The current big thing is the tablet computer, but as with anything in tech, this won’t last forever. At some point there will undoubtedly be some new technology that will make the tablet, and consequently everything before it, obsolete. Tech analyst Chris Pirillo offers his insights on what’s coming next.
On January 5, 2008, the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) held an Open Program on Debating Animals as Legal Persons as part of the AALS annual conference. Defining personhood for purposes of allocating legal rights is a highly problematic endeavor. Nonhuman animals, although sentient beings, are treated as property under the law. They are legal things and thus excluded from legal personhood. This session explored the legal and normative basis for personhood and why nonhuman animals have been excluded from its ambit.
Designer psychologies, or customized cognitive processing modalities, describes the potential for future individuals to selectively alter the specific and unique ways in which they take in, analyze and perceive the world. Cognitive modalities are the psychological frameworks that allow for person-to-person variances in subjectivity, including such things as emotional responses, social engagement, aesthetics and prioritization. The day is coming when we’ll be able to decide for ourselves how it is exactly that we want to process our world.
Wendell Wallach, a lecturer and consultant at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics—and recently appointed as an IEET Fellow—has emerged as one of the leading voices on technology and ethics.
Dr. J chats with security consultant Robert Vamosi, author of When Gadgets Betray Us: The Dark Side of Our Infatuation With New Technologies. They talk about the spread of identity theft and cybercrime, and the inadequacy of existing approaches to cybersecurity. Also, remembering the technoprogressive and cyborg-buddhistic awesomeness of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
Dr. J. chats with IEET contributing writers Kris Notaro and Andrew Cvercko about their working out of the connections between philosophy of the mind, Buddhism, radical politics and transhuman possibilities. (Recorded in a closet-sized studio with a reggae party rocking next door. But legible.) Part 2 of 2.
Advance directives are documents which give guidance on what should be done when your health deteriorates to the point where you can no longer make decisions for yourself. Sadly, these documents are often neglected by the general public until it is too late, but it’s even more crucial for transhumanists to think about and complete these documents.
Bioprinting uses a 3D printing process to create synthetic human tissue. One day it could therefore be used to print replacement human organs. This video by Christopher Barnatt explores future medical and cosmetic bioprinting applications.
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview.
In a poll that was split almost exactly evenly between five different answers, only 40% of respondents said they were in favor of requiring prospective parents to first obtain licenses. Another 40% oppose licensing but would like to see more parental education opportunities, while the remaining quintile says we’re out of line even to discuss the matter.
The American Food and Drug Administration has required the Genetics and IVF Center in Fairfax, Virginia, to stop offering MicroSort for family balancing. Currently, the procedure is available only for “couples attempting to prevent sex-linked or sex-limited disease.”
Dr. J. chats with IEET contributing writers Kris Notaro and Andrew Cvercko about their working out of the connections between philosophy of the mind, Buddhism, radical politics and transhuman possibilities. Part 1 of 2.
Laurence Smith, professor of geography and climate change at UCLA, explains in his fascinating new book The World in 2050 that not all parts of the world will necessarily suffer from rising global temperatures. Here Smith talks with Parag Khanna about how the contraction of Arctic sea ice is opening up new trade routes, promoting immigration in countries like Canada, and leading to the rise of new economic hubs in Scandinavia.
IEET Fellow, media theorist, techno-visionary and author, Douglas Rushkoff, asks the question: Do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it? “Choose the former,” says Rushkoff, “and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you will get to make.” Rushkoff picks up where Marshall McLuhan left off, helping readers to recognize programming as the new literacy, and as a template through which we can see beyond long held social conventions and power structures. Hear from Rushkoff on his ten commands: guidelines to navigate the digital universe.
Anders Sandberg, a friend of the IEET and postdoctoral fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University, recently gave the keynote address at the May 9-12, 2011, Planetary Defense Conference in Bucharest sponsored by the International Academy of Astronautics. He has kindly sent us a summary of encouraging progress documented at the meeting on mapping the trajectories of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and figuring out ways to deflect them if they will hit the Earth.
Professor Hunter Rawlings, President Emeritus of Cornell University, explores the origins of the American idea of freedom. He explains that it arose from two conflicting schools of thought: the ancient Greek strand, which valued communal society over the individual, and the Enlightenment, which prioritized individual freedom.
Imagine you know everything on Wikipedia, in the Oxford English Dictionary, and the contents of every book in digital form. When someone asks you what you did 20 years ago, on demand you recall with perfect accuracy every sensation and thought from that moment.
Dr. J. chats with Kevin Kelly, the former publisher and editor of the late and lamented Whole Earth Review, co-founder and Senior Maverick of Wired magazine, and author of New Rules for the New Economy and Out of Control. They talk about his new book What Technology Wants, which argues that technology is the universe’s tendency to evolve more diverse forms of intelligence.