A conception of evil that carries over from the Abrahamic religions into secular modernity is that of the ‘disorganization of the soul’. The idea here is that evil isn’t something separate from good but something that arises from the malformation or malfunctioning of good parts. Thus, Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost is God’s best angel gone rogue, the template for the villains faced by comic book superheroes. Many if not most mental illnesses, from neurosis to autism, are defined as some sort of ‘disorder’. In a similar but gra...
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A new machine designed at Stanford University sends digital messages without electronics, using common household chemicals. Eventually, similar systems could allow tiny devices to communicate inside the body, or be adapted to environments in which traditional electronics break down.
Researchers in the Netherlands have successfully tested a brain implant that allows a patient with late-stage Lou Gehrig’s disease to spell messages at the rate of two letters per minute.
Neuroscientists working on the Human Connectome Project have compiled the most accurate map yet of the human cerebral cortex. The researchers identified 180 distinct areas of the brain’s outer layer—effectively doubling the previous number of known regions.
A colleague forwarded John Horgan‘s recent Scientific American article, “The Singularity and the Neural Code.” Horgan argues that the intelligence augmentation and mind uploading that would lead to a technological singularity depend upon cracking the neural code. The problem is that we don’t understand our neural code, the software or algorithms that transform neurophysiology into the stuff of minds like perceptions, memories, and meanings. In other words, we know very little about how brains make minds.
Woody Evans has published an article on Posthuman rights in the Spanish journal, Teknokultura. Below is the abstract of the paper. You can click on the journal title to find the full article online.
In the last 10 years, we’ve seen some amazing leaps and bounds in human productivity. Our phones are smaller, our internet is faster, and software and hardware automates much of what we used to do manually.
John C. Havens is the author of Heartificial Intelligence: Embracing Our Humanity To Maximize Machines and Hacking Happiness: Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking it Can Change the World. He is the founder of The Happathon Project, a non-profit utilizing emerging technology and positive psychology to increase human wellbeing. John has spoken at TEDx, and is a contributor to Mashable, The Guardian, HuffPo and TechCrunch.
I interviewed him recently via email on his technoprogressive ideas.