Ivan Sutherland – the Albert Einstein of interactivity – created SKETCHPAD, the first application that let users ‘draw’ onto a computer display. Five years later he followed that up with his ‘ultimate display’ – inventing virtual and augmented reality with a device nicknamed the SWORD OF DAMOCLES.
By 1968, Sutherland was ready to show his ultimate display at the Fall Joint Computing Conference in San Francisco. Here’s what his ‘Sword of Damocles’ looked like in operation:
The proceedings for the 1968 Fall Joint Computer Conference paint the picture of computing at its pivot from arcane to mainstream, growing into greater interactivity. Here’s the stellar list of papers – featuring two by Sutherland, both foundational to VR and 3D graphics: FJCC Proceedings
Mark Pesce & Dr. Genevieve Bell have co-written a four episode podcast series – “1968: When the World Began” – exploring transformations that completely rewrote the relationship between ourselves and our machines.
On the 9th of December in 1968, Douglas Engelbart gave the ‘Mother of All Demos‘ – the most important hour in the history of computing, one that drew back the curtain on the world we all live in today.
Engelbart’s demo was the culmination of a wave of change that crested in 1968.
“1968: When the World Began” looks at the confluence of art, interactivity and intelligence augmentation that played out against the most chaotic year of the 20th century.
NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen opens a window onto a world where the next billion seconds of journalism grows from a foundation of trust and relationships.
Jay writes and teaches extensively on journalism and it’s future. Here’s an essay “Optimising Journalism for Trust” about the Dutch publication De Correspondent that Jay refers to in our interview as one future for journalism.
Printing presses are hardware. Newspapers – they’re hardware too.
So what happens when something vaporises? Here’s Rob:
We’re living in a time of vaporised media – and we got here suddenly, with no preparation, or any clear plan on how to make this work for us.
How do we stay well informed as news organisations find their dollars taken instead by search engine giants Google and Facebook?
Rob talks about “the Gerasimov Doctrine” – using the collapse in the media to wage a sort of covert war against a government – and here’s an article Rob recommends in this episode, exploring that whole topic.
Also highly recommended is the Peter Pomerantsev book Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, about how this has become the new reality for Putin’s Russia. Read more in this article from The Guardian.
In our world, you flip a coin and it comes up either heads or tails. But in the spooky quantum world – that’s everything from a single atom all the way up to a small virus – that coin can come up both heads _and_ tails, depending on how you read it. So which is it? Heads? Tails? Both? Neither?
Welcome to the strange world of quantum computing where this both-true-and-false ‘superposition’ allows quantum computers to vastly outperform their ‘classical’ peers (such as the one in your smartphone).
At least, that’s the theory.
Quantum computers are so unstable they tend to self-destruct before we can get them to run a program!
And since you’re going to need a quantum computer to run this program, here’s the IBM Q Quantum Experience (5 qubit device available publicly on the cloud) – a REAL quantum computer you can run your own experiments on!
Back in July 2016, Pokémon Go opened the doors to the brave new world of augmented reality – an overnight success fifty years in the making. With companies like Magic Leap and Facebook working hard to create augmented reality ‘spectacles’, the next billion seconds will see us put our smartphones down — instead placing the screen over our eyes. We’ll like what we see in our new, “improved” reality – but who’s creating and controlling that reality? That’s a question confronting all of us at the dawn of “The Last Days of Reality”.
Why is it so hard to tear ourselves away from Facebook’s feed? What is it feeding us that makes it so addictive?
The power of artificial intelligence combined with the eternal surveillance of the smartphone made a monster out of Zuck’s social network – but has it divided us more than it united us? How are people using this social network to spread fake news? How is fake news being weaponised to change the way we vote?
All of these questions – and much more – are answered in our special two-part episode, “The Last Days of Reality”.
Part one tells the tale of how we ended up where we are – addicted to Facebook and in the thrall of shadowy firms like Cambridge Analytica. Here’s a taste: