Chilling effect

Music is one of those First-Article gifts that we know is of special interest to many of our readers. It has the wonderful quality of being bland in its ubiquity while also containing complexities and mysteries which lure some to spend a lifetime studying it.  Music can cause lumps in throats, tears or laughter, but neuroscientists… Read More Chilling effect

Reality Check

John Hanke, the CEO of gaming company Niantic, recently tweeted that the idea of the “metaverse” is a “dystopian nightmare.” Niantic, the company behind Pokemon GO is mapping the world, making a database to help future developers of augmented reality (AR) technology. Hanke has an unease about the project, knowing that “bad actors” could abuse such information, but… Read More Reality Check

Spirits in a material world

Worshippers of the Singularity gathered in Spain recently to discuss the religion of transhumanism. Attendees at the TransVision 21 conference listened to presentations about the promise of immortality as a cyborg, in a Matrix-style future. While that all sounds outlandish and far away, the basic tenets of transhumanism are quietly being accepted at a granular level. Eleanor Cummins… Read More Spirits in a material world

Cattle on a thousand hills

Eating meat is clearly “Western privilege”: Microsoft’s gajillionaire founder, Bill Gates, has said rich countries should be eating synthetic beef because: climate change. Meanwhile, a California start up hopes to make meat from thin air.” According to many critics, Western billionaires do not make the best farmers.” While Bill and Melinda Gates have been in the spotlight recently for buying… Read More Cattle on a thousand hills