Communication

From the Vault: The Inca Kingdom of Fibers

Welcome to the Kingdom of the Inca, where hundreds of rope bridges connect an imperial highway system and fiber-armored soldiers wield woven slings against the enemies of the Emperor. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the khipu system of knotted, colored string that served as a physical notation system in lieu of written language. (Originally published March 8, 2016)

A Game of Werewolf

If you’ve ever played the party game 'Werewolf,' then you know the thrill of weeding out secret lycanthropes in a medieval village -- or devouring the villagers secretly in the night. But the game goes far beyond parlor fun and mild roleplaying as numerous studies in deception, artificial intelligence and game theory look to its complex social mechanics. Join Robert and Joe as they seek for meaning in the long, murderous night of the werewolf.

Talking Knots in the Inca Kingdom of Fibers

Welcome to the Kingdom of the Inca, where hundreds of rope bridges connect an imperial highway system and fiber-armored soldiers wield woven slings against the enemies of the Emperor. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the khipu system of knotted, colored string that served as a physical notation system in lieu of written language.

Echoborg: The Computer Controls You

Imagine a future in which powerful AIs use human surrogates or "echoborgs" to speak their words and socialize with humans. The living, breathing avatar simply recites the computer's words at the conference table, serving as a humanizing conduit for an inhuman will. It may sound like the stuff of science fiction and TV's "Black Mirror," but such experiments are a reality in artificial intelligence research. Join Robert and Joe as they get to know the echoborgs and cyranoids among us.

Echoborg: The Computer Controls You

Imagine a future in which powerful AIs use human surrogates or "echoborgs" to speak their words and socialize with humans. The living, breathing avatar simply recites the computer's words at the conference table, serving as a humanizing conduit for an inhuman will. It may sound like the stuff of science fiction and TV's "Black Mirror," but such experiments are a reality in artificial intelligence research. Join Robert and Joe as they get to know the echoborgs and cyranoids among us.

Techno-Religion for the Masses: Part 1

We often think of technology and religion as distinct and separate worlds, but what happens when they converge? Join Robert and Joe in this two-part episode as they examine religious world views shaped by technology, such as John Murray Spear's electrical messiah, the simple prayer wheel and the psycho-spiritual technologies of Scientology.

The Power of Polite

Kindly step this way to the politeness theory where you'll discover the power of good manners. We'll also discuss which countries are the most polite and discreetly mention the ones that are the least polite. Thank you for your time and attention.