The blog is dead, long live the substack
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
6M ago
It’s been a long, wild ride with this blog, and at this point, I’ve kept it up partially because I still very much enjoy putting my thoughts in a publicly scrutable format, and partially because at this point, it seems weird not to keep doing it. But at the same time, I have to acknowledge that I just haven’t kept up with the changes in how to best create, market, and deliver content. All the things that made the first five years of WoWT a smash hit with millions of views no longer work because the algorithms and environment that helped boost it have changed. It was great to get tsunamis of t ..read more
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How we trapped ourselves in a boring cyberpunk dystopia
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
10M ago
Ask anime fans about Darling In The Franxx and you’re bound to hear a whole lot of groaning and gnashing of teeth. It had such a promising, strong start, but ultimately, it was like watching a star athlete begin a 400 meter dash with nearly superhuman speed and grace, stumble badly at the 200 meter mark, and ultimately come in dead last, skidding on their face over the finish line. However, while it still could tell a coherent story, it managed to show one of the most disturbing and vile dystopias in science fiction today, making it a perfect jump off point for talking about the horrible futur ..read more
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Why we need to resurrect the skeptical movement
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
11M ago
Once upon a time, writers with a penchant for science, education, and research spent many hours debunking everything from claims of cryptids and alien abductions to ads for snake oil and elaborate conspiracy theories. Their blogs lit up with traffic. Their posts were quoted in major outlets. They were invited on radio shows and TV segments. They got columns in both popular science and news publications. But around ten years ago, they vanished from public discourse, their blogs seemingly fading into obscurity. Meanwhile, just about every horrible prediction they made has come true. Social media ..read more
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World of weird things podcast: why your iq probably doesn’t mean much
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
11M ago
For as long as IQ tests and scoring existed, an awful lot of people were obsessed with them and how to rank others. But do these scores actually mean anything? Do off the charts IQs actually exist? And how do people with high scores fare in the real world? As it so turns out, yes, you’re probably better off with a higher score, but not for reason you may think because the reality is that these tests have deep flaws in the way they’re used, and how they’re studied. Subscribe to get the latest episodes…              Articles covered o ..read more
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World of weird things podcast: qanon’s sci-fi cure for everything that ails you
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
11M ago
Tired of doctors telling you to see specialists, wait for test results, and run across town to five different facilities to get different treatments? Social media conspiracy theorists have a much better alternative. It’s a device that looks like a sleek MRI and cures all your ills, from terminal cancer to the sniffles, to depression, and they’ll hook you up with people selling parts of these magical devices until a government led by the right people releases them for free to humanity. If that sounds a lot like something you saw in Elysium, Prometheus, Passengers, Stargate and other sci-fi fra ..read more
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World of weird things podcast: hide your jobs, hide your art, a.i. is coming for everybody
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
11M ago
Late last year, the long-awaited AI monster has finally awakened. It’s first victims? Blogs, news, commercial art, college essays, social media, and a functioning, civil society that can agree on a basic set of facts. And believe it or not, that was just its warmup act. We take a deep dive into what runaway software can do to a world that’s not ready for it, how to regain control, why we missed literally a century of warnings this moment was coming, and what stands in our way. Plus, an announcement about the future of WoWT. Subscribe to get the latest episodes…       ..read more
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World of weird things podcast: web3.no
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
11M ago
Crypto winter is now upon us, and people have lost thousands of dollars, if not their life savings on nebulous solutions in search of a problem. But why was there so much enthusiasm for NFTs, crypto scams, and visions of a new micropayment-based internet that were sold with nothing but brash tech bros vomiting high speed technobabble? Is there something to crypto after all? Or is the entire crypto market fueled by nothing but con men and their desperate marks? Subscribe to get the latest episodes…              Articles covered or to ..read more
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Why the future of cyborgs is squishy electronics
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
1y ago
Any proper cyberpunk dystopia needs three things. First, you have to have neon lighting pretty much everywhere, ideally in a mix of blues, orange, and violet. Second, you need a vast global corporatocracy with private armies and mercenaries effectively running the planet. And third, you need cyborgs with all sorts of prominent, brutalist implants that often give the protagonists superhuman powers, which generally send corporate spies and law enforcement on their trails for the crime of being too awesome for their own good. Of course, the reality is a bit different. Pretty much any of the cybe ..read more
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Starcrete, or how to live on other planets with simple cooking ingredients
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
1y ago
Illustration of MARSHA by AI SpaceFactory According to sci-fi movies on which humans visit planets where the atmosphere isn’t nearly as conveniently breathable as those in the Star Wars or Star Trek universes, there are usually three options for habitation. Massive glass domes, a collection of sleek, atompunk spires, or bunkers. As we discussed previously, the reality will be very different. Our cities on the Moon, Mars, and beyond, are almost certain to resemble enormous termite mounds printed by robots either in a series of missions, or over the massive hull of a settlement ship. But hold on ..read more
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The scientific reason why greed makes literally everything worse
[ weird things ]
by Greg Fish
1y ago
Illustration by David Revoy Greed is a sin for which you will be punished in the afterlife, say religions. But greed is also good because it motivates people to work and pursue grander and grander ambitions, say the movie Wall Street and two generations of motivational speakers and pundits who happily got the exact opposite message than the film was trying to convey. Today, as we’re living in the Second Gilded Age, greed very much rules the world with an iron fist, and assets of the wealthiest 26 people on the planet exceed the combined holdings of nearly 4 billion of the world’s poorest. Obvi ..read more
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