Futurist and author Dr. Cliff Pickover discussed his new novel, The Heaven Virus, which explores spiritual technologies for the 22nd century,virtual universes, and immortality. His story takes place at a simulated shopping mall populated by people who have taken an "afterlife chip."
The option of transferring our consciousness into a computer/android could create a kind of immortality and may be scientifically feasible down the road, said Pickover. It will begin as a gradual process of replacing parts of our body with mechanical components, eventually leading to "becoming one with the machine," he forecasted.
Simulated environments such as Second Life (see below) will become more immersive in the years to come, and with enough computational power these virtual worlds could seem as real as real life. Interestingly, he suggested, that it's possible that we're existing now in a simulation that we aren't even aware of.
First hour guest, Tim Hamilton of Oil Watchdog discussed how gas prices are manipulated. Big oil companies limit refinery capacity, driving up prices and slowing consumption-- creating a shortage of gas but not oil, he explained.
Bumper music from Thursday May 17, 2007