JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently said that he felt safer in Lebanon than he did when Occupy marched past his house. If nothing else, it proves that Wall Street bankers haven’t gotten any better at risk management—the art of knowing where danger lies and avoiding it—than they were when their bad bets crashed the economy and caused the Great Recession.
Mr. Stolyarov discusses how indefinite human life extension will bring about numerous economic benefits to human beings and human civilization. Indefinite human longevity will enable humans to confront major existential threats - such as the threat of a meteor impact or a new ice age - that are beyond the timeframe of the individual lifespan today.
If the law does bend and reform itself to eliminate the legal separation of people into males and females, what will become of sex-separate lavatories? Do not the genitals of a citizenry become a proper interest of the state when it comes to exercising excretory functions in public buildings? Is not the public restroom, with its separate urinals for men and makeup mirrors for women, proof that the apartheid of sex is necessary?
Onstage at TED2012, Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism—that we’ll invent, innovate and create ways to solve the challenges that loom over us. “I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems; we surely do. But ultimately, we knock them down.”
What happens in your brain when you experience pleasure? Why are fantasies so powerful? Why do our brains love dopamine so much? Why do some images arouse, while others turn us off? Why are the most attractive people often not the ones we are most drawn to sexually? How can you create the longest neurological orgasm possible?
In Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think (Free Press, February 21) Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler offer a vision of the future that’s truly awesome in both the most traditional and modern understandings of the word; it’s as big as it as awe inspiring.
Photos and video of Gender Reassignment Surgery performed on 4 different patients in chronological order between 2007 and 2011 in the operation room of a Thai surgeon. The patients were predominantly from the the USA and Europe. For Frequently Asked Questions about sex change surgery, please check out articles on www.pholomolo.com
Transgendered people are often seen as courageous; they have the guts to take radical steps to become the people they really are. But I don’t see them as any different from people, mostly women, who get nip-and-tuck surgeries, botox, and breast enlargements. After all, they too take radical steps to become the people they feel they really are – youthful and sexually attractive.
Intelligent life is a fragile accident in an indifferent universe, and the first duty of intelligent life is to figure out how to transform itself and its environment in order to survive. Unfortunately intelligent creatures sometimes evolve suicidally conservative memetic straitjackets - condoms are a sin, the climate isn’t changing, doing this ghost dance will stop bullets, unregulated markets are always right. In this short story Ms. Donoho imagines a far future descendant of ours forced to witness the unnecessary deaths of the descendants of today’s Luddites and bioconservatives.
George Dvorsky on Singularity 1 on 1: Specialization is for Insects
We discuss Dvorsky’s agonizing decision to stop being vegetarian and embrace the Paleo diet; cross-fit training, organic farming and the cost of food; the seeming contradiction between transhumanism and paleo/cross-fitness; animal enhancement (aka animal uplift), human-equivalent non-person rights and the list of candidate species; mass extinction and the Fermi paradox; SETI and the Dysonian approach that George and co are suggesting; the potential for and implications of friendly and unfriendly alien intelligences.
One of the main points is a quote that Dvorsky brought to my attention:
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” -Robert A. Heinlein
Robotic and synthetic technology will largely overcome any progress biological technologies can offer, but we are further along in the biological sciences, so we’ll likely see those advances first. Some people, seeking to “stay human” will stop with biological enhancement. Here are cool new stories in three categories: currently available cures and treatments for diseases, speculative cures and treatments for diseases, and general upgrades to the human condition.
Future Flesh is squatting on your plate. Are you nervous? Stab it with a fork. Sniff it. Bite! Chew, swallow. Congratulations! Relax and ruminate now because you’re digesting a muscular invention that will massively impact the planet.
Artificial meat could significantly improve the world. It offers a way to drastically cut greenhouse emissions, save energy and water, feed the world’s growing population, and eat meat without killing animals. However it may be appealing, though, there is good reason to suspect that artificial meat will be met with great resistance and be slowly adopted.
Most of our holidays look backward, honoring past victories, dead presidents or long-standing traditions. How about a day that looks forward, toward thinking creatively about building a better tomorrow? The brand new Future Day (originally proposed by Ben Goertzel at Humanity+) will be March 1. How would you (productively) observe such a day, particularly to inspire the next generation?
“Every time I played Mass Effect 2, I always cherished the idea of bringing Miranda and Jack closer to each other, and in order for that to happen, I always took Miranda with me when doing Jack’s loyalty mission, so that she could see what horrors Jack had gone through, and I also took Jack with me to Illium, on Miranda’s loyalty mission, so that she could see that Miranda is not a “Cerberus bitch”, but instead, a sensitive woman who cares about her sister. Anyway, I tried to add something that the developers left out from the game. This was my first attempt to make this romance come true. It didn’t really come out as good as I hoped it would, but maybe (a big maybe!) I’ll try to make a better version later.”
Mass Effect is epic. It’s the product of the best parts of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and more with a protagonist who could be the love-child of Picard, Skywalker, and Starbuck. It’s one of the most important pieces of science fiction narrative of our generation. Mass Effect goes so far beyond other fictional universes in ways that you may not have yet realized. It is cosmic in scope and scale.
Dr. J. chats with David Koepsell about his book Innovation and Nanotechnology: Converging Technologies and the End of Intellectual Property. Koepsell is an author, philosopher, attorney, and educator who teaches at the Delft University of Technology. He is also author Who Owns You? The Corporate Gold Rush to Patent Your Genes.
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