Cory Doctorow’s keynote at the 28C3, the Chaos Computer Congress in Berlin, entitled “The coming war on general computation.”
The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only to have been a skirmish. The coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race.
The world of science fiction is known for its absence of cultural diversity. While history texts are still recovering from the conspicuous absence of the contributions of non-European cultures across the world and in America, there’s an equal need to claim the future as well.
This week’s episode is themed around animal enhancement. Topics discussed include the recent film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, human-and-animal video game interaction, the ethics of animal uplift, and the recent report in the U.S. declaring chimps largely unessential as research subjects.
Tracks used in this episode:
Panda Bear: “Scheherazade”
Antlers: “Rolled Together”
Snowman: “Snakes and Ladders”
A recently released report by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council in the United States suggests that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should dramatically curtail the use of chimpanzees as research subjects. According to the committee who put together the report, chimps should be used as subjects in biomedical research only under stringent conditions, including the absence of any other suitable model and inability to ethically perform the research on people.
Intelligence is being able to approach a new problem, recognize its important components, and solve it—then take that knowledge gained and put it towards solving the next, more complex problem. It’s about innovation and imagination, and about being able to put that to use to make the world a better place.
The name of the deceased was “Austerity Economics,” and it was first glimpsed in a 1921 paper by conservative economist Frank Wright. Austerity died of natural causes brought on by prolonged exposure to reality. But in the nation’s capital, dead things still rule the night.
In “Engineering Transcendence” I argued that science may someday develop the capability to resurrect the dead and build (and/or become) God(s), and proposed to base a “transhumanist religion” on this idea.
I’m unlikely to read many more books before the year is out, and the ones that I really must read for professional purposes don’t look as if they are going to make any list of mine of favourite or top or “best” books. So here is a short list of my best books of the year, the ones that I found especially illuminating or enjoyable. It’s my top 12 for 2011.
Once in a long while the price of the truth is simply too high to let scientists disclose their findings publicly. That is so when it comes to publishing detailed information about dangerous viruses and microbes.