I was recently invited to participate in a conference on “startup societies”—those groups, usually libertarian, that want to peel off from dominant cultures and governments in order to explore their own interests and freedoms in international waters. You may have heard of The Principality of Sealand, Operation Atlantis, Liberland, Fort Galt, The First Millennial Foundation (AKA The Living Universe Foundation), or the dozens of other wannabe micronations. What would the potentials for transhuman experimentation, I was asked, be in such micro societies? In formulating my reply by email, I realized there was more to say, and I wanted to loop the rest of you in on the conversation.
What makes one a person or a self? If he or she sees, hears, thinks and feels, is that a person or a self? David Brin, IEET Fellow, discusses the nature of consciousness, empathy and personal identity with Closer to Truth.
The Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) announced that the Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize has officially been won. The spectacular result achieved by 21st Century Medicine researchers provides the first demonstration that near-perfect, long-term structural preservation of an intact mammalian brain is achievable.
Ask Siri where to get an abortion and get a list of adoption agencies–for five years that was the experience of Apple users in cities ranging from San Francisco to Philadelphia. Recent technical upgrades appear to have resolved the problem, but advocates seeking to end abortion stigma say they intend to keep an eye on Siri and her competitors.
Numerous innovations have the potential to dramatically augment human cognition and capabilities. They could magnify the economy and give rise to other, even more powerful technologies. Our response to this is crucial.
Could someone hack your pacemaker? In this TED talk, Avi Rubin shows how hackers are compromising cars, smartphones and medical devices, and warns us about the dangers of an increasingly hack-able world.
John Searle (1932 – ) is currently the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD from Oxford University. He is a prolific author and one of the most important living philosophers.
The typical gravestone hasn’t changed in hundreds, if not thousands of years. That said, there are more than a few companies out there trying to use modern technology to upgrade the traditional stone or marble marker. With the likes of wi-fi, video screens and QR codes abound, are these new additions useful or just a hi-tech gimmick?
Gerd Leonhard is an acclaimed European futurist; his popular videos are featured at IEET and he is a regular IEET contributing writer. In this interview I explore his opinions and forecasts on Basic Income Guarantee.
In this powerful talk at TED, P.W. Singer shows how the widespread use of robots in war is changing the realities of combat. He shows us scenarios straight out of science fiction — that now may not be so fictitious.
The World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland just wrapped up its annual gathering. It isn’t hard to make fun of this yearly coming together of the global economic and cultural elites who rule the world, or at least think they do.
What happens when we teach a computer how to learn? Technologist Jeremy Howard shares some surprising new developments in the fast-moving field of deep learning, a technique that can give computers the ability to learn Chinese, or to recognize objects in photos, or to help think through a medical diagnosis. (One deep learning tool, after watching hours of YouTube, taught itself the concept of “cats.”) Get caught up on a field that will change the way the computers around you behave … sooner than you probably think.
Terry Hyland is an expert on Buddhism who was interviewed by IEET for a previous article, in August 2015. He is Emeritus Professor at University of Bolton, UK and Lecturer in Philosophy at Free University of Ireland, teaching courses in mindfulness. He has written over 150 articles, 19 book chapters and 6 books.
My life is filled with trivial, time-wasting tasks. As an academic, teaching and research are the most valuable* activities I perform. And yet as I progress in my career I find myself constantly drawn away from these two things to focus on administrative tasks. While efficient administration is important in large organisations (like universities), it feels like a major time-sink to someone like me because (a) I am not ultimately rewarded for being good at it (career progression depends far more research and, to a lesser extent, teaching) and (b) I don’t have any aptitude for or interest in it.
A decade ago, US law said human genes were patentable — which meant patent holders had the right to stop anyone from sequencing, testing or even looking at a patented gene. Troubled by the way this law both harmed patients and created a barrier to biomedical innovation, Tania Simoncelli and her colleagues at the ACLU challenged it. In this riveting talk, hear the story of how they took a case everybody told them they would lose all the way to the Supreme Court.
Dernière partie dédiée à la réflexion sur “Le choix d’une vie très longue en bonne santé : pourquoi?” Préserver et renforcer la part de l’économie non marchande L’accroissement d’abord progressif, puis éventuellement considérable de la durée de vie en bonne santé a commencé depuis longtemps par se traduire par une augmentation de la quantité d’activité fournie par des personnes curieusement qualifiées par les statistiques françaises de « non-actives ».
I cannot understand the markets’ panic over lower oil prices. Sure, it hurts if you own Exxon or drilling-fracking services companies, or work for one, or if you are Saudi or Venezuela or Russia or Iran. But for most of the world, it amounts to a spectacular tax cut and cost discount for all manufacturers, transportation and consumers of almost anything. See this article on much cheaper airline deals.
Pepper spray, tasers, tear gas, rubber bullets — these “non-lethal” weapons are being used by more and more local police forces, as well as military forces brought in to control civilian crowds and other situations. Despite their name, non-lethal weapons have been known to cause deaths ... and as Stephen Coleman suggests, there are other, more insidious hazards as well. He explores the complex ethics — and the unexpected consequences — of using non-lethal weapons to control civilians.
Ray Kurzweil is an author, inventor, futurist, and currently Director of Engineering at Google. He is involved in fields such as optical character recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments; he is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism; and he may be the most prominent spokesman in the world today for advocating the use of technology to transform humanity.
George Pitcher is emeritus professor of philosophy at Princeton where he was a member of the philosophy department from 1956-1981. His 1984 article, “The Misfortunes of the Dead,” addresses the question of whether the dead can be harmed.
What is it like to be the Buddha? What, for that matter, would it be like to live as a posthuman? In this text I’m going to argue that the two could be symbiotic, mirroring each other in terms of exotic fluidity and personal transformation. In particular, I’m going to focus upon one particular brand of Buddhism - that of Vajrayana, more commonly know as tantra.
Extinction of Democracy and the Current Global Economy as a Result of Sovereign Debt and how to Prepare for the Future Economy. Martin Armstrong is an American economist best known for discovering the relationship between pi and the business cycle, expressed in his Economic Confidence Model.His latest and largest project – Socrates – is an AI system that monitors the entire global market by tracking international capital flows.
Perhaps at no other time in the present generation has prison reform been so close to the surface of our political consciousness. The “tough on crime” policies and mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines of the 1990s have created a pattern of overly harsh punishments and a glut of private prisons, all but abandoning the rehabilitative function of the penal system. Today, that is slowly changing. In prohibiting juvenile solitary confinement in federal prisons, President Barack Obama follows the advice of prison experts like Marie Gottschalk. Here she explains the “degrading and dehumanizing” harm caused by extreme isolation.
Marie Gottschalk is a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in American politics, with a focus on criminal justice, health policy, race, the development of the welfare state, and business-labor relations.
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