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The Conversation #56 — Aengus Anderson and Micah Saul at SXSW
A Sheep in Wolf's Clothes: The Myth of Disruption

As the show advanced, we real­ized that there are a lot of peo­ple real­ly real­ly wor­ried about the future, and they’re wor­ried about big, big things. We’re talk­ing things like inequal­i­ty. We’re talk­ing things like over­con­sump­tion of resources and envi­ron­men­tal col­lapse. Social col­lapse. Community break­down. General feel­ings of pow­er­less­ness against mas­sive sys­tems. And this seems to be uni­ver­sal.

The Conversation #55 — Ed Finn

The Center, one of our core goals, our mis­sion state­ment, is to get peo­ple think­ing more cre­ative­ly and ambi­tious­ly about the future. What I mean when I talk about that is that we need to come up with bet­ter sto­ries about the future. If you want to build a bet­ter world you have to imag­ine that world first.

The Science of Why We Deny Science and Reality

What is it about our brains that makes facts so chal­leng­ing, so odd and threat­en­ing? Why do we some­times dou­ble down on false beliefs? And maybe why do some of us do it more than oth­ers?

Defying Faith

The chal­lenge for the Church and for the the­olo­gians was to say okay, per­haps that’s what is writ­ten. But for exam­ple if you con­sid­er that God has deliv­ered the Creation in sev­en days, know­ing that nowa­days Amazon can deliv­er every­thing on Earth overnight, it means that Jeff Bezos has defeat­ed God? Or does it mean some­thing dif­fer­ent? And I think it means prob­a­bly some­thing dif­fer­ent.

Safeguarding Science: The Heat Enlisting the Street

What I’m try­ing artic­u­late here is that there is a real­ly fine bal­ance between how do you spur and invig­o­rate inno­va­tion, and then also address secu­ri­ty at the same time. Because one can­not drown out the oth­er. Because you’re going to have all kinds of issues.

Rebel Scientists

I’m going to make an argu­ment in this talk that dis­sent is valu­able not mere­ly to estab­lish your moral dimen­sion or to make a moral act or moral pos­ture. It’s essen­tial to sci­en­tif­ic progress. So we can’t do with­out dis­sent; it’s not an affec­ta­tion.

The Spawn of Frankenstein: Fear of the Unknown

It’s not the strange­ness of new tech­nolo­gies that fright­ens us but the way tech­nol­o­gy threat­ens to make us strangers to our­selves. In a semi-Freudian spir­it, then, I’d like to pro­pose that where Frankenstein and its spawn are con­cerned, our fear of the unknown may real­ly be about our dis­com­fort with know­ing.

The Spawn of Frankenstein: It’s Alive

Mary Shelley’s nov­el has been an incred­i­bly suc­cess­ful mod­ern myth. And so this con­ver­sa­tion today is not just about what hap­pened 200 years ago, but the remark­able ways in which that moment and that set of ideas has con­tin­ued to per­co­late and evolve and reform in cul­ture, in tech­no­log­i­cal research, in ethics, since then.

Mythophysics of the New Normal

The future is on the whole a won­der­ful thing because it will bring us new things that we haven’t seen before. And that’s why we stick around.

The Conversation #42 — Gary L. Francione

The best jus­ti­fi­ca­tion we have for killing fifty-six, fifty-seven, what­ev­er bil­lion land ani­mals and a tril­lion sea ani­mals every year is that they taste good. And so, in a sense how is this any dif­fer­ent from Michael Vick, who likes to sit around a pit watch­ing dogs fight, or at least he used to?

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