The Singularity Summit 2011 was a TED-style two-day event at the historic 92nd Street Y in New York City. The next event will take place in San Francisco, on October 13 & 14, 2012. For more information, visit:
If you could design your own body, give it any shape, size, color, contour, texture and elegant design, what would you choose? What if your body could regenerate healthier, fresher skin and worn out tendons, ligaments and joints with replaceable ones? What if your body was as sleek, as sexy, and feel as comfortable as your new automobile? These are just a few of the questions to consider in the decades ahead. Sit back, take a deep, relaxing breath, follow the Primo Guides, and come along for an aerodynamic ride. Welcome to the future! ’ (Natasha Vita-More) 1
’… in a couple of years, everyone will consider the possession of a soft, hairy, sweating body to be shameful and indcecent. In a prostheticized society, you can snap on the loveliest creations of modern engineering.’ (Stanislaw Lem The Futurological Congress: Vision of 2039) 2
Young people who smoke cannabis for years run the risk of a significant and irreversible reduction in their IQ, research suggests.
The findings come from a study of around 1,000 people in New Zealand.
An international team found those who started using cannabis below the age of 18 - while their brains were still developing - suffered a drop in IQ. - BBC
Pinker’s book is copiously researched and argued, but it leaves one with a host of questions. It is not merely that tragic incidents of violence that we see all around us seem to fly in the face of his argument, it is that his viewpoint, at least for me, always seems to be missing something, to have skipped over some important element that would challenge its premise or undermine its argument, a criticism that Pinker has by some sleight of hand skillfully managed to keep hidden from us.
Perhaps what transhumanism should be is less of a cult of cults pretending that various science fictions are true and more of a science patch to humanism. Humanism already included science and learning in general. So the patch is not to add science, but to fix its use and expectations in culture. To advance by tuning the dangerous oscillations out of the civilization-science feedback system.
By all accounts Aaron Swartz was brilliant, gifted, idealistic ... and fragile. Too bad he wasn’t “too big to fail.” I never met Aaron, but I know a lot of people who knew him well. (We did “converse” as members of the same online discussion group.) I learned about Aaron’s suicide at the age of 26 the same way millions of other people did: on the Internet whose freedom he served with such dedication and brilliance.
“A futuristic highway that can save energy and improve road safety is set to be installed in the Netherlands by mid-2013. Two companies, Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure, came up with the highway, which includes: glow-in-the-dark road markings painted with photo-luminescent paint which are charged during the day and light up during the night; temperature-responsive paint which indicates slippery roads when temperatures fall below zero; and interactive lights along the highway that light up as cars approach. Wind lights that light up using the draft produced by cars and priority induction lanes that can recharge electric cars as they run along them also feature.
The luminous road markings and weather indicating roads will debut in the Dutch province of Brabant in the middle of next year. The wind powered and interactive lights along with the induction lanes are also planned to go into service in the next years.” -NMANewsDirect
We chatted with author Dirk Bruere about his book The Praxis in teleXLR8, on January 12, 2013.
Main topics: The Praxis, the importance of community and mutual help, transhumanist religion, the multiverse of quantum physics, quantum immortality, quantum suicide, resurrection, reality as a simulation.
See the full video below, thanks Eugen for recording.
A follow-up chat to discuss practicalities of implementation will take place on February 2, 2013, at 6pm UK time (7pm EU, 1pm EST, 10am PST).
“MIT researchers at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research have developed a new material that changes its shape after absorbing water vapor.
This material is made from an interlocking network of two different polymers. One forms a hard but flexible matrix that provides structural support while the other is a soft gel that swells when it absorbs water. Together these polymers create a material that converts water vapor to energy without the use of an external energy source.
When the 20-micrometer-thick film is exposed to moisture the bottom layer absorbs the evaporated water, forcing the film to curl away from the surface. Once the bottom of the film is exposed to the air, it quickly releases the moisture causing it to somersault forward and start to curl up once more. Researchers were surprised to discover not only does it need a very small amount of vapor, but it also demonstrated a large amount of strength. Using only water vapor as an energy source, the film can lift a load of silver wires 10 times its own weight.
Harnessing this continuous motion could drive artificial robotic muscles or generate enough electricity to power small electronics.” - MITNewsOffice
Can we reclaim the moral high ground in the debate about abortion as a part of thoughtful, wise loving and living? We won’t know until we try. Most Americans think of childbearing as a deeply personal or even sacred decision. So do most reproductive rights advocates. That is why we don’t think anybody’s boss or any institution should have a say in it. But for almost three decades, those of us who hold this view have failed to create a resonant conversation about why, sometimes, it is morally or spiritually imperative that a woman can stop a pregnancy that is underway.
A mature tapeworm has a very simple lifestyle. It lives in the gut of a host animal, anchoring itself to the wall of the intestine with its scolex (or head), from which trails a long string of segments (proglottids) that contain reproductive structures. The tapeworm absorbs nutrients through its skin and gradually extrudes more proglottids, from the head down; as they reach the end of the tape they mature into a sac of fertilized eggs and break off.
Though pain has clearly served an important evolutionary purpose, not everyone is convinced that we still need it. A growing number of forward-looking thinkers are suggesting that we need to get rid of it — and that we’ll soon have the technological know-how to do this. But should we choose to embark on such a radical experiment, we’ll need to pay close attention to the risks and those aspects of humanity we might risk losing.
James Miller has an interesting looking new book out, Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World. I haven’t had a chance to pick up the book yet, but I did listen to a very engaging conversation about the book at Surprisingly Free.Miller is a true believer in the Singularity, the idea that at some point, from the next quarter century to the end of the 21st, our civilization will give rise to a greater than human intelligence which will rapidly bootstrap to a yet higher order of intelligence in such a way that we are unable to see past this event horizon in historical time.
Science fiction, or actual U.S. military project? Half a world away from the battlefield, a soldier controls his avatar-robot that does the actual fighting on the ground. Another one wears a sticky fabric that enables her to climb a wall like a gecko or spider would. Returning from a traumatic mission, a pilot takes a memory-erasing drug to help ward off post-traumatic stress disorder. Mimicking the physiology of dolphins and sled-dogs, a sailor is able to work his post all week without sleep and only a few meals.
“If an asteroid were headed for Earth, we’d all band together and figure out how to stop it, just like in the movies, right? And yet, when faced with major, data-supported, end-of-the-world problems in real life, too often we retreat into partisan shouting and stalemate. Jonathan Haidt shows us a few of the very real asteroids headed our way—some pet causes of the left wing, some of the right—and suggests how both wings could work together productively to benefit humanity as a whole.” - TED
“The Global Risks 2013 Report captures how over 1000 experts from industry, government and academia see the most pressing threats facing the world over the next ten years. It reveals how 50 global risks are perceived in terms of likelihood, impact and interconnections.” - WEF
This paper develops a mathematical modeling framework using fault trees and Poisson processes for analyzing the risks of inadvertent nuclear war from U.S. or Russian misinterpretation of false alarms in early warning systems, and for assessing the potential value of inadvertence risk reduction options. The model also uses publicly available information on early-warning systems, near-miss incidents, and other factors to estimate probabilities of a U.S.-Russia crisis, the rates of false alarms, and the probabilities that leaders will launch missiles in response to a false alarm. The paper discusses results, uncertainties, limitations, and policy implications.
Stan has helped designed buildings in the U.S. South America and Asia, bulding off of the complexity of the modern city, Stan has come up with some new create ideas, looking at field theory, landscape architecture and ecology to revitalize urban design.
What if you could read my mind? What if I could beam what I’m seeing, hearing, and thinking, straight to you, and vice versa? What if an implant could store your memories, augment them, and make you smarter?
I see a future that truly promises to change our world in imaginative ways. Already, nano-enhanced clothes have appeared with the look and feel of cotton, but stain-sweat-wrinkle free; offered by Dockers, Eddie Bauer, Gap, Old Navy and Perry Ellis. Future nano-clothes will be completely self-cleaning and will change texture and color on command.
The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence. But that doesn't mean our brains don't have major limitations. The lowly calculator can do math thousands of times better than we can, and our memories are often less than useless — plus, we're subject to cognitive biases, those annoying glitches in our thinking that cause us to make questionable decisions and reach erroneous conclusions.