The Arctic Seed Vault puts apocalyptic talk of climate change in perspective.
Since 2007, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault has maintained a repository of the world’s agricultural heritage.
Since 2007, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault has maintained a repository of the world’s agricultural heritage. A series of tunnels bored into the side of a mountain, this vault is climate-controlled, secure against tectonic activity or sea-level rise, and designed to hold up to 4.5 million different seed varieties for centuries to come. Built 900km […]
Floating Utopias for the Age of Rising Seas.
In 1962, haunted by the specter of nuclear annihilation, the sociologist Lewis Mumford penned a new preface to his book, The Story of Utopias.
A two mile-thick ice sheet in Antarctica is collapsing, which all but guarantees at least 10 feet of global sea level rise. That’s grim news for the 44 percent of the world’s population living in coastal areas, who now face the dire prospect of preparing for the coming tides. Developing the necessary engineering solutions, as […]
What the Near Future Is Actually Going to Look Like.
The biggest lie about the future is that it's going to look much different from today.
The biggest lie about the future is that it’s going to look much different from today. I mean, The Jetsons and Futurama are one thing, but in near-future portrayals—those shown in goofball blockbusters like I, Robot and Minority Report—the world is given a glossy, high-tech makeover. These futuristic landscapes suggest we’re about to see a […]
How Lasers, Radar, and Local Economies Are Helping Save World Heritage Sites.
The Global Heritage Fund is eager to employ novel technological approaches to the evergreen problem of protecting cultural history.
Archeology is often viewed as a painstaking science involving scalpels, toothbrushes, and methodically detailed notes. Well, to a large extent, that remains an accurate perception. But it doesn’t mean that lasers can’t be thrown into the mix too. The Global Heritage Fund, a non-profit based in Silicon Valley, is eager to employ novel technological approaches […]
'Black Box' Software Could Be the Future of Cryptography
“Traditional encryption is about securing data” said Dr. Dan Boneh
Imagine trying to throw a dart at a bullseye that’s 200 feet away with only your bare hands. Now, add a blindfold to the equation. Theoretically, it might be possible. But practically, it’s pretty much impossible—about the same odds as trying to break a new form of software protection called indistinguishability obfuscation. Indistinguishability obfuscation—similar in […]
The Strange "World" of Internet 'Role-Play' Has Gòne Mäinstream
On the internet nobody knows you’re a dog. Unless you tell them you are.
On the internet nobody knows you’re a dog. Unless you tell them you are. Or that you’re a vampire. Or a werewolf. Or a 90s-era professional wrestler. The fake social media profile is an old joke, but lately it’s evolving. Maintaining a fictional online identity has become a lifestyle, a social pursuit, an act of […]
How Respond to Immortality: An Interview with Philosopher John Fischer
The scope of The Immortality Project reflects that boundlessness.
Five million dollars is a hefty grant for any academic to receive, let alone a philosopher. And yet that’s exactly what UC Riverside philosophy professor John Martin Fischer received last year for a project that will involve dozens of scientists, philosophers, and theologians from around the world to examine a subject that is probably unknowable: […]