What is life? Can we create it? Customize it? Edge has just published over six hours of video from their new Master Class on the future of biology, which attempts to answer those and other provocative questions. Featuring geneticists George Church and Craig Venter, the set is a a surprising, challenging look at what science […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
The development of the Aleutian kayak, its adaptation by Russians in the 18th and 19th centuries, and his own redevelopment of the craft in the 1970s was chronicled in George Dyson’s Baidarka: The Kayak of 1986. His 1997 Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence (“the last book about the Internet written without the Internet”) explored the history and prehistory of digital computing and telecommunications as a manifestation of the convergent destiny of organisms and machines.
Project Orion: The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship, published in 2002, assembled first-person interviews and recently declassified documents to tell the story of a path not taken into space: a nuclear-powered spaceship whose objective was to land a party of 100 people on Mars four years before we landed two people on the Moon. Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe, published in 2012, illuminated the transition from numbers that mean things to numbers that do things in the aftermath of World War II.
Dyson’s current project, Analogia, is a semi-autobiographical reflection on how analog computation is re-establishing control over the digital world.
George Dyson’s TED talks
The latest edition of Edge.org is a fascinating discussion on the role scientists might play in difficult financial times. The issue features a few TED speakers, including George Dyson and Michael Shermer. Try this snippet: In all of this work economists, accountants and financial mathematicians should join forces with complexity theorists and other scientists with […]Continue reading
Astrobiology Magazine posts an intriguing report today: The American Psychological Association is looking seriously at the question of astronauts’ mental health. It’s an issue that has sometimes been swept under the rug, says the APA’s press release: Historically, astronauts have been reluctant to admit to mental or behavioral health problems for fear of being grounded. […]Continue reading