Most recently published stories in Futurism.
Discognition Questions Consciousness
My new book, Discognition, looks at science fiction in order to think about questions of consciousness. Each of us knows that he or she is conscious; and most of us take it for granted that not only human beings are conscious, but animals like dogs and cats are as well. But how far downwards does consciousness go? Are lobsters conscious? Are trees? Are bacteria? We don't really know. But the enigmas go further. We don't even understand our own intelligence and mental activity. We live in a golden age of neuroscience; every year, we learn more and more about the functioning of the brain. And yet, despite this accumulation of knowledge, nobody really knows what consciousness is, or how it works. Philosophers and scientists disagree on even the most basic issues. We have no idea how to get from the brain to the mind: from electrochemical processes in our neurons to things like feelings and thoughts and experiences.
Analog Tale for a Digital Age
The teenage kids hanging out at my machine shop didn't know why I wanted a telephone. A plug-in phone, with wires hanging out of it, was a joke to them. They'd never seen a fax machine in their lives.
Impact of Moore's Law on the Live Music Industry
Music may be art, but a live concert is more science. The variety and potential of visual technologies designed for live performances exploded in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Credit Moore’s Law—the projection that hardware capacity will double every two years—for these high-tech visuals. And don’t forget about the escalating velocity of software development, either, which now outpaces Moore’s law. Performers are better equipped than ever before to deliver mind-melting experiences to their audiences, and their futuristic visions are spilling over into the here and now.
This will be the beginning of a new age. Or I will fail. Again. For three hundred OE cycles, the We Together have dedicated our resources to this moment. Materials and refining facilities across the System have been shunted to the project, as both the Primary and a nontrivial proportion of upper tier secondary sentiences turned to designing and constructing the Transit Mechanism. Again.
'Star Wars' Sith Books
The Sith were the practitioners of the dark side and mortal enemies of the Jedi Order. Darth Sidious postulated that the source of dark side power was of the universe outside the borders of our maps. Star Wars Sith books explore the dark side and its most notorious characters on a deeper level than the films. There is a lot to learn when you delve deeper into the rivalry; In fact, some have postulated that the Sith are the good guys and the Jedi are the bad guys. From Darth Plagueis to The Dark Lord Trilogy, Star Wars Sith books expand your understanding of an ancient complex battle where sides are often gray and characters conflicted.
Adam Grabarnick Interview
Up­-and-­coming science fiction director Adam Grabarnick sat down with OMNI to discuss his successful film, NORTH BAY. NORTH BAY, written and directed by Grabarnick, stars Jamie Harris, Reid Scott, and Corsica Wilson. Over the course of one day, NORTH BAY follows discredited scientist Sachin Fayez, who has been conducting a radical – and previously thought to be unsuccessful – experiment deep in the remote woods for the last seventeen years; until, one day, he unexpectedly collides with the proof he’s sought after.
Beginnings of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence has been the goal of humankind since the dawn of the computer age. As each year passes, we depend on computers more and more. This over-dependence leads us to create an abundance of machines capable of computing. The only end goal in this scenario is the actual replacement of human intervention. Artificial intelligence is not just a simple notion of what we would like to have. It has become part of who are and our eventual progress into the next technological age.
Sci-Fi Movie Women of the 80s
While auditioning for the role of Ripley in Ridley Scott's Alien, Sigourney Weaver wore thigh-high boots. She wanted to look tall, strong, and imposing. It worked. From this, one of the most hardcore female characters in sci-fi was born. Too often, when we think “women in sci-fi” we think of what used to be called “scream queens,” or actresses who appeared in scores of latter-day B pictures, running from extraterrestrials on Earth or grappling with tentacled creatures on spaceships. In the 1980s the women of science fiction films broke this stereotype. From Star Wars' Carrie Fisher to Re-Animator's Barbara Crampton, these women held their own. Strong, smart, and funny, these women's characters played key roles in the films they were featured in and in shaping the women in the genre for generations to come.
Star Wars Sith Video Games
This is the time to seize power. There’s no better way to visit a galaxy far far away than to play some of the best Star Wars video games. Sure, popping in your faded VHS copy of A New Hope for the seven billionth time might be one way to revisit your favorite characters, but video games offer a more interactive experience and there are so many great Star Wars games to choose from. But if there’s one unfortunate thing about most Star Wars video games, it’s the fact that most of them force you to play as the pathetically weak light side of the force. For aspiring Dark Lords of the Sith, this is completely unacceptable. Sure the dark side of the force might offer experiences some would consider to be...unnatural, but only through indulging in these darker impulses can one master the dark side of the force to gain true power within the digital realm. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens the grip of the dark side appears stronger than ever with the Jedi order virtually exterminated and Luke Skywalker MIA from the galaxy at large. What better way for all aspiring disciples to practice their force chokes, sharpen their red lightsabers, and power up their force lighting by playing our list of the best Star Wars Sith video games.
Space Disaster Movies
"Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another." Plato's quote from The Republic is certainly becoming a reality. The Martian, a film released on October 2nd, 2015, looked at the possibility of a manned mission to Mars more extensively than moviegoers had ever seen. Based on Andy Weir's The Martian, a novel by the same name, the film is about astronaut Mark Watney who gets left behind on Mars after his team presumes him dead following an intense storm. All alone, he must create his own food and find water in order to survive while constantly trying to contact Earth to tell them he's alive. However, this isn’t the first space disaster movie and it will not be the last. The reason space disaster movies are so popular is that a majority of space is still unexplored territory for humans. With so much that is unknown, there are major fears about what happens if someone gets stranded out there. Some of the best space disaster movies involve the simple idea of getting disconnected from the space station while others involve hostile alien life forms attacking those in deep space.
Neil deGrasse Tyson's StarTalk
“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn’t care if what he says upsets you; it’s all based in science and science is fact. The astrophysicist has been very outspoken about science for decades now. In fact, he and fellow scientist Bill Nye celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Planetary Society—an organization dedicated to all things astronomy, planetary science, and exploration—in October of 2015.
Sci-Fi TV Series to Watch Right Now
Cerebral sci-fi TV series were a welcome addition to a decade of questionable fanfare. From AMC's Into the Badlands to Syfy's hit Dominion, sci-fi series explored the post-apocalyptic future that seems to excite sci-fi fans. Guillermo Del Toro upped the ante with The Strain, and Halle Berry in Extant is by far the hottest sci-fi woman of the 2000s. If you have not yet, binge on all of these great sci-fi TV series.