Stories, dice, aNd rocks that think
Stories, Dice, and Rocks That Think: How Humans Learned to See the Future — and Shape it. What makes the human mind so unique? And how did we get this way?
This fascinating tale explores the three leaps in our history that made us who we are—and will change how you think about our future.
Look around. Clearly, we humans are radically different from the other creatures on this planet. But why? Where are the Bronze Age beavers? The Iron Age iguanas? In Stories, Dice, and Rocks That Think (Aug. 18, 2022 / Benbella Books), Byron Reese argues that we owe our special status to our ability to imagine the future and recall the past, escaping the perpetual present that all other living creatures are trapped in.
Envisioning human history as the development of a societal superorganism he names Agora, Reese shows us how this escape enabled us to share knowledge on an unprecedented scale, to predict—and eventually master—the future.
THE FOURTH AGE
Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity
We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. Byron Reese’ book “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity” provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point. Byron leads readers in an examination of how—rather than what—we should think about the topics we’ll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, super-intelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity.
By asking questions like “Are you a machine?” and “Could a computer feel anything?” Reese leads readers through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI, and, provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age, and how they’ll transform humanity.
How We Squander Time, Money, and Natural Resources and What We Can Do About It
We live in a world full of waste in many forms, from fast fashion to wasted time and potential. Yet when most people think of waste, they only think of the tangible, like plastic straws and garbage strewn across sidewalks. In WASTED (6/1/2021), Byron Reese and Scott Hoffman provide an insightful exploration of a ubiquitous issue, and encourage readers to think more critically about waste in all of its manifestations—seen and unseen—and how to reduce it to improve our cultural, economic, and environmental wellbeing.
WASTED is a fascinating series of extensively researched—and often counterintuitive—pieces on waste in our lives. It affects the Earth we live on, the businesses we run, the products we buy, and the lives we live. Reese and Hoffman delve deep into the ways science, businesses, and human behavior create different forms of waste, and how a deeper understanding can lead us toward a world with far less waste—or no waste at all. Along the way, they raise questions from the quotidian to the abstract including.
How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War
Gloom-and-doom pessimists have it all wrong. This objective look at the trajectory of history, technology, and civilization shows that we are about to enter a great new epoch of human existence, a golden age like we have never seen; a world free of ignorance, disease, poverty, hunger, and war.
With the art of a storyteller, Byron synthesizes history, technology, and sociology into an exciting, fast-moving narrative showing how new technology has had dramatic effects on humanity in the past. He then looks forward at the technological changes we know are coming–from genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, and many other fields–and explores how they will vastly increase wealth, prolong our lifespans, redefine human rights, and alter the social fabric of the world.
With a rational and researched optimism, Byron sees the future not as a world in a downward spiral, but as destined for progress beyond our imaginations.
A Message in a Bottle – Byron on Writing
“The best thing to me about writing is that my message goes out into the world, and I have no idea who will see it. It goes to people I could live a hundred lifetimes and never pass on the street.
About every other day, I get a note from someone who read something I wrote, or saw a video I was in, or attended one of my talks, and such great things have come out of them. For instance, I had the great opportunity to work with a museum on an exhibit about the future. A person hearing one of my speeches made an introduction for me, and I ended up as a dinner guest at our then Vice President’s home. On another occasion, something I wrote led to an amazing visit to Mount Athos in Greece where over a thousand monks live in monasteries the same way they did 500 years ago.
One day, I received a phone call from an unknown international number, and it was Mexico’s prior president, Vicente Fox, who had discovered Infinite Progress while browsing the Kindle store. He told me he loved the book and invited me to stay at his home and teach at his presidential library. That was an amazing trip where, among other things, my meager chessplaying skills were compared favorably to Fidel Castro’s by a man who played against him. And so, I keep writing, sending out messages in bottles.”
Deep Dive Into AI: Explainable Artificial Intelligence
Deep Dive Into AI: Limits of AI
"How We Will Age Within 20 Years" by Byron Reese
Korn Ferry Institute Report - "Artificial Intelligence: Competitor or Partner"
A World of Inspiration
"A World of Inspiration," by Byron Reese