility Explosion — FastForward Radio

In the first of a three-part series, Phil and Stephen discuss The Possibility Explosion, one of three radical transformations that are reshaping our world and our lives.

Think of the many things you can do right now, right where you are (wherever that happens to be.) A few examples:

In the first of a three-part series,Phil and Stephen discuss The Possibility Explosion, one of three radical transformations that are reshaping our world and our lives.

Think of the many things you can do right now, right where you are (wherever that happens to be.) A few examples:

  • Read virtually any book that’s ever been in print
  • Send and receive an unlimited number of messages with people all over the world
  • Take any of thousands of free college courses
  • Place an order for virtually any imaginable product or service
  • Listen to an amazingly wide assortment of music
  • Watch any of thousands of movies and TV shows
  • Write a paragraph or an article or a book and share it with dozens, hundreds, or millions of people
  • Record and distribute music
  • Apply for a job (or dozens or thousands of jobs)
  • Launch a business
  • Produce and distribute a movie or TV show

How many of those things could you do instantly (and from anywhere) 5, 10, or 50 years ago? And what does this tell us about what we’ll be able to do 5, 10, and 50 years from now?

The possibilities are…explosive!

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Wednesday, 28 November 2012 7 PM PST / 10 PM PST

Why Gratitude Matters — FastForward Radio

If we should look to the future with anticipation, what should our attitude be towards the present (and the past?) Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon make the case for gratitude — with a long list of items we’ll soon be grateful for.

Topics discussed include:

Nose-cell transplant allows paralyzed dog to walk

Nanoparticle halts multiple sclerosis in mice

Can technology create utopia?

3-D Printers and Regenerative Implants

Civilization and the Survival of the Sexiest

Fighting Fembots

 

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Today Is the Day — FastForward Radio

This is it — the big 250th edition of FastForward Radio on BlogTalkRadio.

Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon reflect on what got them started doing FastForward Radio, how their thinking about the future has changed over the years, and what’s next for  the show.

 

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The Transformation of the World

At the  H+ Magazine  site I have a piece that expands on some of the ideas we explored in our recent FastForward Radio on the subject of human exceptionalism. Are homo sapiens just one of the many diverse life forms on this planet, or is there something unique about us? In some ways, the question hardly seems worth asking; until other species start putting up blog posts touting their own exceptionalism, we have a pretty good prima facie case for ours.

How are human beings exceptional? Compare a human being to a turtle. Just to make it interesting, we will exclude obvious physical and cognitive differences between the two species for the time being. It still leaves some really interesting questions.

1. How much has the typical life of the typical turtle changed over the past 50,000 years? How much has the typical life of the typical human being changed over that same period? (Interestingly, if the turtle’s life has changed at all, it’s probably due to something that humans have done.)

2. How much is the typical life of the typical turtle likely to change over the next couple hundred years? How much is the typical life of the typical human likely to change over that same period? (Once again, if the turtle’s life changes at all…)

3. How different would the world be if all turtles went extinct 10,000 years ago? How different would the world be if all human beings went extinct 10,000 years ago?

You can substitute any species for turtles and the results will be pretty much the same. We’re exceptional. Putting aside any arguments about the existence of the soul or a special role for human beings as defined by religious belief, there is still no getting around the rapidly changing nature of humanity or its undeniable impact on…everything:

We are transformers of the world, but beyond that, we are the transformation of the world. We are the making and remaking of everything around us. We are the defining, and redefining, of every concept that our minds can entertain.

Please do read the whole thing.

(Turtle image via Wikimedia Commons.)