Forward Momentum: Welcome to Fw:Thinking


What is Fw:Thinking all about? What topics will the show cover? What future tech are you looking forward to? Join Lauren, Jonathan and Joe as they introduce the concept behind Fw:Thinking.

Male Speaker 1: Brought to you by Toyota. Let's go places. Welcome to Forward Thinking.

Jonathan: Greetings everyone. Welcome to the very first episode of Forward Thinking. I am your host, Jonathan Strickland, and I am joined by two phenomenal people, two of my favorite people in the whole wide world, and I am going to have the first one introduce herself to you right now.

Lauren: Hey, I'm Lauren Vogelbaum. I am the co-host of another technology podcast called Tech Stuff.

Joe: Hi, I'm Joe McCormick, and I'm a writer for the Forward Thinking video series.

Jonathan: Excellent. And so this audio podcast is a companion piece to that video series that Joe was talking about, and in case you haven't had a chance to check it out, what Forward Thinking is, is it's a video series that takes concepts that are going to become really important to us in the future. They may be important to us right now, but we're trying to kind of project our minds out into the future and think, "How are these things going to evolve over time, and what does it mean as far as our daily experience goes?" So, kind of thinking about, what's the bright shining promise of the future?

Lauren: Right, right. Sort of, I mean, the concept is that we are currently living in the incredible future right now, so what does the actual future hold?

Jonathan: Yeah, and it's kind of one of those fun brain teasers that you put yourself through, because no one really has the answer to this. These are things that are possibilities that could become a reality down the road but right now, of course, we can't definitively say what the future is going to be like, so we get to kind of play prognosticator, which turns out to be a lot of fun. It can be a lot of work, too. Joe, you've written some of these episodes already, so you've kind of had this experience of, "All right, here's the information I have about this topic. How could this develop in the future?" What's your experience like so far, doing that kind of thing?

Joe: Well, with each episode so far we've tried to break it down and talk about a few things. First of all, with each concept or technology, to discuss sort of where we've come from and the history leading up to this point and the state of technology today or of how humanity deals with this particular difficult concept or whatever it is. And then we tried to extend into the future a little bit and say, "How's this going to work in theory when we have greater capabilities than we do today?" And that part can be a lot of fun because, I can't remember who it is now, but was it Arthur C. Clarke who said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Jonathan: That is correct, it was Arthur C. Clarke.

Joe: And that's what makes it kind of magical to think about how far we can go and how far we've already come, and then of course in each episode we also want to imagine, "Well, if these crazy unthinkable advances really do manifest in the way we live, what's it going to mean for us and how is it going to change what it means to be human?"

Jonathan: This is one of my favorite sort of topics of all topics that I've covered in various podcasts and articles, this idea of the human experience and what it means to be human in this changing world, this era of technology that we live in that is changing so rapidly that it becomes a challenge to even describe it. It kind of ties into that concept of the singularity where it's literally impossible to describe the situation because it changes constantly to the point where one moment is different from the next. We're not there yet, clearly, but one of the wonderful things, and sometimes challenging things, about writing about technology or podcasting about technology or doing a video series is that by the time you're finished, it's already changed a little bit, so that's one of the things.

Joe: It's already out of date.

Lauren: Right, right.

Jonathan: It's like buying a computer and taking it home and it's already obsolete before you can get it out of the box. But that's one of the things that's exciting about tech. It's not something that we shy away from, it's something we embrace, because this means that our future is going to be phenomenal, and we're trying to project our minds and to get a grasp on what that might be, knowing as we start out that our vision of what is going to come and actually will happen may not measure up in a one to one ratio.

Lauren: Sure, but it's still an interesting thought experiment.

Joe: And almost certainly won't.

Jonathan: No, you're right. There are going to be things that we cannot even take into account right now that are going to play into our future, but that's what's so awesome about this, and I am really genuinely excited about working on this project with you guys.

Lauren: Yeah, absolutely.

Jonathan: So, I thought it might be fun to talk about a couple of the topics that we're already looking at in these early episodes of Forward Thinking on the video series. So one of those topics that we tackled was this idea of the Internet of things, and Joe, do you want to give kind of a top-level look at what the Internet of things is?

Joe: Sure. Well, the Internet of things is, in a way we're already there. It's a way of looking at what the Internet is now and what it's going to become. Basically, when we think about the Internet, we usually think about it as something that interfaces with a human at some point. You are using your laptop or you are using your tablet or you are using your smartphone, and in any case, you're connecting to the Internet to get information or to upload information, and at some point it's routing through you. The internet of things is a world in which so many objects around us become connected to the internet and they both upload and download information independently, that our entire environment is transformed. There is this sort of ecosystem of technology that's, in a lot of cases, doing stuff without any input from us at all.

Jonathan: Sure, yeah. So, this idea of sensors and some form of actuator, whether it's a physical actuator or a digital format of an actuator, are taking measurements about the environment, about us, about how we interact with the environment, and making changes dynamically on the fly. It's a really exciting concept, and we're going to really dive into that in a future episode. But other episodes will involve things like 3D printing, which involves using a printer to create actual three-dimensional objects.

Lauren: Additive manufacturing.

Jonathan: Yeah. And we've got one of those here at our office, so we've been able to play with them. We've been making toys, because, we're all kids at heart. So while we probably could be making prototypes of the next future technologies, most of us are thinking, "I want an action figure of myself." But that's totally valid, as far as I'm concerned.

Lauren: It's also useful.

Jonathan: Yes, because I like to have my action figure standing in for me for meetings. Most people haven't picked up on it, which, I don't know if that's a compliment or an insult. But then we also have things like autonomous cars. We're talking about the future of space travel, and what's really exciting to me, is that what we hope to do, down the road, is involve you, the audience, in helping us decide which topics we should talk about in this series. We want to really understand what people are really excited about. What is it that they dream about for the future? Besides jet packs and food in pill form. You can include those too. We'll talk about that as well, but we want to have all those topics come in from the audience so that we can respond to them and make this not just a presentation, but a conversation, because I think it's just as important that we hear their input and really make this a full dialogue, and that way we all start to shape the future together, and that, to me, is truly exciting.

So, guys, if you are interested in this show, here's what you need to do. On March 1st, we are launching the website, fwthinking.com. Now that's fwthinking.com, and that's where you're going to be able to find our videos, our podcasts, you're going to find blog posts, and who knows what other stuff is going to pop up there over in the future. And really, we're going to tackle the future in a way that has never been done before, and we need your help to do it. So join us on this adventure. We're looking forward to it and, well, I think that wraps up our introduction, guys. We are really looking forward to this. Join us on our journey, and we will see you soon.

Male Speaker 1: For more on this topic and the future of technology, visit fwthinking.com. Brought to you by Toyota. Let's go places. [End of Audio]

Duration: 9 minutes

Topics in this Podcast: technology, Futurism, future