We’re thrilled to announce that media theorist, author, and professor Douglas Rushkoff has joined Institute for the Future as a Research Fellow. Douglas is a professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens, IEET Fellow and author of more than a dozen bestselling books about media, technology, and culture.
Virtual reality is no longer part of some distant future, and it’s not just for gaming and entertainment anymore. Michael Bodekaer wants to use it to make quality education more accessible. In this refreshing talk, he demos an idea that could revolutionize the way we teach science in schools.
William James, in his famous book The Varieties of Religious Experience, draws a contrast between what he calls “once born” and the “twice born” people. Once born people appear biologically predisposed to happiness. They are relatively untroubled by their own setbacks as well as by the suffering the world; they rarely speak ill of others; they don’t complain much; they tend not to be fearful or angry. Today we might call them happy-go-lucky, easy-going or upbeat.
Nine wars have been predicted to erupt since the early 1990s, and all have failed to materialize, says global strategist and CNN analyst, Parag Khanna. That’s a result of trade, the interconnectedness of financial markets, and supply chain integration.
It is amazing how intelligent we can be. We can construct shelter, find new ways of hunting, and create boats and machines. Our unique intelligence has been responsible for the emergence of civilization.
But how does a set of living cells become intelligent? How can flesh and blood turn into something that can create bicycles and airplanes or write novels?
This is the question of the origin of intelligence.
A new study by the Pew Research Center spurred a rash of headlines last week about “the dying middle class.” But the word “dying” might be more appropriate if we were watching the regrettable but inevitable effects of natural forces at work. We’re not. We’re seeing the fruits of deliberate action—and sometimes of deliberate inaction—at the highest levels of power.
PR is essentially the practice of managing the spread of information, and this is a tactical craft. For the PR professional years of experience combine knowledge of pragmatic practice and human intuition to generate desired results, a positive image and receptive message.
À l’heure où des vétérans américains choisissent de remplacer leurs jambes affaiblies par des prothèses de plus en plus avancées et où on peut lire l’histoire d’un jeune autrichien qui décide de faire de même avec sa main paralysée suite à un accident de moto, la question de savoir si un jour nous verrons de plus en plus d’individus choisir d’aller remplacer leurs membres comme s’ils allaient se faire tatouer ou percer reste provocatrice.
Fifteen years ago, I was the modern woman who had it all—a great husband, sweet little toddler, fantastic nanny, and an interesting technical career at Motorola, Inc. Thanks to the dotcom bubble, I’d just received an enormous raise. I also had a second child on the way. Unfortunately, my beloved nanny also found herself pregnant, and one day I came home from work to her resignation. She had decided to stay home and raise her child. - See more at: http://ehumandawn.blogspot.ca/#sthash.Jzjo4bAO.dpuf
Enlightenment is a traditionally mystical and slippery concept, but when it is subjected to the rigors of empirical analysis, there is a lot to be learned about our brains and ourselves. Dr. Andrew Newberg, who has put enlightenment through a battery of scientific tests, says there are actually two kinds of enlightenment: lowercase-e enlightenment, which changes our opinions about the world, and Enlightenment, which changes our essence, i.e. how we think of life, death, God, etc.
In an effort to curb the dangerous trend of vaccine avoidance, the Liberal government in Ontario wants parents seeking vaccine exemptions for their kids to attend a mandatory education session. It’s a good idea, but getting anti-vaxxers to change their opinions will probably require more than that.
American anti-drug laws need serious reevaluation, both because of how they came to be and because of how they affect drug users. Perhaps there is no better authority on the issue than Maia Szalavitz, a journalist fluent in the most recent neuroscientific research and herself a former drug addict. Understanding scientific research as she does, Szalavitz says American drug laws have little to do with science and everything to do with prevailing social attitudes, which have been at times colonialist and, more recently, institutionally racist.
Students taking an online course at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing were duped into thinking one of their teaching assistants, named Jill Watson, was an actual human. And how can you blame them—the virtual TA managed to answer many of their questions with 97 percent certainty.
IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner was invited to being a visiting professor at the University of Jena during the summer of 2016. There, he will also give the following talk:
Topic: Transhumanism, Big Gene Date, Bioprivacy
A colleague recently sent me a link to an article which claims that having nature in your surroundings extends life and increases happiness. The article titled, “Having a nice garden could save your life, study suggests,” notes the strong association between exposure to greenness and vegetation and lower mortality rates.
This is the third episode in The Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast. In this episode IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher talks to Sven Nyholm who is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Sven has a background in Kantian philosophy and currently does a lot of work on the ethics of technology. Their conversation circles around three main themes: (i) how technology changes what we value (using the specific example of love enhancement technologies); (ii) how technology might affect the true self (using the example of deep brain stimulation technologies) and (iii) how to design ethical decision-making algorithms (using the example of self-driving cars).
Abortion continues to make political news, but a question rarely asked by politicians or other interlocutors is: what do professional ethicists think about abortion? If ethicists have reached a consensus about the morality or immorality of abortion, surely their conclusions should be important. And, as a professional ethicist myself, I can tell you that among ethicists it is exceedingly rare to find defenders of the view that abortion is murder. In fact, support for this anti-abortion position, to the extent it exists at all, comes almost exclusively from the small percentage of philosophers who are theists. Yet few seem to take notice of this fact.
This is the second episode in The Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast. In this episode IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher interviews Dr. James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and current Associate Provost for Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning for the University of Massachusetts Boston. James is leading figure in both transhumanist thought and political activism. He is the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. I spoke to James about the origins of the transhumanist project, the political values currently motivating transhumanist activists, as well as some more esoteric and philosophical ideas associated with transhumanism.
One of the big questions left to answer is how will we make a living in a world where more of our work is left to the cold, robotic hands of automated machinery? The robots aren’t exactly poised to displace everyone tomorrow but that day is coming. So what then? How do we make ends meet? How do we buy the things we want or have the experiences we dream about?
In September 2013 Bregman joined the online journalism platform ‘De Correspondent’. His article on basic income was nominated for the European Press Prize and was subsequently also published by the American newspaper The Washington Post. In September 2014 his newest book ‘Gratis geld voor iedereen En nog vijf grote ideeën die de wereld kunnen veranderen’ came out.
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