• Games to Make Us Better People
    Luis von Ahn, then a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at Carnegie Mellon, was on an airplane when he noticed several passengers doing crossword puzzles. An avid gamer, von Ahn thought about all that effort and intellectual intensity being applied to a simple game. What if, he wondered, it were possible to harness this energy for practical purposes? These ruminations led to his Ph.D. dissertation, which he finished in 2005, the first time anyone had thrown around the term "human computation," which von Ahn describes as "a way to combine human brainpower with computers to solve large-scale problems that neither ...
  • The Future of Attention: A Conversation with David Pescovitz
    David Pescovitz is a writer and journalist best known for his work on science, technology and Internet culture. He is also a co-editor of Boing Boing and a director of research with the Institute for the Future.
  • The Future of Storytelling: A Conversation with Tim Kring
    Novelist, TV writer and producer Tim Kring began his career penning scripts for Knight Rider, but is now in the vanguard of what some people describe as a "transmedia" storytelling revolution, creating stories that traverse media platforms and, quite frequently, human experiences. Known most recently for hit NBC series Heroes, Kring's future includes highly anticipated new Fox series Touch. In the following interview, Kring shares his thoughts on where we've come from and where we might be heading as a storytelling species.
  • A Natural Selection
    I've been trying to tell that story for 40 years, so when I learned that Monahan was trying to tell a similar story, I asked him to collaborate on this issue so we could try and tell it together. But it was his idea to flip the lens, and that instead of talking about how media was evolving, we instead focus on how people were evolving because of media. And in particular, how humans might be beginning to evolve at an accelerated rate, because of the acceleration of the speed of media. A Moore's Law for media, if you will. ...
  • DOA Q+A: Marshall McLuhan
    Notable media scholar Marshall McLuhan is known for coining the phrase, "the medium is the message," and now, over 30 years since his death, another famous scholar in the field of biology and evolution, Charles Darwin, interviews McLuhan to get his thoughts on the future of media. The following is a mash-up of actual quotes and creative liberty as relayed by MEDIA guest editor Brian Monahan.
  • Pay Close Attention To This Story (If You Can)
    When it comes to theories about how media is influencing the evolution of humans, the debate gets caught up in a sort of Catch-22 logic. Scientists who study the physiological evolution of species say it takes a minimum of tens of thousands of years for physical adaptations to manifest in a species. And the oldest recorded media we know of - the cave paintings of our earliest ancestors - date back only about 40,000 years. Moreover, the kind of media that are most likely accelerating the pace of human evolution - modern electronic media - are only about a century ...
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