5 Reasons for Technological Optimism
Jason Gots is a New York-based writer, editor, and podcast producer. For Big Think, he writes (and sometimes illustrates) the blog "Overthinking Everything with Jason Gots" and is the creator and host of the "Think Again" podcast. In previous lives, Jason worked at Random House Children's Books, taught reading and writing to middle schoolers and community college students, co-founded a theatre company (Rorschach, in Washington, D.C.), and wrote roughly two dozen picture books for kids learning English in Seoul, South Korea. He is also the proud father of an incredibly talkative and crafty little kid.
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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Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.
- Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
- 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
- On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.
- Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
- Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
- Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
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