Filmmaker, aesthetic philosopher and ecstatic futurist Jason Silva—who spoke at Singularity Summit 2011—articulates his call for passion and artistic sensibility to inform ideation and instantiation of the Singularity
Is the bold future of our youth being killed by gloomy science fiction? Or has Sci Fi grown more dour as a reflection of our mood? Glenn Reynolds interviews authors Neal Stephenson and Vernor Vinge in a thought-provoking inquiry: Why We Need Big, Bold Science Fiction: “While books about space exploration and robots once inspired young people to become scientists and engineers—and inspired grownup engineers and scientists to do big things—in recent decades the field has become dominated by escapist fantasies and depressing dystopias.”
Frank Ochberg explains what a psychopath is and why they do not get upset or excited about seeing the pain of others. It is potentially deadly to go through life pretending that these people do not exist.
For 3 days in late February, Russian businessman Dmitry Itskov gathered 500+ futurists in Moscow for a “Global Future 2045 Congress” – the latest manifestation of his “Russia 2045” movement. The Congress featured an impressive roster of Russian scientists, engineers and visionaries, along with American and West European futurist leaders like Ray Kurzweil, Randal Koene and John Smart.
One of the more surprising things I learned at the recently concluded Moral Brain conference at NYU is that psychopathy affects 1-2% of the general population. That seems shockingly high to me. But on reflection, it kind of makes sense. I’m sure most of us know at least a couple of people who we suspect might be psychopaths.
Confronting, fascinating, transcendent, profound, horrifying, self-flagellating, decadent, courageous, empathetic, which of the above accurately describes Stelarc’s 26th Suspension performance at the Scott Livesey Gallery in Melbourne? With 16 shark hooks piercing his back, elbows, and legs, the transhumanist artist Stelarc was supported by wire cables and cranked high above an oversize marquette of his own arm with embedded third ear). Is it body art/sculpture? Or something more or less? Any expression of the excessive physical pain he was experiencing may have unleashed the near palpable anxiety among the audience of 40 present.
The French Senate approved a bill making it a crime to deny that the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman empire in 1915, was genocide. The proposal is set to make the denial of genocide and war crimes, recognized by French law, punishable by up to a year in prison. Turkey denies the massacre.
An ingenious Russian crow that used a lid as a snowboard to slide down a snowy roof persuaded millions of YouTube viewers that animals are not merely beasts of burden – they also want to have fun. Indeed, the natural world appears to be teeming with creatures enjoying themselves in all kinds of different ways, and wildlife experts even claim that bonobos and dolphins have sex for fun.
There is one country in the world that in December 2011 was keeping 97 journalists in prison, and it is not mainland China. It is a country with just a fraction of China’s population: Turkey. Turkey also ranks among the countries that exerts the strictest censorship of the World-wide Web: one million websites are banned in Turkey (including mine, http://www.scaruffi.com).
Melbourne, Australia is the setting of a Humanity+ Conference on “Future Science and Technology” on May 5-6. IEET Fellows Natasha Vita-More and Aubrey de Grey will be presenting lectures, the performance artist Stelarc is also on the bill, and Russell Blackford is a possible guest.
Here’s a headline we’re tempted to write - or rather, one that we would be tempted to write if we weren’t so nice, or so dedicated to avoiding oversimplification: “Climate-Change Deniers Struck by Climate Change in Texas Tornado Outbreak.”
Curiosity: Discovery Channel documentary show about curious questions in science, technology, society etc. In each episode different question is being answered or is tried to be answered, featuring different celebrity host.
Has my memory been eaten by prions? It seems like just yesterday I was a very young man. A cub, a pup, a sapling, a sapling, a green twig, a mushroom primordia. How did the years disappear? Why am I almost… 60?!
Lilypad city is able to hold 50,000 people, it is designed to be built if the worlds cities flood because of global warming. It would travel all throughout seas and oceans with no boundless possibilities as to where it could go.
Direct democracy is a part of the Swiss national identity and helps unite the various languages, religions and cultures in the country. This video gives you a short introduction to this unique political system.
In just three decades between 1990 and 2020, the internet will have grown from linking just a few experts in labs to connecting the entire human species through computers and mobile phones as well as billions of objects into an “Internet of Things,” a seamless web of infinite data. As a result, we have transitioned from the familiar Information Age into the uncertain Hybrid Age, an era in which technology is rapidly becoming ubiquitous, intelligent, and social, radically transforming our societies, markets, and governance.
Seismic Blasts for oil exploration, often at 260 decibels, cause extreme pain, brain hemorrhaging, complete hearing loss, and death in dolphins who are anywhere near the blasts. The blasts frequently occur every 12 to 15 seconds for months on end. In this case it appears thousands of dolphins beached themselves to escape the painful affects of the blasts.
The World Health Organization says as many as 450 million people suffer from mental disorders globally. The continuing conflict in Somalia is having a huge impact on the mental health of many Somalis. Dr Abdirahman Ali Habeeb, is a psychiatric nurse by training, but prefers the title doctor, says: “The bombardments, shootings and mortar shellings is what is causing the increasing number of mentally ill in Mogadishu.”
12-4-12 Thursday was Yuri’s night, an international celebration of human achievement and ingenuity, in recognition of mankind’s achievements in space exploration—with hopes of inspiring a new generation to continue looking upward and reaching outward. Fifty-one years ago, Yuri Gagarin was the first human to launch into space: “Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship I marveled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty – not destroy it!”
I encountered an opinion piece in the Catholic San Francisco Online Edition written by Sandro Magister. He was, according to the head notes, summarizing part of a talk by French philosopher Fabrice Hadjadj. Fabrice argues that the term “transhumanism” was coined by Julian Huxley (brother of Aldous Huxley, of Brave New World fame); the first director of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and supporter of eugenics.
Thanks to genetic research, we may soon see people with the money to do so making sure their kids are born-to-succeed – parents paying to guarantee their kids have the right stuff. I’m not talking about a straightened spine or a functional optic nerve. I’m talking about designer kids: those made with healthy bodies, intelligent minds, and perhaps a certain specific ability to boot.
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