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Long Now Podcast


Free Resource (#702) - Dec. 3rd, 2008
Today's Free Resource

Seminars About Long Term Thinking Podcast

From The Long Now Foundation comes this fascinating series of Seminars About Long Term Thinking. Podcasts on the feed include CEO Philip Rosedale talking about the game Second Life, Chris Anderson talking about The Long Tail, founder and president of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales speaking on vision, author Jared Diamond discussing his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, writer Bruce Sterling speaking about The Singularity, musician Brian Eno chatting with Will Wright (creator of the video game "The Sims" and forthcoming "Spore"), author Francis Fukuyama speaking on "The End of History" Revisited, a Synthetic Biology Debate, and many more interesting podcasts on topics like climate change, human life extension, etc. Have a listen.

Seminars About Long Term Thinking Podcast

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At the Dangerous Edge of the Knowledge

Michael Crichton, the father of the “techno-thriller,” has sold over 100 million books worldwide in thirty different languages. While this would be an astonishing feat for any writer, what makes Crichton’s accomplishment unique is his commitment to the integrity of the human knowledge quest. It is Crichton’s creative leap into a possible tomorrow that captures the attention of millions, but he leaps from a platform cemented in the evidence of today. Part of the allure of Crichton’s novels is the tangible sense that this could happen tomorrow.

In this dialogue, Michael and Ken discuss the concerns (popularly raised by Bill Joy) about runaway nanotechnology, viral plagues, and genetic engineering. Specifically, how likely at this time is a world-wide catastrophe due to the unintended consequences of those new technologies? Is the nanotech genie already out of the bottle? Will it be soon? Is there anything we can do to stave off the potentially disastrous consequences of tomorrow’s technologies?

Many have read Crichton as a neo-Luddite (“Mess with nature, get your comeuppance”), but in this dialogue he makes his view very clear: Progress in technology and knowledge is a good in itself, and nature is a partner in that pursuit—but a partner that must be paid the utmost respect.

And so: are we headed for technological world-wide disaster? Who would know better than Michael Crichton, who by imagining so many future nightmares—and vividly bringing them to page and screen—has looked into the immediate future as brilliantly as any? Please join us for this fascinating look into Crichton’s crystal ball....

Available on MP3 Download.

Listen to a free sample of: At the Dangerous Edge of the Knowledge

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