Rape has been violating women (and occasionally men) since the dawn of humanity. Even before that, evolutionarily. Our Great Ape relations – chimpanzees and gorillas - are rapists, and approximately 33%-50% of orangutans are the result of rape. Gang rape, war rape, prison rape, date rape, serial rape, spousal rape, incestuous rape… hundreds of millions of people have been terrified, humiliated, injured and scarred. Rape has to be halted, but how?
IEET Fellows Natasha Vita-More and Ben Goertzel received the most votes (#1 and #2, respectively) in the Humanity+ Board of Directors election that concluded April 15th. IEET congratulates them, and we look forward to working with them in the upcoming year.
What does it mean to say you’re offended? If it means merely that you disagree with what I have said, then surely we have a right to offend. Surely the freedom of speech allows the expression of dissent.
When the media discovered the Homeless Hotspots“charitable experiment”, it responded with a torrent of moral condemnation. Critics wasted no time denouncing the initiative as a publicity stunt that cruelly objectified homeless people as technological infrastructure.
In 2009 the Initiative for Science, Society and Policy coined the phrase ‘living technology’  to draw attention to a group of emerging technologies that are useful because they share some of the fundamental properties of living systems. The technologies fell short of being fully ‘alive’ yet they possessed at least some unique characteristics that are usually associated with ‘life’: Self-assembly, self-organization, metabolism, growth and division, purposeful action, adaptive complexity, evolution, and intelligence. Examples of this new field of technology include synthetic biology, attempts to make living systems from scratch in the laboratory , ICT systems exhibiting collective and swarm intelligence and robot companions.
Professor Simon Baron Cohen presents a new way of understanding what it is that leads individuals down negative paths, and challenges all of us to consider replacing the idea of evil with the idea of empathy-erosion.
Anthropologist Helen Fisher takes on a tricky topic—love - and explains its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its social importance. She closes with a warning about the potential disaster inherent in antidepressant abuse.
Biological anthropology professor at Rutgers University,Helen Fisher, who has written five books on the future of human sex, love, and relationships, says that marriage has changed more in the last 100 years than the previous 10,000, and it could change more in the next 20 years than the past 100.
You’re right, and you want everyone else to know it. Maybe everyone should be a Transhumanist like you, but there’s a problem: they don’t see things the way you do. So what do you do? You might try telling them that they’re stupid, evil or ugly. When that doesn’t work, try integrating.
The idea that one instance of infidelity should ruin a relationship is a new—and misguided—notion. “We need to talk about monogamy the way we talk about sobriety; you can be monogamous and fall off the wagon and then sober back up.”
Filmmaker, aesthetic philosopher and ecstatic futurist Jason Silva—who spoke at Singularity Summit 2011—articulates his call for passion and artistic sensibility to inform ideation and instantiation of the Singularity
Is the bold future of our youth being killed by gloomy science fiction? Or has Sci Fi grown more dour as a reflection of our mood? Glenn Reynolds interviews authors Neal Stephenson and Vernor Vinge in a thought-provoking inquiry: Why We Need Big, Bold Science Fiction: “While books about space exploration and robots once inspired young people to become scientists and engineers—and inspired grownup engineers and scientists to do big things—in recent decades the field has become dominated by escapist fantasies and depressing dystopias.”
Frank Ochberg explains what a psychopath is and why they do not get upset or excited about seeing the pain of others. It is potentially deadly to go through life pretending that these people do not exist.
For 3 days in late February, Russian businessman Dmitry Itskov gathered 500+ futurists in Moscow for a “Global Future 2045 Congress” – the latest manifestation of his “Russia 2045” movement. The Congress featured an impressive roster of Russian scientists, engineers and visionaries, along with American and West European futurist leaders like Ray Kurzweil, Randal Koene and John Smart.
One of the more surprising things I learned at the recently concluded Moral Brain conference at NYU is that psychopathy affects 1-2% of the general population. That seems shockingly high to me. But on reflection, it kind of makes sense. I’m sure most of us know at least a couple of people who we suspect might be psychopaths.
Confronting, fascinating, transcendent, profound, horrifying, self-flagellating, decadent, courageous, empathetic, which of the above accurately describes Stelarc’s 26th Suspension performance at the Scott Livesey Gallery in Melbourne? With 16 shark hooks piercing his back, elbows, and legs, the transhumanist artist Stelarc was supported by wire cables and cranked high above an oversize marquette of his own arm with embedded third ear). Is it body art/sculpture? Or something more or less? Any expression of the excessive physical pain he was experiencing may have unleashed the near palpable anxiety among the audience of 40 present.
The French Senate approved a bill making it a crime to deny that the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman empire in 1915, was genocide. The proposal is set to make the denial of genocide and war crimes, recognized by French law, punishable by up to a year in prison. Turkey denies the massacre.
An ingenious Russian crow that used a lid as a snowboard to slide down a snowy roof persuaded millions of YouTube viewers that animals are not merely beasts of burden – they also want to have fun. Indeed, the natural world appears to be teeming with creatures enjoying themselves in all kinds of different ways, and wildlife experts even claim that bonobos and dolphins have sex for fun.
There is one country in the world that in December 2011 was keeping 97 journalists in prison, and it is not mainland China. It is a country with just a fraction of China’s population: Turkey. Turkey also ranks among the countries that exerts the strictest censorship of the World-wide Web: one million websites are banned in Turkey (including mine, http://www.scaruffi.com).
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