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Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




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The World Transhumanist Association (WTA)

Enhancing Virtues: Intelligence (Part 3): Pharmaceutical Cognitive Enhancement

Actually: You ARE the Customer, Not the Product

A message about the power of free expression

Secrets of the Mind: Can Science Explain Consciousness? (34 min)

Chalmers vs Pigliucci on the Philosophy of Mind-Uploading (2): Pigliucci’s Pessimism


ieet books

A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century
Author
Ilia Stambler

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Nick Bostrom

Virtually Human: The Promise—-and the Peril—-of Digital Immortality
Martine Rothblatt

Intelligence Unbound: The Future of Uploaded and Machine Minds
Russell Blackford and Damien Broderick eds.


comments

Peter Wicks on 'Review of Ilia Stambler’s “A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century"' (Sep 21, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?' (Sep 21, 2014)

Kris Notaro on 'Review of Ilia Stambler’s “A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century"' (Sep 21, 2014)

Kris Notaro on 'Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?' (Sep 21, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?' (Sep 21, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Review of Ilia Stambler’s “A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century"' (Sep 21, 2014)

instamatic on 'Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?' (Sep 20, 2014)







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JET

Transhumanism and Marxism: Philosophical Connections

Sex Work, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee

Technological Unemployment but Still a Lot of Work…

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?
Sep 16, 2014
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Enhancing Virtues: Caring (part 1)
Aug 29, 2014
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An open source future for synthetic biology
Sep 9, 2014
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MMR Vaccines and Autism: Bringing clarity to the CDC Whistleblower Story
Sep 14, 2014
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY


The World Transhumanist Association (WTA)

Adam Ford

David Pearce (born 3 April) is a British philosopher. He promotes the idea that there exists a strong ethical imperative for humans to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmacology, and neurosurgery could potentially converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience among human and non-human animals, replacing suffering with gradients of well-being, a project he refers to as “paradise engineering”.

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J. Hughes

Enhancing Virtues: Intelligence (Part 3): Pharmaceutical Cognitive Enhancement

by J. Hughes

There are limits to our ability to enhance intelligence, and the intellectual virtues, through social reform and lifestyle changes. For thousands of years we have used stimulants like caffeine, coca, qat and nicotine to boost attention. Now we have increasingly targeted drugs that improve attention, memory and learning, with fewer side effects.

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Ramez Naam

Actually: You ARE the Customer, Not the Product

by Ramez Naam

Don’t believe the hype. You’re the customer, whether you pay directly or by seeing ads. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: “On the internet, if you’re not paying for something, then you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

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A message about the power of free expression

CLA1895

In celebration of Banned Books Week 2014, the California Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee invited authors to share their thoughts on banned books. Ramez Naam shares his thoughts about the global brain, the value of free expression in our democracy, and the attraction of reading books that people want to ban. Naam’s science fiction novel Nexus was the co-winner (tied with Homeland by Cory Doctorow) of the 2014 Prometheus Award for science fiction novels that promote freedom.

 

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Secrets of the Mind: Can Science Explain Consciousness? (34 min)

iai.tv

Roger Penrose, Iain McGilchrist, Nicholas Humphrey talk about if consciousness can be explained on iai.tv.


Roger Penrose  is an English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. He is the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford, as well as an Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College.

Penrose is known for his work in mathematical physics, in particular for his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe.


Iain McGilchrist  is a psychiatrist and writer who practised in London, but now lives on the Isle of Skye, where he continues to write and make a living by lecturing.

He is committed to the idea that the mind and brain can be understood only by seeing them in the broadest possible context, that of the whole of our physical and spiritual existence, and of the wider human culture in which they arise – the culture which helps to mould, and in turn is moulded by, our minds and brains. 


Nicholas Humphrey is an English psychologist, based in Cambridge, who is known for his work on the evolution of human intelligence and consciousness. His interests are wide ranging. He studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey in Rwanda, he was the first to demonstrate the existence of “blindsight” after brain damage in monkeys, he proposed the celebrated theory of the “social function of intellect” and he is the only scientist ever to edit the literary journal Granta.

Humphrey played a significant role in the anti-nuclear movement in the late 1970s and delivered the BBC Bronowski memorial lecture titled “Four Minutes to Midnight” in 1981.

His ten books include Consciousness Regained, The Inner Eye, A History of the Mind, Leaps of Faith, The Mind Made Flesh, Seeing Red, and Soul Dust. He has been the recipient of several honours, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, the Pufendorf medal and the British Psychological Society’s book award.

He has been Lecturer in Psychology at Oxford, Assistant Director of the Subdepartment of Animal Behaviour at Cambridge, Senior Research Fellow in Parapsychology at Cambridge, Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research, New York, and School Professor at the London School of Economics.

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John Danaher

Chalmers vs Pigliucci on the Philosophy of Mind-Uploading (2): Pigliucci’s Pessimism

by John Danaher

This is the second and final part of my series about a recent exchange between David Chalmers and Massimo Pigliucci. The exchange took place in the pages of Intelligence Unbound, an edited collection of essays about mind-uploading and artificial intelligence. It concerned the philosophical plausibility of mind-uploading.

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Gennady Stolyarov II

Review of Ilia Stambler’s “A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century”

by Gennady Stolyarov II

A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century by Ilia Stambler is the most thorough treatment to date of the ideas of famous thinkers and scientists who attempted to prolong human lifespans. In this detailed and impressively documented work – spanning 540 pages – Dr. Stambler explores the works of life-extensionist thinkers and practitioners from a vast variety of ideological, national, and methodological backgrounds.

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George Dvorsky

10 Horrifying Technologies That Should Never Be Allowed To Exist

by George Dvorsky

As we head deeper into the 21st century, we’re starting to catch a glimpse of the fantastic technological possibilities that await. But we’re also starting to get a grim sense of the potential horrors. Here are 10 frightening technologies that should never, ever, come into existence.

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Popular Science picks best inventions for 2014

CBS This Morning

Dave Mosher, projects editor for Popular Science, joins “CBS This Morning: Saturday” to share some of the year’s winning gadgets from the magazine’s annual Invention Awards.

However, how are our new “gadgets” primarily produced?:

Sweatshop (or sweat factory) is a pejorative term for a workplace that has socially unacceptable working conditions. The work may be difficult, dangerous or be paid a wage that is not commensurate. Workers in ‘sweatshops’ may work long hours for low pay, regardless of laws mandating overtime pay or a minimum wage; child labor laws may also be violated.

A sweatshop is a factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions.

More recently, the anti-globalization movement has arisen in opposition to corporate globalization, a process by which multinational corporations move their operations overseas in order to lower their costs and increase profits. The anti-sweatshop movement has much in common with the anti-globalization movement. Both consider sweatshops harmful, and both have accused many companies (such as the Walt Disney Company, The Gap, and Nike) of using sweatshops. Some in these movements charge that neoliberal globalization is similar to the sweating system, arguing that there tends to be a "race to the bottom", as multinationals leap from one low-wage country to another searching for lower production costs, in the same way that sweaters would have steered production to the lowest cost sub-contractor.

Various groups support or embody the anti-sweatshop movement today. The National Labor Committee brought sweatshops into the mainstream media in the 1990s when it exposed the use of sweatshop and child labor to sew Kathie Lee Gifford's Wal-Mart label. United Students Against Sweatshops is active on college campuses. The International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of workers in China, Nicaragua, Swaziland, Indonesia, and Bangladesh against Wal-Mart charging the company with knowingly developing purchasing policies particularly relating to price and delivery time that are impossible to meet while following the Wal-Mart code of conduct. Labor unions, such as the AFL-CIO, have helped support the anti-sweatshop movement out of concern both for the welfare of workers in the developing world and those in the United States.

Social critics complain that sweatshop workers often do not earn enough money to buy the products that they make, even though such items are often commonplace goods such as t-shirts, shoes, and toys. In 2003, Honduran garment factory workers were paid US$0.24 for each $50 Sean John sweatshirt, $0.15 for each long-sleeved t-shirt, and only five cents for each short-sleeved shirt – less than one-half of one percent of the retail price. Even comparing international costs of living, the $0.15 that a Honduran worker earned for the long-sleeved t-shirt was equal in purchasing power to $0.50 in the United States.

Anti-globalization proponents cite high savings, increased capital investment in developing nations, diversification of their exports and their status as trade ports as the reason for their economic success rather than sweatshops and cite the numerous cases in the East Asian "Tiger Economies" where sweatshops have reduced living standards and wages. They believe that better-paying jobs, increased capital investment and domestic ownership of resources will improve the economies of sub-Saharan Africa rather than sweatshops. They point to good labor standards developing strong manufacturing export sectors in wealthier sub-Saharan countries such as Mauritius and believe measures like these will improve economic conditions in developing nations.

Anti-globalization organizations argue that the minor gains made by employees of some of these institutions are outweighed by the negative costs such as lowered wages to increase profit margins and that the institutions pay less than the daily expenses of their workers. They also point to the fact that sometimes local jobs offered higher wages before trade liberalization provided tax incentives to allow sweatshops to replace former local unionized jobs. They further contend that sweatshop jobs are not necessarily inevitable. Eric Toussaint claims that quality of life in developing countries was actually higher between 1945 and 1980 before the international debt crisis of 1982 harmed economies in developing countries causing them to turn to IMF and World Bank-organized "structural adjustments" and that unionized jobs pay more than sweatshop ones overall – "several studies of workers producing for US firms in Mexico are instructive: workers at the Aluminum Company of America's Ciudad Acuna plant earn between $21.44 and $24.60 per week, but a weekly basket of basic food items costs $26.87. Mexican GM workers earn enough to buy a pound of apples in 30 minutes of work, while GM workers in the US earn as much in 5 minutes." People critical of sweatshops believe that "free trade agreements" do not truly promote free trade at all but instead seek to protect multinational corporations from competition by local industries (which are sometimes unionized). They believe free trade should only involve reducing tariffs and barriers to entry and that multinational businesses should operate within the laws in the countries they want to do business in rather than seeking immunity from obeying local environmental and labor laws. They believe these conditions are what give rise to sweatshops rather than natural industrialization or economic progression.

In some countries, such as China, it is not uncommon for these institutions to withhold workers' pay.

"According to labor organizations in Hong Kong, up to $365 million is withheld by managers who restrict pay in exchange for some service, or don't pay at all."

Furthermore, anti-globalization proponents argue that those in the West who defend sweatshops show double standards by complaining about sweatshop labor conditions in countries considered enemies or hostile by Western governments, while still gladly consuming their exports but complaining about the quality. They contend that multinational jobs should be expected to operate according to international labor and environmental laws and minimum wage standards like businesses in the West do.

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Data Mining: Twitter, Facebook and Beyond

bloomberg.com

Companies including Gatorade and Dell are turning to technology to take advantage of what’s being said about them on Twitter and Facebook. A look at the options facing business leaders debating between inexpensive listening tools and more pricey data mining software. (Source: Bloomberg)

Social intelligence is the capacity to effectively negotiate complex social relationships and environments. Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey believes that it is social intelligence, rather than quantitative intelligence, that defines humans. Social scientist Ross Honeywill believes social intelligence is an aggregated measure of self- and social-awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity and appetite to manage complex social change.

The original definition by Edward Thorndike in 1920 is “the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls, to act wisely in human relations”. It is equivalent to interpersonal intelligence, one of the types of intelligence identified in Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and closely related to theory of mind.[citation needed] Some authors have restricted the definition to deal only with knowledge of social situations, perhaps more properly called social cognition or social marketing intelligence, as it pertains to trending socio-psychological advertising and marketing strategies and tactics. According to Sean Foleno, social intelligence is a person’s competence to understand his or her environment optimally and react appropriately for socially successful conduct.

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Access for Everyone: A Model for Free Online Learning, with Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn

Big Think

Luis von Ahn describes the model for the free language-learning platform, Duolingo. The idea, he says, goes back to his childhood, where he imagined a model for a gymnasium that sustained itself by reselling people-produced energy. Von Ahn is the CEO and Co-founder of Duolingo.

Transcript: The problem with language education, there’s about 1.2 billion people in the world learning a foreign language. It’s one of the most common things that people learn in the world, everywhere in the world except maybe for the U.S., it’s not that common in the U.S., but everywhere else it’s about 1.2 billion people learning a foreign language. Now, if you look at it more deeply it turns out about 800 million of them satisfy three properties. The first one is they’re learning English. The second one is that they are doing so in order to get a better job or a job at all, and the third one is that they are of low socioeconomic condition. So basically most people learning a foreign language are poor people learning English to make more money or to make some money.

Now, the kind of ironic thing is that usually the way there are to learn languages, and particularly to learn English, costs a lot of money. So for example, in the U.S. there’s Rosetta Stone, which is $500-$1000, in Latin America there’s a program called Open English, which is about $1000. So it’s this ironic thing that most of the people that need to learn a language are poor people that are doing it so that they can get money but it requires quite a bit of money to do so. Which is why with Duolingo we decided to make a completely free way to learn a language. And that’s the whole premise of Duolingo. When we started we thought we have to make a way to learn a language but it has to be 100 percent free.

When we started Duolingo it was not just me, it was me and my co-founder whose name is Severin Hacker who is very funny because his last name is Hacker. When we started we knew we wanted to do a free way to learn languages. This is what we wanted to do. It’s easy to say that it’s free, the problem is when something is free you got to find a way to finance it and to make it sustainable. So the question really became is how do we teach languages for free but such that we can actually finance the whole thing? The solution to this came from many of my previous projects have had this very similar idea. And it’s an idea that can be traced back to an idea that I had when I was a kid. It was a terrible idea but at the time I thought it was an amazing idea. And it was that I wanted to have a gym where it was free to go to the gym. It’s a free gym, but all the exercise equipment was connected to the power grid and people when they went there as they exercise they would generate electricity that the gym would sell to the power grid. So that’s why it was free. We wouldn’t charge people but we would make money by selling electricity to the electric company.

It turns out this is a bad idea because it turns out humans are actually not very good at making electricity. But I thought it was a good idea at the time. Also there’s another reason why it’s a bad idea. Turns out with gym economics actually most of the money is made from people not showing up, whereas in this case we really needed people to show up because we needed to generate the electricity. [TRANSCRIPT TRUNCATED]

Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton

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Morality Lessons for Robots

Colbert Nation

Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report / Colbert Nation / Comedy Central talks about recent robot ethics sweeping the world and nation…

Roboethics is a short expression for ethics of robotics. It is often used in the sense that it is concerned with the behavior of humans, how humans design, construct, use and treat robots and other artificially intelligent beings, whereas * machine ethics is concerned with the behavior of robots themselves, whether or not they are considered artificial moral agents (AMAs).

While the issue is as old as the word robot, the short word roboethics was probably first used by roboticist Gianmarco Veruggio in 2002, who also served as chair of an Atelier funded by the European Robotics Research Network to outline areas where research may be needed. The road map effectively divided ethics of artificial intelligence into two sub-fields to accommodate researchers’ differing interests:
Main positions on roboethics

Since the First International Symposium on Roboethics (Sanremo, Italy, 2004), three main ethical positions emerged from the robotics community (D. Cerqui, 2004):

  Not interested in ethics (This is the attitude of those who consider that their actions are strictly technical, and do not think they have a social or a moral responsibility in their work)
  Interested in short-term ethical questions (This is the attitude of those who express their ethical concern in terms of “good” or “bad,” and who refer to some cultural values and social conventions)
  Interested in long-term ethical concerns (This is the attitude of those who express their ethical concern in terms of global, long-term questions)

Disciplines involved in roboethics

The design of Roboethics requires the combined commitment of experts of several disciplines, who, working in transnational projects, committees, commissions, have to adjust laws and regulations to the problems resulting from the scientific and technological achievements in Robotics and AI.

In all likelihood, it is to be expected that the birth of new curricula studiorum and specialties, necessary to manage a subject so complex, just as it happened with Forensic Medicine. In particular, the main fields involved in Roboethics are: robotics, computer science, artificial intelligence, philosophy, ethics, theology, biology, physiology, cognitive science, neurosciences, law, sociology, psychology, and industrial design.
Principles

As roboethics is a human-centered ethics, it should[citation needed] comply with the principles state in the most important and widely accepted Charters of Human Rights:

  Human dignity and human rights.
  Equality, justice and equity.
  Benefit and harm.
  Respect for cultural diversity and pluralism.
  Non-discrimination and non-stigmatization.
  Autonomy and individual responsibility.
  Informed consent.
  Privacy.
  Confidentiality.
  Solidarity and cooperation.
  Social responsibility.
  Sharing of benefits.
  Responsibility towards the biosphere.

General ethical issues in science and technology

Roboethics shares with the other fields of science and technology most of the ethical problems derived from the Second and Third Industrial Revolutions:

  Dual-use technology.
  Environmental impact of technology.
  Effects of technology on the global distribution of wealth.
  Digital divide, socio-technological gap.
  Fair access to technological resources.
  Dehumanization of humans in the relationship with the machines.
  Technology addiction.
  Anthropomorphization of the machines.

 

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Melanie Swan

Proximity Marketing: Opportunity for Rich-Attribute Conveyance

by Melanie Swan

Real-time Location-based Services (RT-LBS or just RT-LS) is an important new concept in mobile marketing. These offerings are starting to tout the ability to deliver information and services based on the real-time location of a person. Some key examples are receiving a mobile phone-based notification of a restaurant offer while walking in a downtown area or a product coupon while shopping in a specific grocery aisle.

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John Danaher

Chalmers vs Pigliucci on the Philosophy of Mind-Uploading (1): Chalmers’s Optimism

by John Danaher

The brain is the engine of reason and the seat of the soul. It is the substrate in which our minds reside. The problem is that this substrate is prone to decay. Eventually, our brains will cease to function and along with them so too will our minds. This will result in our deaths. Little wonder then that the prospect of transferring (or uploading) our minds to a more robust, technologically advanced, substrate has proved so attractive to futurists and transhumanists.

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IEET Fellow Evan Selinger, referenced in New York Times

New York Times

The NY Times picked up on IEET Fellow Evan Selinger’s concerns over the cognitive and characterological downside to using predictive consumer technology, including the new form of texting available on Apple’s iOS8.

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What is Transhumanism? – the 3 Supers

Adam Ford
Three dominant areas of Transhumanism: Super Intelligence, Super Longevity and Super Well-Being.

Within each of the three areas the main intuitions surrounding each area are swiftly brought forward and examined – so, for example, the fact that ageing kills 100,000 people every day yet it is seen as justified and natural, unlike any other killer of this magnitude.

 


On Super Wellbeing

David Pearce’s main focus is Super Well-being (or Superhappiness).

"there is nothing to stop intelligent agents from identifying the molecular signature of experience below hedonic zero and eliminating it altogether — even in insects…I tentatively predict that the world’s last unpleasant experience in our forward light-cone will be a precisely datable event — perhaps some micro-pain in an obscure marine invertebrate a few centuries hence." - David Pearce
"If we get things right, the future of life in the universe can be wonderful beyond the bounds of human imagination: a “triple S” civilisation of superlongevity, superintelligence and superhappiness." - David Pearce

On Super Intelligence

"Even if one cares most passionately about one of the other two “supers”, superlongevity and superhappiness might not best yield to direct attack. Full-spectrum superintelligence could potentially deliver both. For what it’s worth, I’m much more cautious about the prospect of digital sentience (and hence the possibility of mind-uploading) than most of my transhumanist colleagues owing to the phenomenal binding problem.

Needles to say, I could be hopelessly wrong." - David Pearce

(See (cf. HUMANS AND INTELLIGENT MACHINES – CO-EVOLUTION, FUSION OR REPLACEMENT?)

This was the topic of a popular video on Transhumanism released by BIOPS last year.

“Humanity is in an increasingly symbiotic relationship with technology. As it becomes more central to our daily lives, technology is having an ever-greater effect on the human condition, and this trend seems set to continue. Careful consideration and informed debate on a societal scale is essential, as the risks may well outweigh the rewards. We exist to bring that conversation about sooner, rather than too late.” - Biops

Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as the ethics of developing and using such technologies. They speculate that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label “posthuman”.

David Pearce (born 3 April) is a British philosopher. He promotes the idea that there exists a strong ethical imperative for humans to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmacology, and neurosurgery could potentially converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience among human and non-human animals, replacing suffering with gradients of well-being, a project he refers to as “paradise engineering”.

“Humanity is in an increasingly symbiotic relationship with technology. As it becomes more central to our daily lives, technology is having an ever-greater effect on the human condition, and this trend seems set to continue. Careful consideration and informed debate on a societal scale is essential, as the risks may well outweigh the rewards. We exist to bring that conversation about sooner, rather than too late.” - David Pearce

Subscribe to this Channel: http://youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=TheRationalFuture

Science, Technology & the Future: http://scifuture.org

From: http://hplusmagazine.com/2014/09/17/transhumanism-3-supers-david-pearce/

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Beyond The People’s Climate March

Dennis Trainor, Jr

Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV in conversation with Timeka Drew, a grassroots organizer with the Global Climate Convergence. In one week the Peoples Climate March in New York, organized by 350.org, is expected to draw as many as 200,000 people. The march is to take place only days before a special UN meeting called by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the November 2015 U.N. Climate Conference in Paris. Christopher Hedges has called this march a “last gasp of climate change liberals;” and “a climate themed street fair.” Our only hope, according to Hedges, “comes from radical groups descending on New York to carry out direct action, including Global Climate Convergence and Popular Resistance.”

Climate march, 350.org, People’s Climate March, Climate change, Global warming, Extreme weather, Global Climate Convergence, Timeka Drew, Dennis Trainor Jr, ATV, Acronym TV, 2014 elections, U.S. Elections, System Change not climate change,

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Multitask Humanoid Control with a Brain-Computer Interface

IDH LIRMM

We present our approach to design a brain-computer interface (BCI) that allows the user to perform multitask humanoid control. We efficiently integrate techniques from computer vision and the task-function based control together with the brain-computer interface into an immersive and intuitive control application despite the well-known shortcomings of BCI. This approach is assessed in a user experiment involving 4 subjects who successfully controlled the HRP-2 humanoid robot in a scenario involving both grasping tasks and steering. The user experiences and the interface performances are presented and give a rich insight into future research that can be made to improve and extend such interface.

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Cell-mediated Delivery of Nanoformulated Antioxidants for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders

Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

Elena V. Batrakova talks about “Cell-mediated Delivery of Nanoformulated Antioxidants for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders” at the 2014 Nanotechnology for Health Care Conference put on by the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute.

Dr. Batrakova mentors graduate students and teaches in Innovative Drug Delivery (PHSC851).

Research Activities/Interests:
The main focus of Dr. Batrakova’s research is development of developing a cell-mediated active delivery of therapeutic polypeptides to the brain for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease using inflammatory-response cells as vehicles. Dr. Batrakova is also devoted to the development of a new drug delivery polymer-based system of chemotherapy to treat multi-drug resistant (MDR) tumors, and CNS disorders.

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Alex Nichols

Transhumanism - Considering Ideas From Existentialism and Religion

by Alex Nichols

“Immortality formulas” are often our biggest motivators in our life endeavors. There are similar concepts that philosophers, theologians, and transhumanists have pushed forward. All of which support different means of enhancing ourselves as a way of life. The core of transhumanist values seem to view death as a disease to be overcome, and that science will produce the means to conquer it.

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Marshall Brain

Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?

by Marshall Brain

What are our goals as a species? This, to me, is the most important question we can ask ourselves as human beings. Another way to say it: What is the meaning of our existence as a species? We never seem to directly ask ourselves these two questions in a collective way, which seems very odd to me. Because if we were discussing these questions openly, collectively and consistently, I believe we would live in a very different society.

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Rick Searle

Can Machines Be Moral Actors?

by Rick Searle

Ethicists have been asking themselves a question over the last couple of years that seems to come right out of science-fiction. Is it possible to make moral machines, or in their lingo, autonomous moral agents -AMAs? Asking the question might have seemed silly not so long ago, or so speculative as risk obtaining tenure, but as the revolution in robotics has rolled forward it has become an issue necessary to grapple with and now.

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John Danaher

Are hierarchical theories of freedom and responsibility plausible?

by John Danaher

In order to be responsible for your actions, you must be free. Or so it is commonly believed. But what exactly does it mean to be free? One popular view holds that freedom consists in the ability to do otherwise. That is to say: the ability to choose among alternative possible futures. This popular view runs into a host of problems. The obvious one being that it is inconsistent with causal determinism.

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David S. D'Amato

Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?

by David S. D'Amato

My Center for a Stateless Society colleague Roderick Long once described full anarchy as the golden mean, not a form of zealotry or extremism, but a middle way “between mandating what should be optional and prohibiting what should be optional.” Professor Long’s point is not mere framing or spin, attempting to pitch anarchism to an audience indisposed to considering the position or its arguments; rather, it contains an important insight about what it is that anarchists actually want for the future, hinting at our philosophy’s tolerance of experimentation and its essential pluralism.

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Giulio Prisco

Living, intelligent patterns in Conway’s Life

by Giulio Prisco

Conway’s Game of Life, a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970, is a rich mental laboratory to think about our own universe.

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Maria Konovalenko

Hollywood Must Turn Its Head to Personalized Longevity Science instead of Anti-Aging Pseudoremedies

by Maria Konovalenko

This attention-worthy article in The Hollywood Reporter signals that Hollywood people are ready and willing to do something about their longevity. The article mentions hormone replacement therapy, different check-ups and other things available in California, however completely misses 99% of what actually can be done about aging – science.

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Andrew Maynard

MMR Vaccines and Autism: Bringing clarity to the CDC Whistleblower Story

by Andrew Maynard

Anyone following the Twitter #vaccinesNOVA hashtag on the evening of Wednesday September 10 would have seen their stream seemingly overwhelmed by the #CDCWhistleblower hashtag.

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Singularity 1 on 1: Practopoiesis Tells Us Machine Learning Is Not Enough!

Singularity 1 on 1

Nikola Danaylov of Singularity 1 on 1 talks with Danko Nikolic (Brain and mind scientist at Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies) who works on physiology resulting in the theory of practopoiesis and the phenomenon of ideasthesia.


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If there’s ever been a case when I just wanted to jump on a plane and go interview someone in person, not because they are famous but because they have created a totally unique and arguably seminal theory, it has to be Danko Nikolic. I believe Danko’s theory of Practopoiesis is that good and he should and probably eventually would become known around the world for it. Unfortunately, however, I don’t have a budget of thousands of dollars per interview which will allow me to pay for my audio and video team to travel to Germany and produce the quality that Nikolic deserves. So, I’ve had to settle with Skype. And Skype refused to cooperate on that day even though both me and Danko have pretty much the fastest internet connections money can buy. Luckily, despite the poor video quality, our audio was very good and I would urge that if there’s ever been an interview where you ought to disregard the video quality and focus on the content – it has to be this one.

During our 67 min conversation with Danko we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: his personal journey into psychology and cognitive science; writing a manual for the mind; practopoiesis, AI and learning how to learn; consciousness and free will; the Penrose-Hameroff Quantum Theory of consciousness; the brain-mind distinction; the Human Brain Project, whole brain simulation and mind uploading

As always you can listen to or download the audio file above or scroll down and watch the video interview in full.

To show your support you can write a review on iTunes or make a donation.

Who is Danko Nikolic?

The main motive for my studies is the explanatory gap between the brain and the mind. My interest is in how the physical world of neuronal activity produces the mental world of perception and cognition. I am associated with the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Ernst Strüngmann Institute, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, and the University of Zagreb.

I approach the problem of explanatory gap from both sides, bottom-up and top-down. The bottom-up approach investigates brain physiology. The top-down approach investigates the behavior and experiences. Each of the two approaches led me to develop a theory: The work on physiology resulted in the theory of practopoiesis. The work on behavior and experiences led to the phenomenon of ideasthesia.

The empirical work in the background of those theories involved simultaneous recordings of activity of 100+ neurons in the visual cortex (extracellular recordings), behavioral and imaging studies in visual cognition (attention, working memory, long-term memory), and empirical investigations of phenomenal experiences (synesthesia).

The ultimate goal of my studies is twofold. First, I would like to achieve conceptual understanding of how the dynamics of physical processes creates the mental ones. I believe that the work on practopoiesis presents an important step in this direction and that it will help us eventually address the hard problem of consciousness and the mind-body problem in general. Second, I would like to use this theoretical knowledge to create artificial systems that are biologically-like intelligent and adaptive. This would have implications for our technology.

A reason why one would be interested in studying the brain in the first place is described here: Why brain?

Related articles

Tagged as: Danko Nikolic, Practopoiesis

 

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Michael Jeffers

Advent of the Cybernetic Legionnaire

by Michael Jeffers

An important question regarding human enhancement in the military is how the deployment of modified soldiers will redefine the ethical limitations on how combatants may be treated. The provisions of the Geneva Conventions and other bodies of international law prohibiting torture generally rest on certain assumptions about the human condition, such as pain thresholds, sleep requirements, and other forms of fragility.

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Maria Konovalenko

Biology and Biology of Aging Resources (6 videos)

by Maria Konovalenko

We have prepared a list of resources that can help understand biology of aging. We tried to find easy to grasp information sources and compiled a list of lectures, audio courses, popular science books and articles on biology in general and biology of aging in particular. The selected resources probably don’t exhaust the whole picture of aging science, but they shed light on the main ideas and research directions in this area.

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