Support the IEET




The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.



Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Responsible development of new technologies critical in complex, connected world

Techno Progressive Party Updates

More Swing Sets for Africa

The Master Switch - The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

Extract from Brenda Cooper’s EDGE OF DARK

Transpolitica Manifesto


ieet books

Post- and Transhumanism: An Introduction
Author
Robert Ranisch and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner eds.


comments

SpaceboyScreams on 'Why Running Simulations May Mean the End is Near' (Mar 5, 2015)

Peter Wicks on 'The Existential Importance of Getting Outside Ourselves' (Mar 4, 2015)

CygnusX1 on 'Privacy will not go away -- but it will evolve' (Mar 4, 2015)

dobermanmac on 'The Moral Philosophy of Transhumanism' (Mar 4, 2015)

CygnusX1 on 'My Shockingly Ordinary Rape Story— and What I Want to Tell my Daughters' (Mar 4, 2015)

instamatic on '9 “Facts” You Know For Sure About Jesus That Are Probably Wrong' (Mar 4, 2015)

CygnusX1 on 'My Shockingly Ordinary Rape Story— and What I Want to Tell my Daughters' (Mar 3, 2015)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


The Democratic Trilemma: Is Democracy Possible?
Feb 5, 2015
(19127) Hits
(1) Comments

Big Data as statistical masturbation
Feb 8, 2015
(11425) Hits
(5) Comments

Blockchains as a Granular Universal Transaction System
Feb 17, 2015
(9094) Hits
(0) Comments

Alan Watts: Who Am I?
Feb 23, 2015
(7328) Hits
(0) Comments



IEET > Security > Cyber > SpaceThreats > Rights > Neuroethics > Vision > Bioculture > Staff > Kyle Munkittrick

Print Email permalink (2) Comments (5078) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


We Need Gattaca to Prevent Skynet


Kyle Munkittrick
By Kyle Munkittrick
Science Not Fiction

Posted: Nov 17, 2010

In science fiction, when humanity is faced with existential crises, we turn to great minds attached to great hearts. While we aren’t under alien attack or facing sentient machines, our world has its own share of problems. Human cognitive enhancement might just be the solution from which all other solutions are born; or maybe it brings too many risks of its own.


Independence Day has one of my most favorite hero duos of all time: Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. Brawn and brains, flyboy and nerd, working together to take out the baddies. It all comes down to one flash of insight on behalf of a drunk Goldblum after being chastised by his father.

Cliché eureka! moments like Goldblum’s realization that he can give the mothership a “cold” are great until you realize one thing: if Goldblum hadn’t been as smart as he was, the movie would have ended much differently. No one in the film was even close to figuring out how to defeat the aliens. Will Smith was in a distant second place and he had only discovered that they are vulnerable to face punches. The hillbilly who flew his jet fighter into the alien destruct-o-beam doesn’t count, because he needed a force-field-free spaceship for his trick to work. If Jeff Goldblum hadn’t been a super-genius, humanity would have been annihilated.

iday

Every apocalyptic film seems to trade on the idea that there will be some lone super-genius to figure out the problem. In The Day the Earth Stood Still (both versions), Professor Barnhardt manages to convince Klaatu to give humanity a second look. John Cleese’s version of the character had a particularly moving “this is our moment” speech. Though it’s eventually the love between a mother and child that triggers Klaatu’s mercy, Barnhardt is the one who opens Klaatu to the possibility. Over and over we see the lone super-genius helping to save the world.

Shouldn’t we want, oh, I don’t know, at least more than one super-genius per global catastrophe? I’d like to think so. And where might we get some more geniuses, you may ask? We make them.

READ THE REST


Kyle Munkittrick, IEET Program Director: Envisioning the Future, is a recent graduate of New York University, where he received his Master's in bioethics and critical theory.
Print Email permalink (2) Comments (5079) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


“In science fiction, when humanity is faced with existential crises, we turn to great minds attached to great hearts.”
“As neuroscience progresses, there is a very real possibility we’ll be able to improve those specific parts of the moral brain.”

There’s always a fear that we’ll create a super-genius who is NOT attached to a great heart. Let’s just hope that we figure out a way to greatly improve the parts of the moral brain (I guess this is equivalent to the “great heart”?), BEFORE we start creating these super-geniuses.





I will be your super-genius. Now where did I put my brain pills…





YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: The financial time bomb of longer lives?

Previous entry: Never Say Die: A Slate/New America Seminar on Radical Life Extension

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376