The body has a lot of change to go through on the path to post-humanity. There is a lot of room for improvement and enhancement. Even with all of these cool improvements and enhancements though, my cynical side emerges. While these would be great, are we giving ourselves too much credit that the choices we will make on the route to post-humanity will be practical? Isn’t society a little more vain that that? Seriously? The desire for youth and beauty is by no means a new phenomenon.
I have posted about universal health care coverage many, many times as an ethical and moral imperative. In the last year, my hopes (along with many other bioethicists, I’m sure) of attaining universal coverage have gone up, down and sideways, like a roller-coaster ride, exhilarating and frightening, with emotions ranging from inspiration to resignation. Now that the US House of Representative has finally passed a health reform bill, I’ve requested several bioethicists (and friends of the WBP) to share their thoughts on the ethical implications of the passage of this bill.
Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can—and should—be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.
This summer IEET Fellow Ben Goertzel will teach the distance learning course “Special Topics in Sociology: Singularity Studies, the first accredited college course on the Singularity and associated technologies, through Rutgers University. The three-credit summer course will feature online lectures and discussions every Monday and Wednesday evening throughout the summer and is available to students internationally. The IEET’s J. Hughes, Natasha Vita-More and Aubrey de Grey will be among the guest lecturers.
Biodiversity loss. Land use. Freshwater use. Nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. Stratospheric ozone. Ocean acidification. Climate change. Chemical Pollution. Aerosol loading in the atmosphere.
A team of 30 scientists across the globe have determined that the nine environmental processes named above must remain within specific limits, otherwise the “safe operating space” within which humankind can exist on Earth will be threatened.
I spent the last three days at the Kennedy Space Center, for the inaugural meeting of the LAUNCH organization. We talked water, and saw some pretty interesting—and occasionally remarkable—innovations and proposals.
The history of our belief in progress is a complicated one. This belief first arose during the eighteenth century Enlightenment and became a central feature of the Western worldview until circa the mid-twentieth century, when the first anthropogenic “existential risk” was introduced. Although progressionism suffered a serious blow with the inauguration of the Atomic Age, a renewed belief in the goodness and historical reality of techno-progress has reemerged within the transhumanist movement.
(with co-author M. Heather Dragoo) Abstract: As a genre, science fiction provides a uniquely fertile medium from which we can extrapolate the defining characteristics of personhood, explore our future potentials, and project our current selves onto tomorrow. One such example is the Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld.
By an overwhelming majority, respondents to a recently concluded poll said they expect the pace of development in emerging technologies to remain swift over the next two decades, but they are divided over how strong the opposition will be to human enhancements.
Early last month, the now-famous paper by Dr Andrew Wakefield that supposedly linked vaccines to the onset of autism, was formally retracted by the Lancet, the journal that published it back in 1998. This was a monumental decision, considering it was the conclusions drawn from this paper that launched the firestorm of debate around the safety of vaccines, and likely the cause of the current vaccine crisis.
For active online gamers, real life is broken. It doesn’t make any sense. Effort isn’t connected to reward. The path forward is confused, convoluted, and contradictory. Worse, there’s a growing sense that the entire game is being corrupted to ensure failure. So why play it?
One of the biggest letdowns for me about the film Wall-E was that all of the robots, save the evil navigator, were in some way visually anthropomorphic. They had hands, eyes, voices, that were unmistakably humanish. Pixar’s great mascot, Luxo Jr., managed to be lovable without these traits. There is a certain extra level of magic involved in making a great character that is utterly unrecognizable as human.
Yesterday in Shanghai, a woman miscarried. The child that wasn’t born would have led a unified China to attack and defeat India, Russia, and finally Europe, resulting in a Chinese empire that ruled the world from 2050 to 2100. Instead, China wilted under internal political strife caused by economic and environmental pressures, and became a second-rate power in the 21st century.
We tend think about compassion on the level of individual selves and minds: Bob feels compassionate toward Jim because Jim lost his wife, or his wallet, etc. Bob sympathizes with Jim because he can internally, to a certain extent, “feel what Jim feels.”
After a yearlong hiatus, I thought it was about time that I got back on the nano-horse and giddy-upped into some new thoughts and understandings regarding that tiny little thing we call “nanotechnology.”