If progressive and populist ideas resonate with most voters, some people have asked, why isn’t the Democratic Party doing better in the polls? Here’s one reason: Some of the party’s most prominent leaders are still pushing Wall Street’s unpopular and discredited economic platform. Recent speeches by former President Bill Clinton and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer showed that Wall Street continues to hold considerable sway in their party, despite the fact that its austerity agenda has failed. Its “deficits over growth” ideology has wounded both Europe and the United States.
Are we headed for a Singularity? Is it imminent? I write relatively near-future science fiction that features neural implants, brain-to-brain communication, and uploaded brains. I also teach at a place called Singularity University. So people naturally assume that I believe in the notion of a Singularity and that one is on the horizon, perhaps in my lifetime.
Published on Mar 26, 2014, IEET Fellow, David Pearce talks about aesthetics from an evolutionary point of view, talking about animals, nature, humans, and posthumans. Can we predict what aesthetics a posthuman would appreciate? What is Beauty? At any rate, we will be able to genetically engineer kindness, perhaps a beautiful aspect of our galaxy?
Darwinisim - life on other planets and the unlikelihood of locomotive life to exclude predation.
Nature is not inherently kind - though one can appreciate its beauty.
As the Supreme Court reviews the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods cases in coming weeks, attorneys for the business owners will argue that their religious freedom (and that of the corporations!) is being violated by the Obamacare contraceptive mandate. But not all religious leaders agree.
Who is more “luddite”: the individual or the state? In a recent TED talk, an individual – the robot body of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Vancouver – said he beat the state. He argued that, while the internet enabled states with unprecedented powers to spy, it has also provided individuals with the ability to singlehandedly “win” against the state by exposing such abuse to the public.
Caplan’s work fosters greater understanding of science, medicine and ethics. On March 24, 2014 the National Science Board (NSB) announced that renowned bioethicist and IEET Trustee Arthur Caplan, a global leader in medical ethics, is the 2014 recipient of its Public Service Award for an individual.
Published on Mar 25, 2014 Filmed at the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne Australia, Adam Ford of The Rational Future talks to IEET Fellow David Pearce about The Hedonistic Imperative.
http://hedweb.com - The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how genetic engineering and nanotechnology will abolish suffering in all sentient life. The abolitionist project is hugely ambitious but technically feasible. It is also instrumentally rational and morally urgent. The metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved because they served the fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment. They will be replaced by a different sort of neural architecture - a motivational system based on heritable gradients of bliss.
States of sublime well-being are destined to become the genetically pre-programmed norm of mental health. It is predicted that the world’s last unpleasant experience will be a precisely dateable event. Two hundred years ago, powerful synthetic pain-killers and surgical anesthetics were unknown. The notion that physical pain could be banished from most people’s lives would have seemed absurd. Today most of us in the technically advanced nations take its routine absence for granted. The prospect that what we describe as psychological pain, too, could ever be banished is equally counter-intuitive. The feasibility of its abolition turns its deliberate retention into an issue of social policy and ethical choice.
Every year, we science fiction fans are given the opportunity to vote on a host city for a future World Science Fiction convention. This year, the vote will be between Kansas City and Shanghai. I’m certain that I’ll be voting for Kansas City. I’d LOVE to see the Great Wall, but I’ve seen pictures of the air in China lately, and my instincts suggest I may not want to take the health risks associated with a visit. I’ve read that some of China’s elite are leaving for health reasons.
Celebrated by the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine, a type of cell known as an “induced pluripotent stem cell” or “iPS cell” has important implications for the emerging field of biomedical technology. In this video, Canadian scientist Dr. Mick Bhatia explains how iPS cells are created and how they can be used to create new therapies for human disease. Published on Nov 8, 2013 and Narrated by Dr. Mick Bhatia.
Most of the cells in our bodies are not stem cells.
For example, blood and skin cells are specialized. They perform specific functions in the body and they got this way through a process known as differentiation that is normally not reversible.
However, if some adult cell types are taken, grown in plastic dishes and given specific genetic instructions, over time, some of these cells will reverse from their differentiated state and develop the ability to re-differentiate into any cell type in the adult. This newfound ability is known as pluripotency, and it is why these cells are known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells.
The creation of iPS cells from individual patients may one day allow us to develop replacement tissues that are a perfect match to the patient. In addition, the creation of iPS cells from patients with specific diseases will allow scientists to develop new drugs to treat a wide variety of disorders.
Narration by: Dr. Mick Bhatia
Written & Directed by: Ben Paylor & Mike Long
Produced by: Infoshots - infoshots.ca
Animation by: David Murawsky - davidmurawsky.com/
Sound by: James Wallace - imdb.com/name/nm0908691/
The best thing about Occupy Wall St. wasn’t what it argued politically or accomplished legislatively, but what it modeled for us: a new way of engaging with issues, resolving conflict, and reaching consensus. It was a style of engagement that seemed like it could only happen in person, between young people willing to sit in a cold park all night until they could come to an agreement over an issue.
Published on Mar 25, 2014, with enhanced sound, IEET Affiliate Scholar, John Niman talks about IBM’s Nanofluidic Circuit.
Nanofluidic circuitry is a nanotechnology aiming for control of fluids in nanometer scale. Due to the effect of an electrical double layer within the fluid channel, the behavior of nanofluid is observed to be significantly different compared with its microfluidic counterparts. Its typical characteristic dimensions fall within the range of 1–100 nm. At least one dimension of the structure is in nanoscopic scale. Phenomena of fluids in nano-scale structure are discovered to be of different properties in electrochemistry and fluid dynamics. - wikipedia
Published on Mar 24, 2014, melodysheep, known for producing famous videos about science decided to do “A musical tour through the world of Game of Thrones!”
Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created for HBO by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled A Game of Thrones. Filmed in a Belfast studio and on location elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Malta, Scotland, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco, it premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011. The series was renewed for a fourth season, to debut on April 6, 2014.
The series, set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos at the end of a decade-long summer, interweaves several plot lines. The first follows the members of several noble houses in a civil war for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms; the second covers the rising threat of the impending winter and the mythical creatures of the North; the third chronicles the attempts of the exiled last scion of the realm’s deposed dynasty to reclaim the throne. Through its morally ambiguous characters, the series explores the issues of social hierarchy, religion, loyalty, corruption, civil war, crime, and punishment. It is the most recent big-budget work to have contributed to the popularity of the fantasy genre in mainstream media. - wikipedia
I’ve been thinking of ways in which Biocentric Universe Theory and multiverse theory could both be true. What if our nature as conscious beings inhabiting a multiverse of endless possibilities, where we are quantum-superposition beings, actually all adds up to us creating the multiverse, while perceiving time and space only within the limitations of our immediately observable, three-spatial/one-time-dimensional universe?
Published on Mar 4, 2014 - (Future Day: March 1st, Melbourne Australia) Dr Mirella Dottori talks about the current laws, research, and the future surrounding stem cells, filmed by Adam Ford.
Dr Mirella Dottori completed her PhD studies at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, University of Melbourne. She then undertook her postdoctoral studies at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, USA, where she was studying development of the spinal cord and neural crest. She then returned to Australia as a NHMRC Howard Florey Fellow where she joined Professor Martin Pera’s group at Monash University working on human embryonic stem cells. In 2007, Dr Dottori established a Stem Cell Laboratory at the Centre for Neuroscience Research, University of Melbourne. The major focus of her research is studying human pluripotent stem cells and their differentiation to specific neuronal lineages. Her research objectives are to create human cellular models of neural development and neurodegenerative diseases and also to develop stem cell therapies to promote regeneration within the nervous system.
== Research interests
The main focus of our research is to use human embryonic stem (hES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as in vitro models for understanding the processes and signals involved in neural differentiation and neurodegeneration. In recent years, stem cell biology is one of the most rapidly advancing areas of medical research. IPS cells can now be generated from human biopsy tissue and this technology allows the possibility of generating patient-specific stem cells that may be used for developing cell replacement therapies as well as in vitro human cellular models of disease. To reach these objectives, it is critical to establish robust differentiation assay systems to derive specific lineages. In our laboratory we have developed efficient systems differentiating human pluripotent stem cells to early neural progenitor cells fated towards lineages of the central and peripheral nervous system. Generation of specific neural and glial lineages from human stem cells can now be utilized for developing therapies to treat neurodegenerative disorders.
Imagine a bracelet or watch that changes into something else when you take it off. Perhaps it becomes a cell phone, tablet, or computer. Although this scenario may seem like science fiction, this and much more will soon become reality with a ground-breaking new technology known as claytronics.
Everyone alive today owes their life to a man most of us have never heard of, and that I didn’t even know existed until last week. On September, 26 1983, just past mid-night, Soviet lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov was alerted by his satellite early warning system that an attack from an American ICBM was underway. Normal protocol should have resulted in Petrov giving the order to fire Russian missiles at the US in response.
The world is transformed by asking questions, not by providing answers. Politics, religion, and even philosophy, have promised us the answers for millennia. But the value of the answers delivered has always been contextual and temporary. There is no answer that will last forever.
Published on Mar 5, 2014 - (Future Day: March 1st, Melbourne Australia) James Fodor talks about Whole Brain Emulation and the science behind it.
Slides here: http://bit.ly/MZMmdp - Whole Brain Emulation & Computational Neuroscience Synopsis Within a few decades, I believe it will be possible to construct working simulations of an entire human brain. In this talk I will explain why I believe this, with reference to recent work in Computational Neuroscience, extrapolations of Moore's Law, and other such matters. I will also address some common criticisms leveled against whole brain emulation, and briefly discuss some of the many ways I believe this technology will drastically change the face of society in the near future.
I'll basically be presenting selected material from this publication, with some updates and additions of my own.
According to Moores Law the number of transistors on a integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years (18 months). Gordron E. Moore described his law in this 1965 paper ‘Cramming more components onto integrated circuits’ in the Electronics Magazine. Because of this exponential growth over the last 48 years, this doubling has lead to 24 doublings of the orginal number of transitors that could be placed on a circuit board. Moore’s law is starting to buckle, because transistors based on semiconductors can only get so small.
Futurism—scenario-based foresight, in particular—has many parallels to science fiction literature, enough that the two can sometimes be conflated. It’s no coincidence that there’s quite a bit of overlap between the science fiction writer and futurist communities, and (as a science fiction reader since I was old enough to read) I could myself as extremely fortunate to be able to call many science fiction writers friends.
Secular Americans and many liberal people of faith have been horrified by the Right’s most recent ploy: “religious freedom” claims that would give conservative business owners license to discriminate. Until Arizona made the national spotlight, the need for lunch counter sit-ins had seemed like a thing of the past. But in reality, advocates for religious privileges have been circling toward this point for some time.
IEET Affiliate Scholar John Niman talks about past and present internet chat. He shows how face to face communication can reduce the feeling of loneliness. Later in the video he discusses virtual worlds, avatars, and relationships, then talks about the future of Her like robotics. Published on Mar 20, 2014.
The potential benefits of the NEMALOAD project include:
Basic discoveries in neuroscience: No analysis of an entire nervous system at the single-neuron level has ever been performed, due to the large number of recent technologies required. It is almost certain that some new insights about the way nervous systems work will emerge, although it is impossible to predict what those might be.
Pushing the envelope of data-driven modeling: The interrogator provided by this project will provide access to a world of data with an unprecedented combination of richness and tractability. It will be an extremely effective training resource to evolve the next generation of inference and representation methods for dealing with highly interconnected systems, which likely will apply beyond neuroscience to domains including cancer biology, immunology, stem cell biology, evolutionary biology, sociology, economics and finance.
Providing a foundation for uploading research: If we can replicate the mind of an individual worm, including its unique properties based on both genetic and environmental factors, then* modulo philosophical assumptions we have made that worm immortal as a virtual entity. If it can be done for a worm, the next steps are to attempt a zebrafish, then a fruit fly, then a honeybee, then a mouse, then a dog, then a macaque monkey, then a chimpanzee, and then, ultimately, a human. Even if the philosophical assumptions fail, and human immortality through uploading is fundamentally impossible, a human upload process would be of incalculable value in curing neurological and mental illnesses. If the transfer of human consciousness to digital substrate is indeed possible, it would fundamentally transform society, and if NEMALOAD is successful, I hope it inspires ethicists, philosophers, economists, sociologists and other humanities thinkers to take human uploading more seriously and help prepare our civilization for the possibility of its arrival.
Julia and IEET contributor Massimo Pigliucci, talk about whether or not SETI is pseudoscience, real science, and/or worthwhile. Interesting discussion pulled from the archives and published on November 6, 2011.
Is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, solid science, pseudoscience, or something else, as Massimo argues in his book "Nonsense on Stilts"? What are the theoretical foundations and empirical evidence that justify a multi-decade research program, and what are its chances of succeeding? Have we learned anything thanks to SETI? Also, if the universe is infinite, what problems does this pose for utilitarian ethics?
We are only just starting to discover what our upcoming technologies will be capable of, and already, through fear of possible future threats, bombs are being sent to physicists. Emerging technologies are set to revolutionise our world during the next few decades; could this lead to the rise of anti-technology terrorism becoming even more of a threat than radical [religion]?
Ted Chu is a professor of economics and former chief economist for General Motors. Most recently, Dr. Chu is the author of Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision of Our Future Evolution. In my opinion Ted’s book is absolutely profound in the way it draws upon a dazzling variety of philosophical and scientific resources in order to place humanity within a cosmic evolutionary perspective. In that sense I will go as far as claiming that it is a one-of-a-kind book within my transhumanist library and, while it is definitely not an easy or quick read, I enjoyed it very much.
During our 70 min conversation with Dr. Chu we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: his honest and moving personal story starting in a poor family in China and becoming a chief economists for GM; the existential midlife crisis he had at 29 and his consequent search for the meaning of life; the impact of 9.11 – surviving the attacks but losing his book manuscript; why and how he got interested in transhumanism; the importance of philosophy for setting up a higher goal; defining human and transhuman; cosmic being (CoBe) and evolution; religion 2.0 and transcendental ethics; the technological singularity; capitalism, technological unemployment and bitcoin…
(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more episodes like this one please make a donation!)
Who is Ted Chu?
Born and raised in China, and spending much of his adult life in America, Ted Chu is currently a clinical professor of economics at New York University (Abu Dhabi, UAE), and also has a home in Michigan. His ongoing research is focused on globalization, frontiers of technology and institutions, and “posthuman economics,” inclusive of the philosophic and ethical dimensions of transhumanism. Chu graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai, and earned his PhD in economics at Georgetown University.
During his twenty-five years as a business economist, his work included corporate strategy, public policy research, multinational operations, and global financial markets—including roles as chief economist of General Motors and chief economist of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. Dr. Chu also held positions as macroeconomist for the World Bank and Arthur D. Little.
For the last fifteen years, his second career has been conducting independent research on the ethical and philosophical question of humanity’s place in the universe, with special reference to advanced technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. This focus was foreshadowed by his PhD thesis on the production efficiency frontier at Georgetown University. Chu has also read widely and deeply in evolutionary theory, history, politics, philosophy, and religious studies (East and West).
Dr. Chu is the founder of the nonprofit CoBe (Cosmic Being) Institute in Michigan, a senior scholar at ChangCe, a Beijing-based independent think tank, and a former president of Greater Washington Professional Forum. He has received a national award for dedicated community service and has served as a policy advisor for governments and many multinational institutions. Ted Chu’s extensive lines of interdisciplinary research have combined in-depth theoretical analysis and the fruits of practical, real-world experience.