Skeletal Analysis Suggests Lucy Died After Falling From a Tree by George Dvorsky
The world’s most famous human ancestor, an extinct hominid named Lucy, died after falling from a tall tree, according to scientists. It’s a revelation that points to tree-dwelling behavior in recent evolutionary history, but some scientists aren’t convinced.
Science Fiction! Science Fiction! by David Brin
An apropos moment for a SF’nal posting, as I report to you all from the World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City, MO. Many fascinating people saying an doing interesting things. Lots of discussion of “da future.” And congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Hugo Award! But that will wait a bit. For now…
Peter Thiel is Right About One Thing by George Dvorsky
Billionaire douchebag Peter Thiel has plenty of crazy ideas, but his commitment to radical life extension isn’t one of them.
Taming the Human Data Stream by Daniel Faggella
“Big Data” is more of an opportunity than it is a benefit in and of itself. This might hold even more true for data gleaned from the human body itself as it does from the information streams from stock markets and eCommerce.
Most Americans Fear a Future of Designer Babies and Brain Chips by George Dvorsky
Most American adults are nervous about the prospect of enhancing humans beyond normal capacities, a new Pew Research Center poll reveals. But while many of those surveyed expressed concerns about brain-boosting chips and designer babies, a significant number had a positive view of technology’s ability to transform humans and society.
Évolution naturelle ou évolution technologique ? by Alexandre Maurer
Ce parallèle est-il pertinent ? Oui… et non. Dans cet article, nous tenterons d’en cerner les limites. Puis nous expliquerons pourquoi une évolution technologique (dans le cadre du transhumanisme) nous semble largement préférable.
How VR Gaming will Wake Us Up to our Fake Worlds by Eliott Edge
“It has no relationship whatsoever to anything anchored in some kind of metaphysical superspace. It’s just your cultural point of view […] Travel shows you the relativity of culture.”
— Terence McKenna
The Problem with Utopian Engineering by Jules Hamilton
To present a frame, there are two ways to go about engineering a society through government. One is through utopian engineering. This means the government has an ideal “perfect” state it wants to achieve, and so does whatever necessary to reach the goal. In this example, one may say the ends justify the means.
“Tracking and Hacking - Values and Happiness with AI” - interview with John C. Havens by Hank Pellissier
John C. Havens is the author of Heartificial Intelligence: Embracing Our Humanity To Maximize Machines and Hacking Happiness: Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking it Can Change the World. He is the founder of The Happathon Project, a non-profit utilizing emerging technology and positive psychology to increase human wellbeing. John has spoken at TEDx, and is a contributor to Mashable, The Guardian, HuffPo and TechCrunch.
I interviewed him recently via email on his technoprogressive ideas.
Vita-More, Swan at NY Posthuman Research Group Symposium
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.
Your Jobs vs Your Dignity by James Felton Keith
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.
The Approaching Golden Age of Africa by Jules Hamilton
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.
APEX Wins the Philip K. Dick Award by Ramez Naam
Tonight, in Seattle, I was in the crowd when my novel Apex won the Philip. K Dick Award.
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.
Technology and Caregiving go Hand in Hand by Marie Miguel
Hungry? You can order some pizza and pay for it online. Need to pay your bills? You don’t have to go to the bank or to the billing company to do it. You can either do it online on your desktop or on your smartphone. Need to buy a gift for your nephew whose birthday is this weekend? No need to go out during your lunch break to buy a gift. Just order online and you can have it delivered at your door step.
The Penalty for Poverty Should Not Be Death by Richard Eskow
The Brookings Institution recently issued a report showing that poor Americans die at a much earlier age than rich Americans, and that this life expectancy gap between rich and poor is growing rapidly. A professor of public health at Yale University told the New York Times, “It’s embarrassing.”
Yes, it is.
Google Hedonics by Andrés Gómez Emilsson
Hello my children!
Hello my sons!
Hello my daughters!
Hello my brothers and sisters!
I’m here to tell you that the world’s last unpleasant experience…
Will be a precisely dateable event!
Yes! It will happen in our lifetimes if we commit all of our energy today…
To the task of Paradise Engineering!
– Yacht, Paradise Engineering
(referencing David Pearce’s Hedonistic Imperative
Danaher Awarded by Irish Research Council
IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher has been awarded funding by the Irish Research Council for a project entitled “The Threat of Algocracy and the Transhumanist Project.”
“Humanist Missionaries” aim to secularize Africa via Children’s Education by Hank Pellissier
Africa is the world’s most religious continent.
Brighter Brains Institute (BBI) - a San Francisco Bay Area think-and-do-tank - seeks to counter that, by establishing and supporting secular “humanist” schools in the region.
What is BBI’s motivation?
Can Teaching Evolution Help Kids Flourish In School And In Life? by Dustin Eirdosh
Positive Education (PE) is the integrative field of study that tightly links human well-being with academic achievement. Common sense tells us that healthy, happy students will, on average, be more successful academically. Positive education tries to implement a nurturing environment for students, but also suggests we teach the science of human flourishing as content itself.
Should India Promote Scientific Research on Aging? by Kalluri Subba Rao
Should India promote scientific research on aging? This was the question put to me by a learned friend of mine during our discussion on the ever increasing population of India and in particular that section of the population beyond 60 years of age. I was suggesting, rather emotionally, that it is high time that India had taken the health and other problems of senior citizens seriously and active research be promoted on the phenomenon of getting old and such age associated health and social problems.
Everything You Know About Artificial Intelligence is Wrong by George Dvorsky
It was hailed as the most significant test of machine intelligence since Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in chess nearly 20 years ago. Google’s AlphaGo has won two of the first three games against grandmaster Lee Sedol in a Go tournament, showing the dramatic extent to which AI has improved over the years. That fateful day when machines finally become smarter than humans has never appeared closer—yet we seem no closer in grasping the implications of this epochal event.
VR Will Create Multiple Existences - “meatspace” will not be considered the only true reality by Brent Logan Reitze
The nature of what is truly real has been pondered by philosophers for centuries. Plato argued we were only seeing shadows of true reality. Descartes pointed out nothing could be proven by your own thoughts. And while we must assume a shared reality to function with other over the course of daily life, that assumption will come to be questioned in the future with the rise of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies.
Satoshi Roundtable: Is Bitcoin Dead due to Scalability Issues? by Melanie Swan
Scalability was the most prominent issue discussed at the February 26-28, 2016 Satoshi Roundtable (the Bitcoin industry’s annual technical meeting).
This is expected as scalability is an ongoing issue to be resolved for any cryptocurrency to achieve mainstream adoption.
Frankenburger ? by Marc Roux
Cette semaine a été proposée à Londres la première dégustation publique d’un steak haché entièrement issu de la culture in vitro de cellules souches. Cette originalité gastronomique permise par la prouesse de l’équipe du professeur Mark Post de l’université de Maastricht aux Pays-Bas a donné lieu à des réactions diverses, dont celle de l’appellation péjorative de « Frankenburger » donnée à ce premier plat produit par biologie de synthèse (ex : “Frankenburger” : dégustation du premier steak de bœuf “in vitro”).
Beauty Will Be in the Bionic Eye of the Beholder by B. J. Murphy
How might we define beauty in a future of cyborgs and the genetically enhanced?
Today we live in a world that has been radically transformed by the hands of advanced science and technology. Depending on which sci-fi literature you might’ve read, one could accurately portray today’s reality as a sci-fi future. A future where everyone is interconnected using tiny computational devices which fit in their pockets, biological limbs being replaced by advanced bionic prosthetics, and disease being combated using gene-editing tools.
Some potential interventions to ameliorate degenerative aging by Ilia Stambler
The interventions into the degenerative aging process are still in their infancy. A long effortful road will yet need to be traveled from basic research on cell cultures and animal models to effective, safe and widely available human therapies. And many dangers to human health (such as overdose and overstimulation) and many unsubstantiated false claims yet await on this road that need to be guarded against as much as possible. Yet vast promising research is progressing, especially as regards potential pharmaceutical interventions into the aging process.   Below are some examples.
Goertzel Launches Indiegogo to create AI Tablets for African Children
IEET Fellow Ben Goertzel is promoting an Indigogo campaign to complete YaNetu, a project that would provide AI tablets to African children.
Link to Indigogo
Why I’m Starting the First AngelList Cleantech Syndicate by Ramez Naam
I’ve been writing and speaking about the incredible pace of solar, wind, and storage for years. I’ve been quietly investing in startups in that space as well.
Today I’m taking a new step: I’m launching an AngelList Syndicate specifically focused on investing in clean energy technology. If you’re an angel investor, I invite you to come join me.
Inequality Against Democracy: 10 Facts About the 1 Percent by Richard Eskow
Economic inequality inspired Occupy Wall Street, a movement that in a few short months transformed our political discourse with the concept of the “1 percent” and the “99 percent.” Today the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders is altering the political landscape with a call to reduce inequality.
Youtube as Motivator - what people can do with their basic incomes by Scott Santens
As I’ve blogged about previously, being a cord cutter I watch YouTube instead of TV, and it’s because of this I think I don’t see people in the same way many do, where there’s a mistaken belief people do nothing unless paid to do something. To the contrary, it’s clear on YouTube that people love doing all kinds of things when they have the ability to do them. Therefore, YouTube to me is a window into a post-basic income world full of intrinsic motivation, where video after video is made for the love of making and sharing videos with those who enjoy watching them.
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