Surprisingly real value from virtual reality

Speaking of big computation, cyberspace isn’t yet as potent as Neal Stephenson portrayed in Snow Crash and subsequent books, but it’s getting there. A new article in the Wall Street Journal online titled Can World of Warcraft Game Skills Help Land a Job? states that some job seekers are adding gaming skills to their resumes… Continue reading Surprisingly real value from virtual reality

H+ Summit "Rise of the Citizen Scientist" at Harvard

If you can’t make it to Harvard this weekend, June 12-13, you’ll want to catch the live webcast of the H+ Summit: “Rise of the Citizen Scientist”.  No link yet, but presumably they’ll be putting it on the event homepage before it starts.  Also presumably they will post the videos somewhere for longer-term viewing. UPDATE:… Continue reading H+ Summit "Rise of the Citizen Scientist" at Harvard

New sf novel includes nanomedicine, reviewed by Robert Freitas

In the mailbag today: A new fiction book Beyond Guilty by Richard Brawer, who got help on it from Robert Freitas, winner of the 2009 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Theory.  Brawer wrote, “Robert A. Freitas Jr., Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, has graciously edited the references to nanomanufacturing and nanomedicine… Continue reading New sf novel includes nanomedicine, reviewed by Robert Freitas

Alien Invasion

Robin Hanson comments on David Brin’s response to a New Scientist editorial. As Brin notes, many would-be broadcasters come from an academic area where for decades the standard assumption has been that aliens are peaceful zero-population-growth no-nuke greens, since we all know that any other sort quickly destroy themselves.  This seems to me an instructive… Continue reading Alien Invasion


The first time I met Eric Drexler, I complained to him, “You’ve ruined science fiction for me.”  (He replied, “If it’s any consolation, I ruined it for myself.”) The reason, of course, is that understanding nanotech means that the all the classic SF projections become so piddling and simplistic in comparison that any story set… Continue reading Avatar

Climategate, or, how science works

“Science advances, funeral by funeral.” (often attributed to Timothy Ferris) The blogosphere has been abuzz over the past week or so with the release of data — emails and program source and documentation — from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, one of the premier climatology research institutions in the world.… Continue reading Climategate, or, how science works

Reynolds advocates faster nano/AI R&D for safety reasons

In Popular Mechanics, longtime Foresight friend Prof. Glenn Reynolds looks at the future of nanotech and artificial intelligence, among other things looking at safety issues, including one call that potentially dangerous technologies be relinquished.  He takes a counterintuitive stance, which we’ve discussed here at Foresight over the years: But I wonder if that’s such a… Continue reading Reynolds advocates faster nano/AI R&D for safety reasons

Flying Cars: how close are we?

Previous in series: VTOL So, how close are we to flying cars? For specificity, let’s pick a technological bar to hurdle that answers most of the objections to the concept we’ve seen as comments on the previous posts: It should be relatively high-powered compared to current light craft. It should be STOVL for safety and… Continue reading Flying Cars: how close are we?

Feynman’s Path to Nanotech (part 2)

Historical Note It’s appropriate on this July 7 to make at least a reference to the history of ideas that lies behind the Feynman Path. That’s because July 7 is the (102nd) birthday of Robert A Heinlein, the famous SF writer, futurist, and inventor. His invention of interest is the “Waldo F. Jones Synchronous Reduplicating… Continue reading Feynman’s Path to Nanotech (part 2)

Forward to the past

Charlie Stross, the British science fiction writer, recently posted a “21st Century FAQ” on his blog that has aroused some reaction in futurist circles. Let it be noted that I’ve had a few drinks with Charlie, and he is a pleasant, engaging, and very intelligent guy, and writes really excellent science fiction. But I have… Continue reading Forward to the past

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