Lots of Americans buy the argument that we should ration health care according to lifestyle. So do many employers who are trying to charge their obese employees more for health insurance. But if we are going to penalizing the health care sinners amongst us, shouldn’t we target all of those who raise our collective health care bill through poor lifestyle choices? This means you, cat owners.
The question I’m trying to answer in this paper is ‘What is the humanist view of animal rights?’ I am taking to be ‘the humanist view’ that which is expressed in pamphlets issued by the Humanist Association of Canada. I include in ‘animal rights’ both positive rights, such as the right to pursue interests, and negative rights, such as the right not to be tortured.
IEET wants short science fiction pieces that reflect on the social, moral, political, economic or philosophical consequences of future technologies, in particular pieces that touch on the IEET’s core issues - the ethics and policy dimensions of life extension, human enhancement, moral enhancement, non-human personhood, structural unemployment and catastrophic risks.
Andrew Maynard, Ph.D., focuses on the responsible development and use of emerging technologies, and on innovative approaches to addressing emergent risks. An international expert on nanotechnology, he is a professor of risk science and environmental health sciences at University of Michigan School of Public Health.
How do our lives shape our genes? Factors like nutrition and environmental stressors affect the ‘epigenomic software’ (above or in addition the gene) rather than the ‘genomic hardware’ of our bodies, with huge potential for better health. Images and explanation by researcher. Learn more in plain language with slides from Dana Dolinoy, Ph.D., Searle Assistant Professorship in Public Health at University of Michigan School of Public Health
Gazing at the ravishing photos of Andrej Pejic, I’m stirred with envious confusion. Why does this tall skinny XY like me get to be so much prettier? Does his effeminate success - inflaming catwalks in both men and women’s high fashion - predict a fusion of two polarized genders, or a third construct? What does the androgynous Bosnian represent in post-genderism?
editor’s note: IEET prefers what Charlie Stross says in this 2009 interview, far more than what he’s said recently. Two days ago on his blog, Stross labeled H+ as “sordid… rotten… blind.. smugly self-satisfied hypercapitalists.” We regard these attacks as inexcusably sloppy. (interview by RU Sirius)
What did IEET visitors read, watch, and bicker about in May? Sex & gender, religion & atheism, robots, psychopaths, death, space, and the self were all popular topics. Statistics with links are provided to the Top 12 in three categories:
Today I’m going to focus on medical technologies that are available or being researched now that can be implanted into (or onto) humans. Specifically, I am going to talk about tech that promises to restore (and one day replace) faulty biological systems. We will start at the top:
Reflecting on his son’s graduation from high school, Science Fiction author David Brin offers inspiration and advice for students going on to college. Broaden your perspectives and take full advantage of the wealth of educational experiences awaiting you during the next four years. The key is curiosity: explore what is happening in those buildings on campus.
Today around the globe too many atrocities are being committed with impunity in the name of god, allah and other constructs, which have over the ages, been identified or associated with the so called supreme being. The dream of a secular peaceful world where people of all faiths and none can coexist in harmony - continues to elude many across the region. Millions of people- theists and atheists- continue to suffer and are abused due to superstition, religious fundamentalism and supernaturalism. In this piece I will focus on two of such areas.
Sonia Arrison is the author of “100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, from Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith.”
In this video, Sonia discusses: how and why she got interested in technology in general and transhumanism and regenerative medicine in particular; how science and technology will allow us to live longer and healthier lives; the most common objections against increased longevity; the implications thereof on major religions; cryonics; her take on the technological singularity and our chances of surviving it; the fact that we cannot simply sit down and wait for longevity to happen.
For technoprogressives it can be excruciating to witness the persistence with which spurious objections to promising technologies wield massive influence over public policy, law and attitudes. This article explores what is arguably the main underlying reason for this—namely fear—and what are the options for addressing this underlying fear.
Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Moral Landscape, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation. His new book is short (96) pages, to the point, and will change the way we all view free will, as Oliver Sacks wrote: “Brilliant and witty — and never less than incisive — Free Will shows that Sam Harris can say more in 13,000 words than most people do in 100,000.” UCSD neuroscientist V.S, Ramachandran notes: “In this elegant and provocative book, Sam Harris demonstrates — with great intellectual ferocity and panache — that free will is an inherently flawed and incoherent concept, even in subjective terms. If he is right, the book will radically change the way we view ourselves as human beings.”
Could the next wave of Occupy protests be ripped apart by rubber bullets and tear gas launched by remote-controlled robots hovering overhead, steered by police officers miles away? It’s not a futurist scenario anymore. According to CBSDC:
The current socio-political discussion on transhumanism concerns human use of NBIC  technologies and sciences to enhance human biology and to radically extend human life. I address this concern by bringing art and design into the discussion.
What will advanced AI systems — Artificial General Intelligences — be like? How will they relate to human beings? How will they help transform human beings into post human forms? Might they turn against their creators?
I’m not the only one making this point. See here for an interview with Joss Whedon and the Avengers cast. Scarlett Johansson’s comments are very salient (one of the good things about The Avengers was the portrayal of The Black Widow as a strong, sexy, ass-kicking superheroine who was not overly sexualised - no fighting semi-nude or in high-heels, or with huge breasts leading the way).
What’s the “women in science” problem, again? From the grad student whose thesis advisor stole her Nobel-winning ideas to the once-ridiculed theorist of dark matter, female scientific excellence has long been snubbed.
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