Flash Forward

By Rose Eveleth

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Description

A show about possible and not so possible futures. From space pirates to conscious robots to the end of antibiotics. Hosted by Rose Eveleth.

Episode Date
The Space Roomba
3190
This episode we take on a future where space junk has gotten so bad, that active spacecraft are constantly having to maneuver around it, which wastes fuel and cuts down on operation time. And humans decide to finally do something about it. But what?<br><br>Guests:<br><a href="https://twitter.com/lorengrush">Loren Grush</a>, science reporter at The Verge <br><a href="https://twitter.com/orbital_decay">Lisa Ruth Rand</a>, historian of science technology and the environment.<br><a href="http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/Clean_Space/Finding_ways_to_overcome_barriers_Tiago_Soares_interview">Tiago Soares</a>, systems engineer for ESA’s Clean Space program<br>Andrew Wolahan, systems engineer for ESA’s e.deorbit program <br><a href="http://www.flinders.edu.au/people/alice.gorman">Alice Gorman</a>, space archaeologist at Flinders University&nbsp; <br><a href="https://www.space-policy.com/about-dr-jill-stuart">Jill Stuart</a>, space policy &amp; law expert at the London School of Economics <br><br>Further Reading:<br><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq5dIHHW7yM">Tracking Space Junk</a><br><a href="https://www.theverge.com/2016/12/30/14116918/space-junk-debris-cleanup-missions-esa-astroscale-removedebris">How can humans clean up our space junk?</a> <br><a href="https://www.wired.com/story/the-space-junk-problem-is-about-to-get-a-whole-lot-gnarlier/">The Space Junk Problem is About to get a Whole Lots Gnarlier</a><br><a href="https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI10191526/">Orbital Decay: Space Junk and the Environmental History of Earth’s Planetary Borderlands</a><br><a href="https://www.wired.com/2013/08/project-west-ford/">The Forgotten Cold War Plan That Put A Ring Of Copper Around The Earth</a> <br><a href="https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/experimentDisplay.do?id=1961-028A-03">Project West Ford, NASA Repository</a><br><a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/6/14530348/jaxa-kounotori-space-junk-mission-failure">Japanese mission to clear up space junk ends in failure</a><br><a href="https://www.theverge.com/2016/5/12/11664668/iss-window-chip-space-debris-tim-peake">This is what happens when a tiny piece of flying space debris hits the ISS</a><br><a href="https://earth.esa.int/web/guest/missions/esa-operational-eo-missions/envisat">ESA Envisat</a> <br><a href="http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/Clean_Space">ESA Clean Space</a><br><a href="http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/Clean_Space/e.Deorbit">ESA e.deorbit</a><br><a href="https://zoharesque.blogspot.com/">Space Age Archaeology</a> <br><a href="https://hybridworldadelaide.org/2018/05/04/dr-space-junk-alice-gorman/">What is Space Archaeology?</a><br><a href="https://theconversation.com/the-outer-space-treaty-has-been-remarkably-successful-but-is-it-fit-for-the-modern-age-71381">The Outer Space Treaty has been remarkably successful – but is it fit for the modern age?</a><br><br>Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The space dispatcher from the top of the episode was played by Andrew Hackard. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br><br>And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! Head to www.flashforwardpod.com/support for more about how to give. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 19, 2018
We Are Family
3454
With the rise in consumer DNA tests and online genealogy, people might soon have a pretty good idea where their families came from for generations. But are we putting too much faith in DNA? Can our genetic ancestry really tell us anything about ourselves? And what happens when DNA databases become playgrounds for true crime sleuths?<br><br>Guests:<br><br><a href="https://carlzimmer.com/">Carl Zimmer,</a> science journalist and author of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1101984597?tag=randohouseinc33332-20"><em>She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions and Potential of Heredity</em></a><br><a href="http://kristenvbrown.com/">Kristen V. Brown</a>, biotechnology reporter at Bloomberg<br><a href="http://kimtallbear.com/">Kim Tallbear</a>, author of <a href="http://kimtallbear.com/pubs/how-identifying-native-americans-is-vastly-more-complicated-than-matching-dna/"><em>Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science</em></a><em><br></em><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Clan_McCrimmon">Clan_McCrimmon</a>, moderator of the <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/lylestevik/">Lyle Stevik subreddit</a>&nbsp; <br><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colleen_M._Fitzpatrick">Colleen Fitzpatrick</a> and Margaret Press, cofounders of <a href="http://dnadoeproject.org/">DNA Doe </a><br><a href="http://www.kellyhills.com/blog/bio/">Kelly Hills</a>, cofounder of <a href="http://www.roguebioethics.com/">Rogue Bioethics</a> <br><br>Further Reading:<br><br><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1101984597?tag=randohouseinc33332-20"><em>She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions and Potential of Heredity</em></a><em><br></em><a href="http://kimtallbear.com/pubs/how-identifying-native-americans-is-vastly-more-complicated-than-matching-dna/"><em>Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science</em></a><em><br></em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Garden-Invention-Burbank-Business-Breeding/dp/0143116894/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1528174809&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=luther+burbank "><em>The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants <br></em></a><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/31/books/review/she-has-her-mothers-laugh-carl-zimmer.html ">In an Age of Gene Editing and Surrogacy, What Does Heredity Mean? </a><em><br></em><a href="https://gizmodo.com/how-dna-testing-botched-my-familys-heritage-and-probab-1820932637 ">How DNA Testing Botched My Family's Heritage, and Probably Yours, Too </a><em><br></em><a href="http://amp.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/article212256094.html ">DNA testing is like the 'Wild West'; should it be more tightly regulated? <br></a><a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/12/dna-test-kits-consider-privacy-implications ">DNA test kits: Consider the privacy implications </a><em><br></em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2018/04/27/golden-state-killer-dna-website-gedmatch-was-used-to-identify-joseph-deangelo-as-suspect-police-say/?utm_term=.4307bda8bce1 ">The ingenious and ‘dystopian’ DNA technique police used to hunt the ‘Golden State Killer’ suspect <br></a><a href="https://melmagazine.com/the-strange-case-of-the-man-with-no-name-13691028e07e">The Strange Case of the Man With No Name </a><em><br></em><a href="https://www.websleuths.com/forums/threads/wa-unidentified-male-lyle-stevik-grays-harbor-17-sept-2001-1.38821/">Web Sleuths: Lyle Stevik </a><em><br></em><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/lylestevik/">Reddit: Lyle Stevik </a><em><br></em><a href="https://www.gedmatch.com/login1.php">GED Match<br></a><a href="http://cases.dnadoeproject.org/'">Active DNA Doe Cases</a><br><a href="http://cases.dnadoeproject.org/mesmerize/lyle_stevik/">DNA Doe Lyle Stevik Press Release&nbsp;</a><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 05, 2018
Federal Project Two
3315
Guests:<br><a href="http://susanquinnbooks.com/">Susan Quinn</a>, author of Furious Improvisation: How the WPA and a Cast of Thousands&nbsp; Made High Art out of Desperate Times and other books.<br><a href="http://www.monetnoellemarshall.com/">Monet Noelle Marshall</a>, playwright, consultant, artist, director, founder of JOCOAA.<br><a href="https://www.monicabyrne.org/">Monica Byrne</a>, novelist, playwright, futurist, activist.<br><br>Further Reading: <br><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Furious-Improvisation-Thousands-Desperate-Times/dp/0802716989/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1526766748&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=Furious+Improvisation%3A+How+the+WPA+and+a+Cast+of+Thousands++Made+High+Art+out+of+Desperate+Times"><em>Furious Improvisation: How the WPA and a Cast of Thousands&nbsp; Made High Art out of Desperate Times</em></a> by Susan Quinn <br><a href="https://www.amazon.com/New-Deal-Art-Projects-Anthology/dp/0874741130/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1526766699&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+new+deal+art+projects+an+anthology+of+memoirs"><em>The New Deal Art Projects, An Anthology of Memoirs</em></a> by Francis V. O’Connor<br><em>Engendering Culture: Manhood and Womanhood In New Deal Public Art and Theater</em> by Barbara Medosh <br><a href="https://www.amazon.com/American-Made-Enduring-Legacy-When-Nation/dp/0553381326/ref=pd_sbs_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&amp;pd_rd_i=0553381326&amp;pd_rd_r=JWD2X4GW6TYEWYZXDHMW&amp;pd_rd_w=5lO4e&amp;pd_rd_wg=50cbQ&amp;psc=1&amp;refRID=JWD2X4GW6TYEWYZXDHMW"><em>American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA:When FDR Put the Nation to Work</em></a> by Nick Taylor<br><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Subsidized-Muse-Public-Support-United/dp/0521297966/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1526767327&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=The+Subsidized+Muse"><em>The Subsidized Muse: Public Support for the Arts in the United States</em></a> by Dick Netzer <br><a href="https://www.topic.com/fp2/the-american-guide-to-the-new-vermont">The American&nbsp; Guide to the New Vermont</a> <br><a href="https://www.topic.com/fp2/after-the-curtain-call">After the Curtain Calls</a> <br><a href="https://blog.patreon.com/creator-of-the-week-with-monica-byrne/">Creator of the Week with Monica Byrne</a><br><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/arts/design/donald-trump-arts-humanities-public-television.html">What if Trump Really Does End Money for the Arts?</a> <br><a href="https://edsource.org/2017/national-arts-scores-are-in-and-the-western-u-s-lags-behind/583841">Global Trends in Art Funding</a> <br><a href="https://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/how_0.pdf">How the United States Funds the Arts</a> <br><a href="https://www.alternet.org/culture/culturally-impoverished-us-nea-spends-140th-what-germany-doles-out-arts-capita">Culturally Impoverished: US NEA Spends 1/40th of What Germany Doles Out for Arts Per Capita</a><br><a href="https://newrepublic.com/article/142925/americans-hostile-state-funded-art">Why Are Americans So Hostile to State-Funded Art?</a> <br><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/28dwHRWzx67yZM0158wZ5SN/orson-welles-voodoo-macbeth-a-forgotten-diversity-landmark">Orson Welles’ Voodoo Macbeth: A forgotten diversity landmark</a><br><br>Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The voice of your future president was played by Andrea Klunder, the Producer &amp; host of The Creative Impostor and Podcast Envy podcasts. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br><br>If you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool. And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! Head to www.flashforwardpod.com/support for more about how to give. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to Apple Podcasts and leave us a nice review. Or just tell your friends about the show!&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 22, 2018
Enter the Exos
3166
This episode we talk exoskeletons: what are they being used for now? What might they be used for in the future? And what happens when they’re everywhere? <br><br>Guests:<br><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/timpote/">Tim Pote</a>, PhD student at Virginia Tech<br>Greg Pote, Tim’s brother <br><a href="https://spine.osu.edu/people/marras.1">Dr. Bill Marras</a>, professor at The Ohio State University &amp; Director of the Spine Research Institute<br><a href="http://rewalk.com/">Larry Jasinksi</a>, CEO, Rewalk <br><a href="https://techanddisability.com/">Ashley Shew</a>, assistant professor at Virginia Tech in technology &amp; disability, and author of Animal Constructions and Technological Knoweldge <br><a href="https://crippledscholar.com/">Kim Sauder</a>, graduate student in Disability Studies, author of Crippled Scholar blog <br><a href="http://badcripple.blogspot.com/">Bill Peace</a>, anthropologist &amp; bioethicist, author of Bad Cripple blog <br><br>Further Reading:<br><a href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/a33kxg/bricklaying-robots-and-exoskeletons-are-the-future-of-the-construction-industry">The robotic exoskeleton market is poised to grow to $1.9 billion in 2025, compared to $97 million in 2016, says ABI Research's Dan Kara</a>. <br><a href="http://bleex.me.berkeley.edu/research/exoskeleton/bleex/">Berkeley BLEEX Exoskeleton</a> <br><a href="https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/11/exoskeletons-wont-turn-assembly-line-workers-into-iron-man/">Exoskeletons Won’t Turn Assembly Workers into Iron Man</a> <br><a href="https://www.wired.com/2015/04/try-new-exoskeleton-construction-workers/">We Try a New Exoskeleton for Construction Workers</a> <br><a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/s/539251/the-exoskeletons-are-coming/">The Exoskeletons Are Coming</a> <br><a href="http://rewalk.com/testimonials/">ReWalk Testimonials</a> <br><a href="https://news.osu.edu/news/2018/04/20/for-heavy-lifting-use-exoskeletons-with-caution/">For heavy lifting, use exoskeletons with caution</a> <br><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003687017302557">Biomechanical evaluation of exoskeleton use on loading of the lumbar spine</a> <br><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26444053">Exoskeletons for industrial application and their potential effects on physical work load</a><br><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26851481">The effects of a passive exoskeleton on muscle activity, discomfort and endurance time in forward bending work</a>. <br><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/08/exoskeletons-disability-assistive-technology/400667/">The Exoskeleton’s Hidden Burden</a><br><a href="https://badcripple.blogspot.com/2014/06/walking-is-over-rated.html">Walking is Over Rated</a><br><a href="https://badcripple.blogspot.com/2015/01/obsession-with-walking.html">The Obsession With Walking</a><br><a href="https://badcripple.blogspot.com/2011/05/exoskeleton-as-social-problem.html">Exoskeletons as a Social Problem</a><br><a href="https://badcripple.blogspot.com/2011/06/you-cannot-kill-bad-idea-exoskeleton.html">You Cannot Kill a Bad Idea: The Exoskeleton Lives</a> <br><a href="https://badcripple.blogspot.com/2013/04/rewalk-plea-for-common-sense.html">ReWalk: A Plea for Common Sense</a> <br><br>Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The voice of the future historian from the intro was by Sarah Werner. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. <br><br>For more about the show or this episode go <a href="https://www.flashforwardpod.com/?p=687&amp;preview=true">HERE</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 08, 2018
Fitness in a Bottle
3244
Some people love going to the gym. Some people hate it. But what if there was a pill that could replace exercise? Today’s future might actually be closer than you think. <br><br>Today’s guests:<br><br>Nicola Twilley, co-host of <a href="https://gastropod.com/">Gastropod</a> and <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/nicola-twilley">New Yorker writer</a><br>David Eveleth, my dad and biotech expert<br>Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, <a href="http://nataliapetrzela.com/">historian</a> and co-host of <a href="http://www.pastpresentpodcast.com/">Past Present</a> <br>Sigmund Loland, <a href="https://www.nih.no/en/about/employees/loland-sigmund/">philosopher of sports</a> at Norwegian School of Sport Sciences<br>Casey Johnston, <a href="https://theoutline.com">editor at The Outline</a>, author of <a href="http://www.caseyjohnston.net/#/ask-a-swole-woman/">Ask a Swole Woman</a><br>Robert, my boyfriend<br><br><a href="https://www.flashforwardpod.com/2018/04/24/fitness-in-a-bottle/">Further reading can be found here, including background documents, research papers, suggested books and more. </a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 24, 2018
Fire From the Deep
2758
In this episode, a huge submarine volcano erupts, breaks the surface of the ocean, and forms a new island. What happens next?<br><br>Guests:<br><br><a href="https://www.buffalo.edu/news/experts/tracy-gregg-faculty-expert-planetary-volcanology.html">Tracy Gregg</a>, associate professor of geology at the University at Buffalo<br><a href="http://www.utas.edu.au/profiles/staff/geophysics/rebecca-carey">Rebecca Carey</a>, senior lecturer at the University of Tasmania<br><a href="http://paraskevinomikou.weebly.com/">Paraskevi V. Nomiku</a>, assistant professor of geological oceanography at the University of Athens<br>Gianpierro Orbasano, Tongan photojournalist and explorer<br><a href="https://www.sealandgov.org/">Michael Bates</a>, Prince of Sealand<br><a href="https://duckduckgo.com/?q=james+grimmelmann&amp;atb=v39-4aq&amp;ia=web">James Grimmelmann</a>, professor of law at Cornell Tech<br><br>Further reading:<br><br><a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1701121">The largest deep-ocean silicic volcanic eruption of the past century</a><br><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11069-012-0405-0">Tsunami hazard risk of a future volcanic eruption of Kolumbo submarine volcano, NE of Santorini Caldera, Greece</a><br><a href="https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/3891/2010/acp-10-3891-2010.pdf">Volcanic ash as fertiliser for the surface ocean </a><br><a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0102354">The Submarine Volcano Eruption off El Hierro Island: Effects on the Scattering Migrant Biota and the Evolution of the Pelagic Communities </a><strong><br></strong><a href="https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/lawofsea.html">What is law of the sea?</a><strong><br></strong><a href="https://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/convention_overview_convention.htm">United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea</a><strong><br></strong><a href="https://digitalcommons.law.utulsa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://duckduckgo.com/&amp;httpsredir=1&amp;article=1185&amp;context=tjcil">Principality of Sealand: Nation Building by Individuals</a><br><a href="https://illinoislawreview.org/wp-content/ilr-content/articles/2012/2/Grimmelmann.pdf">Sealand, Havenco and the Rule of Law</a><br><a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-31848255">Hunga Tonga volcano eruption forms new S Pacific island</a><br><br>This episode was suggested by listener and long-time friend of the show <a href="https://twitter.com/vruba">Charlie Loyd</a>. <br><br>Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by <a href="http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Asura/Bonus_Beat_Blast_2011/09_asura-whispering_through">Asura</a> and the outtro music is by <a href="https://hussalonia.bandcamp.com/">Hussalonia</a>. The episode art is by <a href="http://matt-lub.com/">Matt Lubchansky</a>. <br><br>If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on <a href="https://twitter.com/flashforwardpod">Twitter</a>, <a href="http://fashforwardpod">Facebook</a> or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. I love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool. <br>And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! Head to <a href="http://www.flashforwardpod.com/support">www.flashforwardpod.com/support</a> for more about how to give. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/meanwhile-in-the-future/id994349813">iTunes and leave us a nice review</a> or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br><br>That’s all for this future, come back next time and we’ll travel to a new one.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 10, 2018
The Grey Dawn
3060
We’re back! After a bit of a break, your regularly scheduled Flash Forward episodes will resume starting today. Every other Tuesday you’ll get a future delivered straight to your listening device. I hope you enjoy!<br><br>On this episode, we’re talking about the future of senior care. Namely: what happens when we outsource care for our aging loved ones to robots, apps and devices? <br><br>Let’s start by defining the challenge that the technology in today’s episode is trying to solve: in the United States, there are six million people over the age of 85. Experts estimate that, by 2050, that number will jump to 19 million. And a question looms over those numbers, right? Who’s going to take care of us? And who is going to pay for our care? The average cost of a year in a nursing home in the United States is over $80,000. In home services provided by humans are $48,000. At the same time, care facilities are already reporting a shortage of qualified nurses. <br><br>So of course one of the classes of solutions proposed to this looming problem is technology. There are already apps to monitor and assist seniors, robots to remind them to take their meds,&nbsp; and sensors to predict when they might fall. There are even little robot animals that can provide them with affection and comfort. But what do we give up when we hand our parents over to robots? What do they want? And are the products that tech people are coming up with actually solving the problem at all? Those are the questions of today’s episode. <br><br>For a full transcript of this episode, and for further reading visit <a href="https://www.flashforwardpod.com/2018/03/26/the-grey-dawn/">flashforwardpod.com. </a><br><br>Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by <a href="http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Asura/Bonus_Beat_Blast_2011/09_asura-whispering_through">Asura</a> and the outtro music is by <a href="https://hussalonia.bandcamp.com/">Hussalonia</a>. The voice of the annoyed father in the intro was played by Brent Rose. The episode art is by <a href="http://matt-lub.com/">Matt Lubchansky</a>. <br><br>If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on <a href="https://twitter.com/flashforwardpod">Twitter</a>, <a href="http://fashforwardpod">Facebook</a> or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool. <br><br>And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! Head to <a href="http://www.flashforwardpod.com/support">www.flashforwardpod.com/support</a> for more about how to give. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/meanwhile-in-the-future/id994349813">Apple Podcasts and leave us a nice review</a> or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br><br>That’s all for this future, come back next time and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 27, 2018
You’ve Got Brainmail
3031
In our last episode of the season, we take one one of the most requested futures: telepathy! What would it be like to be able to link minds, and communicate brain to brain? And how likely is it that we’ll ever get this kind of technology?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We start the episode by talking to Roger Luckhurst, a Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, University of London, who explains where the word telepathy comes from, and how it totally obsessed men of science in the early 1800’s. Then, futurist and science fiction author Ramez Naam walks us through both the current state of science and the futuristic world of his science fiction series Nexus, that centers around a drug that gives people telepathic powers. After that, we consider what a future full of telepathic people might mean for etiquette with Robin Abrahams, the etiquette columnist for the Boston Globe. And then we talk privacy and digital security with Kit Walsh, a a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And we finish out the episode by talking to Lateef McLeod, a poet, blogger, activist and doctoral student in the anthropology and social change program at California Institute for Integral Studies, about how those with complex communication needs might appreciate a new form of communication.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further reading: Science &amp; history<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The Neurologist Who Hacked His Brain -- And Almost Lost His Mind<br>&nbsp;When “I” becomes “We”: ethical implications of emerging brain-to-brain interfacing technologies<br>&nbsp;Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies<br>&nbsp;Brain-to-Brain Interfaces: When Reality Meets Science Fiction<br>&nbsp;The invention of telepathy, 1870-1901 by Roger Luckhurst<br>&nbsp;Telepathy and literature: essays on the reading mind by Nicholas Royle<br>&nbsp;“First Report of the Literary Committee by W.F. Barrett, C.C. Massey, Rev. W. Stainton Moses, Frank Podmore…. In Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research”&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Phenomena: the secret history of the U.S. government's investigations into extrasensory perception and psychokinesis by Annie Jacobsen<br>&nbsp;The 120-Year-Old Mind-Reading Machine<br>&nbsp;The Future of Human Evolution | Ray Kurzweil Q &amp; A | Singularity University<br>&nbsp;Science Gave My Son the Gift of Sound<br>&nbsp;Understanding Deafness: Not Everyone Wants to Be 'Fixed'<br>&nbsp;Memory Implant Gives Rats Sharper Recollection<br>&nbsp;Building the Bionic Brain<br>&nbsp;A cortical neural prosthesis for restoring and enhancing memory<br>&nbsp;Computing Arm Movements with a Monkey Brainet<br>&nbsp;A Brain-to-Brain Interface for Real-Time Sharing of Sensorimotor Information<br>&nbsp;The Ultimate Interface: Your Brain<br>&nbsp;Reconstructing visual experiences from brain activity evoked by natural movies<br>&nbsp;Facilitation and restoration of cognitive function in primate prefrontal cortex by a neuroprosthesis that utilizes minicolumn-specific neural firing<br>&nbsp;Protect Your Right to Repair and Control the Devices in Your Life<br>&nbsp;Defend Your Right to Repair!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 09, 2018
Countless
2793
This episode we travel to a future where the 2020 census goes haywire. What happens if we don’t get an accurate count of Americans? Who cares? Apparently the constitution does!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The 2020 census is currently in the crosshairs — census watchers say that it’s not getting enough funding, and community organizations and local governments are already worrying about what an inaccurate census might mean for their people.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To walk us through the current perils facing the census I talked to Hansi Lo Wang, a national correspondent for NPR who has been covering the census; Phil Sparks, the co-director of The Census Project, an organization that brings together groups who use census data; Susan Lerner, the director of Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group; Cayden Mak, the executive director of 18 Million Rising, an online organizing group that works with Asian American communities; and Dawn Joelle Fraser, a storyteller and communications coach who worked for the census in 2010.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Could A Census Without A Leader Spell Trouble In 2020?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;US Census Director Resigns Amid Turmoil Over Funding of 2020 Count<br>&nbsp;Departure of U.S. Census director threatens 2020 count<br>&nbsp;The 2020 Census is at risk. Here are the major consequences<br>&nbsp;With 2020 Census Looming, Worries About Fairness and Accuracy<br>&nbsp;Trump's threat to the 2020 Census<br>&nbsp;NAACP lawsuit alleges Trump administration will undercount minorities in 2020 Census<br>&nbsp;Census 2020: How it’s supposed to work (and how it might go terribly wrong)<br>&nbsp;Census watchers warn of crisis if 2020 funding is not increased<br>&nbsp;Likely Changes in US House Seat Distribution for 2020<br>&nbsp;What Census Calls Us: A Historical Timeline<br>&nbsp;As 2020 Census Approaches, Worries Rise Of A Political Crisis After The Count<br>&nbsp;The American Census: a social history by Margo J. Anderson<br>&nbsp;The Story Collider podcast: Dawn Fraser, The Mission<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Note: This is the second to last episode of this season of Flash Forward! The last episode drops January 9th, and then the show will be in hiatus for a few months while I prep for season 4, which is going to be great I can already assure you! If you want to follow along with the prep for season 4, and just generally keep up with what's going on with the show and when it's coming back stay in touch via Twitter, Facebook , Reddit, or, best of all, Patreon, where I'll post behind the scenes stuff as I get ready for the next Flash Forward adventures.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Also, I’m going on tour with PopUp Magazine in February! Get your tickets at popupmagazine.com.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. Special thanks this week to Liz Neeley who voiced our discouraged bureaucrat. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! Head to www.flashforwardpod.com/support for more about how to give. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;As a bonus, at the end of this episode, you'll hear a human chorus record a psalm that was written by Janelle Shane's machine learning algorithm. (Remember her from the super religion episode?) and arranged by Hamish Symington and Owain Park.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 26, 2017
There’s No Great Future in Plastics
2151
This episode is all about a world without plastic. What would that look like? Is it even possible?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Today, plastic is seen as one of our great environmental enemies. But it actually wasn’t always that way. Bradford Harris, a historian of science and the host of a podcast called How It Began: A History of the Modern World, and Susan Freinkel, a journalist and the author of Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, walk us through how plastic started out as a solution to unsustainable practices. Then we talk to Sherry Lippiatt, California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, about what exactly is going on with garbage in the ocean. And finally I visit Danielle Trofe at her studio in Brooklyn, where she grows sustainable materials using mushrooms.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Debbie Chachra on peak plastics<br>&nbsp;"On a scale beyond all previous conceptions" [electronic resource] : plastics and the preservation of modernity<br>&nbsp;Bradford Harris: Plastics and Sustainability<br>&nbsp;Our 'Toxic' Love-Hate Relationship With Plastics<br>&nbsp;99 Percent Invisible: The Post-Billiards Age<br>&nbsp;Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean<br>&nbsp;There Is No Island of Trash in the Pacific<br>&nbsp;Global Plastic Production Rises, Recycling Lags<br>&nbsp;Different Types of Plastics and their Classification<br>&nbsp;Health risks posed by use of Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in PVC medical devices: A critical review<br>&nbsp;How Stuff Works: bioplastics<br>&nbsp;Taxation and Regulation of Plastic Shopping Bags in Botswana and South Africa&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;GROW: A Lamp YOU Grow from Mushroom Mycelium<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The voices from the future this episode were provided by Lisa Pollak, Arielle Duhaime-Ross, Brent Rose, Victor Dorff and Mary Beth Griggs. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! Head to www.flashforwardpod.com/support for more about how to give. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next time and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 12, 2017
Our Father, Who art in Algorithm
3096
In this episode, we travel to a future where a tech mogul feeds a machine learning system all the religious texts he can find, and asks it to generate a “super religion.” <br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Buckle up because this is a long episode! But it’s fun, I promise. <br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;For the intro of this episode I worked with Janelle Shane to actually train a machine learning algorithm on a big chunk of religious texts that I assembled, and spit something back out. The specifics of the texts and the machine learning algorithm come with a handful of caveats and notes, which you can find at the bottom of this post. Janelle has done of ton of really funny, interesting things with machine learning algorithms that you can find here. <br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To analyze the text that this algorithm generated, and talk about the limitations of this kind of project, I spoke with a big group of people from a variety of backgrounds: <br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Linda Griggs is an Episcopal priest and an assisting priest at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Providence Rhode Island. <br>&nbsp;Lauren O’Neal and Niko Bakulich are the hosts of a podcast called Sunday School Dropouts, whose tagline is: "an ex-Christian (Lauren) and a non-believing sort of Jew (Niko) read all the way through the Bible for the first time."<br>&nbsp;Elias Muhanna is the Manning Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Brown University, and director of the Digital Islamic Humanities Project. <br>&nbsp;Beth Duckles is a sociologist (who you heard last episode talking about peanut allergies). <br>&nbsp;Carol Edelman Warrior is an Assistant Professor of English at Cornell’s American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program. She is also enrolled with the Ninilchik Village Tribe (Dena'ina Athabascan / Alutiiq), and is also of A'aninin (Gros Ventre) descent.<br>&nbsp;Mark Harris is a journalist who writes about technology, science and business for places like WIRED, The Guardian and IEEE Spectrum. He wrote a great piece about Anthony Levandowski’s new religion of artificial intelligence called Way of the Future. <br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further Reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Sunday School Dropouts: Robobible <br>&nbsp;Inside the First Church of Artificial Intelligence<br>&nbsp;God is a Bot and Anthony Levandowski is His Messenger<br>&nbsp;Way of the Future<br>&nbsp;Nine Billion Names by Arthur C. Clarke<br>&nbsp;Dataism + Machine Learning = New Religion<br>&nbsp;Machine Learning May Help Determine When the Old Testament Was Written<br>&nbsp;Indigenous Writers of Speculative Fiction<br>&nbsp;Aztec Philosophy: Understanding a World in Motion<br>&nbsp;The Space NDN's Star Map<br>&nbsp;Borrowed Power: Essays on Cultural Appropriation<br>&nbsp;<br>For more caveats on the algorithm itself and the source text, <a href="https://www.flashforwardpod.com/2017/11/28/our-father-who-art-in-algorithm/">see here</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 28, 2017
Deceptible Me
2361
This episode we travel to a future where you can choose to turn off your ability to deceive yourself. Are you now a perfectly clear eyed genius? Or a perpetually depressed misanthrope? Maybe both?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This episode was suggested by my mom. It begins with two tales of self deception, one from Jacquelyn Gill, an assistant professor of paleo-ecology at the University of Maine and the host of a podcast about climate change called Warm Regards, and the other from Beth Duckles, a writer, researcher, ethnographer and social scientist. Then we talk to Zoë Chance, an assistant professor of marketing at the Yale School of Management and an expert on self-deception. After that, we go to therapy, and Chamin Ajjan, a clinical psychotherapist and author of Seeking Soulmate: Ditch the Dating Game and Find Real Connection explains what she does when she sees a case of self-deception in her office. And finally, Erik Vance, science journalist and author of Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal helps us understand what might really happen if we could truly turn off this ability to deceive ourselves.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Self Deception<br>&nbsp;The Elements of a Scientific Theory of Self-Deception<br>&nbsp;People don’t know when they’re lying to themselves<br>&nbsp;Temporal view of the costs and benefits of self-deception<br>&nbsp;The slow decay and quick revival of self-deception&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;DENIAL: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal<br>&nbsp;Seeking Soulmate: Ditch the Dating Game and Find Real Connection<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Patrons are going to get a really fun bonus segment next week that didn’t quite make it into this episode. It’s about hypnosis. So if you want that, go to Patreon and sign up as a $5 donor!&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The voice from this episode’s future was provided by Cynthia Graber. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! Head to www.flashforwardpod.com/support for more about how to give. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next time and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 14, 2017
Easy Bake Organs
1986
This episode we take on a future full of bioprinted replacement organs. You asked for more hopeful futures, this is about as hopeful as they get!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We start by hearing a bit about what the current organ donation market is like from Christine Gentry, who donated a kidney to a stranger. Then we talk to Dr. Anthony Atala,&nbsp; the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and of the world’s leading regenerative medicine specialists. Dr. Atala has implanted organs grown from the cells of patients themselves in clinical trials. Then Kelly and Zach Weinersmith join us to talk about what they learned while writing a chapter about bioprinting for their new book Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything. And finally, we get an impassioned indictment of 3D printing file formats from Meghan McCarthy, Project Lead for the NIH 3D Print Exchange.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Organ Donation Statistics<br>&nbsp;Neural and cognitive characteristics of extraordinary altruists<br>&nbsp;Boston woman's donation creates 3rd-longest kidney transplant chain, saving 28 people<br>&nbsp;The Doctor and the Salamander<br>&nbsp;How An Economist Helped Patients Find The Right Kidney Donors<br>&nbsp;TED Talk: Printing a Human Kidney<br>&nbsp;Rebuilding the Breast<br>&nbsp;Soonish: Zach and Kelly Weinersmith on 10 technologies that will change everything<br>&nbsp;Online Course Bioprinting: 3D Printing Body Parts<br>&nbsp;Scientists 3-D Print Mouse Ovaries That Actually Make Babies<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you’re interested in becoming a living organ donor and want to know what it’s like, you can get in touch with Christine Gentry. Her email is christine.gentry at gmail.com, and she’s all about helping people understand donation.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. Our intro future voices were skillfully provided by Alyssa Mondelli, BW and Josh Kirby. The music from the intro was by Unheard Music Concepts, PC III and Soft and Furious. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! Head to www.flashforwardpod.com/support for more about how to give. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next time and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 31, 2017
Buzz Off
1606
In this episode we travel to a world without bees. And not just honey bees, all bees.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;You’ve probably heard a lot of doom and gloom predictions about what might happen if honey bees went extinct. Mass famine! The end of coffee! World economic collapse! But is that all true? (Probably not.) And how likely is a honeybee extinction anyway? (Extremely unlikely.) Plus, what about all the other bees in the world? We ponder these questions and more in this episode.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To walk us through what might happen to agriculture if bees went away, I talked to Marcelo A. Aizen, a researcher who studies plant pollinator interactions. His research suggests that the loss of honeybees might not be as dire as everybody claims. And to talk about the more neglected bees out there, I called up Elaine Evans, a professor at the University of MInnesota’s Bee Lab, and Paige Embry, the author of the forthcoming book Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Plus, a little bonus “what if” at the end, featuring cartoonist Dean Yeagle, the man who drew the original Honey Nut Cheerios bee.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;How much does agriculture depend on pollinators? Lessons from long-term trends in crop production (PDF)<br>&nbsp;How to befriend bumblebees&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;What if bees went extinct?<br>&nbsp;Why bees are disappearing<br>&nbsp;Citizen Science: Bumble Bee Surveys<br>&nbsp;Has Anybody Seen the Franklin’s Bumblebee?<br>&nbsp;Franklin’s Bumblebee Still Elusive<br>&nbsp;The Old Man and the Bee<br>&nbsp;Wallace’s Giant Bee<br>&nbsp;Honey Nut Cheerios Mascot Goes Missing as Brand Addresses Declining Bee Populations<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The future voice this episode was provided by Mike Rugnetta. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. I love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! Head to www.flashforwardpod.com/support for more about how to give. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next time and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 17, 2017
Piraceuticals
1712
This episode we go to a future with pirates! There always has to be at least one pirate episode per season. This time it’s pharmaceutical pirates.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This episode was inspired by a new book by Annalee Newitz called Autonomous. It’s very good and you should read it. I am not being paid to say that, I just really like the book.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Autonomous tells the story of two main characters: Jack the pharmaceutical pirate, and Palladin the bot that is trying to hunt her down. A few cool links related to Autonomous:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;How to Write a Novel Set More Than 125 Years in the Future<br>&nbsp;Robots need civil rights, too<br>&nbsp;Sword and Laser podcast #306 - Indentured Robotude w/ Annalee Newitz<br>&nbsp;Pirates and Robots Square Off Over Drugs in Annalee Newitz’s Debut Novel<br>&nbsp;In A Future Ruled By Big Pharma, A Robot Tentatively Explores Freedom — And Sex: 'Autonomous'<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;For our episode, we focused on the pharmaceutical piracy part of the book. And to talk to us about the nitty gritty of how pharmaceuticals are made, and how they’re protected by patents, I talked to Jason Kahana, the founder and president of a small biotech company called Integrity Biosolutions, and Charles Duan, the director of the Patent Reform Project at Public Knowledge. [Full disclosure: my father and Jason know each other and have worked together in the past.]<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;These Aren’t the Patent Remedies You’re Looking For (No, Really)<br>&nbsp;Teva Pharmaceuticals Antitrust Settlement is a Win for Competition<br>&nbsp;Martin Shkreli Is Big Pharma’s Biggest A**hole<br>&nbsp;Drug C.E.O. Martin Shkreli Arrested on Fraud Charges<br>&nbsp;Yusuf Hamied, generic drugs boss<br>&nbsp;The Treasure of Mumbai&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Pharmaceutical deformulation<br>&nbsp;The Role of Reverse Engineering in the Development of Generic Formulations<br>&nbsp;The Impact of the US Food and Drug Administration Chlorofluorocarbon Ban on Out-of-pocket Costs and Use of Albuterol Inhalers Among Individuals With Asthma<br>&nbsp;Do Patents Disclose Useful Information?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We Are Definitely Against Indefiniteness in Patents<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro and ad-break music is by Hussalonia. The pirate music from the intro is by Nerve Damage. The future voices this episode were played by Tamara Krinsky, Brent Rose and Stephen Granade. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next month and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 03, 2017
After Life
1536
This month’s episode is about what it would take to sterilize the Earth, and why you might want to figure that out in the first place.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;First we talk to the authors of a paper that tries to figure out this exact question. David Sloan and Rafael Alves Batista are the authors of a paper called “The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events” (along with Avi Loeb). No, they’re not evil scientists, just interested in what it might take to find life on other planets.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;They explain their calculations, and how we mostly don’t have anything to worry about. Plus, cool facts about tardigrades!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then we talk to science-fiction author N.K. Jemisin who is the author of The Broken Earth trilogy. Which is very good! She explains her thinking behind the books, why the Earth is out to get her characters, and how humans banding together to survive is more interesting to her than the lone ranger making it on his own.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;What Would It Take to Completely Sterilize the Earth?<br>&nbsp;The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events<br>&nbsp;Did a gamma-ray burst initiate the late Ordovician mass extinction?<br>&nbsp;NASA: Gamma-ray Bursts&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward: The Supernova Next Door&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;'The Fifth Season,' by N.K. ­Jemisin<br>&nbsp;N. K. Jemisin on Diversity in Science Fiction and Inspiration From Dreams<br>&nbsp;The Tardigrade: Practically Invisible, Indestructible ‘Water Bears’<br>&nbsp;Tardigrades return from the dead<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next month and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 07, 2017
Down For Everyone Not Just You
2293
This episode is a little different than other episodes. As many of you know, Flash Forward is my second job. My first job is at ESPN, where I recently helped launch an audio documentary series called 30 for 30 Podcasts. Please go check that out, even if you don’t like sports I promise there’s something for you. My episodes are numbers three and four in the series, and they’re both out, and if you like the weird stuff I do on this show I think you’ll probably enjoy them.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Trying to make two highly produced shows at once is hard though! So for my mental health, this month’s Flash Forward is a bit of a remix. The top of the show is new, it’s an interview with Kit Walsh, who is a staff attorney at Electronic Frontier Foundation where she works on free speech, net neutrality, copyright, coders' rights, and other issues that relate to freedom of expression and access to knowledge. Then, you’ll hear a remixed version of an old episode about the future of the internet, and what it would take for us to abandon the world wide web.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;More information about net neutrality:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Net neutrality explained: "Imagine internet is pizza ..."<br>&nbsp;Throttling on Mobile Networks Is a Sign of Things to Come, Unless We Save Net Neutrality Now<br>&nbsp;Dear FCC<br>&nbsp;Ajit Pai’s anti-net neutrality plan gets the facts and law wrong, lawmakers say<br>&nbsp;Am I The Only Techie Against Net Neutrality?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The remixed episode after my interview with Kit is all about what it would take to lose the internet. And to figure that out I talked to two historians of digital culture at NYU. Laine Nooney studies the history of computers and video games. Finn Brunton studies how and why different technologies get adopted (or don’t).<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. Special thanks this episode to Lena Groeger, Sisi Wei, Colin Schultz, and my mom. Yes, that was my actual mom.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. I love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next month and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 08, 2017
Love On The Brain
1927
This episode, we travel to a future where your romantic partners aren’t chosen by questions or swipes, but rather by your brainwaves.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This future is based on an idea from Shelly Ronan and Ernesto D. Morales and their project Object Solutions. If you liked what you heard about Object Solutions you should check out their other work, and their Patreon page.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;I also talked to Suzanne Dikker, who has used EEG headsets to study everything from education, to Marina Abramovic’s art, to compatability.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And to get a true expert position on dating apps, I talked to Andrea Silenzi from the podcast Why Oh Why. If you’re interested in the intersection between sex, dating, relationships and technology, check out her show.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Other things to read:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The Mutual Wave Project by Suzanne Dikker<br>&nbsp;‘EEG Dating’ matches people based on their brainwave data<br>&nbsp;This Tinder Hands-Free App Makes Dating Decisions by Reading Heartbeats<br>&nbsp;This Tinder-Swiping Biometric Love Robot Knows Who Your Body Wants<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. By the way, check out Matt's new animated web series over at Topic.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. I love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to Apple Podcasts and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next month and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 05, 2017
Mons Voyage
1870
This episode, we go on another vacation! Can you tell I need a vacation? Anyway, back to the episode. What would it be like if you could hop on a space cruise ship, and take a trip to Mars?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This is a special episode because our little future intro is actually two real people playing real parts. Olivia Koski and Jana Grcevich are the authors of a new book called Vacation Guide to the Solar System. The book is a spinoff of their long-running project the Intergalactic Travel Bureau, a project of Guerilla Science and a place where people could really come inside and ask about trips to other planets. And they take us on a very fun tour of what you could do, as a tourist, to Mars.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Along with Olivia and Jana, this episode features Ben Longmier, a former rocket scientist, and Rebecca Boyle, a science writer who has a true love for Mars.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to intergalactic travel, so in this episode we focus specifically on tourism. Not colonization, or research, or any of the other things that you could potentially try to do. And we’re also going to focus on a single planet, just because trying to cover all the planets would be really hard. So what would it be like, to take a vacation to Mars. Just… a trip for fun. Like going to Cancun. But instead of snorkeling you hike up Olympus Mons? Listen to find out!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;'Intergalactic Travel Bureau' Wants to Plan Your Space Vacation<br>&nbsp;Vacation to Mars<br>&nbsp;Everything About Mars is the Worst<br>&nbsp;Welcome To Mars! Enjoy Perpetual Jet Lag Under An Eerie Red Sky<br>&nbsp;Mars Needs Lawyers<br>&nbsp;Life on Mars time for JPL scientist and his family<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next month and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 06, 2017
Back to the Future: A Womb Away From Home
1310
Long time listeners of Flash Forward might feel like this future is kind of… familiar. And it is. It’s actually the first future we ever traveled to on this show. A future where humans have invented artificial wombs. And this is a special bonus episode of Flash Forward where we’re going to go back and revisit that future, because a new piece of research recently came out about artificial wombs. I’m calling this, a BACK TO THE FUTURE episode.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Related reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Fluid-filled ‘biobag’ allows premature lambs to develop outside the womb<br>&nbsp;An extra-uterine system to physiologically support the extreme premature lamb<br>&nbsp;Early Ectogenesis: Artificial Wombs in 1920s Literature<br>&nbsp;The Man Who Ran a Carnival Attraction That Saved Thousands of Premature Babies Wasn’t a Doctor at All<br>&nbsp;The World, the Flesh &amp; the Devil An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul<br>&nbsp;The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus<br>&nbsp;Daedalus, or Science and the Future<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next time, and we’ll travel to a new one!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 18, 2017
Robocop
2016
In this future there are no more human police officers. Is that even possible?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The future of policing is a really really complicated topic. And it’s also, and this might be the understatement of the year, a controversial one. On this episode we’re not going to try and give you a full picture of what the future of policing might be. That would take hours. Instead, we’re going to focus on two really specific pieces of this topic.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;First we talk to Madeline Ashby, futurist and science fiction writer, about robots, and what it might be like if we replaced human law enforcement with robotic law enforcement. Then, we talk to historian and writer Walidah Imarisha, about a future with no cops at all. We also hear from Doug Wyllie, the Editor at Large for PoliceOne, who, perhaps unsurprisingly, doesn't like either proposal.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Further reading:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Disrupt Tha Police by Madeline Ashby<br>&nbsp;Bomb Robots: What Makes Killing In Dallas Different And What Happens Next?<br>&nbsp;Robocop Delivers Pizza, Prevents Suicide<br>&nbsp;11 Police Robots Patrolling Around the World<br>&nbsp;Machine Bias&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Hard Truths: Law Enforcement and Race&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Angels with Dirty Faces&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Wrestling With Angels: Walidah Imarisha on Harm and Accountability<br>&nbsp;Audre Lord Safe Outside the System Collective<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. Special thanks this week to Brent Rose. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 02, 2017
Unreel
2548
This month on Flash Forward, we go to a future where anybody can make a video of you doing anything they want. And that technology is cheap and easy to access. What happens?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This episode we start by talking about the technology as it exists now. Hamed Pirsiavash the show to explain his research into generating videos using algorithms.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So that’s where the technology stands now. But once it gets better, there are all kinds of applications. Hal Hodson, a tech reporter at The Economist, tells us about how it could be used in movies. Right now, movie-makers use CGI to project faces onto other faces. Recently, in the latest Star Wars, the faces of Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin from the original trilogy were projected onto actors faces for the few scenes in the new movie. Here’s a look at how they did it.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But in the future, they might not have to do any of this. They could simply generate the video they need using images of Leia and Tarkin’s faces. Which also means that movie stars could wind up being in hundreds of movies a year, since they don’t have to actually be there, on set, to act. And they could keep acting in movies long after they’ve died, too.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s a fun thing to think about. Here’s a less fun thing to think about: how people would use this technology to seek revenge and ruin people’s lives. And to talk through the legal implications, I called Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer who specializes in revenge porn cases. She explains how these generated videos of the future would actually get around today’s revenge porn laws.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then, to wrap it all up, I talk to Jenna Wortham, a writer for the New York Times Magazine and the co-host of an amazing podcast called Still Processing. In a world where online identities are not only personally valuable, but economically valuable, what does this do to us? When anybody can torpedo your finely crafted online persona with a fake video, do we all just give up? Do we try to erase everything from the internet about ourselves? Or do we lean into this and start making wild aspirational and experimental videos? Or maybe all of the above?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Bonus: You will also find out what butter, The Falkland Islands, and Snakes on a Train have in common. According to Rose.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Some further reading for this episode:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The Attorney Fighting Revenge Porn<br>&nbsp;Social Media Got You Down? Be More Like Beyonce<br>&nbsp;The future of fake news is real time video manipulation<br>&nbsp;The Butter Wars: When Margarine Was Pink<br>&nbsp;The British Punk Band That Fooled Reagan, Thatcher and the CIA&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Introduction to Generative Adversarial Networks&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Teaching Machines to Predict the Future<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. Special thanks this week to Wendy Hari, Jacki Sojico and Dan Tannenbaum. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next time, and we’ll travel to a new one!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 04, 2017
California Dreaming
2480
California has one of the largest economies in the world. So what would happen if it broke away from the United States? Could California ever go independent? And if it did, what would that look like?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This is a future that’s been on my list for a while, but since the election here in the United States it’s taken a bit of a different tone. California voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, 66 percent of the state cast their votes for her. And as most of you probably know, she did not win. And this is one of the big talking points of many California secessionists. The presidential election is almost alway totally decided before California’s polls even close. So why should California continue to be ruled by a government that it basically doesn’t elect? And, they argue, that doesn’t really have their best interests at heart.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To help figure out what this future might be like, I talked to:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Peter Laufer, a journalist and the author of a book called The Elusive State of Jefferson.<br>&nbsp;Jon Christensen, a professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Department of History at UCLA. He’s also the editor of a quarterly magazine about California called Boom.<br>&nbsp;Jay Rooney, the press secretary for the California National Party.<br>&nbsp;Richard Monette, a professor of law at the University of Wisconsin and the director of the Great Lakes Indian Law Center.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to learn more about the various California independence movements, here are some links.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The California National Party<br>&nbsp;Yes, California Independence Campaign<br>&nbsp;Secession, the American Civil War<br>&nbsp;Calexit? Brexit Buoys California Independence Movement<br>&nbsp;Active separatists movements in North America<br>&nbsp;Republic of Lakotah<br>&nbsp;One in four Americans want their state to secede from the U.S., but why?<br>&nbsp;Americans for Independence, in America<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. Special thanks this week to Sameer Ajmani, Jade Davis, Brent Rose, Jim Basili, Caroline Sinders and Scott Musgrove. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 07, 2017
Greetings From Paradice
2146
Every year, over 20 million people get on a cruise ship and set sail for a seafaring vacation. Most of those cruises take their vacationers to warm, sunny climates. But thanks to climate change, a new hoard of ships might start sailing North rather than South. This episode of Flash Forward explores a future where the Arctic becomes a tourist destination just like the Bahamas or the Great Barrier Reef.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Researchers at UCLA have projected that the Northwest Passage might be totally ice-free by 2050. And that’s something that big commercial cargo ships have been eyeing for a while. But now, cruise ships are getting in on the game. The first big cruise ship to make the full Northwest Passage trip was the Crystal Serenity.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This week we talk to a few people who have seen the impacts of this new tourism boom.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Arielle Duhaime-Ross is a climate and environment correspondent for HBO’s VICE News Tonight. Arielle went up to Pond Inlet to see the Crystal Serenity, and talk to the people in Pond Inlet about what it's like to suddenly be flooded with visitors in puffy coats.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Jackie Dawson is the Canada Research Chair in Environment, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa. She’s done a lot of work studying the ways tourism impacts people and the environment in places like Pond Inlet. And she spent years trying to convince people to take arctic tourism seriously.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Nancy Guyon is the Director of Tourism and Cultural Industries for Nunavut, the northernmost Canadian territory. And Nancy’s job is to try and figure out how to harness this new interest in the arctic for the good of Nunavut.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So this future is a little bit unlike some of the other ones I do on this show, because it’s a future that’s kind of inevitable. It’s happening, it’s going to happen. Are communities ready for it? No, is the general consensus. And in this episode we talk about what might happen as this gets more and more popular. What happens when a ship hits and iceberg? What happens when private yachts show up to communities that don't want them? How do you make sure that these ships don't disrupt local hunts, and that the tourists respect the people living in these communities?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The music in this episode was:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;BoxCat Games, “Assignment”<br>&nbsp;BoxCat Games, “Love of my Life”<br>&nbsp;Oorlab, “Apiarist, Part 1”<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Sounds in this episode: "Wind, Synthesized, A.wav" by InspectorJ of Freesound.org<br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 07, 2017
Robocrop
2125
Today’s episode is about a future where nobody works on farms anymore, all farming is done by robots. It might be closer than you think.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 03, 2017
Extra! Extra!
1893
This week we travel to a future where there is so much fake news that nobody can tell what is real anymore. Are we already there? What happens next?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 06, 2016
How is Babby (Not) Made
2300
What happens when everybody has 100% control over when they do or don’t have babies? We got to a world with perfect and accessible birth control. You asked for a utopia, and this is as close as we're going to get!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 03, 2016
The Witch Who Came From Mars
2678
Today we do something weird, in honor of the end of the second season! Instead of coming up with a future and then finding experts to talk about it, I asked an AI to write a future for us. And the AI apparently wants us to talk about space travel, witches, and the occult.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So here’s what happened in this episode. I asked Mike Rugnetta, the creator and host of PBS Idea Channel and Reasonably Sound, to help me create a script for Flash Forward. Mike had done this for his own channel a few months ago.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Around the same time that Idea Channel video came out there was this short film that came out called Sunspring which was written by an AI named Benjamin. The guys behind Benjamin fed a neural network a huge corpus of science fiction scripts, everything from Avatar to Armageddon to Resident Evil to Spiderman. And they asked that AI to write them a script. And then they spent one day with a cast, filming the movie that Benjamin wrote for them. I totally recommend watching it.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And so I thought, what if, I fed an AI all the future scenes we’ve ever done on this show, and asked it to write one for me? And then, I have to figure out what that future is, and how we would get there. So that’s what we’re going to do on this episode. I compiled all the futures we’ve ever traveled to on this show, and sent them to Mike, and he fed them to this neural network he already had set up to make his video. And he then sent me the results. And what came out that first time was just complete nonsense. Because the system really needs more material than I had to feed it. On the show we’ve traveled to 41 futures, which in the grand scheme of things actually isn’t all that much text. So on top of all the futures we’ve done, I added two big chunks of text: the script for The War of the Worlds, and the script for the 1979 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio play.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And here’s what the AI wrote. You can see the full script (and leave your interpretation of the AI future) here.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;I will confess that my first thought when I read the script was: “what the hell am I supposed to do with this?” But, I am never one to back down from a challenge, even if that challenge is self imposed, so I sent this little intro to a bunch of smart people, and asked them what future they saw here.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;First we talk to Miriam Kramer, the senior space reporter at Mashable, about how easy (or hard) it would be for witches to travel to and from Mars.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then I called up Annalee Newitz, to get her take on the witches and how the themes in this scene fit in with the broader science fiction landscape. (Fun fact, Annalee is the person who first asked me to do a podcast for Gizmodo, and thereby birthed Flash Forward! Yay Annalee!)<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then we turn our attention to the witches, and bring back Damien Williams, who you heard on our episode about conscious AI. Damien writes a lot about technology and the occult (I recommend this 2015 Theorizing the Web panel about it, featuring him and lots of other smart people) and he weighs in on the future of witches, how tech and magic aren’t all that different, and what the AI might mean by “behanding.”<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And last but not least, we talk to the brains and voices behind Spirits Pod, a new podcast about mythology. Julia Schifini and Amanda McLoughlin have been best friends since childhood, and co-host a podcast all about myths and legends that I very much enjoy. And the two of them had all sorts of fun and interesting stuff to say about this witchy future.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 05, 2016
Where’s the Beef?
2284
Today we go to a future where animal products are banned. It’s one that lots of listeners have asked for so here you go. We talk about what happens to the land, the animals and the humans in this equation.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In this episode we discuss the arguments in favor and against banning meat. How does that impact culture? Why should we do it? Does it help or hurt the environment? Can you really grow meat in a lab? And is that meat vegan?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;First we talked to folks in the “ban the meat” camp. Marta Zaraska, the author of Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession With Meat, tells us about the evolution of meat consumption and why we don’t actually need meat to survive. Then, David Agranoff, the author of The Vegan Revolution with Zombies, makes the vegan argument.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then we talk about the environmental argument in favor of kicking our global meat habit. And as promised here are the citations for the statistics I talk about.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In 2014, the entire world produced 315.3 million tonnes of meat from cows, pigs, chickens and sheep. 1.3 billion tons of grain is consumed by those animals every year as feed. Livestock production uses about a third of the world’s fresh water every year, and contributes about between 14 and 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, depending on whose numbers you trust. Fourteen to eighteen percent might not seem like that much, but it is. That’s about the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions that come from the transportation sector every year. And a recent study in Science suggested that increases in livestock farming go hand in hand with decreases in biodiversity. Livestock, both the actual animals and the plants we grow to feed them, also takes up a lot of land. According to the United Nations, twenty six percent of the land on this planet is used for livestock.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;After that, we hear about why it’s so hard for many people to give up meat, and how culturally important foods can be. To help us with that segment, we talk to Psyche Williams-Forson, a professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland and the author of a book called Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power. Psyche explains why people get so angry and frustrated when you tell them what to eat.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then we hear from listeners about what you think!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;After the break, we talked about lab grown meat, and whether or not you can grow animal products in the lab. And are those products vegan? Could they be? Researcher Abi Aspen Glencross explains her work on trying to grow steaks in the lab. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then we round out the episode with a surprise guest: my grandma. She grew up on a farm and then farmed sheep until she retired. And she had some very good questions about this future.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. Special thanks this week to Caroline Sinders, Jess Zimmerman, Kevin Wojtaszek, and John Olier. The break music is by Black Ant and the episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That's all for this future! Come back soon for a new one.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 10, 2016
Revenge of the Retweet
2087
Today we try to figure out what happens when our future presidential candidates have thousands of Tweets and Tumblr posts and Instagrams in their online record.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;What happens, when today’s teens start running for office? When their entire internet history is there, searchable, for us to read? What if these teens Tweet something at 15 that they might regret at 45? Do we learn to accept that their opinions have changed? Or do we go through every candidate's entire social media history to find dirt on them? Does that tactic still work in the future? Or do we all just throw up our hands and admit that teens have bad opinions and that hopefully those opinions have changed?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To find out, I talked to a real live young person with political ambitions, Eve Zhurbinskiy a student at George Washington University. She describes her own social media strategy, and how she never Tweets without thinking about how it might come back to bite her. She also talks about going back and deleting Facebook posts and even in one case her entire Tumblr because she thought it might be used against her.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And that’s not paranoid, I also talk to someone who tracks that kind of thing among politicians. Josh Stewart from the Sunlight Foundation explains what Politwoops is and why they’re tracking the deleted Tweets of politicians.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And to round things out this episode I talked to someone who’s got a lot of experience managing digital campaigns for today’s politicians. Laura Olin was one of the first hires for Obama’s 2012 digital team, and she not only ran the Obama Tumblr, but she also actually Tweeted as the President.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Throughout the episode we discuss all kinds of questions about how we think about and forgive humans.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In March of this year, a State Supreme Court justice from Wisconsin named Rebecca Bradley issued an apology for some columns that she wrote 24 years ago in a student newspaper. In the columns she referred to gay people as “queers” and called people with AIDS “degenerates who basically commit suicide through their behavior.” She also said that it would be better to get AIDS than cancer, because, quote “those afflicted with the politically correct disease will be getting all of the funding.” And that abortion is like the Holocaust and slavery.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Bradley says that she was, quote “frankly embarrassed at the content and tone of what I wrote those many years ago” but she also said that when she wrote them, she was “a very young student.” Now the release of these 24 year old columns wasn’t random, the organization that found the columns unveiled them just a month before voters in Wisconsin would vote on whether or not Bradley should retain her seat on the court.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;People who wanted Bradley off the court, said that the comments in the columns were so hateful that time didn’t really matter. People who wanted Bradley to say said that she had grown and learned since then, and did not still hold those beliefs. (To be clear, there was also a contingent of people who supported Bradley because they still do hold those beliefs).&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So, voters in Wisconsin could decide. And they decided to keep her, Bradley won her seat back. So you could interpret that as evidence that past transgressions can be forgiven, right? &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So this brings us to one version of this future. A future in which voters learn to approach their candidates as flawed individuals, people who have made missteps, people who can change their mind. This isn’t to say that we let people off the hook for their past, but rather that we are okay with them saying “I was wrong, and here’s how I’ve changed for the better.”<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 26, 2016
The Altered State
2228
Today we travel to a future where all drugs are legal. Just roll up to the store, and get yourself some cocaine!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We start with some history: for centuries a world without drug laws existed. Mark Kleiman, a professor at NYU who studies drug policy, explains that fear of drugs, and the desire to regulate them, really started in the last 1800’s. The rise of industry, advances in chemistry, and the invention of the hypodermic needle all fueled a rise in drug use and in drug fears.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Today, of course, some drugs are legal and others aren’t. Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and pharmaceuticals are all legal. You probably already know what’s not.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But why are certain drugs legal in the United States and others not? The answer isn’t really science or public health research, but rather historical precedent and racism. Maia Szalavitz, the author of a book called Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, walks us through some of the racist campaigns against drugs that linked most of them with “violent” people of color. Take this New York Times story from 1914, headlined ““Negro Cocaine ‘Fiends’ Are a New Southern Menace: Murder and Insanity Increasing Among Lower Class Blacks Because They Have Taken to ‘Sniffing Since Deprived of Whiskey by Prohibition.’” White people said that drug use would make white women sleep with black, asian and latino men. That cocaine made black men impervious to bullets, and make them murder whites at the slightest provocation. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Today, the legacy of those racist ideas is still with us in the form of both drug laws and stereotypes about what a drug user looks like. Which impacts who goes to jail for drugs and who doesn’t.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Here are some statistics: in America, white people and black people are equally likely to use drugs. But black Americans are arrested at twice the rate of white americans for drug crimes. Not only that, but black Americans are more likely to be offered a plea deal that involves prison time than whites are for the same crimes, and are more likely to serve longer sentences than white Americans for the same offense.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Here’s another way to look at it: Black Americans represent 12% of monthly drug users, but comprise 32% of persons arrested for drug possession. And when we’re looking at drug arrests, it’s a huge number of people. Between 1993 and 2011 there were 30 million arrests for drug crimes in the United States, and 24 million of those were for possession of drugs, not selling them.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And while Mark and Maia disagree on a lot of things regarding drug policy, this was one thing they actually agreed on: they both think that possession of small amounts of drugs should be decriminalized.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And I talked to a third person for this episode who agrees. And he’s not someone you’d expect to do so. Officer Tim Johnson, a retired cop. Tim is part of a program called LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. He joined as soon as he retired, because despite making a whole lot of drug arrests while he was a cop, he didn’t feel like they were actually making a difference. And there’s data to support that feeling. Studies have shown that while we’ve arrested a whole lot of people for drug possession, the rate of drug abuse hasn’t gone down.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 12, 2016
Bot for Teacher
2325
Today a future without schools. Instead of gathering students into a room and teaching them, everybody learns on their own time, on tablets and guided by artificial intelligence.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;First, I talk to a Ashok Goel, a computer scientist who developed an artificially intelligent TA named Jill Watson and didn’t tell any of his students she wasn’t a human.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then I talk to two people building future, app based educational systems. Jessie Woolley-Wilson from DreamBox explains what adaptive learning is, and how it can help create a better learning experience for kids. She also talks about all the data they collect on kids to better serve them (data we’ll come back to later in the episode.) Along with Jessie, Julia Stiglitz from Coursera explains how this kind of self-directed learning can extend into the college and post-college world.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Jessie and Julia see a future with these kinds of learning apps that could be more democratic, more creative, more fun and more effective. But there are some downsides too. Neither of them see apps or algorithms replacing teachers, but there are other organizations and projects that do.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In 2013, a guy named Sugata Mitra won the TED Prize which comes with a pretty healthy million dollar check. He won this prize for his work on what he calls “A school in the cloud.” Mitra founded this organization named Hole in the Wall, where he went around the slums of India and installed these kiosks that children could use and play with. His whole thesis is that students can be taught by computers, on their own time. Without teachers. Here’s his TED talk.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And this Hole in the Wall thing is one of the classic examples that a lot of people working on education apps point to to show that kids don’t need teachers to learn. Kids are naturally curious, they’re going to want to seek out information, you don’t have to force them into a tiny room to listen to a boring teacher.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But we talk to some people who question that narrative. Audrey Watters, who runs the site Hack Education, says that projects like Hole in the Wall often don’t last. Nearly all the kiosks that Mitra set up are abandoned and vandalized, she says, and when you look at footage and images of the kiosks you can see that older, bigger boys dominate and push the smaller boys and girls out.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And get this to a question that came up with literally every person I talked to for this episode. What is the purpose of school? Is it to teach content? Or is it to teach students how to relate to one another, how to empathize, how to think, how to be good citizens? Nobody really knows. But we talk about it on the episode!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We also talk about some of the other downsides of these systems. Jade Davis,&nbsp; the associate director of digital learning projects at LaGuardia Community College in Queens New York, tells us about her concerns that algorithms might pigeonhole Kids who might not take to the system immediately. Kids like her own.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In the end, we talk about whether or not these kinds of solutions are really for everyone. Or if they’re just going to be used on poor, disadvantaged kids. Because, are Harvard students really going to be taught by robots? Probably not.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Bonus: Listen to the very end for a fun surprise. &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 28, 2016
Kaboom
1814
Today week we take on a doomsday future! We haven’t done one of those this season. So, what would happen if all the active volcanoes in the world erupted at the same time? The short answer is: bad things. The long answer is, well, you’ll have to listen to the episode!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;First we talk to Jessica Ball, a volcanologist, who walks us through the different types of eruptions, what make something an active volcano, and just how bad ash is. Spoiler: it’s really bad. It gums up engines, cuts up your lungs, and is so heavy that it can collapse buildings.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But the destruction of a massive volcanic eruption doesn’t stop there. Oh no. Then Ball tells us about the ways in which volcanoes can actually impact the climate. In fact, in 1815, a single volcanic eruption at Mount Tambora caused the entire Northern Hemisphere to experience “A Year Without a Summer,” resulting in famine, death, and Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. (You’ll have to listen to the podcast to get that particular story.)<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So how does one live through this kind of apocalyptic event? To find out, I called up two people who, unlike me, would probably survive: Megan Hine and Pat Henry. Megan and Pat are both sort survival experts, but they go about it in really different ways.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Megan is an adventurer and wilderness expedition leader. She takes people out into the middle of nowhere, and trains them no how to survive. People like Bear Grills, the man of the Discovery Channel show Man vs. Wild. Bear has called Megan “the most incredible bushcraft, climbing and mountain guide you’ll ever meet.”<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Pat is a little bit different. Pat is a prepper, someone who is actively preparing today for a disaster that might come tomorrow. Pat is the founder and editor of a website called The Prepper Journal, which has pretty much everything you need to know about prepping, should you be worried about, say, all the volcanoes in the world going off at once.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Oh and Pat isn’t his real name. He uses a pseudonym, so that nobody knows that he has two years worth of food stored up. So when something terrible does happen, he doesn’t have to turn his unprepared friends and neighbors away.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Both Megan and Pat said that the first way to survive is by being lucky. Don’t live or be near a volcano. But after that, surviving 1,500 volcanic eruptions is like surviving any other terrible thing. You’ll need food, water, shelter, medicine. You’ll have to fight off other humans. And you’ll probably be surprised by what you can do, when push comes to shove.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And we end the episode with a note about who you want in your little gang of survivalists. You’ll be surprised who’s actually a good addition to that team. Stay tuned to the end for that.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Also! Right now I'm running a little survey for listeners. Tell me a bit about yourself, please. Thanks!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. The voices for this week’s future scene were provided by Suzanne Fischer, Eddie Guimont, Guillermo Herrera, Wendy Hari, John Olier, Caroline Sinders and Kevin Wojtaszek whose name I think I might have finally pronounced correctly this time. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 14, 2016
Popnonymous
2765
Today we go to a future where all pop stars use avatars, clones, robots or cartoons instead of their real bodies and faces. What does that do to music? Can everybody pull off an avatar? And why would any pop star even want that?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We start with a conspiracy theory. Jaya Saxena tells us about the theory that Beyonce is a clone. And one of the reasons Jaya thinks that people might think Beyonce is using a clone is because she’s so private, and hates doing press stuff. Which of course is not the case, Beyonce may seem perfect but she is in fact a single human woman.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But the idea that a pop star might want to use a clone or avatar to do some of the more boring and annoying tasks required of pop stars: red carpets, meet and greets, constant interviews, is believable. Kelsey McKinney, a culture writer at Fusion, says that most of the pop stars she’s interviewed would absolutely take an out if they were given one. She tells us about what the grind of pop-stardom is really like, and why so many stars eventually do break down.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Now, there are some pop stars who use fronts or avatars. The Gorillaz performed as a cartoon troupe. Daft Punk wears those helmetty things. Sia wears a big wig. Deadmaus often performs wearing a giant mouse head. There’s this rock band called The Residents that has a small but very intense cult following. MF Doom performed in this gladiator mask. There are lots of examples of this. But Kelsey points out that none of them have reached the level of fame that say Beyonce or Taylor Swift has.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The one possible place we can find a true pop star that is represented by an avatar is Hatsune Miku. Now, if you’re not familiar with Hatsune Miku, she’s a 16 year old Japanese popstar. She’s 5 feet 2 inches tall, and she weighs 93 pounds and she’s got this really striking blue hair that is usually in these super long pigtails. And she is not real, she’s a cartoon or hologram. Hatsune Miku is a particularly interesting case to me because unlike The Gorillaz or Daft Punk or Sia, Hatsune Miku isn’t a front for a person. There is no artist laboring behind the scenes, who then goes out and uses the Hatsune Miku cartoon character to perform. She’s entirely a fabrication of a company, and I swear to you that I am not making this up, the company’s name is Crypton Future Media. And Crypton Future Media makes these singing synthesizer programs. And that’s where Hatsune Miku’s voice comes from, it’s totally created by a computer.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And last week when I was doing some research for this episode I realized that Hatsune Miku was actually playing at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City where I live, in just a couple days. So, obviously I bought tickets and this past weekend I dragged my very patient boyfriend to her show. You can hear how that went in the episode.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But of course I can’t interview Hatsune Miku, since she’s not real. So instead I called my favorite anonymous musician: the man behind Hussalonia. You can read about the back story to Hussalonia on their site, but here’s the gist: Hussalonia is a pop music cult, which was purchased by an evil soap company called Nefarico, which demanded that Jesse no longer use his name or face in the songs, and also required him to put out two albums of soap jingles. And the man behind Hussalonia, Jesse Mank, tells us about why he came up with this story, and why he didn’t even do interviews until recently.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Finally, we all discuss what kinds of avatars people would choose, whether certain types of music are better suited to avatars, and what kind of fan art might spring up from these avatars.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 31, 2016
Expiration Date
2904
Today we travel to a future where it’s possible to know exactly when you will die. Do you chose to find out?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Now, this is, impossible. Totally impossible. And I’m not even going to try and come up with some strange pseudoscientific explanation for how this might happen. It’s not a thing. Just go with me here. Some people asked for more weird episodes this season, so, here you go!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We start the episode talking to Chanel Reynolds, the founder of a site called Get Your Shit Together which helps people get their shit together around death and dying. Stuff like: writing a living will, getting it executed, getting disability insurance, putting together an emergency plan, all that shit that, if you’re like me, you do not have together. Chanel started Get Your Shit Together a few years after losing her husband to a sudden accident, and realizing that she really didn’t know what to do, and didn’t have any of her own shit together.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And she tells us about all the reasons it’s good to think about your own death, even if it’s really far away. You never know what might happen, and you don’t want to leave your family, pets and loved ones without a good sense for how you want the end of your life managed.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then we talk to Sheldon Solomon a professor of psychology at Skidmore College and one of the leading researchers in a field called terror management theory. Terror management theory basically says that we live, all of us, all the time, with this underlying rumble of terror beneath the surface. Terror that we are going to die. Which, we are, at some point. And when we’re reminded of death, that terror bubbles up and impacts our behavior in some not so good ways.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Sheldon has done tons of experiments that show that when you remind someone of their own death, just for a fleeting moment, a tiny reminder, it can make you more racist, xenophobic, hateful, war mongering and rude. They’ve done experiments where they’ve asked people to evaluate ideas or other people after seeing a death reminder. And in tons of experiments they’ve found that death reminders make us worse people. They make Christians dislike Jews more, they make Germans more likely to sit next to other people who look German and away from folks who look not-German, they make Iranians more supportive of suicide bombers and they make Americans more supportive of Trump (seriously).<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So, in this future, if we know exactly when we’re going to die, and we think about it all the time, we might turn into horrible people.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;There is other research that says that for some people, these effects aren’t as strong, and for some they’re actually positive. But researchers don’t really know what makes someone more likely to become better or worse after being reminded of their own death.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Next we talked to Ryan North, the creator of Dinosaur Comics. Back in 2005, Ryan published an episode of Dinosaur Comics that outlined the premise of the machine of death: you go to the machine, it takes a blood sample, and it spits out a card that sells you how you’re going to die. Maybe it says “poisoned apple,” or “drowned,” or “old age.” Ryan thought it would just be a one off joke, but his friends Matthew Bennardo and David Malki started exploring little short stories based on the premise, and eventually they opened up the idea to general submissions. So far there have been two Machine of Death anthologies, each full of stories about what happens when the machine of death comes to town. They’re really fun, I highly recommend them.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Ryan and I talked about all the weird ways that the option to know your death date might change the world. Does health insurance even make sense anymore? Can you get your kids tested? Should you get your kids tested? Could you make armies of people you knew wouldn’t die that day?&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 17, 2016
Omnibot
2088
Today we travel to a world with universal translation devices. Where the babelfish from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comes true (although probably not in the form of an evolved organism, but let's not fret about the details).&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We start this episode with Barry Slaughter Olsen, who's the co-president of Interpret America. Barry tells us all about what interpreting and translation actually is, and why it will be really hard to replace human translation with machines.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Then we talked to Julie Sedivy, a writer and language scientist based in Calgary. She helps us think about what these kinds of devices might do for language loss and cultural assimilation of immigrants. Do people still learn English when they move to America or Canada?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Last we talked to Erin McKean, the editor of Wordnik, the world's largest English Language dictionary. She walks us through a ton of fun future possibilities like branded Taylor Swift language plugins and online translation truthers.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Links and references mentioned in today's episode:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Interpret America<br>&nbsp;Is the language barrier really about to fall?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Long wait to come to America for Iraqis, Afghans who served U.S. troops<br>&nbsp;Julie Sedivy writes about losing and regaining Czech<br>&nbsp;Wordnik<br>&nbsp;A Spanish town's Google Translate fail<br>&nbsp;Cops use Google Translate to question woman&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. Special thanks this week to Ciarán Doyle, David Faiz, Josh Newman and Noé Ramalleira. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 03, 2016
Swipe Right For Democracy
1727
Today we travel to a future where America has converted to a direct democracy. Everybody votes on everything!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Hey, did you know it was an election year in the United States? I know, you've probably not really heard about this, it's not like it's on the news 24/7. But for all the coverage and the fights you might be getting into on Facebook, tons of people in the United States aren't going to vote in this election. The Pew Research Center has some pretty depressing statistics on just how many Americans go to the polls every year.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;People in the U.S. don't vote for a lot of reasons. The main one is time. But the second most common answer (16 percent) that Americans give, when asked by the Census Bureau why they don't vote, is that they weren't interested. And eight percent of people said they didn't vote because they didn't like the candidates or the issues.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;It's no secret that Americans hate their government. In 2015, a Gallup poll estimated that only eight percent of Americans have faith in Congress as an institution. Eight percent!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So what if we did things differently? What if we put the vote back to the people, and had Americans actually vote on the issues directly. What if America was a direct democracy?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To find out what might happen we talked to Kerri Milita, an assistant professor at Illinois State University who studies direct democracy in America.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We also talked to talked to Daniel Castro who's the vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation about what an accessible voting app would look like. A few years ago, they looked at accessible voting technology, and found that when you can let people vote on their own apps in their own places that are already safe and customized to them makes a big difference.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So let’s say that this all works perfectly. Just go with me to the utopia for a second. Everything works really great, everybody is happy, we’re all securely and safely writing bills and voting on our phones. And because there are no barriers to voting anymore, turnout and participation skyrockets. Now, most people vote! Yay! What does that United States look like when all the people who don't vote today, start voting.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To find out, we called Sean McElwee, a policy analyst for an organization called Demos. Sean told us about his research on the differing opinions between voters and non-voters, which you can read here.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We also talk about security and voting, and what happens if nobody actually votes because they're overwhelmed.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We didn't get to talk about a few things in the show. Like how Sweden uses direct democracy, why Estonia has online voting and we don't, the history of direct democracy, or the proposals to change the forms of democracy we see in the United States.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;What do you think? Do you vote yes or no on direct democracy? Tell us! Send us a voice memo to info@flashforwardpod.com or call and leave a voicemail at (347) 927-1425.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura, the break music is by MC Cullah and the outtro music is by Broke for Free.&nbsp; The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. Special thanks this week to Dara Lind, who suggested this episode, and Rob Tannen, who provided valuable insight into election app design.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 19, 2016
Rude Bot Rises
1838
Okay, you asked for it, and I finally did it. Today’s episode is about conscious artificial intelligence. Which is a HUGE topic! So we only took a small bite out of all the things we could possibly talk about.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We started with some definitions. Because not everybody even defines artificial intelligence the same way, and there are a ton of different definitions of consciousness. In fact, one of the people we talked to for the episode, Damien Williams, doesn’t even like the term artificial intelligence. He says it’s demeaning to the possible future consciousnesses that we might be inventing.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But before we talk about consciousnesses, I wanted to start the episode with a story about a very not-conscious robot. Charles Isbell, a computer scientist at Georgia Tech, first walks us through a few definitions of artificial intelligence. But then he tells us the story of cobot, a chatbot he helped invent in the 1990’s.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 05, 2016
Tree Free
1605
Today we travel to a fully digital world, a world where paper is a thing of the past.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;On this show we’ve tackled a huge range of futures — we’ve talked about things that are extremely likely, like, antibiotic resistance, and we’ve also talked about things that are simply never going to happen. Like space pirates dragging a second moon to earth for some reason.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And when I started working on this episode, I assumed that this future was more on the likely end of the spectrum. Maybe not in a few years, but eventually, we’ll probably stop using paper, right? Well, pretty much everybody I talked to said I was wrong.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The first person we talk to in this episode is Michael Makin, the President and CEO of Printing Industries of America, an organization that represents the printers all over the United States. And Printing Industries of America isn’t the only organization out there trying to keep printing alive. In 2014, a group called Two Sides launched a campaign arguing that companies who advertised paperless billing as “green” were violating guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission. And they actually got over 20 companies to stop advertising their paperless billing options as “environmentally friendly.” And this is one of the big arguments that the paper industry makes against going without paper: that it's actually not nearly as environmentally friendly as people claim.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Now, it’s hard to make blanket statements about whether paper or digital is better for the environment. Both have their upsides and downsides, but it's definitely true that many people don't realize the environmental cost of browsing things online using their devices. According to the Centre for Sustainable Communications at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, "the environmental impact of a web based newspaper is, in general, in the same range as a printed newspaper's environmental impact."&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But Makin also says that he is totally convinced that paperlessness is just never going to happen. "I mean let’s be real, we are NEVER going to live in a paperless society," he says.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Now, you're probably thinking to yourself, "well duh Rose, of course the guy who represents the paper industry is going to say that paper will live forever." Yes, yes, I know, but he's actually not the only person who told me that they didn't think paperlessness was coming any time soon.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Richard Harper told me the same thing. Harper is a researcher at Microsoft and the co-author of a book called The Myth of the Paperless Office. In the book Richard and his coauthor Abigail Sellen trace the phrase “paperless office” back to the 1970’s when Xerox founded a research group called PARC. And PARC was working on networked systems, ways for offices to talk to each other over all kinds of digital networks. But to push networks forward, they felt like they had to push something else out. So they villified paper as "the devil" and tried to propose the idea of a utopian future without paper.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But what Richard and Abigail found in their research was that paper wasn’t a devil, and it wasn’t really going anywhere. And they also found that most people don’t really want paper to go away. In fact, there's no evidence that people are using less paper today than they were in the 1970's.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If we do wind up going more and more digital, one thing we'll have to worry about is how and where to store all those files. I can barely keep the files on my own computer in some kind of logical order, but when we’re all working digitally how do we preserve and archive anything? To find out I called up Lynda Schmitz Furig, who’s the electronic records archivist for The Smithsonian. Her job is to preserve everything digital that the Smithsonian creates. She tells us how they catalogue and store everything the Smithsonian creates.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 29, 2016
MiniPod Time Travel
1136
Today’s episode is a minipod, a smattering of time travel, future travel, and news about the show.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In this episode we hear a bunch of messages from listeners: what folks think about past futures we’ve been to, and future futures we should travel to.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We also cover some show news! So, in bullet point form:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Some of you might be new to the show this season. Maybe you didn’t even know this was the second season! Well, it is! Season one is available on Soundcloud, where you can download all the episodes for listening purposes.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The show now has a subreddit! So if you like Reddit and you want to talk about the show there, we’re at r/FlashForwardPod. I have some plans for the subreddit, including maybe some AMAs with guests of the show, and just general discussions of each future, and all that stuff.<br>&nbsp;We also now have an online store! Where you can buy stuff! Right now there are a couple of different versions of the logo that you can put on anything from a tote bag to a mug to a cell phone case. It’s all very cool looking so if you’re the kind of person who likes to buy swag for shows you listen to, you can now do that at our store. And if there’s an item that you don’t see in the store that you wish you could buy, let me know. If you do buy something from the store, I would love to see pictures of whatever it is in your life! That would make me extremely happy.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;I mean come on check out these tote bags!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The last thing I do in the episode is reveal a few of the hidden references from this season. A lot of you have asked what you should be looking for, so hopefully this will help!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In episode 2, Love At First Sexbot, the names of the different sex robots are references to particular people and characters. The Hadaly is named after a mechanical woman invented by a fictional Thomas Edison in the 1886 novel The Future Eve. She’s one of the first female robots to appear in literature.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The Leopold is named after Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, whose name lives on in the term “masochism.”&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And here’s probably the hardest one from that episode: Margot’s Discount Closet Solutions is named after a character from a Ray Bradbury short story called “All Summer in a Day.” That one was hard, I admit.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In the mosquito episode, two of the names are references to Animorphs characters, and the repeated use of the number 18 points to the book in which the Animorphs turn into mosquitos.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s often what you’re looking for. Other times it’s quotes and clips I play. So, go forth and find them!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. Other music used in this episode is by Ryan Lit and Decktonic.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook, by voicemail at (347) 927-1425 or by sending an email or voice memo to info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 22, 2016
Unpawful
1502
Today we travel to a future without pets. What would it take for us to give up our fuzzy, slithery, fishy friends? Should our pets get more rights? And if we didn’t have dogs or cats, would we domesticate something else to take their place?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This week's episode name is perhaps the worst pun I've ever committed. Sorry not sorry.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Anyway. In this episode pets are outlawed, gone, we don't have them anymore. No more dogs, cats, fish, birds, bunnies, none of them. This might seem like a really outlandish future, who actually wants us to stop having pets? Well, it turns out, this actually something that some people currently do advocate for.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To find out more about folks who argue that we should try to phase out pets, I talked to Doris Lin. She's an animal rights attorney and used to write the animal rights section for About.com. And she explains in the episode that she really does think that we should phase out pets.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But she also wants to clarify something: she’s not about to show up at your door and confiscate your animals. She doesn't want to separate anybody's beloved pets from their good homes. (She herself has pet rabbits.) But she does believe that people should stop breeding animals to be kept as pets, and that eventually, after all the rescue animals get home and live their happy lives, we should try to live without them.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;There are a couple of arguments for eliminating pets from our lives. Lin says that animals we keep aren't able to live out their "natural instincts" and that it's not fair for us to force them to live by "human rules." Some people point to the increasing body of research that shows that animals might be a lot more intelligent than we once thought.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Today, studies show that dogs can actually understand pointing. So if we point at something, the dog knows that we’re trying to get them to pay attention to that thing. Cats might be able to do the same thing, but they’re harder to study because they don’t care about your stupid experiment. This pointing thing might seem like not that big of a deal. But chimpanzees, our closest living relative, can’t do that. Which might seem surprising, but as David Grimm points out in the episode, we've evolved with dogs for something like 30,000 years, and with cats for 10,000 years.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Grimm is the Online News Editor of the magazine Science, and the author of a book called Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs. And in his book, David talks about how the way we think about our animals has totally changed in the last century. They used to be considered lower than objects, less important than your table or toaster. But today, most people consider their pets far more important than their tables. There have been custody battled fought over pets, dogs have been appointed lawyers, and some animals have even inherited money.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;A 2015 Harris Poll showed that 95 percent of pet owners consider their pets members of their family. During Hurricane Katrina, some people decided to stay behind with their pets when they were told the rescue boats would only take human passengers. Some of those people died.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So the idea of a world without these creatures in them is really hard to imagine, even for Lin who advocates for this future. But that never really stops us here on this show! And in the second half of the episode we talk about all the ways that this might happen. Listen to find out!<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 15, 2016
My Everything Pal
2156
Today we travel to a future full of spreadsheet approved lives. A future where everything we do is tracked and quantified: calories, air quality, sleep, heart rate, microbes, brain waves, finances, happiness, sadness, menstrual cycles, poops, hopes and dreams. Everything.&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;This episode is longer than our usual 20 minute jaunts to the future, because the future of quantified self is so huge. We cover everything from biased algorithms, to microbiomes (again), to the future of the calorie, and more.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The first person we talk to this week is Chris Dancy, who is basically living in this future today. He’s been called the most quantified man in the world. Every day Chris wears and carries around over thirty devices that track everything from his heart rate to his brain waves. You can see a live stream of his data here. Chris started tracking his life in 2008, and has upgraded his system continuously to become more streamlined and include more forms of data.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;But, as I was watching a few of these videos (including the one above), I felt kind of uncomfortable. Because a lot of them treat Chris kind of like a freak show. Like this weirdo guy that we should all kind of laugh at, or shun, or see as this maniac with too many devices. But in talking to Chris it became very clear to me that he’s very thoughtful about what he’s doing. The point isn’t just to track for tracking sake, Chris is on a mission. And it’s the same mission that you or I might have when we start tracking steps or workouts or calories or menstrual cycles: to be better. To be healthier and happier. And, for Chris at least, it worked. He dropped 100 pounds, stopped drinking and abusing drugs, and feels way healthier now than he did before.&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;A lot of people have called Chris the most quantified man, or the most surveilled man, or the most tracked man. But he thinks about it another way. He calls himself a mindful cyborg. But being a mindful cyborg takes a lot of work. He spends $30,000 a year on his quantified self, and it’s essentially his full time job. Not everybody can do that.<br><br>&nbsp;When you ask Chris what the future of the quantified self looks like, he’s actually not super optimistic about it. Because right now, Chris uses all these devices to gather data, but he sometimes has to fight companies to actually get access to it. In most cases, he has to buy his data back from them, in order to use it for what he wants. He says he sees us going to “the dark future,” where all our data is mined by companies, and not used to make us healthier or happier.<br><br>&nbsp;To dig a little deeper into the possible dark side of personal tracking, I called Claire North, the the author of a book called The Sudden Appearance of Hope that’s coming out this summer. The main character, Hope, sort of has the opposite of face blindness, she is totally unmemorable to anybody who meets her. Which makes her an excellent thief, and the book started out as a book about thieving. But as Claire was writing it, she started getting interested in something else, the fact that without any friends or family or other humans that can even remember her, Hope has no real way of measuring her life.&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;There’s still plenty of thieving in the book (it’s very exciting) but there’s an added layer now. The story kind of centers around this app called Perfection. Users give it access to everything: their bank accounts, their location, what they’re eating and drinking, who they’re hanging out with, how they’re sleeping, everything. And in return, the app gives them suggestions. Don’t eat there, eat here. Don’t do that, do this. And when users link up their accounts, and comply with the app’s instructions, they get perks. Coupons to restaurants or access to special events. Users who get enough points even get plastic surgery.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 08, 2016
Micro But Mighty
1566
Today we travel to a future where your microbiome becomes a key part of your identity. From health to your child’s kindergarten, here are all the ways knowing about your microbiome might impact your life.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Let’s start with a definition: what is the microbiome? Simply put, the microbiome is the collection of microbes (mostly bacteria) that live in and on your body. It’s hard to say exactly how many microbes make up the human microbiome, but researchers estimate that somewhere between 500 and 1,000 different species of bacteria live in the human gut. And that’s just the gut, there are microbial communities in our mouths, on our skin, in the vagina, all over the place. To put things in another perspective, the average human body is made up of 30 trillion cells. And on top of those 30 trillion cells, the average human also carries around in and on it, 40 trillion bacteria. 40 Trillion!<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To learn how those 40 trillion cells might be leveraged in the future, we talked to Ed Yong, the author of the upcoming book I Contain Multitudes; Rachel Feltman, a science blogger at the Washington Post; and Jessica Richman, the cofounder and CEO of uBiome, a personal microbiome company. The three of them walk us through the pros, cons and surprising ways the microbiome might be used in the future.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The microbiome is a really promising area of research because it seems to interact with so many elements of our health. People are studying links between the microbiome and everything from autism to heart disease to body odor to cancer. But the gap between what we know right now, and what we’d need to know to develop microbiome based treatments for most of these things, is huge.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Right now there are no drugs on the market that are based on the microbiome, and there’s really only one microbiome related medical application that reliably works. And that’s for patients with an infection called Clostridium difficile or c. diff who get a fecal transplant. The c. diff infection is awful, and it totally ravages the guts of those infected with it. A jolt of health bacteria, in the form of donated fecal matter, can be life saving.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;While the gut microbiome might get all the glory, there are lots of other microbiomes that impact our wellbeing as well. Doctors are trying to figure out whether children born by C-section might miss out on some crucial microbes that other children get when they pass through the vaginal canal. One recent study actually used wet wipes with the mother’s vaginal microbes on them on newly C-sectioned babies to see if it helped. There are concerns about that method too though.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Of course with any promising scientific breakthrough there will be people trying to apply it to pretty much everything. In the episode we talk about what happens when certain microbes start getting connected to talent or personality, or associated with negative traits. We’ve already seen that with genetic information, so why not microbial?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This week we also bring a new segment to the show! I play a few voicemails that listeners sent about mosquitoes from last week. I really loved the funny and thoughtful messages you sent me so keep telling me what you think! I’ll feature them each week. Call us and leave a voicemail at (347) 927-1425. Or, send a voice memo to info@flashforwardpod.com. For instructions on how to do that, go here. And you don’t just have to tell us what you think about this future. If you want to suggest a future, you can do that too! I love hearing your ideas, so keep sending them!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 01, 2016
The Ultimate Swatting
1412
Today we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Mosquitos have worked hard to earn the nickname “deadliest animal on earth.” According to the World Health Organization there are 20 million cases of dengue virus every year. And there are 214 million cases of malaria, 438,000 of which are deadly. In the United States, an outbreak of West Nile Virus that started in 1999 infected 41,000 people and killed 1700 of them. Since 2005, there have been 1.9 million cases of Chickungunya virus documented in East Asia, and as of last year 1.3 million cases of the virus had been documented in the US and Latin America. Yellow Fever infects 200,000 people every year, and kills about 30,000 of those people.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;All of these diseases are carried by mosquitos. For comparison, snakes kill about 50,000 people a year. Humans kill about 475,000 other humans every year. And mosquitos, all told, kill 725,000 people each year.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And recently, with the rise of Zika, people have started wondering aloud once again why we don’t just get rid of the biting bugs.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Whenever you talk about eliminating a whole species, or, in the case of every mosquito, a few thousand species, the question of ecology looms. How important are these animals? What relies on them for food or protection or pollination? According to Cameron Webb, a medical entomologist with the University of Sydney, we still don’t know very much about the role mosquitoes play in the ecosystem.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Unsurprisingly, most of the research that’s done on mosquitoes is done on either how to kill them, or what diseases they might give us. There’s not a ton of work done on their importance in the environment. So we don’t know what might happen to the ecosystem if we were to eliminate them entirely.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;What we do know is that we’ve been fighting mosquitoes for a really long time. The CDC was actually founded in response to malaria. And Maryn McKenna, who you might remember from our episode on antibiotic resistance, came back for this episode to tell us about the history of trying to control these mosquito borne illnesses.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;So how do we actually kill all these bugs? It won’t be easy. Mosquitoes are sneaky, particularly the species that transmit disease to humans. This future probably involves a combination of things: pesticides, land management, education, and genetic modification. Not on humans, like we talked about in episode 20 from last season. But of the mosquitoes themselves.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To explain how genetically modified mosquitos worked, we talked to Hayden Parry, the CEO of a company called Oxitec that developed and grows these modified insects. The basic premise behind them is to engineer male mosquitoes that can’t produce viable baby mosquitoes. These males mate with regular females, and their offspring all die, thus controlling the population.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;All that and more in this week’s episode, so have a listen.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 23, 2016
Don’t Lie To Me
1228
Today we travel to a future without lies. What would it be like if we all wore accurate lie detectors around all the time?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In this episode we talk about when children learn to lie, the different social functions of lying, and what might happen if we couldn’t ever fib. How would negotiations be different? How would we make small talk? Could we create art or music? All that and more in this week’s future.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This week’s show features four experts in the different facets of deception. Patti Wood is an expert in detecting non-verbal cues. She told me about her work, and the ways she uses body language to try and tell if someone is lying. Maria Konnikova is a journalist and the author of a book called The Confidence Game, all about con artists and people who are really good at lying. She says that while many of the people her book is about would have been thwarted, there would be serious downsides to not being able to lie to one another. Michael Lewis has studied lying and childhood development for over fifty years, and he says that children learn really early on that lying is something they should be doing. And Andrea Kupfer Schneider is a professor of ethics and dispute resolution at Marquette University Law School. She says that without the ability to lie, negotiations would actually be way better.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Right now there are tons of different technologies and methods that try to detect lying, which range from imperfect to totally bogus. According to the American Psychological Association polygraph tests, the lie detector setup you see in movies and TV all the time, don’t accurately tell if someone is lying. There’s also a device called a voice stress analyzer — what it does is listen to your voice and try to detect signs of stress, which suggests that you might not be telling the truth. But according to a study done by the National Institute of Justice, voice stress analyzers are often no better than chance at detecting lies. Of course, that hasn’t stopped some places from using them surreptitiously during phone interviews.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;There are also all kinds of drugs that attempt to make people tell the truth. These are staples of movies and television shows, but like most things they don't work as well as they do on TV.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you’re interested in the history of lie detectors, check out this book by Ken Alder, which explores not just who invented the polygraph, but the long history of our obsession with finding a biological connection to “the truth.” And if you’re interested in a movie about a world without lies, try The Invention of Lying.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This week’s future voices were provided by Sarah Werner, Brent Rose, Kirstin Butler, Pablo Meier, Eddie Guimont, Guillermo Herrera, Justin Cameron and Jess Zimmerman, who also suggested this future to us, so thanks Jess! If you want to be a voice in the future you can do that, it’s one of the rewards we have for becoming a Patron of the show on Patreon.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And, as always, if you like the show please head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;See you next week for a new future!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 16, 2016
Love At First Bot
1333
Right now there’s a whole lot of buzz about sex robots. Some people are really excited about them, and think we’ll be marrying robots by 2050. Other people are really worried about them, and are organizing whole campaigns against sex robots. This week, we travel to a future where sex robots are realized, and talk about everything from warranties to ethics. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;[A note: if you listen to our show with or near young kids be aware that today’s episodes discusses the future of sex, and goes into some detail about sex toys, sex work and other sexy time things. If your kiddos are ready for a calm, reasonable discussion of sex and the sex industry, carry on! If you’re not there yet, that’s cool, but maybe skip this one.]<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;This week we have three experts helping us think through how we get to sex robots, and what we do when we get there. A.V. Flox is journalist who covers the intersection of sex, law and technology. She is very skeptical of all the sexbot hype, and says we have a long way to go before we’ll see anything remotely like an actual sex robot. Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer and futurist who’s been a guest on the show before. A few of her books involve sex robots, and she thinks that before we get anything human we’ll start to see cartoony looking forms. And Shelly Ronen is a sociology PhD student at NYU who studies sex and sex object production. Ronen says that it’s possible we won’t demand full-on humanoid robots, but instead be totally satisfied by less human-like machines.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Together the three of them walk us through all the things we might have to sort out before and after the rise of the sex robots. How do you keep them clean? Where do you store them? What happens if they break? What will they look like? How do you handle the uncanny valley? Who should use them, and how does their existence impact sex workers?&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;You can read an optimistic take on sex robots in the book Love and Sex With Robots by David Levy and you can find more on Levy’s outlook on robots here. Levy is optimistic about sex robots — not only does he think they’re coming quickly, he also thinks they could have some very positive impacts. On the other side of the table is the Campaign Against Sex Robots. You can guess how they feel about these devices, and their argument is generally summed up here. Essentially, they feel that prostitution is bad, and sex robots would be a form of prostitution and encourage it, therefore sex robots are bad. This is an argument that many people disagree with, including sex workers who point out that many of them enjoy and would like to keep their jobs.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To top everything off, here are some fun fact about our long tradition of wanting to create and love female robots:<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Robots were originally assumed to be male. The 1920's science fiction play R.U.R. that gave us the word robot also gave us the term for a female robot: a robotess.<br>&nbsp;The term "gynoid" (which you don't see quite as much anymore) was coined by the writer Gwyneth Jones in her 1985 novel Divine Endurance.<br>&nbsp;The term "fembot" first shows up in 1976, in a script for the show The Bionic Woman.<br>&nbsp;Brigitte Helm played "Maschinenmensch," the female robot in the iconic 1927 movie Metropolis. Apparently her costume was extremely uncomfortable, and other actors would apparently slip coins into various openings out of pity for her. She used those coins to buy chocolate.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. The illustration is by Matt Lubchansky. The music for our various sex robot commercials was by Alaclair, Strong Suit and BoxCat.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 09, 2016
Face Off
1118
Welcome to season two of Flash Forward! We kicked off this season with a pretty unlikely future: the entire world goes face blind.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;In the episode we discuss what causes face blindness — also known as prosopagnosia — and the tricks that people use to remember their friends. We also go through all the things that would be easier (spying, hiding) and harder (police lineups, cocktail parties) in a world where we were all faceblind.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Today, about two percent of the population has some form of face blindness, or prosopagnosia. Some people with prosopagnosia have a hard time with acquaintances, while others struggle to recognize their own family members, and sometimes even themselves. If after this you’re thinking “hm, I wonder if I’m face blind,” you can take an unofficial online test here.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;To figure out what this world might be like, I called up Dr. Jason Barton, a neurologist at the University of British Columbia who treats and studies people with face blindness. He told me that face blindness can happen for a lot of reasons: some people are born with it, and others acquire the trouble after a stroke, infection, tumor, or other kind of brain injury. You’ll have to listen to the episode to learn how it happens to all of us at once.<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;I also talked to two people who are face blind, since they have the best sense for what this might be like for the rest of us. Lisa Huang, a science fiction writer, and Jaydeep Bardhan, a mechanical engineering professor at Northeastern University, told me all sorts of really interesting things about how they do, or don’t remember people. Movies and TV shows? Tough for people with face blindness, especially when all the actors look the same.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;We also talked about things like hair and makeup, how people might try to visually distinguish themselves when they can’t rely on their face to do it for them. And Barton suggested a whole other way to recognize people that has nothing to do with faces.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;There’s a great Ted Chiang short story called “Liking What You See: A Documentary” about facial recognition. The story focuses not on face-blindness, but instead, the piece talks about a world in which people can elect to have their perception of beauty turned off. So nobody has an advantage for being prettier than anybody else. But according to Dr. Jason Barton, some people with prosopagnosia also struggle to tell things like age, sex, mood and even beauty of another face in front of them.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;And in case you didn’t think this episode was dark enough, here’s another take on face blindness: a short film in which someone locks eyes with the perpetrator of a horrible crime, but can’t remember his face because he’s face blind. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;What do you think? How might we get around face blindness? Would we just give up? Would we all wear go-pros and google glasses around? Would name tags come back into style?<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The (awesome) art for this episode is by Matt Lubchansky. The intro music is by Asura and the Outtro music is by Broke for Free. The music for your drive time radio host was The Zombie Dandies. The voice of your drive time radio host was Mike Pesca, who is also the host of the not-fictional daily Slate podcast The Gist. The voice of our trusty scientist was Bethany Brookshire, you can follow her on Twitter at @scicurious. And the voice of our lovely public radio reporter was Tamara Krinsky, you can find her at @tamarakrinsky.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! This week's episode was suggested by Charlie Loyd.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 02, 2016
Reputationville
1029
What would it be like if we lived in a world where everything you do is subject to a rating dolled out by a combination of machines and other people?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 20, 2015
Crossing
883
Every country has their own idiosyncratic rules and regulations for border crossings. But what if the whole process were standardized and run by a single organization?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 13, 2015
Bye Bye Binary
911
What if we lived in a world where gender was more like hair color — something you could change at will, and that had little bearing on what other people thought of you?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 06, 2015
The Carbon Gene
1067
When it comes to climate change, there are a lot of researchers already thinking about how to equip crops and food animals with genes to help them withstand heat and parched conditions. But what about genetically engineering humans to try to slow our constant carbon contributions?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 29, 2015
Unseen
982
In 2006, scientists described the world's first invisibility cloak. But there was a catch. It only worked in two dimensions, and on microwaves. But to what if scientists and engineers could created a true invisibility cloak?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 22, 2015
Greetings
1065
Humans spend a lot of time and energy wondering if there’s anybody else out there. But what if we got unequivocal evidence that there was? In this week’s future, a probe that is extremely similar to the Voyager probes that we sent out in the 1970’s shows up in our galaxy.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 15, 2015
The Empathy Machine
1011
When you were a kid and stole your friends’ toys, your parent probably asked you this angry hypothetical: “How do you think that made them feel?” But what if you actually could feel what another person is feeling? This week, we travel to a future where humans have invented an empathy machine.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 08, 2015
Caged
1058
What would happen if we rounded up all the critically endangered animals and plants and put them in armored zoos?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 01, 2015
A Drone of One’s Own
1078
What does the world look like when everybody with a smart phone also has a drone?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 25, 2015
Eternal Life in Prison
881
What if “life in prison” could mean 100 or 200 or 400 years? Does that change the way that sentences are dolled out? What happens when a person gets out of prison?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 11, 2015
Sunward Bound
999
If the Earth, somehow, stopped rotating around the sun, it would have exactly 64 1/2 days before it crashed into the fireball at the center of our solar system. Here's what would happen during those last 64 1/2 days.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 04, 2015
Facetime
1016
Your face is one of your most valuable possessions. But what happens when facial recognition is so good that any company can grab an image of your face while you’re walking down the street, and link it to everything from your social media profiles, to your credit score, to your workplace?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 28, 2015
Winded
730
What would happen if a company put up so many wind turbines that they actually changed the climate on Earth? I know this sounds totally crazy, but I swear to you this is something that scientists have actually looked into. So naturally, I talked to one of those scientists.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 21, 2015
Grounded
733
Need to get from New York to Paris? Or San Diego? Chances are you’re not taking a car or a bus or a boat to go there. Instead, you’d hop on a plane. But aside from hurting your wallet, commercial flights also hurt the planet, contributing to the continuous input of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that is in turn contributing to climate change. So what if we stopped flights? What would happen?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 14, 2015
The Bodybuilders
801
We all want to be our best selves. But what if you could add almost anything to your body and mind? A camera here, an exoskeleton there. This is the world that some biohackers imagine—one in which humans can extend their abilities beyond the limits biology has set for us. But what does that world look like?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 07, 2015
The Supernova Next Door
965
We often think of stars as twinkling, harmless little points of light that fill our night sky with majesty. But stars can be dangerous too. When they come to the end of their lifespan, some stars explode fantastically as supernovae. So what would happen if one of those giant explosions happened nearby?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 30, 2015
The Day the Internet Broke
1053
If you’re reading this, you have access to the Internet. But what would happen if the Internet suddenly went away? And what would it take to make that happen?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 23, 2015
Never Lay Me Down to Sleep
745
If there was a drug that meant you never had to sleep again, would you take it? Would those who didn’t need to sleep have special advantages over those who did? All that and a side of zombies, in this week’s episode.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 16, 2015
Revenge of the Germs
916
Over the past 85 years, antibiotics have been miracle drugs. They’ve kept infections at bay and opened up a world of medical possibilities: organ transplants, heart surgery, chemotherapy. But they’re not going to work forever. The age antibiotic resistance is coming. So what does a world without these drugs look like?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 09, 2015
The Most Dangerous Games
743
This week on Meanwhile in the Future we step onto the field and talk about contact sports. What would it take to create a future in which the most dangerous sports die out? What are those sports to begin with? What does a world without football look like?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 02, 2015
Forcing the Hand
647
This week’s future is a social experiment. What if Earth had a robotic overlord who decided to ban all weapons? All fights would have to be hand to hand. Would there be less death that way? Less casualties? What counts as a weapon anyway? Listen to the episode to find out!<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 26, 2015
The Moon is a Harsh Second Mistress
959
What would happen if the Earth suddenly had a second moon? This week, we work through the impact an additional satellite would have on our planet, from tides, to the night sky, to the potential destruction of Earth. Oh also there are space pirates.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 19, 2015
A Womb Away From Home
791
What happens when women no longer have to physically bear children? Who wins? Who loses? Who takes artificial wombs to a far away planet to create a colony of super-beings?<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 12, 2015