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October 12, 2016 53 mins

All good things must come to an end. The podcast crew bids you farewell in this final episode. Peek behind the scenes at the Fw:Thinking podcast.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Brought to you by Toyota. Let's go places. Welcome to
Forward Thinking, Taylor, and welcome to Forward Thinking, love podcast
that looks in the future and says it's so hard
to say goodbye to tomorrow. I'm Jonathan Stripling and I'm

(00:24):
Joe McCormick. So, guys, this is it. Um. This is
our final episode of the audio podcast format for Forward Thinking.
And uh, this was not something that we were uh
pushing for. It's something that kind of happened. The video
series is going to continue on. We really appreciate all
you fans out there who have been sending us messages

(00:46):
all this time. Uh, And we didn't want to just
leave with like an episode and then have nothing happened.
So this is kind of our goodbye episode. We wanted
to spend a little time thinking about some of the
topics that we talked about in the past and kind
of just going a little bit stuff about the episodes
we've done so far. First, before we even get started,
I want to play this tiny clip from the very

(01:07):
first episode of Forward Thinking's audio podcast called forward Momentum.
Welcome to Forward Thinking. This is how we introduced ourselves
in that very first episode. Greetings, everyone, Welcome to the
very first episode of Forward Thinking. I am your host,
Jonathan Strickland, and I am joined by two phenomenal people,
two of my favorite people the whole wide world. And

(01:28):
I'm going to have the first one introduce herself to
you right now. Hey, I'm Lauren Vocalbon. I'm the co
host of another technology podcast called tech Stuff. I am
Joe McCormick, and I'm a writer for the Forward Thinking
video series Excellent and so this audio pod. Okay, so
we livened up a bit since then, did Yeah, it
was my very reserved You were a little reserved, but

(01:49):
I mean you were. Joe had just started podcasting when
he joined UH and we started doing the Forward Thinking
Audio podcast and now you're a pro. So, yeah, that
was year. That was your first time podcasting ever for
that first episode, was it? Yes? It was. So. I
thought we could touch a little bit on some of
the topics that we've covered, talk about some of our favorites,
and just some other like behind the scenes type stuff

(02:10):
in a very short kind of farewell to the fans episode. Now,
we've recently done episodes where we talked about three D
printers again and driverless cars, We talked about that in
an episode like two back, so I don't want to
even touch on those because we've already just covered them.
But the very first topic we covered on Forward Thinking
was the Internet of Things, which is no big surprise.

(02:30):
It's a huge topic, very buzzy. It was especially buzzy
right that very moment. Yes, it's still still buzzing right now,
but it was one of those things where there was
the topic was just starting to get some momentum in
the public consciousness. Although I think there are still a
lot of people who don't know what the Internet of
things means. But recent stories have you know, been uh

(02:52):
continuing to develop around the Internet of things. The basic
idea being that you have all these different devices that
can connect to the Internet and share information in some
way or enact change in your environment in some way. Um.
But one of the stories I wanted to mention is
that apparently that also means creating lots more security vulnerabilities. Yeah. Yeah,
You've got a ton of stuff connected to the Internet,

(03:14):
to make sense, Yeah, and not all of it is
as protected as your notebook or yes, and you're less
protected items. People are still terrible at passwords, right, So
One problem is that you've got a lot of Internet
of Things devices that don't have any password protection at all.
Another problem is that some of them have hard coded passwords,
meaning that if you get access to what a company

(03:35):
uses as the hard code password for that particular product,
it's open season. And then a lot of people just
never bother changing the the standard password that comes like
with a router. For example, I got a new router,
and so I went in and changed the password because
the default password was password. Do you remember when we

(03:56):
did the story about the baby monitors that we're being
taken over by hackers from all over the world to
watch it on other people's babies and talk to them
and like yell at them and tell them to start crying. Yep,
that's not not cool. Uh. And I think that was
because of unchanged default passwords. Yeah, yeah, it exactly was.

(04:16):
What What wasn't there a story about like like utility centers,
like like river dams or something like that having the
software in them that had unchanged passwords. There were there
were stories of there were stories of they were using
baby monitors to control the damns. There were stories of
of code found in some of those systems where it
was clear that foreign agents had managed to infiltrate the

(04:39):
systems of various important utility companies across the United States
and put in code that was not meant to be there,
uh through whatever. Who knows how it got there. It
could have gotten there by a thumb drive or you
know anything. But the reason why I bring up Internet
things in particular is that recently there was a story
that I saw in tech Dirt about a security researcher

(05:01):
named Brian Krebs who was the target of a directed
denial of service attack a di DOS attack, where apparently
he was being hit by a six twenty gigabits per
second of traffic to the website that he he has.
That's a lot of gigabits. Gigabits, Yeah, when a Google
Fiber connection is one gigabit per second and that's way
faster than anything I have. Six twenty is massive. And

(05:24):
the they suspect that the a lot of this traffic
came from Internet of Things devices like digital video recorders
and routers. This means that the hacker who was perpetrating
the attack and captured lots of devices out in the
wild essentially made them work for him. Or her. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
very much. So. Uh, there are other issues with Internet things,

(05:47):
like the concept of privacy. We've talked about this before,
the idea that if you have an environment that's going
to react to you and change according to your preferences,
it has to know about you in order to do that,
which means you give up some of your private to see,
even if it's not your name or any other kind
of demographic information about you, it starts to learn your preferences,

(06:07):
which alone is a very valuable database of information for
lots of different companies. And as it turns out, just
if you want an Internet of things that is customizable
and personalized, then you have to Yeah. Yeah, so that's
growing concern. All that being said, I still think the

(06:28):
Internet of things concept is really cool, but um, you know,
it's we we need to be really aware of how
we develop and implement that technology in order to do
it responsibly. Some of the other cool things we talked
about in those early episodes. So I was going back
through and I was looking at all the different titles
and stuff. I reminded I was reminded that how much

(06:49):
I loved the episodes we did about time. Oh that
was fun. Yeah, talking about how time is dependent upon
your context, right, your frame of reference. So if you're
traveling super fast and and some one else is on
is not traveling super fast. From your perspective, traveling super fast,
it looks like their life is just whishing by, and
from their perspective, it would look like you are barely

(07:11):
moving at all within the frame of one. Yeah, that
that episode gave me a headache, I remember, because it
was all like time is relative, literally relative to your
frame of reference. That's why we say that. I know
some people take that to mean that time does not exist,
to which I disagree. Yeah, I saw a recent article

(07:32):
about people suggesting that time was merely a construct in
our minds. It was essentially our brain's way of making
sense of things, and that times arrow doesn't point in
one direction because if you start looking at massive calculations
on the galactic scale, they are reversible, whether time travels
in one direction or the other. So it may just
be that at our very tiny local level, we have

(07:54):
to have time going in a specific way or else
things don't make sense. And like what but what I think?
Time definitely does exist, but it's possible that the present
does not exist. I get presents all the time. We
also talked about some pop culture stuff. Two of my
favorite episodes We've ever done. Yeah, those back to Back

(08:17):
to the Future part two, parts one and two where
it was back to Back to the Future to part two.
That was my favorite title ever. Those those were some
great episodes. Yeah, that's where we learned that everyone will
have a fax machine in every room of their house. Yes,
many people would be Michael J. Fox. Did we rate
that true? I think we said that was a good one, right,

(08:37):
it might have been. I it's been a long time.
The what's the pizza disc where they stick a little
pizza disk? You really know how to hydrated pizza? Yeah? Yeah,
and half of the pizza had just had bell peppers
on it, and I was like, what is wrong with you?
You know? One of my favorite episodes we ever did
was the one about the future of talking, the future

(08:57):
of speech. Maybe not the future of talk. That's not
how should put it? Language the languages that we speak,
because languages change over time. They evolve over time just
like organisms do, but on much shorter time scales and
in very interesting ways. One of my favorite classes I
took in college was the history of the English language,
learning about how English has changed since you know, the

(09:21):
year eight hundred, and it has changed dramatically since then,
it very much. Yeah, an English speaker today without a
lot of training could not read Old English Anglo Saxon
would need to have You would sit there and say like,
I'm pretty sure this is Germany. Yeah, yeah, And and
we we also got to to read a bunch of
of of different bits of language from from uh, like

(09:42):
a hundred years in the past, each time like seventy
years in the past, something like that. We jumped back
and back and back until the old English thought yeah, yeah, yeah,
it's my favorite. Hailing did the h for the Middle English?
Yeah yeah, okay, fair enough, Okay, No, So we we

(10:08):
talked about how language changes over time, and we tried
to think, okay, well, looking at how language has changed
in the past, can we make predictions about the future.
We made a few, but but we weren't able to
make all that many predictions about how English is going
to change in the future, because I don't know, it's
hard to predict things like this. But I went back
to see if there had been anything interesting published on

(10:29):
this topic since our podcast came out. And Son of
a Gun. One really interesting article I read was from
The Economist and it was published just about a month
after our podcast came out. This is the problem there,
and it would have been a great resource for us
because it was really interested interesting. So it pointed out

(10:50):
one thing about English that is going to be highly
determinative of how it changes in the future, which is
that about two thirds of the people who speak English
in the world are not native English speakers. More people
speak English as a non native language than as a
native language, and so it's possible that English has actually

(11:10):
used more as a kind of lingua franca around the
world then it is as somebody's default speaking language. And
there's no real sign of this reversing. So what does
this mean for the future of English and uh And
the article pointed out that linguistics researchers have short they've
sort of shown that bigger languages that you know, incorporate
more speakers, tend to become simpler. As a language is

(11:34):
spoken by more non native adults, it's likely to lose
unnecessary bits and rules such as grammatical inflection. Jonathan, you
know this from the history of English. English used to
have different versions of the same word depending on what
grammatical role that word played in English, and some languages

(11:56):
are still like this. Well yeah, like English used to
have different words or you as a singular you, and
you as in a group of people you. In fact,
if you get down to it, it had you you
too and all of you guys, which we we in
the South still have because we have y'all, and that
that's a totally different type of that's true all y'all,

(12:18):
which is way more people than just y'all. Oh man,
I love all y'all. Y'all is a good word. I
think all English speakers should adopt y'all. But but anyway,
so the example that that is given in the article
of the grammatical inflection changing would be who versus whom.
So it's the same word, but it changes whether based

(12:40):
on whether you're using it is the subject or the
object and the sentence. English used to have this kind
of thing for all kinds of words, and most of
these have already gone away, and whom is probably going
to disappear as well. But we can expect similar types
of streamlining of the rules of language. And in a
good way to figure this out is to listen to
a adults trying to learn to speak English. Whatever is

(13:03):
tripping them up the most, say like verb tense aspect,
which is where there are three different forms of the
present tense. So like, uh, let's say you know you've
got a saw and you're sawing a board, so you
say I saw. You can also say I am sawing.
You can also say I do saw. You're no matter

(13:26):
what you're sawing? All the what? What is with all
these different tense cases? This is stupid. We're probably going
to lose stuff like that. I'm okay with most of that. Yeah,
we we can also expect dialects and pronunciation to continue
to change. All the Northern cities shift in how we
pronounce American vowels that we mentioned that in our old episode.

(13:48):
And another interesting thing they pointed out in this article
is is sort of eui isms, which is how we're
the meanings of words changing based on words in English
being misused because similar sounding words means something different in
another language. Yes, so they give a great example of this.

(14:10):
I'm just going to read a quote from the article. Quote.
For example, European Union bureaucrats are likely to use the
English control to mean monitor or verify because controller or
controllery in have this meaning. In French and German. Other
examples are assist for attend and actual for current. Yeah,

(14:34):
control being used to mean monitor a verif I could
cause some real confusion right now, Yeah, yeah, because you
use that in just the you know you're talking about
like let's say, let's say that you're talking about monitoring
the behavior of a crowd. If you're talking about controlling
the behavior of a crowd, that has a totally different meaning,
right yeah, yeah, And I'm sure it could lead to
those kinds of confusions. But but yeah, I don't know

(14:55):
that that was really interesting to me. I don't know,
maybe this is more interesting to me than it is
to other but trying to imagine just how the very
words we speak will be different. Well, and we had
so many episodes that kind of we're spokes connected to
this concept, right. We had the ones where we said, well,
how do you create a language that people will be
able to understand ten thousand years from now? Right? How

(15:17):
do you create ways of alerting people to your intent
when you have no way of knowing how how the
language is going to evolve change, Maybe even the language
you're using is completely eradicated by the time, and and
you need that for certain things like telling people, hey,
this is where we stored all our nuclear waste. Don't
go in here, exactly touch it, don't put it in

(15:38):
your eyeballs. It's going to be dangerous for longer than
your language exists, and exactly on eyestalks. That's a great
way of saying that. We also had an episode about
how would we talk to aliens? Like, we really did
focus on language in quite a few episodes. And and
possibly because we're in English major, I was about to
make the same reference. Yes, the fact that we're English

(15:59):
majors probably had something to do with that, but it's
it is a really interesting to think about, the thing
to think about. I don't think we're ever going to
get to the point where we only uh communicate in
references and metaphor the way that Star Trek Next Generation
episode everyone likes but is actually secretly terrible um dead

(16:19):
the Star Trek episodes, Yes, Darmak so Picard beams down
to a planet he's down with an alien leader. They
do not the universal translator will not translate what the
guy is saying, and the guy only speaks in um
in in references to things that are relevant in his culture.

(16:40):
So like if he wants to say right if well,
sadly no, or interpretive dance would have been great too,
but neither is true. So so if he wanted to say,
you and I need to work together in order to
overcome this challenge, instead he would say like Darmak and
jannad at Tanagra, that would be because in his culture
that references a story of two powl who used to

(17:01):
be at cross purposes, but who then work together to
overcome a third problem. Uh, that would be. But the
issue I have there is that unless you have a language,
you cannot build the stories that you then use as
reference to communicate your ideas. Well, maybe they had a
language and they forgotten and now, but how do you
That seems like a really inefficient way to teach people

(17:22):
how to communicate, like talking you to a baby, like
once they get to the point where they are beyond
making the actual sounds like all right, now, I gotta
teach you an entire sentence to mean this general idea
that that can be applied to anything that falls within
that general idea. I can imagine that maybe if all

(17:42):
teaching of language is done with visual aids, like if
they don't just have books that are just text, but
everything is like captions accompanying images. Yeah, maybe, sure, Sure.
There was an interesting play by by Johnny Drago that
happened here in Atlanta that positive um that that in
some not too distant future are archaeologists would would find

(18:05):
scraps of of of what we know today's human language
and call it proto emoji. I both love it and
hate it at the same time. That's fantastic, Jonathan, what's
your favorite emoji? I mean, poop, It's always going to
be the answer. I'm a big fan of the alligator.
I don't know why. Sometimes I just send my wife

(18:26):
an alligator, very very rarely. I mean the closest I
I use are still emoticons. I don't tend to use
a lot of emojis. Some some of the chat stuff
will automatically translate an emoticon into an emoji. Was so
mad about that, Like, if I wanted an emoji, I
would have put it in there. I just wanted to
colon end up, you know, a closed parentheses. I didn't
want it to be like this weird gaping smiling thing. Uh,

(18:51):
but I'm old So, okay, I've got another favorite episode. Okay,
you don't want to tell us about your favorite emoji?
Oh you did? You did? Alligator? Like alg it? And
I like the devil. I like I like the I
like the cat, not the cat face, the kind of
disdainful cat. Yeah, yeah, cat frowning upon you. Yeah. I
don't know how a cat that's like less than a

(19:13):
centimeter manages to still look disdainful. It's like a cat's superpower,
pretty sure. Disdainful cat and devil or suck it petting?
All right, what any other favorite episodes you want to cover? Yeah?
There was one I remembered that I had a lot
of fun thinking about, and it was the one about
what happens when a robot breaks the law? Where we
were covering a couple of stories about computer programs that

(19:36):
had had had done something autonomously that required the attention
of law enforcement. Now, it's not any big problem to
imagine what should be done when a robot does a
essentially performs a directed action that it was program to do,
and then it breaks the law. Right then you would

(19:58):
you would argue whoever, whomever programmed the robot would be
at fault. Yeah, but what about when when robots or
computer programs autonomously do something that has harmful legal repercussions,
but nobody directly told it to do that, It's just
emergent behavior. Uh. And so I really remember thinking that

(20:19):
was a very interesting problem problem to think about, like
what it makes you consider, what is the nature of
legal and moral responsibility? Who really should bear it? And
then also I know that you guys did an episode
without me about robot personhood, which I think sort of
revisited this topic, didn't. Yeah, definitely, it wasn't on purpose.

(20:40):
We wanted you to be there. You just weren't there
for whatever personal reason you had for not being there
that day. We weren't like, let us exclude Joe from
this episode. That's when I was out of town for
something I would imagine so um but but yeah, yeah,
the episode was called Our Robots Electronic Persons. It was
from July of this year. Um, And we did it
because the European Parliament had released a proposal for civil

(21:04):
laws that relate to robotics um and very much so
talked about section of this proposal discussed possibilities for robot
person right. Essentially, this was a committee that said, we
got together to think about these things that we've been
saying we should think about for quite some time, and
here's what we concluded. And they had some suggestions, but
nothing that was definitive. Right. It wasn't like this was

(21:26):
going to be enacted into law. Yeah, it was more like,
we really should have a committee that's thinking about this thing,
that can create something that can be enacted into Right,
here's here's a here are some basic ideas that we
could head toward. But we're not suggesting this is the
end goal. Rather, these are the sort of things that
these dedicated committees should talk about. It was a meeting
calling for more meetings, yeah, but they were also being

(21:46):
more They're also calling for people who were experts not
just in the technology, but also in social social law,
things that would be important to make sure they could
roll out also throughout the entire European Union and not
They didn't want to see a future where various countries
were taking their own approaches to this and creating an

(22:08):
incompatible system within the European Union. So it was actually
a very a very forward thinking proposal. There were some
segments in it that did kind of lend themselves to
at least some simple jokes about the idea of robots,
like robots getting paid a salary, for example, But the
whole purpose of that was not to pay a robot
so that the robot is motivated to do a good job,

(22:30):
but rather to have a fund so that if that
robot ever were to do something that would cause harm
or damage, then money from that fund could go towards
compensating the injured party. That sort of idea, So it
was really an interesting thing to look into. I really,
I really enjoyed that episode. Both of those episodes yeah yeah, UM.
A lot of my favorite ones over the years have

(22:52):
have of course been the medical ones. That's kind of
one of my beats, Like I'm I'm so excited whenever
we get to talk about things like vaccines or pain,
or blood or bacteria. Um. I was not in a
few of these. I know that because I listened to
so many in preparation for this episode. Uh so so
so those those have been some of my favorites, and
of course medical technology is advancing all the time. I

(23:13):
honestly didn't check to see what exactly we said about
things in all of those episodes. I just wanted to
be like, oh, man, wasn't it great when we talked
about the future of Blood. Wasn't it Blood was fun?
I think I think Blood the Blood was the one
that I think we released it with a technical error
where my microphone was turned off and they were hearing

(23:34):
me through y'all's microphones. We had to re release it.
That sometimes happens. Yeah, sure, technical difficulties do in fact occur,
although for for the for for very much the most part,
Mr Noel Brown and Mr Dilan Fagan do excellent work. Yeah,
he is waving at us right now. Another one, as
I was scrolling through archive, was the one about US

(23:55):
search results in swaying elections, because that was one that
I I love it when I'm completely flabbergasted by things
that I learned here around the house to works offices,
and and that was one that I had no idea
about and it was so surprising to me. And the
concept is that we all rely on Google so so

(24:16):
much and so trustfully that um that the first what
is it for search results or I mean, depending on
the size of your screen, I suppose that show up
in your immediate field of vision are basically what what
opinion you draw about something that you don't know about, right,
you don't, You don't. Very few people go beyond even
what is above the fold. If they do scroll down,

(24:36):
they even fewer will go to page two for example
of results, and and to go beyond that is essentially
unheard of. So uh, if you are able to position
your results so that they appear in those first couple
of links, you are in really good position to have
people check your stuff out. So if you have to
believe it to to to believe that because it is

(24:57):
that high in the Google search, also that of worthwhile
news sources. Yeah, Google has built its reputation on having
very reliable search results. So part of that then lens
this idea that whatever links you see have inherent credibility
to Yeah. Yeah, so yeah, and and this is a
story that we've seen resurface as we lead up to
the elections here in the United States. Uh, just a

(25:19):
couple of weeks ago, I saw a story where the
same sort of idea was being brought up. In fact,
I think one of our pitch meetings for How Stuff Works,
someone brought it up on a Monday editorial brainstorming. And
when I heard them, like, I'm pretty sure we covered
that like a year ago. Yeah, yeah, so so I
guess as the elections are coming up as of this recording,
do do actual research, don't do Google researches. What dive

(25:43):
into at this point is anybody still forming their opinions
of the candidates though, well, the presidential candidates maybe not,
but local local candidates. Yeah, good point. There are many
local candidates to be to to take into consideration. I
think I think a majority of Congress members are up
for reelection here, so uh, I don't know. Maybe if
y'all have some opinions about how things have been happening

(26:04):
in this country, check that up. Rock the vote. Don't
write my name in for anything. I don't need that
level of response to everything. Luckily, not every state is
allowed to do that, so I'm not going to become
the governor of everywhere. That would be real awkward. Yeah,
I can't split my time like that. Other other favorite

(26:27):
episodes are, of course the food episodes, and we've had
some great episodes about food um uh. We had that
really early couple of episodes about the future of protein
um in which we mentioned that we mentioned that lab
grown burger. This was and and at the time carried
a thousand dollar price tech um, which we all agreed

(26:49):
was a bit steep for a burger. Yeah, even even
for one grown in a lab. I think that'd be
a bit dear for me, as just just three years later,
these things cost eleven dollars and thirty six cents to produce. Phenomenal.
Now you're talking about Atlanta high end burger joint price ranges.
Oh yeah, yeah, there are burgers sold in the building

(27:11):
we're in right now that cost more than that. Yeah,
that's true right downstairs. Yep. But so that was fascinating
the borg chef y'all, uh, including our very like I
think still our favorite moment and all a forward thinking
when you guys looked up recipes, Um, you never did
cook and we still can just not just not on

(27:32):
this audio show. Snack stuff sometimes snack stuff two, Yes,
that was it that on a cooking show. There was
some like some like dumpling that just mustard green dumplings.
Actually the filling for the dumplings was just pure olives.
It's going to be the saltiest salties. Mustard greens were

(27:54):
used to line the bamboo steamer. When you right, we
talked about how often whatever the identified main ingredient was
sometimes didn't appear in the dish or was listed as optional.
Oh I love you, Chef Watson, You're you're, You're the
very best chef ever um and uh and then oh
it's speaking of Star Trek. Is I feel like we

(28:16):
have a whole bunch over the past couple episodes here? Uh,
Star Trek Economy from way back in December. Yeah, that
was usually economic topics aren't the thing that I'm psyched about.
I think that was one of our most popular podcast
episodes ever. It was fun to talk about, largely because
first we got to address the fact that Star Trek

(28:37):
has not been consistent with the way that it's treated
its economy. Like essentially, in Star Trek it says money
doesn't exist unless the plot requires it too. Um. But
it was also just funny fun to talk about, Well,
how would we would it be possible to get to
a time when currency and wealth are no longer really
a thing, or at least personal wealth isn't. Maybe you know,

(28:58):
species wealth idea of having enough resources of energy and
all the other needs to distribute to everybody so that
there's no want or or wanting of things. Then um, maybe,
but yeah, that was a fun one to talk about, really,
to to kind of wrap your head around what would
it take for us to get to that point? Uh,

(29:20):
And it's it's mostly boils down to lots and lots
of energy and jumpsuits. Jumpsuits as well. Yes, and the
Picard maneuver where you stand up and then you you know,
or you sit down and then you tug your Also
the Riker maneuver, which involves sitting in chairs by swinging
your leg over the back of the chair and then
sitting down and sometimes getting up the same way but
in reverse. It's amazing how often he does that. Yeah,

(29:44):
there's or or or rests the rests the foot on
the top of a chair, like like not on the
seat of a chair, like on the top of the
back like I mean, I understand he's tall, right, Well
he needs it's it's a it's a form of dominance.
He's called number two and he has to constantly prove
himself to everybody else because he's not number one. Ricker

(30:04):
doesn't have to prove anything to you. He had to
grow a beard. It was from season one to season two,
and it proved to me that he could grow facial hair.
He can very nice facial hair. Jonathan preferred him with
the beard. Yeah. Also also one of the episodes that
you that you were not here with us for Jonathan

(30:25):
Bees Future of Bees. What was in my eyes? I'm
forgetting Oh man, I wish I had looked this up.
I think I think I have the notes open. Maybe
I can go check it out. There. There was some
kind of terrible wonderful word that we discovered. Uh, that
we discovered a lot of maybe maybe it was just robobies.

(30:48):
There were robbies. There was some kind of there was
kind of be vitamin. There was a thing they fed bees. No,
I mean some kind of like like be steroids to
give them powers, give them. Missed out on that one. No,
that was that was megabe Megabe. It was called megabee Megabee.

(31:11):
What was megabee? Was that the stuff? Yeah? It was
like a little like be like protein shaken kind of Yeah,
that you feed, you feed bees to to help keep
them through through the winter. Yeah. That and uh, I
remember we did a commercial for it. Didn't me it
was beef up your nice. Well, I'm sad I missed

(31:33):
all the being activity. I'm sad that you missed it
to um also, and this is a visual reference because
I don't remember how how good the actual episode was,
but we did. We did a spider episode, I think
also were you okay okay, But Joe added this amazing
photograph into into the notes and let me explain it

(31:55):
to you, and then I'm going to show it to
the guys for for visual reference. Um. It's it's a
it's a kind of like a close up of the
spider with like really pretty blue beady eyes and it's
it's like little mandibles and and so it's it's it's
very it's sort of like like fish islands, like when
you have like a dog that's like right up in
a camera and the and the caption plastered across it

(32:15):
is Spiber, Spiper, Spiber and this is what it looks like. Dudes. Yeah,
that's that's what I'm nearly. I didn't make it, uh,
and and it just it brings me such joy occasionally
I just think about it and a giggle. Rarely do
we include images in our notes, but once in a

(32:36):
while that does happen, and it's typically for our benefit
and not for yours. But one thing we have done
for your benefit is. While most of the episodes have
at least some combination of the three of us in them,
we've also had some other folks on our show as well.
Oh yeah, we should give them all a shout out.
We've appreciated all of our wonderful co hosts, or get

(32:58):
our wonderful guests. Yes, yes, we we had Holly Fry
come on and talk about the future of fashion. That
one lovely time that Julie joined us for a couple
episodes about weather control Julie Douglas. That is um, Raquel
Willis talking about gender. Uh. Scott Benjamin and Benjamin Bolan

(33:18):
talking about car computerization. I think it's just called Scott
Benjamin Bolan Yes, um, Christian Sager talking about superheroes, also
about ruins, the ruins of the future, Oh yeah, yeah
yeah um. And also Robert Liam talking about monsters, the
future of monsters, like what monsters will inhabit our future.

(33:39):
So thanks to all of them for lending their talent
and expertise and making our show better and giving us,
giving us the opportunity to talk about subjects that aren't
necessarily within our own wheelhouses. But we have so much
knowledge available here at how Stuff works. It's actually pretty humbling.
It's intimidating as heck. Yeah, that's absolutely a thing that

(34:00):
Jonathan you have added to this show is ridiculously penny
title honey, titles and references. So I decided to just
get a collection of some of the best of the
worst or worst of the best, or however you want
to define it. And I haven't shared this with the
with Joe and Lauren, although I'm sure you both were
scrolling through the episodes and everything. Here's some of the
titles that we have used in past episodes. I'm just

(34:22):
gonna go through them. We're not going to talk about
necessarily what the subjects were. But there was my so
called life casting. It's for that MTV generation out there. Uh,
no more waking up in a bathtub full of ice
artificial organs. Yep ye, your brother, brother, Can you spare
a zero one one zero zero one zero zero? Who

(34:42):
wants to live forever? Shades of degray? Uh, it's coming
right for us. That was another one. That was the
autonomous car trolley problem episode. Oh not not about an asteroid?
Oh no, no, you're right. That one was the asteroid one. Yeah.
Then there's a four D printing is one d better?

(35:04):
Uh do robots rite of electric sheep? Uh play that
funky music Android send in the clones. That's the best
Babies in Space Inconceivable, and that was about conception. And
and then there was there was Babies in Space That's Heavy,
which was about microgravity effects on babies. Uh Quick to

(35:28):
the Zeppelin. I just think that's an awesome title. Also,
Uh Pew pew laser. Uh. And then there's a That's
so random parentheses number generator in parentheses. Uh. Then Finding
Nemo that's in E E M O, which was about
a nautical facility. There was where we're going we do
need roads. Uh, computers know if you're sarcastic, Yeah, right,

(35:53):
our cryonics cool and you have twenty seconds to comply. Uh.
Those are Yeah, it's a RoboCop because we did one
about robo security. And so that was the quote I
used as or the reference I used as the title.
And finally, let's let's kind of conclude this with a
discussion about one of the most irritating things about this

(36:14):
show that I introduced fairly early on, opening up episodes
with song quotes. Why do you say irritating, because whenever
I wasn't here. You had to do it, and based
upon the entries you guys made, I'm guessing it wasn't
necessarily fun. We we enjoy it when you do it,

(36:36):
do we always forget until we were literally right in
the studio And that happened to me on a few
occasions too, as will be apparent when I go through
some of the stats. But first I want to say
that we when we started the show, we didn't do
that right. That wasn't something that I just did from
the very beginning, although it didn't take too long into
the existence of the show before I introduced it, but
I was. I started by just introducing silly comments about

(36:58):
the future in general, starting in the spring, and I
would say things like this is an actual quote, welcome
to forward Thinking, the show where we look at the
future and say can we hear you? And well, that
is kind of what we do, isn't it. Yeah. There
was another one where it's like how are you doing?
That was we look at the future and say, how
are you doing? We're not like Ray Bradberry who want
to prevent the future from happening. So, but the one

(37:21):
I just referred to the camere year that one came
from Hollywood Ruined Holograms that episode, but I hadn't started
quoting songs yet. And when I did start quoting songs,
I didn't go all in like another episode. I might
just say something weird. I wouldn't necessarily quote a song
or might quote a movie. It wasn't until later that
I got into doing it frequently, but those early ones,

(37:44):
like I was quoting some really uh wonderful pieces of
music like Rebecca Black's Friday or they Carli ray Jefson's
song called Me Maybe that was one, And I remember
when I did that one, I started getting judged by
you two. And that's I think what drove me into
doing it more free quickly, because it was the trolling
aspect in about half of the episodes early on. I'm

(38:07):
like that sounds you're hearing is Lauren shaking her head
and me but um uh. The from what I can tell,
the first song lyric I ever referenced was put Me
in a Wheelchair and Get Me to the Show, which
is from the Ramones song I Want to Be Sedated.
I'm a big fan of punk rock in general, the
Ramons in particular, and other stuff like rockabilly, surf rock,
and garage rock, so as well as glam and new wave.

(38:28):
Like a lot of those songs have representation if you
look at the full list. Um, that episode that I
quoted that song in was Building with Bacteria, which published May.
By the time we got two Shades of Degree, I
was quoting songs pretty much with every episode. There were
a couple of exceptions, but um, there was a time
in the summer, late summer of that I kind of

(38:49):
stopped and I was doing other stuff. But then I
came back to songs, so I decided to do some
something insane. Leaving up to this episode. I did not
get a chance to listen to every single entry or
intro rather, but I listened to two hundred and seventy
seven of them home dang, So it's just a whole
bunch o buddy, or your ears hurting. Let me tell

(39:11):
you this. I could stand to go the rest of
my life without hearing Ben Boland say welcome to forward Thinking,
because I heard it. I heard it two hundred and
seventy seven times. Uh So, here here's some stats for
you guys. First of all, we know which band I
referenced the most frequently they might be giants. It's exactly right.
So out of those two seventy seven song entries, which

(39:33):
by the way, that that does not correspond to two
d seventy seven episodes, there was one episode where I
did three song quotes in a go, so that's a
little different. Also, there's at least twenty year thirty that
I didn't get to. But out of the two seven
I listened to, I quoted that they might be giants
song sixteen times, by far by by twice as much

(39:53):
as the next leading artist. But I bet you won't
guess who the second highest are are. The second most
frequent artist would be Prince, not not really Prince. Actually
a little bit further down the list, Prince had five total. Okay,
I know I did Prince at least twice. Yeah, you
did the same song twice, did couple Rain twice in

(40:14):
a row. But uh, you know the Beatles, and we
both did Fixing the Hole. We both quoted fixing the Hole, Joe, Um,
you and I. So that was why. And I'll talk
more about some of the songs that were listed more
than once in just a second. Talking Heads and uh
Weird Al Yankovic were next at seven songs each. This
is not my surprised face. Yeah. Jonathan Colton followed up

(40:37):
with six to be fair. Actually, I guess technically it's no,
it's is six because I I quoted him in that
last episode last week and I went ahead through that
one in Prince would be five as well as Rocky
Horror Picture Show songs were done five times, David Bowie
five times, Huey Lewis and The News five times. Uh.

(40:57):
And there's one artist that we did four times, and
it was the same song every single time Game Sticks
Mr Roboto. Um, So every time I did a Sticks
song it ended up being Mr. Not necessarily the same line.
Did you just forget that you've done it? Yeah? Because
I didn't. Here's the thing, this show has been going

(41:17):
on a while. The reason why I had to listen
to these is because I didn't keep a sheet of
what I had used. I didn't have a list, so
I had to go back and make a list because
I didn't I didn't have All I was doing was
listening for a lyric that I Typically I wanted to
try to find find something that was relevant to the topic,
although that was not always the case. UM and and

(41:41):
when we've been we've been doing this for three and
a half years, about a hundred episodes a year. Yeah, yeah,
so yeah, they add up pretty quickly. So here's a
couple of other little stats, and then we'll conclude and
say goodbye to everybody. About the songs. Uh, if you
wanted to know what trend was the biggest in besides
you know, the individual artists that were on the most musicals.

(42:01):
I quoted more musicals than any other genre. So here
are some of the musicals that you may have heard.
Lyrics from Rocky Horror and its sequel, Shock Treatment, Fame,
Tommy Mary Poppins, Lame Zaraba, West Side Story, Greece to
Bye Bye Birdie, Oklahoma a chorus Line, Hair, Wizard of Oz, Cabaret,

(42:22):
The Producers, Jungle Book, Sunday in the Park, next to Normal,
and I did Annie last week. So lots of musicals. Uh.
Then if you want to talk, we also reference some
television show themes. Joe, on one of the episodes, you said, uh,
the podcast that looks at the future and humes the
theme to TV's Night Writer. So I was like that

(42:45):
that was possibly my favorite because it was the laziest
and most awesome. At the same time, I forgot about that.
That was definitely a day that we were like, screw
this lyric we did. I referenced. I referenced the actual
lyrics to the Star Trek theme twice, because there are
lyrics to the Star Trek. How about the lyrics to
yub Nub the Ewok celebration Z No. But we did
reference Jedi Rocks okay, for the Lightsaber episode we talked

(43:09):
about I did the the Alien language for the beginning
of Jedi Rocks. Lauren, how did you let it happen
that we never did an episode without Jonathan that did
yub Nub. I can't. I'm very disappointed. It's not Cannon anymore. Anyway,
It's not in the end of Return of the Jedi anymore.
The yub Nub is forever. No one can take yub

(43:31):
Nub away from us. Other TV show themes we mentioned
our TV music that we mentioned. We mentioned ep up Or,
which came from the Jetsons. The Spider Man theme song
was referenced. The Mickey Mouse Club theme song was referenced.
For songs that we use more than once, um Mr
Roboto leads at four, but at three we have. I'm

(43:53):
so ashamed of this one bad case of Loving You
by Robert Palmer, and we did that three till I'm sorry.
Of my mom's favorite songs, I didn't. We did a
lot of medical stuff, and there's only so many songs
that have doctor in them that aren't about prescribing drugs
for the wrong reason or or mistreating patients. And I'm like,

(44:13):
I don't want to go that route. Um Weird Science
also three times, Space Oddity three times, Um Marvin I
Love You from Marvin the Paranoid Android three times. It
is a sweet song Back in Time by Huey Lewis
in the News three times, Purple Rain twice, Once in
a Lifetime by Talking Heads was at least twice. Dr

(44:36):
Worm was twice from They Might Be Giants uh, and
a lot of other ones. I mean, we there were
tons of songs from things like Monty Python, uh, Frank Sinatra.
We did Come Fly with Me twice, but we also
did Fly Me to the Moon, but that was only once,
so Sinatra had some representation. So anyway, Yeah, it was
fun just to look over these, and again, there's at
least twenty or thirty that I didn't get to now, Jonathan,

(44:58):
do you think that these, uh, these talis of song
lyrics provide some insights about what we've learned doing this show.
I think mostly the insight is Jonathan is really good
at searching for lyrics that contain very specific keywords, even
if he isn't very familiar with the song. I appreciate
your diligence on this front. I mean there are I

(45:21):
mean the fact that they might be giants was he
sixteen times tells you that I'm enormous they might be
giants fan obviously, and also I used several of their
songs more than once, like Nanobots, even some songs that
aren't widely known outside of the dedicated fan base where
they might be giants. Um. I think it also shows
that I'm a kid of the eighties because there were

(45:41):
an awful lot of songs that came from new wave bands,
from Elton John Uh, from Pink Floyd, Um seventies and
eighties songs. A lot of those and fewer like two
of the songs that Joe picked actually the same song
he picked twice, Toxic by Britney Spears, Um pick that
two times? Yeah, I actually I color coded uh artists

(46:05):
that other people picked, which included you know, the Beatles,
Fixing the Whole, Prince's Purple Rain, Huey Lewis, and the News. Uh.
Lauren quoted Hip to be Square in an episode I
did not. I was very proud of you though. Um Joe.
Twice you referenced Blondie also Fantastic Blondie. Yeah, Rapture and
Heart of Glass you did both. Oh no, I did

(46:25):
Heart of Glass. You did Rapture. Um because you did
the man from Mars who was eating cars. Uh. Lauren.
You referenced one of the greatest bands of all time,
Aqua with Barbie Girl, and it wasn't for the Hello
Barbie episode because I referenced in that one. Uh. Joe.
You referenced Bobby pick It twice. Um. Yeah, because he's

(46:48):
the guy who wrote Monster Mash. Uh. You referenced Tracy
Chapman once. Joe, Um, Lauren, you referenced Jimi Aquai with
Virtual Insanity for a VR episode. Joe, you reference Madonna
for a material girl for a material science episode. I
was so pleased. Lauren. You reference ce low Green with

(47:09):
Forget You Uh once. Um. We had a couple of
other things, like nursy rhymes things like or or baby
songs like rockabye baby, stuff like that, which also on
top of spaghetti Joe, you're a big fan of those.
You reference free Falling by Tom Petty Joe. Uh. Steam
powered giraffes honey Bee for the Bees episode, Lauren, Uh,

(47:33):
I did not know that. I had never heard of
steam powered giraffe, and now I know it's a thing.
So those are just some of the insights. Uh. And
then I did every pretty much everything else. So I think,
I think what we've learned here is that, Uh, in
this journey we have taken together, we all have something
to be ashamed of. Yes, we all can carry that
shame with us and now no longer share it with

(47:54):
the rest of the world, at least not in this format.
But we have really appreciated did you guys, you listeners
out there, We get your your messages whenever we've had
an issue with the episodes. The fact that people respond
so quickly tells us that you care. So while it's
frustrating to have problems, even on our side, like we
don't like to see that either, but to see that

(48:16):
it would be awful to have problems and no one
say anything because that means no one's listening, right, But
we have dedicated listeners who love the show, and so
I really appreciate that. And of course there are tons
of people who reach out and say wonderful positive things
to us, and we appreciate you guys. Oh yeah, we
are frequently really bad at answering those messages. Um and
an apologies that you've never been shouting into avoid um

(48:39):
or or saying lovely things and to avoid whichever right is. Um.
But uh uh we we we tend to get really
very quite busy with with other projects around the office here,
and uh, many of those projects are going to be continuing. Yeah,
we should talk about that. So Lauren, first let people
know what other stuff you work on so that they
can check that out. Uh now, my hull, what are

(49:02):
my main projects? That's an interesting question that I haven't
really thought about the answer to. Um. I'm doing a
video series and also a podcast, a podcast podcast called
How Stuff Works Now, which is virtually ungoogle able, but
I have faith in y'all, um, and I do writing
in performance for a bunch of other How Stuff Works

(49:23):
video kind of stuff. So so, so watch the house
touff works channel in general and and kind of beyond
the lookout. Hopefully, hopefully, sometime relatively soon, I will have
a new podcast to talk to you guys about. Oh
and those live things, the Facebook live stuff. Yes, uh,
snack stuff and uh and et cetera. Um. Usually happens
either Monday around three pm Eastern or Friday around three

(49:48):
pm Eastern. Lauren, what is snack stuff? Is that like
where you eat those cappuccino flavored potato chips. That is
exactly what happened sometimes, but we haven't had one of
the cappuccino flavored ones. Yeah. Mr Ben Bowling and I
get together on Facebook Live for about forty minutes or so.
I'll frequently Dylan subjects himself to whatever we have brought
as well, and um we we yeah, so so yeah

(50:10):
we we we bring weird snacks and we eat them
and we talk a little bit a little bit about them. Um,
it's it's a lovely time. And we get to eat
on camera, which is a dream of all of ours
to just have all of those great mouth noises and
weird expressions that you make when that's occurring broadcast live
to the world. Joe, what about you, Well, I am
also one of the hosts of the podcast stuff to

(50:31):
Blow Your Mind, one of How Stuff Works as other
podcast with our co workers Robert Lamb and Christian Saga.
We cover primarily science, but also with a tinge of culture, history, monsters, weirdness,
anything to make you squirm. And you can find us

(50:53):
at stuff to Blow your Mind dot com. I also
write for How Stuff Works videos, So if you keep
an eye out for House to Works, the House to
Works video channel where Lauren will be doing things, I
will be doing them there as well. Yeah, I co
ho Well now I host a show called tech Stuff,
occasionally co host because I grab people all the time
to sit in and join and we talk about technology,

(51:14):
how it works and how it works on us or
with us uh, and those topics can be very technical
or they can be really kind of more like on
the philosophical side of things. It all depends upon the
topic at the time. So you can check that episode,
those episodes out, there's like eight hundred of them. So
if you haven't listened to Tech Stuff, you've got some

(51:34):
catching up to do. Big back catalog, including stuff that
is incredibly out of date, so it's really entertaining. Um,
you can also find me hosting other videos occasionally, including
how Stuff Works Now videos. I also write for how
Stuff Works Now, so check that out. And um, yeah,
you never know what else will pop up on And
as we said before, the Forward Thinking video series is

(51:55):
going to continue. It's just the audio podcast that we're
kind of uh pulling back from so that we can
dedicate our time and work on other projects as well. Uh.
And again it's not that we don't love you, it's
that we have a limited amount of time and so
much we want to do. Um. We have had a
great time exploring these topics. I want to say, it's
been a really excellent adventure to go on with y'all. Yeah, yeah,

(52:18):
thank thank both of you for Yeah, it's it's been
a good time. You know. We really got to explore
a lot of topics and and look into things that
will great a lot more depth than we could with
the video series. Obviously, with the video series, they're about
three to four minutes long and we really want to
hit like the the big bullet points. But in the podcast,
we've been able to dive into some research and learn

(52:40):
stuff that was fascinating, mind bending, sometimes it was infuriating.
It all depended on the topic, and we're so glad
you guys came along with us on that journey. And uh,
I guess you can continue to follow us on Twitter
and Facebook. I mean I imagine that both of those
I'll still be maintaining moving forward. But if you have

(53:00):
any suggestions for future audio podcasts, um okay, maybe be
on the lookout for some videos instead. Yeah, quite possible.
Because this is we were now coming to a conclusion.
I honestly don't know how to end this because every
episode I say, we'll talk to you again really soon.
But uh, I guess I guess that's that's not you
know what, Go back and start at episode one and

(53:23):
just work your way through, and if you do that,
we will talk to you again really. See for more
on this topic in the future of technology visits Forward
Thinking dot Com, brought to you by Toyota. Let's go places.

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Joe McCormick

Joe McCormick

Lauren Vogelbaum

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