Greetings, Future Tensers,
This past week we were thrilled to publish “Mr. Thursday,” a brand-new short story about time travel from Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven. In response to the story Paul Davies, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at Arizona State University, explores the paradoxes of time travel through the laws of physics and answers whether it can really be done. The story was commissioned and edited jointly by Future Tense and Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination. It is the second installment of Future Tense Fiction, a series of short stories from Future Tense and CSI about how technology and science will change our lives. (ASU is a partner with Slate and New America in Future Tense.)
We also continued with our March Futurography unit on the new space race. If you need some good cocktail chatter, be sure to read Jacob Brogan on a declassified CIA document titled “Mars Exploration: May 22, 1984.” It describes the time the CIA supposedly traveled through time and space to Mars through astral projection.
More down-to-earth Futurography pieces take stock of Russia’s long-term prospects for space exploration and explore why India is investing more in its space endeavors. Lisa Messeri argues that we need to stop talking about space as a “frontier,” and Kirsten Berg provides a recap of the live Futurography convening we held in Washington, D.C., to ask whether collaboration or competition will propel space exploration. You can watch the full event here.
Other things we read while considering whether our morality problems can really be solved with a pill:
- Cybersecurity’s gender gap: A new study suggests the gender gap in cybersecurity isn’t improving. Elizabeth Weingarten explains why this is far from just a “women’s issue.”
- Biosecurity and cybersecurity: Kendall Hoyt describes the similarities and differences between biosecurity and cybersecurity research. It turns out they have more in common than just the word “virus.”
- More to worry about from Russia: If you’re upset about Russia interfering with elections, Nathalie Maréchal suggests you should also worry about Russia’s domestic surveillance and censorship as well as its internet governance policy.
- Technology—from virtual training to real-time biometric data—is poised to transform the sports industry. But will it make sports safer? Join Future Tense on Thursday, March 23, in Washington, D.C. for a happy hour conversation with those working to sideline injuries. RSVP to attend in person or watch online.
- Algorithms tell us what to read, where to go, and whom to date … but do we really understand them? Join Ed Finn in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 28 to discuss his new book What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing. RSVP to attend in person or watch online. You can also read an excerpt from his book, about how Netflix uses algorithms to get you hooked, on Future Tense.
- Is technology enriching language? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Join Future Tense in New York on Wednesday, March 29, for a conversation on how new and emerging technologies are changing the way we speak, write, and communicate. RSVP to attend in person here.
For Future Tense