California has one of the largest economies in the world. So what would happen if it broke away from the United States? Could California ever go independent? And if it did, what would that look like? This is a future that’s been on my list for a while, but since the election here in the United States it’s taken a bit of a different tone. California voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, 66 percent of the state cast their votes for her. And as most of you probably know, she did not win. And this is one of the big talking points of many California secessionists. The presidential election is almost alway totally decided before California’s polls even close. So why should California continue to be ruled by a government that it basically doesn’t elect? And, they argue, that doesn’t really have their best interests at heart. To help figure out what this future might be like, I talked to: Peter Laufer, a journalist and the author of a book called The Elusive State of Jefferson. Jon Christensen, a professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Department of History at UCLA. He’s also […]
New episodes available at Rose’s new podcast, Flash Forward.
Meanwhile in the Future is a brand new podcast from Gizmodo in which we try to really overthink what the future has in store for us. Every episode will tackle one potential future scenario — everything from a sudden ice age, to the end of antibiotic effectiveness, to a world in which contact sports are banned due to head injury — and try to work out how that future would really go down.
Every year, over 20 million people get on a cruise ship and set sail for a seafaring vacation. Most of those cruises take their vacationers to warm, sunny climates. But thanks to climate change, a new hoard of ships might start sailing North rather than South. This episode of Flash Forward explores a future where the Arctic becomes a tourist destination just like the Bahamas or the Great Barrier Reef. Researchers at UCLA have projected that the Northwest Passage might be totally ice-free by 2050. And that’s something that big commercial cargo ships have been eyeing for a while. But now, cruise ships are getting in on the game. The first big cruise ship to make the full Northwest Passage trip was the Crystal Serenity. Here’s the route the ship took. And here’s a promotional video for the cruise: This week we talk to a few people who have seen the impacts of this new tourism boom. Arielle Duhaime-Ross is a climate and environment correspondent for HBO’s VICE News Tonight. Arielle went up to Pond Inlet to see the Crystal Serenity, and talk to the people in Pond Inlet about what it’s like to suddenly be flooded with visitors in puffy coats. Here’s […]
Today’s episode is about a future where nobody works on farms anymore, all farming is done by robots. Is it possible? Probably not. But it might be closer than you think. Today’s episode features: Curtiz Marez, a professor at UC San Diego and the author of Farm Worker Futurism: Speculative Technologies of Resistance which is the book that inspired this episode. Sarah Mock, a former Wyoming farm kid turned farm researcher with the Farmers Business Network. JJ Price, the global marketing manager at Spread, a lettuce factory in Japan. My grandma. She doesn’t have a website. We start this episode with some history, going back to the 1934 World Fair which featured the Farm Machinery Hall, full all kinds of machines: harvesters, threshers, cultivators ,corn pickers, mowers, tractors and mechanical cotton harvesters. There was even a milking machine on display, set up to milk an animatronic cow that could moo, switch its tail, turn its head, wink, chew cud and breathe. The cow was even rigged up with an internal set of tubes to make milk come out from the milker. It’s easy to look at some of these future predictions from the 1930’s and laugh, but Professor Marez says […]
This week we travel to a future where there is so much fake news that nobody can tell what is real anymore. Are we already there? What happens next? This week’s guests include: Amy Webb — Founder of the Future Today Institute, and author of The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream. Amy explains that we’ve been here before, how technology is accelerating the pace of fake news, and what keeps her up at night. Brooke Borel — a science journalist and the author of The Chicago Guide to Fact Checking. Brooke explains what we reporters can learn from science reporters, who’ve dealt with fake news for a while now, and how we can all be better fact checkers. Enrique Armijo — an associate professor of law at Elon University where he focuses on the media and first amendment issues. He describes his trip to Rwanda, where they tried to crack down on dangerous journalism after the media aided in a genocide. Some reading from the episode: This Analysis Shows How Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News On Facebook Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’ Washington gunman motivated by fake news […]
Hello! And welcome to SEASON THREE of Flash Forward! I know I’ve been away for a bit, but I’m really excited for this season, I have some really fun futures planned for you. And some scary ones. But also fun ones! I promise, it’s a good mix. This episode we’re talking birth control: what happens when everybody has 100% control over when they do or don’t have babies? To find out I called up a bunch of people who know all about the past, present and future of baby making. Aaron Hamlin explains why male birth control has been so elusive. Haylin Belay explains what is keeping women from gaining access to birth control today. Alexis Madrigal talks about a future in which conception is perfected in the lab. And Elaine Tyler May talks about what we can learn about this future from the history of the birth control pill in America. Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. Special thanks to Brent Rose. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. If you want to suggest a future […]