Futurism

Ruminations on Science Fiction

Mama Fisi's picture

I'll confess that I never really much cared for science fiction, but after I married a dyed-in-the-wool sci-fi geek, I've come to appreciate the genre.

My grandfather, who owned our TV, was big into sci-fi, and so I absorbed a lot of movies growing up in the days when there were only three networks and a couple of local-access channels, and one could either watch what Gramps was watching, or go outside and play. (I think that's where my love of the outdoors came from...)

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Review: Futurescape, With James Woods

kelloggs2066's picture

The Science Channel has come up with a new futurist series called "Futurescape" with actor James Woods as the host. It has physicist Michio Kaku for "legitimizing" backup. It also is peppered with sound bites from various "futurists," "biophysics ethicists," and other such "experts."

To sum it up, it is another one of those paranoid drivel TV shows designed to scare you. The opening episode about advancing technology in the field of Brain/Machine Interfaces seems designed to drive up the price of stock in the Tinfoil Hat industry.

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Book Review: Existence, by David Brin

Mama Fisi's picture

Sometimes a book can be too good, and put too many plots into its story. David Brin's "Existence" feels like he wrote six or seven short stories, then chopped them up and randomly reassembled them into a big, thick book.

This is not a good thing, but I've been told that it's the way he writes his novels.

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REMEDIAL SF 101: A Logic Named Joe

Republibot 4.0's picture

Way back in 1946, Murray Leinster, writing under his real name of Will F. Jenkins, published a short story in the March issue of Astounding Science Fiction which was eeriliy prescient in its description of a computer network which believes that "information should be free" and takes that premise to disturbing extremes.

 

The story was "A Logic Named Joe," and Leinster wrote it at a time when computers were still vast and cumbersome contrivances used for breaking enemy codes and crunching numbers.

 

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This New Age of Power and Wonder

Republibot 4.0's picture

There are those who say our best days are behind us.  And there are those who believe we are still living in an age of power and wonder.  One such forward-looking individual is todday's guest commentator, MadRocketSci, who does in fact happen to be a rocket scientist!

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BeeLine to the Future: The Future of Death

Robert Bee's picture

I’ve been thinking about the future and the singularity a lot lately. One issue that Kurzweil and other singularity intellectuals focus on is death. In The Futurist magazine Thomas Fey has published an article “When Death Becomes Optional: Rethinking the inevitable.”

“The year is 2032. You have just celebrated your 80th birthday and you have some tough decisions ahead. You can either keep repairing your current body or move into a new one.

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BOOK REVIEW: "The Wonderful Future that Never Was" by Gregory Benford et al. (2010)

Robert Bee's picture

Do you ever dream of an optimistic, good old-fashioned future of endless technological progress? The sort of techno-gee-whiz optimism that science fiction used to be known for? The Hugo Gernsback let’s-solve-all-our-problems with-a-gadget-philosophy? Then you should pick up The Wonderful Future That Never Was, a fascinating, well-illustrated, and beautiful book reprinting the future predictions made by Popular Mechanics from 1903 to 1969. The illustrations are high quality reproductions from the magazine, and are worth the price alone.

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