Evgeny Morozov (previously
) calls bullshit
on the "increasingly" "simplistic" "anxiety-peddling futurology" surrounding the TED conference in generally and especially the new TED book Hybrid Reality
by Ayesha & Parag Khanna. [more inside]
In Praise of Leisure
- "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren
.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via
) [more inside]
In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep"
and the success of sophomore record The Bends
, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead
were under pressure to deliver once more.
So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor
and got to work.
What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity
-- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology
-- through a mosaic of challenging
, eerily beautiful
music unlike anything else at the time.
Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes
, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments
, the band finally settled on OK Computer
, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed
harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review
for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy
for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown
. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
A spherical flying robot has been developed at the Japanese Ministry of Self-Defense; it can zoom along indoors and outdoors at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, or just hover. Menacingly.
Science Fiction In The News
is a subsection of science-fiction site Technovelgy
, which tracks both the predictions of future tech made in science fiction past and present
and its manifestations in real life.
What tech, you ask? Well, if it’s appeared in your nightmares, it’s probably been on this page: [more inside]
The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World
(titles on piano
) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future
and the future of home gardening
and crushing ennui
). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors
, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers
, New Banking
, Nellie The School Computer
, The Elliot Light Pen
, Mobile Phones
, and Moog Synthesizers.
The First Decade of the Future is Behind Us:
Blackberries, WikiLeaks, airport scanners, 3D televisions, robot vaccum cleaners, Microsoft Kinnect, private spaceflight and Facebook all look like sci-fi novel elements to Kyle Munkittrick. [more inside]
the Shimizu Corporation presents a set of "proposals for the benefit of up-coming generations." [via Pink Tentacle
"I began to realize that "robots"-- in all their various forms-- can really be seen as a symbol of a larger relationship between people and technology." In 1988, Frederick Schodt
wrote about the Japanese fascination and use of robots in his book Inside the Robot Kingdom
, curious by the disparities between American and Japanese manufacturing processes . In 1988, the American public wasn't ready for the book, or for robots.
Today, Japan still has embraced robotic automation
in a way that arguably no other country has. For more similar topics, Mangobot
is a column that reports on Asian futurism.
A Vision of a (possible) future
of the blogo-news-web-sphere. Or something.