In Western cultures, nature is a cosmological, primal ordering force and a terrestrial condition that exists in the absence of human beings. Both meanings are freely implied in everyday conversation. We distinguish ourselves from the natural world by manipulating our environment through technology. In What Technology Wants, Kevin Kelly proposes that technology behaves as a form of meta-nature, which has greater potential for cultural change than the evolutionary powers of the organic world alone.
Many engineers, including me, think that some time around 2050, we will be able to make very high quality links between the brains and machines. To such an extent that it will thereafter be possible (albeit expensive for some years) to arrange that most of your mind – your thinking, memories, even sensations and emotions, could reside mainly in the machine world. Some (perhaps some memories that are rarely remembered for example) may not be suited to such external accessibility, but the majority should be.
“When Craig Venter announced in 2000 that he had mapped the human genome - the genetic material that uniquely identifies each individual - it was the sort of blockbuster announcement that comes once in a generation, and it established Venter as one of the most influential scientists on the planet.
“For the first time now we can actually design life in a computer, make the DNA software and create new life forms that have never existed before.”
- Craig Venter
Since then, in addition to further research on the genome, Venter has sailed the world, exploring new life forms and applying this knowledge to another pursuit heretofore dreamed of only in science fiction: the creation of life itself in a laboratory, which he accomplished in 2010…“Aljazeera
Radicals! Are you sick of being spontaneously overcome by blistering rage and horrified vertigo on a daily basis? Do you find yourself foolishly opening comment threads on gender issues thinking yourself desensitized to the mind-warping misogyny that invariably pops into existence like a quantum foam of entitlement underpinning the internet? Are you sick of wasting precious minutes standing slackjawed in front of some new twisting complex of deep psychological issues couched as grandiose social analysis? Do you find yourself humbled into quiet bitter despair while pondering just how long it would take to fight their misrepresentation of reality? Are you sick, in short, of time-burglaring gender-essentialists? Then Anarcho-Transhumanism might be right for you!
Workers are again trapped and burned to death behind locked exit gates. One hundred years ago, the outrage over the Triangle fire led to the rallying cry, “Who will protect the working girl?” Where is that cry today?
Compelling testimony by Charles Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee, about the work conditions in a Chinese toy factory. 10-day contracts, 14-hour work days, child labor, and Mattel knows about it…
In the first two parts of this series I explored the idea that a self-modifying singular intelligence may be doomed to self-destruction because of motivational interference . The idea is at least as old as Epicurus, who advised: “If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.”
Humankind is frequently referred to as a tool-using/-making species. What is becoming clear is that we are also a species with a real talent and drive for greater integration with our tools and with one another. Humankind is an increasingly networked species. And while this is a teleological essay, I am not prepared to make an argument that what we are witnessing is necessarily either a good or bad thing.
“In the near future, cyber culture meets counter culture with the introduction of Nexus, a drug that integrates human minds with machines…and with each other. Does this capability represent the next step in human evolution or the end of humanity as we know it? Or both?
Author Ramez Naam joins hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon to discuss his new transhuman thriller, Nexus. How plausible is such a technology, and how real are the opportunities (and threats) it might represent? Tune in and find out.” - FFR
Mankind has really popped the planet in the jaw the last few centuries: six million hectares is lost to deforestation every year; the ocean is increasingly acidic and void of fish; the planet’s sixth mass extinction seems to be underway; and human-caused climate change is already raising sea levels, aggravating droughts, and increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy.
In his talk at TEDxKoeln Heiko Fischer builds a strong case for turning Human Resources on its head by enabling employees to become resourceful humans instead. He insists on democracy in the workplace as a driving force, not only for progressive change, but also for much greater innovation by enabling minds to be free to think instead of a system based on hierarchy.
Let’s build a Dyson sphere! By enveloping the sun with a massive array of solar panels, humanity would graduate to a Type 2 Kardashev civilization capable of utilizing nearly 100% of the sun’s energy output.
This end of year appeal for support comes a little later than usual because I (J. Hughes) was rocked by the recent Sandy Hook school shooting, about 25 miles from my office at Trinity College. As a social scientist and public policy person I try to keep my eye on the big picture, the tens of thousands of people who are killed every day by violence, treatable disease, poverty and inadequate infrastructure. I try not to let my proximity to some tragedies distract from the larger and more persistent needs of the world. But as a parent and someone with many small connections to Sandy Hook I was left stunned and tearful for days. And angry that the balance of forces in American politics has prevented us from having the simple and effective public policies around guns and mental health that have kept the incidence of gun violence and mass killings lower in other industrialized countries.
What any one person can do is limited by the power they have. That works for criminally unbalanced people as much as anyone else. But the power one person can have is related to the type of machine they can carry.
It should be pretty well known by now that the Mayan’s never predicted the end of the world this Friday, but they have a reputation for doing so because the last day of their calendar had the 21st December 2012, or thereabouts, as the last one.
Is the holiday season more glitter than glow for you lately? Are you a former Christian who finds that hymns don’t resonate anymore? Do you roll your eyes about the “war on Christmas” manufactroversy? Does the cherubic little Jesus-in-a-Manger fail to flood your body with sweetness? Do you feel mixed about participating in a religious holiday now that you’re not religious? Get the scrooge out with these ten tips.
A workshop and conference will be held on February of 2013 to discuss types of ways to penetrate safely through the blood brain barrier. The Future of medicine, especially nano-bot type of cures and enhancements to the brain requires us to understand more thoroughly about the BBB. The conference is to be held at Lisbon, Portugal (School of Medicine, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Lisbon).
“The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a separation of circulating blood from the brain extracellular fluid (BECF) in the central nervous system (CNS). It occurs along all capillaries and consists of tight junctions around the capillaries that do not exist in normal circulation. Endothelial cells restrict the diffusion of microscopic objects (e.g., bacteria) and large or hydrophilic molecules into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), while allowing the diffusion of small hydrophobic molecules (O2, CO2, hormones). Cells of the barrier actively transport metabolic products such as glucose across the barrier with specific proteins. This barrier also includes a thick basement membrane and astrocytic endfeet.” -Wikipedia
Pages 9-18 of chapter 1 of the riveting science fiction book Nexus by Ramez Naam brought to you by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. This is the last installment of Chapter 1 to be published on the IEET. You can order Nexus via Amazon by clicking Here
Gazing at the ravishing photos of Andrej Pejic, I’m stirred with envious confusion. Why does this tall skinny XY like me get to be so much prettier? Does his effeminate success - inflaming catwalks in both men and women’s high fashion - predict a fusion of two polarized genders, or a third construct? What does the androgynous Bosnian represent in post-genderism?
Brain to computer interfaces that can actually tell you what people are thinking. The brain detail is said to be “amazing” today and is rapidly growing to understand how the brain functions. They can now tell from brain signals if one moves a hand to the left or to right, etc. The team says they have no clue how far this technology will go, only the future will tell.
Instead of experimenting on animals this team is working purely on understanding the human brain through the use of studying only on humans.
Way back in February of 2011, I wrote an extensive article for H+ on 3D printing and how it would allow a transition between an economy based on material “value” and scarcity to one based on nonmaterial “value” and abundance.
First nine pages of chapter 1 of the riveting science fiction book Nexus by Ramez Naam brought to you by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Check back here tomorrow for another nine pages of this fascinating book!
“The theme of TEDxVienna 2012 was “Instanity”. Derived from the words ‘instant’ and ‘insanity’, it symbolises the spirit of our technologically minted times: everything now. Technological development has become instant, but could that drive us insane?” - Pistono