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Archive for the ‘human trajectories’ category

Jun 30, 2015

Kurzweil Responds to ‘When Robots Are Everywhere, What Will Humans Be Good For?’ — By David J. Hill

Posted by in categories: employment, futurism, human trajectories, posthumanism, robotics/AI

Lately, media around the web has been bracing for robots — not time-traveling robots per se, but robot workers. Specifically, the increased sophistication of artificial intelligence and improved engineering of robotics has spurred a growing concern about what people are going to do when all the regular jobs are done by robots.

A variety of solutions have been proposed to this potential technological unemployment (we even had an entire Future of Work series dealing with this topic in March), many of which suggest that there will still be things that humans can do that robots can’t, but what are they? Read more

Jun 25, 2015

We Are 100%, For Sure, in the Middle of a Major Extinction Event — Kaleigh Rogers | Motherboard

Posted by in categories: environmental, existential risks, human trajectories

http://motherboard-images.vice.com/content-images/article/22882/1434663510516168.jpg?crop=0.7907986111111112xw:1xh;*,*&resize=700:*&output-format=jpeg&output-quality=90

“Even using conservative estimates, the researchers found that the rate of extinction in the last 115 years is as high as 50 times what it would be under normal circumstances.” Read more

Jun 16, 2015

Esther Perel: Sex, Stability, and Self-Fulfillment

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, futurism, human trajectories, media & arts, philosophy

In the Galactic Public Archives film Click Here for Happiness Prof. Yair Amichai-Hamburger contends that even though technology allows us to connect with one another in unprecedented ways, “loneliness is the disease of the 21st century.” From Hamburger’s perspective, communication technology (coupled with human nature) tempts us to mistake superficial connections for meaningful ones, urges us to value quantity over quality. It creates new opportunities for experiencing the best of what it means to be human, but often our interaction with technology suggests something more akin to an addict on a new drug.

Therapist and author Esther Perel uses this film to explore our ‘existential aloneness’ through a different lens. Much as technology continues to open new doors for connection, the rapid cultural changes of the past 100 years allow us to choose the sort of life we wish to live. We make our most important connections by choice instead of having them mandated to us by tradition. But as is the case with technology, sometimes it isn’t clear if we are primed to use these new opportunities to build more fulfilling lives or simply to frustrate ourselves, building a world where more people feel alone.

Has our increased valuing of independence and self-fulfillment created a fatal conflict with the romantic ideal of ‘the couple?’ Can we have it all or do we need to choose between freedom and belonging? Perel isn’t sure that we can have it all, but she thinks that we can carve out a path that delivers more to more of us than would a retreat into tradition. “Let’s not romanticize the past. I don’t think that the fate of women in those marriages was particularly glorious. It seems that quite a few people were waiting to get out.” Perel argues that the only way that the future of ‘the couple’ can be navigated satisfactorily is if we continue to build upon the social progress of the past century. “You need two people who have equal power to have this communication, or to have this negotiation even able to take place without it being a power maneuver. If it doesn’t happen between two emancipated people it [becomes] a power system, which it was throughout history.”

What do you hope to build in a relationship? What connections do you value? What are your boundaries?

Jun 12, 2015

Couples, Culture and Sex: Who is Esther Perel?

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, futurism, human trajectories, media & arts, philosophy

What do you hope to find in a relationship? Security or freedom? Adventure or Intimacy? Do you want the connections in your life to serve as aides on your personal journey or do you want to feel you belong to a larger endeavor?

The future is often discussed in regard to technology, but when we look towards our personal futures we tend to think not of gizmos but of relationships. We think of the connections we want to build and experience, and the things that we wish to give the world in return. We think about how the world could be a better place for ourselves as well as those around us. The change we envision is not technological; rather it reflects what we value. In this film, therapist and author Esther Perel argues that the patterns in which we connect, and the conventions that guide how we couple present a window into what our culture really values.

When Perel looks at the ways in which we connect in early the 21st century she sees contradictions. The rapid technological and social shifts of the previous centuries have created conflicts not only within our cultures but also in the hopes and desires of the individual. She finds us looking with one eye to the secure and charted path that the norms of the past seem to offer us. With the other eye we look to the opportunities and fluid freedoms that now seem open to us. Can we coherently (and satisfactorily) reconcile these desires?

Continue reading “Couples, Culture and Sex: Who is Esther Perel?” »


May 28, 2015

Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World

Posted by in categories: architecture, environmental, futurism, human trajectories, lifeboat

DFTF

“In Designed for the Future, author Jared Green asks eighty of today’s most innovative architects, urban planners, landscape architects, journalists, artists, and environmental leaders the same question: what gives you the hope that a sustainable future is possible?”

Princeton Architectural Press

Trimtab Vol. 16 No. 5

May 16, 2015

Then and Now: 8 Fun Examples of Exponential Change From the Last Decade — By Peter Diamandis SingularityHub

Posted by in categories: futurism, human trajectories

http://cdn.singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/10-years-exponential-change-1000x400.jpg

It’s hard to believe, but…

Ten years ago…

  • The first video was uploaded to YouTube.
  • Facebook, then just a year old, dropped “the” from its old URL “thefacebook.com” after acquiring “facebook.com” for $200K.
  • An early prototype of an autonomous car completed the DARPA Grand Challenge for the first time.
  • The term “drone” meant a military weapon system.
  • Bitcoin and blockchain didn’t exist, and wouldn’t be created for three more years.
  • Android was a small startup that Google had just acquired.
  • There were 6.4 billion humans on Earth, only ~1 billion were online, and none of them had heard of Uber or AirBnb. Read more

Apr 24, 2015

To be a Space Faring Civilization

Posted by in categories: astronomy, cosmology, human trajectories, innovation, science, space, space travel, transportation

Until 2006 our Solar System consisted essentially of a star, planets, moons, and very much smaller bodies known as asteroids and comets. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Division III Working Committee addressed scientific issues and the Planet Definition Committee address cultural and social issues with regard to planet classifications. They introduced the “pluton” for bodies similar to planets but much smaller.

The IAU set down three rules to differentiate between planets and dwarf planets. First, the object must be in orbit around a star, while not being itself a star. Second, the object must be large enough (or more technically correct, massive enough) for its own gravity to pull it into a nearly spherical shape. The shape of objects with mass above 5×1020 kg and diameter greater than 800 km would normally be determined by self-gravity, but all borderline cases would have to be established by observation.

Third, plutons or dwarf planets, are distinguished from classical planets in that they reside in orbits around the Sun that take longer than 200 years to complete (i.e. they orbit beyond Neptune). Plutons typically have orbits with a large orbital inclination and a large eccentricity (noncircular orbits). A planet should dominate its zone, either gravitationally, or in its size distribution. That is, the definition of “planet” should also include the requirement that it has cleared its orbital zone. Of course this third requirement automatically implies the second. Thus, one notes that planets and plutons are differentiated by the third requirement.

As we are soon to become a space faring civilization, we should rethink these cultural and social issues, differently, by subtraction or addition. By subtraction, if one breaks the other requirements? Comets and asteroids break the second requirement that the object must be large enough. Breaking the first requirement, which the IAU chose not address at the time, would have planet sized bodies not orbiting a star. From a socio-cultural perspective, one could suggest that these be named “darktons” (from dark + plutons). “Dark” because without orbiting a star, these objects would not be easily visible; “tons” because in deep space, without much matter, these bodies could not meet the third requirement of being able to dominate its zone.

Continue reading “To be a Space Faring Civilization” »


Apr 8, 2015

Which Industry Will Produce the Next Henry Ford…Space? 3D Printing? Biotech?

Posted by in categories: futurism, human trajectories, innovation

By — SingularityHubhttp://cdn.singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/shutterstock_157122776-e1427493682272-1000x400.jpg

Modern machines, powerful and clever, have enabled us to attempt seemingly impossible tasks, like traveling to the moon. Now, mere decades after Apollo’s computers guided us to the lunar surface, millions carry vastly more processing power in their pockets. What once seemed science fiction—it’s possible today.

The incredible acceleration and exponential development of machines is driven by our unsatisfiable curiosity and constant drive for progress. And there is little doubt the rate of change will continue as our curious minds push into the unknown. Read more

Apr 5, 2015

This Is Big: A Robo-Car Just Drove Across the Country

Posted by in categories: disruptive technology, driverless cars, human trajectories, robotics/AI, transportation

— WiredAutonomous car from Delphi drives on Treasure Island in preparation for a cross-country trip from San Francisco to New York City in San FranciscoAn autonomous car just drove across the country.

Nine days after leaving San Francisco, a blue car packed with tech from a company you’ve probably never heard of rolled into New York City after crossing 15 states and 3,400 miles to make history. The car did 99 percent of the driving on its own, yielding to the carbon-based life form behind the wheel only when it was time to leave the highway and hit city streets.

This amazing feat, by the automotive supplier Delphi, underscores the great leaps this technology has taken in recent years, and just how close it is to becoming a part of our lives. Yes, many regulatory and legislative questions must be answered, and it remains to be seen whether consumers are ready to cede control of their cars, but the hardware is, without doubt, up to the task. Read More

Apr 2, 2015

Putting America Gainfully Back to Work

Posted by in categories: human trajectories, robotics/AI

By — SingularityHubhttp://cdn.singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Screen-Shot-2015-03-20-at-9.20.23-AM-1000x400.png

Years ago, my brother, Matt, explained to me that there are three ways to push out the productivity curve: technology, capital, or people.

When we increase productivity, we increase wealth. However, when we discuss how these three forces impact the labor market, we often focus singularly on how technology either creates or destroys jobs and wealth.

Our fear – not entirely misplaced – is that robots will render most of us useless, and in doing so, cleave society into those who control the machines (educated titans of industry), and those who fall victim to them (uneducated poor workers). In this future, the majority of humans – helpless and tired – fall by the way-side on the road to progress.

Read more

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