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Archive for the ‘philosophy’ category

Oct 12, 2017

Contrasting Human Futures: Technotopian or Human-Centred?*

Posted by in categories: complex systems, cyborgs, education, homo sapiens, human trajectories, philosophy, posthumanism, robotics/AI, singularity, Singularity University, transhumanism

[*This article was first published in the September 2017 issue of Paradigm Explorer: The Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network (Established 1973). The article was drawn from the author’s original work in her book: The Future: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2017), especially from Chapters 4 & 5.]

We are at a critical point today in research into human futures. Two divergent streams show up in the human futures conversations. Which direction we choose will also decide the fate of earth futures in the sense of Earth’s dual role as home for humans, and habitat for life. I choose to deliberately oversimplify here to make a vital point.

The two approaches I discuss here are informed by Oliver Markley and Willis Harman’s two contrasting future images of human development: ‘evolutionary transformational’ and ‘technological extrapolationist’ in Changing Images of Man (Markley & Harman, 1982). This has historical precedents in two types of utopian human futures distinguished by Fred Polak in The Image of the Future (Polak, 1973) and C. P. Snow’s ‘Two Cultures’ (the humanities and the sciences) (Snow, 1959).

What I call ‘human-centred futures’ is humanitarian, philosophical, and ecological. It is based on a view of humans as kind, fair, consciously evolving, peaceful agents of change with a responsibility to maintain the ecological balance between humans, Earth, and cosmos. This is an active path of conscious evolution involving ongoing psychological, socio-cultural, aesthetic, and spiritual development, and a commitment to the betterment of earthly conditions for all humanity through education, cultural diversity, greater economic and resource parity, and respect for future generations.

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Sep 7, 2017

Should We be Cautious about Envisioning Dystopias?

Posted by in categories: entertainment, ethics, existential risks, futurism, human trajectories, media & arts, philosophy, transhumanism

How will our relationship to technology evolve in the future? Will we regard it as something apart from ourselves, part of ourselves, or as a new area of evolution? In this new video from the Galactic Public Archives, Futurist Gray Scott explains that we are a part of a technological cosmos. Do you agree with Scott that technology is built into the universe, waiting to be discovered?

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Aug 24, 2017

Futurist Gray Scott: We are Part of a Technological Cosmos

Posted by in categories: biological, bionic, electronics, evolution, futurism, human trajectories, innovation, media & arts, philosophy, robotics/AI

How will our relationship to technology evolve in the future? Will we regard it as something apart from ourselves, part of ourselves, or as a new area of evolution? In this new video from the Galactic Public Archives, Futurist Gray Scott explains that we are a part of a technological cosmos. Do you agree with Scott that technology is built into the universe, waiting to be discovered?

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Aug 10, 2017

Futurist Gray Scott: We Can’t Ignore Our Psychological Future

Posted by in categories: computing, disruptive technology, education, ethics, futurism, innovation, internet, media & arts, mobile phones, nanotechnology, philosophy, robotics/AI, software, transhumanism, virtual reality

Why are we often so wrong about how the future and future technology will reshape society and our personal lives? In this new video from the Galactic Public Archives, Futurist Gray Scott tells us why he thinks it is important to look at all aspects of the future.

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Aug 3, 2017

David Krakauer on the Future of Humanity: An Interview with Rob Walcott | Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN)

Posted by in categories: ethics, futurism, human trajectories, philosophy

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Jun 5, 2017

FM-2030: Are You Transhuman?

Posted by in categories: philosophy, science, singularity, transhumanism

This film was compiled from audio of a discussion futurist FM-2030 held at the University of California on February 6th, 1994. In this discussion 2030 laid out an overview of his ‘transhuman’ philosophy and held a back and forth with other people present in the discussion. Discussion and debate included items such as the value of researching ‘indefinite lifespan’ technologies directly as opposed to (or in addition to) more traditional approaches, such as researching cures for specific diseases.
The excerpts in this archive file present a sort of thesis of FM 2030’s transhuman ideas.

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. For more information about FM 2030, view the GPA Archive File: ‘Introduction to FM 2030′ or visit some of the following links:

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Jun 1, 2017

Esther Perel: Sex, Stability, and Self-Fulfillment

Posted by in categories: philosophy, sex

Therapist and author Esther Perel explores our ‘existential aloneness’ in this film. 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.

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Sep 27, 2016

A Primer for Deterministic Thermodynamics and Cryodynamics

Posted by in categories: engineering, existential risks, general relativity, particle physics, philosophy, quantum physics

A Primer for Deterministic Thermodynamics and Cryodynamics

Dedicated to the Founder of Synergetics, Hermann Haken

Otto E. Rossler, Frank Kuske, Dieter Fröhlich, Hans H. Diebner, Thimo Bo¨ hl, Demetris T. Christopoulos, Christophe Letellier

Abstract The basic laws of deterministic many-body systems are summarized in the footsteps of the deterministic approach pioneered by Yakov Sinai. Two fundamental cases, repulsive and attractive, are distinguished. To facilitate comparison, long-range potentials are assumed both in the repulsive case and in the new attractive case. In Part I, thermodynamics – including the thermodynamics of irreversible processes along with chemical and biological evolution – is presented without paying special attention to the ad hoc constraint of long-range repulsion.Otto E. Rossler In Part II, the recently established new fundamental discipline of cryodynamics, based on long-range attraction, is described in a parallel format. In Part III finally, the combination (“dilute hot-plasma dynamics”) is described as a composite third sister discipline with its still largely unknown properties. The latter include the prediction of a paradoxical “double-temperature equilibrium” or at least quasi-equilibrium existing which has a promising technological application in the proposed interactive local control of hot-plasma fusion reactors. The discussion section puts everything into a larger perspective which even touches on cosmology.
Keywords: Sinai gas, chaos theory, heat death, dissipative structures, second arrow, Point Omega, Super Life, paradoxical cooling, antifriction, paradoxical acceleration, Sonnleitner numerical instability, dilute-plasma paradigm, two-temperature equilibrium, ITER, MHD, interactive plasma cooling, McGuire reactor, Hubble law, Zwicky rehabilitated, Perlmutter-Schmidt-Riess wiggle, mean cosmic temperature, van Helmont, Lavoisier, Kant, Poincaré, double-faced Sonnleitner map. (August 26, 2016)

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Sep 21, 2016

A Free Education for all the World’s People: Why is this Not yet a Thing?

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, internet, open access, open source, philosophy, policy, theory

When we as a global community confront the truly difficult question of considering what is really worth devoting our limited time and resources to in an era marked by such global catastrophe, I always find my mind returning to what the Internet hasn’t really been used for yet—and what was rumored from its inception that it should ultimately provide—an utterly and entirely free education for all the world’s people.

In regard to such a concept, Bill Gates said in 2010, “On the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world […] It will be better than any single university […] No matter how you came about your knowledge, you should get credit for it. Whether it’s an MIT degree or if you got everything you know from lectures on the web, there needs to be a way to highlight that.”

That may sound like an idealistic stretch to the uninitiated, but the fact of the matter is universities like MIT, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, The European Graduate School, Caltech, Stanford, Berkeley, and other international institutions have been regularly uploading entire courses onto YouTube and iTunes U for years. All of them are entirely free. Open Culture, Khan Academy, Wikiversity, and many other centers for online learning also exist. Other online resources have small fees attached to some courses, as you’ll find on edX and Coursea. In fact, here is a list of over 100 places online where you can receive high quality educational material. The 2015 Survey of Online Learning revealed a “Multi-year trend [that] shows growth in online enrollments continues to outpace overall higher ed enrollments.” I. Elaine Allen, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group points out that “The study’s findings highlight a thirteenth consecutive year of growth in the number of students taking courses at a distance.” Furthermore, “More than one in four students (28%) now take at least one distance education course (a total of 5,828,826 students, a year‐to‐year increase of 217,275).” There are so many online courses, libraries of recorded courses, pirate libraries, Massive Open Online Courses, and online centers for learning with no complete database thereof that in 2010 I found myself dumping all the websites and master lists I could find onto a simple Tumblr archive I put together called Educating Earth. I then quickly opened a Facebook Group to try and encourage others to share and discuss courses too.

The volume of high quality educational material already available online is staggering. Despite this, there has yet to be a central search hub for all this wonderful and unique content. No robust community has been built around it with major success. Furthermore, the social and philosophical meaning of this new practice has not been strongly advocated enough yet in a popular forum.

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Sep 1, 2016

Cargo Cult Science

Posted by in categories: climatology, environmental, existential risks, health, information science, philosophy, rants, science, sustainability

Feynman told us clearly: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” Check anything from first principles and experience, ignoring no logical holes, and that is science. Cargo Cult Science arises when the opposing arguments aren’t emphasized. Experts then form and pass down firm beliefs that are delusions. Cargo Cult science is like a perfect replica radio made all of wood: it may have all the trappings of degrees and chairs and journals, but it is missing the key ingredient and won’t function.[1][2]

Vaccine science is cargo cult science according to Feynman’s definition. There are a ton of peer reviewed papers demonstrating that vaccine aluminum is damaging, that vaccines are full of contaminants, that they can disrupt brain and immune system development, that the smallpox vaccine was ineffective, the polio vaccine is of questionable utility, other vaccines’ immunity wanes after only a few years. They never rebut as you can easily verify yourself by examining the citation list here for opposition and then searching the vaccine survey pdfs for the cites. They just ignore it.[3][4][5]

Climate science is cargo cult science. Climate “scientists” have been known to “hide” their own most interesting data, the data contradicting the prevailing theory which is what Feynman said a scientist should emphasize most prominently[6][7]. Alternative theories and methodological objections are ignored or white washed. (Search the IPCC reports for discussion of the opposition.) To say a science is cargo cult science is not to say that there are no papers published in it that are science, but it is to say one should repose zero or negative confidence in any pronouncement one has not personally verified from first principles.

http://TruthSift.com supports Feynman’s model of science applied to everything. Just as in mathematical practice, you can post proofs and refutations. But nothing is considered established unless every proposed refutation has an established counter-refutation. No proposed refutation can be ducked, and anybody who believes they have a rational objection may post it (and see the establishment statuses reflect the objection in real time). Try it out. Check out (and please contribute to) the ongoing diagrammings of the vaccine/climate science etc literatures. When they have passed through true logical review, confronting all the opposing arguments, what remains will be a genuine science.

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