We know a lot about the history of life on Earth, but how it began is still one of our greatest scientific mysteries. One hypothesis is that life actually originated on another planet, and many scientists today take the idea quite seriously.
Transhumanists as a subculture, are a rather underrepresented group in the media. While we often get transhumanist ideals in films, television, etc., we rarely see someone on the screen that we can look up to as an ideal transhumanist.
Talk given at the Oxford Martin School, Wednesday September 19th 2012.
The well-known argument against the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) due to George Gaylord Simpson is re-analyzed almost half a century later, in the light of our improved understanding of preconditions for the emergence of life and intelligence brought about by the ongoing “astrobiological revolution”. Simpson’s argument has been enormously influential, in particular in biological circles, and it arguably fueled the most serious opposition to SETI programmes and their funding.
A number of neuroscientists, working today with simple model organisms, are investigating the hypothesis that chemical brain preservation may inexpensively preserve the organism’s memories and mental states after death. Chemically preserved brains can be stored at room temperature in cemeteries, contract storage, even private homes. The 501c3 nonprofit organization, the Brain Preservation Foundation (http://brainpreservation.org), is offering a $100,000 prize to the first scientific team to demonstrate that the entire synaptic connectivity (“connectome”) of mammalian brains can be perfectly preserved using either chemical preservation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_brain_preservation) or more expensive cryopreservation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryonics) techniques.
Young Maia is fast approaching a turning point in her life. As a half-caste var, she must leave the clan home of her privileged half sisters and seek her fortune in the world. With her twin sister, Leie, she searches the docks of Port Sanger for an apprenticeship aboard the vessels that sail the trade routes of the Stratoin oceans. On her far-reaching, perilous journey of discovery, Maia will endure hardship and hunger, imprisonment and loneliness, bloody battles with pirates and separation from her twin. And along the way, she will meet a traveler who has come an unimaginable distance—and who threatens the delicate balance of the Stratoins’ carefully maintained, perfect society…. Both exciting and insightful, David Brin’s Glory Season is a major novel, a transcendent saga of the human spirit. For more information see: http://www.davidbrin.com/gloryseason.html
A balanced and well-researched Wired article by Jason Kehe reveals the latest “yoo-hoo transmission to aliens” stunt. Of course I consider these things to be at-best dopey, with a small but significant chance of being thoughtlessly dangerous for all of humanity.
Everyone has a favourite iconic Japanese consumer product – the Sony Walkman, a Panasonic DVD recorder, Blu-ray disc player, a Canon, Nikon, Minolta or Pentax camera or even a Toyota Prius. But this century will witness the long, slow sunset of Japan’s power.
Philosophers and theologians have been quarreling for centuries over a handful of abstract arguments –ontological, cosmological, teleological, experiential . . .– that some insist either prove or disprove the existence of God.
Kadam Morten Clausen is a Buddhist teacher in the New Kadampa tradition, a modern, worldwide tradition founded by Buddhist master Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. He is the Resident Teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Center NYC as well as the Vajra Light Buddhist Center in Hartsdale, NY.
Comment sections on many websites are filled with venomous invective, aggressive one-upmanship, cruel insults, and disrespectful toxicity. Bucking this trend, IEET offers - exclusively - Non-Violent Dialogue. “Buddhist Right Speech” is our ethical guideline. Today - September 25, marks the 100th day since this policy has been instated.
Anders covers a wide variety of topics: his childhood and early passion for science fiction; his intellectual journey from science fiction to science and—eventually - to ethics; the goals and benchmarks of his work; human enhancement, body modification and the risks of early adopters; the problem of finding the right priorities; the technological singularity and our chances of surviving it; other existential threats to humanity.
There are a number of fundamental problems in how we generally approach the areas of mind uploading and consciousness. I would like to address two major points: how we define computation and the nature of consciousness.
The ‘anti-Islam film’ which led to protests, attacks and killings across Middle East, Asia and Africa has sparked debates over religious offense, particularly how to balance freedom of speech/expression and freedom of religion globally.
Last night I had the fortune of sitting down with the leading researcher in Madagascar focused on the intersection of wildlife conservation and human health, Dr. Chris Golden from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner is extremely productive. Recently he organized a conference in Dubrovnik, he is participating in an analysis of the film “Mensch 2.0 - Die Evolution in unsure Hand” and his most recent monograph is the subject of a symposium organized by the Nietzsche Forum in Munich.
Cory covers a wide variety of topics such as: how Star Wars inspired him to become a science fiction writer; Cory’s initial jobs as a bookstore seller, Greenpeace activist, web developer, entrepreneur and director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; the intimate relationship between being a science fiction writer, a blogger and an activist; the motivation and goals behind his work; what science fiction is about and what it is good and bad at doing; Doctorow’s take on the technological singularity as a “progressive apocalypse”; his “militant atheism” and technology activism.
Is the World Wide Web and modern technology… replacing the human mind? Knowledge today is not a set of theories, but instead just Data, and the machine is a better place to store data than the human mind.
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