Storyblock’s image of a woman looking through tech glasses.
Storyblock’s image of a woman looking through tech glasses.

Technology and Us, with Ainissa Ramirez

Image Credit: Storyblocks.
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About This Episode

Do we control technology or does technology control us? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson joins forces with first-time comic co-host Negin Farsad and material scientist and engineer Ainissa Ramirez, PhD, to explore how technology has shaped the world as we know it. Ainissa is also the author of a new book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another. 

Why do we have a love/hate relationship with technology? Negin tells us why she thinks she was born in the wrong era. We discuss the rise of the printing press and our trio nerds out on calligraphy and quill pens. Then, we answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on how technology has impacted our lives. Ainissa tells us why we’re losing our ability to empathize. Has tech changed our biology? You’ll learn how the internet is re-wiring your brain. We explore how the internet has changed our memories from remembering what the information was to where the information is stored. 

We debate which piece of technology has advanced us the furthest. Ainissa lobbies for steel, Negin gives her thoughts on the printing press, and Neil keeps it simple with the wheel and axle. Then we wonder – how much of technology is reversable? We reminisce on the outcry when Google Glass first launched. Discover more about innovations originally intended for space that have been successfully commercialized in our society. 

We dive into the socioeconomics of technology: will there be a day when technology divides us even more? Are we mature enough to use technology? Is tech more suspectable to conspiracy thinking? Lastly, we discuss which technology worries us the most, why young people don’t get overwhelmed by technology, and how anti-tech and anti-science movements can slow progress. All that, plus, we ponder how to make sure technology is beneficial to all humankind.

Thanks to our Patrons Andy Green, Christopher Lee Knapmiller, Todd Schurr, Melissa Lenz, David Dickason, Steven Smith, Daniel J Kulikowski, and Sara Bakerfor supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, Please visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. for more information about this artist and her work.

In This Episode

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