Pragmatically envisioning better humans
4 tuntia sitten
One of the goals of this whitepaper is to prepare the 3D printing community, and the public at large, before incumbents try to cripple 3D printing with restrictive intellectual property laws. By understanding how intellectual property law relates to 3D printing, and how changes might impact 3D printing’s future, this time we will be ready when incumbents come calling to Congress.
Lakatos proposed a model of scientific advance wherein there is a “hard core” of scientific or mathematical theory which is surrounded by a “protective belt” of gentle inquiry. It is work going on within this protective belt that incrementally advances or erodes the hard core of the paradigm. Virtually all of routine scientific research (institutional science) operates in the zone of this protective belt while revolutionary, or paradigm changing ideas, penetrate it, smash the hard core, and thus demolish the whole structure. Cryonics, like Natural Selection, or the theories of General and Special Relativity, is core-smashing in character, and in the case of cryonics, the idea is so antithetical to the existing order of civilization that it can it only be advanced by insurgent means. This is so because cryonics overturns the Vitalistic view of life, challenges the conventional definition of death, invalidates the core tenets of contemporary medicine, erodes the need for a mystical afterlife, radically redistributes capital (disrupts inheritance, bequests, and mortuary customs), mandates a complete change in reproductive behavior, perturbs generational succession, requires space colonization, requires (and supports) profoundly disruptive technologies such as cloning, regenerative medicine, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and finally, ends the species and enables, if not requires Transhumanism.
As I've written here before, copying isn't going to get harder, ever. Hard drives won't magically get bulkier but hold fewer bits and cost more. Networks won't be harder to use. PCs won't be slower. People won't stop learning to type "Toy Story 3 bittorrent" into Google. Anyone who claims otherwise is selling something – generally some kind of unworkable magic anti-copying beans that they swear, this time, will really work.
On the low end of the spectrum, we have physical jobs that we can’t automate yet (yard work, for example). On the high end of the spectrum, we have creative and cognitive jobs that we can’t automate yet (law and management, for example). But as technology advances, and it certainly will, more people are going to be elbowed out of the workforce. We may be heading toward a future with plentiful high-end jobs and plentiful low-end jobs, and not much in the middle.
-- If the skills and talents that are truly financially rewarding become harder and harder to acquire, people who would never consider themselves students of Marx might start questioning whether, given the circumstances, it still makes sense to pay people based solely on the demand for their skills in a marketplace that would be demanding very few skills.
In a way, what Leck has created is a pro-active search engine: it answers twitter users who aren't even aware of their own ignorance.
"If our objective is to become space-faring people, it's probably going to force you to reconsider how to reengineer humans."Patients to be frozen into state of suspended animation for surgery
Cooking acts as a supplemental external stomach. Once humans acquired this artificial organ it permitted them to evolve smaller teeth and smaller jaw muscles and provided more kinds of stuff to eat. Our invention altered us. - Domesticated Cyborgs
Another company can come along and replace Emotiv pretty easily. They are missing out on a huge opportunity here, and time and again we see companies locking stuff down instead of harnessing developers.
In effect, what Darwin, Hooker and the Royal Navy achieved was the world's first experiment in "terra-forming". They created a self-sustaining and self-reproducing ecosystem in order to make Ascension Island more habitable. Wilkinson thinks that the principles that emerge from that experiment could be used to transform future colonies on Mars. In other words, rather than trying to improve an environment by force, the best approach might be to work with life to help it "find its own way".
“It’s not science the way most of us have practiced it in our careers. But we all realized that we would never get biomarkers unless all of us parked our egos and intellectual-property noses outside the door and agreed that all of our data would be public immediately.”The Power Trip
"It's an incredibly consistent effect," Mr. Keltner says. "When you give people power, they basically start acting like fools. They flirt inappropriately, tease in a hostile fashion, and become totally impulsive." Mr. Keltner compares the feeling of power to brain damage, noting that people with lots of authority tend to behave like neurological patients with a damaged orbito-frontal lobe, a brain area that's crucial for empathy and decision-making. Even the most virtuous people can be undone by the corner office.Cult of less: Living out of a hard drive
Mr Yurista feels by digitising his life, he no longer has to worry about dusting, organising and cleaning his possessions. And he says his new intangible goods can continue to live on indefinitely with little maintenance.5 Stupid, Unfair and Sexist Things Expected of Men
The laws and expectations of our civilized society are designed to keep physical violence to a minimum. And for good reason: physical violence is, you know, destructive. So men are expected -- indeed required -- to avoid and deflect confrontation, and to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence. And when they do, they get called pussies. Nice.
“It’s counterintuitive,” he said then. “You’d think the bigger and more important the document is, the more likely it will be reported on but that’s absolutely not true. It’s about supply and demand. Zero supply equals high demand, it has value. As soon as we release the material, the supply goes to infinity, so the perceived value goes to zero.”
In an ideal world, citizens would be able to maintain constant vigilance, monitoring both the information they receive and the way their brains are processing it. But keeping atop the news takes time and effort. And relentless self-questioning, as centuries of philosophers have shown, can be exhausting. Our brains are designed to create cognitive shortcuts — inference, intuition, and so forth — to avoid precisely that sort of discomfort while coping with the rush of information we receive on a daily basis. Without those shortcuts, few things would ever get done. Unfortunately, with them, we’re easily suckered by political falsehoods.
People say, “Gee, I don’t want to be a machine.” They’re thinking of the machines they know today, and that’s not the kind of machine I’m talking about. I’m talking about a machine—and we’ll probably need a different word by then—that’s just as subtle and supple and emotional as humans are today, and even more so.
While this first construct—dubbed M. mycoides JCVI-syn1.0, is a proof of concept, the tools and technologies developed to create this cell hold great promise for application in so many critical areas. Throughout the course of this work, the team contemplated, discussed, and engaged in outside review of the ethical and societal implications of their work. The ability to routinely write the software of life will usher in a new era in science, and with it, new products and applications such as advanced biofuels, clean water technology, and new vaccines and medicines.*golfclap*
When thinking about existential risks it is important to have a sense of what the stakes are, and not just think "that is bad" - some things can be many orders of magnitude worse than others. At the same time, as Nick Bostrom pointed out, we have rather minimal research on how to prevent human extinction, about the same size as the literature on dung beetle reproduction. Toby Ord has pointed out that some charities can be up to 10,000 times more efficient in providing health than others (in terms of years of life per dollar donated), just because they focus on particular very effective means. Aubrey de Grey showed a pretty minor advance in biogerontology that was hailed in the media as "the secret of ageing", while rattling of a series of papers with far more profound implications that nobody outside the field has heard of. A graph of cost and size of carbon abatement methods clearly shows that some fix a vastly bigger chunk than others.
When societies fail to respond to reduced circumstances through orderly downsizing, it isn’t because they don’t want to, it’s because they can’t. -- Collapse is simply the last remaining method of simplification.On space travel - Warren Ellis avaruusmatkailusta.
The single simplest reason why human space flight is necessary is this, stated as plainly as possible: keeping all your breeding pairs in one place is a retarded way to run a species.Planning our next steps in space - David Brin valmisaterioiden lähettämisestä Marsiin etukäteen.
The beasts live in conditions that would kill every other known animal. As well as lacking oxygen, the sediments are choked with salt and swamped with hydrogen sulphide gas.Cars that drive better than you
There were a few casualties - poor Wayne Lutters, a colleague of mine, was eaten by a pack of hyenas when he wandered too far from the group during the conference, and another colleague drowned. But there were no real technical problems, and that's what counts to a scientist, right? -- In the drowning case, for example, even while she was dead she could still get the text. She was just floating in the water right next to where we were. She just couldn't get out of it. It happened to be during a session I was running and I just couldn't break away to solve the problem.
Finally, that one of the simplest of diseases managed to utterly confound us for so long, at the cost of millions of lives, even after we had stumbled across an unequivocal cure. It makes you wonder how many incurable ailments of the modern world - depression, autism, hypertension, obesity - will turn out to have equally simple solutions, once we are able to see them in the correct light. What will we be slapping our foreheads about sixty years from now, wondering how we missed something so obvious?
Those with echopraxia, for example, compulsively mimic the actions of everyone they come across, and with a speed and abruptness that suggests it's a reflex rather than premeditated. -- The team struck gold when they targeted the left frontal region of the brain, an area known to be involved in motor function. "When we disrupted this area, people started to show an increase in imitative behavior," Bien says
I don't know how to predict the future, and I never will. But I do know how not to predict it: don't stick to your boss's comfort zone by predicting that doing exactly what you're doing now is exactly the right thing to do forever.The Jobs Of Yesteryear: Obsolete Occupations - Lector, Elevator Operator, Copy Boy, Pinsetter, River Driver, Iceman, Lamplighter, Milkman, Switchboard Operator, Typist In A Typist Pool, Typesetter, Telegraph Operator.
After 1900, when so-called artificial ice became generally accepted as safe...
At one Santa Cruz concert, the program notes neglected to mention that Emily Howell wasn’t a human being, and a chemistry professor and music aficionado in the audience described the performance of a Howell composition as one of the most moving experiences of his musical life. Six months later, when the same professor attended a lecture of Cope’s on Emily Howell and heard the same concert played from a recording, Cope remembers him saying, “You know, that’s pretty music, but I could tell absolutely, immediately that it was computer-composed. There’s no heart or soul or depth to the piece.”
That sentiment — present in many recent articles, blog posts and comments about Emily Howell — frustrates Cope. “Most of what I’ve heard [and read] is the same old crap,” he complains. “It’s all about machines versus humans, and ‘aren’t you taking away the last little thing we have left that we can call unique to human beings — creativity?’ I just find this so laborious and uncreative.”
Already, at least one prominent pop group — he’s signed a confidentiality agreement, so he can’t say which one — asked him to use software to help them write new songs. He also points to services like Pandora, which uses algorithms to suggest new music to listeners.
I mailed Michael Shermer, Steve Jones, Quackwatch, and Professor David Pegg. I told them (quite truthfully) that I had recently started talking to some people who were cryonics advocates, that they seemed persuasive but I wasn't an expert and didn't want to fall for a scam, and asked if there was anything they'd recommend I'd read on the subject to see the other side.
The only one of these to reply was Michael Shermer. He recommended I read David Brin, Steve Harris and Gregory Benford. This is a pretty surprising reply. The latter two are cryonics advocates, and while Brin talks about a lot of possible problems, he agrees with cryonics advocates that it is technically feasable.
Sceptics and consumer rights activists will publicly swallow an entire bottle of homeopathic 'pillules' to demonstrate that these 'remedies', prepared according to a long-discredited 18th century ritual, are nothing but sugar pills.
This is why other people are so helpful: They shock us out of our cognitive box. “I saw this happen all the time,” Dunbar says. “A scientist would be trying to describe their approach, and they’d be getting a little defensive, and then they’d get this quizzical look on their face. It was like they’d finally understood what was important.Hacklabs Finland - Yhteisötyöpajat.
It's a bit like asking an ant of 10 million years ago: If humans were created tomorrow, what sort of implications do you think that would have for all the ant colonies?
The philosophy that accepts death must itself be considered dead,
its questions meaningless,
its consolations worn out.
- Alan Harrington