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Archive for the ‘governance’ category

May 2, 2017

Why Silicon Valley Can’t “Disruptively” Vote Its Way To Digital Immortality

Posted by in categories: existential risks, governance, life extension, lifeboat, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity

You’ve probably heard about billionaires’ Plan B for when the end of the world comes, much of it centering around property in New Zealand. It’s not exactly a bad plan as far as doomsday prepping goes; buy a nice bunker somewhere in Middle Earth and wait out the chaos in luxury on one of two fairly isolated islands. Now, you may have noticed that front and center for such planning is Silicon Valley billionaire and Trump backer Peter Thiel of the pay-to-sue-Gawker-into-oblivion fame to the public at large, and ultra-libertarian venture capitalist with some crazy ideas about the future to the techies who know him. His backing of seasteading and support for Trump just because he got bored with Obama, are but a warmup to what he really has in mind for the future: immortality as a sentient super-AI.

No, you didn’t read that wrong, and no, this is not hyperbole. In fact, yours truly was once invited to an event where Thiel was a featured speaker after a rather public spat with the president of the Singularity Institute. I did not take up the offer because I had to be in class to learn how to build actual AI systems. And for full disclosure, I was invited to join an advisory board for a group of futurists called The Lifeboat Foundation, but like Groucho Marx, I didn’t want to be involved in a club that would accept someone like me as a member, much less as an advisor based on little more than me being a grad student at the time. So Thiel’s involvement with a group of futurists and an occasional computer scientist who thinks we’re on the verge of something a lot like the plot of Transcendence, is extremely well known in tech.

In fact, the belief that at some point, artificial intelligence and the march of technology will create a singularity that will alter humanity forever, has an alarming number of adherents in Silicon Valley. The face of the Singularity today, Ray Kurzweil, works at Google and runs Singularity University where it’s preached thanks to a multimillion commitment from his employer. And the fact that this belief is so popular in the world’s biggest tech hub isn’t all that surprising if we consider its followers. They’re told that their code and the technology they’re developing is changing the world, or they’re devoted followers of popular science news ready for the incredible future promised to us by the glossy magazines and sci-fi movies to arrive. To be told that by 2035 or 2045 we may become immortal through technology is appealing to say the least, and empowering for those who think they can help.

Continue reading “Why Silicon Valley Can’t ‘Disruptively’ Vote Its Way To Digital Immortality” »

May 1, 2017

This Transhumanist Politician Wants to be Governor of California

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, geopolitics, governance, life extension, robotics/AI, transhumanism

A nice new write-up on my governor run: https://humanityplus.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/this-transhuma…alifornia/ #transhumanism


It’s a good time to be a transhumanist politician. As faith in the political establishment declines, new technologies, from gene editing to artificial intelligence, are transforming our lives faster than ever. The transhumanist author and politician Zoltan Istvan agrees. He thinks the time is ripe for pro-science and technology governance, and for leaders who will embrace the technologies that could fundamentally transform our conceptions of what it means to be human.

Istvan is a maverick who appears to thrive in an ‘outsider’ role. He self-published a sci-fi novel, The Transhumanist Wager, in 2013, which became a surprise bestseller on Amazon. In 2016, he made an unlikely run for US president as the leader of the Transhumanist Party. Now, he’s making a bid for Governor of California in the 2018 election under a Libertarian Party ticket.

Continue reading “This Transhumanist Politician Wants to be Governor of California” »

Apr 11, 2017

What is a city? The SDGs depend on an answer — By Brendon Bosworth | GreenBiz

Posted by in categories: business, economics, environmental, governance, sustainability

“This month, urban thinkers from the United Nations, the European Commission and other organizations are meeting in Brussels to continue a curiously complex attempt: developing a universal definition of the “city.””

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Apr 7, 2017

Disaster Assistance Handbook | Third Edition, March 2017 | The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Posted by in categories: architecture, engineering, environmental, governance

“This handbook will:

  • help architects better understand their role and how to prepare for and respond to disasters
  • prepare AIA Component staff to engage and coordinate their architect members and provide community discourse and assistance
  • explain how built environment professionals can work with architects and the community on disaster response and preparedness efforts
  • inform municipal governments of the unique ways architects assist the public and their clients in mitigating, responding to and recovering from disasters”

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Apr 6, 2017

U.S. Transhumanist Party Discussed

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, governance, transhumanism

New article by Transhumanist Party:


Gennady Stolyarov II

The Spring 2017 issue of the magazine Issues in Science and Technology, published by the National Academy of Sciences, features an article by Professor Steve Fuller, the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. This article, entitled “Does this pro-science party deserve our votes?” discusses the Transhumanist Party from the time of Zoltan Istvan’s 2016 run for President.

In this article, which offers both positive discussion and critiques of Istvan’s campaign, Professor Fuller writes:

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Apr 3, 2017

Climate of Hope — By Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

Posted by in categories: business, environmental, finance, governance, government

“Bloomberg, an entrepreneur and former mayor of New York City, and Pope, a lifelong environmental leader, approach climate change from different perspectives, yet they arrive at similar conclusions.”

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Mar 29, 2017

Tallinn Manual 2.0 – the invaluable guide for state action in cyber space

Posted by in categories: governance, law, security, space

Following the principle set in the first version, Tallinn Manual 2.0 – a document that provides guidance on how the existing international law could be adapted to cyber operations in the most appropriate way – reiterates that cyber activity should not be perceived as happening in a legal vacuum.

Estonia has become one of the forerunners and success stories of introducing digital identity, e-governance and an online voting system. The e-residency programme, which allows foreign citizens living outside of the physical national borders of Estonia to obtain a secure digital identity and benefit from some of the services available, has further increased the interest in Estonia’s digital developments, contributing to Estonia’s image as one of the world’s most digitally advanced countries.

This impressive degree of integration means e-dimension is no longer solely the playfield of the IT sector. As this new dimension is rapidly gaining ground, various topics need to be addressed, including (and perhaps most importantly) security.

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Mar 25, 2017

Here Is One Powerful Way the U.S. Could Boost Solar Adoption — By Jamie Condliffe | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: energy, governance, government, policy, solar power

“Harnessing the Sun’s power may require concerted international coöperation.”

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Mar 20, 2017

Can a Robot Run for President? Zoltan Istvan on the Transhuman Movement and Liberty

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, governance, robotics/AI, transhumanism

Here’s a new 40-minute podcast interview I did with site Lions of Liberty. Lots of transhumanism in it.


In today’s episode of Lions of Liberty, Marc welcomes in the founder of the Transhumanist Party and 2018 Libertarian candidate for the California Governorship, Zoltan Istvan!

In the show, you’ll hear:

Continue reading “Can a Robot Run for President? Zoltan Istvan on the Transhuman Movement and Liberty” »

Mar 10, 2017

The boom is here: U.S. solar experiences record-smashing year — By Joe Romm | ThinkProgress

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, governance, policy, science, solar power

“The industry reports that, for the first time ever, solar was the number one source of new generating capacity, beating out wind and gas.”

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