When I drive from home to work, none of the land I pass is wild. It’s lawns, or parks, or part of the city. On my drive in, I can see the Olympic Mountains as I crest the hill and head down toward the Kirkland waterfront. They are a mash up of native lands, national parks, and beach cities. Forks, the city of the Twilight books, is over there. The Olympics are largely wild, but they are managed carefully. I suspect there is no land in the whole mountain range that is not owned. Someone – a person, a government, a tribe, a company – someone manages everything I can see.
Internationally renowned futurist Jamais Cascio, and IEET Fellow, explores the potential course of planet Earth over the next 50 years, painting a picture of what a sustainable, resilient world could look like. He says the choices we make today will shape the decades to come. This podcast took place on May 22, 2013 for MPR News.
An extremely problematic phenomenon in America today is the ever growing industry of privatized prisons across America, generally referred to as the Prison Industrial Complex, as well as skyrocketing rates of incarceration that leave the rest of the nations of the world trailing behind.
The issue ties together many social aspects such as the connection between the massive rate of imprisonment for non-violent drug use and rampant poverty, as well as the growing political influence of private prison industries and companies that thrive on inmate populations as cheap and economic forms of labor.
Geoengineering has an image problem. Some proposed geoengineering projects, such as space mirrors or cloud seeding, seem like they come from the pages of a science fiction novel. Those who propose these projects are treated with belittling rhetoric. Other projects face a different type of imaging problem; the project’s proponents are accused of having vague or unspecified goals and timelines. Such projects are summarily dismissed as being idealistic, out of touch or nebulous.
One of the things that has always struck me as different — and not in a good way — in the United States compared to other Western countries is the way Americans think (and act) about crime, particularly their prison system. Recently, my colleagues Ken Taylor (Stanford) and John Perry (University of California-Riverside) have tackled the issue on their wonderful podcast, Philosophy Talk (which comes with an associated blog, the tagline of which is cogito, ergo blog), causing me to ponder some more disturbing thoughts about it.
2012 Newton Medal winner, Professor Martin Rees gives a one hour astronomy lecture titled From Mars to the Multiverse. Martin Rees is a Fellow of Trinity College and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal and also Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and at Leicester University. In this lecture he touches on finding life on other planets, the science of stars, and all things universe.
By around mid-century, many future followers predict the pace of technological progression in genetics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence will become so fast that humans will undergo radical evolution. Advances that provide a forever youthful and healthy state of being could be realized.
Kwabena Badu-Nkansah explains the science behind his beautiful image, Feel the Pulse: Smooth Muscle Cells Respond to Stretching Forces. Kwabena image was selected as a winner of the 2013 Koch Institute Image Awards. See all the winners at http://ki-galleries.mit.edu.
The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research @MIT
A video reflection of work at MIT, the University of Michigan and other institutions on small satellites and the technology that will contribute to overcoming the challenges facing interplanetary CubeSat and iCubeSat missions.
Produced for the first Interplanetary CubeSat Workshop, May 29, 2012, at MIT.
Video by Gwendolyn Gettliffe, music by Stephen Gettliffe, animations by Benjamin Schweighart, and RAX videos courtesy University of Michigan News Service.
In Khannea SunTzu remarkable new novel she’ll never write - The NeoProgressive’s New Deal - the leader character, Cassandra Assange (Daughter of Julian Assange, born in 2003), is the target of literal micro drone assassination attempts, a vicious media campaign and endless incapacitating litigation. She became a political activist like her father in the mid 2020s, and exemplified the new counter-cultural ideal. Militantly lesbian and technoprogressive she gave birth of a clone of her wife, and her wife gave birth to a clone of Cassandra in the late 2020s.
When I was a kid there was a series on Nostradamus narrated by an Orson Welles surrounded in cigar smoke and false gravitas. I had not seen The Man Who Saw Tomorrow for over 30 years, though thanks to the miracle of Youtube I was able to find it here. Amazingly enough, I still remember Part 9 of the series in which the blue- turbaned, Islamic, 3rd antichrist allied with the Soviet Union plunges the world into thermonuclear war. I also remember the ending- scenes of budding flowers and sunshine signaling the rebirth of nature and humanity, a period of peace and prosperity to last 1,000 years.
Amid fretful resignation, we learn of the likely loss of the magnificent Kepler mission...which discovered as many as three thousand planets beyond our solar system. (About 10% of them now confirmed.) Only two of the four gyro systems are still working, not enough for the probe to aim at more than a hundred thousand stars with uncanny accuracy, each day. While this will be a sad loss, the epoch introduced by the Kepler Mission bodes well for you understanding of the universe.
Aimee Copeland, the woman who lost her hands, one leg and her other foot to flesh-eating bacteria after a zip-line accident last year, spoke with WXIA.com and “Today” about her new bionic hands, which are helping her return to a normal life.
Copeland, 24, is in the process of learning to use two state-of-the art prosthetic hands called iLimbs. A fast learner, she has the basics down and says she is looking forward to using them for more advanced tasks like driving, according to WXIA.
In this very brief talk for PSFK Douglas Rushkoff, IEET Fellow, talks about his new book Present Shock. The talk gives a good summary explaining what Present Shock is all about.
Rushkoff is a media theorist and the bestselling author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. His earlier books include Life Inc, Program or Be Programmed, and Media Virus. He made the PBS Frontline documentaries The Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders, and Digital Nation, and speaks around the world about media, technology, and change.
It's another blow for immersive virtual reality. University of California researchers have shown that even people with perfect eyesight navigate the world by relying on a lot more than what they see. Here's why VR won't really work until we go beyond visual cues and fancy treadmills.
Distinguished Scientist and co-director at Microsoft Research, Eric Horvitz, shares the human side of advancing machine intelligence.
An admitted advocate for empowering machines to perform more fluidly with us, he explains how computational systems will complement human cognition in order to anticipate our needs and help us prepare for inevitable surprises of all scale and size In nurturing and supportive ways.
Even the most deadly of diseases can possess a strange beauty under the microscope.
This concept first struck Dr Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue as she was looking at a sample of testicular cancer. The patterns and colours reminded her of modern art, and seemed just as suitable for a museum wall as they did for a laboratory.
Scientists have recovered stem cells from cloned human embryos in a breakthrough that could lead to new treatments for such illnesses as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.
US scientists said in Wednesday’s edition of the journal Cell that they had harvested stem cells from six embryos created from donated eggs, in a technique using methods like those that produced Dolly the sheep in Britain.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon Health & Science University, who led the research, said that two embryos had been given DNA from skin cells of a child with a genetic in disorder and the others had DNA from fetal skin cells.
Mitalipov said the success came not from a single technical innovation, but from revising a series of steps in the process. He noted it had taken six years to reach the goal after doing it with monkey embryos.
He said that based on monkey work, he believed human embryos made with the technique could not develop into cloned babies, and that he had no interest in trying to do that.
However, opponents said it was unethical to experiment on human embryos and called for a ban.
Scientists have cloned more than a dozen kinds of mammals, starting with Dolly the sheep.
As reactions continue to race around the internet about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery – the actual discussions, not the Monday-morning quarterbacking of her decision or the utterly vile “but what about her boobies” reaction from that particular subgroup of men who manage to amaze me by their continued ability to manage basic functions like breathing – I’ve been sent links.
Dr. J. talks with Douglas Rushkoff, author of Open Source Democracy (download PDF), published by the UK thinktank Demos. Rushkoff is the author of more than a dozen books, including Cyberia and Playing the Future. (This interview was originally broadcast August 21, 2004.)
I have been doing public outreach for science since I originally moved to Tennessee in 1996. It has been a fun ride, and I’m sure it will continue to be that way for many years to come. But two of the first things I learned when debating creationists and giving talks about the nature of science were: a) nastiness doesn’t get you anywhere; and b) just because you have reason and evidence on your side doesn’t mean you are going to carry the day.
A few months back on this show, we heard from Bill McKibben, the celebrated environmental writer and, more recently, leader of a mass movement around preventing climate change that has focused on blocking the Keystone XL pipeline.
McKibben makes a compelling case that our climate system is at dire risk. But many thinkers who fully accept the science of climate change nonetheless take a very different approach to climate and energy policy. And as someone who personally sees strengths on both sides of this question, today I want to feature one of them.
So today we feature one of the smartest and most thoughtful of these environmental moderates: Michael Levi. He's author of the new book The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future—in which he talks favorably about natural gas drilling through "fracking" and even, yes, the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Michael Levi is the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and director of the CFR program on energy security and climate change. He holds an MA in physics from Princeton University, where he studied string theory and cosmology, and a PhD in war studies from the University of London (King's College).
Colin Farrelly is an IEET Contributor and here he talks about our duty to retard human aging. His paper entitled "Empirical Ethics and the Duty to Extend the "Biological Warranty Period" has been accepted for publication in the journalSocial Philosophy and Policy.
The abstract and his video presentation is below:
The world’s aging populations face novel health challenges never experienced before in human history. The moral landscape thus needs to adapt to reflect this novel empirical reality. In this paper I take for granted one basic moral principle- a principle of preventing bad occurrences (Peter Singer, 1972)- and explore the implications empirical considerations from demography, evolutionary biology and biogerontology have for the way we conceive of fulfilling this principle at the operational level. After bringing to the fore a number of considerations Singer ignores, such as the probability that non-intervention will result in harm and the likelihood that different kinds of extrinsic and intrinsic harms can be prevented, I argue that the aspiration to extend the human biological warranty period (by retarding the rate of aging) is a pressing moral imperative for the 21st century. In the final sections I briefly address some standard objections raised against life extension and conclude that, while there may be some legitimate concerns worth addressing, they are not compelling enough to provide a rational basis for forfeiting the potential health and economic benefits which could be realized by extending the biological warranty period.
Ray Kurzweil talks with Time Mag Video about the future of technology, biology, and computers. He talks about how we will be connected to the internet, reprogram our biology, and says that we are about 20 years away from uploading our consciousness to computers. Ray was recently appointed Director of Engineering at Google.