The greatest invention in human history is written language. Before writing, to convey any information to anyone, you could only do it through word of mouth to people you saw face to face. For most of human history, we lived in small tribes as hunter-gatherers, so knowledge was only passed on to fellow members of one’s tribe (family and close friends). A son would only know what his father remembered from what his father directly told him, and so on. Continue reading →
Over the past couple of years, I have become obsessed with artificial intelligence (AI). If you’re not also obsessed with AI then you probably don’t know enough about AI. To remedy that, read Tim Urban’s massive 2-part post about AI on his blog Wait But Why. Continue reading →
As a big fan of Spike Jonze‘s previous films, I was anticipating Her before its release in 2013, and I really enjoyed it when I first saw it in the theater. But upon rewatching Her, I realize it’s even better than I initially thought. The premise may sound preposterous and overly comedic: in the near future, a man falls in love with the operating system on his phone. However, while the film is funny at times, both it and the science behind “Samantha” are quite serious. Her is not some broad comedy about falling in love with “Siri.” It’s actually quite scientifically accurate as far as artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential. Something similar to this could actually happen. The film explores the future of AI technology and how it will affect humanity, particularly in the areas of loneliness and social anxiety. Continue reading →
With Blade Runner 2049 coming out, I rewatched the original in preparation. I got to see The Final Cut on the big screen for the first time, and it was an incredible experience. For the past dozen years or so, Blade Runner has been one of my favorite films and a major inspiration on my writing, particularly the way it fuses science fiction with noir (my two favorite genres). Blade Runner wasn’t always a favorite movie of mine, however. The first time I saw it, sometime around 2005, I just didn’t get it. But after hearing Christopher Nolan, praise Blade Runner as his favorite film, I figured I must have been missing something, so a couple years later I gave it another shot.
Bad movies get worse with repeated viewings, good movies hold up with repeated viewings, and great movies get better with repeated viewings. Blade Runner is a great movie. The second time around, I appreciated the film a lot more, and my appreciation has only grown with each subsequent viewing. Having seen Blade Runner about ten times now, I recognize it for what it truly is: a cinematic masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made.Continue reading →
Despite the current popularity of the NFL, the future of the sport could be in jeopardy. With the preponderance of data about the dangers of concussions and CTE, will American football still be around 100 years from now, or even 50? Is there a way to protect the health and safety of players without diluting the game or diminishing the experience for the fans? Continue reading →
Black Mirror is one of my favorite shows on television. It’s like a modern version of The Twilight Zone, an anthology series exploring the ramifications of technology on life in the present and near-future. “White Christmas,” the seventh overall episode of Black Mirror, touches on some ways in which technology might help people with social anxiety in the future. Continue reading →