Ep. 19 — Technology People

Thank you Mr. Machine...or Ms. Machine?
— John Zerzan


Fifty years ago, the future seemed promising. In what now seems to be an eerily accurate prediction of the present, the imagination of the 60s saw new and improved ways of instant communication, modes of transportation, and space travel.

Still, in this new millennium, there are no street-legal flying cars, no weatherproofed dome-style houses or even a championship-winning basketball team that happens to be based out of New York.

And while a golden era for the Knicks wasn’t on the list of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov's predictions on the future, he did have some less optimistic thoughts too, like how the human race would struggle with fighting its growing sense of boredom.

It’s now 2017. If polls still hold any value, the current U.S. President is trailblazing a record-low approval rating while barely one year into the job. The doomsday clock is much closer to midnight. And it’s difficult to keep track of what’s on fire, what’s underwater and what’s coming next.

So what does one make of our future—like the one 50 years from now? The answer, or rather a possible answer, has a lot to do with choice and technology. Whether we survive or go extinct is, however, another question.

And it’s exactly what this podcast episode explores, so have a listen.

Also, while It can be difficult being rosy about the future when the present seems so dark, know that if Knick fans can do it, so can you.

Show Notes: 

1. [01:20] A link to download the Park Mobile app

2. [01:25] “Inamorata (Marimba Solo)” by Blue Dot Sessions

3. [04:40] “Inside the Tower” by Visager

4. [06:15] More on Clooneys Pub (SFGate)

5. [06:40] Light reading on the James Comey hearings (CNN)

6. [07:50] More on Peter Eckersley (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

7. [08:20] Light reading on the latest allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US Election (The New York Times)

8. [09:40] “When in the West” by Blue Dot Sessions

9. [09:45] Light reading on:

  1. The abacus (Ryerson University)

  2. The astrolabe (Smithsonian Magazine)

  3. The sundial (How Stuff Works)

  4. The analytical engine (ThoughtCo)

10. [10:35] Related: How much Internet v.1 cost (Larry Press)

11. [10:20] Newsreel from 1964 track meet between the US and USSR

12. [10:35] Some worthwhile videos on how the Internet started:

  1. In animation form

  2. In SciShow series form with Part I, II and III

  3. And in a super-short condensed form

13. [10:45] “Timesharing: A Solution to Computer Bottlenecks” (Computer History Museum)

14. [11:25] Light reading on ARPANET (Live Science)

  1. Related: Original sketch of ARPANET (SRI International)

  2. Related: Room where the first message was sent (Gizmodo)

  3. Related: The growth of the Internet over the years (Vox)

  4. Related: An overview of the Internet (WebpageFX)

  5. Related: A list of Internet firsts

  6. Related: What happens every second on the Internet

15. [11:55] “Gregorian Chant” by Kevin MacLeod

16. [12:25] “Inside the Tower” by Visager

17. [12:55] Some background on:

  1. TCP/IP Protocols and the individual behind it (WIRED)

  2. Advanced packet switching (Editor’s note: you should watch this)

  3. Email (Nethistory.com)

  4. Related: How the Internet was viewed in 1969 and in 1981

18. [13:10] Light reading on the World Wide Web

  1. And on Tim Berners-Lee

  2. Related: Why it’s called surfing the web

19. [13:30] What it was like being online in the 80s (Gizmodo)

20. [13:50] Light reading on AOL (Fast Company)

  1. ...and Compuserve (Ars Technica)

  2. Animation illustrating “the series of tubes

  3. Sound of a 56K dial up modem (10Stripe.com)

21. [14:00] Light reading on the Eternal September (Wikipedia)

  1. Related: A guide on the Internet before it took off (TIME)

22. [14:10] The man behind the “You Got Mail” audio (Great Big Story)

23. [14:15] Light reading on the early browser days of Erwise, Mosaic and Netscape (Ars Technica)

24. [14:25] Commercialization begins (New York Times)

  1. Sort of related: Vice President Al Gore logs onto the Internet (CSPAN)

  2. Also sort of related: Al Gore’s relationship with the Internet (Gizmodo)

25. [14:25] “Astrisx” by Blue Dot Sessions

26. [14:35] A montage of Pets.com commercials—and a brilliant overview on the dotcom bubble (WIRED)

27. [14:45] Is there a 2010s Tech Bubble? (in no particular order)

  1. Bloomberg

  2. Vanity Fair

  3. The Telegraph

  4. Business Insider

  5. Inc

  6. Forbes

28. [15:15] More on the more modern history of the  Internet and related services

29. [15:30] More on Aral Balkan (@aral)

  1. And on his mission for an independent Internet (Paste)

30. [16:30] See the Ethical Design Manifesto here

31. [18:00] Some short videos on how online advertising works:

  1. The evolution of online display advertising (IABUK)

  2. The life of a programmatic ad (Media Crossing)

  3. Background on real-time bidding (Acuity Ads)

  4. ...and one more pivot to video—the history of ads (Mashable)

32. [20:10] More on Kevin Kelly (@Kevin2Kelly)

  1. Bio

  2. Author of

      3. Read his writing here (WIRED)

33. [22:50] “Cyclotrak” by Blue Dot Sessions

34. [23:20] More on the Technium

35. [25:45] “Drone Birch” by Blue Dot Sessions

36. [27:30] See related study on early human brain vs. later human brain (Smithsonian Magazine)

37. [27:40] Light reading on John Zerzan (The Guardian)

38. [27:50] Light reading on the Unabomber (The Atlantic)

39. [28:05] Kaczynski's Manifesto and its reviews

40. [28:45] A 60 Minutes report on the Battle for Seattle (CBS News)

41. [29:00] “Tralaga” by Blue Dot Sessions

42. [29:40] Zerzan’s book—Elements of Refusal

43. [29:45] More on Anarchy Radio

44. [29:55] And a link to the Black and Green Review

45. [32:50] Maker Faire 2017 (San Jose Mercury News)

46. [33:40] See the tesla coil here

47. [34:20] See Randy Gallegos’ paintings here

48. [35:35] “Epilogue” by Visager

49. [36:00] More on Jason Malcolm Stewart (@sabbathsoldier)

50. [38:55] More on Ronald Moore (@rondmoore)

  1. See related Portlandia skit

51. [40:00] Related: See Ray Kurzweil on the three technologies that will shape our future

52. [40:30] More on Alex Schultink

  1. Related: Dr. Jennifer Doudna (New York Times)

  2. Related: Radiolab episode on CRISPR

53. [43:40] More on Dr. Heather Berlin (@heather_berlin)

  1. An interview where Berlin discusses what happens to your brain on creativity (Studio 360)

54. [47:40] Meet Pepper

  1. Inside Pepper (Nikkei Asian Review)

55. [48:55] Light reading on Softbank (Wikipedia)

56. [50:30] “How Realistic Is Westworld?” (Vulture)

57. [50:55] Light reading on technological singularity (The Guardian)

  1. The concerns over AI (The Hive)

  2. Open letter on artificial intelligence

58. [51:05] Stephen Hawking on AI (BBC)

59. [52:30] Kevin Kelly’s full takedown of the singularity (WIRED)

60. [53:05] Kelly’s $1,000 bet with Kirk Sale (Wired)

61. [57:05] “A Simple Blur” by Blue Dot Sessions

62. [58:00] Light reading on the state of mental illness in the States (Salon)

  1. Related: Study finds more Americans suffering from stress, anxiety and depress (CBS News)

63. [01:02:50] Recommended Podcast to Listen to Until the Next Show: Terrible, Thanks For Asking