It’s hard to give up the notion that you’re not special. Emma Roberts, in her Metaverse post Are We Losing Our Ability to Be Human? believes our “specialness” is the thing that makes us human; that we have souls and spirituality, that we have consciousness and are aware of our place in the universe. And she is concerned that, as machines and artificial intelligence take over more and more of our world and our lives, we will begin to lose touch with what makes us human… and special.
“…I think that without the feeling of spirituality or individualism or ‘self’ we are just another biological being and that’s pretty damn soul destroying.”
The beginning of the new year is always the time when people will either traditionally ask, “What do you predict will happen in the future years?” or they’ll traditionally tell you. I’ve been avoiding making outright predictions of what will happen in the future… and the reasons go back to 1980, and a slam-dunk future that turned out not to be. Continue reading
I’ve spoken before about my loathing of that 500-year-old technology, the lowly key: How I am so tired of depending on this ancient, easily-defeatable technology to secure my property; about how tired I am of carrying a pocketful of them with me everywhere I go, inevitably putting holes in my back pocket, in order to enter my car, to unlock my home, to give me entrance to my office, to lock up my bike, etc, etc.
The device pictured here proves that now, in the 21st century, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Continue reading
Looking over the stats on this site, it has become abundantly clear that posts related to entertainment—a review of a movie, or discussion about a TV show or trope—do significantly better than posts about science, technology or social issues. Like Roger Rabbit, my readers do not want to read about real world issues; they want to be entertained.
Good to know. I can use that info to make some changes around here, away from news items and science and technology commentary, and toward comments and discussions about shows, movies, etc.
Or I can keep talking about the things I happen to think are significant, from a futurist’s point of view.
American audiences are presently being treated to a miniseries on CBS: Extant, the story of an astronaut (Halle Berry as Molly) who discovers that she somehow became pregnant while on a 13-month solo mission in space.
Naturally, I’m all for science fiction series, including mini-series (and I have no problem whatsoever with watching Halle Berry for an hour each week), so I was ready for a ride when the series started.
I was also hoping to see some interesting science and technology depicted in a story about an astronaut. But there are some things about Extant that I didn’t expect, because… well, let me say that I’m not sure they’re well thought out. Continue reading
College of the North Atlantic made news recently when journalism instructor Jeff Ducharme developed a drone journalism code of conduct that his students will have to follow when using the unmanned aerial vehicle for news gathering.
This is a significant step towards standardizing drone use in public and private spaces, a very contentious issue for our future. Continue reading
The new Nod gesture control ring ($150) has been designed to seamlessly transforms your hand movements into commands, allowing you to control devices and applications simply with a wave of your hand. In essence, the ring is an input device, just like a mouse, keyboard, or trackpad. Slip it on your index finger.
Wave your hand in the air. Swipe your thumb over its touch-control surface. All your gestures and motions can be used to control other consumer electronics. “We want you to be able to address any pixel of the digital world in the real world,” says Anush Elangovan, Nod Labs’ founder and CEO.
The $150 gesture-control ring is packed with an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and temperature sensor. The ring’s chunky business end responds to capacitive touch. Battery life is rated for 24 hours. There are 12 different band sizes, and Nod is waterproof.
An article I read recently described the outright animosity experienced by a reporter on a long-term evaluation of Google Glass. I learned a new word from the article, one directed (openly) at the author: Glasshole. The article was shared with me on Facebook by a friend, who made reference of another word I’d just learned: Bluedouche (someone who wears a bluetooth earpiece in the presence of other people, whether they are actually on a phone conversation or not). I’ll bet you that at the turn of the 20th century, people weren’t being called names by showing up at parties with timepieces strapped to their wrists.
It served to remind me—as if I needed reminding—that a lot of people are still distrustful, distracted and outright frightened of technology. Still. In 2014. Continue reading
On a recent episode of Conan O’Brien, comedian Louis C.K. discussed why he doesn’t want to give his daughters smartphones (I love discussions like this, especially when no one thinks to include asking whether the smartphone denier has his own smartphone). In a nutshell, Louis criticizes smartphones—really, phones in general—for allowing us to dodge moments of solitude or sadness, moments he feels we should embrace and celebrate. He believes our solitary moments are the most important to us, and should not be missed.
Frankly, I’d expect that from a comedian whose most popular axiom is that everyone’s unhappy. Of course he wants people to stay unhappy… those are the kind of people he jokes about, and the kind of people who most appreciate his humor, so they are the people that keep him employed. But I’d say he’s dead wrong. Humans should not be alone or unhappy; neither should they celebrate unhappiness or solitude. That’s not being human. Continue reading
Being an independent self-published author, I’ve always sought to find other independent authors to enjoy… supporting the fraternity, as it were. But from the very beginning, I’ve had a problem: I can’t find indie authors, like myself, writing the kind of SF novels that I write and enjoy. There must be some; I can’t be the only futurist SF writer, or the last futurist writer who’s still independent or self-published. Where are all my futurist SF writing homeys? Continue reading