Dr. J. chats with Nicholas Agar, professor of philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and author of Liberal Eugenics: In Defence of Human Enhancement and Humanity’s End: Why We Should Reject Radical Enhancement. They discuss Agar’s arguments for a moderate position on human enhancement that embraces some enhancements but rejects the creation of “posthumans.” Part 1 of 2.
What are the current unresolved issues in transhumanist thought? Which of these issues are peculiar to transhumanist philosophy and the transhumanist movement, and which are more actually general problems of Enlightenment thought? Which of these are simply inevitable differences of opinion among the more or less like-minded, and which need decisive resolution to avoid tragic errors of the past?
2011 promises to be a year chock full of complex legislative debate over the policies of emerging technologies like synthetic biology and geoengineering, to name only two. Fortunately, three elements are brewing to create what might just be a perfect storm in terms of getting all the right folks to huddle together so the best policies are set forth.
Dr. J. chats with Ted Fishman, author of China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World, and Shock of Gray, The Aging of the World’s Population and How it Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation. They talk about the economic and political consequences of global aging.
Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. has moved rapidly from activating only a handful of unarmed unmanned flying systems to currently deploying over 7,000 unmanned systems in the air and over 12,000 on the ground, many of these heavily armed. There is every reason to suspect this rapid incorporation of military robotics will only accelerate.
How is gay marriage in America proceeding down the aisle? This question concerns all transhumanists because persecution of homosexuality is an anti-Enlightenment human rights violation that is rooted in archaic religious superstition and anti-scientific thought. Actively supporting gay marriage is the ethically responsible position for all progressive transhumanists.
Ducked and Covered: A Survival Guide to the Post Apocalypse is a fake instructional public information film designed to assist the general population with surviving life in Australia after a nuclear war. Purported to have been produced by the Australian Board of Civil Defence during the early 1980s, the film has four chapters guiding wary survivors through the trials that will await them in the post apocalypse. From post-apocalyptic fashion and unique uses for surplus human skulls, to becoming a local warlord and avoiding radioactive mutants, there is something for all dwellers of the wastelands. With its dry methodical narration, brooding synthesizer, minimalist animation and erroneous guidance, Ducked and Covered is a dark humored parody/loving homage to the late cold war era, early 1980’s public information films, as well as a reminderâ€¦ OF WHAT STILL COULD BE. (Winner of multiple awards.)
Traditional values of looking at gender in binary fashion grow less and less important as scientists show that gender identity is diverse in nature and is caused by many biological and social conditions.
HRP-4C is a robotic woman just unveiled to reporters in Tsukuba City (northeast of Tokyo) Japan. This cybernetic human sells for about $200,000. Developed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the HRP-4C female robot is able to walk and follow some basic commands. The robotic woman is about the same size as an average Japanese young woman, at a height of 158 centimeters; it weighs just 43 kilograms (including battery). Thirty motors in the body help it to walk and move about; eight motors power facial expressions.
Humanity is devoting some of its best minds, from a wide diversity of fields, to helping software achieve consciousness. The quest is not especially difficult as it is a capability that can be intelligently designed; there is no need to wait for it to naturally evolve.