Technotopia

John Biggs, TechCrunch writer and author of the upcoming book, Technotopia will discuss some of the most interested decades in human existence.

John is interviewing thinkers, makers, and doers who are all pushing things forward to make the world a better place. "I don't think we'll end up in a dark, Blade Runner-esque dystopia. In fact, I think we're all going to just do fine," explains John. "I don't think all of our problems - environmental, political, technological - are insurmountable."More

@johnbiggs This is an exciting book and exciting idea. You sit on YouTube with your son telling us that it is for your kids. A positive look at the future of our planet and the technology that will pave the way. Tell us more about your motivation behind writing Technotopia?
John discusses the motivation for writing Technotopia with son in tow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGqCRm64ov8
I want to explore a non dystopian future. My favorite write William Gibson @greatdismal explored what happens after the worst happens (and I wanted to posit the best. I would argue we are pushing things forward.
A Brave New World with a positive spin?
No because a brave new world wasn’t focused on tech. I believe we will mediate the world through tech in ways unexpected. It will be our new psychotropics.
Understood. But why to writers and thinkers seem to gravitate to a dystopian view of technology as they look toward to the future? What makes your approach different?
If it bleeds it leads. Dystopias are more fun. I’m tired of them though and I want to confirm my kids won’t have to fight off mutant hordes in an urban hell scape. After all most sci fi comes true.
Can you give me some examples in your work as a technology thought leader that illustrate and inspired you to go utopic not dystopic? What technologies have you run into that turned you on and spoke to you about a better world for your kids?
Are you pointing to Raspberry Pi, Robots, IoT generally with maker chips that are impacting a new generation of young innovators?
That’s pretty much what I’m talking about, that photo. It’s gotten trivial to do amazing things. We’ve moved very close to magic in terms of the ways we can use technology. Just as Bill Gates got in at the front end of programming, lots of kids are
getting in at the front end of more complex technologies. Back in Gates’ day computers were dumb and people were smart. Now everything is smart.
Hasn’t technology always invited “technotopian” ideas. Haven’t we been technotopians for the past century or more?
I would argue that technology has distanced itself from morality for too long. We were moral when we entered the space race. It was seen as a noble goal. But what’s noble about the iPod? Amazon? These are obvious creations built on an obvious platform.
Maybe Jobs wanted to change the world and maybe it’s really nice to have a usable pocket brain with amazing computing power but is it moral?
We have a number of new moon shots - the cure for cancer, the melding of man and machine, interstellar travel, repairing the ozone.
So bringing technology to the masses allows for a Thomas More like Utopia? It RE-introduces the HUMAN to the equation? http://covers.feedbooks.net/book/198.jpg?size=large&t=1425660135
Sure. We will work together with machines. All of the tech so far is about replacing humans. Now we will work side by side.
I agree. M2M left out the human. The chatter in 2015 is very much about the H (Human) inbetween. From the app store to the store, home, school - technology is connecting experiences.
So what is John Biggs view of the future? What do you see 10 years - 15 years from now John Biggs junior in the YouTube clip?
I think the Apple Watch is an interesting move. It’s the closest we’ll get to a disinter-mediated experience until we can inject computers into our bodies.
What will my kids be doing? Probably driving electric vehicles, watching the first commercial Mars colonies go up, and looking at the web through something can’t imagine right now.
There is no question that we live in a generation of tech-empowerment. Hopefully with a strong moral compass (as you advocate). Excited to read the book. When is it going to be ready to read?
Probably in a year. I have an assistant and we’re setting up 50 interviews with important thinkers. If you’re an important thinker or know one, get in touch.
Great. I know a few amazing folk. Will be in touch. Stay and touch and thanks for the chat. Will keep an eye on your Techcrunch http://techcrunch.com/author/john-biggs/ articles and your blog.
Here is the preorder page for Technotopia. http://johnbiggsbooks.com/