This is the basic model of the Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure. We call it LSEI or “Elsie” for short. The system can be constructed within 8 years, using current “Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) technology.
Luke Muehlhauser, Executive Director of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, joins us to talk about the future of AI, whether the fiction-based idea that robots and AI will eventually turn against each other is based in any reality, and more.
Decoding Animal Languages, by Con Slobodchikoff, is an inspiring new study that demonstrates how new technologies can open new avenues of empathy, helping humans understand the other species who co-inhabit this planet with us.
At a bright, arty youth hostel in Cape Town, my teenage daughters crossed paths with a young man who seemed to spend most of his time watching late night television. At one point he said, “I want to have twelve children.”
The Universe in a Nutshell: The Physics of Everything Michio Kaku, Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at CUNY What if we could find one single equation that explains every force in the universe? Dr. Michio Kaku explores how physicists may shrink the science of the Big Bang into an equation as small as Einstein’s “e=mc^2.” Thanks to advances in string theory, physics may allow us to escape the heat death of the universe, explore the multiverse, and unlock the secrets of existence. While firing up our imaginations about the future, Kaku also presents a succinct history of physics and makes a compelling case for why physics is the key to pretty much everything.
My proposal is that instead of a binary approach to jiva/ajiva, or souled and soulless, the Buddhist and Jain ideas of ensoulment are open to an analog interpretation in line with neuroscience and ethology. From a Keynote Address delivered at the International Jain Conference at Claremont Lincoln University, August 24-25, 2012.
Eric Packer (played by Robert Pattison) — reigning master of the universe of unencumbered digital financial trading — spends most of his disastrous day in the back of a limo in David Cronenberg’s new film.
Life: The Ultimate Technology The concept of ‘living technology’ calls attention to the fact that modern science is increasingly capable of engineering systems whose power is based on the core features of life (ISSP, online). My research investigates the development of ‘living materials’, a particular example of living technology, which exploits the energetics inherent in terrestrial matter to create design solutions for the built environment that are ‘programmable’ using chemistry and physics. Many of these properties are regarded as characteristic of ‘life’ but do not infer ‘aliveness’ on the system. The particular system that I am investigating is a dynamic oil in water droplet system, which is capable of emergent behaviour and demonstrates some complex properties that can be thought of as architectural: shedding skins, motility, modification of the environment, population scale behaviour and the production of complex structures. Speculative proposals for applications of these ‘living materials’ in the built environment are explored, particularly with respect to environmental interventions such as, the development of carbon fixing surfaces, reclaiming the city of Venice by growing an artificial limestone reef underneath it, oil producing solar panels and water producing claddings.
Ex nihilo nihil fit – from nothing, nothing comes, – so the saying goes. It is, however, conventional wisdom that hinges on the very definition of “nothing”, and a “self-evident” truth which, upon closer examination, turns out to be not only deeply controversial, but perhaps even beyond human comprehension..
Buddhists and Jains believe there is moral and evolutionary continuity between animals, humans and “gods,” and that all creatures can evolve from animal to posthuman. This places them closer to the progressive optimist and posthumanist aspects of European Enlightenment thought, than followers of the Abrahamic faiths. The Buddhist emphasis on anatta or no-self is also close to neuroscientific reductionism. From a Keynote Address delivered at the International Jain Conference at Claremont Lincoln University, August 24-25, 2012.
Everyone can see that North Korea is trapped in a tragic time-warp, a kind of living museum of 1950s style Cold War socialism. Its political bubble of unreality is likely to burst open with great force well before mid-century.
During our conversation we cover a wide variety of topics such as: how Giulio got interested in transhumanism and the singularity; the inspirational role of science fiction in general and Arthur C. Clarke in particular; the many definitions of the technological singularity; transhumanism and why he is a singularitiarian who doesn’t believe in the singularity; happiness as the ultimate motivation; religion, spirituality, unreligion and science; the Order of Cosmic Engineers; The Turing Church; hope and resurrecting the dead. My favorite quote that I will take away from this interview with Giulio Prisco is: “The end is not the end. Future science and technology may be able to resurrect us.”
Last week, as I was driving a carload of middle-schoolers to a movie, the kids started talking about their teachers. I couldn’t help overhearing, “ . . . He’s a great science teacher, but he doesn’t believe in evolution.”
Susan Blackmore studies memes: ideas that replicate themselves from brain to brain like a virus. She makes a bold new argument: Humanity has spawned a new kind of meme, the teme, which spreads itself via technology—and invents ways to keep itself alive
Here on the internet, we love us some memes. But where do they come from? Yes we know, they are user generated. But to an internet layman, they seem to just appear, in HUGE quantities, ready for cultural consumption. Are they a sign of a “cultural singularity”? Memes follow rules and code, are varied, self-referential, and seem to multiply at an ever increasing rate. It may seem like science fiction, but we’re close to a world where culture automatically and magically creates infinitely more culture.
Let us know what sorts of crazy ideas you have, about this episode and otherwise:
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An international group of prominent scientists has signed The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness in which they are proclaiming their support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are — a list of animals that includes all mammals, birds, and even the octopus.
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