The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.
 

Rhonda Leigh Jones (author of erotic romance novels, and just back from a year living in and participating in the Eastern European culture of Romania) is today's featured guest.

Sex, BDSM, and life in Romania verses American are the general topics of the interview. Specifics topics include: the sexiness of the Joker from Batman; sexual repression within our culture; surprises from living a year in Romania; how her novels differ from the BDSM movies The Story of O and The Secretary; other alternative lifestyles such as polyamory; many people who are dating and in relationships rarely talk about sex, and when they do, rarely describe what they actually want; differences between occasional kink and lifestyle kink; people consider murder less a crime than rape even though it's possible to recover from rape but not from murder; that goth is mostly about music and only secondarily about style; and the goth scene in Romania.  Also, how Romania differs from America in terms of music, sexual attitudes (both kinky and non), clothing styles, culture, employment, crime, living conditions (it being a former communist nation), even how Romanians differ from Americans when just standing in line.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 31, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 67 minutes]

The Maestro's Butterfly and The Maestro's Maker are the first two novels in her erotic romance series which explores the dark side of eroticism using Vampires as some of the principal characters and the erotic elements of BDSM. Both novels are now also available as downloadable audio books. (Her publisher Ravenous Romance released her second novel only days after this interview was recorded.) Rhonda Leigh Jones has a Bachelors in English, and is a former newspaper reporter.

Sound-bites from the interview: 'There is so much kink out there.'

'Sexual attitudes in Romania are simultaneously more open and less open.'

'My novels are for people who like the dark side of eroticism; these are kinky vampires. It's an exploration of power dynamics: of domination and submission, and also of corporal punishment. There's a lot of corporal punishment in my writing.'

'People, if they are like me, get into BDSM because they don't skydive. A little bit of fear is the ultimate aphrodisiac.'

 

Direct download: TFAY_2008_12_31.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

R.U. Sirius (Editor-In-Chief of the new Transhumanist Magazine called H+ as well as writer, talk show host, and cyberculture icon) is today's featured guest.

R.U. Sirius tells how Timothy Leary (his friend and fellow cyberculture activist) helped him trick William Gibson (the reclusive author of the seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer) into providing them with an interview for Mondo 2000 (the cyberculture magazine of which R.U. Sirius was editor and co-founder).

He also talks about his work with Bruce Sterling (SF author and cyberculture leader); his candidacy for president in 2000; how the decline of print magazines is opening up the possibility that the new transhumanist magazine H+ may become a print magazine; and he accepts an invitation from me (your host) to do two personal appearnces inside the virtual world of Second Life.

And somewhere in the middle of all this he finds time to talk about technological enhancements to our IQ and mood; the accuracy of Ray Kurzeil's time-line; artificial intelligence; diminishing privacy; biotechnology; Amazon's Kindle; virtual reality; and why molecular manufacturing might become the magic bullet to end scarcity, increase health and extend human longevity.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 24, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 51 minutes]

R.U. Sirius (who was born Ken Goffman) may be best known as co-founder and the original Editor-In-Chief of Mondo 2000 Magazine from 1989–1993. He was Editor-In-Chief of Axcess magazine in 1998, and GettingIt.com from 1999-2000. He was also chairman and candidate in the 2000 U.S. presidential election for The Revolution Party; which had a platform that was a mixture of libertarianism and liberalism. He has been a regular columnist for Wired News and the San Francisco Examiner, a contributing writer for Wired and Artforum International. And he has written for Time, Esquire, Rolling Stone and many other publications. Altogether, he has written several hundred articles and essays.

News Items in this episode include: [1] Review of Robot Magazine. A glossy, full-color, 80 page-thick magazine crammed with articles about how to make robots, program robots, where to get robot parts, and what happened at all the latest robot competitions. [2] Kim Stanley Robinson will be in Second Life for an open forum discussion on Saturday, January 17, 2009. Beginning at Noon Pacific Time, it will be hosted by my friend Sophrosyne Stenvaag as part of her series of open forum discussions with people who are shaping the future, entitled Sophrosenye's Saturday Salon. [3] I attended my first baby shower inside Second Life. On December 14, 2008 Giulio Prisco (in Spain) threw the shower for Amara Graps (in Denver). Photos I took are on my Flickr page.

 

Direct download: TFAY_2008_12_24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

R.U. Sirius (writer, editor, talk show host, and cyberculture icon) is today's featured guest.

As Editor-In-Chief of a new magazine called H+ (which is written by transhumanists, for transhumanists) he describes how he was recruited, his goals for its future, and admits (possibly for the first time) that he is a transhumanist and has been one, possibly his whole life.

Timothy Leary (who he recruited as a regular writer for Mondo 2000) in the 1980s, he points out, wrote about and promoted many ideas that today are widely considered transhumanist in nature. He suggests that although Timothy Leary did not describe himself as one, he might be considered an early transhumanist.

He also answers the host's question: How many of your articles, over the years, have been rejected because they were too controversial? And: if human longevity is developed, how will carrying our sometimes controversial reputations for centuries change our lives? He also talks about his expectations concerning artificial intelligence and the Singularity.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 17, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 49 minutes]

H+ magazine is available worldwide as a free download in PDF format. The first issue of is out. Your host has read it, and enjoyed it very much. Many of its articles were written by people who have been a guest on The Future And You.

Previously, R.U. Sirius (who was born Ken Goffman) was best known as co-founder and the original Editor-In-Chief of Mondo 2000 Magazine  from 1989–1993. He was Editor-In-Chief of Axcess magazine in 1998, and GettingIt.com from 1999-2000. He was also chairman and candidate in the 2000 U.S. presidential election for The Revolution Party; which had a platform that was a mixture of libertarianism and liberalism. He has been a regular columnist for Wired News and the San Francisco Examiner, a contributing writer for Wired and Artforum International. And he has written for Time, Esquire, Rolling Stone and many other publications. Altogether, he has written several hundred articles and essays.

News Items in this episode include: [1] This is Third Anniversary episode of The Future And You. [2] The Future And You, and other podcasts, can be listened to by phone. Podlines assigned this show the phone number  +1 (210) 957-5545 . [3] The Annual Death Stacks Tournament (a game invented by your host) has been invited to become part of the IAGO World Tour by The International Abstract Games Organization. [4] New Scientist Magazine reports that eating food with heavier isotopes of hydrogen and other atoms might lengthen human lives.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_12_17.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Brain Wang (writer, speaker and noted futurist) is today's featured guest.

Biases remain strong, Brian says, within government and the scientific community that have prevented the funding of some nanotechnology projects while promoting others. Brian explains how these biases are misused to secure funding for projects which have nothing to do with nanotechnology, at the cost of those that do.

Brian also talks about: Bussard Fusion (not to be confused with the interstellar ramjet also invented by Doctor Robert Bussard); types of nanotechnology and how each would change our lives and our civilization; the military's attitude toward nanotechnology; the need to quit keeping all our eggs in one basket and spread a meaningful portion of our species throughout the solar system; how future space wars in our solar system will differ from ground-based wars; that solar cells are likely to become cheap by 2015; and what a 'Mundane Singularity' might be like (one without AI or molecular manufacturing) and how much change such a Singularity might still produce in our lives.
 
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 10, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 57 minutes]

Brian Wang is a long time futurist, who has been involved with nanotechnology associations since 1994. He is a Senior Associate of the Foresight Institute, a member of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology Task Force, and on the Advisory Board of both the Nanoethics Group and the Lifeboat Foundation.

He is the author of Predictions For a Technological Future, Now Until 2050; The Impact of Nanofactories on Jobs in the USA; and Considering Military and Ethical Implications of Nanofactory Level Nanotechnology. He has also been involved in e-commerce, Internet startups and real estate investing. He is a competitive dragon boat racer and has competed at the World Club Crew Championship.

His blog is NextBigFuture.com, but he is also a featured blogger on Michael Anissimov's acceleratingfuture.com, and on Ray Kurzweil's kurzweilAI.net.

News Items in this episode include: [1] CNN has laid off its entire Science and Technology reporting team including their Senior Science Reporter Miles O'Brian; [2] Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, describes his efforts to get China to lift their ban on Wikipedia; [3] The City State of Extropia inside Second Life celebrated its first anniversary (your host's photos may be viewed on Flickr).

Direct download: TFAY_2008_12_10.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

David Orban (futurist, speaker and business executive) is today's featured guest.  This is the second half of his interview. (The first half is in the episode dated October 29, 2008.)

Spimes, some people call them. What are spimes? What are the benefits and dangers of this new Internet expansion? What will be the uses and misuses? How will spimes impact people's lives? How will portions of the Internet migrate to this Spimey Network.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 3, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 56 minutes]

Also included are an update on the host's ongoing recovery from surgery; listener feedback; and an announcement that Sophrosyne's Satruday Salon will resume on December 6, 2008 with Information Week’s Mitch Wagner as guest speaker.

David Orban is the founder of WideTag, Inc. which is working to place CO2 sensors into cell phones so that the CO2 concentrations within a nation or continent can be mapped with unheard of precision.  He is also Founder and Director of Singularity Institute Europe; an Advisory Board Member of the Lifeboat Foundation; Founder and CEO of Questar; Founder of Vulcano; and a Founding Member of Lunarez.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_12_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

I've switched from using the prescription pain medicines to using a maximum dose of Tylenol.  I still have to use my left hand for everything but the throbbing pain is gone and only the temporary pains of moving my arm in the numerous wong directions remain. Also I'm getting back more and more range of motion in my shoulder.  The therapist says I'm progressing very well.  On the other hand, it's still a little embarrassing that my sister Peggy had to change my flat tire today while I just stood around and watched with my arm in the sling.  As to the show: I'm eager to get back to producing it.  Maybe I will be well enough to do a show next week, maybe.  We'll see.  I appreciate everyone's patience.

 

Category:general -- posted at: 4:49 AM

My recovery and my therapy are still proceeding well.

I will have to wear the sling and sleep in an easy chair until I see the doctor on December 8. He might let me stop wearing the sling. Although, to be honest, the sling is still very helpful right now.

I've been using my left hand for everything including operating my computer mouse. But last Saturday I made the mistake of controlling the mouse with my right hand. After a couple hours of that my arm was killing me so bad I had to go back to a full dose of pain medicine. The pain didn't returned to normal until Sunday evening.

I haven't figured out how to shave left-handed, so I'm growing a full beard. I might keep it after my right arm gets better. I'm not sure yet.

 

Category:general -- posted at: 1:14 AM

My recovery from surgery (14 days ago on October 29, 2008) is coming along well. My doctor and physical therapist are both pleased with my progress. Though I still take it every six hours, I've reduced my pain medicine to its minimum dose, and I can mostly take care of myself at my own house.

Thank you for the many wonderful messages wishing me a speedy recovery. It's always great to hear that there are people who don't like it when I'm hurting. This little post is to give you a clearer sense of how things are progressing.

I spent the first week after the operation living with relatives. And even though I'm living in my own house again, they still have to come get me to take me to my physical therapy twice a week since it's against the law to drive while taking my prescription pain medicine.

My surgery was an arthroscopic procedure to repair a 'full-thickness tear of the rotator cuff.' I've learned that this is a very common injury. My surgeon does two or three of these surgical repairs every week. The rotator cuff is a sheet of tendon like material that covers the shoulder joint like a hood. But its not there to just to cover it. The cuff is structural. The portion of the rotator cuff in my arm that was torn was the part that curves over the top of the shoulder and attaches the upper end of the muscle which raises my arm, to the bones of my shoulder.

The surgical procedure involves placing two anchors in the bone, then using sutures to draw the rotator back into contact with the bone and roughing up the mating surfaces enough that they bleed and so can begin to heal back together. Later, the anchors will be absorbed into the body.

With stitches inside my shoulder, the things I'm not allowed to do mostly center around not raising my right arm. It's not enough to not raise it often. I have to not raise it ever. I have to protect my arm from moving in any direction that will tear the stitches holding the rotator together. To aid in this they gave me a sling to keep my arm in for a month or two. It's very lightweight, surprisingly comfortable, closes with Velcro and is completely black. And since there might be a danger of rolling onto my arm while sleeping, I'm not allowed to sleep in a bed. I'm required to sleep in an easy chair.

I am extremely right handed, so normally my left hand doesn't know how to do anything. But I'm learning how to eat and brush my teeth and even use a computer mouse with my left hand. I've also learned that by pushing my keyboard back a foot or more from the edge of my desk, and then resting the entire weight of my right arm on the desk, I can type. But I can't lift my right arm from the desk since that is very painful and might tear the stitches. Instead, I have to lift the entire weight of my right arm with my left arm.

Another learning experience involved voting. I'm an American, and the U.S. General Election was just six days after my operation. So I sat in the passenger seat of the car wearing my hospital robe and with my arm in a sling and my head full of medicine while my 72 year old mother walked inside and brought two pole workers out to me with a computer tablet style voting machine. I may have spent less time at the poles than anyone in America that day. We were there ten minutes.

I still don't know how many weeks my show will be on hiatus. One more week, maybe two, we'll see. In the meantime, I will try to keep you up to date as to my condition. One last note: December will be the show's three year anniversary. I'll see if I can't come up with something special. Bye for now.

 

Category:general -- posted at: 5:01 AM

The surgery on my right shoulder went very well. It was performed seven days ago on October 29, 2008. I am now in physical therapy and on medicines for the pain.

Unfortunately, thanks to the pain of moving my right arm combined with the mental sluggishness I'm getting from the pain medicines, my hope of doing an episode of The Future And You this week is out of the question. Even simple tasks like eating, showering and typing this tiny message all involve huge effort, moderate pain and vast amounts of concentration and cleverness since even the most basic bodily movements have to be reinvented from the bottom up.

I don't know how many weeks of recovery I will need before I can start producing episodes again. Maybe this will be the only week I miss, or maybe it will take two or three. One thing is for sure: I don't like sitting on the sidelines. The future is coming faster every day and I want to be in the thick of it.

I'll be back soon. In the meantime I'll keep you updated each Wednesday.

Category:general -- posted at: 5:01 AM

David Orban (futurist, speaker and business executive) is today's featured guest.

The Internet is big and still growing. How it grows and where it grows changes with time. During the next few years one of its massive growth spurts will be into devices that are not physically connected to the net. This transition has already begun. It is moving into the billions of cell phones. But next will come other simpler objects, like shoes and clothes and toys and toasters.

Spimes, some people call them. What are spimes? What are the benefits and dangers of this new Internet expansion? What will be the uses and misuses? How will spimes impact people's lives? How will portions of the Internet migrate to this Spimey Network. David Orban covers all these topics as well as the backlash Walmart and Darman each received over their use of RFID chips in their products.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the October 29, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 49 minutes]

David Orban is the founder of WideTag, Inc. which is working to place CO2 sensors into cell phones so that the CO2 concentrations within a nation or continent can be mapped with unheard of precision.  He is also Founder and Director of Singularity Institute Europe; an Advisory Board Member of the Lifeboat Foundation; Founder and CEO of Questar; Founder of Vulcano; and a Founding Member of Lunarez.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_10_29.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:01 AM