The Speculist: FastForward Radio -- Countdown to The World Transformed


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FastForward Radio -- Countdown to The World Transformed

Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon continued the countdown to the breakthrough 10-part series, "The World Transformed." (details below)

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Reminder: This was our final Sunday evening show. Beginning next week, FastForward Radio will air live every Tuesday evening at

10:30 Eastern/9:30 Central/8:30 Mountain/7:30 Pacific.

The World Transformed

A 10-Part Series on FastForward Radio

At The Speculist and on FastForward Radio, we devote much of our time to exploring a set of propositions we call the Human Imperative. Simply stated, the Human Imperative is to reconfigure the universe in search of an optimum configuration. Through the ages, in an ongoing effort to improve their personal circumstances (or the circumstances of the group to which they belong) human beings have changed the world around them. Our earliest and crudest efforts to improve our lot -- building tools, passing information from generation to generation, organizing our hunter-gather clans to decrease the likelihood of being wiped out -- have led, through a remarkable compounding of improvements upon improvements, to science and technology, to culture and commerce, to everything that makes up the complex and rapidly changing civilization we enjoy.

We have transformed our world with the advent of agriculture, with the introduction of written language, with the slow and painstaking development of the scientific method. We have harnessed matter and energy, constructing cities, highways, and dams; we have conquered the seas and the skies. We have harnessed information, making the sum of human knowledge available to and extensible by each human being in a way unimaginable in any previous era; we have all but conquered distance as a bar to human interaction -- opening up channels of communication between any willing participants anywhere on the planet.

And yet, because of that compounding of benefits mentioned above, all of these previous transformations pale in comparsion to what is to come. We stand at the threshold of the greatest period of transformation in human history. A fundamental convergence is occuring between our harnessing of matter and energy and our harnessing of information. This convergence stands to transform not only society, but humanity as a whole -- along with our very definition of what is real.

To prepare for these transformations, to make the most of the benefits they offer and to avoid the risks they represent, we must define them and attempt to understand them. In our 10-part series, we will explore these coming transformations via conversations with some of the leading voices who are shaping our understanding of the world that is to come. For those new to these concepts, The World Transformed will serve as an introduction and a foundation for further understanding. For convergence-aware futurists, this series will provide an invaluable snapshot of where we are today with these issues.

  1. Our Thinking Transformed: Imagination, Creativity, and a World Transformed
  2. Mortality Transformed (I): The Era of Indefinite Lifespan
  3. The Material World Transformed: The Nanotech Revolution
  4. Society Transformed (I): Risks, Dystopia, and Unsettling Futures
  5. Humanity Transformed: Reworking the Human Architecture
  6. Intelligence Transformed: Achieving Friendly Artificial Intelligence
  7. Mortality Transformed (II): Virtual Worlds and the Future of Personality
  8. Society Transformed (II): The End of Scarcity and the Age of Abundance
  9. The Future Transformed (I): The Technological Singularity
  10. The Future Transformed (II): Acceleration, Convergence, and Human Destiny

The Music:

Our front bumper is a sample of Marginal Prophets' "The Difficult Song."

Our exit music this week is from RichANdJim. The song is "Cowgirl."

You can subscribe to FastForward Radio for free with any podcast receiver software. Just copy and paste the following URL into your software's subscribe window:

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We love audience participation. If you'd like to get in on the FastForward Radio text chat, listen live! FastForward Radio goes live again next Sunday night:

10:00 Eastern/9:00 Central/8:00 Mountain/7:00 Pacific.

Get all the details at Blog Talk Radio. While there, check out the past shows in the archive.

We want your comments! Please leave your questions, suggestions, corrections, praise, or criticism in the comments section below.


I think you fellas are missing a trick on these carbon nanotubes. Couldn't you rig one like a cheese cutter, and use it to cut steel cheaper and easier than a carbide tool?


I suspect that we - meaning not just Phil and I but everyone - are missing many, many tricks regarding carbon nanotubes. They'll be as ubiquitous as plastic and even more useful.

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