If you had been born with your exact genetic makeup, but in another time and place, would you still have achieved whatever success you’ve had? Is the happiness you’ve gained mostly a matter of effort and determination, or do you owe a lot of your accomplishments to a fortunate but accidental combination of timing and location?
Dr. Massimo Pigliucci critiqued my arguments against aging on his blog, Rationally Speaking. Pigliucci is a trained philosopher, so I’m going to go into hyper-academic mode for a while on this post. If you’re into long-winded, nuanced logical deconstructions of arguments and overly dry chest-beating, please read on. If not, check out these awesome warning signs of the future from Anders Sandberg. Make your choice now.
There’s a dark magic in every negotiation table. No matter what the stakes — political, economical, personal — there’s a sinister spell worthy of a Voldemort clouding minds and making what should be impossible a daily occurrence.
Jamais Cascio talks to John C. Havens about Augmented Reality, the intersections of emerging technologies, environmental dilemmas, cultural transformation, The Semantic Web, and the ethical implications of technology and media moving forward. (45 min)
Why trying to suppress bad thoughts make them worse. Lying takes brain work, but truth doesn’t. What the Supreme Court confirmation hearings should be asking (enhancement, uplift, cognitive liberty, etc.) What do Americans think about science and climate change today? (MP3)
Athena Andreadis, Associate Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, author of To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek, and IEET Fellow, talks about human-hybrids, werewolves, settling on other planets, and human evolution both past and future in this interview posted at Crossed Genres.
About a week ago, the Internet went wild with the announcement that a “fountain of youth” drug had been found that extends life by about 10%. I picked a site at random and read the report, knowing full well what I would find buried somewhere in the story. Sure enough, there it was, tucked at the end of a paragraph halfway down: the study was done on mice.
Where were you on July 20, 1969? Many of us can recall exactly where we were and what we were doing when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon. (Of course, a good number of our readers probably were not even born then.)
Modern humans have walked the Earth for about 200,000 years. In that time, we have colonized, inhabited, and “tamed” diverse environments on many continents. Unfortunately, our heavy footprint has seriously impacted the planet and fundamentally altered the biosphere. We have destroyed rainforests, depleted fisheries, burned huge amounts of fossil fuels, sucked water aquifers dry, and given Earth a fever in the form of global warming. So, should we stay here and work to repair or mitigate the damage we’ve done? Or should we try to move most of the human population off-Earth and let the planet heal itself?
In a recently concluded poll, almost half (49%) of IEET readers identified themselves as Technoprogressive and Transhumanist, while 24% called themselves Transhumanist (H+) only, and 12% said Technoprogressive only.
Predictions of melting ice caps, receding glaciers, thawing permafrost, rising sea levels, longer and more frequent droughts, hyper-powerful storm systems, species depletion, refugee migration, disease outbreaks, economic disruption, and other catastrophic results are becoming more plausible with each passing year. Unless something changes very fast, the future does not look very bright.
I have watched Jon & Kate plus 8 since the beginning. For those of you who don’t know this is a show about a mother and father who had a set of twins and then a set of sextuplets, totaling eight children. For those of who are wondering why I am doing a two-part musing of this show and don’t like reality TV I say give it a chance, again. There is a lot to see in reality TV other than people making a debacle of their lives and I have watched my fair share of it.
Nanotechnology promises to change our world in ways that are difficult to predict, or even imagine: Star Trek style replicators that allow you to make almost anything you want… artificial robotic blood cells will turn an Average Joe into a world-class athlete, or allow you to hold your breath under water for an hour at a time… programmable “smart” matter than can take whatever form you desire. Advanced nanotechnology promises all of this plus a lot more.
A distinguished panel of guests, including IEET Managing Director Mike Treder, explain the benefits—and risks—of this powerful technology that could be here sooner than most expect.