Future Tense

Future Tense is a collaboration among ASU, Slate magazine and the New America Foundation that explores how emerging technologies affect policy and society.

  • An Illuminated Manuscript About Space Exploration, Science Fiction, and Physics

    You just don’t see many illuminated manuscripts these days. There’s a good reason why: They take a long time to make.

    I learned this recently when I set out to commission a thoroughly modern illuminated manuscript: not a religious text, but an interview with theoretical physicist and cosmologist Paul Davies, a professor at Arizona State University and the author of books like How to Build a Time Machine.

    An Illuminated Manuscript About Space Exploration, Science Fiction, and Physics

    By Joey Eschrich

    You just don’t see many illuminated manuscripts these days. There’s a good reason why: They take a long time to make.

    I learned this recently when I set out to commission a thoroughly modern illuminated manuscript: not a religious text, but an interview with theoretical physicist and cosmologist Paul Davies, a professor at Arizona State University and the author of books like How to Build a Time Machine. In the interview, Davies discusses the feedback loop between science-fiction storytelling and real-world innovation and discovery; lauds science fiction as an important vehicle for social and political commentary; ponders why our visions of the future are so often mired in gloomy dystopian thinking; and shares his insights on the art of communicating cutting-edge scientific concepts to the public.

    Read the full article at Future Tense…

  • Welcome to the Indie Web Movement

    Suppose you could write in your personal blog and have a summary of your post show up on popular social-media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook—and then have responses on those sites show up as comments in your blog? You can, and if some talented programmers have their way you’ll soon be able to do so easily. In fact, it’s what I’m doing right now with this post, at least with the version that’s also appearing on my personal blog.

    Why would you or I want to do this? Simple: We’re in danger of losing what’s made the Internet …read more

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    Welcome to the Indie Web Movement

    By Dan Gillmor

    Suppose you could write in your personal blog and have a summary of your post show up on popular social-media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook—and then have responses on those sites show up as comments in your blog? You can, and if some talented programmers have their way you’ll soon be able to do so easily. In fact, it’s what I’m doing right now with this post, at least with the version that’s also appearing on my personal blog.

    Why would you or I want to do this? Simple: We’re in danger of losing what’s made the Internet …read more

    Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/04/25/indiewebcamps_create_tools_for_a_new_internet.html

  • An Aerialist, Two Clowns, and a Robot Walk Into a Carnival …

    In his 1984 film The Terminator and its sequels, James Cameron imagines a dystopic future in which armies of intelligent robots move with startling suddenness from positions of servility to utter and violent dominance, destroying civilization and driving humankind to the brink of extinction.

    This, of course, is pure science fiction. There’s little reason to believe things will unfold that way. First, they would take all our jobs and wreck our economy.

    This is the nightmare narrative of our future with robots and artificial intelligence. The utopian version of this tale—one accepted by many powerful people in industry and government—involves a …read more

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    An Aerialist, Two Clowns, and a Robot Walk Into a Carnival …

    By Lance Gharavi

    In his 1984 film The Terminator and its sequels, James Cameron imagines a dystopic future in which armies of intelligent robots move with startling suddenness from positions of servility to utter and violent dominance, destroying civilization and driving humankind to the brink of extinction.

    This, of course, is pure science fiction. There’s little reason to believe things will unfold that way. First, they would take all our jobs and wreck our economy.

    This is the nightmare narrative of our future with robots and artificial intelligence. The utopian version of this tale—one accepted by many powerful people in industry and government—involves a …read more

    Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/03/25/emerge_2014_an_aerialist_two_clowns_and_a_robot_walk_into_a_carnival.html

  • Confess Your Digital Sins

    Confess Your Digital Sins

    A voice cries out in the desert:

    “Know thyself, not thy selfies!”

    “Digital media will not save you!”

    “The zero is not whole and the one is not The One!”

    Technically, we’re not in the desert—we’re in a dusty parking lot in downtown Phoenix. And the voice is not coming from the Prophet Isaiah, but from professor Ron Broglio, whom I’ve ordained as a Minister of the Digital Tabernacle. As people wander into the massive circus tent at Arizona State University’s Emerge: Carnival of the Future, they are greeted by a pair of shifty evangelists preaching the analog Word. (Disclosure: …read more

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    Confess Your Digital Sins

    By Marcel O’Gorman

    A voice cries out in the desert:

    “Know thyself, not thy selfies!”

    “Digital media will not save you!”

    “The zero is not whole and the one is not The One!”

    Technically, we’re not in the desert—we’re in a dusty parking lot in downtown Phoenix. And the voice is not coming from the Prophet Isaiah, but from professor Ron Broglio, whom I’ve ordained as a Minister of the Digital Tabernacle. As people wander into the massive circus tent at Arizona State University’s Emerge: Carnival of the Future, they are greeted by a pair of shifty evangelists preaching the analog Word. (Disclosure: …read more

    Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/03/20/confess_your_smartphone_sins_at_the_digital_tabernacle.html

  • How to Make Music With Drones

    How to Make Music With Drones

    The good thing about performing music with drones is that they always show up for rehearsal on time. The bad thing is that they might suddenly drop out of the air and onto your head.

    I learned all this while putting together a piece called “Drone Confidential” for Arizona State University’s Emerge, a “Carnival of the Future” that was held in Phoenix recently. Emerge is an annual circus of cool new technologies in performance, dedicated to showing how artists and machines can work together to create something awesome.

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    How to Make Music With Drones

    By David Rothenberg

    The good thing about performing music with drones is that they always show up for rehearsal on time. The bad thing is that they might suddenly drop out of the air and onto your head.

    I learned all this while putting together a piece called “Drone Confidential” for Arizona State University’s Emerge, a “Carnival of the Future” that was held in Phoenix recently. Emerge is an annual circus of cool new technologies in performance, dedicated to showing how artists and machines can work together to create something awesome. (Disclosure: ASU is a partner with Slate and the New America Foundation …read more

    Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/03/19/how_to_make_music_with_drones.html