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

Five engineers and scientists experienced in large scale electrical energy production are today's featured guests.

Topics: how California's energy follies have damaged Oregon and Washington State; why making fuel out of food may be the dumbest idea the US has ever pursued; why the US has not been building nuclear power plants even though France now uses them to generate almost 80% of its electricity, so much that France frequently exports electricity to its neighboring nations; potential problems with 'cap and trade'; and the astounding--and yet mandated--federal energy planning model which insists that oil will deflate in price by almost 2% per year for the next 30 years.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 30, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 42 minutes] This panel was recorded on July 11, 2009 at LibertyCon in Chattanooga TN.

The five panel members included:
Robert G. Kennedy
(author and engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory);
Tom Trumpinski (physical chemist, formerly of Fermi Lab, and science writer);
Dan Hoyt (programmer in the field of rocket science, and science fiction writer);
Kenneth I. Roy (author and engineer with the US Department of Energy);
Tim Bolgeo (electrical engineer, retired from The Tennessee Vally Authority. Also founder and chairman of LibertyCon in Chattanooga, where he is affectionately known as Uncle Timmy).

Special thanks go to the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company for the use of their mics, sound board, and sound man; as well as to Derek Spraker (a LibertyCon organizer) who arranged for ARTC's assistance.

Direct download: TFAY_2009_12_30.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Five engineers and scientists experienced in large scale electrical energy production are today's featured guests.

Topics: The many struggles, controversies, incidents and allegations, as well as the political and financial problems facing America's power plants and electrical grid. Also: rolling blackouts, why California has more energy problems than any other state, environmentalism's impact, work-a-rounds and fail-safes, the selling of byproducts, and a wide variety of behind the scene facts most of the public has never heard. This discussion forum was entitled The Green Energy Panel, but in truth covered many related energy topics.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 23, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 46 minutes] This panel was recorded on July 11, 2009 at LibertyCon in Chattanooga TN.

The five panel members included:
Robert G. Kennedy
(author and engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory);
Tom Trumpinski (physical chemist, formerly of Fermi Lab, and science writer);
Daniel M. Hoyt (programmer in the field of rocket science, and a science fiction writer);
Kenneth I. Roy (author and engineer with the US Department of Energy);
Tim Bolgeo (electrical engineer retired from The Tennessee Valley Authority. He is also the founder and chairman of LibertyCon in Chattanooga, where he is affectionately known as Uncle Timmy).

Special thanks go to the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company for the use of their mics, sound board, and sound man; as well as to Derek Spraker (a LibertyCon organizer and friend of the host) who arranged for ARTC's assistance.

Direct download: TFAY_2009_12_23.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Fourth Anniversary Episode; featuring a year in review, behind the scene tidbits, and miscellaneous commentary by the host.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 16, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 37 minutes] (For the third time in four years, the host is also the guest.)

News Item: Stephen Euin Cobb was given a tiny cameo in Stuart Gibbon's first professional short story sale. Inspired by discussions about Second Life and Digital People which occurred on The Future And You during 2007 and 2008, the story is titled Proof of Life and was in the Oct/Nov issue of Cosmos Magazine. Cosmos is an award winning magazine sold on newsstands in all the English-speaking nations. Its offices are in Australia, but it is marketed internationally.

 

Direct download: TFAY_2009_12_16.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Andrew Hessel (biologist, author and co-founder of the Pink Army Cooperative) is today's featured guest.

Topics: how new drugs have been developed during the last few decades; why these processes cost so much; and how it may be possible to use open source techniques to develop new drugs faster, cheaper, better, and targeted for patients individually. This is the focus of the Pink Army Cooperative.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 9, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 23 minutes] (This interview was recorded on October 4, 2009 at the Singularity Summit in New York City.)

Andrew Hessel, is a consulting biologist and author interested in synthetic biology and open source biology. He advocates the use of open source for writing DNA code. In software development, open source has led to robust code, highly skilled developer communities, and non-monopolistic pricing — in other words, good things for end users. If the same results can be achieved in genome engineering, open source could potentially create a more diversified and sustainable biotechnology industry.

He earned his MSc. in bacterial genomics from the University of Calgary in 1995. He joined the Amgen Institute, a 120 person research facility located in Toronto, Canada, where he facilitated dozens of advanced research projects involving microarrays, genetic sequence analysis, and data mining. Today, the Institute, no longer affiliated with Amgen, is known as the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research. In 2002, he cofounded Miikana Therapeutics and helped create the virtual business model they successfully used. Miikana was sold to Entremed in December, 2005 for $21 million plus milestones.

Since 2003, he has worked to raise awareness about the potential benefits of synthetic biology and open source biology. His efforts have been supported by the University of Oklahoma, the University of Toronto, MIT, and most recently, the Alberta Ingenuity Fund. His ongoing goal is to help create an open source biotechnology company that specializes in individually personalized cancer therapeutics.

Direct download: TFAY_2009_12_9.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Aaron Franz and Carlos A. Mejia (a documentary film-making team) are today's featured guests.

Aaron and Carlos are anti-transhumanism activists who have joined forces to create a documentary explaining the potential negative effects of transhumanism on the future of civilization in general, and on our individual lives in particular.

Topics: Artificial Intelligence and The Singularity, Human Augmentation (especially the augmentation of connecting the Internet directly to the human mind), and their worry that we may have already gone too far. They also describe their documentary and their production company: TransAlchemy.com.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 2, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 29 minutes] (This interview was recorded on October 3, 2009 at the Singularity Summit in New York City.)

 

Direct download: TFAY_2009_12_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Doctor Gregory L. Matloff, C Bangs and Keith Comito are today's featured guests.

Doctor Gregory L. Matloff is an astronomer, author and professor; C Bangs is a professional artist and author; and Keith Comito is a mathematician, programmer and founder of OmegaSoft  which produces games and apps for the iPhone.

Topics: The future in general but also, extending human longevity, artificial intelligence, the Singularity, augmenting the human body and mind, the Fermi paradox, iPhone apps (such as Orbus which mimics an AI), and Michelle Phan who has become a celebrity on YouTube for her makeup tutorials.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the November 25, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 26 minutes] (These  interviews were recorded on October 3 and 4, 2009 at the Singularity Summit in New York City.)

Michelle Phan (BTW) has also posted helpful and clever tutorial videos on things that have nothing to do with makeup, such as how to use a black tee shirt to become a ninja in only 30 seconds, and how to stretch shoes that are too tight by placing Ziploc bags in them that are half-filled with water and putting them in the freezer overnight. Brilliant stuff.

 

Direct download: TFAY_2009_11_25.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Peter Nygard (the internationally famous fashion designer) is today's featured guest.

Topics: how technology has transformed the fashion industry; and the pivotal role he played in the beginning and final negotiation of NAFTA. Also, as I interviewed him, my assistant Peggy Gregory noticed that his leather jacket bore the seal of the president of the United States of America. Asking about this, he explained that President Bush Senior--while visiting him on his island--took it off and gave it to him in return for one of his designer T-Shirts.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the November 18, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 26 minutes] (This interview was recorded on October 4, 2009 at the Singularity Summit in New York City.)

Peter Nygard is a fashion designer who's clothing, accessories, and home fashions can be found in Sears, Dillard's and countless other well known stores around the world. Enjoying a long and prosperous career, he owns a private island in the Bahamas called Nygard Key where he built a resort style mansion with a staff of 20, and owns a 133 feet long 727 as his private jet. He is friend to presidents, prime ministers, and celebrities of every media--TV, movies, music and print.

This episode is dedicated with special thanks to Greta Blackburn (an actress who appeared in many TV shows in the 80s and 90s such as Three’s Company and Dynasty, and several movies such as 48 Hrs and Yellowbeard, as well as the original version of the mini-series V). While I was busy interviewing futurists, Greta introduced my assistant Peggy to several noteworthy people we would have otherwise missed. One was Noel Patton of T.A. Sciences and another was today's guest, her friend, Peter Nygard. Greta was so modest that (though I kept thinking she looked familiar) I had no idea of her fame until I got home and looked her up online. If I had realized I would have asked her for an interview too.

 

Direct download: TFAY_2009_11_18.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Ari Kiirikki, Vice President of Knome Inc. (the world's leading provider of personal DNA sequencing) is today's featured guest.

Topics: how you can have your entire DNA sequenced; the rate at which this expensive procedure is growing in popularity; how soon it will drop below $1000 (and may even reach $100); the new diagnostic powers general practitioners will gain using personalized DNA sequencing; cases in which the accidental discovery of extreme human genotypes have produced new drug therapies; why this technology will make the discovery of these extreme human genotypes far more common by making them far less random; speculation on ways widespread personal DNA sequencing might change online dating services; and how Knome Inc. is working to make personal DNA sequencing increasingly affordable and yet keep this data in the hands of the person whose DNA it is, and not in any database anywhere.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the November 11, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 20 minutes] (This interview was recorded on October 4, 2009 at the Singularity Summit in New York City.)

 

Direct download: TFAY_2009_11_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Noel Patton (founder of T.A. Sciences) is today's featured guest.

Topic: A product available today which may extend human lives well beyond traditional limits. Specifically what this product is, how it functions within living cells, and some of the scientific and medical research verifying its effectiveness.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the November 4, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 23 minutes] (This interview was recorded on October 4, 2009 at the Singularity Summit in New York City.)

The product is called TA-65™ and is an enzyme (a single molecule) that activates telomerase. Discovered in 2001 by the California bio-tech company Geron, in 2002 it was licensed by T.A. Sciences. Telemerase reverses the normal loss of telemeres which occurs each time cells divide throughout a human life and which sets a limit (called the Hayflick limit) on the number of times human body cells can divide, and consequently how long a human can live.

 

Direct download: TFAY_2009_11_4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Eliezer Yudkowsky (co-founder and research fellow of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence) is today's featured guest.

Topics: the Singularity and the creation of Friendly AI; his estimate of the probability of success in making a Friendly AI; and why achieving AI using evolutionary software might be monumentally dangerous. He also talks about human rationality, such as: the percentage of humans today who can be considered rational; his own efforts to increase that number; how the listener can seek the path to greater rationality in his or her own thinking; the benefits of greater rationality; and the amount of success that can be expected in this pursuit.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the October 28, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 30 minutes] (This interview was recorded on October 4, 2009 at the Singularity Summit in New York City.)

Eliezer Yudkowsky is an artificial intelligence researcher concerned with the Singularity, and an advocate of Friendly Artificial Intelligence. He is the author of The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence publications Creating Friendly AI (2001) and Levels of Organization in General Intelligence (2002). His most recent academic contributions include two chapters in Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom's edited volume Global Catastrophic Risks.

Aside from research, he is also notable for his explanations of technical subjects in non-academic language, particularly on rationality, such as his article An Intuitive Explanation of Bayesian Reasoning. Also, along with Robin Hanson, he was one of the principal contributors to the blog Overcoming Bias sponsored by the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. In early 2009, he helped to found LessWrong.com, a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality.

 

Direct download: TFAY_2009_10_28.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:01 AM