Africa is Rising! Technology, like cell phones, is aiding Africa’s fantastic leap forward.
Immortality is a primary goal of many transhumanists, but not all. How many do or don’t want eternal life, and why? I recently conducted a survey - funded by Terasem Movement Inc., and fiscally sponsored by World Future Society - that queried hundreds of transhumanists on this question.
Imagine: you arrive at the party; you recognize no one; but immediately your internal antennae-and-computer begins to swap mind-files; within seconds the new acquaintances are scanned; you “know” everyone you see; you know who wants to sleep with you, work with you, laugh and/or be friends with you; you know everyone’s curiosities, intentions, memories - everyone’s brain is "naked"… Fully informed, you enter and mingle.
Where in the brain is intelligence? Why, anatomically, are some individuals “smarter” than others? What does a wise brain look like? Dr. Richard J. Haier of the University of California at Irvine has been using neuro-imaging technology for over two decades in his search to determine the anatomy of neuro-intelligence. I interviewed him recently on the progress and potential of his research:
Living in the USA is killing people, quite early. Prodigious wealth and scientific achievement isn’t keeping Americans around very long. Quite the opposite. Longevity rankings tabulated by the United Nations show the North American behemoth wheezing behind in 36th place, with a croak-time of 78.3 years, dying nearly four years earlier than the durable Japanese (82.6). Cubans live as long as Americans; Chileans and Costa Ricans live longer; so do workaholic South Koreans (2,357 person-hours) and hard-drinking Finland, where alcoholism is the #1 cause of death.
American atheists are elevating their presence in activism and charitable giving. Here's the evidence:
Enjoy forecasting? Seeking a community you can discuss predictions with? Enjoy arguing, en masse, about the course of humanity? Welcome to Facebook.
The Pirate Party of Berlin, Germany, garnered a shocking 8.9% of the votes in the city-state’s election two weeks ago, to place 15 representatives in Berlin's parliament. In a story on the result, the New York Times described Pirate Party leaders as "disarmingly honest... in their 20's and 30's... with no lack of confidence."
Researchers are discovering that only 50% of IQ is based on genetics. Environment determines the remaining half. Neurologists and other scientists are also pinpointing the myriad factors that elevate or decimate intelligence. PubMed.gov—the website of the USA’s National Institutes of Health and National Library of Medicine—lists 12,708 research studies that analyzed what makes us stupid or smart. Soon, I believe, we will be utilizing this data at home, in schools, and via government sanctions and support.
thwaaack! OUCH! thwaaack! OUCH! thwaaack! OUCH!
Many Westerners regard Singapore as a weird tropical tyranny where: 1) You get caned with a bamboo stick for spray-painting graffiti. 2) Chewing gum is prohibited. 3) You get executed via hanging if you're convicted of drug-dealing.
The tiny archipelago-on-the-equator is all that, it's true, but it's also an astonishing model mega-city success, with astute futuristic sensibilities in its environmental, business, educational, infrastructural, and technological policies.
Essays and comments posted in World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine blog portion of this site are the intellectual property of the authors, who retain full responsibility for and rights to their content. For permission to publish, distribute copies, use excerpts, etc., please contact the author. The opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Future Society takes no stand on what the future will or should be like.
About Hank Pellissier
Hank Pellissier is the editor of Transhumanity.net. Previously to that he was Managing Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology (IEET). He's also been a columnist at the NYTimes/Bay Citizen, Salon.com, and SFGate.com, and feature writer for numerous publications. He's the author of Invent Utopia Now, and Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High?
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What seems absolutely reasonable is apparently true. Expose microbes to extreme environments and those that survive evolve and adapt more rapidly. A study appearing in Scientific Reports in August looked at six diverse natural environments and 40 meta-genomic samples to report on relative evolutionary rates in the microbial community. Environments included acid mine drainage, saline lakes, and hot springs. Evidence showed high mutation rates among microbes.
A labor of love is about to be carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) involving Opportunity, the ten-year veteran Martian rover. It seems fitting to write about this on Labor Day as the rover continues to set new records for distance and longevity on the Martian surface.
As we waited for the gate to open for the Buffalo Bisons-Pawtucket Red Sox baseball game last week on the last evening of our vacation, I noticed a gentleman nearby wearing a Chincoteague Island t-shirt. It turns out he and his wife had just come back from there after spending two weeks on vacation renting a beach cottage. And that led to a further conversation about the changing nature of the American Atlantic coast as sea levels continue to rise, a fact attributed to climate change.
Canadian Provincial Premiers Decide on a National Energy Strategy that Includes Climate Change Action
Quebec as the representative of French Canada often goes its own way. But not this time. Couillard intends to host a climate change summit in Quebec in the spring of 2015, prior to the international conference on climate change planned for Paris. In a rare display of unanimity Canada's provincial leaders at their annual conference have outlined a national energy strategy.
Do you control your screens or do they control you? Advertisers dive into your brain for free (to you) from the minute you begin to gurgle. In tomorrow’s digital world you’ll decide and filter what’s on your screens. One control will be a personal paywall so you can be paid for your attention. When this makes your mind into your property, you will be able to sell it as often as you like.
It is an inspiration to see the technological marvels that have gotten us to where we are today. And a great place to see this is Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Containing more than 35,000 items on exhibit and covering 37,000+ square meters (400,000 square feet), the Museum has been around for more than 80 years.
While away on vacation, I read about LiftPort Group, a Kickstarter-funded space elevator project that received over $110,000 U.S. from more than 3,400 backers. The company, located in Tacoma, Washington, originally sought $8,000, so one would think this was largely fantasy, but with the amount of money that has come in it would seem it owes its investors something more than one it has delivered to-date.
Today, many voice long-familiar concerns about technological unemployment, where computers, robots, and machines are automating our jobs out of existence. In fact, some have gone so far as to call this the “robot jobs Armageddon.” So is this time truly different? Here are six overarching shifts in the world that are causing many to say, “Yes, this time may really be different!”