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This is Past Tense. This is a history podcast. Pat yourself on the back for getting the ingenious pun and settle back for as close to time travel as you can get without building any complicated machines or risking all existence in a logical paradox.
 
Let’s begin with the question of why and how does anyone become entrenched in the discipline of leadership development? For myself, it began with a graduate course on The Presidency and the required reading of a huge tome by James MacGregor Burns on what he considered to be the most significant Presidents in the history of the US. His was a qualitative, historical, and, at times, psychological account of the leadership vision of those who changed the institution of the American executive. On ...
 
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There’s been a huge increase in the number of satellites orbiting Earth with private companies and governments planning to launch hundreds more. Near-Earth orbit is already crowded, and the risks posed by space junk are increasing. The consequences could be catastrophic.
 
Scientists in the UK have developed a form of artificial intelligence that mimics the brain functions of a honeybee. The results promise to make drones and other flying craft far more manoeuvrable and crash-proof. Also, the dream of a “female internet”; and why mathematician, Hannah Fry, thinks all technologists should take a Hippocratic oath.…
 
Stories like opinions have become a necessity of modern life. Everybody is encouraged to have an opinion and everybody – in the vernacular of countless motivation speakers – is encouraged to be the “hero of their own story”. But are we in danger of making too much of them? If the story becomes the central device for much of our communication, do we…
 
Sovereign Wealth Funds come in all shapes and sizes. They act as government-backed investment vehicles. They’re used to fund specific social projects and to act as a nest-egg for future generations. There are currently around 150 in the world with global assets worth in excess of $USD 9 trillion. But are they worth the investment?…
 
Imagine if you could use your own body heat to recharge your smart phone? That’s just one of the ways scientists are trying to decentralise energy production. They also have an eye on new means of power distribution, including using laser beams instead of lines and poles.
 
There’s a serious campaign underway to have 30 per cent of the Earth designated as a giant conservation zone. The target date is 2030.The eventual aim is to lock down half the planet. It’s about protecting habitats and biodiversity.But, in so doing, what are the risks for indigenous communities and the poor?…
 
Agromining is a new process for extracting large quantities of metals such as cobalt and nickel from the sap and leaves of rare plants known as hyperaccumulators. Australian scientists have already established a test farm in Malaysia and it’s hoped the technology will one day provide poor communities with a new source of income, while also helping …
 
As the global aviation industry is slowly coming out of its enforced hibernation, all aspects of the business are up for a rethink - from international routes, to aircraft size, even the design and function of passenger terminals. Some analysts see a unique opportunity to reset the way we travel, and to bring the industry into the 21st century. But…
 
The “catch-up and surpass” trope now dominates discussion about Chinese technology. It’s very black and white - China is rising and the rest (mainly the US and the West) are falling behind. It’s all painted as an inevitability. But the reality is much more complicated. Propaganda isn’t strategy. Chinese technology firms are beginning to lead the wa…
 
It’s estimated illegal fishing now accounts for the capture of one in every five fish worldwide. It’s a massive problem. But the biggest threat to fish stocks comes not from illegal activity, but from mainstream fishing industries. In particular, the large national fishing fleets that traverse our oceans. A major international study of marine speci…
 
Early in 2020 we looked at New Zealand’s Wellbeing Budget initiative. That was just as the world was going into COVID lockdown. So how did the initiative handle the economic stresses caused by the pandemic. We get an update from Christoph Schumacher. We also look at some of the attribution problems faced by Wikipedia; and Elisabeth Braw from the Am…
 
Brain-Machine-Interface technology is only in its infancy, but scientists believe it may one day allow the severely disabled to perform everyday tasks using brain signals to power artificial limbs. But some US tech companies have more ambitious interests. They envision a future where BMI will allow them to read people’s thoughts; and where humans w…
 
From ridesharing to electric cars to self-driving vehicles the line between application, potential and promise is often very blurry. In this episode we take a reality check on the future direction of the automotive industry.
 
Alex, Allisa, and Paul venture into hell in our first episode about the equally infamous and beloved Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. In this ep, we focus on the fascinating backstory behind its development, and the game mechanics it introduced that soon became Shin Megami Tensei (and Persona) staples. Show Notes 1up.com: In Character: The Art of Kazu…
 
French President, Emmanuel Macron, activist Greta Thunberg and even the Pope have all given support for the creation of a new crime called “ecocide” - the deliberate, large-scale destruction of the environment. Campaigners argue the new crime should be prosecuted through the International Criminal Court, but there are political and legal hurdles to…
 
This week I talk about that feeling of resistance or revulsion you feel when you set about doing a task you assume is unsavory or hard. I examine what this means on a personal and societal level and, of course, how it relates to farming. SHOW NOTES: Graph: [Link] Picture of a Blighted Ag Landscape: [Link] The main picture on this article is what I'…
 
What will the global political landscape look like when the world’s dependency on fossil fuels is finally over? Adjustments are already being made, but for so-called “petrostates” like Saudi Arabia and Russia, the prospects look particularly bleak. Experts warn of new inequalities and shifting power dynamics. They also warn of a fall in available e…
 
This week I discuss betting strategies when putting our last chips on the broken roulette wheel of the future. I reframe Pascal's infamous wager to hopefully provide some clarity and maybe give us all a bit of incentive to go outside. LINK: https://civileats.com/2021/01/06/a-new-study-on-regenerative-grazing-complicates-climate-optimism/…
 
There’s bipartisan support in the United States for the establishment of a national AI research cloud. So, how would academics benefit and what role would big tech play in its operations? Also, problems with academic inclusivity in the developing world, and could alternative channels of distribution soon rival the primacy of peer-reviewed journals?…
 
I talk a little bit about how the time frame we live in dictates how long our legacy will last. This is true for everything, but especially for agriculture. LINKS: Mycorrhizal Fungi Life Cycles John Deere's Robot Tractor Firehawks and the Stubbornness of Western Science Cave of Forgotten Dreamsโดย Tense Future
 
The Himalayas are sometime called the earth’s “third pole”. They’re a vital source of water for a large chunk of the world’s population. But the local, national and international systems put in place to protect and manage human development in this vital ecosystem are failing. In this episode, Matt Smith travels to the Himalayas for Future Tense to …
 
Just a little getting to know you. I go over some of the things I hope to accomplish with this show as well as a little bit more about me. If you just love the phrase "you know" then you're going to love this podcast. Support this podcast here: patreon.com/tensefutureโดย Tense Future
 
When it’s completed the futuristic city of Neom will sit in the Saudi Arabian desert, a US$500 billion dollar metropolis, thirty times larger than New York. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman believes the project will transform his kingdom into the innovation centre of the world, but critics say it risks further widening inequality and dividing the c…
 
It's been a very long year, so in the spirit of the holidays, let's close it out with a visit to our old friends the Phantom Thieves. In this bonus episode, Allisa and Paul look at this year's reimagining of Persona 5—what's new, what's improved, and what the base game's merits and flaws look like with a few years' perspective. Thanks for listening…
 
Film, television and theatre have long been seen as markers of community and national identity – we speak of American sitcoms, British theatrical traditions and French cinema, for instance. But in an increasingly interconnected digital world do visual arts still play a role as cultural identifiers? Does it make sense anymore to talk of an “Australi…
 
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