Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”
Archive for the ‘philosophy’ category
Jul 20, 2015
Posted by Steve Fuller in categories: defense, futurism, geopolitics, governance, government, life extension, philosophy, sustainability, theory, transhumanism
One of the biggest existential challenges that transhumanists face is that most people don’t believe a word we’re saying, however entertaining they may find us. They think we’re fantasists when in fact we’re talking about a future just over the horizon. Suppose they’re wrong and we are right. What follows? Admittedly, we won’t know this until we inhabit that space ‘just over the horizon’. Nevertheless, it’s not too early to discuss how these naysayers will be regarded, perhaps as a guide to how they should be dealt with now.
So let’s be clear about who these naysayers are. They hold the following views:
1) They believe that they will live no more than 100 years and quite possibly much less.
2) They believe that this limited longevity is not only natural but also desirable, both for themselves and everyone else.
3) They believe that the bigger the change, the more likely the resulting harms will outweigh the benefits.
Now suppose they’re wrong on all three counts. How are we to think about such beings who think this way? Aren’t they the living dead? Indeed. These are people who live in the space of their largely self-imposed limitations, which function as a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are programmed for destruction – not genetically but intellectually. Someone of a more dramatic turn of mind would say that they are suicide bombers trying to manufacture a climate of terror in humanity’s existential horizons. They roam the Earth as death-waiting-to-happen. This much is clear: If you’re a transhumanist, ordinary people are zombies.
Jun 23, 2015
Posted by Benjamin T. Solomon in categories: anti-gravity, cosmology, defense, general relativity, gravity, innovation, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, quantum physics, science, space travel
In 2014, I submitted my paper “A Universal Approach to Forces” to the journal Foundations of Physics. The 1999 Noble Laureate, Prof. Gerardus ‘t Hooft, editor of this journal, had suggested that I submit this paper to the journal Physics Essays.
My previous 2009 submission “Gravitational acceleration without mass and noninertia fields” to Physics Essays, had taken 1.5 years to review and be accepted. Therefore, I decided against Prof. Gerardus ‘t Hooft’s recommendation as I estimated that the entire 6 papers (now published as Super Physics for Super Technologies) would take up to 10 years and/or $20,000 to publish in peer reviewed journals.
Prof. Gerardus ‘t Hooft had brought up something interesting in his 2008 paper “A locally finite model for gravity” that “… absence of matter now no longer guarantees local flatness…” meaning that accelerations can be present in spacetime without the presence of mass. Wow! Isn’t this a precursor to propulsion physics, or the ability to modify spacetime without the use of mass?
As far as I could determine, he didn’t pursue this from the perspective of propulsion physics. A year earlier in 2007, I had just discovered the massless formula for gravitational acceleration g=τc^2, published in the Physics Essays paper referred above. In effect, g=τc^2 was the mathematical solution to Prof. Gerardus ‘t Hooft’s “… absence of matter now no longer guarantees local flatness…”
Tags: Air Force Research Lab, American Physical Society, Baa, Brian Green, Broad Agency Announcements, DARPA, Force Fields, Foundations of Physics, Gamow Memorial Lecture, General Relativity, Gerardus 'T Hooft, Gravity Modification, interstellar propulsion, Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformation, Missile Defense Agency, NASA, National Science Foundation, Naval Research Lab, Newtonian Gravitational Transformation, NGT, Noble Prize, Nsf, Physics Essays, Roger Penrose, Sandia National Lab
Jun 23, 2015
Posted by Benjamin T. Solomon in categories: cosmology, defense, disruptive technology, general relativity, gravity, innovation, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, quantum physics, space travel
Recent revelations of NASA’s Eagleworks Em Drive caused a sensation on the internet as to why interstellar propulsion can or cannot be possible. The nay sayers pointed to shoddy engineering and impossible physics, and ayes pointed to the physics of the Alcubierre-type warp drives based on General Relativity.
So what is it? Are warp drives feasible? The answer is both yes and no. Allow me to explain.
The empirical evidence of the Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887, now known as the Lorentz-FitzGerald Transformations (LFT), proposed by FitzGerald in 1889, and Lorentz in 1892, show beyond a shadow of doubt that nothing can have a motion with a velocity greater than the velocity of light. In 1905 Einstein derived LFT from first principles as the basis for the Special Theory of Relativity (STR).
So if nothing can travel faster than light why does the Alcubierre-type warp drive matter? The late Prof. Morris Klein explained in his book, Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty, that mathematics has become so powerful that it can now be used to prove anything, and therefore, the loss of certainty in the value of these mathematical models. The antidote for this is to stay close to the empirical evidence.
Jun 16, 2015
Posted by Johnny Boston 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
Posted by Johnny Boston 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?
Apr 24, 2015
Posted by LHC Kritik in categories: astronomy, big data, computing, cosmology, energy, engineering, environmental, ethics, existential risks, futurism, general relativity, governance, government, gravity, information science, innovation, internet, journalism, law, life extension, media & arts, military, nuclear, nuclear energy, open source, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, posthumanism, quantum physics, science, security, singularity, space, space travel, supercomputing, sustainability, time travel, transhumanism, transparency, treaties
Harnessing “Black Holes”: The Large Hadron Collider – Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction
Why the LHC must be shut down
What would you have done to stop catastrophic events if you knew in advance what you know now.
We have the moral obligation to take action in every way we can.
The future is in our hands. The stakes are the highest they have ever been. The Large Hadron Collider developed by the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) is a dangerous instrument. The start-up April 5 has initiated a more reckless use of LHC’s capabilities.
Apr 24, 2015
Posted by LHC Kritik in categories: astronomy, big data, complex systems, computing, cosmology, energy, engineering, ethics, existential risks, futurism, general relativity, governance, government, gravity, hardware, information science, innovation, internet, journalism, law, life extension, media & arts, military, nuclear, nuclear energy, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, quantum physics, science, security, singularity, space, space travel, supercomputing, sustainability, time travel, transhumanism, transparency, treaties
Jan 29, 2015
Posted by Johnny Boston in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, entertainment, existential risks, futurism, neuroscience, particle physics, philosophy, physics, quantum physics, science, singularity
The study of consciousness and what makes us individuals is a topic filled with complexities. From a neuroscience perspective, consciousness is derived from a self-model as a unitary structure that shapes our perceptions, decisions and feelings. There is a tendency to jump to the conclusion with this model that mankind is being defined as self-absorbed and only being in it for ourselves in this life. Although that may be partially true, this definition of consciousness doesn’t necessarily address the role of morals and how that is shaped into our being. In the latest addition to The Galactic Public Archives, Dr. Ken Hayworth tackles the philosophical impact that technologies have on our lives.
Our previous two films feature Dr. Hayworth extrapolating about what radical new technologies in neuroscience could eventually produce. In a hypothetical world where mind upload is possible and we could create a perfect replica of ourselves, how would one personally identify? If this copy has the same memories and biological components, our method of understanding consciousness would inevitably shift. But when it comes down it, if we were put in a situation where it would be either you or the replica – it’s natural evolutionary instinct to want to save ourselves even if the other is an exact copy. This notion challenges the idea that our essence is defined by our life experiences because many different people can have identical experiences yet react differently.
Hayworth explains, that although there is an instinct for self-survival, humanity for the most part, has a basic understanding not to cause harm upon others. This is because morals are not being developed in the “hard drive” of your life experiences; instead our morals are tied to the very idea of someone just being a conscious and connected member of this world. Hayworth rationalizes that once we accept our flawed intuition of self, humanity will come to a spiritual understanding that the respect we give to others for simply possessing a reflection of the same kind of consciousness will be the key to us identifying our ultimate interconnectedness.
Jan 5, 2015
Posted by Andres Agostini in categories: education, innovation, philosophy
Christiane Amanpour’s Misunderstanding “…Crisis …”
THIS IS A TRUE INTERVIEW EXCHANGE, AIRED BY CNN ON THE WEEK BETWEEN DEC/29/2014 AND JAN/02/2015.
CNN Journalist Christiane Amanpour: “…How does the Chinese government consider the Ebola Crisis in Africa and the world, Mr. Ambassador? …”
Chinese Ambassador: “…Things are no so bad as you and the so-called ‘West’ suggest.… You see, in English crisis is a one word expression, but in Traditional Chinese, Crisis is a two-word term, meaning: Danger and Opportunity …”