FutureBANG!

FutureBANG!
By Jesse & Ian
About this podcast
Latest episodes
Oct. 1, 2017
Ian and Jesse discuss blockchain technology, including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Will the currencies of the future be based on distributed, decentralized computational algorithms that don't rely on putting all of our trust in governments and banking institutions?   Links to topics discussed: "Verbal confirmation" for Hyperloop Solar batteries for Australia Tesla roof tiles sold out What is the Blockchain? Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto - Inventor of Blockchain Ethereum Radiolab episode - The Ceremony Bitcoin block real time explorer "19 Industries the Blockchain Will Disrupt" Kanye Cryptocurrency - Coinye "Bitcoin Security: Bubble Boy and the Sewer Rat"   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.
July 17, 2017
Ian tells Jesse about the Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, as well as some other genetic backup projects around the world. If our civilization collapses, have we done everything we can to give the next one a chance to thrive?   Links to topics discussed: Svalbard Seed Vault On Google Maps Millennium Seed Bank Partnership Frozen Zoos Original Svalbard 'flood' report Followup on report   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.
May 9, 2017
Ian and Jesse discuss the idea of bringing extinct species back into existence. Should we forget about extinct species and focus exclusively on preserving what's alive today, or could we see the return of dodos, mammoths, and even dinosaurs?   Links to topics discussed: The 6th Extinction Long Now's Revive and Restore project Candidates for de-extinction The Passenger Pigeon Project George Church defends de-extinction The Harvard Mammoth project The Chicken-Saurus Pleistocene Park article Pleistocene Park documentary   Unsponsored Ad: AVA Byte - Foolproof indoor gardening.   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.
Jan. 1, 2017
Ian and Jesse discuss the future of autonomous, self-driving vehicles. They're coming faster than anyone imagined, and they will have many large effects on society, both good and bad. What are some of the more creative ways we can find to use driverless cars, and how can we best deal with the loss of driving jobs?   Links to topics discussed: Fully self driving Teslas Interplanetary Transport System - full video with Q&A Tesla's solar roof tiles Wired article on self-driving car levels Google cars Brad Templeton UBC talk CGP Grey video on traffic jams Google self driving promo video Otto beer delivery Most common jobs by state Udacity degree on self driving cars Cracked podcast - the 11 nations of America   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.
Sept. 9, 2016
Ian and Jesse discuss the current state of genetic modification of agricultural products, and where the technology might lead in the future. If we could add, subtract, and combine any traits we want in our crops, what wondrous things could we create?   Links to topics discussed: FlavrSavr tomato Golden Rice Aquadvantage salmon Norman Borlaug NYT article on GMO products CRISPR Gene guns Civil War urban legend Craig Venter Enviropig C3 vs C4 photosynthesis   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.
April 17, 2016
Ian and Jesse discuss the future of toilets, plumbing, and sanitation. Modern sanitation has allowed us to build large cities with healthy populations, but how can we bring the same advances to the rest of the world, and what does the toilet of tomorrow look like?   Links to topics discussed: Pit toilets (with guest Dickson Despommier) Bill Gates' Reinvent the Toilet challenge Bill Gates' Omniprocessor Omniprocessor infographic! Squat toilet health Japanese Washlets   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.
March 24, 2016
Jesse tells Ian about the Long Now Foundation, an organization that encourages thinking and planning on the scale of centuries and millenia. What kinds of issues do we need to plan for if we're designing a clock to last 10,000 years?   Links to topics discussed: Long Now Foundation Endangered Languages 10,000 Year Clock location Brian Eno   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.
Feb. 28, 2016
Ian and Jesse discuss the possibility of contact with alien civilizations and what it would mean for the future of humanity. If we received a clear signal from an extra terrestrial intelligence, how would we react, and what should our response be? This is a big topic, and we missed a lot of important stuff (we left out SETI!). We'll definitely come back to it in another episode some time, so let us know what else to include!   Links to topics discussed: Drake Equation Fermi Paradox Definition of Life Maxwell Hunter's Memo The Brookings Report Post Detection Policy Possible Alien Megastructure Voyager Records Arecibo Signal A Message From Earth   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.
Nov. 4, 2015
Ian and Jesse discuss using a brain to directly control a computer. It's happening now, and the future of brain-computer interfaces has a lot of promise, but there may be a dark side. How could we benefit from things like telepathic communication, literally combining brains to work on a problem, or even feeling the emotions of others far away?   Links to topics discussed: Brain Waves - Be careful! There's lots of new-age pseudoscience nonsense about brain waves on the Internet. Dr. Bin He's lab Brain controlled drones video Book discussing "brainish," the brain's internal language One monkey's brain controlling another's body Paralyzed man walks using brain-computer interface and avatar Rat and monkey neural networks Split brains Project Cyborg   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.
Oct. 21, 2015
Ian and Jesse compare the future portrayed in Back to the Future II to our actual 2015. October 21, 2015 is the day that Marty and Doc Brown traveled to in the movie. Is the real future better or worse than the film predicted?    Links to topics discussed:Tony Hawk trying prototype hoverboards3D printed pizzaUniversal food deliveryJaws 19 trailerPepsi Perfect bottleNike self-tying shoes   Theme music, used with permission, by Jonathan Coulton.