July 12, 2020 9:00 pm

Monday, Neil deGrasse Tyson Explores Our Love/Hate Relationship with Technology

Whenever you ask someone how they feel about technology, a lot of the times you might get an answer similar to “I love it and I hate it.” Technology is responsible for creating the modern world, but, at the same time can be a tool for destruction and evil. On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, we’re exploring our relationship with technology, good and bad.

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

Image Credit: Storyblocks.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is joined by first-time comic co-host Negin Farsad and material scientist, engineer, and returning guest Ainissa Ramirez, PhD, to investigate the state of technology today. Ainissa is the author of the new book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another.

To start, Negin tells us about her personal love/hate relationship with technology and why she feels she was born in the wrong era. We investigate how technology has shaped us. Ainissa tells us why we’re losing our ability to empathize. You’ll learn about the printing press and how it re-shaped communication. This leads to our trio nerding out about calligraphy and quill pens.

Then, we answer Cosmic Queries on our relationship to technology. Has technology impacted our actual biology? Ainissa explains how our brains are being re-wired by the internet. We discuss the shift from remembering what the information is to remembering where the information is found. We reminisce about the initial outcry over Google Glass.

If you had to choose, what would be the single greatest advancement for technology that has propelled us the furthest? Ainissa makes the case for steel. Negin gives her thoughts on the printing press. And Neil takes it way back to the wheel and axle. Lastly, discover more about inventions that were originally intended for NASA and space travel that have been commercialized successfully. All that, plus, we ponder what technology worries us the most and how we can make sure technology benefits all of humankind.

Please join us tomorrow for Technology and Us, with Ainissa Ramirez at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron or an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.


That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
– Ian Mullen

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