from Wisconsin Public Radio
Life's a sim and then you're deleted. We always thought the computers would get us one day. Maybe they already have. According to one philosopher, odds are we're already living the Matrix as mere programs in a computer simulation. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the rise of the machine, from Thomas Edison's obsession with a mechanical doll to cyborg citizens. Also, why the computer age is robbing us of virtue.
6:01 - 17:00
Nick Bostrom is a philosopher at Yale. In his paper "The Simulation Argument," he makes the case that life as we know it may be a computer simulation being run by our descendants. He figures they'd want to experience what it was like to live as their own ancestors. Or perhaps play a part in history. He explains the logical probabilities to Steve Paulson.
17:30 - 36:41
Quentin Schultze is the author of "The High Tech Heart." He tells Anne Strainchamps that we should resist "informationism" and try to develop wisdom. He thinks instant digital messaging is responsible for the dramatic rise in incivility in society. Also, Robert Weinberg wrote "The Computers of Star Trek" with co-author Lois Gresh. Weinberg tells Steve Paulson that Star Trek was ambivalent about computers, and wildly inconsistent about how they worked. And we hear samples!
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37:11 - 58:30
Chris Gray is the author of "Cyborg Citizen." He thinks anyone whose body has been artificially altered by technology is a cyborg. Forget bionic limbs, he means even people who've had vaccinations! Gray tells Jim Fleming about the political implications of this and says we must prepare ourselves for the even bigger social and political changes to come. Also, Gaby Wood is the author of "Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life." He tells Jim Fleming about the many experiments with automata and early mechanical beings.
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