One day, we may be able to make ourselves superintelligent with futuristic biotechnology. We’re not there yet, but for the impatient among us there are still some things we can do to give us that little extra bit of brain power. By supplementing with so-called ‘nootropics,’ you may not become the next Stephen Hawking, but you may experience some noticeable improvements to your learning abilities, memory, mental clarity, and mood. Here are ten supplements you can take today to boost your intelligence.
“Tofurky Thanksgiving - Vegan, Vegetarian, Meatless. What do vegans eat for Thanksgiving? What do vegetarians eat for Thanksgiving? How do you have Thanksgiving Dinner without Turkey? How to bake Tofurky? What does Tofurky taste like? We will try to answer your Meatless, Vegan, Vegetarian Thanksgiving questions together! Tofurky has become a Thanksgiving staple for my vegans and vegetarians, but I have never tasted it before.” Livestock is Responsible for 51% of Green House Gas Emissions
Hannah Brencher is a letter-enthusiast. She runs The World Needs More Love Letters, a letter exchange dedicated to connecting strangers across the globe through the art of letter writing. I discovered Brencher by browsing through online TED talks for November 2012, and noted her popular talk in the “less than 6 minutes” category. In her presentation she traced her own love of pen and paper as a means of personal expression and salvation, where letter writing guaranteed constant communication with her mother and helped Brencher fight chronic depression.
As the conflict between Israel and Hamas extends into its second week, it has become quite clear that the renewed hostilities are markedly different that that ones that came before. Unlike previous engagements, this war has been characterized by the innovative use of new technologies — including rockets that target rockets, unmanned drones, and even social media. Given these early precedents, it’s fair to say that the means of war have changed yet again — but in a way that’s certainly not for the better.
“According to Hameroff, our souls are built of something much more fundamental than neurons,” says Morgan Freeman introducing Hameroff’s quantum consciousness theory in a recent episode of Through the Wormhole. “They are constructed from the very fabric of the universe.” Dr. Hameroff claims, “I believe that consciousness, or its immediate precursor proto-consciousness, has been in the universe all along, perhaps from the Big Bang.”
I teach a course in science fiction and bleeding-edge science fact; it started as a course in science fiction, but then I noticed how much sci-fi was becoming real, if sometimes weird, science. One story I started out teaching is the Lester del Rey classic Helen O’Loy. Published in 1938, del Rey’s narrator, Phil, and his housemate, Dave, tinker with what’s described as a standard housework android, modifying and upgrading zir abilities until ze becomes a she — a self-aware artificial life form — at least, as far as we can tell, she does.
“Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams is joining with Human Rights Watch to oppose the creation of killer robots — fully autonomous weapons that could select and engage targets without human intervention. In a new report, HRW warns such weapons would undermine the safety of civilians in armed conflict; violate international humanitarian law; and blur the lines of accountability for war crimes. Fully autonomous weapons do not exist yet, but high-tech militaries are moving in that direction with the United States taking the lead. Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, joins us along with Steve Goose, director of Human Rights Watch’s Arms Division. [Includes rush transcript]” - Democracy Now!
Jesse Fox analyses the representation of women in virtual reality. She does not see women being represented as avatars on the Internet or in video games in a positive progressive manner.
She wrote an excellent essay: “Avatars: Portraying, Exploring, and Changing Online and Offline Identities” that can be found in the book “Handbook of Research on Technoself: Identity in a Technological Society” or bought online Here
“Avatars are defined as virtual representations that are controlled by a human user. Commonly, we observe avatars in video and online games, social networking sites, and virtual worlds. This chapter explores the use of avatars in the expression, exploration, and evolution of users’ identities, both online and offline. Theoretical explanations for the creation, manipulation, use, and effects of avatars are offered, including identification, transformed social interaction, and the Proteus effect. The adoption of avatars for identity expression, exploration, and change is discussed, including Turkle’s notion of fragmented selves and Nakamura’s concept of identity tourism. Research that has investigated the effects of avatars on self-perceptions and identity in various domains (such as health, marketing, finance, and environmental behaviors) is addressed. Implications and future directions for research in this area are discussed.”
Of course, no one can predict with 100% accuracy how the future will unfold, but by combining present day knowledge with anticipated advances, we can make plausible guesses about what to expect in 2042.
A recent report from the Los Angeles Times underscored what amounts to an epidemic of deaths in the US caused at least in part by overdoses of legally prescribed drugs. The root problem, though, is one of cultural technology rather than chemistry or regulation.
“Electronics aren’t just for experts and engineers. Kids and amateurs should be able to play, too, which is why Leah Buechley designs little paper-based electronics for “sketching” and interactive electronic fashion for tinkering. Buechley designs and creates electronic textiles, or e-textiles, like this jacket that can signal which way you’re turning on your bike. She’s an assistant professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she also directs the High-Low Tech research group.” - TED
“Environmental scientist David Keith talks about a cheap, effective, shocking solution to climate change: What if we injected a huge cloud of particles into the atmosphere, to deflect sunlight and heat? As an emergency measure to slow a melting ice cap, it could work. Keith discusses why geo-engineering like this is a good idea, why it’s a terrible one — and who, despite the cost, might be tempted to use it. (Recorded September 2007 in New York City. Duration: 16:04.)”
In the autumn of 1978 the Washington Association of Churches and the Washington State Catholic Conference jointly published a six page pamphlet they called, “Abortion: An Ecumenical Study Document.” Their work offers a fascinating snapshot of Christian thinking at the time and raises some equally fascinating questions about what, exactly, has happened in the last thirty-five years.
I have just got back from Oman, one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East with their healthcare system ranking 8 in the world. The reason that brought me to such an unusual destination was the Buck Advisory Council Meeting. I learned a lot there, but I would like to draw your attention to the topic of one of the three major neurodegenerative diseases – Huntington’s disease.
Singularity Rising is very much the book it wants to be. Whether it’s a book that you will find interesting or useful will very much depend on your current state of mind regarding the likelihood and details of an intelligence Singularity.
In this video, Transhumanist & Zero State member Anu presents plans for the Zero State Fund - a mutual fund intended to raise money for Transhumanist & futuretech-relevant projects. The fund will be launched on November 17th, at an event where people will have the opportunity to offer investment pledges. Please do check out the video and then visit us at zerostate.net to ask any questions you may have.
Adopting a satirical tone, self-confessed sceptic Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s bestseller The Black Swan ridicules the idea of predicting the future. Instead, he argues that the world is dominated by the impact of rare, unforeseen, random, highly improbable and yet influential events. These Black Swans, he says, happen abruptly, coming from outside the range of our vision.
Think of an egoist atheist. What comes to mind? Here’s what doesn’t come to mind: trust in an altruistic god-like extraterrestrial. That, however, is only because you don’t know this egoist atheist: Forbidden Truth (“FT”).
Why doesn’t everyone get excited about transhumanism? Why aren’t all people fascinated by augmented and virtual reality, radical life-extension, brain-uploading, and The Singularity? “The Casual Transhuman” examines H+ topics from the layman’s perspective and give suggestions on how transhumanists can spread their ideas without looking like crackpots to the world-at-large.
“My grandfather died on Halloween. Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, none of the New York family members could attend the funeral in Massachusetts. Fortunately, another option became available: The ceremony was streamed online, and so my wife, daughter and I gathered around a laptop in our living room to watch the live webcast.” - Evan Selinger
“Behrokh Khoshnevis is a professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering and is the Director of Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is active in CAD/CAM, robotics and mechatronics related related research projects that include the development of novel Solid Free Form, or Rapid Prototyping, processes (Contour Crafting and SIS), automated construction of civil structures, development of CAD/CAM systems for biomedical applications (e.g., restorative dentistry, rehabilitation engineering, haptics devices for medical applications), autonomous mobile and modular robots for assembly applications in space, and invention of technologies in the field of oil and gas. His research in simulation has aimed at creating intelligent simulation tools that can automatically perform many simulation functions that are conventionally performed by human analysts. His textbook, “Discrete Systems Simulation”, and his simulation software EZSIM benefit from some aspects of his research in simulation. He routinely conducts lectures and seminars on invention and technology development.” - TEDx Youtube Channel
Much like President Obama, the Occupy movement is alive and well and entering its second term, thank you very much. It’s no longer about squatting in public parks, getting on the news, or—in some cases—getting arrested. No, instead this decentralized, bottom-up, anti-Wall Street effort is taking aim at your medical, student and other loans: It aims to relieve your debt.
“A father who lost his arm in an accident six years ago has been given a new lease of life by a hi-tech bionic hand which is so precise he can type again. Nigel Ackland, 53, has been fitted with the Terminator-like carbon fibre mechanical hand which he can control with movements in his upper arm. The new bebionic3 myoelectric hand, which is also made from aluminium and alloy knuckles, moves like a real human limb by responding to Nigel’s muscle twitches. Incredibly, the robotic arm is so sensitive it means the father-of-one can touch type on a computer keyboard, peel vegetables, and even dress himself for the first time in six years.” - jonmillsswns (youtube channel)
The third annual CrowdConf on changing the future of work through Internet-based crowdsourcing labor models was held in San Francisco on October 23, 2012. The field is much larger compared to prior years (2011 and 2010), both practically and intellectually, as a range of industry vendors and other ecosystem members (e.g.; research organizations, foundations, financial community) attended the conference.
We are at an extremely exciting time where many changes have been accelerated through contemporary technological advances and worldwide communications systems. We are also faced with some very severe problems, many of which have been accelerated by our own success, which are likely to result in human disaster at an unimaginable scale that require urgent attention. These changes are influencing how we consider our collective responsibilities and even ourselves, as a species.
If you would like a fully detailed sketch of the organization of direct democracy and how it would function, please see the following link: http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secI5.html
A great first step toward direct democracy is a proposal to create a ballot initiative at the federal level. Please see: http://ni4d.us/.
I used some footage from the Venus Project. I just came across the videos and apparently they are pretty big on YouTube. I don’t necessarily indorse the VP. I actually just heard about it and I’m ordering a book about the subject. Im just letting everyone know so I dont create any kind of confusion. From what I’ve seen (limited to about 3 videos) it looks interesting but I would need more information. From what I can tell, it looks a little bit like libertarian communism but that’s just my first impression.
I should also mention that Mutualist (a school of Left-Libertarianism) foresee a society in which direct democracy takes place in the workplace but not in the individual community.