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cognition
How it evolved, what we do with it, futures; And otherwise interesting trends
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HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects | cognition | Scoop.it
FastTFriend's insight:

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! is an anthology of science fiction/fantasy stories told in the form of fictional crowdfunding pitches, using the components (and restrictions) of the format to tell the story. This includes but is not limited to: Project Goals, Rewards, User Comments, Project Updates, FAQs, and more. The idea is to replicate the feel of reading a crowdfunding pitch, so that even though the projects may be preposterous in the real world, they will feel like authentic crowdfunding projects as much as possible.

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The Big Idea: Jeff VanderMeer | Whatever

The Big Idea: Jeff VanderMeer | Whatever | cognition | Scoop.it

Real life is always happy to support absurdity about the seemingly objective—take the recent discovery that mice fear the smell of male researchers more than female researchers, with possible ramifications for decades of studies.

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Interview with SFWA Grand Master Ursula K. Le Guin - Amazing Stories

Interview with SFWA Grand Master Ursula K. Le Guin - Amazing Stories | cognition | Scoop.it
R. K. Troughton interviews Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Grand Master Ursula K. Le Guin.
FastTFriend's insight:

ASM: Science fiction started as a genre of hard science. You started publishing during a transitional phase for the industry, when many authors were exploring a broader spectrum of ideas. You focused more on sciences like anthropology, psychology, and sociology rather than chemistry, astronomy, and physics. While realism explores some of the subject matters you were writing about, you created fantastic elements to serve as your tapestry. What makes speculative fiction the perfect canvas for your imagination?

UKL:  I didn’t just arrive during a transition—I was one of the writers who started it. We moved SF away from being fixated on the “hard” sciences, but that’s only part of it. SF was a white-male-dominated field of adventure stories of an intellectual or imaginative kind, sometimes brilliantly conceived, often badly written. We raised the standards and made it into the complex, inclusive, prejudice-challenging, ever-changing kind of literature it is at its best today.

I can’t tell you why most of my fiction is imaginative rather than realistic; it’s just the way my mind works. Physics tell us us how the universe works, and that’s grand, but also we’re human, and the the social sciences are a goldmine of ideas for any writer interested in how being human works.

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Real humans returns

Real humans returns | cognition | Scoop.it
The first season of the drama series Real Humans garnered a broad and enthusiastic audience when it aired in spring 2012.
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They return, it is yet unclear though if they have a plan.

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INTERVIEW WITH ISAAC ASIMOV

1975 ARC Identifier 54491 / Local Identifier 306.9415. 

FastTFriend's insight:

BOURGIN INTERVIEWS ISAAC ASIMOV, BIOCHEMIST AND SCIENCE FICTION WRITER. MR. ASIMOV MAY BE THE MOST WIDELY READ OF ALL SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS, HAVING WRITTEN 155 BOOKS AND HUNDREDS OF MAGAZINE ARTICLES AND SHORT STORIES. A CLIP OF "FANTASTIC VOYAGE," BASED ON HIS BOOK, IS INSERTED IN THE PROGRAM. VIEWERS WILL FIND THIS INTERVIEW PROVOCATIVE IN REGARD TO WHAT MR. ASIMOV HAS TO SAY ABOUT WRITING AND THE FUTURE OF THIS EARTH

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Isaac Asimov on Bill Moyers World of Ideas pt 1

1988 Interview with Isaac Asimov by Bill Moyers - about learning, computers, religion, population growth, the universe..
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FastTFriend's comment, November 10, 2012 6:08 AM
Asimov on the future of having access to knowledge from one's home computer.
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15 Cyberpunk Short Films That Will Rock Your World

15 Cyberpunk Short Films That Will Rock Your World | cognition | Scoop.it
Cyberpunk art by 0800 at deviantart
Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction set in a near-future, and they feature advance science and technology. If you've seen popular movies like...

Via Jean-Philippe BOCQUENET
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Ann VanderMeer’s April Time Traveler’s Almanac Tour

Ann VanderMeer’s April Time Traveler’s Almanac Tour | cognition | Scoop.it
Hugo Award and World Fantasy Award winning editor Ann VanderMeer will be touring in support of her MASSIVE thousand-page time travel anthology, just featured on NPR with a review and interview on All Things Considered!
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Book Review: As She Climbed Across the Table by Jonathan Lethem

Gives new meaning to the term work romance.
FastTFriend's insight:

Lack, Alice and Philip are the main characters in Jonathan Lethem’s As She Climbed Across the Table, published in 1997. It’s a science fiction novel that pokes fun at academic faculty, research and campus life. The story takes place at a fictional campus, the University of North California. Alice is a physicist and Philip is a cultural anthropologist studying academic life.

Lack is a void, a nothingness, a black hole created in the physics building. Lack has no personality. It’s an object until faculty members romanticize it, and give it a personality. Could it be Lethem is trying to say personalities are created by the perceptions of those around us, rather than from within?

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Iain M. Banks on the 25th Anniversary of the Culture | Orbit Books

Iain M. Banks on the 25th Anniversary of the Culture | Orbit Books | cognition | Scoop.it

An interview with Iain M. Banks about THE HYDROGEN SONATA and the 25th Anniversary of the Culture series.

FastTFriend's insight:

The Culture is the ultimate utopia: an egalitarian, post-scarcity society, whose citizens want for nothing and do not fear illness or disease, instead being free to live lives of apparent luxury. Yet what power exists in the Culture is firmly in the hands of the Minds, which are artificial intelligences. To what extent are you suggesting that humankind could not achieve a utopia like that of the Culture without ceding control to machines? Is human nature too destructive and corruptible to ever achieve such a utopia otherwise?

In a sense I’m trying to pre-empt objections to the very idea of the Culture.  Suggesting that beings much like us can achieve a functioning utopia as though it’s part of our plausible, easily-envisaged future, our expected and plausible destiny, always seemed a bit wishy-washy to me; too much like just wish-fulfilment.  Arguably we express as too inherently nasty, too prone to become violent, too prone to xenophobia and too easily en-mired in our noxious mythologies of false comfort and dubious exceptionalism for this to make sense (narrative, psychological or philosophical).  Taking away the excuse that we need to be mean and selfish to others because, heck, there just ain’t enough of everything to go around… well, that’s one step, but I suspect that while it might be necessary to achieve a hi-tech utopia, it’s not sufficient.  The Minds – the Culture’s high-level AIs – are the other part of the equation.  The humans create them and enough of these god-like entities stick around to save us from ourselves.  The children create the adults, and behave better as a result.  I submit this is no more likely to be wrong than the idea that as soon as we create an AI it’ll try to exterminate us is right – that’s the us in it talking, if I can put it that way; that’s our guilty conscience articulating.  The final get-out is that in the end the mongrel Culture, though suspiciously human-like in so many ways, isn’t us, so they might just be naturally nicer than we’d ever be in the same situation.  Cos that’s evolution, that is.

Anyway, one of the side-tracks of the Culture I’m thinking about exploring at some point is one of the parts of it where Minds don’t get involved, and people run everything themselves; they’d have computers, I guess, but no Minds.  Smart help without any of that concomitant but deeply annoying wisdom.  I am not yet sure how this will go.

The tricky thing about claiming we’ll ever create a utopian society is that our record up to this point is so lamentable:  you can create something as close to utopia as technologically possible at any point in your development once you have a reliable surplus of food and goods; it’s not about having rocket-belts, floating cities or even smart-alec drones, it’s about having the shared urge, resolve and will to behave decently, altruistically and non-xenophobically towards your fellow human beings, whether your latest invention was the wheel, moveable type or an FTL drive.  And in that respect – I humbly submit – we’ve been heading backwards quite rapidly over the last thirty years or so.  It would be pleasant to believe that we’re starting to pull up and out of our nose-dive into the morass of Greedism and Marketolatry that has characterised our civilisation for the last three decades, but frankly it’s still too early to tell yet.

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The Long Earth: Multiverse Physics

The Long Earth: Multiverse Physics | cognition | Scoop.it
Philosopher of physics David Wallace guides us the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and the mind-bending claims it makes about our reality.
FastTFriend's insight:

The Science and the Science fiction.

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