This episode we travel to a future where you can choose to turn off your ability to deceive yourself. Are you now a perfectly clear eyed genius? Or a perpetually depressed misanthrope? Maybe both? This episode was suggested by my mom. It begins with two tales of self deception, one from Jacquelyn Gill, an assistant professor of paleo-ecology at the University of Maine and the host of a podcast about climate change called Warm Regards, and the other from Beth Duckles, a writer, researcher, ethnographer and social scientist. Then we talk to Zoë Chance, an assistant professor of marketing at the Yale School of Management and an expert on self-deception. After that, we go to therapy, and Chamin Ajjan, a clinical psychotherapist and author of Seeking Soulmate: Ditch the Dating Game and Find Real Connection explains what she does when she sees a case of self-deception in her office. And finally, Erik Vance, science journalist and author of Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain’s Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal helps us understand what might really happen if we could truly turn off this ability to deceive ourselves. Further reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Self Deception The Elements […]
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.
This episode we take on a future full of bioprinted replacement organs. You asked for more hopeful futures, this is about as hopeful as they get! We start by hearing a bit about what the current organ donation market is like from Christine Gentry, who donated a kidney to a stranger. Then we talk to Dr. Anthony Atala, the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and of the world’s leading regenerative medicine specialists. Dr. Atala has implanted hundreds of organs grown from the cells of patients themselves. Then Kelly and Zach Weinersmith join us to talk about what they learned while writing a chapter about bioprinting for their new book Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything. And finally, we get an impassioned indictment of 3D printing file formats from Meghan McCarthy, Project Lead for the NIH 3D Print Exchange. Further reading: Organ Donation Statistics Neural and cognitive characteristics of extraordinary altruists Boston woman’s donation creates 3rd-longest kidney transplant chain, saving 28 people The Doctor and the Salamander How An Economist Helped Patients Find The Right Kidney Donors TED Talk: Printing a Human Kidney Rebuilding the Breast Soonish: Zach and Kelly Weinersmith on 10 technologies […]
In this episode we travel to a world without bees. And not just honey bees, all bees. You’ve probably heard a lot of doom and gloom predictions about what might happen if honey bees went extinct. Mass famine! The end of coffee! World economic collapse! But is that all true? (Probably not.) And how likely is a honeybee extinction anyway? (Extremely unlikely.) Plus, what about all the other bees in the world? We ponder these questions and more in this episode. To walk us through what might happen to agriculture if bees went away, I talked to Marcelo A. Aizen, a researcher who studies plant pollinator interactions. His research suggests that the loss of honeybees might not be as dire as everybody claims. And to talk about the more neglected bees out there, I called up Elaine Evans, a professor at the University of MInnesota’s Bee Lab, and Paige Embry, the author of the forthcoming book Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them. Plus, a little bonus “what if” at the end, featuring cartoonist Dean Yeagle, the man who drew the original Honey Nut Cheerios bee. Further reading: How much does agriculture depend on […]
This episode we go to a future with pirates! There always has to be at least one pirate episode per season. This time it’s pharmaceutical pirates. This episode was inspired by a new book by Annalee Newitz called Autonomous. It’s very good and you should read it. I am not being paid to say that, I just really like the book. Autonomous tells the story of two main characters: Jack the pharmaceutical pirate, and Palladin the bot that is trying to hunt her down. A few cool links related to Autonomous: How to Write a Novel Set More Than 125 Years in the Future Robots need civil rights, too Sword and Laser podcast #306 – Indentured Robotude w/ Annalee Newitz Pirates and Robots Square Off Over Drugs in Annalee Newitz’s Debut Novel In A Future Ruled By Big Pharma, A Robot Tentatively Explores Freedom — And Sex: ‘Autonomous’ For our episode, we focused on the pharmaceutical piracy part of the book. And to talk to us about the nitty gritty of how pharmaceuticals are made, and how they’re protected by patents, I talked to Jason Kahana, the founder and president of a small biotech company called Integrity Biosolutions, and Charles […]
This month’s episode is about what it would take to sterilize the Earth, and why you might want to figure that out in the first place. First we talk to the authors of a paper that tries to figure out this exact question. David Sloan and Rafael Alves Batista are the authors of a paper called “The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events” (along with Avi Loeb). No, they’re not evil scientists, just interested in what it might take to find life on other planets. They explain their calculations, and how we mostly don’t have anything to worry about. Plus, cool facts about tardigrades! Then we talk to science-fiction author N.K. Jemisin who is the author of The Broken Earth trilogy. Which is very good! She explains her thinking behind the books, why the Earth is out to get her characters, and how humans banding together to survive is more interesting to her than the lone ranger making it on his own. Further reading: What Would It Take to Completely Sterilize the Earth? The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events Did a gamma-ray burst initiate the late Ordovician mass extinction? NASA: Gamma-ray Bursts Flash Forward: The Supernova Next Door ‘The […]