Former Libyan rebels are now chanting for Syrians to follow their revolutionary path. Hundreds of mercenaries, some of whom are said to be former terrorists, are ready to pick up arms again to help overthrow President Assad.
The Syrian regime of Bashir Assad is the last remaining of the secular despots of the Arab world after the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. The rest of the Arab world is in the hands of “enlightened” kings/sheiks/sultans that somehow have better weathered the “Arab Spring” or is in the process of becoming democratic (Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria).
The third criterion of life, Transcendence, requires a potential life form to demonstrate that it can extend itself beyond its information processing capability to serve the purpose of life. A fair test for Transcendence is compliance with the Second and Third Principles of Geoethics – the Principles of Equilibria and Assurance. (Part 4 of Hybriduality and Geoethics)
Lauren Davis reopens the debate started by Zach Zorich at Archeology and continued by yours truly over whether or not we should clone a Neanderthal. She does a nice job compiling a list of yays and nays, including this gem I hadn’t much considered:
One of the most common – and most serious – weaknesses of codes of ethics, and indeed, most ethical theories, is that they don’t prioritize values. They’re fine for many of the simpler ethical questions, but when goods and interests conflict, when virtues and rights collide, they don’t provide a way to determine which interest, which right, is stronger. For example, it’s all very nice to say that both customers and shareholders are valued, but which is valued more?
The World Economic Forum Global Risks Report is one of the most authoritative annual assessments of emerging issues surrounding risk currently produced. Now in its seventh edition, the 2012 report launched today draws on over 460 experts* from industry, government, academia and civil society to provide insight into 50 global risks across five categories, within a ten-year forward looking window.
Religious fanatic Helen Ukpabio creates these films to brainwash people into believing that child witches exist. Parents in Nigeria actually believe their children could be witches as a direct result of such videos and do the cruelest things such as burn, kill, bury, and maim them. Helen Ukpabio is a fraud and needs to be brought to justice - she makes money by causing child suffering.
In March, Nigeria’s notorious witch hunter, Helen Ukpabio, is organizing a Deliverance Session in the United States, according to the information posted on the web site of the Liberty Gospel Church. The event is slated for March 14-25 at Liberty Gospel Church in Houston Texas (Tel +1 832 880 8406 +1 713 530 2080). The program is said to be ’12 days of battling with the spirit for freedom.’
“Luna was a little wild orca-boy who lost his family and, after that, started to look for contact with people which, in my opinion, is the best example of orca’s demand for social intercourse. Just like people.”
The future will not be a monopoly of the current superpowers, but lies in the hands of tech-savvy youth from around the world, trying desperately to survive at all costs in an increasingly asymmetrical world.
I should mention that the IEET staff read the fiction submissions without the authors’ names on them. So the fact that a submission from our former Managing Director was selected was not the nepotism that it might otherwise appear to be. Mike reflects here thoughtfully on the generation gap we already see playing out between those accustomed to more-or-less attentive face-to-face communication, and the younger generation who are growing used to a fragmented attention that makes little distinction between face-to-face and virtual presence. - J. Hughes
BMW announced their ConnectedDrive Connect (CDC) semi-autonomous driving system in August. This clip is in German, but it shows relaxed engineers taking their hands off the steering wheel and letting the car drive itself. CDC works on pre-mapped highways by pinpointing the car’s position and the location of surrounding objects. Once everything has been determined, CDC controls the braking and acceleration like an advanced cruise control system.
When the car senses it is behind a slowpoke, it looks for an open lane where it can safely merge at speeds up to 130 km/h (81 mph). If an opening is found, the system will steer the vehicle into that lane, pass the slower vehicle and return to its original lane.
As Dr. Nico Kaempchen explains, “Our main challenge was to develop algorithms that can handle entirely new situations. In principal, the system works on all freeways that we have mapped out beforehand with [a] centimeter accuracy.” He goes on to say CDC ensures the car “adheres to all traffic laws” and sticks to the speed limit.
Sometimes an idea comes along that is so startling, well executed, complex and yet intuitive that it serves as both a perfect reflection of—and fitting compliment to—nature. And an idea like that can eat up your whole morning. If you never believed that design was an act of futurism then allow me to introduce you to Autonomo 2030, an integrated self-driving car system from Australian designer Charles Rattray.
Last year I linked to an article that detailed a proposed law in Nevada allowing artificially intelligent cars on the road and offered some thought about what a future with A.I. cars might look like. Recently, A.I. cars have been in the news again.
In his new book, “Freedom of Religion and the Secular State”, Russell Blackford argues that religious freedom is more than a crude quid pro quo arrangement - “We won’t persecute you if you don’t persecute us.” Instead, it goes to the heart of what we think state power is really for. Do we think it’s to give citizens spiritual guidance, or is the state an essentially secular institution? That question lies at the heart of many intransigent
hot-button issues that cause so much angst in current societies. What, if anything, should we do about the burqa? Should anti-religious satire be allowed? Should our laws enforce religious notions of morality - as with abortion restrictions, attacks on gay rights, and opposition to stem-cell research? Dr. Blackford proposes a way ahead that should be acceptable to most religious people, as well as to non-believers.
LUCID NYC is like TED at a Bar… Jason Silva speaking at LUCID NYC, which he describes as “like TED at a bar” - he talks about inspiration, techno-rapture, the mind-expanding aspects of technology and rapturous AWE.
Why should Mitt Romney and the fabled “one-percent” pay only a 15% marginal tax on investment income ... half the rate charged to a dentist or auto mechanic on wages earned from work? This was not the case until recent Republican Congresses slashed taxes on passive, unearned dividends and capital gains.
Is the human brain a magnificent, near-miraculous organ? Or a flawed, forgetful, feeble-minded, under-achieving blob? My POV is the latter. Brain 1.0 is laughably dysfunctional, teeming with weaknesses even in our finest specimens. Memories are dust in a hurricane, logic is lunatic, empathy thinner than the neocortex on a sociopathic toddler. I want Brain 2.0. Are you with me? Eager for an upgrade?
A longer, healthier life is positive for the whole society, and a catalyst for non-violence. This speech by Didier Coeurnelle gives a quick description of positive political, economical and sociological aspects of a world with a largely delayed senescence: lower health costs, lower level of violence, higher level of happiness.
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