1987 was the first year in which one billion people boarded airline flights. In that year the world’s population hit 5 billion, meaning approximately 20% of all people experienced a fantastic luxury not available to history’s wealthiest monarchs. By 2005 two billion people were boarding airliners each year, and the world’s population had grown to 6.5 billion. In the short span of years between 1987 and 2005, airline flight grew from being a right of 20% to a right of 31% of humanity, from barely a fifth to almost a third. Even assuming more frequent flights by the wealthier, this is startling evidence of the democratization of technology.
Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro star in Limitless, a paranoia-fueled action thriller about an unpublished writer whose life is transformed by a top-secret smart drug that allows him to use 100% of his brain and become a perfect version of himself. His enhanced abilities soon attract shadowy forces that threaten his new life in this darkly comic and provocative film.
Francis Heylighen started his career as yet another physicist with a craving to understand the foundations of the universe - the physical and philosophical laws that make everything tick. But his quest for understanding has led him far beyond the traditional limits of the discipline of physics. Currently he leads the Evolution, Complexity and COgnition group (ECCO) at the Free University of Brussels, a position involving fundamental cybernetics research cutting across almost every discipline. Among the many deep ideas he has pursued in the last few decades, one of the most tantalizing is that of the Global Brain - the notion that the social, computational and communicative matrix increasingly enveloping us as technology develops, may possess a kind of coherent intelligence in itself.
In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, rescue workers found 128 elderly people abandoned by medical staff at a hospital six miles from the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The tsunami also killed nearly half the 113 residents at a retirement home in Kesennuma. Eleven of those who lived died of exposure, and the other 53 are in a shelter with only kerosene heaters to keep them warm in near-freezing condition.
Recently, three emerging technologies made headlines in Washington state and were reported by Tacoma’s paper, The News Tribune. The issues and controversies they stir are examples of the challenges that transformative technologies will face in going mainstream.
The IEET’s J. Hughes appeared on Stephen Euin Cobb’s podcast The Future and You. Topics include his doubts about the probability of the Singularity, technoprogressive transhumanism versus libertarian transhumanism, his new book Cyborg Buddah, the recent protests in the Middle East for more freedom and reform, the politics of science fiction, the personhood of clones, and much more. Part 1Part 2
It turns out that the Lifeboat Foundation (and this is a direct quote from its founder, Eric Klien) is “a Trojan Horse” that is (here I interpret the rest of what Klien says) designed to hoodwink the people recruited to be its members.
Dr. J. continues his chat with historian, novelist, and journalist Philipp Blom about his delightful history of the French philosophers of the eighteenth century, A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment. Part 2 of 2. Also includes “Pester Power” by Cory Doctorow.
While individual productivity has soared in areas like manufacturing and services, healthcare and education remain stubbornly stuck in the 20th century. If anything, as of late technological innovation seems to have decreased, rather than increased, wellbeing-per-dollar and education-per-dollar productivity metrics.
The philosophy of mind is important for popular transhumanist topics. Many desire to accelerate the development of some sort of -higher consciousness’, sometimes in virtual reality. Although this issue may be approached with the most serious input of specific fields, for example cutting edge neuroscience, it is nevertheless often handled in a philosophically naÃ¯ve way.
Robert Bradbury passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last weekend of a massive hemorrhagic stroke. His passing was the kind of thing that barely registered anywhere except among his immediate group of family and friends—and among a group of dedicated and niche scientists, futurists and technologists. For them, Bradbury’s premature passing represented a monumental blow to inspired and imaginative scientific inquiry.
Animals rescue people all the time, but not like this. Jim Eggers is a 44-year-old man who suffers from a problem that not only puts his life at risk—it jeopardizes the safety of everybody around him. But with the help of Sadie, his pet African Grey Parrot, Jim found an unlikely (and seemingly successful) way to manage his anger.
In this short radio program, African Grey Parrot expert Irene Pepperberg helps us understand how this could work, and shares some insights from her work with a parrot named Alex.