It’s a cliché that the Pacific Ocean is displacing the Atlantic, that China will replace America at the top of the world’s hierarchy of power, and the East will surpass the West. The cliché is also wrong. The multipolar world we are entering will have no single winner, and the three-pillared West of the European Union, North America, and Latin America remains a triangular zone of peace and foundation of global stability.
Hans Rosling had a question: Do some religions have a higher birth rate than others—and how does this affect global population growth? Speaking at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar, he graphs data over time and across religions. With his trademark humor and sharp insight, Hans reaches a surprising conclusion on world fertility rates.
In this essay, I outline Five futures for Pakistan: (1) the Pendulum continues forever, (2) Collapse, (3) Joining Chindia, (4) the Great Game, and (5) a South Asian Confederation. The most familiar and likely are based on the pendulum of rule by the military and rule by landlord/politicians. However, what is needed is to move from the more likely and less desirable futures to a process of anticipatory democracy where the citizens of Pakistan consider, create and commit to building their preferred future.
Nanotechnology leads to novel materials, new exposures and potentially unique health and environmental risks – or so the argument goes. But an increasing body of research is showing that relatively uniformly sized nanometer scale particles are part and parcel of the environment we live in.
Bestselling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with EXISTENCE.
Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an “alien artifact.” Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.
What would you say to an alien? Bill Nye, aka, ‘The Science Guy,’ who heads The Planetary Society, an organization that fosters ways for the public to be actively involved in space exploration, including the search for extraterrestrial life.
Religious laws are legalized religious doctrines. They are “revelations” turned into rules to govern society. Religious laws are sacred dogma institutionalized. They are sins criminalized. They are religious hatred, intolerance, discrimination and fanaticism turned into state policies.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor; a modern-day form of slavery. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest, after the drug-trade.
As one of the world’s oldest professions, prostitution has historically often been relegated to the dark corners of human society, scarcely mentioned and generally ignored as much as possible. When it does emerge into mainstream discourse it is inevitably followed by the predictable group polemics which accompany almost every social issue of our time, generating fierce and often entrenched debate across the political spectrum.
I frequently write and talk about things at the intersection of science and religion, spirituality and technology, and I am often asked if I am a believer. I used to give complicated, intellectual answers, but now I prefer giving a simple answer. My answer is YES, I am a believer.
Let’s be real. The majority of transhumanists, scientists, astronomers, computer specialists, etc. became interested in their fields of study through their interest in science-fiction. We know the story of how cellphones were designed with Star Trek‘s communicators in mind, as were tablet computers, ebooks, and other new technologies. That has all been well-documented and I’m relatively certain that it is not news to most of us. Star Trek has been very influential in my life, guiding my thought processes in many areas, like physics, astronomy, quantum mechanics - even politics and economics. Part 2 of the Casual Transhuman.
Recently there has been commenters’s discussion here at IEET about whether it should be moving from being essentially a website that provides reading material and a forum for public debate towards more of a genuine “think tank” model, clearly advocating a techno-progressive point of view and attempting to influence policy (both public and private) in a more direct, substantial and well-defined way.
In my first installment, I began with the question - Who, or what, is a person? - using the Hierarchy of Exclusion from Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game novels as a starting point. My purpose in this second section is to expand our circle of inclusion.
Readers of this blog know that I’ve started to develop a bit of a fascination with psychopathy. It all got started after attending the Moral Brain Moral Brain conference at NYU last April. The more I look into this subject, the more I understand why so many neuroscientists are making such a big fuss about it.
Imagine going to the grocery store in 25 years in your sleek new auto-drive car: You hop in, voice the destination and off you go. The quiet, electric-powered vehicle drops you off at the supermarket entrance, then auto-parks itself while you shop. As you exit the store, your car drives to the entrance, picks you up and returns home. You marvel at this incredible car that can also run errands without you on board.
The new gynoid robot named Geminoid F (“F” stands for female) is also designed to be remote controlled by an operator. It is a copy of an actual woman in her 20s with the ability to exhibit diverse facial expressions more naturally than Ishiguro’s previous human-like robots.
Immaculate doll-face, globulous breasts, teeny waist, slender limbs, vacant ice-blue eyes, long platinum hair - Valeria Lukyanova of Odessa, Ukraine, has re-designed her physical form to resemble Barbie, the plastic Mattel toy. Is the result “beautiful”? Critics screech that she’s “creepy” and “lifeless” with an “uncanny valley” absence of sexuality, but… let’s not kid ourselves here.
Mining Asteroids! Has the future finally arrived? Is this B.S. or not B.S.? Scientist and Sci-Fi author David Brin breaks down the idea into its fascinating ideas, taking a look at how Planetary Resources is planning to obtain metals and fuel by mining asteroids.
IEET Blog |
email list |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.
East Coast Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA
Email: director @ ieet.org phone:
West Coast Contact: Managing Director, Hank Pellissier
425 Moraga Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
Email: hank @ ieet.org