Monthly Archives: May 2015

Elon Musk’s Plan for Humanity

We talk about Elon Musk and his companies, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity all the time, but what is Musk’s longterm plan? How do the companies fit together and, should Musk manage to create a reusable rocket or launch an array of internet-providing satellites, what happens then? Radio Motherboard talks to Ashlee Vance, author of a new biography about Musk, about how you write a book about one of the most fascinating (and busy) humans on Earth. We even try to give Musk a call.

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The History of Bitcoin

In this episode of Radio Motherboard, we talked to New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper about the process of researching his new book about Bitcoin. We also spoke to Courtney Marie Warner, who loves Bitcoin, even though it put her boyfriend in prison. And we spoke to some random people at a park to see just how far we have to go before Bitcoin is truly mainstream.

See, Click, Kill

*This podcast contains spoilers for the movie Good Kill*

The military’s drone pilots are physically removed from the battlefield, but, seven days a week, they spend 12-hour days staring at a screen, waiting for orders to kill from above. And then they go home, or to the bar, or to their daughter’s dance recital.

Good Kill and Grounded, a new movie and play starring Ethan Hawke and Anne Hathaway, respectively, take a look at the psychological toll being a drone pilot takes on a person. Motherboard talks with Hawke and director Andrew Niccol about the making of the film, its accuracy, and its importance as a first step toward showing Americans the brutal truth behind the targeted killing program.

Radio Motherboard is sponsored by Casper Mattresses. You can enter code VICE for $50 off any mattress:

Are We Living in a Simulation?

Our universe seems real, but is it really? As humans get better at simulating artificial intelligence, it seems at least plausible that we could create life that is both conscious and has free will. And if we can create conscious life, who’s to say that the universe, as we know it, wasn’t created by superintelligent artificial intelligence who wanted to simulate their past?

We talk to Nick Bostrom, the Oxford University philosopher who originally came up with this theory. Then we switch gears ever so slightly to talk with Craig Hogan, a Department of Energy researcher who is actively trying to prove that we’re living not in a simulation, but in a hologram, which is a completely different thing. Finally, the Motherboard staff talks about glitches in the Matrix or moments that seem totally unreal.

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