Atomised

Michel Houellebecq is clearly a polymath. In Atomised (a science fiction novel very cleverly disguised as serious prize-winning literary fiction) he demonstrates his wide ranging knowledge and deep understanding of subjects ranging from philosophy to physics, and from biology to psychology, to brilliant effect. The book reveals the author's uniquely considered philosophy of history. He illustrates through his … Continue reading Atomised

death of the gods carl miller bronwyn williams futurist futurenomics

Death of the Gods

"Our opinions and beliefs, what we hold to be true and what we think is right and wrong have all become strategic objectives... Each of us has been brought - face-to-face - to a new front line." The (very readable) Death of the Gods by Carl Miller is a whirlwind overview of the biggest Big … Continue reading Death of the Gods

Scale

"The pseudoscience of planning seems almost neurotic in its determination to imitate emphatic failure and ignore empire success." - The Life and Death of American Cities   Scale by Geoffrey West may not be the easiest read (it has a highly academic style, complete with lots of highly academic jabs at different academic fields - … Continue reading Scale

We

"Those two, in paradise were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no alternative." - We I'm really enjoying retro-science fiction at the moment. The ideas imagined in science fiction of years past planted seeds in more practical minds who went on to shape the future that we live in … Continue reading We

Cat's cradle

Cat’s Cradle

"What could possibly go wrong?" The more I read and learn about science and technology, the more often I think that we don't give enough attention to that question: What. Could. Go. Wrong. Most technology is dangerous in the wrong hands, and as technology becomes more powerful, the what could go wrong  is only escalating. … Continue reading Cat’s Cradle

I don’t like the look of your face

There is a problem with automated governance and outsourcing decision making to artificial intelligence. And that problem is probability. And the probable problem at hand is that the innocent are flagged as guilty, the right candidates flagged as wrong, at an unacceptably high probability. As we use - even highly reliable - automated systems such … Continue reading I don’t like the look of your face

Build Your Own Body Parts – A Brave New World Indeed

The Brave New World conference took place in the Netherlands this week. One of the biggest ideas on display was that of bio-organic, 3D printed body parts. Yes, 3D body parts have been around for a while. The list of replacement cells, arteries and organs scientists can design and manufacture is an impressive, growing one. The … Continue reading Build Your Own Body Parts – A Brave New World Indeed

The Emperor Has No Clothes

In Hans Christian Anderson's famous tail, The Emperor's New Clothes, a vain ruler is tricked by a pair or shrewd  into walking around naked, in the belief that he was wearing clothes so fine and luxurious that only those with exquisite taste could see them. Today, we are all close to sharing that Emperor's delusions. … Continue reading The Emperor Has No Clothes

Cheek to cheek, brain to brain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOYzFKizikU Dancing cheek to cheek may have been "the" way to get close to someone's thoughts back in Fred Astaire's day, but these days you can literally get into someone else's head. Matrix-style brain-to-brain internet (aka the Internet of People) is here. Mind reading? No problem! Japanese scientists can now de-code your thoughts into visuals that … Continue reading Cheek to cheek, brain to brain

Procreative Freedom vs Genetic Inequality

“You can’t really put a lid on it, even if you wanted to” ~ Dr Jennifer Doudna, CRISPR researcher As always, the dichotomy between freedom and equality threatens to split humanity. This time though, I'm not talking about economic freedom vs economic equality; that good old battle between free market "monopoly capitalists" and their arch … Continue reading Procreative Freedom vs Genetic Inequality