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Archive for the ‘collective intelligence’ tag

Jun 22, 2013

Extreme Lifespans via Exposure to Information

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, life extension

It may be possible one day to use effective biotechnological therapies in order to achieve extreme lifespans. In the meantime, instead of just waiting for these therapies, it may be more fruitful to live a life of constant stimulation, hyper-connection and avoidance of regularity. This is something that everybody can do today, and may have a direct impact upon radical life extension, not only for the individual but also for society.

For some time now I have been advocating the notion that exposure to meaningful information may be one way of achieving radical life extension. By meaningful information I mean anything that requires action, and not just feeding your brain with routine sets of data. Examples of this include being hyper-connected in a digital world, an enriched environment (both in the personal space and in society as a whole), a hormetic lifestyle, behavioural models such as a goal-seeking behaviour, search for excellence, and a bias for action, as well as the pursuit innovation, diversification, creativity and novelty. Most importantly, the avoidance of routine and mediocrity.

This information-rich lifestyle up-regulates the function of the brain and may have an impact upon cell immortalisation. In my latest paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.2734 I provide an explanation of the exact mechanisms. I argue that the relentless exposure to useful information creates new and persisting demands for energy resources in order for this information to be assimilated by the neurons. If this process continues for some time, there will come a point where our biological mechanisms will undergo a phase transition, in effect creating a new biology. Not one based on sex and reproduction but one based on information and somatic survival.

One possible mechanism involves the immortalisation sequences of germ cells. As we know, the DNA in germ cells is essentially immortal because it is somehow able to repair age-related damage effectively. Recent research shows that some of these immortalisation mechanisms do not originate from the germ cells but from the somatic cells! In other words, our bodily cells create biological material such as error-free sequences of DNA and instead of using this themselves for their own survival, they pass it on to the germ cells to assure the survival of the species. This means that the germ-line remains immortal whereas the bodily cells eventually age and die.

Continue reading “Extreme Lifespans via Exposure to Information” »


Sep 1, 2012

Christian Astronomers

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, climatology, complex systems, counterterrorism, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, finance, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, media & arts, military, nuclear, open source, physics, policy, space, sustainability, transparency

“The more anxiety one produces, the more the discussion there would be about how real and how possible actual existential threats are.”

John Hunt recently queried me on what steps I might take to form an organization to advocate for survival colonies and planetary defense. His comment on anxiety is quite succinct. In truth the landing on the moon was the product of fear– of the former Soviet Union’s lead in rocket technology. As we as a nation quelled that anxiety the budget for human space flight dwindled. But the fear of a nuclear winter continued to grow along with the size of our arsenals.

Interestingly, at the height of the cold war, evidence of yet another threat to human existence was uncovered in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico in 1981; Chicxulub. But even before the dinosaur killer was discovered, perhaps the greatest threat of all to humanity was born in 1973 when Herb Boyer and Stanley Cohen created the first genetically modified organism. The money to answer both of these threats by going into space continues to be expended by the military industrial complex.

Mile wide rocks in space and microscopic organisms on earth are both threats to our existence, but the third and undoubtedly greatest threat is our own apathy. Why do we expend the tremendous resources of our race on everything BUT keeping it from going extinct?

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Aug 28, 2012

The Truth about Space Travel is Stranger than Fiction

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, climatology, complex systems, cosmology, counterterrorism, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, finance, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, media & arts, military, neuroscience, nuclear, physics, policy, space, sustainability, transparency, treaties

I have been corresponding with John Hunt and have decided that perhaps it is time to start moving toward forming a group that can accomplish something.

The recent death of Neil Armstrong has people thinking about space. The explosion of a meteor over Britain and the curiosity rover on Mars are also in the news. But there is really nothing new under the sun. There is nothing that will hold people’s attention for very long outside of their own immediate comfort and basic needs. Money is the central idea of our civilization and everything else is soon forgotten. But this idea of money as the center of all activity is a death sentence. Human beings die and species eventually become extinct just as worlds and suns also are destroyed or burn out. Each of us is in the position of a circus freak on death row. Bizarre, self centered, doomed; a cosmic joke. Of all the creatures on this planet, we are the freaks the other creatures would come to mock– if they were like us. If they were supposedly intelligent like us. But are we actually the intelligent ones? The argument can be made that we lack a necessary characteristic to be considered truly intelligent life forms.

Truly intelligent creatures would be struggling with three problems if they found themselves in our situation as human beings on Earth in the first decades of this 21st century;

1. Mortality. With technology possible to delay death and eventually reverse the aging process, intelligent beings would be directing the balance of planetary resources towards conquering “natural” death.

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Aug 19, 2012

Artilects Soon to Come

Posted by in categories: complex systems, counterterrorism, cybercrime/malcode, defense, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, futurism, information science, military, neuroscience, supercomputing

Whether via spintronics or some quantum breakthrough, artificial intelligence and the bizarre idea of intellects far greater than ours will soon have to be faced.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120819153743.htm

Aug 15, 2012

Approaching the Great Rescue

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, complex systems, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, media & arts, neuroscience, philosophy, policy, singularity, sustainability, transparency

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815131137.htm

One more step has been taken toward making whole body cryopreservation a practical reality. An understanding of the properties of water allows the temperature of the human body to be lowered without damaging cell structures.

Just as the microchip revolution was unforeseen the societal effects of suspending death have been overlooked completely.

The first successful procedure to freeze a human being and then revive that person without damage at a later date will be the most important single event in human history. When that person is revived he or she will awaken to a completely different world.

Continue reading “Approaching the Great Rescue” »


Aug 13, 2012

The Electric Septic Spintronic Artilect

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, climatology, complex systems, counterterrorism, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, homo sapiens, human trajectories, information science, military, neuroscience, nuclear, policy, robotics/AI, scientific freedom, singularity, space, supercomputing, sustainability, transparency

AI scientist Hugo de Garis has prophesied the next great historical conflict will be between those who would build gods and those who would stop them.

It seems to be happening before our eyes as the incredible pace of scientific discovery leaves our imaginations behind.

We need only flush the toilet to power the artificial mega mind coming into existence within the next few decades. I am actually not intentionally trying to write anything bizarre– it is just this strange planet we are living on.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813155525.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813123034.htm

Jul 6, 2010

What’s your idea to BodyShock the Future?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

I’m working on this project with Institute for the Future — calling on voices everywhere for ideas to improve the future of global health. It would be great to get some visionary Lifeboat ideas entered!

INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE ANNOUNCES BODYSHOCK:
CALL FOR ENTRIES ON IDEAS TO TRANSFORM LIFESTYLES AND THE HUMAN BODY TO IMPROVE HEALTH IN THE NEXT DECADE

“What can YOU envision to improve and reinvent health and well-being for the future?” Anyone can enter, anyone can vote, anyone can change the future of global health.

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Jan 27, 2009

Finding a Cure for Collective Neurosis in the Attention Economy

Posted by in categories: economics, existential risks, futurism, media & arts

(This essay has been published by the Innovation Journalism Blog — here — Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum — here — and the EJC Magazine of the European Journalism Centre — here)

Thousands of lives were consumed by the November terror attacks in Mumbai.

“Wait a second”, you might be thinking. “The attacks were truly horrific, but all news reports say around two hundred people were killed by the terrorists, so thousands of lives were definitely not consumed.”

You are right. And you are wrong.

Continue reading “Finding a Cure for Collective Neurosis in the Attention Economy” »