In his landmark 1993 paper “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive the Post-Human Era,” Vernor Vinge raised four possible paths to the “intelligence explosion” that is the Singularity. The first three involved computers — 1. the advent of a computer with what we would call strong “artificial intelligence”; 2…


I doubt anyone would say that the twenty-first century has been Hollywood’s most glorious era artistically. It did not and arguably could not see the fundamental innovation of the era of D.W. Griffith and Charlie Chaplin. It was not the “golden age of movies” in which the MGM lion roared…


I have previously had occasion to mention on this blog my reading Graham Greene’s brief but valuable essay about “our literary friends” — by which Greene meant those writers who may not “do us credit” in the eyes of the world but whom we truly enjoyed reading when we were…


As those who have followed the scene are well aware the boom in superhero films is about two decades old, certainly if one goes by the then-surprising success of Bryan Singer’s first X-Men film in the summer of 2000. Naturally there has been considerable speculation about whether the audience is…


The idea of the hero is, I suppose, found in just about every culture in one form or another, and with it superheroes in the broad sense of people whose abilities and achievements were in some way more than merely human. Yet the idea of the superhero as we know…


As Hit Makers author Derek Thompson explained in an interview with Forbes, for something to go viral means the product or idea in question “spread through many generations of intimate sharing.” People who liked it shared it with other people, who in their turn shared it with other people, who…


I have long regarded what we so inaccurately call “self-help” with deep distaste.

Ultimately, the reason for all that is that its premises are deeply at odds with reality.

Self-help culture assumes that life is some kind of individual test where individual outcomes accurately reflect individual virtue, or the lack…


As those who follow such matters are well aware, the conventional wisdom regarding self-driving cars has changed profoundly in a few years’ time — from matter-of-fact expectation that they will shortly be a large and swiftly growing part of everyday life, to sneering dismissal of the prospect of their appearing…


As I have remarked before, techno-hype seems to periodically go boom and bust — and we are living in a moment of bust as expectations surrounding carbon nanotube-base chips, self-driving vehicles, virtual reality, and much else are proving to have been exaggerated. Yet looking at those expectations, and the distance…


Just a few years ago it was the conventional wisdom that self-driving cars were here, in a big way (almost), with people investing a lot of time and worry in how we would deal with the fact.

Today it seems the conventional wisdom that they are very far away at…

Nader Elhefnawy

Nader Elhefnawy is the author of the thriller The Shadows of Olympus. Besides Medium, you can find him online at his personal blog, Raritania.

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