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Apr 27, 2018

CGP Grey: The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

CGP Grey has produced a new video, this time an animated version of Prof. Nick Bostrom’s “The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant”. The fable is a powerful metaphor for aging and the acceptance mechanisms that have led humans to schedule their entire lives around its diktat.

There’s a good chance that ten or fifteen years from now, we’ll look back at this moment in history and realize that we were living through the beginning of a revolution, the first baby steps of what would eventually become a global movement. Maybe it’ll take longer, but just like it was for human flight, the unmistakable signs of the upcoming paradigm shift are all around us.

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Apr 27, 2018

Elon Musk Shares Stunning Footage of Comet’s Surface Passing Rosetta

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared footage from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta satellite, which passed by Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in 2016. The archived footage shows spectacular sights from space, and some of the most majestic aspects of our solar system.

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Apr 27, 2018

Scientists Get Their First Look at the Enzyme That Could Help Battle Aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

The enzyme holds clues to a possible cure for aging or potential cancer therapies.

Janet Iwasa

Nothing in your body lasts forever. Every single cell in your body will die eventually, and eventually you’ll run out of replacements. When that happens, various parts of your body will stop working correctly, and at some point the whole thing will shut down. Aging happens to all of us, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

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Apr 27, 2018

Is Finland Ending Universal Basic Income? No, Not Exactly

Posted by in categories: economics, government

Reports began surfacing in the media earlier this week that Finland was scrapping its much-discussed basic income experiment. The country began paying 2,000 unemployed Finns a basic income of €560 ($678) a month in January of 2017.

Articles this week ran headlines implying that Finland had decided to halt the experiment, implying that it had become unpopular.” The eagerness of the government is evaporating. They rejected extra funding [for it],” said Olli Kangas, the leader of the research team at Kela (Social Insurance Institution of Finland), told the BBC.

In actual fact, Finland is continuing its basic income plan until the end of 2018, as it had initially planned. Yes, it’s true that it won’t be extended past that date — but there hasn’t been any official word from the Finnish government that the experiment has been a failure. If anything, the government appears to be intent on studying the effects of the two-year program but believe they can only do so after it’s finished.

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Apr 27, 2018

Deniers and Critics of AI Will Only Be Left Behind

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, genetics, geopolitics, health, policy, robotics/AI, transhumanism

This month I’m participating in Cato Institute’s Cato Unbound discussion. Cato is one of the world’s leading think tanks. Here’s my new and second essay for the project:

Professor David D. Friedman sweeps aside my belief that religion may well dictate the development of AI and other radical transhumanist tech in the future. However, at the core of a broad swath of American society lies a fearful luddite tradition. Americans—including the U.S. Congress, where every member is religious—often base their life philosophies and work ethics on their faiths. Furthermore, a recent Pew study showed 7 in 10 Americans were worried about technology in people’s bodies and brains, even if it offered health benefits.

It rarely matters what point in American history innovation has come out. Anesthesia, vaccines, stem cells, and other breakthroughs have historically all battled to survive under pressure from conservatives and Christians. I believe that if formal religion had not impeded our natural secular progress as a nation over the last 250 years, we would have been much further along in terms of human evolution. Instead of discussing and arguing about our coming transhumanist future, we’d be living in it.

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Apr 27, 2018

Chasing Captain America: why superhumans may not be that far away

Posted by in category: bioengineering

Bioengineering technology is advancing rapidly. Here’s why it might produce a world of unimaginable inequalities.

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Apr 27, 2018

Can fish school cars in how to drive together?

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

In the not so distant future autonomous vehicles may rule the road. Could the ability of fish to swim together provide insights for engineers to make automated driving safer?

“One thinks about in isolation. But what is also important is the information which is being shared between cars,” Trevor Worthington, Shanghai-based vice president for product development at Ford Asia Pacific, told journalists this week at the Beijing auto show.

“For example, I’m a car driver now on the road, I don’t know whether it’s a dog or a person (in front of me). But that other car has a much better view and knows it’s a dog. So, if it was able to share information with me…” that could help avoid an accident, he said.

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Apr 27, 2018

Hyundai design flying city in SHOCK bid to save mankind from apocalyptic future

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

A FLYING city built to save the world has been devised by car giant Hyundai as humanity slips towards environmental disaster.

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Apr 27, 2018

How much does infrastructure boost an economy?

Posted by in categories: economics, food

Before 1870, India barely had railroads. It didn’t have many canals either, and only a small percentage of the population lived along the three main rivers. So when goods needed to be transported, people used steer, which could pull freight about 20 miles per day.

But the British, India’s colonial rulers, started building rail lines, and then built some more. By 1930, there were more than 40,000 miles of railroads in India, and goods could be shipped about 400 miles a day.

The result? As MIT economist David Donaldson shows in a newly published study on the economic impact of building infrastructure, railroads fostered commerce that raised real agricultural income by 16 percent.

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Apr 27, 2018

This projector smartwatch turns your arm into a terrible touchscreen

Posted by in category: futurism

Researchers at the University of Carnegie Mellon University have unveiled a new “first-of-its-kind” smartwatch that can turn your arm into a touchscreen. The prototype LumiWatch projects an interactive surface area on the wearer’s arm or hand, allowing them to tap and swipe on their skin to use the watch. The prototype shows how an on-body interface might work: you swipe left to unlock the watch, and apps are then displayed along your arm. The watch can project an interface up to 40 square centimeters in size, which the researchers say is roughly 5 times bigger than the interface of a typical smart watch.

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