Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
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False Singularities…

December 10, 2012

John Shirley talks about the two types of Singularities. He states that the “1%” will dominate the “99%” with technology.


Complete entry


Posted by rmk948  on  12/10  at  04:02 PM

I am more of a Kurzweilian (?), but this is an excellent and much-needed talk. Perhaps the extreme version of the "precautionary principle" is too restrictive, but we need to do a better job of forecasting the downside of technology. That said, bring on the rejuvenation!

Posted by Kennita  on  12/13  at  02:25 AM

Mr. Shitley has an important message but it''s a downer, so it will bounce off people quite a few times before it gets hammered in -- hopefully not too late.

Posted by CygnusX1  on  12/16  at  12:42 PM

Growing world populations and a proportionately less empathic civilisation? Well yes, this is already a reality even now with your twitter/facebook followers. Yet compassionate rationality, (Buddhism), may lead to greater benefits for minds disassociated with troublesome and fractious emotions? Compassion is something we can rationalise and apply without the total reliance upon empathy?

Africa is starving now, we can act now, we can feed people now, IF we want to? What is the prime mover for action… empathy or compassion?

It is good to hear this sober scepticism and acknowledgement of the dark side of future technologies. John Shirley's point regarding mitigating climate change within 5 years rings like a bell. However, I don't share his views regarding the potential of technocracy, because..

1. We need it to mitigate all of the short falls he professes, and
2. Technocracy need not be the totalitarian nightmare instigated and administrated by the few that he proposes?

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