What exactly is cultural identity? Is there something fundamentally absurd about claiming as your identity aspects of your self that are mere accidents of birth? Is defining cultural identity as group history irrational because it lacks recognition of the individual?
Most of you followed last year’s revolution in Egypt, and how protestors used Twitter, Facebook, etc, and the effort the government made to “shut down the internet”. This illustrated very effectively how the internet is a tool that is inherently hostile to “information control.”
The merits of literacy are self-evident to the point of no longer being questioned in society. The very concept of reading and writing is a tenet of social compatibility for most cultures, having embedded itself into our social fabric to the degree where even debating whether “we should teach our kids how to read & write” is preposterous. But one doesn’t have to trace far back into our history before encountering an era where literacy was a rare skill for a very distinct minority.
In our recent poll (N=239) no political self descriptor garnered more than 17%, which was the percent who chose the broad point of view being promoted by the IEET, “technoprogressive.” But another 45% chose other left-of-center terms for a total of 62% broadly on the Left.
Right now, nearly 114,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants to save their lives. Tens of thousands more are in need of tissue, bone and cornea transplants to restore their mobility or sight. Facebook has decided to do something about the constant shortage of donors.
There is widespread consensus among economists and politicians that the Eurozone needs to do more in order to help the countries that cannot repay their debts (that’s what it is, in simple words). Historians beg to disagree.
During the recent Seasteading Conference reports highlighted the benefits of different regions for proposed seasteads. Where some factors were favorable others were not - off the coast of East Africa is environmentally a very favorable location but the issue of piracy makes it forlorn.
A highly publicized Journal of Personality and Social Psychologystudy depicts Millennials as more egoistic than Baby Boomers and Generation Xers. The research is flawed. The psychologists fail to see that kids today face new problems that previously weren’t imaginable and are responding to them in ways that older generations misunderstand.
Paper presented at the 39th annual Bertrand Russell Society’s Conference. Russell was famous for writing about the future of humanity dealing with science, society, and politics. If he was alive today, he would surely be concerned about existential and catastrophic risks, but would put a negative and positive attitude towards emerging technologies in his classic Agnostic writing. He would also be very serious about the issues that lie ahead of us with strong philosophical and scientific arguments.
Lots of Americans buy the argument that we should ration health care according to lifestyle. So do many employers who are trying to charge their obese employees more for health insurance. But if we are going to penalizing the health care sinners amongst us, shouldn’t we target all of those who raise our collective health care bill through poor lifestyle choices? This means you, cat owners.
What did IEET visitors read, watch, and bicker about in May? Sex & gender, religion & atheism, robots, psychopaths, death, space, and the self were all popular topics. Statistics with links are provided to the Top 12 in three categories:
Today around the globe too many atrocities are being committed with impunity in the name of god, allah and other constructs, which have over the ages, been identified or associated with the so called supreme being. The dream of a secular peaceful world where people of all faiths and none can coexist in harmony - continues to elude many across the region. Millions of people- theists and atheists- continue to suffer and are abused due to superstition, religious fundamentalism and supernaturalism. In this piece I will focus on two of such areas.
In this essay, I outline Five futures for Pakistan: (1) the Pendulum continues forever, (2) Collapse, (3) Joining Chindia, (4) the Great Game, and (5) a South Asian Confederation. The most familiar and likely are based on the pendulum of rule by the military and rule by landlord/politicians. However, what is needed is to move from the more likely and less desirable futures to a process of anticipatory democracy where the citizens of Pakistan consider, create and commit to building their preferred future.
As one of the world’s oldest professions, prostitution has historically often been relegated to the dark corners of human society, scarcely mentioned and generally ignored as much as possible. When it does emerge into mainstream discourse it is inevitably followed by the predictable group polemics which accompany almost every social issue of our time, generating fierce and often entrenched debate across the political spectrum.
The claim that robots are taking our jobs has become so commonplace of late that it’s a bit of a cliché. Nonetheless, it has a strong element of truth to it. Not only are machines taking “blue collar” factory jobs—a process that’s been underway for years, and no longer much of a surprise except when a company like Foxconn announces it’s going to bring in a million robots (which are less likely to commit suicide, apparently)—but now mechanized/digital systems are quickly working their way up the employment value chain.
Are humans becoming obsolete in the workforce? Many experts believe the answer is yes. The amazing win for IBM’s Watson computer over humans on the quiz show Jeopardy, proved that automated systems are getting closer to reaching human intelligence levels.
The demand is rising for enhancement technologies. A recent article at Forbes argues the market is ripe for a means of cognitive augmentation, hypothesizing “IQ” as the next trillion dollar business. And culturally, more are becoming comfortable with the idea of using technology to improve their mood, physiological well-being, creativity, and performance.
Asian economies managed to progress from starvation in the 1960s to the top tier of development and wealth. In 1981 East Asia had the highest poverty rate in the world, higher than Africa. In 2011 two of the top three economies in the world were from East Asia, and very soon they might have three out of four including the number one.
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.
While taking the train from Hong Kong to Shenzhen last night, I started chatting with Ruiting Lian about seasteading, and before long I came up with what may possibly be the wackiest workable business model ever: a seastead focused on creating and experimenting with psychedelics, with a dual business model of psychedelic tourism, and patenting of newly discovered psychedelic-related psychotherapeutics.
On April 10, 2012, I spoke at the San Francisco Swissnex office on a panel entitled “Data is* the New Oil.” When I was told the title of the panel, it struck me as an odd metaphor. Oh, I understand the intent: oil was the fuel for the 20th century industrial economy, and information is the fuel for the 21st. But oil has a key characteristic that simply isn’t true for data.
Experts believe this could be the final straw driving society towards a work-free life From assembly line robots, to ATMs, to self-checkout terminals, each year automated systems take over more jobs formerly held by humans. Now, experts predict that many professional jobs are at risk. Teachers, doctors, and governing officials, could all be replaced by intelligent systems in the near future.
In just three decades between 1990 and 2020, the internet will have grown from linking just a few experts in labs to connecting the entire human species through computers and mobile phones as well as billions of objects into an “Internet of Things,” a seamless web of infinite data. As a result, we have transitioned from the familiar Information Age into the uncertain Hybrid Age, an era in which technology is rapidly becoming ubiquitous, intelligent, and social, radically transforming our societies, markets, and governance.