“Access to My Entire Information Life”
Question: What will be the next big technological innovation?
David Gelernter: Software unification. So that I no longer care what computing device I pick up, whether it’s a laptop or desktop, whether it’s one I own or one in a public place, whether it has a small screen or a large screen. I sit down, I identify myself, I tune in my information world, I get it the same way on a no-screen computer in a car. Uniform access across platforms, computers, telephones, to my entire information life. It’s easy to achieve in hardware; there are hard software issues, but they should have been solved 15 years ago.
Question: If you had to invest in digital media, which companies would you invest in?
David Gelernter: Which is so long from the other side of the fence. If I were to invest in a new company? I would invest in some of the companies that were working on so-called digital furnaces. In five years, everybody throws out all the CD’s and DVD’s. There are larger MP3 players, home stereo systems, and TV systems are integrated and this is a multi-billion dollar transition. As things stand, it will be Sony and Google, Toshiba and very large companies doing it, and they won’t do it badly, but they won’t do it well. I would invest in one of the small companies that have imaginative instead of recycled ideas as to how to make that transition.
Obstacles to software unification should have been surmounted already. When they are, David Gelernter will be a happy man.
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It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.
- Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
- The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
- Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.
- Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
- Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
- Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
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