Are there ways to directly strengthen fairness and moral cognition in the prefrontal cortex, and weaken the cognitive biases bubbling up from the amygdala? Research on the genetic correlates of moral cognition, and the effects of psychoactive drugs, and of electrical and magnetic manipulation of the brain, suggest there are ways to enhance fairness and impartiality.
Neurorobotics engineers from the Human Brain Project (HBP) have recently taken the first steps towards building a "virtual mouse" by placing a simplified computer model of the mouse brain into a virtual mouse body. This new kind of tool will be made available to scientists, both HBP and worldwide. Read more: https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/-/a-...
Join Jason Silva every week as he freestyles his way into the complex systems of society, technology and human existence and discusses the truth and beauty of science in a form of existential jazz. New episodes every Tuesday.
Human beings have long desired immortality. In his book on the topic, cleverly-titled Immortality, Stephen Cave argues that this desire has taken on four distinct forms over the course of human history. In the first, people seek immortality by simply trying to stay alive, either through the help of magic or science. In the second, people seek resurrection, sometimes in the same physical form and sometimes in an altered plane of existence.
A lone bureaucrat has been fighting the financial industry for years, on an issue that stands at the intersection of two national challenges: investment regulation and retirement security. Along the way she’s collected some new and interesting allies. Is that a sign of things to come?
Transhumanism is an increasingly popular philosophical movement, and that increasing popularity can sometimes lead to a degree of confusion among newer adherents about what its necessary features are. In my opinion the only common basis to Transhumanism, coined by Anders Sandberg as the “Central Meme of Transhumanism” (CMT) is as follows: That the human condition can and should be improved by technology.
Jesus has been described as the best known figure in history, and also the least known. If you mentioned the name “Jesus” and someone asked Jesus who?, you might blink. Or laugh. Even people who don’t think Jesus was God, mostly believe they know a fair bit about him. You might be surprised that some of your most basic assumptions about Jesus are probably wrong.
Fairness is a liberal virtue rooted in instinctive aversion to cheating and inequality, but then filtered through prefrontal cognition. Since the spread of Enlightenment values fairness has grown in importance as a virtue, especially for liberals with stronger prefrontal cortices and weaker amygdalas. Fairness finds less support among conservatives for whom respect for authority, ingroup loyalty and disgust/sanctity are more neurologically salient. What impact do social policy and individual practices have on the influence of fairness and cognitive biases?
Educational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of human learning. The study of learning processes, from both cognitive and behavioral perspectives, allows researchers to understand individual differences in intelligence, cognitive development, affect, motivation, self-regulation, and self-concept, as well as their role in learning. The field of educational psychology relies heavily on quantitative methods, including testing and measurement, to enhance educational activities related to instructional design, classroom management, and assessment, which serve to facilitate learning processes in various educational settings across the lifespan.
Educational psychology can in part be understood through its relationship with other disciplines. It is informed primarily by psychology, bearing a relationship to that discipline analogous to the relationship between medicine and biology. It is also informed by neuroscience. Educational psychology in turn informs a wide range of specialities within educational studies, including instructional design, educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, special education and classroom management. Educational psychology both draws from and contributes to cognitive science and the learning sciences. In universities, departments of educational psychology are usually housed within faculties of education, possibly accounting for the lack of representation of educational psychology content in introductory psychology textbooks.
The field of educational psychology involves the study of memory, conceptual processes, and individual differences (via cognitive psychology) in conceptualizing new strategies for learning processes in humans. Educational psychology has been built upon theories of Operant conditioning, functionalism, structuralism, constructivism, humanistic psychology, Gestalt psychology, and information processing.
Educational Psychology has seen rapid growth and development as a profession in the last twenty years. School psychology began with the concept of intelligence testing leading to provisions for special education students, whom could not follow the regular classroom curriculum in the early part of the 20th century. However, “School Psychology” itself has built a fairly new profession based upon the practices and theories of several psychologists among many different fields. Educational Psychologists are working side by side with psychiatrists, social workers, teachers, speech and language therapists, and counselors in attempt to understand the questions being raised when combining behavioral, cognitive, and social psychology in the classroom setting. - wikipedia
As technology and our ability to interpret fMRI data increases, so will the need for laws that protect the “domain of privacy” in our skulls. Neuroethicist Paul Root Wolpe expresses his concerns about the future of cognitive privacy.
Position Paper: The Critical Need to Promote Research of Aging Below is the position paper on the Critical Need to Promote Research of Aging of the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD). This paper briefly details the rationales, the technologies and the policies that are needed to promote this research. Thus it can serve as a generally applicable advocacy or lobbying paper in different countries. Please help spread it. Please contribute to the widest possible recognition and support of biological research of aging and aging-related diseases. We welcome the readers to circulate this position paper, share it in your social networks, forward it to politicians, potential donors and media, organize discussion groups to debate the topics raised (that may later grow into grassroots longevity research and activism groups in different countries), translate this position paper into your language, reference and link to it, even republish it in part or in full (for example, the policy recommendations can fit on a single page flyer), join the ISOAD or other aging and longevity research and advocacy organizations.
Why aren’t Muslim and Christian extremists extremely peaceful? The answer lies in the Iron Age setting of the Bible and Quran—when literate cultures replaced the Golden Calf with the Sacred Text. Diplomats, religious leaders, and peacemakers of many stripes keep insisting that ISIS isn’t about Islam. They point to a host of other factors including colonialism, injustice, lack of economic opportunity, and hopelessness. They’re not altogether wrong, but they are missing the tyrannosaurus rex in the room.
Reducing the risk of major, permanent global catastrophe is arguably the most important priority for humanity today. The reason is simple: Such a catastrophe threatens countless members of future generations. Indeed, it is the difference between success or failure for human civilization. If humanity succeeds at avoid catastrophe, it can go on to achieve amazing things across the universe. If humanity fails, everyone could all die. Clearly, reducing the risk of such global catastrophe is a worthy goal. But, in practical terms, what are the best ways to reduce the risk?
On today’s podcast, Trinity College computer science professor Mark Lewis joins us to talk about his concept that we’ve reached ‘Peak Education.’ He argues that we cannot educate our way out of technological unemployment. If, in order to have a job, you have to be able to program, what does that mean for those of us who are never going to be great programmers? Humans are slow learners, and we already spend a quarter of our lives in school. Can we ever hope to duplicate the tremendous gains in education we achieved during the industrial revolution? What will it take? Enhanced brains, smart drugs, or just better pedagogy?
Publish or perish, or so they say. That’s the rule in academia. But not all publications are created equal. I’ve “published” over 700 posts on this blog (and republished many on other blogs), and although I think there are advantages to having done so, I’d be lying if I said these publications were academically “significant”. They’re certainly not significant from the perspective of the administrators and overseers lurking within the groves of academe. If you want to please these people you must produce peer-reviewed publications (preferably double or triple-blind peer-reviewed publications) in high impact academic journals. That’s where the game is.
Silver nanoparticles have been hitting the headlines for a few years now, both as a smart new technology for preventing bacterial infection, and as a potential new health and environmental threat. How much do you know this technology and its pros and cons? Check out these seven facts—they may surprise you.
Jerome C. Glenn is the co-founder (1996) and director of The Millennium Project (on global futures research) and co-author with Ted Gordon of the annual State of the Future of the Millennium Project for the past twelve years. He was the Washington, DC representative for the United Nations University as executive director of the American Council for the UNU 1988-2007.
He has over 35 years of Futures Research experience working for governments, international organizations, and private industry in Science & Technology Policy, Environmental Security, Economics, Education, Defense, Space, Futures Research Methodology, International Telecommunications, and Decision Support Systems with the Committee for the Future, Hudson Institute, Future Options Room, and the Millennium Project. He has addressed or keynoted conferences for over 300 government departments, universities, NGOs, UN organizations, and/or corporations around the world on a variety of future-oriented topics.
Recent research includes: Future Elements of the Next Global Economy, Global Energy Collective Intelligence, National Future Strategy Units, Future Education and Learning Possibilities by 2030, Global Energy Scenarios for 2020, the Future of Ethics, 2025 Science and Technology Scenarios, Middle East Peace Scenarios, and Military R&D Priorities to Reduce Health and Environmental Impacts of Nantotechnolgy.
Glenn was the Deputy Director of Partnership for Productivity International involved in national strategic planning, institutional design, training, and evaluation in economic development in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America and created CARINET in 1983 as the leading computer network in the developing world subsequently bought by CGNet. He has been an independent consultant for the World Bank, UNDP, UNU, UNESCO, FAO, UNEP, US/EPA, USAID, and several governments and corporations.
He invented the “Futures Wheel” a futures assessment technique, Futuristic Curriculum Development, and concepts such as conscious-technology, transinstutions, tele-nations, management by understanding, definition of environmental security, feminine brain drain, just-in-time knowledge and learning, information warfare, feelysis, nodes as a management concept for interconnecting global and local views and actions, and coined the term futuring in 1973. Saturday Review named him among the most unusually gifted leaders of America for his pioneering work in Tropical Medicine (national Leprosy system while a Peace Corp Volunteer), Future-Oriented Education, and Participatory Decision Making Systems in 1974. He was instrumental in naming the first Space Shuttle the Enterprise and banning the first space weapon (FOBS) in SALT II.
He has published over 100 future-oriented articles in such as the Nikkei, ADWEEK, International Tribune, LEADERS, New York Times, McGraw-Hill’s Contemporary Learning Series, Current, Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Journal, Foresight, Futures, Technological Forecasting, Futures Research Quarterly, and The Futurist. He is editor of Futures Research Methodology versions 1.0 and 2.0, author of Future Mind: Merging the Mystical and the Technological in the 21st Century (1989 & 1994), Linking the Future: Findhorn, Auroville, Arcosanti (1979), and co-author of Space Trek: The Endless Migration (1978 & 1979).
Glenn has a BA in philosophy from American University, an MA in Teaching Social Science - Futuristics from Antioch Graduate School of Education (now Antioch University New England), and was a doctoral candidate in general futures research at the University of Massachusetts. He received the Donella Meadows Metal, Kondratieff Metal, Emerald Citation of Excellence, honorary professorship and doctor’s degrees from two universities in South America (Universidad Ricardo Palma and Universidad Franz Tamayo) and is a leading boomerang stunt man.
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist, a Fellow of the IEET, and the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Foundation. The editor of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s only peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging, he is an advocate of research seeking answers to how molecular and cellular metabolic damage brings about aging and ways humans can intervene to repair and/or obviate that damage.
The central goal of Aubrey de Grey’s work is the expedition of developing a true cure for human aging. In his view, the main obstacle to developing such technology is the position of biogerontology at the boundary between basic science and medicine. He believes that the fundamental knowledge necessary to develop truly effective anti-aging medicine mostly exists, but the goal-directed frame of mind that is best suited to turning research findings into tools is very different from the curiosity-driven ethos that generated those findings in the first place.
As a scientist with a training in an engineering discipline, specifically that of computer science, Dr. De Grey believes himself to be well placed to bridge this gap. He attempt to do so in three main ways: by doing basic biogerontology research, identifying and promoting specific technological approaches to the reversal (not merely the prevention) of various aspects of aging, and by arguing in a wide range of forums, extending beyond biologists, for the adoption of a more proactive approach to extending the healthy human lifespan sooner rather than later.
Topics covered: Attitudes to the future, Prediction Markets, SciCast, Blockchain currency, Quadratic Voting, Artificial Intelligence Development etc. People are engaged in extreme futures - heaven or hell scenarios - are people's attraction towards, or engagement with certain futures informed by evolved biases?
Prediction Markets in contrast to narratives about the future informed by Moralising Tales - whatever is likely to happen is probably a muddled up mix, a mixture of heaven and hell, not just one or the other - Moralising Tale, ignores statistics - it will all be terrible or fantastic, nothing in between…
Could the world do with futurists in industry? Hard to tell. Sometimes firms (i.e. google) are tied to a particular image - google have the image of innovation - google gets attention for projects like calico - pie in the sky moonshot projects are a compliment to their image. Employees are more likely to want to work for google because of its sexiness…
Justin Rattner (former CTO of Intel) spoke about the singularity quite a bit.. but not many CEOs/CTOs bring it up - with the exception of a few… though this could change.
Futurists are often eager for big change - enthusiastic - people who are itching for big change often focus on scenarios for the future where there is big change.
Why is there little interest in quadratic voting compared to small iterations in gadgetry (which seems to get a lot of press)?
There is a lot of new and inventive gadgets, and ideas in physics that have huge communities of interest - but social technologies, ways we organise meetings, for instance Quadratic Voting… Many voting systems don't do a good job at weighing different votes based on how much you care about the issue. QV pays for votes in proportion to the square of the number of votes - can produce outcomes that weigh votes based on how much the voters care about the issue. People can be given votes as a point system, and they can choose to distribute their points based on how much they care about certain issues.
AI Dev - what are the big improvements? Whole new trend? Or progress in existing ideas?
Omens! There was always the new thing, the omen that promised this and that, cries in the wilderness - what kinds of omens should we be listening to? well… don't follow individual news events, listen to aggregates - for instance there was a whole data series of terrorist attacks - don't make a decision on one terrorist event.
Last week the nation was treated to the sad and embarrassing spectacle of Jeb Bush, mollycoddled scion to an empire of failure, proclaiming that “I’m my own man.” Here’s a simple rule of thumb: Anyone who has to say he’s his own man, or woman, isn’t. The 62-year-old Mr. Bush has been coasting on his family’s power and privilege since he was a weed-smoking, Steppenwolf-listening prep school student in the sixties.
Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.
One of my first encounters with philosophy came when I was about 15 years old and was watching a PBS video featuring Alan Watts (1915 – 1973). I wasn’t philosophically sophisticated enough then to understand much of what he was saying, but I do remembering thinking he was cool. He had a beard, drank tea and seemed so … philosophical.
Alan Watts was a British born philosopher, and one of the first writers to popularize Eastern thought, particularly Zen Buddhism, for a Western audience. One of the first philosophy books I ever read as a teenager The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Watts. It asked one of the most fundamental questions we can ask: who am I? .
Now we may think we know the answer to this question. For example, we may believe that our individuality ends with our bodies. But Watts asked, why do we end where our bodies do? After all, our skin is porous and interacts with the environment. We can’t survive for more than a few minutes without the air, so why isn’t the air as much a part of us as our legs or arms? And there is no breathable air without plants, so why aren’t they a part of us? In fact, our existence depends on the earth’s ecosystem and the sun. Following this line of thinking, we ultimately depend on the entire universe for our existence.
So perhaps we aren’t egos inside bags of skin, or even separate egos at all. Maybe we are like windows or apertures or vortexes through which the universe is conscious of itself for a brief moment. While we are fond of saying things like “I came into this world,” isn’t it more accurate to say, “I came out of the universe?” Don’t people come out of the universe like leaves come out of trees or waves come out of oceans? Or as Watts asks, doesn’t the universe just “people?”
And such questions are not merely academic. If we think we are separate from the world, then it is more likely to feel like something alien to us that we must confront. But if we see that we came out of the universe, then we are more likely to treat the universe as our home. We will see that the environment that surrounds our bodies is as much a part of us as our heart or lungs. If we despoil the environment, we despoil ourselves; if we destroy the environment, we destroy ourselves. So perhaps we are the universe looking at itself from billions of perspectives. In fact, couldn’t we say that, in some sense, we are the universe?
Last time I looked at the state of online dating. Among the figures was mentioned was Christian Rudder, one of the founders of the dating site OkCupid and the author of a book on big data called Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking that somehow manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply disturbing at the same time.
The right question is not whether Bitcoin is over or under-valued, or over or under-hyped, but what the biggest potential money-making applications might be. While we wait for consumer-ready cryptocurrency applications to be presented to us by the financial services industry and other trusted providers, in the progression of ATMs, online billpay, eStatements, and Apple Pay, there are many other opportunities to be explored.
I’m trying to wrap my head around the extended mind hypothesis (EMH). I’m doing so because I’m interested in its implications for the debate about enhancement and technology. If the mind extends into the environment outside the brain/bone barrier, then we are arguably enhancing our minds all the time by developing new technologies, be they books and abacuses or smartphones and wearable tech. Consequently, we should have no serious principled objection to technologies that try to enhance directly inside the brain/bone barrier.
We asked “Should income from virtual currencies like Bitcoin be taxed like regular income?” More than half of the 350 of you who responded were skeptical that such income could be tracked, and another 18% were opposed to taxing it if it could be.
A genre that science fiction writers have been attempting to colonize with some regularity is that of the suspense thriller. Here the dissolution of genre boundaries is more subtle, since the imaginative material and narrative conventions of science fiction may be retained, while the plot, structure, and tone are borrowed from a mode of paranoid pursuit melodrama pioneered in espionage novels from John Buchan to Robert Ludlum. Initially, those novelists who seemed most successful—at least commercially—in effecting this merger were novelists whose starting point was the thriller rather than the science fiction tale: Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, and Peter Benchley are among the most prominent examples, with Crichton having based nearly his entire career on science fiction conceits.