Explore how pop culture shapes emerging technologies.

Thanks, Mike Treder, for sharing this. Mike’s the managing director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. I’m a big fan of Mike’s writings, although some may think we are not of the same species. Almost everything about us can be described as polar opposite. He’s even a damn Yankees fan! But we do share our zest for opening doors to public participation, particularly in matters of technology policy.

Mike will be speaking at an upcoming seminar titled Biopolitics of Popular Culture, as will David Brin (author of The Postman) who wrote this piece for SciCheer last year.

If you register TODAY, you can cash in on the early bird discount.

Here’s the program description I copied from IEET’s website:

Popular culture is full of tropes and cliches that shape our debates about emerging technologies. Our most transcendent expectations for technology come from pop culture, and the most common objections to emerging technologies come from science fiction and horror, from Frankenstein and Brave New World to Gattaca and the Terminator.

Why is it that almost every person in fiction who wants to live a longer than normal life is evil or pays some terrible price? [Note from SciCheer: See interview with Ray Kurzweil for nonfiction example of someone who wants to live a much longer than normal life.]  What does it say about attitudes towards posthuman possibilities when mutants in Heroes or the X-Men, or cyborgs in Battlestar Galactica or Iron Man, or vampires in True Blood or Twilight are depicted as capable of responsible citizenship?

Is Hollywood reflecting a transhuman turn in popular culture, helping us imagine a day when magical and muggle can live together in a peaceful Star Trek federation? Will the merging of pop culture, social networking and virtual reality into a heightened augmented reality encourage us all to make our lives a form of participative fiction?

During this day long seminar we will engage with culture critics, artists, writers, and filmmakers to explore the biopolitics that are implicit in depictions of emerging technology in literature, film and television.