The structure of many African economies is unbalanced and unable to deliver labor intensive and inclusive growth. Most African economies are characterized by both excessive dependence on export revenues from a few commodities and external financial flows (FDI, aid and remittances) and a weak industrial base and predominance of subsistence agriculture.
Zoltan IstvanThe Transhumanist Wager is an epic story of radical libertarian ideas, their enemies, and the violent global conflict that ensues, painted in strong saturated colors with little room for intermediate shades and character development. After reading cover to cover, and then reading it more carefully, I have mixed love/hate feelings about this novel.
Whether you believe it, or think it’s just too bizarre to be true, this most hyped science of all time – molecular nanotech – promises a utopian future with scarcity-free lifestyles for everyone on the planet; and healthcare miracles that could one day push human lifespan to the edge of immortality.
Combine medieval theology, million-dollar paychecks, taxpayer subsidies and what’s the result?
A constitutional crisis where the Catholic bishops control almost half of Washington’s health care system, using your tax dollars to assert their “moral authority” and make crucial decisions about your health care.
Think you have the right to Death with Dignity? The right to an abortion? The right to contraception? The right to say No to decades on a feeding tube after a devastating accident?
The Catholic bishops think otherwise and they’re working hard to deny you these rights today.
Join host Valerie Tarico, IEET Contributor, and guest Monica Harrington, founder of CatholicWatch.org, for a discussion about religion and health care, why Washington State is poised to become the first state in the Union where the bishops edicts rule, and what you can do to fight back.
First: Sad News - Though expected, the passing of author Iain Banks came as a shock and a blow. I first met Iain in London, where I lived in the mid-1980s, when we were both brash young newcomers. I've always respected his literary fiction, but even more deeply admired his science fiction, especially the last two decades. His Culture Universe was among the few to confront straight-on the myriad hopes, dangers and raw possibilities that might be faced by a humanity-that-succeeds….
It should be self-evident that recent NSA revelations bring up some grave concerns about civil liberties. But they also raise other profound and troubling questions – about the privatization of our military, our inflated expectations for digital technology, and the increasingly cozy relationship between Big Corporations (including Wall Street) and Big Defense.
I was quick to tweet and post on Facebook about the Guardian and the Washington Post’s stories about the NSA’s PRISM program – a program described as giving the NSA access to the data of hundreds of millions of internet users via direct access to servers at Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and other internet companies.
You enter the supermarket, grab an electronic cart that recognizes you from your touch, toss in some bags and begin shopping. The monitor on your ‘smart cart’ displays products, price, and total amount spent; and subtracts items returned to the shelf.
Roger Howard presents plausible scenarios regarding the geopolitical dangers of peak oil. Equally plausible scenarios could envision some positive impacts, because countries dependent on natural resources are often poor and undemocratic, while countries dependent on human resources are often rich and democratic.
IEET Contributor Colin Farrelly, Dept of Political Studies at Queen’s Univ. talks about the gab between humanity and social sciences and natural sciences. Farelly spoke on May 2, 2013 at the Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Biology 10th Annual Symposium.
The Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Biology is an institutional collaboration of the Biology Departments at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. OCIB members have significant expertise in fish physiology, botany, entomology, computational biology, and toxicology. The OCIB facilitates interdisciplinary research collaboration between the two universities and external partners.
Each spring the graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, staff and guest speakers gather for the Annual OCIB Symposium. This year, the 10th Annual OCIB Symposium will be held at Carleton University May 2-3, 2013. We are excited to announce this years theme as “bridging the gap.” This year’s theme intends to address topics such as bridging the gap between biology and other areas of study, as well as between scientific research and the community through the use of media.
Personal Democracy Forum 2013, held June 6 and 7 at New York University, was organized around a central theme: “Think Bigger.” We’ve chosen it in part to honor our late friend Aaron Swartz. In a conversation with PDM co-founder Micah Sifry, he asked, “Why not harness the power of the Internet to work on the larger-scale problems?” Why not, indeed. So the 2013 Forum convened practitioners, academics and close observers of the way people are applying technology to difficult issues from election reform to public health.
James lived a life of idle self-indulgence. He gambled, fornicated, drank his fill and ate the finest foods. The quintessential libertine. John, on the other hand, lived a life of charity and self-sacrifice. He worked to improve the lives of others, to relieve suffering, to combat poverty and illness. No doubt James had a good time, but surely John had the more meaningful life?
I’m finding hard to get too worked up over yesterday’s revelation that the National Security Agency has been authorized by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to collect all our call data from Verizon. Hasn’t everyone already assumed this? Everything we do in the digital realm - from surfing the web to sending an email to conducting a credit card transaction to, yes, making a phone call - creates a data trail. And if that trail exists, chances are someone is using it - or will be soon enough.
Picture this: You wake up far too early one morning because your hand is intensely painful and you don’t know why. When the pain gets worse, you go to the ER. The attending doctor, a gray haired man, examines you, draws blood, and then tells you an unusual flesh eating infection in your finger is putting your health at risk. He recommends amputating the hand immediately before the infection causes more harm. What he doesn’t tell you is that at this early stage the simple injection of a state-of-the art antibiotic would solve the problem. Why the omission?
It should be within our rights to take our own lives when the circumstances warrant it. That means we must be prepared to accept laws in favor of assisted suicide. This becomes even more important in light of potential technologies that could grant us extreme longevity.
Natasha Vita-More is a media designer and futurist, and a prominent proponent of ethical means for achieving human enhancement. She has spoken worldwide on futurism and art for two decades. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Technology, University of Plymouth where she is working on the radical transformations of human life that may come from the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science (NBIC). Her work has been featured in Wired, LAWeekly, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Net Business, Teleopolis, and Village Voice, and in more than a dozen documentaries. She is an advisor for non-profit organizations including the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Nanotechnology, Adaptive A.I., and Lifeboat Foundation, and is Vice-Chair of Humanity+.
The first Transhumanist conference in Asia will be H+ @HK
The conference website is http://hk.humanityplus.org
Dates: 3-4th of December
Also in HK on the 2nd is a TedX conference.
Mario Livio is an astrophysicist and an author of works that popularize science and mathematics. He is currently an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the Hubble Space Telescope.
After 237 years, we’re becoming a colony again. Our nation’s losing the right to self-determination it fought so hard to win, and it’s happening on a scale unseen since the days of George III. As is so often the case these days, this wholesale loss of our rights is being underwritten by corporate interests. And, as usual, it’s being called “bipartisan” – by corporations who “buy” both Republican and Democratic “partisans.”
One of the stranger features of our era is its imaginative exhaustion in terms of the future, which I realize is a strange thing to say her. This exhaustion is not so much of an issue when it comes to imagining tomorrow’s gadgets, or scientific breakthroughs, but becomes apparent once the question of the future political and economic order is at stake. In fact, the very idea that something different will almost inevitably follow the institutions and systems we live in seems to have retreated from our consciousness at the very time when the endemic failures of our political and economic order has shown that the current world can not last.
In our last poll we asked IEET readers about their relationship with meat, and more than 60% of the 337 respondents still ate meat. But of those more than 60% would switch to meat grown from stem cells.
When people find out that my mother died of non-small cell lung cancer, almost invariably, the first thing they ask is, “did she smoke?”1 It’s a truism that holds today, and it started shortly after she was diagnosed – even from people who should have known better. In other words, every bioethicist, save one, flat-out asked me that.
Researchers have harnessed the power of thought to guide a remote-control helicopter through an obstacle course.
The demonstration joins a growing number of attempts to translate the electrical patterns of thoughts into motions in the virtual and real world.
Applications range from assisting those with neurodegenerative disorders to novel modes of video game play.
The research in the Journal of Neural Engineering uses a non-invasive “cap” to capture brain electrical activity.
It is not the “mind-reading” of fiction. The approach, and others like it, require that an electronic system be “trained” to recognise patterns in an electroencephalograph - a map of electrical activity.
This talk describes the development of reinforcement learning within the Sigma graphical cognitive architecture. Reinforcement learning has been deconstructed in terms of the interactions among more basic mechanisms and knowledge in Sigma, making it a derived capability rather than a de novo mechanism. Basic reinforcement learning—both model-based and model-free—are demonstrated, along with the intertwining of model learning. (Winter Intelligence Oxford - AGI12 - http://agi-conference.org/2012)
If you’re even the slightest bit familiar with pop culture from the past 50 years, you know that we’ve been anxiously awaiting robots to become a part of our daily lives. From R2-D2 to the Jetsons, our future robot companions promise to be helpful and handy! But many people have their concerns: will the development of artificial intelligence end up REPLACING humans in the work force, pushing already high unemployment through the roof?!?! These new laborers will likely do not just undesirable jobs (janitorial, coal mining, etc), but also the high paying premium jobs, like surgeons and lawyers. But can, or SHOULD, we stop progress?
Of all the charges against Bradley Manning, the most pernicious—and revealing—is “aiding the enemy.” The forces that top U.S. officials routinely denounce as “the enemy” will never threaten the power of the USA’s dominant corporate-military elites. But the unnamed “enemy” aided by Bradley Manning’s courageous actions—the people at the grassroots who can bring democracy to life beyond rhetoric—are a real potential threat to that power.
In February of 2012 the first Global Future 2045 Congress was held in Moscow. There, over 50 world leading scientists from multiple disciplines met to develop a strategy for the future development of humankind. One of the main goals of the Congress was to construct a global network of scientists to further research on the development of cybernetic technology, with the ultimate goal of transferring a human’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier.
2012-2013. The global economic and social crises are exacerbated. The debates on the global paradigm of future development intensifies.
New transhumanist movements and parties emerge. Russia 2045 transforms into World 2045.
Simultaneously, the 2045.com international social network for open innovation is expanding. Here anyone interested may propose a project, take part in working on it, or fund it, or both. In the network, there are scientists, scholars, researchers, financiers and managers.
2013-2014. New centers working on cybernetic technologies for the development of radical life extension rise. The ‘race for immortality’ starts.
2015-2020. The Avatar is created—A robotic human copy controlled by thought via ‘brain-computer’ interface. It becomes as popular as a car.
2020. In Russia and in the world appear—in testing mode—several breakthrough projects:
Android robots replace people in manufacturing tasks; android robot servants for every home; thought-controlled Avatars to provide telepresence in any place of the world and abolish the need business trips; flying cars; thought driven mobile communications built into the body or sprayed onto the skin.
2020-2025. An autonomous system providing life support for the brain and allowing it interaction with the environment is created. The brain is transplanted into an Avatar B. With Avatar B man receives new, expanded life.
2025. The new generation of Avatars provides complete transmission of sensations from all five sensory robot organs to the operator.
2030-2035. ReBrain—The colossal project of brain reverse engineering is implemented. World science comes very close to understanding the principles of consciousness.
2035. The first successful attempt to transfer one’s personality to an alternative carrier. The epoch of cybernetic immortality begins.
2040-2050. Bodies made of nanorobots that can take any shape arise alongside hologram bodies.
2045-2050. Drastic changes in social structure, and in scientific and technological development. All the
for space expansion are established.
For the man of the future, war and violence are unacceptable. The main priority of his development is spiritual self-improvement.
Submissions are invited for a special issue of the Journal of Evolution and Technology on the topic of the impending global decline of employment due to automation, disintermediation and other effects of emerging technologies, and the need for reform and expansion of state income support such as a universal basic income guarantee (BIG). Papers questioning the premises of technological unemployment or the desirability of a BIG are also welcome.