Last month Ryan O’Shea – host of the Future Grind Podcast, did what is probably the most thorough interview with me so far. I thought it might be good to repost it on Singularity.FM so that you can listen to me being interviewed for a change while also getting exposed to another fantastic futurist podcast that I recommend highly.
Hope you enjoy it but, either way, do let me know. 😉
In a profound talk about technology and power, author and historian Yuval Harari explains the important difference between fascism and nationalism — and what the consolidation of our data means for the future of democracy. Appearing as a hologram live from Tel Aviv, Harari warns that the greatest danger that now faces liberal democracy is that the revolution in information technology will make dictatorships more efficient and capable of control. “The enemies of liberal democracy hack our feelings of fear and hate and vanity, and then use these feelings to polarize and destroy,” Yuval Harari says. “It is the responsibility of all of us to get to know our weaknesses and make sure they don’t become weapons.” (Followed by a brief conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson) Related Articles Yuval Harari at the World Economic Forum: Will the Future [...]
Jonathan Taplin is the Director Emeritus of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, and a former tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, as well as a film producer for Martin Scorsese. If that is not enough to make him a worthy guest of Singularity.FM then let me add that Jonathan is a visionary entrepreneur who started the very first streaming VOD startup called Intertainer way back in 1996. Finally, Taplin is the author of a timely book titled Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornernerd Culture and Undermined Democracy. In my view Move Fast and Break Things is a must read and we all should not only discuss but also take political action on the issues described by Jonathan. [At least to the extent that we want to have a sustainable and working democracy.] During our [...]
Joi Ito is just one of those people who simply don’t fit a mold. Any mold. He is an entrepreneur who is an activist. He is an academic without a degree. He is a leader who follows. He is a teacher who listens. And an interlocutor who wants you to disagree with him. Overall, I hate to say it but I must put forward my own biases by admitting that this was probably the most fun interview I have ever done. Ever. So, either I let all my personal biases run free on this one or it was truly a gem of an interview. You be the judge as per which one it was and please don’t hesitate to let me know. During our 90 min conversation with Joi Ito we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: being an entrepreneurial activist; [...]
It was all the way back in 2013 when Sean Gourley published a blog post titled Prediction just is a parlor trick. Manipulation is much more interesting. In it he wrote: “The 2012 election will ultimately go down as the ‘prediction’ election (aka the Nate Silver election), 2016 may well be the first ‘persuasion’ election. An election where models accurately predict the likely outcomes of different strategic decisions for both parties in real-time. Where instead of trying to predict which voters will likely respond favorably to your existing message, you instead find voters that don’t like what you are saying and use targeted algorithms to create custom narratives that will change their voting preferences. But of course one side will only have this technology for so long — eventually, both sides will have this technology and we move into the world [...]
Transhumanism is a growing social and philosophical movement with more and more people becoming aware of and sympathetic to it. In fact, in the last couple of years, transhumanism has gone political with new transhumanist parties emerging in the UK and the United States. And, since I have already argued that technology is the future of politics [and vice versa], I thought it is about time to bring Gennady Stolyarov II, who is the current chairman of the US Transhumanist party, to be a guest on Singularity.FM. During our 3-hour conversation with Gennady Stolyarov II we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: the quest for permanence as his guiding principle; growing a beard and why Death is Wrong; human and transhuman; the US Transhumanist Party – history, goals and membership; AI-ism, alien-ism and transhumanism; intelligence and morality; Trump, Putin and human [...]
Facebook’s original motto was to “move fast and break things.” And it has done both of those remarkably well: it has moved fast to reach more than 2 billion people; and, it has also broken major things such as democracy – be it in the case of Brexit or Trump or others. Furthermore, Facebook’s longest standing executive Chamath Palihapitiya has said that social media, in general, and Facebook, in particular, is ripping apart the fabric of how society works… Gone are the days when Facebook was pure magic. Today, it is increasingly manic and monstrous.
PJ Manney is an award-winning science fiction writer interested in transhumanism, empathy, story-telling and the future of humanity. Her latest book (ID)entity is a can’t-put-it-down action-packed mind-uploading/downloading world-crashing the-Empire-Strikes-Back of a masterpiece. The book depicts vividly the dangers of monetizing and weaponizing narrative, which is what companies such as Cambridge Analytica do. And so I thought it would be appropriate to bring Manney back on Singularity.FM to discuss (ID)entity as well as the role of science fiction with respect to contemporary events. During our 90 min conversation with PJ Manney we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: science fiction, futurism and homo narrative; her Phoenix Horizon trilogy in general and book II – (ID)entity, in particular; DRM and why Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free; Cambridge Analytica and the weaponization of narrative; blockchain, history and cliodynamics; choice and free will; transhumanism and politics. [...]
“There’s no escape: the journey to a healthier society inevitably involves politics.” This is how well-known futurist David Wood starts his most recent book Transcending Politics: A Technoprogressive Roadmap to a Comprehensively Better Future. And so I thought I’d bring him back on Singularity.FM to share with us how exactly is it he suggests that we transcend politics. During our 2 hours 15 min conversation with David Wood we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: why politics is the future of technology; why technology is not enough; why intelligence is not enough; the thesis of Transcending Politics; humanism, transhumanism and transpolitics; techno-libertarian and techno-progressive transhumanism; smart politics and lean regulation; H+pedia as a shared transhumanist knowledge base; the scientific method and other pillars for transcending politics; human nature and eugenics; AI and technological unemployment; bitcoin and blockchain; humanity’s grand challenges and global [...]
People often ask me what is the best interview I have ever done. By now, my usual reply is that this is like asking a parent who is their favorite child. Even if most have their preferences, it is very unwise to verbalize an answer, let alone publicly, because the resulting negative impact may last a lifetime. But, despite the risks, I am willing to say that my interview with Jeremy Rifkin is definitely among the best ones I have ever done. Rifkin is an economic and social theorist and the author of over twenty books including The Zero Marginal Cost Society, The Third Industrial Revolution and The Empathic Civilization. He is an advisor to the European Union and China as well as the principal architect of their plans for the third industrial revolution. The Third Industrial Revolution is a comprehensive new economic vision for [...]