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Speculating Futures
"Speculating Futures looks at past speculative narratives, like those of Ursula K. Le Guin, and past attempts at creating technological utopia, like Chile's Cybersyn. These readings examine the shortcomings that prevented these visions from being fully realized and how they may have been limited or exclusionary. These texts also tie these visions to the contemporary issues/present dystopias that need to be addressed in subsequent utopian imaginaries. To paraphrase Gibson, "Utopia and dystopia are here, they're just unevenly distributed." Feeling like there's a future is vital for moving through the present, so we'll also envision our own utopian futures to work towards."
fiction  speculation  futurism 
yesterday by trewbot
TANK MAGAZINE Why Cosmism? Why Now?
But whether science enlightens or corrupts has in fact been the great irresolvable question all along.

Whether we are making things better, or only opening ever more loaded Pandora’s boxes, is a matter we are no more able to settle today than were the wary Muscovites who could not tell a chemistry textbook from a collection of satanic spells, or an astronomical instrument from a sorcerer’s staff.
cosmology  modernity  JEHSmith  History  Russia  Futurism 
2 days ago by suitable
Has progress in science and technology come to a halt? | Aeon Essays
Yet there once was an age when speculation matched reality. It spluttered to a halt more than 40 years ago. Most of what has happened since has been merely incremental improvements upon what came before. That true age of innovation – I’ll call it the Golden Quarter – ran from approximately 1945 to 1971. Just about everything that defines the modern world either came about, or had its seeds sown, during this time. The Pill. Electronics. Computers and the birth of the internet. Nuclear power. Television. Antibiotics. Space travel. Civil rights.

There is more. Feminism. Teenagers. The Green Revolution in agriculture. Decolonisation. Popular music. Mass aviation. The birth of the gay rights movement. Cheap, reliable and safe automobiles. High-speed trains. We put a man on the Moon, sent a probe to Mars, beat smallpox and discovered the double-spiral key of life. The Golden Quarter was a unique period of less than a single human generation, a time when innovation appeared to be running on a mix of dragster fuel and dilithium crystals.
futurism  history 
7 days ago by zryb
My Dated Predictions
Rodney Brooks' predictions for the future of technology.
technology  ai  predictions  futurism 
8 days ago by angusm
Richard Sapper's dark, alternate universe of tech design - Curbed
In 2013, critic Justin McGuirk wrote, "In the 1970s and ’80s, the soul of product design was in the hands of two Germans. One was a minimalist who reduced products to seductive shells with their features rubbed smooth, and occasionally gave them nicknames like Snow White’s Coffin." That would be Dieter Rams. "The other, far from hiding the technical nature of these products, reveled in it." McGuirk saw Sapper as the Darth Vader to Rams’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.
design  industrialdesign  productdesign  thinkpad  apple  ibm  future  futurism 
10 days ago by kybernetikos
Look for the Lungfish
Some great paragraphs from a good post by Charlie Stross about questioning all assumptions when imagining what our future is like.
charlesstross  mattjones  sciencefiction  overlinks  futures  futurism  futurology 
11 days ago by philgyford
What Peter Thiel thinks about AI risk - Less Wrong
TL;DR: he thinks its an issue but also feels AGI is very distant and hence less worried about it than Musk.

I recommend the rest of the lecture as well, it's a good summary of "Zero to One"  and a good QA afterwards.

For context, in case anyone doesn't realize: Thiel has been MIRI's top donor throughout its history.

other stuff:
nice interview question: "thing you know is true that not everyone agrees on?"
"learning from failure overrated"
cleantech a huge market, hard to compete
software makes for easy monopolies (zero marginal costs, network effects, etc.)
for most of history inventors did not benefit much (continuous competition)
ethical behavior is a luxury of monopoly
ratty  lesswrong  commentary  ai  ai-control  risk  futurism  technology  speedometer  audio  presentation  musk  thiel  barons  frontier  miri-cfar  charity  people  track-record  venture  startups  entrepreneurialism  contrarianism  competition  market-power  business  google  truth  management  leadership  socs-and-mops  dark-arts  skunkworks  hard-tech  energy-resources  wire-guided  learning  software  sv  tech  network-structure  scale  marginal  cost-benefit  innovation  industrial-revolution  economics  growth-econ  capitalism  comparison  nationalism-globalism  china  asia  trade  stagnation  things  dimensionality  exploratory  world  developing-world  thinking  definite-planning  optimism  pessimism  intricacy  politics  war  career  planning  supply-demand  labor  science  engineering  dirty-hands  biophysical-econ  migration  human-capital  policy  canada  anglo  winner-take-all  polarization  amazon  business-models  allodium  civilization  the-classics  microsoft  analogy  gibbon  conquest-empire  realness  cynicism-idealism  org:edu  open-closed  ethics  incentives  m 
12 days ago by nhaliday
PSFK - answers, answers, answers
The New Consumer Experience
shared, analyzed & explained
futurism  business  consulting 
16 days ago by zryb
The Shallowness of Google Translate - The Atlantic
Douglas Hofstadter's analysis of Google Translate and how it works, by probing it with various passages. Focuses on the concept of "understanding" compared to mechanical translation in a layperson-accessible way.

"Paradoxically, these phrases, despite harping on the lack of understanding, almost suggest that Google Translate might at least sometimes be capable of understanding what a word or a phrase or a sentence means, or is about. But that isn’t the case. Google Translate is all about bypassing or circumventing the act of understanding language."
machine-learning  futurism 
18 days ago by gunsch
The new new economy
"A series on what the 21st century holds for how we live, travel, and work. Check back soon for even more stories."
vox_article  humanity  futurism 
20 days ago by tinatth

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