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Virtual Futures Salon: Fucking Machines

We are here to talk about fuck­ing machines. In London, on a fog­gy evening, on a Tuesday, for yet anoth­er debate about fuck­ing machines. Another curat­ed dis­cus­sion under­lined by our own human inse­cu­ri­ty about ver­sions of us in sil­i­ca. Fucking anthro­po­mor­phic fuck­ing machines. Machines that fuck us. And let’s face it, machines are already fuck­ing us, or so we seem to be told.

Virtual Futures Salon: Beyond Bitcoin, with Vinay Gupta

Blockchain is in that space where we still have to explain it, because most of the peo­ple have gone from not hav­ing it around to hav­ing it around. But for kind of the folks that are your age or a lit­tle younger it’s kind of always been there, at which point it doesn’t real­ly need to be explained. It does how­ev­er need to be con­tex­tu­al­ized.

Virtual Futures Salon: Dawn of the New Everything, with Jaron Lanier

So here’s what hap­pened. If you tell peo­ple you’re going to have this super‐open, absolute­ly non‐commercial, money‐free thing, but it has to sur­vive in this envi­ron­ment that’s based on mon­ey, where it has to make mon­ey, how does any­body square that cir­cle? How does any­body do any­thing? And so com­pa­nies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a cor­ner. There was exact­ly one busi­ness plan avail­able to them, which was adver­tis­ing.

Virtual Futures Salon: Radical Technologies, with Adam Greenfield

I am pro­found­ly envi­ous of peo­ple who get to write about set­tled domains or sort of set­tled states of affairs in human events. For me, I was deal­ing with a set of tech­nolo­gies which are either recent­ly emerged or still in the process of emerg­ing. And so it was a con­tin­u­al Red Queen’s race to keep up with these things as they announce them­selves to us and try and wrap my head around them, under­stand what it was that they were propos­ing, under­stand what their effects were when deployed in the world.

Virtual Futures Podcast #7: Trust Shift, with Rachel Botsman

We rarely think about the link between trust and progress and inno­va­tion, and how soci­eties move for­ward. But when you start to think of it like that, you real­ize that trust is actu­al­ly the key com­po­nent not just for com­pa­nies but any orga­ni­za­tion that wants human beings to try new things.

Virtual Futures Podcast #6: Virtual Therapy, with Michael Carthy

Traditional psy­chol­o­gy and coun­sel­ing will help peo­ple under­stand in a very lin­ear way why they are the way they are. Whereas what I’m real­ly focused on and what I’ve been spe­cial­iz­ing in for the last num­ber of years is the how. And for me, vir­tu­al real­i­ty ther­a­py is the how of change.

Virtual Futures Podcast #5: Electronic Waste, with Dani Ploeger

This idea of (re)performing the posthu­man was pret­ty much based on a desire to talk about the cyborg ten years after, or fif­teen years, twen­ty years after the Cyborg Manifesto and Katherine Hayles’ book became famous. And to really—yeah, to talk about maybe the nor­mal cyborg, the nor­mal tech­nol­o­gized body. You know, tech­nol­o­gy in the every­day and its impli­ca­tions for the way we per­ceive and expe­ri­ence our bod­ies.

Virtual Futures Podcast #4: Emoji Delights, with Carla Gannis

AR mixed real­i­ty has more poten­tial, I think. With vir­tu­al real­i­ty, you’re just some­where else alto­geth­er, right? And VR is all the rage right now. But in terms of dis­sem­i­nat­ing infor­ma­tion, in terms of keep­ing us in touch still with phys­i­cal, you know. I mean, it’s all real life now. I don’t even dis­tin­guish IRL/URL now. I mean it’s all real life. But like, how do we main­tain a foot in both simul­ta­ne­ous­ly? Both the vir­tu­al and the phys­i­cal.

Virtual Futures Podcast #3: Transhumanism and Risk, with Professor Steve Fuller

Humanity 2.0 starts to chal­lenge a lot of the assump­tions of Humanity 1.0, espe­cial­ly in terms of issues hav­ing to do with lim­i­ta­tions. So in oth­er words, you might say there are two ways to go on Humanity 2.0. And in my writ­ing, I asso­ciate these with the tran­shu­man and the posthu­man, respec­tive­ly.

Virtual Futures Podcast #2: Cybersex, with Dr. Trudy Barber

So then I thought right, what hap­pens with an artist who draws the body, who deals with the body all the time? I know, they have affairs with the life mod­el, don’t they? They have their muse. So I thought right, let’s take this, let’s look at tech­nol­o­gy, let’s have an affair with this tech. Let’s try and put the sex into it. Let’s sex up the tech­nol­o­gy.

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