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"If you’re not getting it wrong really a lot when you’re creating imaginary futures, then you’re just not doing it enough."

Wired talks to William Gibson: on Why Sci-Fi Writers Are (Thankfully) Almost Always Wrong, on Twitter, Antique Watches and Internet Obsessions, and and on Punk Rock, Internet Memes, and ‘Gangnam Style’.
posted by Artw on Sep 15, 2012 - 55 comments

Legality and Ethics in downloading e-books

On the ethics of illegally downloading e-books; a Teleread essay full of interesting links about these modern e-reading times. Inspired in part by this New York Times Ethicist column, and brought to my attention by this ask.metafilter question.
posted by Greg Nog on Apr 7, 2010 - 159 comments

50 books that are RAND

50 Books for Thinking About the Future Human Condition, a list by the RAND corporation.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 26, 2006 - 25 comments

The concept of the Transhuman: human, the self, consciousness and their effects on the law

The first Transhuman Conference On the Law of Transhuman Persons: Whether or not you believe humans are set to evolve into gods, or AI is destined to achieve self-awareness the idea of the Transhuman is a thought provoking concept. Philosophers have debated the nature of the self, of the human for millennia. Is it time to start drafting new laws to govern all possible sentient beings on this planet? or is it all just a science of fiction? a comfortable humanist illusion?
posted by 0bvious on Dec 13, 2005 - 37 comments

Olaf Stapledon: The Star Maker

Olaf Stapledon was a man ahead of his time. His epic 'novel' Star Maker (1937) considered the emergence of genetic engineering, the outcome of the many worlds interpretation and delved deeper than any book before or since into the consequences of evolution on the cosmos. His fans have included the likes of Arthur C Clarke, Jorge Luis Borges and Virginia Woolf. Even his greatest detractor, C.S.Lewis, wrote an entire Cosmic Trilogy in response to his imaginings. Yet despite Stapledon's magnetic prose and extraordinary influence on speculative fiction his name remains largely forgotten by the world. Yet his words still resonate with insight: "Did not our life issue daily as more or less firm threads of active living, and mesh itself into the growing web, the intricate, ever-proliferating pattern of mankind?"
posted by 0bvious on Nov 27, 2005 - 24 comments

Parallel universes

Parallel universes Alternate universes may exist besides our own in some ghostly manner. Various science-fiction series explore parallel universes, but what do serious physicists think? Hugh Everett III's doctoral thesis outlines a controversial theory in which the universe at every instant branches into countless parallel worlds. Physicist Andrei Linde's theory of self-reproducing universes implies that new universes are being created all the time through a budding process. Stephen Hawking's quantum cosmology also suggests the possibility of other universes connected by wormholes. Some scientists feel that the famous photon double slit experiments proves the existence of parallel universes in which a photon from one universe interacts with a photon from another. Black hole theory suggests that black holes may be portals to parallel universes.
    Science-fiction stories about parallel universes always delight the mind. Two of my favorite SF novels on parallel universes are Heinlein's Job and Number of the Beast. Several others intrigue me, such as The Neoreality Series, Diaspora, and Parallelities. Science books on the subject include a famous book by David Deutsch.
    Do you have any favorite books on parallel universes or parallel realities, fiction or nonfiction? What do you think? No doubt, scientists and science-fiction authors will continue to explore the concept in the decades to come.
posted by Morphic on Oct 21, 2002 - 64 comments

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