In the USA, the decades-long “war on drugs” has, according to most, been an abject failure. In Portugal, meanwhile, drug decriminalization has, according to some, been a resounding success. Is there a lesson to be learned?
Get this: Republicans on the Deficit Commission aren't just refusing to consider any tax increases. Now they're proposing tax decreases designed to help the rich while taking benefits from everyone else. Dealing with people like that is like negotiating with somebody who's high on drugs.
This week saw the return of Caprica. In its world with technology not too far beyond our own, Caprica jumped right back into action with a premiere remarkably relevant to transhumanism. While Sister Clarice seeks to attract followers to her religion with an artificial heaven, Daniel Graystone wants to win back his company with software to remove the pain of a loved one’s death.
The blog Rationally Speaking has just posted two articles about the transhumanist movement, one by Julia Galef that defends transhumanism, and another by Massimo Pigliucci that dismisses transhumanism as “irrelevant,” among other things.
I am focusing here on the main counterarguments that were raised against a thesis I put forward in my article “Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism” (2009), namely that significant similarities can be found on a fundamental level between the concept of the posthuman, as put forward by some transhumanists, and Nietzsche’s concept of the overhuman. The articles with the counterarguments were published in the recent “Nietzsche and European Posthumanisms” issue of The Journal of Evolution and Technology (January-July 2010). As several commentators referred to identical issues, I decided that it would be appropriate not to respond to each of the articles individually, but to focus on the central arguments and to deal with the counterarguments mentioned in the various replies. I am concerned with each topic in a separate section. The sections are entitled as follows: 1. Technology and evolution; 2. Overcoming nihilism; 3. Politics and liberalism; 4. Utilitarianism or virtue ethics?; 5. The good Life; 6. Creativity and the will to power; 7. Immortality and longevity; 8. Logocentrism; 9. The Third Reich. When dealing with the various topics, I am not merely responding to counterarguments; I also raise questions concerning transhumanism and put forward my own views concerning some of the questions I am dealing with.
“In a world torn with strife and warfare, perhaps no problem is more important [than that of understanding and developing wisdom], as wisdom may be the only hope out of the bloodshed.” - Robert Sternberg
When you think of the ideal creative environment, what comes to mind? We may imagine a place where you have freedom of expression, a place that encourages breaking convention, somewhere that is abundant in resources that are readily accessible for innovative development of technology, and exposure to many different cultures for inspiration and collaboration.
Hungry? Want to devour a monstrous meal of chicken, pork, beef, orange juice, soybeans, coffee, corn, bananas, and chocolate [cacao & sugar]? Scoop it out of your iron skillet while wiping your saliva with a cotton napkin? And afterwards… relax with some tobacco and a drive in your ethanol-powered auto?
With some people, you just can’t win. Do you engage them in a debate, or do you hold your tongue and save yourself the frustration from beating your head against a brick wall? That is the dilemma I face now.
Nearly 70% of those who answered an IEET poll question say the human libido is here to stay. Though it may become adjustable and even optional, enhanced humans or posthumans are likely to retain some form of the libido for its social bonding function “” not to mention its pleasure factor!
While traveling to the World Economic Forum meeting in China, I came across a new paper that piques my interest. The paper is by David Keith at the University of Calgary (published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science), and is a theoretical investigation of how injecting large quantities of precisely engineered particles into the upper atmosphere might provide a cost-effective tool for climate intervention - geoengineering.
Nature’s Nicola Jones asked me to comment on Singularity University for an article she was putting together; that article is now available. She included a couple of brief observations of mine, but I thought it would be useful to show the full context of my thoughts.
Slowly but surely, SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is starting to get the picture: if we’re going to find life out there-and that’s a big if-it’s probably not going to be biological.
How is gay marriage in America proceeding down the aisle? This question concerns all transhumanists because persecution of homosexuality is an anti-Enlightenment human rights violation that is rooted in archaic religious superstition and anti-scientific thought. Actively supporting gay marriage is the ethically responsible position for all progressive transhumanists.