We’re rapidly erasing the boundary between the make-believe worlds of video games and the real world of sensors and visualisation. Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2020 allows you to fly over the whole world – with all the cities and countryside presented in detail – just as they are in reality. Is it now possible to “fly” through everything we know about the world – from ground level, up to the heavens?
In this episode we’re joined once again by the amazing Dr. Mike Zyda – founder of the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California. In 1997, Mike authored a hugely influential study that got the US military to adopt video game technologies for simulation.
One of his first projects was “America’s Army” – a video game that simulates the training recruits undergo on their way to becoming soldiers.
The boundaries between simulation and visualisation become very blurry when we head up into Near Earth Orbit – that’s everything below about 1000km above Earth’s surface.
Andreas Antoniades’ firm Saber Astronautics uses a mixture of observation, simulation, and visualisation to create a ‘mission control’ that looks, well, a lot like it would if you were in space (click “Login as Guest” below to see it for yourself):
Once again, big thanks to my nephew Andy for sharing with us his experiences of flying a Cessna 152 – both in simulation and for real!
In the late 1990s, military technology collided with entertainment, a destiny reaching back to the first flight simulators, nearly a century ago. We have amazing games today because of the Cold War – and a historic tank battle no one saw coming.
We had the great good fortune to be able to interview simulation pioneer Dr. Mike Zyda for this episode (he’ll be back again in part two). Mike is quite likely the key individual who facilitated the blending of military and entertainment technologies.
The Battle of 73 Easting is arguably the most important tank battle fought in the second half of the 20th century. The battle became the foundation for a new generation of battlefield simulation:
Big thanks to my nephew Andy (on the right) for helping his uncle understand the ins and outs of flying an aircraft – for real!
The post-COVID world won’t be dominated by office work. We’ll blend technologies – and new leadership skills – to create meaningful 21st jobs. Atlassian’s “work futurist” Dom Price and Sally Dominguez share insights we can all apply, to craft a career that’s both satisfying – and resilient in a world of rising automation.
In the show I spoke about how I created a series of videos titled “The Next Hundred Seconds“.
Here’s the first, from the 19th of March:
And here’s 75th and last, from the 29th of May:
Now that everything is connected, things know where they are & can tell us. Does that mean nothing gets stolen, or will thieves find new ways to work?
It should be getting harder to steal – but connectivity helps thieves, possibly even more than it helps us protect ourselves from theft.
Louise Sampson is the Executive Manager of Fraud and Intelligence at Suncorp Group.
International flights fell by 99% during the pandemic. Can airlines recover? Is there any future in cheap travel? What will flying be like?
Airline expert Ron Bartsch takes us on a journey through the near future of air travel : It looks a lot like the past, when air travel was expensive – and subsidised by governments.
Life in the bush can be beautiful – and dangerous. Can a simple examination of our homes make them safer in bushfires? How can we ‘read’ the bush – and heal it – to avoid catastrophic bushfires?
We speak with Indigenous land and fire expert Victor Steffenson about what we don’t know about the bush – and should. Architect Ian Weir then walks us through some simple steps to make a home in the bush more resistant to bushfire.
Victor Steffenson is the author of Fire Country, about the Indigenous land management practices explored in this episode.
Victor is part of the Firesticks Alliance, an organisation working to educate Australians on how to live within and heal the bush.
The hot, dry conditions that preceded our Black Summer bushfires are becoming more common – how can we prepare for more frequent heatwaves?
Paleoclimatologist Nerilie Abram used coral samples to look back into a thousand years of climate, and heatwave expert Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick analysed the last seventy years of global data about heatwaves. Our climate past gives us a view into a hot future.
The Users Guide to the Future was produced in partnership with GIO.
We’ll be seeing more, heavier rain and coastal erosion. How can we prepare to meet these risks – to keep ourselves and homes safe?
We listened to some of the world’s leading climate scientists – including Australian of the Year Tim Flannery – to learn all about the future of precipitation, then spoke with a leading architect on how to make our homes resilient in floods – and even a storm surge!
Our great guests in this episode were:
Fellow futurist and friend Sally Dominguez;
UNSW climate scientist Professor Steven Sherwood;
Monash University climate scientist Professor Christian Jakob;
Brisbane architect James Davidson.
Tim Flannery has an amazing new book coming out – The Climate Cure shows us what the COVID-19 pandemic can teach us about how to take some necessary steps to manage our climate.
The Users Guide to the Future was produced in partnership with GIO.
Planetary limits on farming will accelerate a post-meat future. Are plants the only path, or can we grow meat without raising animals? And what does it mean for food when we can grow any meat we want to eat in a brewer’s vat? We explore the sustainability of raising animals for meat with Main Sequence General Partner Phil Morle, and v2Food CEO Nick Hazell, then take a look at a whole new method of ‘cultured meat’ – growing it in vats – with VOW Food CEO George Peppou.
Some documents and facts referenced in this episode:
The EAT-Lancet report on food sustainability referenced by Nick Hazell.
A great article from The Guardian on water, food production, and waste.
Water footprints of various crops.
Now that we can make “meat” from plants that people prefer to animals – what will we choose to eat? v2Food’s ‘Rebel’ Whopper charts that journey – from soybean to burger patty – via a lot of science, a blind taste test, and an ignored email.
Our cast of characters:
Nick Hazell is the CEO of v2Food;
Skye Anderson is the head of product development at v2Food – and knows more about the Whopper’s patty than any other person in Australia!
Physical distancing makes personal transportation a necessity. When public transport risks infection, cars & bikes become our safe spaces. Co-host Sally Dominguez looks at the sudden reframing of the automobile as self-contained ‘safe space’ during the pandemic. Special correspondent Drew Smith rhapsodises about the Renault Espace, the first MPV designed – to carry people.
Be sure to sign up for Drew Smith’s “Looking Out” newsletter – grab it here.
We saw more change in March & April of 2020 than in the rest of our lives. How has the pandemic accelerated our journey into the future? We ask four guests from series 2 and 3 – John Robb talks about the ‘black swans’ revealed within the pandemic; Fiona Kerr explores the ways we need technology to connect – and the price we’re paying for our lack of physical contact; Ramez Naam looks at how the crash in the price of crude oil has accelerated the transition to a decarbonised economy; and Tiffany Shlain reminds us that in a world where we all want to be connected, a ‘Digital Sabbath’ is more important than ever!
John Robb is the author of “Brave New War” and shares his thoughts on the more-vital-than-ever ‘Global Guerillas‘ blog.
Fiona Kerr runs the NeuroTech Institute.
Ramez Naam guides, advises and invests in clean energy.
Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker and author of the bestseller “24/6”