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.
Behrokh Khoshnevis is a professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering and is the Director of Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is active in CAD/CAM, robotics and mechatronics related related research projects that include the development of novel Solid Free Form, or Rapid Prototyping, processes (Contour Crafting and SIS), automated construction of civil structures, development of CAD/CAM systems for biomedical applications (e.g., restorative dentistry, rehabilitation engineering, haptics devices for medical applications), autonomous mobile and modular robots for assembly applications in space, and invention of technologies in the field of oil and gas. His research in simulation has aimed at creating intelligent simulation tools that can automatically perform many simulation functions that are conventionally performed by human analysts. His textbook, “Discrete Systems Simulation”, and his simulation software EZSIM benefit from some aspects of his research in simulation. He routinely conducts lectures and seminars on invention and technology development.
A funny thing happens when I film with biotech scientist and telomere expert Bill Andrews: I run a lot. This trend continued when I arrived in the Himalayas in Northern India to film Andrews racing in an impossibly cruel 138-mile ultramarathon at 18,000 feet.
IEET Contributor Travis James Leland offers the first chapter of his current work-in-progress, about the world’s first posthuman being and how he impacts the world. In this selection, we meet Alpha and his online girlfriend, ‘Loo. They are attracted to each other online. Should they risk a meat-meeting?
A few weeks ago, there began organizing efforts to create longevity parties in several parts of the world – in Russia, the US, Israel and Europe – dedicated to political promotion of life-extension research and practice.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London trying to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on rape charges. If he steps outside the embassy, Assange will be cuffed, but there are ways he could escape. (August 21, 2012)
The term singularity has many meanings. Here are 17 distinct definitions by noted observers, ranging from R.Thornton, Samuel Butler and Alan Turing, to contemporaries such as Ray Kurzweil, John Smart, and Eliezer Yudkowsky. Which description of The Singularity is your favorite?
I’ve been having many arguments about transparency and “privacy”, so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about “Cryptography” - one of the first arguments thrown up when I point out that transparency means an end to secrecy.
Colin Wright is a 25-year-old serial entrepreneur, minimalist, and blogger who moves to a new country every 4 months based on the votes of his readers. While travelling, Colin starts up new business endeavours, manages his existing projects, and engages in extreme lifestyle experiments—from not wearing black for half a year to going completely paperless—in order to gain new perspective and to inspire others to make positive changes to their lives that might otherwise seem impossible. Colin writes about entrepreneurship, minimalism, and long-term travel at ExileLifestyle.com. “I wish that the knowledge that humanity has amassed could be evenly and universally available to everyone on the planet, allowing more people to have access to the resources that will allow them to contribute to the global conversation, take care of themselves (and others), and pursue further innovation.”
Four people stormed Germany’s Cologne Cathedral during services, wearing balaclavas and carrying signs showing solidarity with the jailed members of Pussy Riot. They were swiftly ejected from the premises
Steve Mann is sometimes called the first cyborg. Other times he is called the cyborg Luddite because of the stress he puts on choosing which technologies to embrace and which ones to abandon in order to be in harmony with nature.
In his first public appearance since he took refuge two months ago inside Ecuador’s embassy in London, Julian Assange calls for President Obama to end his war on whistleblowers. “The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks. The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation, the United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters,” Assange says. “The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.” Assange spoke from a window sill near a small balcony on the second floor of the Ecuadorean embassy as dozens of police officers looked on. He carefully did not step onto the balcony, which is considered outside the legal boundary of the embassy. The diplomatic standoff between Ecuador and Britain continues this week after Assange was granted political asylum by Ecuador, but U.K. authorities say they will arrest Assange and extradite him to Sweden.”
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