With bitcoin nearly doubling in value in the last few weeks (surpassing USD $400 on November 9, 2013 and reaching USD $937 on November 29, 2013) (see this chart in Figure 1 and the real-time exchange rate), the question is whether it is just another inflationary virtual currency bubble like WOW gold and Second Life Lindens, or a trend that will endure.
There are a lot of people out there who would prefer not to die. There are also many people trying to make this a reality by working seriously on the science of life extension. The goal, it would seem, is to reverse (or at least halt) the aging process, and allow us to live indefinitely. Let’s call the people who share this goal the “extensionists”.
Communications technology use is growing at a near exponential rate on a global scale.1 A recent United Nations study shows that more people have access to cell phones than toilets, as 6 billion of the world’s 7 billion people (85 percent) have access to mobile phones, while only 4.5 billion (64 percent) have access to working toilets.2
I have previously based my own ethical approach to interactions with other species on Jeremy Bentham’s derivation of rights from the ability to suffer. Bentham was a British philosopher and the founder of utilitarian philosophy (utilitarianism is “a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility, usually defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering.”). As Bentham put it, “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”
What is technological unemployment, and should we be worried about it? Hosts Jon Perry and Ted Kupper discuss the problems associated with technological unemployment and some possible responses in this episode Published on Dec 2 2013.
I believe Google is making a huge mistake in completely banning facial recognition systems for its Glass product. In my opinion, such a system could be used to help save thousands of lives. But then, we’re too damn caught up on absolute privacy that we’re willing to sacrifice actual, physical lives to ensure our privacy remains untainted. Such individualist dogma is deadly.
Good question, right? I’ve been thinking more about it for a few weeks now as a result of an interesting talk by Gopal Sreenivasan (Duke University) entitled “Moral expertise and the proto-authority of affect,” which he gave at CUNY’s Graduate Center.
I don’t want to die, but apparently Daniel Callahan wants me to. He wants me to say nothing, do nothing about aging and just wait until I am 75 and die quietly. Well, that’s not going to happen, mister. Bioethicisits like Callahan are the ones responsible for our suffering from the horrors of aging-related diseases and death. And here’s why. The opinion of bioethicists prevents the progress from being fast enough to cure aging. The decision-makers rely upon what senior “thinkers” like Callahan have in mind on the problem of life extension.
There has been some ink spilt lately at the IEET over a new movement that goes by the Tolkienesque name, I kid you not, of the dark enlightenment, also called neo-reactionaries. Khannea Suntzu has looked at the movement from the standpoint of American collapse and David Brin within the context of a rising oligarchic neo-feudalism.
Although some people might find the idea of love with a machine repulsive, experts predict that as the technology advances and robots become more human-like, we will view our silicon cousins in a friendlier light. As the future unfolds, robots will fill more roles as family caregivers, household servants, and voice-enabled avatars that manage our driverless cars, automated homes, and entertainment systems.
I have worked a number of years in trauma and emergency medicine, and have learned a few lessons about human nature along the way that I think may be of benefit to others. Our tendency as human beings to carry around an Optimism Bias is probably one of our most deadly traits.
Following up on my previous posting, about the rationalizations of the new aristocracy, this time I plan to reveal to you a pernicious trend among some of society's best and brightest. But first, will you indulge me with a riff of background? In Existence, I portray a grand conference, held in the Alps around the year 2045. The secret meeting has been called by a consortium of "trillies," or trillionaire families, with the objective of commencing a new, world-wide era of Aristocratic Rule. But their goal is not just to re-institute the ancient pyramid of privileged domination, but this time to start off on the correct foot. To get it right.
Published on Nov 22, 2013, Kent Kemmish CTO at Aeon Biowares talks about The Modern Epic of Gilgamesh - Science on the Frontiers of Longevity Research.
Saving the world, turning biology into an information science, recruiting the best team of scientists and engineers the world has ever seen.
Visiting Scholar, The Biodesign Institute - May 2006—December 2008 (2 years 8 months)
Worked on the LysoSENS project under Prof. Bruce Rittmann. http://www.sens.org/sens-research/res…
We kicked some catabolically recalcitrant ass, found the first enzymes shown to break down A2E, this nasty molecule that builds up naturally as you age and makes you go blind.
We were the reason that that this paper was published: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20…
We hatched and in some cases executed brilliant schemes for killing off bad guys like glucosepane, 7KC, and CML.
Previous Companies Halcyon Molecular, The Biodesign Institute, Arizona Cancer Center
Thanks to last summer’s twerking extravaganza and her follow-up naked Wrecking Ball video, Miley Cyrus is front runner in polls for Time Person of the Year (to be announced December 6). Cyrus’s trademark this year is “nasty,” so when she exposes her back side, we know at least that she’s done it on purpose. But Toys R Us? You gotta wonder.
This video is of the inaugural debate in the TechDebates on Emerging Technologies series, which focused on Lethal Autonomous "Killer" Robots. LARs are machines that can decide to kill. Such technology has the potential to revolutionize modern warfare and more. The need for understanding LARs is essential to decide whether their development and possible deployment should be regulated or banned. This TechDebate centers on the question: are LARs ethical?
Ron Arkin, Robotics Professor at Georgia Tech's College of Computing
Rob Sparrow, Philosophy Professor at Monash University School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies Professor, Australia
The TechDebates on Emerging Technologies is a debate series presented by the Center for Ethics and Technology (CET) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Please visit http://www.ethics.gatech.edu to learn more about CET and its initiatives. CET invites you to participate in public deliberation on the ethics of LARs in the AGORA-net, a web-based and interactive argument visualization software. You can access the AGORA-net at http://www.agora.gatech.edu.
In this November 24, 2013 podcast Massimo and Julia talk with Peter Singer about why he's a utilitarian, and how his views of utilitarianism have recently changed (and find out how he influenced Massimo's life years ago).
Few philosophers have as wide of an impact on the general public as ethicist Peter Singer, this week's guest on Rationally Speaking podcast. Singer's utilitarian arguments about how we should treat animals, why we have a moral obligation to give to charity, whether infants should count as "people," and more have won him widespread fame—and notoriety—over the last few decades, and launched multiple movements. Tune in to hear his discussion with Massimo and Julia about why he's a utilitarian, and how his views of utilitarianism have recently changed (and find out how he influenced Massimo's life years ago).
There’s a new “viral” video making the rounds. It’s a 15-minute pro gay-marriage film that interviews children about the concepts of prejudice, fairness and gay marriage. All the children in the video except one seem to think that basic principles of fairness should apply to men marrying men and women marrying women. However, throughout the video, one kid insists gay marriage “is just wrong.” When pressed for why this is so, the boy (who appears to be a five- or six-year-old) can provide no reason for his assertion.
Did anyone see the World War Z scene where the zombies reach the top of a massive zombie-proof wall and start pouring over? The same thing has finally happened to Jefferson’s wall of separation between church and state. Council members in Pierce County, Washington got busted last week because they allocated taxpayer dollars to fund not one, but two evangelical missionary organizations that target public school kids for conversion.
In this, the final, part we will do two further things. First, we will step back from the particular arguments for and against the legitimacy of mental illness, and focus on Neil Pickering’s meta-philosophical diagnosis of the problems inherent in the debate. Then, having sharpened our appreciation for the meta-philosophical issues, we will consider what is probably the most recent and widely-discussed attempt to define “illness” in such a way that it (properly) includes mental illnesses: Jerome Wakefield’s Harmful Dysfunction analysis.
Published on Nov 20 of 2013 Socrates of Singulairty 1 on 1 interview with Terasem Managing Director Bruce Duncan - "During our 40 min conversation with Bruce we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: the Terasem Movement Foundation – its name and its mission; Bina 48 and what Duncan has learned from her about being human in general and himself in particular; the Lifenaut project of capturing your mind file; the 2 Terasem Hypotheses; BNA‘s and Beme‘s; Fleshism and Terasem’s feature sci fi film To Be: The Era of Flesh is Over; mind uploading and immortality…"
I first met Bruce at the Idea City conference in Toronto where he shared the stage together with Bina 48. Needless to say I was impressed by both of them and thus I couldn’t refuse an invitation to visit Terasem headquarters and interview Mr. Duncan in person.
Terasem Managing Director Bruce Duncan & Bina 48
My favorite quote that I will take away from this interview with Bruce Duncan is:
“There is no better author of your story than you!”
(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more high-quality episodes like this one please make a donation!)
Who is Bruce Duncan?
Bruce Duncan has been the Managing Director of the Terasem Movement Foundation Inc. since 2004. He has worked in the field of non-profit administration and education for over 25 years. He is responsible for overseeing the management and implementation of the research and educational outreach of the Lifenaut Project and other programs of the Foundation. He has taught conflict resolution at the University of Vermont and worked at Seeds of Peace, an international peace camp. He is also a filmmaker and has produced several independent films and documentaries.
Hot new feature film about Transhumanism, mind uploading and the merging of human consciousness with artificial intelligence, starring James Remar, Kevin Corrigan and Jane Kim. The film premiered at the 2009 Woodstock Film Festival.
2B Film Synopsis: New York, soon. Technology’s exponential growth is fast and furious. Human life is in the process of being transformed. Mankind stands on the verge of reengineering its biology—merging with the incredibly intelligent machines it has created. Mia 2.0, the world’s first ‘Transbeman’ and her inventor, the eccentric Dr. Tom Mortlake, conduct a bold political experiment designed to prove that human reliance on the fragile flesh body is over and ‘eternal life‘ is at hand.
Set in the near future, “2B” portrays a familiar decaying world on the cusp of great transformation and awesome wonders. The script is based upon real science and evolving technologies. The ‘technohuman’ conundrum is the hottest and most controversial topic of this century. This film is an entertainment designed to jump-start the conversation about the moral and religious questions raised by the bio-tech revolution. What if you could die and live forever?
Of course, no one can predict with 100% accuracy how the future will unfold, but by combining present day knowledge with anticipated advances, we can make plausible guesses about what to expect in 2063.
If someone on the street stopped and asked you what you thought was the meaning behind Oscar Wilde’s novel A Picture of Dorian Grey you’d probably blurt out, like the rest of us, that it had something to do with a frightening portrait, the dangers of pursuing immortality, and, if one remembered vague details about Wilde’s life, you might bring up the fact that it must have gotten him into a lot of trouble on account of its homoeroticism.
For the United States. Not for Europe. For the US. We tried this crap in Europe and we didn’t like it. But if it works for you, feel free. The term CyberMonarchy is mine, and expresses my sentiments. I am coining the term on account of this alarmist article. Of course the sentiments described in this article are nothing new, and hearken to the start of the Transhumanist community, and are specifically relevant to the roots of the eugenic ideology. Classical eugenics is a feudal belief system, well grounded in fact. It states that nature is capricious, humans are capricious and humans have objective flawed characteristics.
This is the second post in a brief series looking at the philosophy of mental illness. As noted in part one, some people are suspicious about the concept of mental “illness”. To call something an illness is to deem it worthy of medical scrutiny and treatment. This makes sense — so they argue — when dealing with things like broken bones, viruses, clotted arteries, bacterial infections, cancerous tumours and so forth. They all involve clear, objectively assessable physical effects and causes. Mental illness is not the same: it involves more nebulous, less tractable effects and causes, ones that are not always open to the same level of objective assessment.
As we learn more and more details regarding government spying, it seems more and more foolhardy to trust our security to third party businesses.The state requires information on its subjects to be effective. From the first census in Egypt more than 5000 years ago, states have sought personal information on their citizens, especially in tyrannical states, where informants and secret police gather information on any and all potentially subversive activities.
Big data generates big myths. To help society set realistic expectations, the right kind of skepticism is needed. Kate Crawford, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Visiting Professor at MIT’s Center for Civic Media, does a fantastic job of explaining why folks are too optimistic about the promise of what big data can offer. She rightly argues that too much faith in it inclines us to misunderstand what data reflects, overestimate the political efficacy of information, and become insensitive to civil rights concerns.
The United Nations should use the visit to Ghana of the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Ms Gulnara Shahinian to shine international light on the menace of witch hunting in the country and in other parts of sub Saharan Africa. Ms Gulnara Shahinian is scheduled to visit Ghana from 22 to 29 November 2013.