China is often depicted by the traditional media as a nation with a booming economy, a thriving middle class, and an unlimited future. We’re led to expect that it soon will become the world’s unchallenged economic and geopolitical superpower.
Most discussions of the benefits of technologies like molecular manufacturing tend to focus either on broad social advances (engineered by helpful governments, NGOs, or businesses) or individual desires that transformative technologies may be able to satisfy. These are surely useful ways of thinking about a nanotech-enabled world. But what if this model misses another category, one that may be less noticeable precisely because we pay so much attention to its opposite?
For all I know, Ben Stein may be Apollo’s gift to the professions of acting and gameshow hosting, and to some of the other odd activities that have come his way from time to time in a long career that’s more varied than the Galapagos finches.
An IEET White Paper by By George Dvorsky and James Hughes.
Abstract: Postgenderism is an extrapolation of ways that technology is eroding the biological, psychological and social role of gender, and an argument for why the erosion of binary gender will be liberatory. Postgenderists argue that gender is an arbitrary and unnecessary limitation on human potential, and foresee the elimination of involuntary biological and psychological gendering in the human species through the application of neurotechnology, biotechnology and reproductive technologies. Postgenderists contend that dyadic gender roles and sexual dimorphisms are generally to the detriment of individuals and society. Assisted reproduction will make it possible for individuals of any sex to reproduce in any combinations they choose, with or without “mothers” and “fathers,” and artificial wombs will make biological wombs unnecessary for reproduction. Greater biological fluidity and psychological androgyny will allow future persons to explore both masculine and feminine aspects of personality. Postgenderists do not call for the end of all gender traits, or universal androgyny, but rather that those traits become a matter of choice. Bodies and personalities in our postgender future will no longer be constrained and circumscribed by gendered traits, but enriched by their use in the palette of diverse self-expression.
Hopefully some of you noticed that the IEET website was down for three days, and that our email lists are still down. That is because the servers in London that host the IEET, the Journal of Evolution and Technology, the World Transhumanist Association and a variety of other like-minded groups was brought down by a hack attack last week. The servers have now been rebuilt, but our email list is still inexplicably down. We’re working on it, and hopefully will have it fixed shortly. We have no idea whether the attack was ideologically motivated or not.
So, you want to take over the Galaxy. A good career move. Ultimately, you’re hoping to communicate with extraterrestrials, colonize entire sets of star clusters, and eventually lord it over the entire Milky Way.
Abstract The future of humanity is often viewed as a topic for idle speculation. Yet our beliefs and assumptions on this subject matter shape decisions in both our personal lives and public policy – decisions that have very real and sometimes unfortunate consequences. It is therefore practically important to try to develop a realistic mode of futuristic thought about big picture questions for humanity. This paper sketches an overview of some recent attempts in this direction, and it offers a brief discussion of four families of scenarios for humanity’s future: extinction, recurrent collapse, plateau, and posthumanity.
Jeriaska at the Future Current blog continues his service by transcribing the talks given at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies’ “Securing the Longevity Dividend” seminar in Chicago July 23, 2007. At that seminar the IEET’s George Dvorsky gave this talk on popular arguments for and against radical life extension.
If we are to begin building an international case for public multi-billion dollar investments in basic research towards the goal of anti-aging medicine we need to know how to answer dozens of public policy questions.
• Conceptualize pharmacological cognitive enhancers as part of a wider spectrum of ways of enhancing the cognitive performance of groups and individuals.
• Expand the disease-focused regulatory framework for drug approval into a health- or wellbeing-focused framework in order to facilitate the development and use of pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement of healthy adult individuals.
• Provide public funding for academic research into the safety and efficacy of cognitive enhancers, for the development of improved enhancers, and for epidemiological studies of the broader effects of long-term use.
• Increase public funding for research aimed at determining optimal nutrition for pregnant women and newborns to promote brain development.
• Disseminate information to the public about optimal pre- and perinatal nutrition.
Building powerfully advanced products quickly, easily, cheaply, and in huge numbers — that’s the disruptive impact of molecular manufacturing. When a new technology has the potential to radically transform national and global economies, geopolitical relations, and even human social structures, we’d better learn as much about it as we can. A critically important question to answer is who. Which nation, group, corporation, or consortium is most likely to achieve the “holy grail” of nanotechnology first?
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT), originally promulgated in 1968 and entering into force in 1970, has three key provisions: that nuclear weapon-free signatory states refrain from developing nuclear weapons; that signatory states with nuclear weapons work to disarm; and that signatory states remain free to develop nuclear energy technologies.