How science fiction shows us the limits of science

Summary: Overconfident scientists propel America's progress. But their confidence does not mean we can safely use their conclusions when making public policy. Stories about future histories of our time show the problem. They can help us more effectively use the insights provided by science. The march of archaeology can help us understands the limits of … Continue reading How science fiction shows us the limits of science

Debunking the myth: “An armed society is a polite society”

John Lennon's bloody glasses

Summary: As the gun lobby moves from expansion of concealed carry to open carry of guns, it is time to examine the nonsense that so many believe about gun. This is one of the delusions that form the foundation of the New America being built by Republicans using their dominance of State and Federal governments. Built on … Continue reading Debunking the myth: “An armed society is a polite society”

We are living in the crazy years AND Fahrenheit 451

"The Persistence of memory" by Salvador Dali (1931))

Summary: We have entered the "Crazy Years", as predicted long ago by science fiction author Robert Heinlein. Our lives are like scenes from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. These echoes from history help us break through the myopia of our daily routine to see how America has changed -- and more clearly see where we are going. … Continue reading We are living in the crazy years AND Fahrenheit 451

Films show us how smart machines will reshape the world

Artificial Intelligence

Summary: Artificial intelligence has arrived, beginning to reshape the world. Here is what we can learn about it from films. Tomorrow we'll see lessons about AI from the horse apocalypse. Spoilers! “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” — Attributed to Roy … Continue reading Films show us how smart machines will reshape the world

Fix “the button” so that a president can’t wreck the world

Donald Trump's nuclear proliferation policy

Summary: The President of America is the most powerful man in the world, with no restraint on his (or her) ability to nuke cities or even start a nuclear war. We have come close to doing so in the past, and might not be so lucky in the future. Limiting this discretionary power is an obvious … Continue reading Fix “the button” so that a president can’t wreck the world