If you are one of those who think that atheism is of no benefit to Africa and Africans, that disbelieving in god has no social value or significance for this people then you may rethink your position after reading this.
Killing prejudice with kindness is probably the best way to go, says former climate skeptic Michael Shermer. If you attack someone aggressively on their point of view, they are more likely to double down on their beliefs. Reciprocity is a better way to go: “I will give you respect if you hear me out, and you give me respect if I hear you out.” From here, says Shermer, you can at least plant a seed of doubt
Transhumanist Debate 2.0, held in Octopus Literary Salon, April 2nd, 2016. Debate 1 of 3.
Topic: How does “global binding” occur in the brain? I.e., how does the brain bind together different kinds of information into one ‘global’ or ‘unitary’ experience?
Andres Gomez Emilsson argues that any solution must involve quantum entanglement as a fundamental unifying mechanism; Dr. Randal Koene argues that this is neither necessary nor consistent with what we know of the brain.
Deadly environmental pollution has become an existential risk that threatens the prospect for the long-term survival of our species and a great many others. Here we will focus on the nuclear waste aspect of the problem and ways to mitigate it before there is a critical tipping point in our global ecosystem.
As philosopher Nick Bostrom said in his 2001 paper titled “Existential Risks,” published in the Journal of Evolution and Technology, “Our future, and whether we will have a future at all, may well be determined by how we deal with these challenges.”1
After the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris, technology expert Marc Goodman shares how insurgents use their media savvy and technological prowess to outmaneuver law enforcement. Goodman, former futurist-in-residence for the FBI, shares three examples of how terrorists have adapted to conditions on the ground.
Régulièrement, la question est posée de savoir si le transhumanisme est une religion. Ma réponse personnelle, comme celle des membres de l’Association Française Transhumaniste : Technoprog!, est résolument négative. Ce mouvement de pensée ne rentre décidément pas dans cette définition. Pour autant, je pense que d’une part le transhumanisme a quelque chose à dire aux religions et que d’autre part, il n’est pas du tout impossible d’envisager le transhumanisme d’un point de vue religieux ou au moins spiritualiste.
IEET Fellow Natasha Vita-More will be the Keynote Speaker, and Affiliate Scholar Melanie Swan will also give a talk at the NY Posthuman Research Group’s 2nd annual Glocal Symposium on Posthuman Futures.
Echoing Bill Nye’s favorite phrase, Tom from Western Australia asks after the practical implications of quantum mechanics. It’s a tough sell, explains Nye, but computing power is on the short list. The imaginable benefits of quantum entanglement, called “spooky action at a distance” by the skeptical Albert Einstein, lie further afield. Nye thinks with our knowledge of subatomic particles it is theoretically possible to harness the energy created by black holes and perhaps even travel backwards in time.
What we don’t know can hurt us. In the past year, it seems that 15 years of economic erosion has taken its toll on the wisdom of our 20th century experience. Nostalgic sentiments from an analogue age have seeped into the modern political discourse. Not because, they’ll work, but because people can understand them.
As we witness seedlings of massive transformation throughout the world, Africa remains the last populated continent to be fully integrated into our global economy. Africa suffers from problems like corrupt governments, lack of infrastructure, remaining tribal and religious tension, poor education, and bad health care. But these problems will be addressed directly and indirectly in the approaching decade by a confluence of forces.
Back in the early 2000s, Ryan Fugger invented something that will come to change the future of economics. He invented Ripple, a P2P credit clearing system. Some argue that P2P credit is unstable and prone to inflation, and I second that, and I believe Ripple should be combined with some form of stable index. Perhaps something like solarcoin.org — what could be more stable than the energy of a photon?
Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek argues that understanding basic physical laws is sufficient to grasp how the mind works, but that may not explain everything about the mind. Borrowing principles from quantum mechanics, Wilczek claims that reality may not be suited to full understanding with a set of principles from any one discipline. Taking the case of free will as an example, it may be possible to understand humans both as having free will and being entirely determined by physical laws at the same time.
Updated medication abortion regimen is cheaper and more effective.
Think of a medication you take. Now imagine that state legislators passed a law saying that any doctor prescribing that medication had to administer three times the necessary dose—just because that’s the way it was done in the 1990s. That is exactly what has been happening with mifepristone, one of two medications used to induce therapeutic miscarriage, also known as medication abortion. The same meddling legislators have forced doctors to prescribe the other medication, misoprostol, at a lower than ideal dosage, increasing the risk of an incomplete miscarriage.
As technology rapidly progresses, some proponents of artificial intelligence believe that it will help solve complex social challenges and offer immortality via virtual humans. But AI’s critics are sounding the alarm, going so far as to call its development an “existential threat” to mankind. Is this the stuff of science fiction? Could the “Terminator” become reality, or will these fears prevent the next technological revolution? IEET Executive Director James Hughes and Martine Rothblatt, a charter member of IEET’s Board of Trustees, discuss in this debate.
I was first introduced to the work of Ian Morris last summer. Somebody suggested that I read his book Why the West Rules for Now, which attempts to explain the differential rates of human social development between East and West over the past 12,000 years. I wasn’t expecting much: I generally prefer narrowly focused historical works, not ones that attempt to cover the whole of human history. But I was pleasantly surprised.
A l’aube de l’histoire de l’humanité, l’intelligence de ceux qui nous ont précédés n’était probablement guère inférieure à celle du lecteur de ces lignes. Certains paléontologues pensent même que les capacités de raisonnement de nos ancêtres étaient supérieures aux nôtres.
In 1651, Thomas Hobbes published Leviathan. It is arguably the most influential work of political philosophy in the modern era. The distinguished political theorist Alan Ryan believes that Hobbes’s work marks the birth of liberalism. And since most of the Western world now lives under liberal democratic rule, there is a sense in which we are all living in the shadow of Leviathan.
On the 8th August 1963, a gang of fifteen men boarded the Royal Mail train heading from London to Glasgow. They were there to carry out a robbery. In the end, they made off with £2.6 million (approximately £46 million in today’s money). The robbery had been meticulously planned. Using information from a postal worker (known as “the Ulsterman”), the gang waylaid the train at a signal crossing in Ledburn, Buckinghamshire.
Even though adultery is punishable by death in some societies, it still occurs regularly. This tells Dr. Helen Fisher there is probably a genetic predisposition toward cheating on your partner. Of course not everyone cheats, so it’s not necessary for survival, but if we dial back ten thousand years, to a time when resources were more scarce, adultery would have helped genes survive the present generation and be passed onto the next.
Apex is the third and final book of the Nexus Trilogy. Those books have now collectively won the Prometheus Award, the Endeavor Award, been listed on NPR’s list of Best Books of the Year, and been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Kitchies Golden Tentacle Award. They also earned me a nomination for the Campbell Award for Best New Author in 2014.
Phil Torres’ new book The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us about the Apocalypse, is one of the most important books recently published. It offers a fascinating study of the many real threats to our existence, provides multiple insights as to how we might avoid extinction, and it is carefully and conscientiously crafted.
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