Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view



UPCOMING EVENTS: Enablement

Global Conference: Augmentation
September 3-5




MULTIMEDIA: Enablement Topics

A vote for stem cells

Roadmap to Immortality – Nanomedicine

Who Wants To Be Ironman?

Implantable Technology - Pros and Cons

Online Learning

Transhumanism

New Study Shows That Bones Are Incredibly Cool

“Personhood”

Watson Is Coming For Your (Professional) Jobs

The Future Of Sports Is Enhanced

The Singularity

Can We Live Forever?

On the Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience

Learning Should Not Be Easy

It Looks Like Something You Should Never See. Meet A Medical Advancement That Is Hard To Forget.




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Enablement Topics




Which Contraceptive Is Best for Your Weight?

by Valerie Tarico

Our ancestors struggled to get enough calories just to stay alive. But as food supplies have become reliable and rich, people around the world face the opposite problem. Now, as we try to keep our weight in a healthy range, we look at all kinds of factors: diet, exercise, sleep, supplements, meditation, hypnosis, psychotherapy, prayer, or even surgery that might help us tip the scales a little less.



Brain enhancements will play a major role in determining the future

by Dick Pelletier

My brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons, each connecting to other nerve cells through synapses. These interactions process signals entering the nervous system, and then produce output responses that stimulate my bodily functions, everything from thinking to walking to kissing.



Primary education variables in the Developing world

by Lee-Roy Chetty

In a number of developing countries, the relationship between increased resource allocation to the education sector and improved education outcomes is fairly weak. A major finding is that “traditional” education inputs fail to yield the expected positive influence.



Artificial Slaves, and Their Relevance Today

by Kevin LaGrandeur

The idea of artificial slaves - and questions about their tractability - is present not only in the literature of modern times but also extends all the way back to ancient Greek sources; and it is present in the literature and oral history of the early modern period as well.  Aristotle is the first to discuss the uses and advantages of the artificial slave in his Politics.



Indefinite lifespan possible in 20 years, expert predicts

by Dick Pelletier

New Google hire and renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil sums up how technologies might play out over the next two decades with this claim: “If you remain in good health for 20 more years, you may never die.”



Will tomorrow’s technologies make us less human?

by Dick Pelletier

Positive futurists believe that as thought talking technologies become reality, which some believe could happen during the 2030s and 2040s; our diverse world could evolve into a peaceful global community eliminating most of the ethnic and religious barriers that plague society today.



What range of functions should the future body provide?

by Eva Linzenbold

If you could design your own body, give it any shape, size, color, contour, texture and elegant design, what would you choose? What if your body could regenerate healthier, fresher skin and worn out tendons, ligaments and joints with replaceable ones? What if your body was as sleek, as sexy, and feel as comfortable as your new automobile? These are just a few of the questions to consider in the decades ahead. Sit back, take a deep, relaxing breath, follow the Primo Guides, and come along for an aerodynamic ride. Welcome to the future! ’ (Natasha Vita-More) 1

’… in a couple of years, everyone will consider the possession of a soft, hairy, sweating body to be shameful and indcecent. In a prostheticized society, you can snap on the loveliest creations of modern engineering.’ (Stanislaw Lem The Futurological Congress: Vision of 2039) 2



Correcting faulty DNA: stronger bodies, smarter minds, longer lives

by Dick Pelletier

What if you could improve your memory, become smarter and stronger, and live in an ageless disease-free body – just by taking a pill?



Should we eliminate the human ability to feel pain?

by George Dvorsky

Though pain has clearly served an important evolutionary purpose, not everyone is convinced that we still need it. A growing number of forward-looking thinkers are suggesting that we need to get rid of it — and that we’ll soon have the technological know-how to do this. But should we choose to embark on such a radical experiment, we’ll need to pay close attention to the risks and those aspects of humanity we might risk losing.



Better than the Borg: The Neurotech Era

by Ramez Naam

What if you could read my mind? What if I could beam what I’m seeing, hearing, and thinking, straight to you, and vice versa? What if an implant could store your memories, augment them, and make you smarter?



The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational

by George Dvorsky

The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence. But that doesn't mean our brains don't have major limitations. The lowly calculator can do math thousands of times better than we can, and our memories are often less than useless — plus, we're subject to cognitive biases, those annoying glitches in our thinking that cause us to make questionable decisions and reach erroneous conclusions.



Ageless Bodies Without Sickness

by Dick Pelletier

How ‘bout life in a body that can never age or get sick: Imagine living in a body fashioned from ‘designer genes’ that can never age or get sick. Now picture yourself thinking with a mind that processes data millions of times faster than today’s brains; and finally, consider a world with virtual reality indiscernible from reality and a technology that would enable you to change body size and skin color by simply using thoughts or voice commands.



Sentient machines: the next step in human evolution

by Dick Pelletier

Building machines that process information the same way a brain does has been a dream for over 50 years. Artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic, and neural networks have all experienced some degrees of success, but machines still cannot recognize pictures or understand language as well as humans can.



Behavioural acceptance of Existing Superhumans: Path to equal acceptance of the differently abled

by V.R. Manoj

On December 23 (2012), many keralite (people hailing from Kerala, a southern state of India) viewers both home and abroad anxiously glued their attentions to their Television sets, for their favourite singer, Mr.Sukesh Kuttan in the finale of the hit reality TV show on Asianet channel called “Idea Star SingerSeason 6”. However, Sukesh did not sing much to the disappointment of the viewers.



Do You Want to be a Cyborg, or a Transhuman?

by Nikki Olson

The words “cyborg” and “transhuman” are frequently used interchangeably, but to what extent, and in what ways, do the concepts have the same referents? And which is the preferable concept to identify with when contemplating one’s own future?

Full Story...



Earth 2063: a Brief Glimpse at Life Fifty Years into the Future

by Dick Pelletier

We narrate this glance into the future from the point of view of someone looking back from 2063.



The Meaning of Outer Space

by William Sims Bainbridge

Forty years after the last flight to the Moon, human exploration of outer space seems to have stalled, although a number of options exist for new scientific and technological alternatives, both in goals and the means to achieve them. Public opinion polls fail to look deeply into popular conceptions, and they tend to reveal only weak enthusiasm.



#1 The Ukrainian Human Barbie Doll - Valeria Lukyanova - Is this the future of cosmetic enhancement?

by Hank Pellissier

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.



Why I View the Future with Optimism

by Dick Pelletier

Science is all about asking questions, exploring problems that confound or intrigue us. However, satisfactory answers can’t always be found in today’s media that far too often focuses on cases of technology gone awry, filling readers with more hopelessness than hope.



We Have to Have More Courage to Insist Aging is Accepted as a Disease

by Maria Konovalenko

The recent Nature journal special edition is dedicated completely to the problem of aging. Among various articles covering topics from demographics to comparative biology and robots, there’s one about the interventions in the aging processes. It is a nice overview about the current successes in slowing down aging in mammals, however I found the last paragraph rather disappointing. It says….



#6 Piracetam - is it the smartest of the smart drugs?

by Owen Nicholas

Piracetam has been around since the 1960’s and is regarded as a pioneer “smart drug.”  It enjoys a popular, international following, its record as a treatment for cognitive disorders is impressive, and scientific exams haven’t flagged any dangerous side effects. But is Piracetam truly the intelligence booster many of us eagerly want?



The Singularity: what to expect when machines get smarter than us

by Dick Pelletier

What can we expect when machines surpass humans in intelligence; a point in time that futurists predict could become reality by 2045. Though it’s impossible to forecast this far in advance with 100% accuracy, by combining predicted technology breakthroughs with present-day knowledge, we can make plausible guesses about how tomorrow’s super-intelligent machines might affect our lives.



What will your next body be like?

by None

Many engineers, including me, think that some time around 2050, we will be able to make very high quality links between the brains and machines. To such an extent that it will thereafter be possible (albeit expensive for some years) to arrange that most of your mind – your thinking, memories, even sensations and emotions, could reside mainly in the machine world. Some (perhaps some memories that are rarely remembered for example) may not be suited to such external accessibility, but the majority should be.



The Networked Species

by Jønathan Lyons

Humankind is frequently referred to as a tool-using/-making species. What is becoming clear is that we are also a species with a real talent and drive for greater integration with our tools and with one another. Humankind is an increasingly networked species. And while this is a teleological essay, I am not prepared to make an argument that what we are witnessing is necessarily either a good or bad thing.

Full Story...



Changes to expect by 2030

by Dick Pelletier

As our 21st Century unfolds, revolutionary changes will appear at overwhelming speeds. Most of these changes will be driven by the four NBIC areas: Nanotech, Biotech, Infotech, and Cognitech.



Carbon nanotubes could one day enhance your brain

by Dick Pelletier

Swiss Federal Institute of Technologyscientists found that carbon nanotubes offer the potential to establish functional links between neurons that could fight disease and enhance our brains.



Small Machines, Big Power, Dangerous Minds

by Patrick Hopkins

What any one person can do is limited by the power they have.  That works for criminally unbalanced people as much as anyone else.  But the power one person can have is related to the type of machine they can carry.



#12 Andrej Pejic - Androgynous Model - heralding a post-gender future?

by Hank Pellissier

Gazing at the ravishing photos of Andrej Pejic, I’m stirred with envious confusion. Why does this tall skinny XY like me get to be so much prettier? Does his effeminate success - inflaming catwalks in both men and women’s high fashion - predict a fusion of two polarized genders, or a third construct? What does the androgynous Bosnian represent in post-genderism?



Will the elderly be taken care of by robots?

by Dick Pelletier

As we go forward into what promises to be an amazing “magical future,” robots will boost economies around the world, while raising living standards for the elderly.



The Brussels Summit of Longevity Activists

by Ilia Stambler

The recent Eurosymposium on Healthy Aging – that was organized on December 12-14 in Brussels by HEALES, the European Healthy Life Extension Society – was a smashing success!

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