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Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Jul 22, 2014

‘A struggle between humans and nature’

Posted by in categories: biological, entertainment, philosophy, transhumanism
. @IEET. @HJBentham. @ClubOfINFO. #nature. #philosophy. #ebook.

There is often imagined to be a struggle between humans and nature. How does this struggle originate, and what is its resolution? Such a question is central to some religious traditions, and has much room to be explored in literature.

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Jul 20, 2014

Humans Aren’t the Pinnacle of Evolution and Consciousness—We’re Only a Rung on the Ladder

Posted by in categories: biological, DNA, evolution, homo sapiens, posthumanism, transhumanism

Written By: — Singularity Hub
http://cdn.singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/universe-comes-to-know-itself-1.jpg
In his latest video, host of National Geographic’s Brain Games and techno-poet, Jason Silva, explores the universe’s tendency to self-organize. Biology, he says, seems to have agency and directionality toward greater complexity, and humans are the peak.

“It’s like human beings seem to be the cutting edge,” Silva says. “The evolutionary pinnacle of self-awareness becoming aware of its becoming.”

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Jun 19, 2014

Scientists Trigger Stem Cells to Produce New Brain Cells

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience

— Singularity Hub
AI, neuroscience, technology,
It turns out that an apple a day — or at least an apple spinach salad — does keep the doctor away. But it’s not true that when brain cells die we can’t make more. When and how remain active questions, however, so there’s no free pass to collectively disregard our mothers’ safety tips just yet.

Researchers at Duke University have shed some light on the subject with findings that suggest that down the line doctors may be able spur the brain to repair itself.

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Jun 19, 2014

Amazing People with Real Superpowers

Posted by in categories: evolution, geopolitics, homo sapiens

Brent Swancer — Mysterious Universe

monk-featured
The world of comics and movies is full of superheroes and characters with abilities that transcend what is possible for the typical person. We enjoy these stories because we can escape our reality and imagine what it would be like to have amazing powers of our own. Yet, a gifted few in this world don’t have to imagine because like the superheroes in comics and movies, they too have extraordinary powers beyond normal humans.

Here we will look at a selection of real world people with remarkable powers and abilities that surpass those of us mere mortals.

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Jun 19, 2014

Mind uploading won’t lead to immortality

Posted by in categories: aging, bionic, biotech/medical, evolution, futurism, human trajectories, life extension, neuroscience, philosophy, posthumanism, robotics/AI, singularity, transhumanism

Uploading the content of one’s mind, including one’s personality, memories and emotions, into a computer may one day be possible, but it won’t transfer our biological consciousness and won’t make us immortal.

Uploading one’s mind into a computer, a concept popularized by the 2014 movie Transcendence starring Johnny Depp, is likely to become at least partially possible, but won’t lead to immortality. Major objections have been raised regarding the feasibility of mind uploading. Even if we could surpass every technical obstacle and successfully copy the totality of one’s mind, emotions, memories, personality and intellect into a machine, that would be just that: a copy, which itself can be copied again and again on various computers.

THE DILEMMA OF SPLIT CONSCIOUSNESS

Neuroscientists have not yet been able to explain what consciousness is, or how it works at a neurological level. Once they do, it is might be possible to reproduce consciousness in artificial intelligence. If that proves feasible, then it should in theory be possible to replicate our consciousness on computers too. Or is that jumpig to conclusions ?

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May 26, 2014

Oil and Gas Tankers (maritime vessels) that has benefited from Mr. Andres Agostini’s White Swan Transformative and Integrative Risk Management.

Posted by in categories: big data, biological, business, complex systems, computing, economics, education, energy, engineering, existential risks, finance, geopolitics, law, law enforcement, physics, robotics/AI, science, scientific freedom, security, supercomputing, sustainability

Oil and Gas Tankers (maritime vessels) that has continuously benefited from Mr. Andres Agostini’s White Swan Transformative and Integrative Risk Management. The White Swan Idea is at http://lifeboat.com/blog/2014/04/white-swan

Through five and half years, the White Swan Book Author Andres Agostini concurrently managed the risks of ten (10) oil and gas tankers (maritime vessels). There is a sample of five (5) vessels here.

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May 25, 2014

The Lifeboat Foundation Worldwide Ambassador Mr. Andres Agostini’s own White Swan Dictionary, Countermeassuring Every Unthinkable Black Swan, at http://lifeboat.com/blog/2014/04/white-swan

Posted by in categories: big data, biological, business, complex systems, computing, defense, disruptive technology, economics, education, engineering, existential risks, finance, genetics, information science, innovation, internet, law, law enforcement, lifeboat, physics, robotics/AI, science, scientific freedom, security, singularity, supercomputing, sustainability

The Lifeboat Foundation Worldwide Ambassador Mr. Andres Agostini’s own White Swan Dictionary, Countermeassuring Every Unthinkable Black Swan, at http://lifeboat.com/blog/2014/04/white-swan

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WHITE SWAN — UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY

Altogetherness.— Altogetherness is the quality of conforming to the ability to investigate with all or everything included.

Continue reading “The Lifeboat Foundation Worldwide Ambassador Mr. Andres Agostini’s own White Swan Dictionary, Countermeassuring Every Unthinkable Black Swan, at http://lifeboat.com/blog/2014/04/white-swan” »


May 21, 2014

VIRUS: Rebutting the fear of synthetic biology @HJBentham @IEET

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, disruptive technology, economics, energy, ethics, existential risks, futurism, genetics, science

- @ClubOfINFO — A recent massive leap forward in synthetic life, recently published in Nature, is the expansion of the alphabet of DNA to six letters rather than four, by synthetic biologists – the technicians to whom we entrust the great task of reprogramming life itself.

Breakthroughs such as the above are quite certain to alert more and more people to synthetic biology and its possible consequences. For as long as such breathtaking discoveries continue to be made in this area of research, it is inevitable that latent fears among society will come closer to the surface.
There is likely to be a profound distrust, whether inculcated by religion or by science fiction horror movies and literature, towards the concept of tampering with nature and especially the very building blocks that brought us into existence. While the people with this profoundly negative reaction are not sure what they are warning against, they are motivated by a vitalistic need to believe that the perversion of life is going to provoke hidden – almost divine – repercussions.
Is it really true that no-one should be meddling with something so fundamental to life, or is synthetic biology the science of our century, our civilization’s key to unlimited energy? Whatever the answer may be, the science enabling it already exists and is growing rapidly, and history seems to show that any technology once invented is impossible to contain.
The fact that synthetic base pairs now exist should confirm, for many, the beginning of humanity’s re-engineering of the structures of life itself. As it is unprecedented in our evolution, we are presented with an ethical question and all points of view should be considered, no matter how radical or conservative they are.

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May 13, 2014

The Transhuman Olympics: Where Entertainment Meets Innovation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, futurism, medical, transhumanism

Since the first modern Olympic Games bowed in Athens in 1896, humanity has gradually integrated the developments of science and technology into the realm of competitive sport.

The various attempts to slow the utilization of advanced materials, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and robotics is akin to keeping certain gender or ethnic groups out of the games. Not just discrimination, but impeding the flow of progress.

transhuman olympicsIf the ultimate goal of world-level competition is advancement of human physical ability, then athletes, coaches, physicians, and biotech engineers should be able to choose the very best tactics and strategies to achieve that goal.

A Transhuman Olympics would be wildly entertaining, but would also spur the development of biotechnology at a pace that public and private science could never keep up with. While the ethics of such an event might be hotly contested, the benefits to humankind would be lasting and far reaching.

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May 10, 2014

What to make of the film ‘Transcendence’? Show it in classrooms.

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, augmented reality, bionic, computing, cyborg, disruptive technology, existential risks, fun, futurism, homo sapiens, human trajectories, innovation, nanotechnology, philosophy, posthumanism, privacy, robotics/AI, science, singularity, transhumanism

transcendenceI recently saw the film Transcendence with a close friend. If you can get beyond Johnny Depp’s siliconised mugging of Marlon Brando and Rebecca Hall’s waddling through corridors of quantum computers, Transcendence provides much to think about. Even though Christopher Nolan of Inception fame was involved in the film’s production, the pyrotechnics are relatively subdued – at least by today’s standards. While this fact alone seems to have disappointed some viewers, it nevertheless enables you to focus on the dialogue and plot. The film is never boring, even though nothing about it is particularly brilliant. However, the film stays with you, and that’s a good sign. Mark Kermode at the Guardian was one of the few reviewers who did the film justice.

The main character, played by Depp, is ‘Will Caster’ (aka Ray Kurzweil, but perhaps also an allusion to Hans Castorp in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain). Caster is an artificial intelligence researcher based at Berkeley who, with his wife Evelyn Caster (played by Hall), are trying to devise an algorithm capable of integrating all of earth’s knowledge to solve all of its its problems. (Caster calls this ‘transcendence’ but admits in the film that he means ‘singularity’.) They are part of a network of researchers doing similar things. Although British actors like Hall and the key colleague Paul Bettany (sporting a strange Euro-English accent) are main players in this film, the film itself appears to transpire entirely within the borders of the United States. This is a bit curious, since a running assumption of the film is that if you suspect a malevolent consciousness uploaded to the internet, then you should shut the whole thing down. But in this film at least, ‘the whole thing’ is limited to American cyberspace.

Before turning to two more general issues concerning the film, which I believe may have led both critics and viewers to leave unsatisfied, let me draw attention to a couple of nice touches. First, the leader of the ‘Revolutionary Independence from Technology’ (RIFT), whose actions propel the film’s plot, explains that she used to be an advanced AI researcher who defected upon witnessing the endless screams of a Rhesus monkey while its entire brain was being digitally uploaded. Once I suspended my disbelief in the occurrence of such an event, I appreciate it as a clever plot device for showing how one might quickly convert from being radically pro– to anti-AI, perhaps presaging future real-world targets for animal rights activists. Second, I liked the way in which quantum computing was highlighted and represented in the film. Again, what we see is entirely speculative, yet it highlights the promise that one day it may be possible to read nature as pure information that can be assembled according to need to produce what one wants, thereby rendering our nanotechnology capacities virtually limitless. 3D printing may be seen as a toy version of this dream.

Now on to the two more general issues, which viewers might find as faults, but I think are better treated as what the Greeks called aporias (i.e. open questions):

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