Cover art for podcast Flash Forward

Flash Forward

129 EpisodesProduced by Rose EvelethWebsite

Flash Forward is a show about possible (and not so possible) future scenarios. What would the warranty on a sex robot look like? How would diplomacy work if we couldn’t lie? Could there ever be a fecal transplant black market? (Complicated, it wouldn’t, and yes, respectively, in case you’re curious.… read more


You’ve Got Brainmail

In our last episode of the season, we take one one of the most requested futures: telepathy! What would it be like to be able to link minds, and communicate brain to brain? And how likely is it that we’ll ever get this kind of technology? 


 We start the episode by talking to Roger Luckhurst, a Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, University of London, who explains where the word telepathy comes from, and how it totally obsessed men of science in the early 1800’s. Then, futurist and science fiction author Ramez Naam walks us through both the current state of science and the futuristic world of his science fiction series Nexus, that centers around a drug that gives people telepathic powers. After that, we consider what a future full of telepathic people might mean for etiquette with Robin Abrahams, the etiquette columnist for the Boston Globe. And then we talk privacy and digital security with Kit Walsh, a a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And we finish out the episode by talking to Lateef McLeod, a poet, blogger, activist and doctoral student in the anthropology and social change program at California Institute for Integral Studies, about how those with complex communication needs might appreciate a new form of communication.


 Further reading: Science & history


 The Neurologist Who Hacked His Brain -- And Almost Lost His Mind

 When “I” becomes “We”: ethical implications of emerging brain-to-brain interfacing technologies

 Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies

 Brain-to-Brain Interfaces: When Reality Meets Science Fiction

 The invention of telepathy, 1870-1901 by Roger Luckhurst

 Telepathy and literature: essays on the reading mind by Nicholas Royle

 “First Report of the Literary Committee by W.F. Barrett, C.C. Massey, Rev. W. Stainton Moses, Frank Podmore…. In Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research” 

 Phenomena: the secret history of the U.S. government's investigations into extrasensory perception and psychokinesis by Annie Jacobsen

 The 120-Year-Old Mind-Reading Machine

 The Future of Human Evolution | Ray Kurzweil Q & A | Singularity University

 Science Gave My Son the Gift of Sound

 Understanding Deafness: Not Everyone Wants to Be 'Fixed'

 Memory Implant Gives Rats Sharper Recollection

 Building the Bionic Brain

 A cortical neural prosthesis for restoring and enhancing memory

 Computing Arm Movements with a Monkey Brainet

 A Brain-to-Brain Interface for Real-Time Sharing of Sensorimotor Information

 The Ultimate Interface: Your Brain

 Reconstructing visual experiences from brain activity evoked by natural movies

 Facilitation and restoration of cognitive function in primate prefrontal cortex by a neuroprosthesis that utilizes minicolumn-specific neural firing

 Protect Your Right to Repair and Control the Devices in Your Life

 Defend Your Right to Repair!


 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.


 If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.

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