Humanity faces what many see as the most important decision in its history – to move from nonrenewable fossil fuels as the primary source of energy to renewable sources that could, some believe, allow us to achieve higher civilization status.
My latest novel, Existence, reveals dozens of scenario about first contact, including a couple of unique ones concerning the Fermi Paradox or The Great Silence, as the quandary of why we have never encountered extraterrestrial civilization has been called. I’ve written about all this extensively in scientific papers and in fiction.
IEET’s latest offerings highlight the politically pernicious elements of transhumanism and Singularity movement. P. Tittle promotes licensing for parents as a logical expansion of the state’s prerogative to control everything, Giulio Prisco contemplates Terran aggression against Cosmists, and piero scaruffi chides the Greeks for their “lavish lifestyle” and lack of nuclear power.
I support the space program, and I hope to see people walking on the Moon again, and then Mars. We need to see people in space to reboot our dreaming engine. At the same time I am persuaded that, ultimately, space will be colonized by our post-biological mind children, who will leave their flesh and blood bodies behind and become cyber angels living as pure software in robotic or virtual bodies. Many astronomers and space enthusiasts share this view.
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.
The Brain Preservation Foundation is an interesting enterprise co-developed by John Smart (Acceleration Studies Foundation) that’s offering a prize for researchers who manage to preserve animal brains in ways that would be suitable for humans and that keep intact the web of physical connections - or the connectome - that some believe to contain all of the information in both memory and thoughts. Brain preservation aims at locking in these connections against post-mortem decay.
It appears that a small cabal of the Good Billionaires—those who got rich through innovation and who feel loyal to the future—are about to to fund a new effort worth some excitement and attention. It aims at transforming not just our Earth—but the whole solar system. And, along the way, this endeavor may help bootstrap us back into our natural condition… a species, nation and civilization that believes (again) in can-do ambition.
A few days shy of the US announcing its grand plan for space tourism in 2014, I was asked to present at Ohio State University’s Transcending Race Conference. My charge was to explore the distant, very far off possibility of how race would evolve with space colonization.
There’s no question that we need to seriously consider harvesting the sun’s energy in space with massive solar panels. The big question, however, is how to get all that energy back to Earth.NASA believes they have found the answer: Power-beaming solar-power satellites.
12-4-12 Thursday was Yuri’s night, an international celebration of human achievement and ingenuity, in recognition of mankind’s achievements in space exploration—with hopes of inspiring a new generation to continue looking upward and reaching outward. Fifty-one years ago, Yuri Gagarin was the first human to launch into space: “Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship I marveled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty – not destroy it!”
NASA agrees with IEET Board member George Dvorsky’s conclusion that “...we could conceivably get going on the [Dyson Sphere] project in about 25 to 50 years, with completion of the first phase requiring only a few decades.”
On February 29, 2012, Iran’s Alborz Space Center, with much public fanfare, was opened to the international media for the first time. Situated 40 miles west of Tehran, the space facility is one of the keystones of the country’s ambitious space program, which has plans to land an astronaut on the moon by 2025.
The notion of gun-propelled launch goes back to Jules Verne. Such Mass Drivers have been envisioned in numerous Sci Fi tales, including Earthlight, by Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Heart of the Comet by Benford & Brin. We’ve also seen them portrayed in Buck Rogers, Babylon 5 and Halo. Now, two researchers propose that a space-capable mass driver may be feasible.
I watched George Carey‘s film “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” aired by the BBC last year on the 50th Yuri’s Night. The one-hour film is recommended to all those who are interested in space, the history of the Russian space program, the amazing beautiful philosophy known as Russian Cosmism (and, more recently, just Cosmism), our place and future in the universe, technological immortality and resurrection.
In a few months it will be 40 years since the last man walked on the Moon. Unless, of course, one wants to believe in the Apollo 18 story. I don’t, but the 70s retro look of the film and its beautiful lunar images made me remember that night 43 years ago, in 1969, when we watched Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon.
Intelligent life is a fragile accident in an indifferent universe, and the first duty of intelligent life is to figure out how to transform itself and its environment in order to survive. Unfortunately intelligent creatures sometimes evolve suicidally conservative memetic straitjackets - condoms are a sin, the climate isn’t changing, doing this ghost dance will stop bullets, unregulated markets are always right. In this short story Ms. Donoho imagines a far future descendant of ours forced to witness the unnecessary deaths of the descendants of today’s Luddites and bioconservatives.
Mass Effect is epic. It’s the product of the best parts of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and more with a protagonist who could be the love-child of Picard, Skywalker, and Starbuck. It’s one of the most important pieces of science fiction narrative of our generation. Mass Effect goes so far beyond other fictional universes in ways that you may not have yet realized. It is cosmic in scope and scale.
(by Robert Bradbury, IEET Fellow Milan Cirkovic, and IEET Board Chair George Dvorsky) We critically assess the prevailing currents in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), embodied in the notion of radio-searches for intentional artificial signals as envisioned by pioneers such as Frank Drake, Philip Morrison, Michael
Papagiannis and others. In particular, we emphasize (1) the necessity of integrating SETI into a wider astrobiological and future studies context, (2) the relevance of and lessons to be learnt from the anti-SETI arguments, in particular Fermi’s paradox, and (3) a need for complementary approach which we dub the Dysonian SETI. It is meaningfully derived from the inventive and visionary ideas of Freeman J. Dyson and his imaginative precursors, like Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky, Olaf Stapledon, Nikola Tesla or John B. S. Haldane, who suggested macro-engineering projects as the focal points in the context of extrapolations about the future of humanity and, by analogy, other intelligent species. We consider practical ramifications of the Dysonian SETI and indicate some of the promising directions for future work.