The way science is taught, the way it’s portrayed on TV and in the press, the way it’s promoted by science-advocates and science bloggers, often seems to adhere to a rather pompous and hubristic view of science as the ultimate bastion of truth and certainty. So it’s been rather refreshing this week to see a group of real-world scientists shattering this image in the online event I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here!
When asked if the ongoing oil drilling blowout in the Gulf of Mexico makes them less or more supportive of emerging technologies, three out of four respondents to a recent IEET reader poll said it’s either irrelevant or it means we should push ahead even more. Less than one in five are concerned that our growing technological power has outgrown our ethical sensibility.
Reflecting on his son’s graduation from high school, IEET Fellow David Brin offers inspiration and advice for students going on to college. Broaden your perspectives and take full advantage of the wealth of educational experiences awaiting you during the next four years. The key is curiosity: explore what is happening in those buildings on campus.
It has been claimed by biologists that the brains of females and males are different in obscure ways. However, physical differences in adults may be due to psychological and sociological pressures on the brains of each gender, because cultures and societies may exaggerate roles and stereotypes, having an impact on brain plasticity.
This summer True Blood, now in its third season, continues to explore the issues that it has in the past, such as personhood and the coexistence of humans with a species that has many advantages over humans. However, with the introduction of werewolves and the greater focus on shapeshifters, this year there are even better opportunities to relate True Blood to morphological freedom.
Ten days ago, Boston was taken over by the transhumanists, for the gathering of the 2010 Humanity Plus (H+) Summit at Harvard University. The H+ Summit was two glorious days of information loading, idea sharing, and networking—among scientists, techno-geeks, and futurists from all domains—with one common goal: to enhance the human condition.
Dr. J. chats with Alana Sveta, who is a child conceived with the assistance of donor sperm, and a participant in a study by the conservative Institute for American Values called “My Daddy’s Name is Donor.” They discuss the psychological consequences of biological ties between parents and children. MP3
Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things—from alien abductions to dowsing rods—boils down to two of the brain’s most basic, hard-wired survival skills. He explains what they are, and how they get us into trouble.
In this talk Alexey Turchin argues that the program of the search of extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is a source of extinction risk. The main idea is that passive SETI is much more dangerous activity than messaging to stars because we could download Alien AI (that is a scheme of a computer and program to it) which will use the Earth to send its copies further. The following is based on two premises:
First is that extraterrestrial civilizations do exist in the distances which allow radio communication, but do not allow interstellar travel (which is from one thousand to one million light years).
Second is that artificial intelligence is possible as a self-evolving classic computer program.
Alexey Turchin was born in Moscow, Russia in 1973. Alexey studied Physics and Art History at Moscow State University and actively participated in the Russian Transhumanist Movement. He has translated many foreign Transhumanist works into Russian, including N. Bostrom and E.Yudkowsky. He is an expert in Global Risks and wrote the book “Structure of the Global Catastrophe: Risks of Human Extinction in the XXI Century,” as well as several articles on the topic. Since 2010, he has worked at Science Longer Life where he is writing a book on futurology.
Professor Philip Zimbardo conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships, and how we act in the world.
Ray Kurzweil didn’t cover much new this afternoon. As one wag said on Twitter, “Shouldn’t Ray’s five year-old stump speech be 10,000 times more interesting and only five minutes long?” But Ben does his best to summarize. By the way, check out Kurzweil, J. Hughes, and a cast of thousands in this New York Times story on the Singularity University - J.
We’re here for day 2 of the H+ Summit: Rise of the Citizen Scientist. Ray Kurzweil will be keynoting at the end of the day, but first we’ll hear talks from a bunch of other great speakers, including the IEET’s George Dvorsky, Aubrey de Grey, James Hughes, Patrick Lin, and Natasha Vita-More.