Tag Archives: Technology

Live the dream

earthfrommoonIf you pay attention to the news you will be told that the current generation of young people faces far greater barriers than the baby-boomers who grew up in the 1950s. Social mobility is in decline, inequality is rising and big corporations increasingly run our lives.

Really? Let me give you an alternative perspective on reality. Continue reading

How to blog

wordpressSo, you signed up to WordPress, answered all their intrusive personal questions, got yourself a blog and an “About me” page that says:

“This is an example of a WordPress post, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from..”

Congratulations! The hard part is over! Now all you have to do is blog. Continue reading

What are brains for?

brainsopenBrains. We all have them, but what are they for?

Continue reading

If animals could talk

justsayinSo I was just reading about a goldfish that can drive a car and I wondered, what if animals could talk?

What’s that? You want me to explain about the car-driving fish? Oh well it’s all here. Continue reading

Happy 1st myriad!

firstbirthdayThe Greek number myriad means literally ten thousand, and that’s roughly how old our civilization is. 10,000 years ago, the ice sheets were retreating across Europe and North America to be replaced by forests, and in the Middle East the first civilized people were learning how to farm.

That may sound a long time ago in comparison to a single human lifespan, but as civilizations go, we are still in our infancy. That’s why I’ve decided to celebrate our first myriad. Continue reading

I downloaded a paradox

mobiusantsMy wife bought a shiny new laptop. Windows 8, lots of new buttons to press, yay!

But there’s a problem. She can’t print anything on her old laser printer. She gets the message, “Cannot find driver for HP LaserJet”.

“What now?” asks my wife.

“Call the tech support guy,” I tell her. Oh, wait. I am the tech support guy. Continue reading

Stepping stones to Transhumanism

googleglassThe Consumer Electronics Show (CES2014) currently taking place in Las Vegas is packed full of smart glasses, like Google Glass.

Wearable tech is poised to transform the way we interact with technology. With a pair of smart glasses, you can begin to feel like superman, taking photos and recording videos of anything you see, and with the almost telepathic ability to interact directly with the internet and with your own automated personal assistant.

Don’t doubt that this will happen, just so long as the cost is affordable and the tech works in a convenient way. After all, just a few years ago, how many people would have imagined that we would be carrying smartphones everywhere and that email, Facebook and other social media would be just as important as face to face communication?

Smart glasses are just the latest in a long history of creeping augmentation of our abilities by technology. Observers of technology call this transition “Transhumanism” and predict an inevitable and exponential increase in how this impacts on our lives. Continue reading

Suspension of disbelief

suspensionbridgeThere are just so many creative people in our world. There are artists who make us see the world afresh through visual media. There are musicians who play with our emotions just like they play their instruments. There are writers who make us think, feel and imagine through words alone.

But what if your medium was the physical world itself, and your task was to make the impossible possible? That would make you awesome. That would make you an engineer. Continue reading

What is wealth?

moneyObviously it’s the stuff in the photo. It’s money, or it could be real estate or gold or oil or diamonds.

Except, what if it’s not? What if wealth is something else entirely? Continue reading

The GMO debate and the lightning conductor

stopgmoGenetically modified crops generate intense anger on both sides of the debate.

Those who oppose it, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, cite the risk of some kind of unpredictable disastrous effect on Nature.

Those who argue in its favour point out that millions of children could be cured of blindness if genetically-modified rice were used to feed people in the third world. In fact, vitamin A-enhanced rice could prevent up to a third of the world’s child deaths. And that’s just one example of the benefits.

The stakes couldn’t really be higher on either side of the debate. It’s imperative that the world makes the right decision about this issue.

So here, I’m asking, “How do we make the decision?” Continue reading