Archive for the ‘disruptive technology’ category: Page 9

Sep 4, 2016

‘Abolish artificial scarcity’: @KevinCarson1

Posted by in categories: disruptive technology, economics, futurism, government, hacking, hardware, policy, transhumanism

Predicting an economic “singularity” approaching, Kevin Carson from the Center for a Stateless Society writes in The Homebrew Industrial Revolution (2010) we can look forward to a vibrant “alternative economy” driven less and less by corporate and state leviathans.

According to Carson, “the more technical advances lower the capital outlays and overhead for production in the informal economy, the more the economic calculus is shifted” (p. 357). While this sums up the message of the book and its relevance to advocates of open existing and emerging technologies, the analysis Carson offers to reach his conclusions is extensive and sophisticated.

With the technology of individual creativity expanding constantly, the analysis goes, “increasing competition, easy diffusion of new technology and technique, and increasing transparency of cost structure will – between them – arbitrage the rate of profit to virtually zero and squeeze artificial scarcity rents” (p. 346).

An unrivalled champion of arguments against “intellectual property”, the author believes IP to be nothing more than a last-ditch attempt by talentless corporations to continue making profit at the expensive of true creators and scientists (p. 114–129). The view has significant merit.

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Aug 24, 2016

Steve Fuller’s Review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

Posted by in categories: big data, bioengineering, biological, bionic, cyborgs, disruptive technology, energy, evolution, existential risks, futurism, homo sapiens, innovation, moore's law, neuroscience, philosophy, policy, posthumanism, robotics/AI, science, singularity, theory, transhumanism

My sociology of knowledge students read Yuval Harari’s bestselling first book, Sapiens, to think about the right frame of reference for understanding the overall trajectory of the human condition. Homo Deus follows the example of Sapiens, using contemporary events to launch into what nowadays is called ‘big history’ but has been also called ‘deep history’ and ‘long history’. Whatever you call it, the orientation sees the human condition as subject to multiple overlapping rhythms of change which generate the sorts of ‘events’ that are the stuff of history lessons. But Harari’s history is nothing like the version you half remember from school.

In school historical events were explained in terms more or less recognizable to the agents involved. In contrast, Harari reaches for accounts that scientifically update the idea of ‘perennial philosophy’. Aldous Huxley popularized this phrase in his quest to seek common patterns of thought in the great world religions which could be leveraged as a global ethic in the aftermath of the Second World War. Harari similarly leverages bits of genetics, ecology, neuroscience and cognitive science to advance a broadly evolutionary narrative. But unlike Darwin’s version, Harari’s points towards the incipient apotheosis of our species; hence, the book’s title.

This invariably means that events are treated as symptoms if not omens of the shape of things to come. Harari’s central thesis is that whereas in the past we cowered in the face of impersonal natural forces beyond our control, nowadays our biggest enemy is the one that faces us in the mirror, which may or may not be able within our control. Thus, the sort of deity into which we are evolving is one whose superhuman powers may well result in self-destruction. Harari’s attitude towards this prospect is one of slightly awestruck bemusement.

Here Harari equivocates where his predecessors dared to distinguish. Writing with the bracing clarity afforded by the Existentialist horizons of the Cold War, cybernetics founder Norbert Wiener declared that humanity’s survival depends on knowing whether what we don’t know is actually trying to hurt us. If so, then any apparent advance in knowledge will always be illusory. As for Harari, he does not seem to see humanity in some never-ending diabolical chess match against an implacable foe, as in The Seventh Seal. Instead he takes refuge in the so-called law of unintended consequences. So while the shape of our ignorance does indeed shift as our knowledge advances, it does so in ways that keep Harari at a comfortable distance from passing judgement on our long term prognosis.

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Jul 11, 2016

3 Reasons You Are Living in the Matrix / How to Make a Red Pill

Posted by in categories: complex systems, disruptive technology, education, governance, government, philosophy, physics, policy, rants, science, scientific freedom

Appearances have always played a much more important part than reality in history, where the unreal is always of greater moment than the real.“
–Gustav LeBon, The Crowd (1895)

I’ve gotten no substantive response to my last post on vaccine safety– neither in the comments, nor the TruthSift diagram, nor anywhere else, nor have the papers I submitted to two medical journals… but I have gotten emails telling me I’m delusional and suggesting I seek psychiatric attention. And this of course is integral to the explanation of how such delusions as vaccine safety persist so widely when it is so demonstrably a delusion: the majority who believe the majority must be right because its the majority are emotionally unwilling to confront the evidence. They assume the experts have done that, and they rely on the experts. But the experts assume other experts have been there. Ask your Pediatrician if he’s personally read Bishop et al and formulated an opinion on vaccine aluminum. Neither has the National Academy, except perhaps their members have and decided, perhaps tacitly, not to review the subject. Their decision not to review the animal literature was not tacit, they said they explicitly decided to omit it, although elsewhere they say they couldn’t find human evidence that addressed the issues. So everybody is trusting somebody else, and nobody has picked up the ball. And can you blame them? Because when I pick up the ball, what I receive in return is hate mail and people’s scorn. The emotional response cuts off any possible inspection of the logic.

On most questions where a majority with authority is facing a minority of dissenters or skeptics, the majority is delusional.
In other words, you are living in the matrix; much of what you and people believe is fundamentlaly wrong.

Reason 1, as above, is that the majority forms its view by circular reasoning, and rejects any attempt at logical discussion without considering it seriously, so it is prone to delusion.
Once the crowd concluded vaccines are safe and effective, for example, the question of whether the aluminum is damaging can apparently no longer be raised (even as more gets added to vaccines). And when I or others try to raise it, we are scorned and hated, and ineffectual in changing the opinion supported by circular reasoning. When new research papers appear that call it into question, they are ignored, neither cited in the safety surveys nor influencing medical practice in any way. This paragraph is all simple reporting of what has repeatedly happened.

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Jul 5, 2016

When Humanity Meets A.I. | a16z Podcast

Posted by in categories: disruptive technology, education, ethics, machine learning, robotics/AI

Podcast with “Andreessen Horowitz Distinguished Visiting Professor of Computer Science … Fei-Fei Li [who publishes under Li Fei-Fei], associate professor at Stanford University.”

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] 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].

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May 13, 2016

Bringing The Dead Back To Life — Reanima Project / Bioquark Inc. Media Coverage

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biological, cryonics, disruptive technology, futurism, health, life extension, neuroscience, transhumanism

Fox 29 — Good Day Philadelphia



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May 12, 2016

Recommendation Engines Yielding Stronger Predictions into Our Wants and Needs

Posted by in categories: computing, disruptive technology, economics, information science, innovation, internet, machine learning, software

If you’ve ever seen a “recommended item” on eBay or Amazon that was just what you were looking for (or maybe didn’t know you were looking for), it’s likely the suggestion was powered by a recommendation engine. In a recent interview, Co-founder of machine learning startup Delvv, Inc., Raefer Gabriel, said these applications for recommendation engines and collaborative filtering algorithms are just the beginning of a powerful and broad-reaching technology.

Raefer Gabriel, Delvv, Inc.

Raefer Gabriel, Delvv, Inc.

Gabriel noted that content discovery on services like Netflix, Pandora, and Spotify are most familiar to people because of the way they seem to “speak” to one’s preferences in movies, games, and music. Their relatively narrow focus of entertainment is a common thread that has made them successful as constrained domains. The challenge lies in developing recommendation engines for unbounded domains, like the internet, where there is more or less unlimited information.

“Some of the more unbounded domains, like web content, have struggled a little bit more to make good use of the technology that’s out there. Because there is so much unbounded information, it is hard to represent well, and to match well with other kinds of things people are considering,” Gabriel said. “Most of the collaborative filtering algorithms are built around some kind of matrix factorization technique and they definitely tend to work better if you bound the domain.”

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May 5, 2016

“Liberation technologies” and the ones who will gain

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biological, biotech/medical, disruptive technology, economics, futurism, governance, human trajectories, internet, scientific freedom

How could global economic inequality survive the onslaught of synthetic organisms, micromanufacturing devices, additive manufacturing machines, nano-factories?

Narrated by Harry J. Bentham, author of Catalyst: A Techno-Liberation Thesis (2013), using the introduction from that book as a taster of the audio version of the book in production. (

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Apr 20, 2016

Bioquark Inc. and Revita Life Sciences Receive IRB Approval for First-In-Human Brain Death Study

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biological, biotech/medical, cryonics, disruptive technology, futurism, health, life extension, neuroscience

Bioquark, Inc., ( a company focused on the development of novel biologics for complex regeneration and disease reversion, and Revita Life Sciences, ( a biotechnology company focused on translational therapeutic applications of autologous stem cells, have announced that they have received IRB approval for a study focusing on a novel combinatorial approach to clinical intervention in the state of brain death in humans.

This first trial, within the portfolio of Bioquark’s Reanima Project ( is entitled “Non-randomized, Open-labeled, Interventional, Single Group, Proof of Concept Study With Multi-modality Approach in Cases of Brain Death Due to Traumatic Brain Injury Having Diffuse Axonal Injury” (, will enroll an initial 20 subjects, and be conducted at Anupam Hospital in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand India.


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Apr 8, 2016

Why fossil fuel power plants will be left stranded — By Martin Wolf | Financial Times

Posted by in categories: business, disruptive technology, education, energy, environmental, governance, law, sustainability

“Virtually all new fossil fuel-burning power-generation capacity will end up “stranded”. This is the argument of a paper by academics at Oxford university. We have grown used to the idea that it will be impossible to burn a large portion of estimated reserves of fossil fuels if the likely rise in global mean temperatures is to be kept below 2C. But fuels are not the only assets that might be stranded. A similar logic can be applied to parts of the capital stock.”

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