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Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category

Jul 21, 2016

We’ll Only Have a Year to Prepare For a Cataclysmic Super-Eruption

Posted by in category: existential risks

Volcanic super-eruptions are bad. Like really bad. Scientists warn of such a potentially civilization-ending catastrophe in our future, but as a new study shows, we’ll only have a year to prepare once the signs of an impending eruption become visible.

A new microscopic analysis of quartz crystals taken from the site of a massive volcanic eruption that occurred 760,000 years ago in eastern California suggests we’ll only have about a year’s worth of advance warning before a devastating super-eruption. In a paper published in PLOS ONE, Guilherme Gualda from Vanderbilt University and Stephen Sutton from the University of Chicago show that super-eruptions don’t require much time to blow their tops, even though they’re tens of thousands of years in the making.

Jul 14, 2016

Transhumanist Terminology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, computing, cryonics, cyborgs, encryption, existential risks, food, genetics, information science, life extension, nanotechnology, neuroscience, quantum physics, robotics/AI, singularity, transhumanism

Transhuman Terminology.

ADHOCRACY
AEONOMICS
A-LIFE
AGORIC SYSTEM

AI-COMPLETE ALEPH ALGERNON AMORTALIST ARACHNIOGRAPHY ARCH-ANARCHY ARCOLOGY ARROW IMPOSSIBILITY THEOREM ARTILECT ASEX ASIMORT ASIMOV ASSEMBLER ATHANASIA ATHANOPHY ATHEOSIS AUGMENT AUTOEVOLUTIONIST AUTOMATED ENGINEERING AUTOMORPHISM AUTOPOTENT AUTOSCIENT BABY UNIVERSE BASEMENT UNIVERSE BEAN DIP CATASTROPHE BEANSTALK BEKENSTEIN BOUND BERSERKER BETELGEUSE-BRAIN BIG CRUNCH BINERATOR BIOCHAUVINISM BIOLOGICAL FUNDAMENTALISM BIONICS BIONOMICS BIOPHILIAC BIOSTASIS B-LIFE BLIGHT BLIND UPLOADING BLUE GOO BOGOSITY FILTER BORGANISM BREAKEVEN POINT BROADCATCHING BRUTE FORCE UPLOADING BUSH ROBOT CALCUTTA SYNDROME CALM TECHNOLOGY CALORIE RESTRICTION CASIMIR EFFECT CEREBROSTHESIS CHINESE ROOM CHRONONAUTS CHURCH-TURING THESIS COBOTS COMPUFORM COMPUTRONIUM CONCENTRATED INTELLIGENCE CONSILIENCE CONNECTIONISM CONTELLIGENCE CONTINUITY IDENTITY THEORY COSMYTHOLOGY CRYOBIOLOGY CRYOCRASTINATE CRYOGENICS CRYONICS CRYONIC SUSPENSION CRYPTO ANARCHY CRYPTOCOSMOLOGY CYBERCIDE CYBERFICTION CYBERGNOSTICISM CYBERIAN CYBERNATE/CYBERNIZE CYBERSPACE/CYBERMATRIX CYBRARIAN CYPHERPUNK DEANIMALIZE DEATH FORWARD DEATHISM DEEP ANARCHY DEFLESH DIGITAL PSEUDONYM DIAMONDOID DISASSEMBLER DISASTERBATION DISTRIBUTED INTELLIGENCE DIVERGENT TRACK HYPOTHESIS DIVERSITY IQ DIVIDUALS DOOMSDAY ARGUMENT DOWNLOAD DRYWARE DUBIFIER DYSON SPHERE ECOCALYPSE ECTOGENESIS

EMBRYOMEME
EMULATION
ENHANCED REALITY
ENVIROCAPITALISM
EPHEMERALISTS
E-PRIME
ESCALATORLOGY
THE ETERNAL LIFE POSTULATE
EUPSYCHIA
EUTHENICS
EVOLUTIONARILY STABLE STRATEGY (ESS)
EVOLUTURE
EXCONOMICS
EXES
EXFORMATION
EXISTENTIAL TECHNOLOGY
EXOPHOBIA
EXOSELF
EXTROPIAN
EXTROPIATE
EXTROPIC
EXTROPOLIS
EXTROPY
FACULTATIVE ANAGOROBE
FAR EDGE PARTY
THE FERMI PARADOX
FEMTOTECHNOLOGY
FLATLANDER
FLUIDENTITY
FOGLET
FORK
FREDKIN’S PARADOX
FUNCTIONAL SOUP
FUTIQUE
FUTURE SHOCK
GALAXY BRAIN
GAUSSIAN
GENEGENEERING
GENETIC ALGORITHM
GENIE
GREEN GOO
GÖDEL’S THEOREM
GOLDEN GOO
GREAT FILTER, THE
GREY GOO
GUY FAWKES SCENARIO
HALLUCINOMEMIC
HIVE COMPUTING
HOMORPH
HPLD
HYPERTEXT
HYPONEIRIA
HYPOTECH

Continue reading “Transhumanist Terminology” »

Jul 13, 2016

10 Predictions About the Future That Should Scare the Hell Out of You

Posted by in categories: computing, existential risks, futurism

As far as the whole mind-to-computer thing I totally agree.

The name of the game, for me at least, when it comes to this type of thing is continuity of consciousness. Without that you are nothing more than a copy of another person, not the person themselves. That said, if there were to be a very, very slow process where your natural neurons are replaced by artificial ones, with both types working together seamlessly, THEN I’d be first in line.


The future looks bright, except when it doesn’t. Here are 10 exceptionally regrettable developments we can expect in the coming decades.

Continue reading “10 Predictions About the Future That Should Scare the Hell Out of You” »

Jul 11, 2016

Biodiversity, GMOs, Gene Drives and the Militarized Mind

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks

Nice callout of the Gates Foundation.


“Amaranth, Amaranto, love-lies-bleeding, tassel flower, Joseph’s coat, or ramdana (gods own grain) is the grain of well-being,” Shiva writes. (Photo: Elizabeth Weller/flickr/cc)

A recent report from the National Academy of Science of The United States, titled “Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values,” warns:

Continue reading “Biodiversity, GMOs, Gene Drives and the Militarized Mind” »

Jun 30, 2016

Asteroids could threaten Earth, scientists say

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Captain Obvious has OBVIOUSLY taken over NASA, I’m afraid.

;-)


Space rocks are a bigger threat than people realize, scientists say. An organization is trying to bring awarness to the dangerous of asteroids.

Jun 28, 2016

The Top Ten Reasons I Believe Vaccine Safety Is an Epic Mass Delusion

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, existential risks, government, health, life extension, policy, rants, science, scientific freedom

Its painful to bear views that make many think I’m an imbicile and dislike me. So please, if anybody has a rational argument why any of this is wrong, I beg to be enlightened. I’ve set up a diagram for the purpose that will support you to add your criticism exactly where it is pertinent. http://truthsift.com/search_view?topic=Are-Vaccines-Safe-?&a…p;nid=4083

(1) The National Academy’s Reviews Of Vaccine Safety
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has provided several multi-hundred page surveys studying the safety of vaccines, but rather than reassuring, these itemize some iatrogenic conditions being caused, and pronounce the scientific literature inadequate to say whether most others are. The 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Review[1] looked at 146 vaccine-condition pairs for causality, reporting:

  • 14 for which the evidence is said to convincingly support causality, the vaccine is causing the condition.
  • 4 where the evidence is said to favor acceptance.
  • 5 where the evidence is said to favor rejection, including MMR causing autism.
  • 123 where the evidence is said insufficient to evaluate.

The 2003 IOM Review on multiple vaccines said[2]:
“The committee was unable to address the concern that repeated exposure of a susceptible child to multiple immunizations over the developmental period may also produce atypical or non-specific immune or nervous system injury that could lead to severe disability or death (Fisher, 2001). There are no epidemiological studies that address this.”
and:
“the committee concludes that the epidemiological and clinical evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between multiple immunization and an increased risk of allergic disease, particularly asthma.”

  • None of the IOM Safety Reviews[1][2][3][4] addressed the aluminum (for example whether the aluminum is causing autism), or mentioned contaminants, or discussed animal models although they had concluded as just quoted there is generally no epidemiological or clinical data worth preferring.

Continue reading “The Top Ten Reasons I Believe Vaccine Safety Is an Epic Mass Delusion” »

May 31, 2016

TruthSift: A Platform for Collective Rationality

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, computing, disruptive technology, education, existential risks, information science, innovation, science, scientific freedom

“So there came a time in which the ideas, although accumulated very slowly, were all accumulations not only of practical and useful things, but great accumulations of all types of prejudices, and strange and odd beliefs.
Then a way of avoiding the disease was discovered. This is to doubt that what is being passed from the past is in fact true, and to try to find out ab initio again from experience what the situation is, rather than trusting the experience of the past in the form in which it is passed down. And that is what science is: the result of the discovery that it is worthwhile rechecking by new direct experience, and not necessarily trusting the [human] race[’s] experience from the past. I see it that way. That is my best definition…Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.“
–Richard P Feynman, What is Science? (1968)[1]

TruthSift.com is a platform designed to support and guide individuals or crowds to rationality, and make them smarter collectively than any unaided individual or group. (Free) Members use TruthSift to establish what can be established, refute what can’t be, and to transparently publish the demonstrations. Anyone can browse the demonstrations and learn what is actually known and how it was established. If they have a rational objection, they can post it and have it answered.

Whether in scientific fields such as climate change or medical practice, or within the corporate world or political or government debate, or on day to day factual questions, humanity hasn’t had a good method for establishing rational truth. You can see this from consequences we often fail to perceive:
Peer reviewed surveys agree: A landslide majority of medical practice is *not* supported by science [2,3,4]. Scientists are often confused about the established facts in their own field [5]. Within fields like climate science and vaccines, that badly desire consensus, no true consensus can be reached because skeptics raise issues that the majority brush aside without an established answer (exactly what Le Bon warned of more than 100 years ago[6]). Widely consulted sources like Wikipedia are reported to be largely paid propaganda on many important subjects [7], or the most popular answer rather than an established one [8]. Quora shows you the most popular individual answer, generated with little or no collaboration, and often there is little documentation of why you should believe it. Existing systems for crowd sourced wisdom largely compound group think, rather than addressing it. Existing websites for fact checking give you someone’s point of view.

Corporate or government planning is no better. Within large organizations, where there is inevitably systemic motivation to not pass bad news up, leadership needs active measures to avoid becoming clueless as to the real problems [9]. Corporate or government plans are subject to group think, or takeover by employee or other interests competing with the mission. Individuals who perceive mistakes have no recourse capable of rationally pursuading the majority, and may anyway be discouraged from speaking up by various consequences[6].

Continue reading “TruthSift: A Platform for Collective Rationality” »

May 18, 2016

Space exploration will spur transhumanism and mitigate existential risk

Posted by in categories: alien life, cyborgs, existential risks, geopolitics, policy, robotics/AI, solar power, space travel, sustainability, transhumanism

Friends have been asking me to write something on space exploration and my campaign policy on it, so here it is just out on TechCrunch:


When people think about rocket ships and space exploration, they often imagine traveling across the Milky Way, landing on mysterious planets and even meeting alien life forms.

In reality, humans’ drive to get off Planet Earth has led to tremendous technological advances in our mundane daily lives — ones we use right here at home on terra firma.

Continue reading “Space exploration will spur transhumanism and mitigate existential risk” »

May 16, 2016

Evidence of ancient giant asteroid discovered in Australia

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

ACTON, Australia, May 16 (UPI) — Researchers in Australia recently found a collection of spherules, evidence of a massive asteroid that struck Earth as it was still forming.

Spherules are tiny glass beads formed from material vaporized in the intense heat of an asteroid impact. They were found in northwestern Australia by a team of geologists led by Andrew Glikson of the Australian National University.

The glass beads were found scattered among ancient ocean sediments dated to the middle of the Archean Eon — 3.46 billion years ago. The spread of the spherules deposit suggests the impact would have left a crater between 12 and 18 miles in diameter.

Continue reading “Evidence of ancient giant asteroid discovered in Australia” »

May 4, 2016

If Something Is Going To Destroy Humanity, It’s Going To Be One Of These Catastrophes

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, climatology, existential risks, sustainability

Pandemics, asteroids, nuclear war, and sudden, destructive climate change are all unlikely—but not so unlikely that we shouldn’t be planning for them.

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