FROM Brian Merchant
Can humanity survive technology? We started this program 17 years ago; Google and Apple were losing money. Now, 80 percent of Americans are walking search engines with smart phones. Driverless cars are on the horizon; robots already in factories may take over white-collar jobs. We're being warned that our species is subject to capture by Artificial Intelligence. In the meantime, social problems aren't going away. We'll trace the rise of the iPhone — how it's changed our lives, for better or worse—and what to expect from technology in the future.
The secret history of the iPhone on its tenth birthday In 2007, Steve Jobs appeared at MacWorld in his trademark black turtleneck, blue jeans and white sneakers. He announced, "Apple is going to reinvent the phone." From that announcement, Brian Merchant took the title of his book, The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone . He reports it became the bestselling product of all time -- and the most profitable -- because it “intertwines a phenomenal number of prior inventions and insights -- some that stretch back into antiquity."
California Start-up Wants to Free Our Bodies from Food The 1973 science fiction film Soylent Green portrays a dystopian future were people survive on revolutionary foodstuff, but there's a kicker. In the final scenes, we discover that soylent green is people! Now comes a new diet consisting of substances different from what we think of as food. It's all the brainchild of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rob Rhinehart, whose Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000 ended up with more than a million. Science writer Brian Merchant lived on Soylent for 30 days. He's the senior editor of Motherboard , the science and tech website published by Vice.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.