Many people generate an immense amounts of digital data during a single day — often without a second thought. But Stephen Baker, a senior writer at BusinessWeek, warns that the information generated is being monitored by a group of entrepreneurial mathematicians.
Science writer James Gleick ("GLICK"). His new book "Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything" (Pantheon) is about the accelerating pace of modern life. He writes about how technology has created the feeling that life moves too fast, but that we have become "addicted" to the pace and might as well learn to enjoy it.
Neil Gershenfeld is author of "When Things Start to Think." (Henry Holt) He talks about his research into the future technology. This includes shoes with computers in them, Refrigerators that tell you when the milk is expired, and coffee cups that know how you like your coffee. He co-directs the Things That Think research consortium at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Ma.
Edward Tenner is author of "Why Things Bite Back" from Knopf. It's about the unintended effects that new technological breakthroughs bring. Tenner is also a researcher at Princeton University in the Department of Geological and Geophysical Sciences.
Physicist James Trefil. His new book, "A Scientist in the City," (Doubleday) is a exploration of how the laws of nature and technology came together to make our cities. Trefil starts by looking at cities as natural ecosystems, and then looks at the key scientific discoveries that made cities possible. Trefil has written more than ten books on science, including, "1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Science." Trefil is also a regular commentator for NPR, and he teaches at George Mason University.
Computer activist Mitch Kapor. A new digital information highway is in the formative stages that will carry voice, data, and video services to everyone. We'll talk with Mitch Kapor, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which wants to make sure everyone has access to the new highway. Kapor also founded the Lotus software company.
Bill Joy. He's a founder and Vice President of Research and Development for Sun Microsystems, one of the most innovative and successful computer companies. He imagines the computer of 14 years from now, a machine he calls the "2001 computer." It will be a phenomenally fast machine (128,000 times the speed of current computers), with a memory capacity the equivalent of 300,000 books, all fitting into the size of a sugar cube. (Interview with Sedge Thomson)