When the media discovered the Homeless Hotspots“charitable experiment”, it responded with a torrent of moral condemnation. Critics wasted no time denouncing the initiative as a publicity stunt that cruelly objectified homeless people as technological infrastructure.
In 2009 the Initiative for Science, Society and Policy coined the phrase ‘living technology’  to draw attention to a group of emerging technologies that are useful because they share some of the fundamental properties of living systems. The technologies fell short of being fully ‘alive’ yet they possessed at least some unique characteristics that are usually associated with ‘life’: Self-assembly, self-organization, metabolism, growth and division, purposeful action, adaptive complexity, evolution, and intelligence. Examples of this new field of technology include synthetic biology, attempts to make living systems from scratch in the laboratory , ICT systems exhibiting collective and swarm intelligence and robot companions.
Biological anthropology professor at Rutgers University,Helen Fisher, who has written five books on the future of human sex, love, and relationships, says that marriage has changed more in the last 100 years than the previous 10,000, and it could change more in the next 20 years than the past 100.
You’re right, and you want everyone else to know it. Maybe everyone should be a Transhumanist like you, but there’s a problem: they don’t see things the way you do. So what do you do? You might try telling them that they’re stupid, evil or ugly. When that doesn’t work, try integrating.
Is the bold future of our youth being killed by gloomy science fiction? Or has Sci Fi grown more dour as a reflection of our mood? Glenn Reynolds interviews authors Neal Stephenson and Vernor Vinge in a thought-provoking inquiry: Why We Need Big, Bold Science Fiction: “While books about space exploration and robots once inspired young people to become scientists and engineers—and inspired grownup engineers and scientists to do big things—in recent decades the field has become dominated by escapist fantasies and depressing dystopias.”
For 3 days in late February, Russian businessman Dmitry Itskov gathered 500+ futurists in Moscow for a “Global Future 2045 Congress” – the latest manifestation of his “Russia 2045” movement. The Congress featured an impressive roster of Russian scientists, engineers and visionaries, along with American and West European futurist leaders like Ray Kurzweil, Randal Koene and John Smart.
One of the more surprising things I learned at the recently concluded Moral Brain conference at NYU is that psychopathy affects 1-2% of the general population. That seems shockingly high to me. But on reflection, it kind of makes sense. I’m sure most of us know at least a couple of people who we suspect might be psychopaths.
An ingenious Russian crow that used a lid as a snowboard to slide down a snowy roof persuaded millions of YouTube viewers that animals are not merely beasts of burden – they also want to have fun. Indeed, the natural world appears to be teeming with creatures enjoying themselves in all kinds of different ways, and wildlife experts even claim that bonobos and dolphins have sex for fun.
There is one country in the world that in December 2011 was keeping 97 journalists in prison, and it is not mainland China. It is a country with just a fraction of China’s population: Turkey. Turkey also ranks among the countries that exerts the strictest censorship of the World-wide Web: one million websites are banned in Turkey (including mine, http://www.scaruffi.com).
Melbourne, Australia is the setting of a Humanity+ Conference on “Future Science and Technology” on May 5-6. IEET Fellows Natasha Vita-More and Aubrey de Grey will be presenting lectures, the performance artist Stelarc is also on the bill, and Russell Blackford is a possible guest.
Here’s a headline we’re tempted to write - or rather, one that we would be tempted to write if we weren’t so nice, or so dedicated to avoiding oversimplification: “Climate-Change Deniers Struck by Climate Change in Texas Tornado Outbreak.”
Has my memory been eaten by prions? It seems like just yesterday I was a very young man. A cub, a pup, a sapling, a sapling, a green twig, a mushroom primordia. How did the years disappear? Why am I almost… 60?!
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.
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!”
I encountered an opinion piece in the Catholic San Francisco Online Edition written by Sandro Magister. He was, according to the head notes, summarizing part of a talk by French philosopher Fabrice Hadjadj. Fabrice argues that the term “transhumanism” was coined by Julian Huxley (brother of Aldous Huxley, of Brave New World fame); the first director of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and supporter of eugenics.
Thanks to genetic research, we may soon see people with the money to do so making sure their kids are born-to-succeed – parents paying to guarantee their kids have the right stuff. I’m not talking about a straightened spine or a functional optic nerve. I’m talking about designer kids: those made with healthy bodies, intelligent minds, and perhaps a certain specific ability to boot.
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.”
Imagine a tyrannosaur weighing one and a half tons, completely covered in soft, downy plumage. Even its tail is fluffy with feathers. Though we’ve known for a while that many dinosaurs were covered in feathers, a group of Chinese researchers have now provided direct evidence that gigantic, deadly tyrannosaurs might have looked a bit like wuffly birds.
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.
Humans are animals that build tools to enhance physiology. It is the use of tools that helped to increase the human brain into a larger, more complex system than that of early hominids. “Tools and bigger brains mark the beginning of a distinctly human line of evolution.” (Kelly 2010, 22) According to Jared Diamond, early hominids lacked innovation: “In short, Neanderthal tools had no variation in either time or space to suggest that most human characteristics, innovation”. (Diamond 2006, 44) What will we do with nanotechnology and AGI?
Children are the future of any society. Whatever jeopardizes the future of children endangers the future of the society. The authorities in Mali must strive and eradicate the problem of the street children and the madrassa school system that fuels, aids and abets it .
IEET Fellows Natasha Vita-More and Ben Goertzel are candidates for the Humanity+ Board of Directors. Both are long-time transhumanists who have provided decades of service to techno-progressive causes.
I am about to write a few lines about veganism / vegetarianism. There are two concrete reasons: A week ago I read an IEET interview with English utilitarian philosopher and transhumanist, David Pearce, called Feeling groovy, forever.. - I knew a bit about him already, but it was time to google a bit.. – how else would I have a chance of understanding expressions like “utilitronium shocknawe” scenarios.. ?!