The claim that robots are taking our jobs has become so commonplace of late that it’s a bit of a cliché. Nonetheless, it has a strong element of truth to it. Not only are machines taking “blue collar” factory jobs—a process that’s been underway for years, and no longer much of a surprise except when a company like Foxconn announces it’s going to bring in a million robots (which are less likely to commit suicide, apparently)—but now mechanized/digital systems are quickly working their way up the employment value chain.
Since the arrival of the internet innumerable lists have been made of the greatest science fiction films of all time, and reading them has provided a pretty good indication of how diverse and multi-faceted the genre is. As countdowns like these will always be essentially personal and subjective assessments on form, theme, cinematic style and general aesthetic appreciation, it’s an almost foregone conclusion that drawing up such lists entails waiting for the wave of criticism, scorn, refutations, approval and ambivalence which inevitably follow. Well I happily cry ‘bring it on!’
Why doesn’t everyone get excited about transhumanism? Why aren’t all people fascinated by augmented and virtual reality, radical life-extension, brain-uploading, and The Singularity? This essay is the first in a series of articles, entitled “The Casual Transhuman” - it will examine h+ topics from the layman’s perspective and give suggestions on how transhumanists can spread their ideas without looking like crackpots to the world-at-large.
There’s an ongoing debate among neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, and even philosophers as to whether or not we could ever construct or reverse engineer the human brain. Some suggest it’s not possible, others argue about the best way to do it, and still others have already begun working on it.
Are humans becoming obsolete in the workforce? Many experts believe the answer is yes. The amazing win for IBM’s Watson computer over humans on the quiz show Jeopardy, proved that automated systems are getting closer to reaching human intelligence levels.
“Ode to the Brain” is the ninth episode in the Symphony of Science music video series. Through the powerful words of scientists Carl Sagan, Robert Winston, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Jill Bolte Taylor, Bill Nye, and Oliver Sacks, it covers different aspects the brain including its evolution, neuron networks, folding, and more.
I cultivate the excellent habit of rationality and consider it as a very useful tool. But rationality is indeed a tool (a useful means to achieve a desired result), and not an end in itself. Far from being the enemies of science, religion and spirituality often drive scientific advances. Open-minded soft rationality is a much better approach to science than dull, fundamentalist rationalism.
Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne, Peter Singer takes a hard look at the food we eat, where it comes from, and how it is produced.
The demand is rising for enhancement technologies. A recent article at Forbes argues the market is ripe for a means of cognitive augmentation, hypothesizing “IQ” as the next trillion dollar business. And culturally, more are becoming comfortable with the idea of using technology to improve their mood, physiological well-being, creativity, and performance.
A great DIY “do it yourself” Green power project. These solar panels are very powerful and following these steps you will be able to make them for 1/3 of what they sell them for in the stores. If your looking to get off the grid or just drop your electric bill this is perfect for you!
Sweden, it would seem, is doing its darndest to abolish the idea of gender. Their latest effort comes with the introduction of a new gender-netural pronoun, called “hen.” But while some see it as a huge victory in the struggle to achieve gender equality, others see it as yet another imposition brought on by the political correctness police.
As a staunch supporter of one’s right to elect cryopreservation over traditional cremation or burial, the following represents an ongoing research focus toward minimizing the impedance of an optimal cryopreservation by the medical and/or legal requirements of a forensic autopsy.
On April 14, 2012 IEET Executive Director gave the closing talk at Connecticut College’s Tedx, which was on the theme of “Rethinking Progress.” Dr. Hughes’ describes the origins of the Enlightenment idea of social and scientific progress, the reasons for skepticism about the idea of progress, and proposes recommitment to a chastened idea of progress as a “great work.” (Slides here)
At the turn of the millennium, miniaturized canines acquired the cherished status of living, designer handbag ornaments. These teeny tiny photogenic doggies, which had been shrunken from generations of in breeding, were snapped up by fashionistas who pouted alongside them in front of seas of clicking cameras.
In the Western – post-Breivik – world, there appears to be an increasing support for anti-hate speech / “crimethink” legislation. The idea that you can – and should – control people’s minds – and thus behavior – through prohibitive measures, in combination with proper re-education, is taking hold.
Traditional-Religious Transhumanists like “Pastor” Alex McGilvery and Lincoln Cannon have articulated their views extensively at IEET in recent months, in essays followed by contentious debates. McGilvery and Cannon believe there’s easy compatibility between their creeds and H+. I welcome them, happily, because I want H+ to be a “Big Tent” with acceptance for everybody. That said, I fervently disagree with their theistic opinions. Wildly, totally, absolutely, passionately, face-squinched-up-in-an-angry-scowl Disagree.
Asian economies managed to progress from starvation in the 1960s to the top tier of development and wealth. In 1981 East Asia had the highest poverty rate in the world, higher than Africa. In 2011 two of the top three economies in the world were from East Asia, and very soon they might have three out of four including the number one.
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