As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview.
In a poll that was split almost exactly evenly between five different answers, only 40% of respondents said they were in favor of requiring prospective parents to first obtain licenses. Another 40% oppose licensing but would like to see more parental education opportunities, while the remaining quintile says we’re out of line even to discuss the matter.
The American Food and Drug Administration has required the Genetics and IVF Center in Fairfax, Virginia, to stop offering MicroSort for family balancing. Currently, the procedure is available only for “couples attempting to prevent sex-linked or sex-limited disease.”
Dr. J. chats with IEET contributing writers Kris Notaro and Andrew Cvercko about their working out of the connections between philosophy of the mind, Buddhism, radical politics and transhuman possibilities. Part 1 of 2.
Laurence Smith, professor of geography and climate change at UCLA, explains in his fascinating new book The World in 2050 that not all parts of the world will necessarily suffer from rising global temperatures. Here Smith talks with Parag Khanna about how the contraction of Arctic sea ice is opening up new trade routes, promoting immigration in countries like Canada, and leading to the rise of new economic hubs in Scandinavia.
IEET Fellow, media theorist, techno-visionary and author, Douglas Rushkoff, asks the question: Do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it? “Choose the former,” says Rushkoff, “and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you will get to make.” Rushkoff picks up where Marshall McLuhan left off, helping readers to recognize programming as the new literacy, and as a template through which we can see beyond long held social conventions and power structures. Hear from Rushkoff on his ten commands: guidelines to navigate the digital universe.
Anders Sandberg, a friend of the IEET and postdoctoral fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University, recently gave the keynote address at the May 9-12, 2011, Planetary Defense Conference in Bucharest sponsored by the International Academy of Astronautics. He has kindly sent us a summary of encouraging progress documented at the meeting on mapping the trajectories of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and figuring out ways to deflect them if they will hit the Earth.
Professor Hunter Rawlings, President Emeritus of Cornell University, explores the origins of the American idea of freedom. He explains that it arose from two conflicting schools of thought: the ancient Greek strand, which valued communal society over the individual, and the Enlightenment, which prioritized individual freedom.
Imagine you know everything on Wikipedia, in the Oxford English Dictionary, and the contents of every book in digital form. When someone asks you what you did 20 years ago, on demand you recall with perfect accuracy every sensation and thought from that moment.
Dr. J. chats with Kevin Kelly, the former publisher and editor of the late and lamented Whole Earth Review, co-founder and Senior Maverick of Wired magazine, and author of New Rules for the New Economy and Out of Control. They talk about his new book What Technology Wants, which argues that technology is the universe’s tendency to evolve more diverse forms of intelligence.
Science Gallery’s latest flagship exhibition HUMAN+ invites you to consider a future of augmented abilities, authored evolution, new strategies for survival and non-human encounters through a range of installations and laboratories exploring the future of our species. The exhibition opened at Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, on April 15th and runs until June 2011.
This major international exhibition draws together a range of installations ranging from a euthanasia roller coaster to the prosthetic head of Australian performance artist Stelarc. HUMAN+ also includes a children’s book illustrating the question on where babies come from in the IVF era to a vision of eternal life through digital means. It also features artist Eduardo Kac’s “plantimal” called the Edunia – a hybrid plant which includes the artists own DNA. HUMAN+ paints a somewhat ambiguous picture of the future of our species. What enhancements will we choose to become better humans? What happens when we live side by side with our robotic companions? How can we author our genetic futures? Find out at HUMAN+
As we move further into the 21st century, humanity has within reach the ability to alter the body human to such an extent as to give rise to a new posthuman species. What is less clear is whether our ethical, moral, and spiritual development can keep pace with our technological prowess.
In this presentation, IEET contributing writer Dorothy Deasy says our faith communities are in a unique position to speak up for the need to hold both God and science together in our lives, to check human hubris and offset individual motives in exchange for ethical standards that support social justice.
Given at the “Transhumanism and Spirituality” conference, October 1, 2010, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dr. J. talks Mark Stevenson about his new book An Optimist’s Tour of the Future. Mark is a British comedian, a consultant to museums around the communication of scientific ideas, and a Fellow of the “RSA,” the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.