[Note: This is (roughly) the text of a talk I delivered at TEDxWHU on the 4th February 2017. A video of the talk should be available within a few weeks.]
There is a cave about 350km from here, in the Swabian Jura. It is called the Hohle Fels (this picture is the entrance to it). Archaeologists have been excavating it since the late 1800s and have discovered a number of important artifacts from the Upper Paleolithic era. In June 2005, they announced an interesting discovery.
(I keep intending to return to my existential concerns about the meaning of life, but the troublesome situation in my home country keeps bringing me back to politics.)
In today’s New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat penned, “How Populism Stumbles.” Douthat argues that movements like Trump’s fail because of bigotry, extremism and, especially, hubris. With this in mind Douthat dismisses my worries about authoritarianism:
Donald Trump’s Justice Department has so far been very unprepared to defend his Muslim ban. Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola, and Jayar Jackson, the hosts of The Young Turks, tell you how the judges are responding.
Why the Future adds 0 and what “Conversations with the Future” is about
“If someone needs directions, don’t give them a globe. It’ll merely waste their time. But if someone needs to understand the way things are, don’t give them a map. They don’t need directions; they need to see the big picture.” Seth Godin
I’ve called for this since way back in the last century, illustrating it in The Transparent Society and in novels like Earth. We must unleash whistleblowers on the world. Envision Edward Snowden and the Panama Papers revealer, only far more extensively, with protections and rewards that lure secrets out of shadows.
Depuis le début de l’ère industrielle, l’idée du remplacement de l’homme par la machine dans le milieu du travail a fait du chemin, au point de paraître crédible aujourd’hui. En effet, les percées en intelligence artificielle lèvent une inquiétude : et si l’humain devenait obsolète.
If we could jump 50 years into the future, what will our world look like? Flying cars? Hologram phones? Bill Nye sees two technological paths ahead – and we’re in the fork between them at this very moment.
Believe it or not, President Donald Trump has repeatedly noted interest in space research and exploration. I don’t shy away from my various disagreements with the new President, but I’m also willing to admit that I particularly enjoy his pro-space venture policies. Which is why I find it a bit disconcerting to hear that Republican members of Congress are now ordering DARPA to end their work on Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites.
Emeritus professor of philosophy at Princeton Harry Frankfurt‘s book, On Bullshit, was a surprise best seller a few years ago. Given the public musings of our recently installed President, I thought it time to revisit the main idea of the book.
Police unions didn’t like the reforms President Obama implemented, so now they want Trump to do away with them. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, the hosts of The Young Turks, tell you what the reforms do.
In this episode IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher talks to Jonathan Pugh about bio-conservatism and human enhancement. Jonny is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Applied Moral Philosophy at The University of Oxford, on the Wellcome Trust funded project “Neurointerventions in Crime Prevention: An Ethical Analysis”. His new paper, written with Guy Kahane and Julian Savulescu, ‘Bio-Conservatism, Partiality, and The Human Nature Objection to Enhancement’ is due out soon in The Monist.
The folks at Davos this week are trying to behave as if everything is normal. Sure, England is Brexiting from Europe and the United States appears to be retreating from the global stage altogether. But somehow the word from Switzerland is that a mix of the right interest rates, investment strategies, and business optimism will keep free trade and globalization on course and safe from this boorish surge of populism.
Creating genetically modified people is no longer a science fiction fantasy; it’s a likely future scenario. Biologist Paul Knoepfler estimates that within fifteen years, scientists could use the gene editing technology CRISPR to make certain “upgrades” to human embryos — from altering physical appearances to eliminating the risk of auto-immune diseases. In this thought-provoking talk, Knoepfler readies us for the coming designer baby revolution and its very personal, and unforeseeable, consequences.
Freedom is important. Modern liberal societies are built around it. Citizens fight for their fundamental freedoms — rights to speech, thought, religious expression, education, work and so on — and governments are evaluated relative to their success in securing these freedoms. But liberal freedom is a highly contested concept.
Cybercrime netted a whopping $450 billion in profits last year, with 2 billion records lost or stolen worldwide. Security expert Caleb Barlow calls out the insufficiency of our current strategies to protect our data. His solution? We need to respond to cybercrime with the same collective effort as we apply to a health care crisis, sharing timely information on who is infected and how the disease is spreading. If we’re not sharing, he says, then we’re part of the problem.
Corporations give the appearance of buckling under pressure from Donald Trump to create more jobs in America. GM just announced it will be investing $1 billion more in US factories, and hiring as many as 7,000 workers over the next two years. Walmart claims it will add 10,000.