On March 24 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution titled, Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind in conformity with international human rights laws.’
Say goodbye to global warming, toxic waste, and dependency on fossil fuels, and get ready to enjoy perfect health with exotic drugs that could one day cure most diseases and extend lifespan indefinitely.
In this second episode of SuchThatCast, I talk to Wendell Wallach, who is a consultant, ethicist, and scholar at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. He chairs the Center’s research group on Technology and Ethics and is a member of other research groups on Animal Ethics, End of Life Issues, Neuroethics, and PTSD. Wendell co-authored (with Colin Allen) the influential Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong (Oxford University Press 2009), which maps the new field of machine ethics.
Wallach talks about his extraordinary career, from being a spiritual guru in the 1960s to becoming one of today’s leading authorities on machine ethics. He also discusses his involvement in the transhumanist society, as well as his current project of developing a ‘silent ethics’, grounded in meditation practices.
We love watching the Olympics, and are inspired by athletic and organisational excellence. However, the Olympics are not a neutral venue. Every medal is based on a stream of money, power, genes and deep culture. In this essay  we unpack the political-economy of the Olympics.
John Smart is an advisor in Futures Studies and Forecasting for Singularity University. During our discussion we cover: the Foresight Education and Research Network (FERN); the story of how John got interested in futurism and technology; his Acceleration Studies Foundation as well as the meaning of accelerating change; his totally fascinating idea of STEM compression; the Barrow scale vs the Kardashev scale; cosmology, black holes and different interpretations thereof; Moore’s Law and the limits of Physics.
Ever since Enrico Fermi questioned back in the 1950’s why, if a multitude of civilisations are likely to exist in the Milky Way, no sign of their existence in the form of probes or spacecraft has ever been detected, scientists and critical thinkers have struggled to resolve the problem by supplying a host of inventive arguments with mixed reception.
In their introductory piece, “Well-Being and Enhancement”, to their edited collection Enhancing Human Capacities, Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Meulen, and Guy Kahane attempt to define “enhancement” or “human enhancement”, settling on a conception related to well-being.
Consider this headline. $21 Trillion hoard hidden offshore by global elite. Consider that number and consider my prediction that the world’s middle classes will become radicalized, perhaps in the 2020s, or even sooner.
From the You Heard it Here First department - let me present an idea that sounds patently ridiculous and yet - according to my discussions with the leading researcher in the field - is entirely possible within 20 years - a possibility that I argue - is indeed a probability.
Advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and nuclear energy have turned society into what Dutch ethicist Ibo van de Poel calls a large-scale laboratory for experimenting with the unforeseen consequences of new technologies.
Expect increased nationalism, including the flexing of military muscle, from China between now and 2050. Although I predict a surge in nationalistic sentiment and policy-making, one cannot rule out the possibility that a great new peaceful Chinese civilisation could emerge towards the middle of the century which would benefit, rather than harm, humanity.