5 Reasons for Technological Optimism
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who ought to know, says that the future won't be anything like The Terminator. "I live in the real world, and in the real world that’s simply not the robots we’re making and even if we did, they would just be really good computers of things and they’d give me access to information."
Still, the proliferation of technology inspires awe in some, fear in others. Jaron Lanier, an early internet and virtual reality pioneer, musician, and something of a shaman for the computer age says it all comes down to the human element. Machines aren't supposed to replace human life, he says, they're supposed to improve it. As long as we can keep that in mind, we'll be in good shape.
As Big Think and Bing wind up our Humanizing Technology series, which culminated this past weekend in the extraordinary For Humankind event in New York City, we bring you an inspiring mosaic of five thinkers on our future relationship with technology. How it turns out, they all agree, is entirely up to us.
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China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.
In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.
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