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FutureBANG!

The emerging technologies of the future will comprise the manipulation of four major categories: Bits, Atoms, Neurons, and Genes. In other words, FutureBANG!
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Now displaying: 2016
Sep 9, 2016

Ian and Jesse discuss the current state of genetic modification of agricultural products, and where the technology might lead in the future. If we could add, subtract, and combine any traits we want in our crops, what wondrous things could we create?

 

Links to topics discussed:

FlavrSavr tomato

Golden Rice

Aquadvantage salmon

Norman Borlaug

NYT article on GMO products

CRISPR

Gene guns

Civil War urban legend

Craig Venter

Enviropig

C3 vs C4 photosynthesis

 

Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.

Apr 17, 2016

Ian and Jesse discuss the future of toilets, plumbing, and sanitation. Modern sanitation has allowed us to build large cities with healthy populations, but how can we bring the same advances to the rest of the world, and what does the toilet of tomorrow look like?

 

Links to topics discussed:

Pit toilets (with guest Dickson Despommier)

Bill Gates' Reinvent the Toilet challenge

Bill Gates' Omniprocessor

Omniprocessor infographic!

Squat toilet health

Japanese Washlets

 

Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.

Mar 24, 2016

Jesse tells Ian about the Long Now Foundation, an organization that encourages thinking and planning on the scale of centuries and millenia. What kinds of issues do we need to plan for if we're designing a clock to last 10,000 years?

 

Links to topics discussed:

Long Now Foundation

Endangered Languages

10,000 Year Clock location

Brian Eno

 

Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.

Feb 28, 2016

Ian and Jesse discuss the possibility of contact with alien civilizations and what it would mean for the future of humanity. If we received a clear signal from an extra terrestrial intelligence, how would we react, and what should our response be?

This is a big topic, and we missed a lot of important stuff (we left out SETI!). We'll definitely come back to it in another episode some time, so let us know what else to include!

 

Links to topics discussed:

Drake Equation

Fermi Paradox

Definition of Life

Maxwell Hunter's Memo

The Brookings Report

Post Detection Policy

Possible Alien Megastructure

Voyager Records

Arecibo Signal

A Message From Earth

 

Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.

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