On October 6, 2011, protestors will converge on Washington D.C. to recreate Tahrir Square here in the United States. It is important to transhumanists and non-transhumanists alike because it calls for, in the end, the reduction of the use of money and technology to feed America’s imperial war efforts and to challenge those in charge to use our defense money for environmental purposes.
The recurrence of the word neurophilosophy in articles and appearing in my inbox made me think we should all know more about this fascinating field of study that allows us to peek inside the brain and answer some of history’s greatest theoretical ponderings.
Some have been discussing a grouchy missive by the brilliant linguistic philosopher George Lakoff—specifically Lakoff’s latest dismissal of reason as a tool of enlightenment decision making. It provokes me to respond.
A majority of IEET readers age 35 or older who answered our recently concluded poll say they expect to die within a normal human lifespan. In contrast, a plurality of readers under age 35 believe that radical life extension will enable them to stay alive in their current bodies “for centuries at least.”
The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether some form of AI Nanny might well be the best path forward for humanity – the best way for us to ultimately create a Singularity according to our values.
I had the pleasure of testifying as a Fellow of the IEET Tuesday afternoon in front of the General and Plastic Devices of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee about long term follow up safety studies and informed consent on silicone breast implants.
For more than a decade, I have worked in the field of scenario development, consulting with businesses, governments, and NGOs about possible futures. There’s sort of a rule of thumb among professional futurist-types: scenario elements that sound plausible are almost certainly wrong, while scenario elements that sound utterly implausible are very likely on-target.
Twenty-five hundred years ago, Master Kong was wandering homeless with his disciples, proselytizing his ethical viewpoints. He was greeted in every city with disdain, persecution, imprisonment. When “Confucius” (his Westernized name) died in 479 BC, he expressed wistful dismay that his moral reforms never took root…
Inspired by Ayn Rand, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, along with Patri Friedman and others, are helping the Seasteading Institute plan a floating ‘start-up country’ off the coast of San Francisco, built on oil-rig like platforms in international waters.
Over the past several years a good number of “futurists” and all-out naysayers have systematically worked to undermine and dismiss the potential for radical change to occur in the not-too-distant future. While I’ve always been more a fan of concepts than time-lines, there is little doubt in my mind that a number of disruptive technologies that have been predicted in the past few decades will eventually come to fruition.
Young Americans are a generation betrayed. Official unemployment is more than 25% for those aged 16-19. That means the real figure is much worse, especially in minority communities and depressed parts of the country. But jobs are scarce for everyone. College students are graduating with record levels of student debt before entering the worst job market for graduates in recent memory.
What we call modern “civilization” is seven billion people coexisting—often grumpily—on a resource-shrinking planet. The future often seems dystopian: will we poison ourselves, blow each other up, starve pathetically, die of thirst, bake to extinction via solar radiation, be annihilated by epidemics, or simply slaughter ourselves door-to-door, like Rwandans or Bosnians, for imbecilic racial or ideological reasons?
Recently I had a chat with Mary DeMarle, the lead writer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, about how the ethics of enhancement and augmentation were considered when crafting the game’s story and characters.
Can Europe, whose motto is “unity in diversity,” help to navigate humanity through the upcoming decades like a clear-eyed Renaissance astronomer? Or will it simply sink, squabbling and sniveling, into irrelevancy?