Episode 17: Time

There are so many amazing technologies that could push our society forward into a multitude of better futures. But what if none of them happened? In this, the final episode of Miniseries 3: The Technology of Tomorrow we look at where technology is today or will be soon and how it can be used to better our lives in small ways, leading to a huge change together. This is our last episode for 2013 so tell us your thoughts on the podcast and enjoy the episode!

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Episode 16: Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Space is big, really big. Are their aliens? Is the truth out there, and if it is, would we be able to tell it apart from just noise? To answer that we look to the structure of information, our language, and how we’ve learnt about the stars and planets closest to us. There are billions of stars in our galaxy, millions of planets, and a pattern to language meaning that life could be out there and we could detect it. Join us on a journey that could start at any time in our sixth’s episode of Miniseries 3: The Technologies of Tomorrow.

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Clarifications:

  • 50 internets to whoever can tell us the full name of the starship mentioned in this episode!
  • The version of the Drake Equation we mention is slightly modified from the original version, but it’s mathematically the same. The number of stars divided by the lifetime of a star gives the rate of star birth which is the usual first term.

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Episode 15: Brain Upload

Could you live forever, and given the choice, would you take it? Being able to upload our brains to computers could happen within the next thirty years and the implications are enormous. But how would we get there? How close are we today? By exploring the technologies we have today, we try to predict how brain upload could become a reality, how long it would take, and if it would be a good thing. Enjoy the fourth episode of Miniseries 3: The Technologies of Tomorrow as we take you on a journey into the future.

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Clarifications:

  • Like most science fiction shows, our ability to travel through time and that Travis uploaded his brain will be promptly forgotten about next episode.

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Episode 14: Nanotechnology

Few technologies could revolutionize the world as completely as nanotechnology. Artificial intelligence would help us work smarter, solve complex problems, and perhaps even educate us while quantum computing has untold potential to quickly solve repetitive tasks and could be harnessed to better our lives in a myriad of ways. Nanotechnology could outdo both of them by a making a world of material wealth for everyone to the point of absurdity. Listen to episode 3 of Miniseries 3: The Technologies of Tomorrow and let us know what you’d want to see from nanotechnology in the comments below.

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Episode 6: Statistics, Philosophy, and Science (Re-Release)

Originally released four months ago, Episode 6: Statistics, Philosophy, and Science took the information from the first five episodes of Miniseries 1: “What is Science and How Does It Work?” and build on their foundation. We covered all new information including standard deviationwhen scientists were allowed to say they had “discovered” the Higgs Bosonthe largest object in the universe, and the half-life of facts. Refresh your memory or give it a listen for the first time. (We’ll be back with new content on July 30th, 2013.) Without further ado, here’s the culminating episode of miniseries 1.

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Corrections/Clarifications:

  • The feedback episode for miniseries 1 has already been recorded; thanks to everyone who sent us feedback!
  • “The Gender Paradox” is also called “The Boy or Girl Paradox”

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Episode 13: Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing was only discovered in the past forty years even though quantum physics was born about one hundred years ago. During these past forty years, scientists have tried to understand how we could use it and what benefits it would bring us. It’s a completely different way of computing, and makes a perfect addition to Miniseries 3: The Technologies of Tomorrow.

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Episode 12: Artificial Intelligence

Over the past two miniseries we’ve discussed how to conduct good science and how humans make mistakes. In this miniseries we wanted to look ahead at how technology could completely transform our world and revolutionize our lives. In this episode we discuss artificial intelligence, how it could come about, the impact it would have on our lives, and how we’re on the path to achieve it. So sit back and take a trip to the future with us in our first episode of Miniseries 3: The Technologies of Tomorrow.

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Episode 11: Processing the Inputs

The brain is our most complex organ and does an amazing job of processing all the sensory information we perceive. In Episode 7 we talked about tetrachromacy in women and this episode we discuss why there might be so few recognized tetrachromats. Following up our discussion in Episode 8 on the structure of the eye, we dive into how language can affect what we see, even if our eyes are unaltered. Then we covered how itch and pain are different senses in Episode 9 and we explain how our brain interprets them in this episode. Finally, we continue our discussion on how neurons work from Episode 10 by explaining why brain freeze happens. Join us as we fill in the pieces in this, the last episode of the first half of Miniseries 2: “How Humans are Fallible”.

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Episode 10: Sensational Transmission

We celebrate our tenth official episode in our fourth part of Miniseries 2: “How Humans are Fallible”.  The transmission of information from you fingertips to your brain is incredibly fast but a complicated journey that can be altered by what you eat, drink, how much you exercise, and even how much sleep you’ve gotten. Some information travels 50 times faster than others, meaning you will know how hot something is before you know how much it hurts. React fast and click below to listen in.

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Episode 9: The Sense Census

With the eye taking two episodes to cover, we wanted to discuss the other senses in this, the third episode of “How Humans are Fallible”. Our hearing allows us to detect threats from far away, our sense of smell tells us about threats that we can’t hear or see, touch includes pain and heat perception, and taste is a complicated tangle of sensations. In researching this episode we discovered that we don’t have just five senses, but an entire multitude. Use nearly all of them in this episode.

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Corrections/Clarifications:

  • In the episode Travis says it takes 0.2 seconds for a sound to hit our left ear and then the right ear. In actually it’s only 0.2 milliseconds between the two ears detecting the same sound.

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