Edward Willett

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My future city: I dabble in public prognostication

Later this morning I’m expecting a phone call from a reporter at the Regina Leader Post, who wants my science-fiction-writer take on the future of the city, ca. 2035. Of course the city has its own rather boring (well, from an SF writer’s perspective) plan for the futuristic city of Regina, which is full of lots of nice buzzwords like “sustainable” and “accessible,” exactly what you’d expect, but as First World War German Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke the Younger famously said (only, of course, in German), “no plan survives contact with the enemy”—and in this case the “enemy” is rapid ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:25, December 11th, 2012 under Blog |

The top ten transhumanist technologies

Here's an interesting list of the top ten transhumanist technologies.The introduction (in case you've never heard of transhumanism):Transhumanists advocate the improvement of human capacities through advanced technology. Not just technology as in gadgets you get from Best Buy, but technology in the grander sense of strategies for eliminating disease, providing cheap but high-quality products to the world’s poorest, improving quality of life and social interconnectedness, and so on. Technology we don’t notice because it’s blended in with the fabric of the world, but would immediately take note of its absence if it became unavailable. (Ever tried to travel to another country on foot?) Technology needn’t be expensive - indeed, if a technology is truly effective ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:13, July 15th, 2007 under Blog |

What does the future hold?

No one knows. But science fiction writer David Brin does an excellent job of summing up the possibilities in "Singularities and Nightmares: Extremes of Optimism and Pessimism about the Human Future."It's a long read, but well worth it.(Via Instapundit.)

Posted by Edward Willett at 5:28, December 27th, 2006 under Blog |

It’s 2001! Where’s our space odyssey?

Ever since 2001: A Space Odyssey appeared in 1968, 2001 has been one of those years, like 1984, that somehow represented "the future." Well, guess what? 1984 came and went, and now 2001 has arrived--and with it, a spate of news stories comparing the "predictions" in the film with the reality. I think that's a pretty wrong-headed approach, considering the main focus of the story created by writer Arthur C. Clarke and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick isn't on the evolution of technology but the evolution of humanity--which, in the movie, is influenced by mysterious black monoliths left behind by some unknown alien culture. Nevertheless, because the film was set in an identifiable year and made an ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:40, January 9th, 2001 under Blog, Columns, Science Columns |