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Archive for the ‘technology’ tag

Jan 25, 2015

Bitcoin Will End the Nation State

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, disruptive technology, economics, geopolitics

Everything you’ve come to know about pensions, social welfare programs, and nationality as an ideology, will be obliterated by the implications of bitcoin.

Read the full article on Diginomics.

Jan 22, 2015

First Robotics– Who Are the Celebrities of the Future?

Posted by in categories: lifeboat, science

At the most basic level The FIRST Robotics Competition, founded by inventor Dean Kamen, looks to the future by developing the next generation of the world’s engineers. Many of the students at FIRST go on to work at very influential titans of technology, or at future oriented organizations such as NASA. This documentary on FIRST Robotics is our eighth main piece in our Galactic Public Archives series in which we explore compelling visions of our future from influential individuals. So far, we’ve covered an interesting collection of viewpoints and topics regarding our possible future, ranging from the future of longevity, to the future of search and even the future of democracy. FIRST seemed like a natural opportunity to explore another ‘puzzle-piece’ of what the future might look like. And of course, the competition features Robots, which are an integral piece of any self-respecting utopian or dystopian future. What we did not realize as we started our exploration of the program was that FIRST is not attempting to be a humble building block towards the future. Although only time will tell to what degree it succeeds, it aspires to be a catalyst for much more far-reaching change.

In a society that praises the utmost competitive spirit in all the wrong ways, Inventor Dean Kamen noticed less and less youth using this spirit towards opportunities in math and science, instead aspiring to become celebrities, or sports superstars. In turn, he provided an answer to make kids excited about changing the world through technology. Kamen’s endeavor, FIRST Robotics offers teens a chance, in competition form, to use their skills and teamwork to problem solve a piece of machinery to life.

FIRST was modeled off the allure of professional sports leagues but without – hopefully — the dog eat dog spirit. David Lavery, FIRST Robotics Mentor and NASA Engineer, grew up during the Cold War when competition through technology meant joining in on the race to the moon. An interesting aspect of FIRST’s philosophy, is that as much as it embraces competition, students are also forced to realize that your greatest competitor could – in the future — work as one of your greatest collaborators. This generation may be bombarded with news about Kardashians as opposed to scientists, astronauts and cosmonauts — but what FIRST aims to cultivate, is a hunger to make a difference – made possible now more than ever due to widespread access to information.

Directly and tangentially, the experiment of FIRST both tackles and raises an entire swarth of deeper questions about our future. What values will our culture celebrate in the future? What will the repercussions be of the values that we celebrate today? How much time do we have to solve some of the great challenges looming on the horizon? Will there be enough individuals with the skills required to tackle those problems? To what degree will the ‘fixes’ be technological vs. cultural? How will the longstanding ideological struggle of competition vs. cooperation evolve as the next generations take over? What is the future of education? What is the proper role of a teacher? A mentor? Where does cultural change come from? Where should it come from? It’s an impressive list of questions to be raised by a competition involving robots shooting frisbees. We hope you find it as compelling as we did.

Jan 8, 2015

How Creative Are You? Pt. III — Environment

Posted by in categories: science, transhumanism

One of the major aspects that can make or break a creative person according to FM-2030 is the environment. In his book “Are You A Transhuman?”, he asks the reader to grade their own surroundings: “Does your home environment stimulate innovation — cross fertilization — initiative?”

We bet you can see where this is going.

The answers are, once more, “Often, Sometimes, or Hardly Ever”, with “Often being the answer choice that gives you the most points — another 2 to tally up to your score if you’re already proving to be more transhumanist that you thought. It might seem obvious, but it’s true — environment can play a major role in the stimulation of creativity. FM says that “It is difficult to be precise about creativity — how much of it is inherited and how much is learned.” If an environment is one that “encourages free unrestricted thinking… encourages people to take initiatives… open and ever-changing”, it is a dynamic environment that can stimulate creativity in an individual.

Continue reading “How Creative Are You? Pt. III — Environment” »


Dec 25, 2014

Who is Dr. Aubrey De Grey?

Posted by in categories: health, science

This archive file was compiled from an interview conducted at the SENS Research Foundation in Mountain View, California, February 2013.

About Dr. Aubrey de Grey: The first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, decided in the 200s BC not to die, and assembled China’s best thinkers and searchers to solve the problem of death. Things did not work out for him. As of the early 21st century, historical efforts at reliable health in old age displayed a reliable pattern of failure. While the eventual crystallization of the scientific method and resulting technology had greatly improved many people’s life expectancy, the longest possible lifespan of an individual had proved to be a much more stubborn thing. Dr. Aubrey de Grey shot to controversial prominence in the 2000s, proposing that for the first time in history, developments in a wide variety of fields made it plausible to advocate for health technology which would significantly tackle age-related disease — possibly allowing the old to live with a higher quality of life and the same low ‘risk of death’ as the young.

Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey_de_Grey

SENS Research Foundation:
sens.org/research

Nov 13, 2014

FM-2030: What is the Future of Democracy? Part 2

Posted by in categories: futurism, lifeboat, philosophy, science

The audio in this archive file was compiled from a 1984 meeting of futurists, transhumanists, and progressives. The main topic of the meeting was the most appropriate ways to engage or advance these philosophies within government. For example, one significant point of discussion centered around whether running for office was an effective way to drive change.

In the course of the discussion, the primary viewpoint FM-2030 espoused was that some aspects of government — especially the concept of leadership — would become obsolete or be replaced by other aspects of society (see Part 1). However, he also expressed what he believed the core of a ‘true’ democracy might look like. This archive file is assembled from excerpts of that section of the discussion.

Nov 6, 2014

FM-2030: What is the Future of Democracy? Part 1

Posted by in categories: futurism, lifeboat, philosophy, science

The audio in this archive file was compiled from a 1984 meeting of futurists, transhumanists & progressives. The main topic of the meeting was the most appropriate ways to engage or advance these philosophies within government. For example, one significant point of discussion centered around whether running for office was an effective way to drive change.

The excerpts in this archive file collect many of futurist FM 2030’s thoughts over the course of the discussion.

About FM 2030: FM 2030 was at various points in his life, an Iranian Olympic basketball player, a diplomat, a university teacher, and a corporate consultant. He developed his views on transhumanism in the 1960s and evolved them over the next thirty-something years. He was placed in cryonic suspension July 8th, 2000.

Oct 30, 2014

Amit Singhal (at Google): Will your computer plan change your life?

Posted by in categories: lifeboat, posthumanism, robotics/AI, science

This archive file was compiled from an interview conducted at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, 2013. In the discussion, Amit Singhal, a key figure in the evolution of Google’s search engine, broadly outlined the significant hurdles that stood in the way of achieving one of his long-held dreams — creating a true ‘conversational’ search engine. He also sketched out a vision of how the initial versions of such a system would, and also importantly, would not attempt to assist the individuals that it interacted with.

Though the vision was by design more limited and focused than a system capable of passing the famous Turing test, it nonetheless raised stimulating questions about the future relationships of humans and their ‘artificial’ assistants.

More about Amit Singhal:

Continue reading “Amit Singhal (at Google): Will your computer plan change your life?” »


Oct 23, 2014

Who is Amit Singhal (at Google)?

Posted by in categories: futurism, lifeboat, science, transhumanism

This archive file was compiled from an interview conducted at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, 2013.

As late as the 1980s and the 1990s, the common person seeking stored knowledge would likely be faced with using an 18th century technology — the library index card catalogue — in order to find something on the topic he or she was looking for. Fifteen years later, most people would be able to search, at any time and any place, a collection of information that dwarfed that of any library. And unlike the experience with a library card catalogue, this new technology rarely left the user empty-handed.

Information retrieval had been a core technology of humanity since written language — but as an actual area of research it was so niche that before the 1950s, nobody had bothered to give the field a name. From a superficial perspective, the pioneering work in the area during the 1940s and 50s seemed to suggest it would be monumentally important to the future — but only behind the scenes. Information retrieval was to be the secret tool of the nation at war, or of the elite scientist compiling massive amounts of data. Increasingly however, a visionary group of thinkers dreamed of combining information retrieval and the ‘thinking machine’ to create something which would be far more revolutionary for society.

Continue reading “Who is Amit Singhal (at Google)?” »


Apr 22, 2014

Could Mind-reading Technology Become Harmful?

Posted by in categories: counterterrorism, cybercrime/malcode, ethics, government, law enforcement, neuroscience, security, singularity, transhumanism

From CLUBOF.INFO

The increasing detail at which human brains can be scanned is bringing the possibility of mind-reading appliances closer and closer. Such appliances, when complete, will be non-invasive and capable of responding to our thoughts as easily as they respond to keys on a keyboard. Indeed, as emphasized in the Lifeboat Foundation’s 2013 publication, The Human Race to the Future, there may soon be appliances that are operated by thought alone, and such technology may even replace our keyboards.
It is not premature to be concerned about possible negative outcomes from this, however positive the improvement in people’s lifestyles would be. In mind-reading appliances, there are two possible dangers that become immediately obvious.

Danger 1: “Thought police”

Brain-machine interfaces have many possibilities that deserve to be explored by science. However, there are also potentially dystopian threats presented by this technology. Even technologies like personal computers, which were seen as liberating to the individual and not aligned with powerful governments, have also become windows that regimes can use to spy on their citizens.

Continue reading “Could Mind-reading Technology Become Harmful?” »


Jan 2, 2014

The Future of the Internet!

Posted by in category: science

The Internet has clearly demonstrated the power of networked computing. You don’t need me to tell you that effects of the Internet’s emergence have been overwhelmingly pervasive. But the Internet is also very new and still evolving. So what is the future of this medium? How will it continue to shape our lives in the 2020s? 2030s? 2040s?

Let me know what you think! @cadelllast

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