FLASH FORWARD to Coping with Climate Migration

John Shirley

UPDATE! An alternate possibility for the coming mass global migration of desperation.

A theoretical update, anyhow. Earlier in this column I said that one of the great challenges of climate change this century will be adapting to a vast “migration of desperation” of climate refugees. There could be as many as two billion people forced to migrate to other countries due to endless drought, dustbowls, climate-caused famine, extreme weather flooding, and the attendant social chaos. I sketched one way nations could begin to plan for it–no nation seems to be planning for it yet–but I’ve been skeptical that our feverish, greed-driven, myopic world civilization will be able to organize on a scale large enough to deal with this humanitarian crisis.…

FEATURE: Two Futures for the Internet

Jack William Bell


Where We Were

In 1993 the World Wide Web (WWW) was two years old and there was a total of 130 websites. There was no need for search engines, there were no ads or websites selling things. Social media was email and Usenet – a distributed discussion system where messages were exchanged between servers.

Mosaic, the first general-user Internet browser was released that year. But few people installed or used it because connecting a home computer to the Internet was both expensive and difficult; even if you had an Internet service provider you needed to install special software and network drivers.…

Double Helix

FLASH FORWARD: Will We Soon Be Able to Print New Organs?

John Shirley


Need a new Liver or heart or kidney? Soon you’ll be able to PRINT ONE OUT!

A friend of mine recently died from kidney failure. The transplant of a new kidney, genetically appropriate for him, would have saved his life. But they’re hard to come by, and they’re rarely of a genetic typology that won’t be rejected by the body of the recipient. Can replacement organs come from a 3D printer? That’s the ultimate goal of the bioprinting program at the Wake Forest Institute’s School of Medicine. They’re one of many institutes investigating the possibility of printing tissues and organs.…