14/05/2019 by Rose Eveleth
Today we travel to a future where humans can see at night. What happens when we expand our vision out into the darkness? How does that impact everything from work, to architecture, to poaching to horror movies? And is it even possible?
→ → → Further reading on today’s episode can be found here ← ← ←
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Gang Han — researcher at UMass Medical School
Gabriel Licina — researcher and “sometimes biohacker”
Lynne MacTavish — operations manager at Mankwe Wildlife Reserve
A. Roger Ekirch — historian at Virginia Tech and author of At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past
Ernest Freeberg — historian at the University of Tennessee and author of The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America
Maria — Cara Rose de Fabio
Gaby — Eler de Grey
Marquis — Rotimi Agbabiaka (check out his new solo show called Manifesto on June 21 at the African American Arts and Culture Complex as part of the National Queer Arts Festival.)
John — Keith Houston (also check out his karaoke nights in San Francisco)
Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia.
The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.
Special thanks to Adria Otte and Molly Monihan at the Women’s Audio Mission, where all the intro scenes were recorded this season.
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Listen Date: 2019-05-29
- I loved this as much as I loved the episode I’d just heard before this, EconTalk with Richard Burton. Maybe it was the carryover, but I’m glad of it anyhow.
- I particularly loved how so much time in the episode was devoted less to the technical consequences; and more to the psychological ones; and on how it related to pop culture, especially horror movies. And the pop culture references that I remembered while this was playing were:
- Thud! and the Summoning Dark
- How the bogeyman in Hogfather was driven into weakness after humans invented fire.
- Myria LeJean in Thief of Time saying that the Auditors would go mad and die when they slept and dreamt. I know that doesn’t relate directly to darkness, but it hits the mood.
- Iron Maiden’s Fear of the Dark
- Metallica’s Enter Sandman
- Arthur C Clarke’s 2010: A Space Odyssey, which had talked about the lack of darkness emerging from a different means
- The fascinating insight that if we had natural near-infra-red vision, we would be seeing the insides of our eyelids when we slept.
- Robert Ekirch’s book sounded fascinating. Wishlisted. Doing so for The Age of Edison too.
- Rose Eveleth’s rant about biohacking in the bonus episode is very enjoyable too.