Ariadne

Growing “naughty bits” in the lab

Robert Hickson Oct 08, 2014

Biology has truly started conjugating with engineering now. All sorts of food and body parts are now being generated in the lab. While genetically modified crops and farm animals make the headlines, and raise concerns about environmental impacts, food safety, and ethics, there is a quieter synthetic biology revolution going on in labs. Synthetic biology is being used … Read More

Generationalisation

Robert Hickson Sep 28, 2014

An article in the Weekly Standard makes a good point about the vacuousness of some “generational analyses”. It’s hard to generalise about a diverse set of people based on when they were born, although that doesn’t stop many from reading their horoscopes every day. And as the Weekly Standard as well as others note, different studies of … Read More

Unthinking machines

Robert Hickson Sep 16, 2014

It’s interesting how “Watson”, the computing system from IBM, is gathering a persona around itself (or rather one is being woven for it). “Watson”, which garnered fame several years ago by winning a game show, is now doing scientific research, among other noble things. Though it’s still a distant forebear of HAL 9000, so the cult of persona doesn’t seem … Read More

Extreme futuring

Robert Hickson Sep 04, 2014

It would be a reliably accurate prediction that Zager & Evans’ “In the year 2525” will not be at the top of most futurist’s best song ever written list Looking 500 years & more ahead is unusual for your common or garden futurist. Most at the moment are only looking out to the year 2030 or 2050. However, earlier … Read More

Life, extended

Robert Hickson Jun 07, 2014

Myths and legends, as well as more recent stories, have cautionary tales about those seeking immortality. But there are still those who long not just for a few more years of life, but decades extra before shuffling off this mortal coil. There seems plenty going on in the life extension world at the moment. Some good serious research, and others … Read More

Signs from the near future

Robert Hickson May 20, 2014

A tumblr site called Signs from the near future by Fernando Barbella imagines what technologies may be widely used not so long from now. Its cleverly done, and gets you thinking. Although the strapline “We better get used to them …” implies a lack of control or choice, which I hope won’t be the case. The Verge highlighted … Read More

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