It’s Going to Be a Colorful Century

Question: What makes you\r\noptimistic about the century ahead?

\r\n\r\n

David Gelernter:\r\nWe’re looking at—in one word maybe I should say, graphics. \r\n Not only computer graphics or\r\nanimation, but the enormously increased scope for pictures; for showing\r\npictures, for seeing pictures, for seeing things.  Seeing\r\n is a source of wisdom and pleasure in a lot of\r\nways.  Mankind really has no\r\nvocabulary to discuss color because if you look at art history, until \r\ntwo\r\ngenerations ago, nobody knew what paintings looked like, they could be\r\nreproduced in black and white going back to the 19th century, before \r\nthen they\r\ncouldn’t be reproduced in any way at all, but until, say the 1930’s, \r\n‘40’s,\r\n‘50’s in the 20th century, there was no way to, you could say Titian is a\r\n great\r\ncolorist, or Velazquez has extraordinary subtle browns, or the reason \r\nthe 13th\r\ncentury glass at Chartres is unique is because of the blue.  The special blue.  But you could\r\n see it.  You had to travel to France or to you\r\nknow, Venice to see—wherever.  And\r\nnot only that, once you were there, unless you stayed, you’re not going \r\nto stay\r\nplanted in front of a picture in a museum and nor are you going to camp \r\nout in\r\na cathedral.  But computers have\r\nnot only made printing—has not only made displaying on their screens, \r\nbut they\r\nmade printing on paper—color printing—vastly better and inexpensive.

\r\n\r\n

The possibility that we have now of seeing what \r\nmankind has\r\ndone, the art that has been done, the cities that have been built, the\r\nlandscapes that have drawn on people is a tremendously exciting—and to \r\nsee each\r\nother, because ultimately that is what people want to see most of all is\r\n other\r\npeople.  That’s exciting.  It\r\n opens up a new world that mankind\r\nhas longed for ever since he’s seen... "Colors are good, and I want to \r\nmake my world\r\ncolorful, and I want to see my fellow human beings and I want to build \r\nthings\r\nand I want the horizons to be further than what I can see from my front \r\ndoor."

Recorded on April 1, 2010.

What excites the legendary computer scientist about the future? In a word: graphics.

‘Designer baby’ book trilogy explores the moral dilemmas humans may soon create

How would the ability to genetically customize children change society? Sci-fi author Eugene Clark explores the future on our horizon in Volume I of the "Genetic Pressure" series.

Surprising Science
  • A new sci-fi book series called "Genetic Pressure" explores the scientific and moral implications of a world with a burgeoning designer baby industry.
  • It's currently illegal to implant genetically edited human embryos in most nations, but designer babies may someday become widespread.
  • While gene-editing technology could help humans eliminate genetic diseases, some in the scientific community fear it may also usher in a new era of eugenics.
Keep reading Show less

Astrophysicists find unique "hot Jupiter" planet without clouds

A unique exoplanet without clouds or haze was found by astrophysicists from Harvard and Smithsonian.

Credit: M. Weiss/Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
Surprising Science
  • Astronomers from Harvard and Smithsonian find a very rare "hot Jupiter" exoplanet without clouds or haze.
  • Such planets were formed differently from others and offer unique research opportunities.
  • Only one other such exoplanet was found previously.
Keep reading Show less

Lair of giant predator worms from 20 million years ago found

Scientists discover burrows of giant predator worms that lived on the seafloor 20 million years ago.

Credit: Rickard Zerpe / Flickr
Surprising Science
  • Scientists in Taiwan find the lair of giant predator worms that inhabited the seafloor 20 million years ago.
  • The worm is possibly related to the modern bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois).
  • The creatures can reach several meters in length and famously ambush their pray.
Keep reading Show less

The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle may finally be solved

Meteorologists propose a stunning new explanation for the mysterious events in the Bermuda Triangle.

Surprising Science

One of life's great mysteries, the Bermuda Triangle might have finally found an explanation. This strange region, that lies in the North Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been the presumed cause of dozens and dozens of mind-boggling disappearances of ships and planes.

Keep reading Show less

FOSTA-SESTA: Have controversial sex trafficking acts done more harm than good?

The idea behind the law was simple: make it more difficult for online sex traffickers to find victims.

Credit: troyanphoto on Adobe Stock
Politics & Current Affairs
  • SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) and FOSTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) started as two separate bills that were both created with a singular goal: curb online sex trafficking. They were signed into law by former President Trump in 2018.
  • The implementation of this law in America has left an international impact, as websites attempt to protect themselves from liability by closing down the sections of their sites that sex workers use to arrange safe meetings with clientele.
  • While supporters of this bill have framed FOSTA-SESTA as a vital tool that could prevent sex trafficking and allow sex trafficking survivors to sue those websites for facilitating their victimization, many other people are strictly against the bill and hope it will be reversed.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast