One of the landmark events of 20th century science was celebrated and reinterpreted for the 21st century in Trinity College Dublin on 12 July 2012 as part of the Science in the City programme of ESOF2012. Dr Craig Venter, one of the leaders of the Human Genome Project in the 1990s and a pioneer of synthetic biology delivered a lecture entitled, ‘What is Life? A 21st century perspective’ recreating the Irish event that inspired the discovery of the structure of DNA. In February, 1943 one of the most distinguished scientists of the 20th Century, Erwin Schrödinger, delivered a seminal lecture, entitled ‘What is Life?’, under the auspices of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, in Trinity College Dublin. The lecture presented far-sighted ideas on how hereditary information could be encoded in a chemical structure (aperiodic crystal) in living cells. Schrödinger’s book (1944) of the same title is considered to be a scientific classic. The book was cited by Crick and Watson as one of the inspirations which ultimately led them to unravel the structure of DNA in 1953, a breakthrough which won them the Nobel prize.
The anticipation is rising for Oscar Pistorious’ race at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Pistorius, nicknamed “Blade Runner” and “The Fastest Man On No Legs”, is the first ever amputee to compete in the World Olympics, with his first race scheduled to take place August 4th.
A short film from the UK directed by Maxx Ginnane. The film focuses on 29-year-old Adele, an intersex person (XXY). Born with ambiguous genitalia, she was surgically “corrected” (four operations by the time she was seven) and brought up as a boy, yet she has always felt that she was a girl. Though Adele is now pursuing gender reassignment surgery to become a woman, she muses as the film ends “I’ve lived 30 years of my life as a man, and I’m going to live the next 30 years of my life as a woman. But, eventually, when I’m an old person, hopefully society will have moved on to a point where I can live as myself—which is an intersexed person—neither male nor female.”
Over the past few months I would go to bed every night praying not to wake up to another horrifying self-immolation in Tibet. My prayers have been going unanswered. Plus, After fifty-one self-immolations, thirty-four of them fatal (known), in the past seven months, no leaders of the free world seem to hear their calls.
Joel Kramer, UCSF Professor of Neuropsychology and the Director of the Memory and Aging Center Neuropsychology program. He explores the underlying biological mechanisms of cognitive aging, and interventions that may optimize cognitive functioning as we age. Series: “UCSF Osher Mini Medical School for the Public” [4/2012] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 23205]
A 2011 World Bank study estimates that environmental wealth accounts for 26 percent of the total wealth of low-income countries. This is contrasted with 13 percent of wealth in middle-income countries and only 2 percent of wealth in OECD countries.
Immortality is a primary goal of many transhumanists, but not all. How many do or don’t want eternal life, and why? I recently conducted a survey - funded by Terasem Movement Inc., and fiscally sponsored by World Future Society - that queried hundreds of transhumanists on this question.
Extreme Futurist Festival is a 2 day arts and technology festival focusing on radical voices of the new evolution. Last year we had a great event and were called “a TED conference for the counterculture” by the LA Weekly. This year we seek to make XFF an even more epic experience.
Economic issues make some people’s eyes glaze over, so we’ll put this plainly: Today’s minimum wage is epic in its injustice and Dickensian in its cruelty. It’s a shame that Dickens himself isn’t here to write about it.
Dr. Phillip Sharp described our current scientific landscape as part of the “third revolution” in science. The first being the discovery by Watson and Crick of the structure of DNA; the second pertaining to innovations in genomics, and the third revolution the current convergence science—the merging of the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences—which will have a profound impact on research and health care.
In his book “Physics of the Future”, Michio Kaku outlines six roadblocks to the Singularity. The roadblocks are at least as speculative as the technological singularity, and we can reasonably speculate our way around them. Below are Michio’s proposed roadblocks, followed by my thoughts.
This video was inspired by: 1) The ideas of psychologist Nicholas Humphrey who has written of “THE BIOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE OF BEING AWESTRUCK”. Basically, our ability to awe was biologically selected for by evolution because it imbues our lives with sense of cosmic significance that has resulted in a species that works harder not just to survive but to flourish.
2) The Stanford study that found that AWE is clinically good for you, expanding perception of time, increasing compassion and empathy and promoting well being. 3) Ross Andersen’s rapturous meditation on the ontological awakening of our psyches provided by the Hubble Space Telescope.
If you can survive until 2045, you have a good shot at living forever, says futurist Ray Kurzweil. Here are his three favorite dietary supplements that he takes to make sure he’s around for the singularity.
Why are we drawn to blood and suffering? Do we lack the courage to believe in dramatically-positive visions of the future? If we had this courage, would it give us the visceral, emotional drama that we crave?
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