November 10, 2014

The Inevitable Future

Film student Taylor Baldschun invited me to participate in a project of his, a short documentary on the end of humanity. His final (for the moment) version can be seen here:

The Inevitable Future from Taylor Baldschun on Vimeo.

On my first viewing, I started counting off the various mannerisms and habits that I find annoying in my own speaking style. But I was caught off-guard by my own final statement, which Taylor uses to close the movie.

If humanity were to go extinct, obviously, our life goes away. Over time, our artifacts go away. So what really would be lost in that existential sense is potential. Because we know that we could do so much more than what we’ve done by now. That we could be better stewards of the planet. That we could develop tools to let us learn new things and go new places. That we could make a better world. And that goes away. That potential, that possibility… it would be an enormous loss of a future.

And that, to me is, the hardest thing to envision — not because it’s difficult to imagine but because it’s painful to imagine.

We have, as a civilization, as human beings, such incredible potential. Potential that has not yet been made manifest. And I hope that we have enough time to show the value of that potential.

It's not perfect, could use a bit of editing to clean it up, but it's not too bad for something made up on the spot. The video as a whole is thoughtful, quiet, and well worth watching. It's not a bad way to spend ten minutes of your day.

September 9, 2014

Berlin Videos

IsthereafuturistinthehouseThe Climate Engineering Conference 2014 in Berlin has uploaded the videos of all plenary sessions, available here. (

The Berlin Museum talk I posted below can be listened to here:

Climate Engineering and the Meaning of Nature (Jamais Cascio)

(I had just finished writing the talk -- I scripted it to stay within a very strict time limit -- so I spend more time than I should looking down. Better to listen to than to watch, I think.)

My brief digression on the nature of futurism in the context of thinking about the environment (a last bit of the last plenary meeting) can be found here:

What Future for Climate Engineering? (Jamais Cascio)

Finally, I was asked to moderate a panel on the challenges of writing about climate engineering:

The Writer's Role: Reflections on Communicating Climate Engineering to the Public

February 27, 2014

You Are the Service, Not the Customer

German public radio program DRadio Wissen spoke with me this week on the subject of Google and the Future, with a particular emphasis on privacy. The conversation, which ran about 20 minutes, was edited down to a 12 minute report, mixing German and English.

The DRadio Wissen page in English (via Google Translate, of course).

The original DRadio Wissen page in German (hit the "Abspielen" button to play the audio).

The title here (also the title given the piece at DRadio Wissen) nicely sums up my argument: Google is a long-term focused company, with plenty of smart people and big ideas, but everything (for now) remains driven by advertising. Gmail, Maps, and all of its other services are offered solely as a way to bring eyeballs to Google's real customers, advertisers.

February 18, 2014

Everything Will Be Alright*

A couple of years ago, Christian Moran interviewed me for a series of short films he planned to make, focusing on reasons for optimism. That film series is now available at his website, and it's a decent variety of people grappling with big ideas from different perspectives. Technologists, scientists, journalists, artists, doctors... and me. The half-hour interview may be one of the best ones I've done, in terms of how well the ideas I'm trying to articulate come across.

A few caveats, though. Christian was really taken with a somewhat offhand comment I made in the course of the conversation and highlights it in his introduction; fortunately, it's not made the focus of the video. Also, remember that it was recorded in mid-2012, so if there's an obvious reference that I'm not including (e.g., Snowden stuff), that's why. Finally, I really need not to slouch, especially when I wear t-shirts and jackets.

* And yes, I know "alright" isn't grammatically correct, but it's his movie series and he can name it what he wants.

June 24, 2013

Reinvent Climate Management (the movie)

Here's the complete "Reinvent Climate Management" discussion from June 18, 2013.

Starring Pete Leyden, me, David Brin, Dawn Danby, Gil Friend, Oliver Morton, Ramez Naam, and Alan Robock.

May 28, 2013

Crime and Punishment

Co.Exist has put up a short video from my discussion at their recent Innovation Uncensored event in NYC. In this video, I talk about why thinking about misuses of technologies is a good way of discovering the unexpected implications of change.

At a panel of futurists at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference, as part of our Futurist Forum, Cascio said: "If you what to find out how to use a new emerging tool, don’t ask the people who invent it, because they have a very narrow view of what it’s supposed to be used for. The people who are hacking it--the people who use it for crime, who use it to have sex, who use it to do something fun or different--those are the people who are going to find out the little interesting variations."

March 29, 2013

Bots, Bacteria, and Carbon: My Talk at ENSIA

Floating Head

The talk I gave earlier this month at the University of Minnesota is now viewable at the Ensia website, on YouTube, and embedded below. (Wherever you watch it, I encourage you to open up a full-screen view window, for reasons illustrated by the image above.) It runs about 36 minutes, and covers three different scenarios of a sustainable future.

As always, questions and comments are more than welcome.

February 20, 2013

42 Minutes into the Future

Last December, at the Humanity+ event in San Francisco, I sat down with filmmaker Adam Ford for an extended interview on a wide variety of subjects, including the participatory panopticon, the possibilities around AI, geoengineering, even the role of art in human evolution.

Art doesn't just mean representational pictures. It means being able to ascribe meaning to something that doesn't have an intrinsically obvious meaning. To be able to construct a narrative and to tell a story that someone who wasn't involved in whatever you're illustrating can come up and see what you're painting and understand what you mean, and get something from it beyond simply "well that's a splotch of red on the wall that looks like a buffalo."

If you look at the course of human civilization, the emergence and development of human civilization, it's driven yes very much by the tools that we make, but it's also driven by the meaning we are trying to create.

It's actually not a bad interview, and I manage to refrain from doing too many goofy gestures. Mostly (please ignore 36:50-52).

Adam is now working on something called "Future Day," set for March 1st. Worth checking out (I do wish they talked about "futures" in the plural, and had photos on the site of more than conventionally attractive white people, but these are fixable problems).

February 11, 2013

Humanity Plus Talk, "Bad Futurism"

Here's the talk I gave a the Humanity+ conference in San Francisco last December. Entitled "Bad Futurism," it's a conversational version of this post.

The video runs about 20 minutes. The very first minute or two of my talk is cut off, but don't let that distract you.

"The best kinds of stories are about how you get from here to there, not just what there looks like."

(F-Bomb Count: 1)

January 3, 2013

Ready or Not (Doomsday talk in San Francisco, June 2012)

Jamais Cascio @ "BAASICS.2:The Future" from Selene Foster on Vimeo.

This past June, I spoke at an event in San Francisco for a group called "BAASICS" (Bay Area Art & Science Interactive Collaborative Sessions). My talk -- on the end of the world, and why it matters -- was fairly brief (under 12 minutes), but reasonably fun. The HD video of the talk is now available at Vimeo, as well as embedded above.

Highlights include old favorites the Eschatological Taxonomy, Legacy Futures, and the Singularity!

And, as always, weird poses and gestures.

Likely title: "Come at me, Bro, I've got a targeted nano-plague!"

October 23, 2012

BIL2012 Talk: Peak Humanity

BIL has finally posted the talk I gave earlier this year:

The crux of the talk is an elaboration on the "second uncanny valley" idea I wrote about some time ago. I've come to realize that it this was too simplistic, and suspect that what we'll end up with is a much more convoluted result:

Angels and Devils

The idea here is that, with very advanced posthuman forms, the body types and behaviors will have the potential to trigger unconscious reactions in the "normal" human brain. Some forms could be seen as better than human, unimaginably beautiful, almost angelic; others could awaken deep-seated fears, resulting in bodies that are beyond horrific, utterly wrong in profound ways. [Reading back to the comments on the my original "second uncanny valley" post, and it looks like none other than Bruce Sterling planted the seed for this idea in my head. Thanks, @bruces!]

The video runs about 20 minutes. The lighting and format are a bit off, and there's one point towards the end when the picture (but not the sound) briefly shifts to someplace else at the conference, but it's still listenable (and the slide images are generally understandable). Enjoy.

November 16, 2011

Hacking the Earth, in London

TandBtalk geo

On Thursday, November 10, I gave a talk on geoengineering for the "Truth and Beauty" series at the Hub/Westminster. The host of the event, Vinay Gupta (a name you might recall from Worldchanging), video'd the talk and subsequent Q&A, and gave me a copy of the digital file. After a bit of iMovie fiddling, I managed to work the file down to under 500MB, and stuck it up on Vimeo. You can watch it there, or below:

HACKING THE EARTH at "Truth & Beauty" London, Nov 2011 from Jamais Cascio on Vimeo.

Some notes about the talk: I drop a few f-bombs, scattered throughout -- if you're of delicate sensibilities (or my mother), theres's your fair warning; for a variety of technical reasons (both production and post-production), the video image quality isn't what it could be -- fortunately, the sound quality is quite good, especially given that it uses the on-camera mic; and, as with most talks I give, this one is entirely extemporaneous, so expect a few mistakes -- I mention (and correct) one on the video, but there are undoubtedly more. If you catch something that's wrong, however, please do let me know.

April 27, 2011

Future of Facebook

Global Facebook ConnectionsThis past January, I participated in the Future of Facebook project, a set of interviews with various social technology thinkers (including Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, Stowe Boyd, Rita King, and many others) about what the next decade might hold for the Internet giant. These interviews, conducted by Venessa Miemis and Alvis Brigis, are now being posted to YouTube, broken into short single-topic clips. My pieces are now up.

My interview got cut into 13 clips, ranging from just under a minute to just over three minutes in length. My apologies for the grainy quality of the video; the combination of the built-in camera on my iMac and Skype doesn't lend itself to crisp results.

Click into the extended entry for the 13 pieces, in order in which they were posted (which may not correspond to the order the topics came up in the interview -- I honestly don't recall.)

Here's a sample of what you'll get: my answer to the question of "what is the biggest threat to Facebook?"

Future of Facebook was a Kickstarter-funded project, raising nearly $6,737 from 98 contributors. The ultimate goal is to produce a set of full-length videos charting the possible trajectories of Facebook. Why?

This project is being assembled according to a process we’re developing called Open Foresight, which aims to serve as an updated model for harvesting collective insight, generating scenarios, and creating strategic roadmaps into the future. By combining available data, opinions from the experts, and the conventional wisdom of the crowds, we’ll be able to analyze a topic from a wide range of perspectives and viewpoints. We’ll then distill that down into a series of animation-rich videos that summarize these insights. All of the content we collect will be made available via Creative Commons SA by-cc so that it can be reused, remixed, and built upon by others.

It's an Open Source Scenarios project!

Continue reading "Future of Facebook" »

March 16, 2011

Geoengineering and Hearsay Culture

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by David Levine for Hearsay Culture, an internet radio show produced through the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University. It was a lengthy, wide-ranging discussion, ostensibly about geoengineering but wandering off into various issues of environmentalism and politics. It was quite satisfying to have such a long stretch to talk and think; most of the radio interviews I've done have been 5-15 minutes.

You can tell that I'm thinking as I speak, as there's quite a bit of the editing-on-the-fly that one tends to do in such circumstances. This wasn't a polished speech; I was really trying to engage with what David asked. Here's how David described the conversation:

The second show, Show 133, February 22 is my interview with Jamais Cascio, discussing Hacking the Earth. Jamais' work is among the most readable and insightful books on climate change that I have read. Jamais' focus is on geo-engineering, hence the title. We spent the hour discussing the myths and realities of geo-engineering and its ability to address the massive consequences of global climate change. Given the recent (and ongoing) tragic events in Japan, this conversation could not be more timely. I very much enjoyed the conversation.

You can listen to the mp3 at this link. If you subscribe to the Hearsay Culture podcast on iTunes, it will presumably be coming up shortly (it's show #133; the iTunes store currently has #131).

February 28, 2011

Surviving the Future

I just found out that Surviving the Future, the documentary produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Company and featuring yours truly, is being shown on the American cable network CNBC this week. (It does not appear to be listed for CNBC Europe.)

I discovered this after two of the three showings (Friday Feb 25 and last night, Feb 27) had been completed -- fortunately, there's one more showing left.

On THURSDAY March 3, at 8PM Eastern (5PM Pacific), CNBC will once again be showing Surviving the Future. Set your TiVos to stun.

November 9, 2010

Interview: Los Angeles and the Green Future

Earlier this year, the Dutch TV documentary group VPRO Tegenlicht ("Backlight") interviewed me for a program they were doing on the future of Los Angeles. It was a wide-ranging discussion, and a sometimes surreal afternoon (e.g., walking up and down Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, a camera operator circling around me, being told "look as if you're thinking about The Future").

Unfortunately, the documentary production ended up going in a very different direction, and my interview ended up on the cutting room floor. The Backlight producers found it interesting enough, however, to want to make it public. It will eventually end up on the "Extra Video" page at Tegenlicht, but (as it's Creative Commons licensed) I've gone ahead and made it available here.

Interview: Los Angeles, Green Futures, and More from Jamais Cascio on Vimeo.

It runs a bit over 15 minutes. It's a fairly rough edit, with no transitions between cuts.

It's also (obviously) in black & white; I don't know whether the one you'll see at the Tegenlicht site will be in color, but it probably will be. The original version had a bright greenscreen behind me, and the glaring color gave my face a weird shade, so I went ahead and converted it to black & white. It's not because I didn't want any weird "greenscreen challenge" videos floating around out there -- honest! As I have apparently lost all sense of shame, and don't really care if you do want to make me look sillier, if the VPRO Tegenlicht website puts up the greenscreen version, I'll link to it here.

October 18, 2010

Survive This

On Thursday, October 21, CBC TV will show Surviving the Future, an hour-long documentary on both the major challenges facing us over the next half-century and the amazing technologies and social shifts underway to meet those challenges. Directed by the award-winning documentarian Marc de Guerre, Surviving the Future is a rather intense piece of work, with interviews with a variety of scientists, writers, and other thinkers. They also talk to me. The trailer can be found here.

While CBC documentaries often end up on the "CBC Doc Zone" website weeks or months later, I know that some of you (hi Mom!) might want to hear what I have to say sooner than that. Since the producers were nice enough to send me a DVD ahead of time, I've managed to pull out the bits in which I appear.

Surviving the Future: Jamais Cascio excerpts on Vimeo.

A pleasant surprise: my stuff adds up to just about 5 minutes, out of the (commercials-subtracted) 43 minutes of the documentary.

My rolling conquest of Canada continues!

September 23, 2010

This... is BNN

Canada's Business News Network had me on yesterday to talk about the future of media. You can watch the video here -- it runs about 9 minutes.

My favorite moment came about 7 min 40 sec in, when asked to "predict" something about upcoming technologies. Without thinking, I immediately assumed this posture:

...summoning up my psychic powers to SEE THE FUTURE!

As Janice said when she saw that point in the video (after she stopped laughing), I'm such a goof.

September 8, 2010

NEXT 2010 talk

I was in Denmark last week, speaking at NEXT 2010. The subject... geoengineering (dun dun DUN).

Here's the talk.

When I watched a part of it, the sound was off-sync with the video, so fair warning.

And fun game for any of my talks: count the "Jazz Hands"!

August 17, 2010


On July 1, I spoke in London at the Guardian "Activate Summit 2010," a day-long collection of talks about the Internet and its possible futures. They've now started posting the talks, and lo and behold, my talk was among the first group.

Here it is -- the whole video runs just under 15 minutes, but the first 30 seconds or so are an ad for "Ushahidi."


Warren Ellis linked to the video yesterday with the following statement, upon which I cannot improve:

14-minute video of Jamais Cascio speaking at the Activate conference, demanding money from fellow speakers and terrifying people with his shoes while talking about the futures of the internet. Is very good.

August 3, 2010

Interview at Futuro e Sostenabilita -- Rome

I spoke recently at an event in Rome entitled "Futuro è Sostenabilita" (Futures and Sustainability, unsurprisingly). After the talk, the organizers took me aside for a brief video interview.

Nice, short summation of why thinking about the future is useful.

May 14, 2010

My Talk at Lift10 : Wired for Tomorrow

Watch live streaming video from liftconference at

(My original title was "Wired for Anticipation," hence the video title.)

Video quality is iffy, and the audio isn't sync'd well, so be warned.

April 29, 2010

Soylent Twitter talk

My talk from Social Business Edge is embedded below (Flash required).

About a minute of set-up, but then I get going. No slides.

Some nice phrases pop up here: "continuous partial attention means continuous partial empathy" is probably my favorite.

February 11, 2010

Homesteading the Uncanny Valley

An audio recording of my talk at the "Biopolitics of Popular Culture" meeting in December is now available, so I've gone ahead and uploaded the presentation to slideshare.

It's a ~25 minute talk, and it should be relatively easy to follow along while listening to the audio.

Audio: MP3

February 10, 2010

Hacking the Earth (Without Voiding the Warranty)

The talk I gave at the State of Green Business Forum last week is now available on video.

Runs about 22 minutes.

(There are some inexplicably lengthy shots of the static presentation images, but other than that, it looks pretty decent.)

February 2, 2010

Living On (and Hacking the) Earth

Last month, I was interviewed for the syndicated "Living on Earth" program (typically heard on NPR stations) on the subject of geoengineering. That interview was run this past weekend, and is now available -- with transcript -- at the Living on Earth website.

(Direct link to the MP3.)

YOUNG: What do you think is the likelihood that we might need a geo-engineering approach?

CASCIO: I think it's more likely than not, unfortunately because...

YOUNG: Now wait a minute, you spent all this time telling me how it's a disaster, now you're saying we might have to use it?

CASCIO: Well, yes. It's because over the past few decades we simply have been ignoring the problem of global warming. We're in a situation where we simply no longer have the best option available to us. The best option would have been to deal with this 20 years ago.

And so, what we're stuck with [is] a selection of less good options. Are we talking rapid decarbonization and what that's going to the economy? Are we talking about making major changes to our energy infrastructure? Useful, but again, disruptive. These other alternatives are so seemingly unpalatable. It's very likely that we're going to be stuck in a situation where we will feel ourselves forced to take radical action.

Emphasis in that last paragraph on the "seemingly," btw.

January 30, 2010

Doom & Gloom

IEET's Mike Treder interviewed me on Bloggingheads.TV this week, and the video is now available. It runs about 45 minutes.

Egad, it's depressing. Sorry about that.

First time I've done one of these, and something that leapt out at me was that I can't seem to sit still. So, question for the viewers -- should I try to make a point of keeping still during something like this, or is being more "animated" a good thing?

November 21, 2009

On the (Augmented) Media

"Sixth Sense," my interview with NPR's On the Media, talking about augmented reality, went live this weekend. Here's the audio:

(MP3 download also available.)

November 11, 2009

The Singularity, In Five Slides

The Singularity, in Five Slides from Jamais Cascio on Vimeo.

Three minute excerpt from the New York talk.

(Warning -- about halfway through, somebody bumps the camera, making a loud noise.)

November 9, 2009

Putting the Human Back Into the Post-Human -- The Motion Picture

The talk I gave at the New York Future Salon is now available!

The entire video runs about 98 minutes; my talk starts after a couple of minutes of intro, and I finish up right at the one-hour mark. The remainder of the video is the Q&A period, which has some good stuff, too. When I get a chance, I hope to pull out some short clips as stand-alone videos.

The sound quality is surprisingly good, considering that I wasn't mic'd. The lighting is such that some of the slide images are a bit hard to see; if you're curious, the entire deck (sans nifty Keynote transition effects) is available at SlideShare.

You can get a high-quality MPEG (.m4v) version at the Internet Archive page for the video, if you're eager to download just under a gigabyte...

My thanks to Kevin Keck and Ella Grapp for inviting me to give the talk, and to Robert Wald for dealing with the video stuff.

As always, please let me know what you think of the talk.

City in the Clouds

November 6, 2009

Lights, Camera, Talk!

Consider this something of an aside to the "basic futurism" series over at Fast Company.

As video becomes an increasingly important part of how organizations construct their internal and external narratives, those of us who work in the broad field of consulting will frequently find ourselves plopped down in front of a camera. One-on-one interviews have aspects of both formal presentations and casual conversations, but a few twisty elements all their own.

Much to my surprise, I've done quite a few on-camera, one-on-one interviews over the past few years. It's not something I sought out, but is very much a growing part of what consultants, writers, or other knowledge workers should expect as part of their jobs.

Here are some hard-learned tips for the novice interviewee, based on my own experiences -- I've broken all of these rules at one point or another, and learned quickly why they are worth following.

  • How to Look: Solid, muted colors and grays work best. Black clothing is generally not recommended, and white clothing is even worse. Stripes are right out. A suit jacket is usually a good addition, especially if it's not the same color as the shirt. When possible, tug the back of the jacket down and sit on it -- it helps to keep the collar from bunching up as you move.

    You're also much better off wearing something that buttons down the front, so that a small microphone can be attached to the placket and the wire dropped down inside your shirt and into a transmitter.

    In addition, if you know that you're prone to shiny skin under bright lights (foreheads in particular are awful for this), see if you can get a light coating of pancake makeup applied. For those of us who don't wear makeup regularly, it can feel a bit odd at first, but makes a big difference in how you look.

  • How to Act: Ask the camera operator ahead of time what kind of framing they're giving you -- a close-up of your face, a full-torso, chest-up, etc.. That will help you to know just how much you can move around. If you -- like me -- tend to talk with your hands, you'll want to warn them as they set up the framing. You'll also want to be conscious of it during the conversation; it can look really weird for bits and pieces of your hand or arm to suddenly pop into and out of frame.

    Nine times out of ten, you'll be asked to not look at the camera, but instead to look at the interviewer seated near the camera (I once had an interview where the actual interview took place over the phone, so I had to look at an empty spot near the camera the whole time). The challenge will be to avoid glancing over at the camera while you speak. If you're in the habit of looking around the room while you talk, to make eye contact with the audience, you'll have to train yourself to avoid that when doing on-camera interviews.

  • How to Speak: I won't tell you to go slow or fast -- that will depend on your own style. But there are three tricks to keep in mind that will help you to make sure that what you're saying is coherent and clear.

    When possible, speak in short sentences. Most video interviews get edited pretty heavily, so speaking in brief, pithy sentences makes the editor's job easier, and you're more likely to come out sounding like you know what you're talking about.

    Put the question into the answer. In nearly every interview, the questions asked by the interviewer get cut out. It's up to you, then, to weave the question you've been asked into the structure of the answer, so that your quote can stand alone. If you're asked, for example, how the dinosaurs died out, "Current science says an asteroid impact" is less useful for an editor than "Currently, the most popular scientific theory says that the dinosaurs were killed off by an asteroid impact."

    Don't be afraid to stop and start over. Unless your interview is being shown live, or completely uncut, you should feel free to stop in the middle of a convoluted or mangled phrase, pause for a beat, then restart, preferably at the beginning of your answer or a self-contained part of your answer. This also applies if you have a sudden burst of background noise, a sneeze, or any other brief interruption. You and the editor are both interested in you coming across as knowledgeable and clear.

This isn't a complete list, but these are the items that stood out in my mind when thinking over my last set of interviews. Please feel free to speak up in the comments if you have other tips to add.

August 2, 2009

Cascio's Laws of Robotics: The Motion Picture

Last March, I gave a talk in Menlo Park entitled "Cascio's Laws of Robotics." I've already posted a link to the slides I used, and to essays and interviews covering related topics. Now -- finally -- the video of the talk is available.

It was shot in HD, and looks pretty good if you make it full-screen. It runs just under 70 minutes, but is -- if I do say so myself -- a fairly interesting talk.

Thanks to Monica Anderson for organizing the event, and for the terrific job she did editing the video.

July 29, 2009


About a week ago, I was interviewed by Lovell Dyett of WBZ newsradio in Boston, ostensibly about my Atlantic article. For a variety of reasons (not worth going into), the conversation ended up being primarily about Google, and not as much about the bigger picture stuff. Nevertheless, as Dyett's show doesn't have a science or technology focus, it was a good opportunity to talk about these kinds of issues in front of an audience that may not be exposed to them that often.

Here's the recording of the interview (MP3). It runs just under 30 minutes. I haven't had a chance to give it a listen, so let me know what you think.

July 19, 2009

That's Impossible: Real Terminators

Okay, managed to put together a collection of the scenes I'm in from the July 14 "That's Impossible" episode.

Jamais Cascio segments from That's Impossible: Real Terminators
from Jamais Cascio on Vimeo.

I don't believe I will be in this coming week's episode (on weather warfare -- it's not that I wouldn't have had anything to say, we just couldn't work out the logistics of an interview), but I should be in the subsequent week's episode on longevity.

(It's probably just me, but I could swear that the image shown above as the video screen looks like I'm about to grab a big cheeseburger.)

July 17, 2009

Ah, Robots

Here's the clip from this week's "That's Impossible" talking about the Big Dog robot. It's one of the small bits with me. :)


(it starts about 30 seconds in...)

July 13, 2009

Catching Up

Okay, folks, for the handful of you still following (and the subset thereof who may be interested -- hi Mom!), here's a set of links to recent video and audio interviews.

  • Hour-long interview for Wisconsin Public Radio, on Geoengineering:

  • 40-minute interview for BlogTalkRadio "Tactical Transparency" show, on Augmented Reality (note: will auto-play at that link):

  • My appearance on last week's "That's Impossible!" amounted to little more than 45 seconds. For those of you who missed it, but want to see it (hi Mom!), here it is:

    (I expect to have a bit more visibility in tomorrow night's show about military robotics.)

  • Finally, three more links from the Freedom Lab interview from last month; these three segments (each running under three minutes) articulate three important ideas I work with all the time:

    The videos themselves can be found in the extended entry.

    Continue reading "Catching Up" »

  • July 9, 2009

    Life Lessons from the Next Decade

    I'm still coming out of the combo too-much-travel/need-some-downtime period, so in the meantime, watch this:

    Bruce Sterling at Reboot last month. Starts out casual, but ends up extraordinarily powerful. It's the kind of talk that reminds me why I wish I had half of Bruce's public presentation talent.

    July 5, 2009

    Apparently It's Not (Updated)


    Lifting my head up from my short rest & recovery to note that the first episode of "That's Impossible" -- formerly "Science Impossible" -- on the History Channel will be shown on Tuesday night at 10pm (consult your local listings). The episode concerns "invisibility cloaks," and I know for a fact that I'm in it -- apparently, I appear in the commercial for the episode (I must have said something pithy).

    Unfortunately, I'll be stuck in a hotel in Atlanta, prepping for the second day of a meeting, and very likely not able to see the episode until I come home. Tell me what you think!

    (Update: Caught the commercial for the show, and there I am... talking about robots. Which would be next week's show. I know that I was interviewed about "invisibility cloaks," however, so there's still a decent likelihood that I'll be in this week's show, too.

    Ah, television is a fickle mistress.)

    June 25, 2009

    re•making tomorrow

    Video of my talk at AMP in Sydney is now available. It runs about an hour:


    There will be a prize (to be determined) for whomever comes up with the goofiest screencap of me from this video. My candidate is shown above, but I know you can do better.

    June 5, 2009

    Mobile Intelligence

    Video of my Mobile Monday talk now up:

    May 22, 2009

    Amplify 09 Pre-Event Interview

    I'll be speaking at Amplify 09 in Sydney next month, and in the lead-up to the event, the folks from AMP interviewed me about my presentation topic, and about the future of financial services.

    I'll be kicking off the event (which is, unfortunately, not open to the public), and essentially free afterwards. If you'd like to meet up in Sydney (or if you'd like to have me give a talk to your organization there), ping me. I'll be available from June 24-June 27.

    May 4, 2009

    Art Center Talk -- Future: To Go

    acctalk.pngThe video of the talk I gave at the Art Center Summit on Sustainable Mobility a couple of months ago is now available. It runs about 40 minutes, and plays only through their site (which is why there isn't an embedded version here). They don't make a point of showing every slide in my presentation, so if you're interested, you can follow along at home with the slideshare version.

    The talk weaves together several themes that run through much of my work -- resilience, intelligence as adaptation, scenaric thinking, and, above all, agency:

    I want you to think through these three scenarios as lenses, to understand the choices you'll be making in your own designs, in your own businesses, in your own communities over the course of the next decade or so. Understand how the choices and the actions that you take fit with the choices and actions of others.

    Because one of the critical things I want you to walk away with is the recognition that the future is not a destination, it's not some place we go to, it's a process, and we enter the future minute by minute. The worst thing you can do is to give up your power to create that future, to leave it to somebody else and say, "well, it's out of my hands." When you give up that kind of agency, when you give up your capacity to shape and recreate and transform your own future, you've really given up your role in civilization.

    This is ultimately the most important thing you can do: to think through what you want to do, what you can do, to create the future you want.

    As with most of my talks these days, it was done extemporaneously with the slides giving me a rough structure, so please forgive its sometimes elliptical language -- and my apparent inability to stand still.

    March 20, 2009

    Talking About the Future on NPR (Updated)

    NPR's "Day to Day" said its final farewell today, and the send-off show included a discussion of The Future, featuring author Joel Kotkin talking about the future of the city, and me talking about the future of technology.

    Day to Day, March 20, 2009 · As Day to Day goes off the air after nearly six years, we're thinking about endings — but we begin by looking forward. Joel Kotkin, who studies metropolitan development and urban planning, talks with Madeleine Brand about how people might be arranging their lives in the coming five years. And author Jamais Cascio talks with Alex Cohen about where technology might take us.

    I can't embed the audio, unfortunately, but I can link to it: Looking Forward

    (UPDATE: James Hughes points me to a downloadable MP3 version of the entire Day to Day episode here. The segment I'm in starts at about 2:56 in, and my part starts at 6:21. Thanks, James!)

    We recorded the interview yesterday, and afterwards I was quite happy to see Alex Cohen post a comment on her twitter feed, saying that it was the "first time i've felt good about the Future (with a capital F no less) in a while...".

    February 11, 2009

    "Emerging Technologies Workshop 08" Wrap-Up

    This may be the best talk I've given so far. I just watched it -- not having really given it any thought since the event last Fall -- and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it all came together. Basically, I took notes throughout the day, then got up in front of the crowd and spoke for 30 minutes, occasionally checking my note list to make sure I hit the issues that most leapt out at me.

    Give it a listen, and let me know what you think.

    January 21, 2009

    TED Talk, 2006

    So, yeah. My talk from TED 2006 is now up on the TED site. (There's a higher-res downloadable MP4 version, as well.) The subject matter is ostensibly Worldchanging, but I use the platform to talk about the environmental participatory panopticon concept, too.

    gorewatches2.pngIt's an interesting historical artifact. It was the first big presentation I'd ever given, and I had to give it in front of a thousand people, including some fairly high-profile folks. I was incredibly nervous, and it shows (I really needed to stop leaning on the little podium, and would somebody please give me a glass of water!). Moreover, I read the talk, rather than just speak extemporaneously, in part because the time limit was drilled into my head, but mostly because I didn't have the confidence that I'd be able to carry off the presentation without a script. I don't do that any more.

    As exciting as it was to have a chance to speak at TED, I almost feel sad about it now. Not because it was a thrown-into-the-deep-end introduction to giving big talks to big audiences -- on balance, given the situation, I did okay -- but TED generally only has a given speaker show up once. From what I'm told, I give much more engaged, engaging, presentations these days, and I have a lot more interesting things to say -- it's just too bad I won't have a chance to do so on the TED stage.

    January 6, 2009

    Uncertainty, Complexity, and Taking Action

    Here's the video of the second talk I gave at the Global Catastrophic Risks event last November. It's only 15 minutes long -- they just wanted a quick discussion of the day -- but I think it actually turned out okay. I just need to stop doing that weird thing with my hands.

    Uncertainty, Complexity, and Taking Action by Jamais Cascio, posted by Jeriaska on Vimeo.

    This was essentially an extemporaneous talk about what had just happened, so no slides. There is, however, a transcript.

    What would be a Bretton Woods, not around the economy but around technology? Technology is political behavior. Technology is social. We can talk about all of the wonderful gadgets, all of the wonderful prizes and powers, but ultimately the choices that we make around those technologies (what to create, what to deploy, how those deployments manifest, what kinds of capacities we add to the technologies) are political decisions.

    The more that we try to divorce technology from politics, the more we try to say that technology is neutral, the more we run the risk of falling into the trap of unintended consequences.

    (Warning for the sensitive: I drop the f-bomb a few times in this talk.)

    December 29, 2008

    Building Civilizational Resilience

    The talk I gave at the Global Catastrophic Risks conference a while back is now up and online, so here's the link. It runs a bit less than 20 minutes, and they did a good job of embedding slide images into the presentation footage at appropriate times.

    Building Civilizational Resilience by Jamais Cascio, recorded by Jeriaska on Vimeo.

    (If you missed it before, here's the link to the presentation slide deck over on slideshare.)

    August 3, 2008

    Future Salon: A Greener Tomorrow -- The Video

    This is the talk I gave at the Future Salon meeting in April of this year.

    The video quality isn't great, and there are a couple of points where the talk jumps a few seconds (changing videotape, I suspect). Nonetheless, this was a pretty good event, and is the most complete versions of the green tomorrows story I've yet given. 95 minutes -- the presentation itself runs a little over an hour, with about 30 minutes of Q&A afterwards.

    If you get a chance to watch it, let me know what you think.

    June 20, 2008

    My Talk at the Moodle Moot

    Here's the talk I gave at Moodle Moot San Francisco last week. It runs about 70 minutes -- yeah, I spoke for over an hour -- and the slides aren't visible. Fortunately, I really only use slides for illustrations, and you shouldn't have a problem understanding what I'm talking about.

    (Update: I've added a link to the slides below.)

    Slides can be found at SlideShare. I have to tap the laptop to advance the slides, so it should be pretty easy to follow along.

    While the talk ostensibly focuses on the future of education and educational technologies, it wanders across a much broader landscape. It's more of a "what's shaping the next decade?" kind of talk, with an education spin.

    As always, I'm eager to get your reactions.

    February 20, 2008

    Cheeseburger Footprint: The Video

    European education group Sky Learning has added the cheeseburger footprint segment from Six Degrees to the digital video site so here it is:

    [Video has been removed; here's a new link: ]

    Comments, etc., always welcome.

    February 6, 2008

    Futurism and its Discontents, the Musical

    Wow, the folks at the School of Information at UCB got the recording of my talk edited and posted pretty damn quickly!

    Here's the link:

    MP3 recording of my talk

    First third of the hour is me talking solo (and I seem to be afflicted by um disease), the second two-thirds is Q&A. As always, I welcome your responses and insults.

    October 25, 2007

    New Audiocasts

    A couple of new radio/Internet radio interviews went up this week:

    • Part II of the "Future of the Web" conversation over on Spark, at the CBC. As with the last one, my bits are intermixed with comments from William Gibson. I'm told that the MP3 of the full interview will be up Real Soon Now. (MP3 of Show)

    • Rick Kleffel interviewed me at the Singularity Summit, on the topics of the Metaverse, science fiction, and understanding the future: "Science Fiction is a really nice way of uncovering the tacit desires for tomorrow...." (MP3 of the interview, runs about 24 minutes)

    October 17, 2007

    Hear Me in Canada (and on the Interwebs)

    walkandtalk.jpgSpark, a show on CBC Radio 1 and on Sirius Satellite 137 hosted by Nora Young, interviewed me last month on a variety of subjects. Part one of that interview is now available, part of the October 17 show (along with a handful of other stories). What's particularly cool about the episode is that my interview is mixed with an interview with William Gibson!

    On this episode of Spark:
    • Matthew Seiler brews some do-it-yourself root beer
    • Sherry Huss on Maker Faire and the DIY movement
    • Jamais Cascio and William Gibson on smart environments and the future of the Internet
    • Journalism student Catherine Rolfsen interviews Andrew Keen [ugh --jc]and Rahaf Harfoush about the future of newspapers (more on The Future of The Future of News forum)
    • Your reactions to cell phones on airplanes
    • Nora and Tom Howell try to change traffic lights using magnets

    Direct access to the MP3 here. If you want to jump directly to my section (hi Mom!), it starts six minutes and 53 seconds in.

    September 26, 2007

    Political Relationships and Technological Futures

    The night before the Singularity Summit, a team from the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence sat me down and interviewed me, asking my thoughts on AI and what was to come. That interview is now available at the SIAI site, both as a downloadable high-quality Quicktime movie (.MOV, ~65MB) and as an embedded Flash video... as seen above.

    Whether we talk about AI or molecular manufacturing... we may talk about them as gadgets, nuts and bolts, we may be fascinated by the underlying circuitry, but the choices that we make about what we pursue and what we abandon, the decisions that we make about what goes into the code, and ultimately the policies that we develop around how to integrate this into society have political origins. The more that we can make explicit the political aspects of these technologies, the better we will be able to handle the repercussions when they do eventually emerge.

    July 1, 2007

    Talking Cyborgs & Revolution

    The R.U. Sirius Show about augmentation mentioned below is now available (here's the MP3).

    Half of the program is a discussion of cyborgism, gene-doping, and what it means for a culture when some people can make themselves "better than normal." I wish we'd had more time to talk about this; there's a lot to think about.

    The second half of the program is a discussion of whether "Battle in Seattle"-style protests are useful any longer. I make the inevitable pitch for participatory-panopticon-style tech as a means of documenting protests and political action.

    June 26, 2007

    Speak & Spell

    cam-r.jpgI'm in a cluster of Internet radio podcasts this week.

    Cameron Reilly hosts "G'Day World," a Melbourne-based podcast covering science, technology, politics and media. G'Day World was Australia's first podcast, and has been active since 2004. Cameron invited me to chat for a bit as part of the lead-in to September's Singularity Summit.

    [Download MP3]

    It's one of those conversations where I thought I stumbled, but Cameron seemed happy with it. In any case, it's not my best podcast example, but it does bring up some interesting topics.


    woz-RU.jpgR.U. Sirius invited me back to serve as co-host for his shows this last weekend, and two have now appeared as MP3s.

    The first is an extended conversation with Steve Wozniak on Neofiles, primarily about the various large and small pranks he's pulled on friends and strangers over the years. Some are pretty amusing, but I suspect that most work better in the moment. I was a bit disappointed to discover, in a post-show conversation, that he's a bit of a climate-change denialist, but I suppose he could have been pranking me at the time.

    [Download MP3]

    (To answer the question that seems to be on people's minds this week: no, he didn't have an iPhone yet. He is getting a free one, but it won't arrive until Saturday. I showed him my N800, and he did seem pretty impressed.)

    The second, on the RU Sirius Show, covers a mix of topics, starting out talking about the cybermoth story (with Woz sticking around), then a long conversation with David Talbot about his new book on John and Robert Kennedy. Although Talbot's book is a broad examination of the Kennedy legacy, most of the discussion focused on the evidence for a conspiracy around the JFK assassination. I'm more active in the cybermoth story than in the Talbot part, fwiw.

    [Download MP3]

    We recorded a third show after Talbot left, me talking about augmentation and cyborgization; I don't know yet when that will be up.

    June 14, 2007

    All Cheeseburger, All The Time

    For those of you who (a) just can't get enough of the "cheeseburger footprint" story, (b) are curious about what my voice sounds like, or (c) have two minutes to kill, my "KQED Perspectives" piece on the cheeseburger carbon footprint played on the radio this morning, and is now available in digital media form. Enjoy.

    October 16, 2006

    New Podcast at Fringehog

    My latest Fringehog podcast, The Big Backup, is now available. It covers a theme I've discussed in previous posts -- the necessity of a civilization archive to aid recovery in the case of a disaster that hits faster or harder than we can handle.

    As always, the Fringehog podcast has multiple participants, and runs about 20 minutes; in this edition, my piece is at the very beginning, and runs about 5 minutes. Do let me know what you think.

    September 26, 2006

    Fringehog Awakens

    fringehog.jpgEarlier this year, I was asked to join a podcast group calling itself Fringehog (and no, I don't know why). Founded by accomplished professional futurists Sandra Burchsted and Michele Bowman, Fringehog assembles a variety of ideas about the future into a punchy 30 minute show. I sent off my segment, and waited... and real life intervened for all of us. But much to my pleasant surprise, the Fringehog show with my piece on the Metaverse Roadmap Project (gives you a sense of how long ago this was recorded...) is now up.

    Fringehog show: "Real Opportunities in Virtual Worlds."

    I'll be sending in my next FH piece this week.

    August 7, 2006

    OtF Audio

    A surprising number of people told me, after hearing my interview on Neofiles a couple of weeks ago, that I should give podcasting a try.

    Consider this a try.

    I recorded a spoken version of my first Futurismic column, "Futurism Without Gadgets." It's in MP3 format, and runs a few seconds over five minutes. There's no fancy opening and closing music, and I don't know when I'll do another one. Still, if you want to hear my voice again, here's your chance.

    Open the Future Podcast #1: Futurism Without Gadgets

    Let me know what you think.