“We will not become immortal cyborgs with superintelligent computer friends in the next twenty years,” writes Annalee Newitz on io9. “There is strong evidence that humans first began exploring the oceans by boat about 50 thousand years ago… What if our space probes and the Curiosity rover are the equivalent of those reed boats thousands of years ago? It’s worth pondering. We may be at the start of a long, slow journey whose climactic moment comes thousands of years from now.” My short answer: So what?
As for the recent launch of a satellite by North Korea, upon a rocket with clear intercontinental potential, I can only repeat my earlier recommendation to the U.S. Administration. One important part of the solution to the “North Korea problem” would arise by announcing that the Hermit Kingdom’s actions will all be attributed and accounted to the legal responsibility of its biggest supporter, enabler and protector.
Acclaimed scientists Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, and others believe that an infinite number of universes exist; and that in some far future time, it may be possible to explore these other worlds, which many believe are connected by wormholes.
The IEET grieves for the innocent children, staff and families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT USA. Our condolences to everyone effected by today’s tragedy. We need to reevaluate the culture of violence (including the amount of guns so readily available) in the United States, and help anyone who may be mentally ill as best we can.
Last week I really thought that people like Francis Fukuyama and Jürgen Habermas have been right all along. Both have claimed in different writings that modern (and especially future) technology will cause our fragile human nature to deteriorate and in effect dehumanize us and our societies.
Telecommunications is an industry that is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, manifest not only in technological advances, but also the influence of regulation, legal policy, market forces, and security.
Is the holiday season more glitter than glow for you lately? Are you a former Christian who finds that hymns don’t resonate anymore? Do you roll your eyes about the “war on Christmas” manufactroversy? Does the cherubic little Jesus-in-a-Manger fail to flood your body with sweetness? Do you feel mixed about participating in a religious holiday now that you’re not religious? Get the scrooge out with these ten tips:
Neuroscientist and bestselling author David Eagleman explains why time seems to go faster as we age, saying, “The way we estimate duration has a lot to do with how much memory we’ve laid down.” Dr. Eagleman has written several neuroscience books, including Incognito: The Brains Behind the Mind (Pantheon, 2011), Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia (co-authored with Richard Cytowic, MIT Press), and the upcoming Live-Wired: How the Brain Rewrites its own Circuitry (Oxford University Press, 2012). He has also written an internationally bestselling book of literary fiction, Sum, which has been translated into 22 languages and was named a Best Book of the Year by Barnes and Noble, New Scientist, and the Chicago Tribune. Dr. Eagleman writes for Wired, the New York Times, Discover magazine, Slate, and New Scientist, and he appears regularly on National Public Radio and BBC to discuss both science and literature.
How important is open-source software? How does it relate to the Occupy movement? Who would do the Programming? Who is doing the current Open Source programming?
Bob and Aliecia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at GRCC presents meida theorist Doublass Rushkoff, interviewed by Laura Caprara, owner of Stella Fly Social Media.
It’s time, once and for all, to clear up the confusion about Plan B on progressive message boards, Facebook pages, forums and comment threads. Tweet this: Plan B doesn’t cause abortion. It stops or delays ovulation. No egg, no fertilization, no pregnancy – no abortion. It’s that simple.
The notion of robot love has a long history, and by far the dominant emphasis has been on its erotic manifestation. After all, the reasoning goes, a sufficiently advanced robot would offer all of the physical pleasure of a real partner with no emotional entanglements, personal judgments, or dissipating affections, in an un-aging body that can be sculpted to look exactly as one desires. Famous movie actors and actresses might even set up a lucrative side-business licensing their own bodily images to robot manufacturers, even long after time and nature had taken a toll.
Current copyright law does not merely distort some markets — rather it destroys entire markets.” So reads the final line of a report released by the Republican Study Committee of the House of Representatives that is highly critical of current copyright law
These days, you would not be alone in thinking that perhaps future generations would master the PC before the pencil. Actually, more realistically speaking, infants born in the iPhone era may not see an entire personal computer for a long time. Instead their interaction is more likely to be with more portable tech: tablets and smartphones.
As science communicators, we need to do more than just entertain — we need to inform; to persuade; to inspire action. One of the biggest challenges in selling ideas about radical science and technology is engaging and exciting an audience in a way that is non-threatening, believable, and structured in a way that they can relate to personally.
“This is Part 3 of 3 of Work Sucks! I can’t describe an entire economic system in one video so I just started a new Channel where I’ll be discussing these issues along with the more technical aspects of Left-Libertarianism. Please come by and subscribe:
“If you would like to see how this economic system works in more detail, click here:
Some Left-Libertarians endorse Participatory Economics (Parecon). While I like many aspects of Parecon, I find it an unrealistic system for a number of reasons. As the theory exists today, Parecon needs to be revised with more scrutiny. Anyway, it does have many good points and promoters have been good about writing about it to a general public. At the same time, this has hurt its reputation by turning Parecon into popcorn economics.” - The Left-Libertarian
“Almost £60 million of awards from the Medical Research Council (MRC) will help scientists gain fresh insights into illnesses and inherited disorders.
The funding to the University’s MRC Human Genetics Unit and the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) will help doctors develop and deliver new tests and therapies for patients.
It will boost research into conditions such as schizophrenia, cystic fibrosis and genetic eye disorders including retinitis pigmentosa, coloboma and anophthalmia.
Dr Chris Boyd, Dr Alastair Innes and Dr Steve Cunningham tell us about a groundbreaking gene therapy trial for adults and children with cystic fibrosis (CF) - coordinated by the UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium (GTC).” - EdinburghUniversity
“The emotionally charged story recounted at the beginning Dr. Paul Zak’s film—of a terminally ill two-year-old named Ben and his father—offers a simple yet remarkable case study in how the human brain responds to effective storytelling. As part of his study, Dr. Zak, a founding pioneer in the emerging field of neuroeconomics, closely monitored the neural activity of hundreds of people who viewed Ben’s story. What he discovered is that even the simplest narrative, if it is highly engaging and follows the classic dramatic arc outlined by the German playwright Gustav Freytag, can evoke powerful empathic responses associated with specific neurochemicals, namely cortisol and oxytocin. Those brain responses, in turn, can translate readily into concrete action—in the case of Dr. Zak’s study subjects, generous donations to charity and even monetary gifts to fellow participants. By contrast, stories that fail to follow the dramatic arc of rising action/climax/denouement—no matter how outwardly happy or pleasant those stories may be—elicit little if any emotional or chemical response, and correspond to a similar absence of action. Dr. Zak’s conclusions hold profound implications for the role of storytelling in a vast range of professional and public milieus.” - Melcher
I want to make some claims about the future of brain cognition that will lead to rational, logical, empathetic thought. The notion of “friendly SAI” and “unfriendly SAI” is a fallacy and should be abandoned, that is, the notion that we can program AI in the SAI setting to be friendly is an attempt to undermine intelligence and the domain of empathy and altruism.
According to the Wikipedia entry on “major religious groups”, 85% of the world’s population subscribes to some kind of religion. While in reality the world is obviously not divided neatly into “religious” and “non-religious”, and while religion and theism are not quite the same thing, this statistic nevertheless shows that the various concepts of the divine continue to hold considerable sway over human thought.
Pre-modern, modern and postmodern societies existing concurrently in dynamic interaction have created a global situation of cultural tension and conflict. This has resulted in clashes between modernists and anti-modernists and has become a major global change agent. All the major religions are pre-modern in origin but not all have adapted to modernity to the same extent and none have done so completely. This is concurrent with the rise of the non-Western World (Asia, Africa, Latin America) as a dominant global religious force. The unevenness of accommodating to modern life constitutes part of the religious/cultural tension within and between faith traditions. This requires constructing future visions that can unite a pluralistic civilization around common goals.
Our Earth feels like a warm and welcoming place for us life forms, but beyond our little planet, the majority of the solar system is too cold for us to live comfortably. But a new study suggests that planets in other solar systems might be more habitable than our own because, on the whole, they would be warmer — up to 25 % warmer.
“Rudy Rucker, a science fiction writer, professor of Computer Science tells TEDxBrussels his vision of the future. As in his novel “Software” where computers ‘preserve’ the human brain, a so-called ‘life box’ database remains which keeps our memories alive.
These machines however cannot substitute humans as our minds perform more physical and biological processes, where artificial intelligence only relies on inferences.
Biomathematics models such as cellular automaton and Belousov—Zhabotinsky simulation come closer to the biological processes.
He describes his idea of this biological computation emerging in the future with beautiful (mostly self-drawn) paintings.” - TEDx
In the Broadway musical Fame, Carmen sings about wanting to live forever. Of course, this is not possible today, but many positive thinkers believe that in the near future, biotech breakthroughs, along with nanomedicine advances, could provide an indefinite lifespan; eliminating most causes of death.
The Technological Singularity, referred to as “the singularity” by transhumanists, signifies a point in time where self-aware self-improving artificial intelligence that could surpass the intelligence of the human brain manifests.
Even though there are no statistics on the economics of religion, we might reasonably assume that if we calculated the aggregate turnover and cash flow of all the religions and religious activities globally – their aggregate buying power and the goods and services they produce and consume – that we are talking about one of the biggest business sectors in the world, if not the biggest. The global economics of organized religion, New Age religiosity and various other ‘spiritual’ practices might run into the trillions of dollars.