Reflecting on his son’s graduation from high school, Science Fiction author David Brin offers inspiration and advice for students going on to college. Broaden your perspectives and take full advantage of the wealth of educational experiences awaiting you during the next four years. The key is curiosity: explore what is happening in those buildings on campus.
Today around the globe too many atrocities are being committed with impunity in the name of god, allah and other constructs, which have over the ages, been identified or associated with the so called supreme being. The dream of a secular peaceful world where people of all faiths and none can coexist in harmony - continues to elude many across the region. Millions of people- theists and atheists- continue to suffer and are abused due to superstition, religious fundamentalism and supernaturalism. In this piece I will focus on two of such areas.
Sonia Arrison is the author of “100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, from Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith.”
In this video, Sonia discusses: how and why she got interested in technology in general and transhumanism and regenerative medicine in particular; how science and technology will allow us to live longer and healthier lives; the most common objections against increased longevity; the implications thereof on major religions; cryonics; her take on the technological singularity and our chances of surviving it; the fact that we cannot simply sit down and wait for longevity to happen.
For technoprogressives it can be excruciating to witness the persistence with which spurious objections to promising technologies wield massive influence over public policy, law and attitudes. This article explores what is arguably the main underlying reason for this—namely fear—and what are the options for addressing this underlying fear.
Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Moral Landscape, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation. His new book is short (96) pages, to the point, and will change the way we all view free will, as Oliver Sacks wrote: “Brilliant and witty — and never less than incisive — Free Will shows that Sam Harris can say more in 13,000 words than most people do in 100,000.” UCSD neuroscientist V.S, Ramachandran notes: “In this elegant and provocative book, Sam Harris demonstrates — with great intellectual ferocity and panache — that free will is an inherently flawed and incoherent concept, even in subjective terms. If he is right, the book will radically change the way we view ourselves as human beings.”
Could the next wave of Occupy protests be ripped apart by rubber bullets and tear gas launched by remote-controlled robots hovering overhead, steered by police officers miles away? It’s not a futurist scenario anymore. According to CBSDC:
The current socio-political discussion on transhumanism concerns human use of NBIC  technologies and sciences to enhance human biology and to radically extend human life. I address this concern by bringing art and design into the discussion.
What will advanced AI systems — Artificial General Intelligences — be like? How will they relate to human beings? How will they help transform human beings into post human forms? Might they turn against their creators?
I’m not the only one making this point. See here for an interview with Joss Whedon and the Avengers cast. Scarlett Johansson’s comments are very salient (one of the good things about The Avengers was the portrayal of The Black Widow as a strong, sexy, ass-kicking superheroine who was not overly sexualised - no fighting semi-nude or in high-heels, or with huge breasts leading the way).
What’s the “women in science” problem, again? From the grad student whose thesis advisor stole her Nobel-winning ideas to the once-ridiculed theorist of dark matter, female scientific excellence has long been snubbed.
The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to understand the science behind what makes people violent, and then find ways to hijack their minds by implanting false, but believable stories in their brains, with hopes of evoking peaceful thoughts: We’re friends, not enemies.
Six Legs? A baby boy - Umar Farooq - was born with six legs in April, 2012, in southeastern Pakistan. International press noted that the boy’s parents were cousins, a common occurrence in Pakistan, where 70% of the marriage are “consanguineous.” Was the deformity caused by genetically-similar commingling?
It’s a cliché that the Pacific Ocean is displacing the Atlantic, that China will replace America at the top of the world’s hierarchy of power, and the East will surpass the West. The cliché is also wrong. The multipolar world we are entering will have no single winner, and the three-pillared West of the European Union, North America, and Latin America remains a triangular zone of peace and foundation of global stability.
Hans Rosling had a question: Do some religions have a higher birth rate than others—and how does this affect global population growth? Speaking at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar, he graphs data over time and across religions. With his trademark humor and sharp insight, Hans reaches a surprising conclusion on world fertility rates.
In this essay, I outline Five futures for Pakistan: (1) the Pendulum continues forever, (2) Collapse, (3) Joining Chindia, (4) the Great Game, and (5) a South Asian Confederation. The most familiar and likely are based on the pendulum of rule by the military and rule by landlord/politicians. However, what is needed is to move from the more likely and less desirable futures to a process of anticipatory democracy where the citizens of Pakistan consider, create and commit to building their preferred future.
Nanotechnology leads to novel materials, new exposures and potentially unique health and environmental risks – or so the argument goes. But an increasing body of research is showing that relatively uniformly sized nanometer scale particles are part and parcel of the environment we live in.
Bestselling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with EXISTENCE.
Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an “alien artifact.” Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.
What would you say to an alien? Bill Nye, aka, ‘The Science Guy,’ who heads The Planetary Society, an organization that fosters ways for the public to be actively involved in space exploration, including the search for extraterrestrial life.
Religious laws are legalized religious doctrines. They are “revelations” turned into rules to govern society. Religious laws are sacred dogma institutionalized. They are sins criminalized. They are religious hatred, intolerance, discrimination and fanaticism turned into state policies.
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