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Uploaded e-crews for interstellar missions

December 12, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

The bright star Alpha Centauri and its surroundings

The awesome 100 Year Starship (100YSS) initiative by DARPA and NASA proposes to send people to the stars by the year 2100 — a huge challenge that will require bold, visionary, out-of-the-box thinking.

There are major challenges. “Using current propulsion technology, travel to a nearby star (such as our closest star system, Alpha Centauri, at 4.37 light years from the Sun, which also has a a planet with… read more

UPDATE | The buzzer factor: did Watson have an unfair advantage?

February 18, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Watson mechanical buzzer

Does Watson have an unfair advantage over humans because it can signal its response instantly? It seemed that way in the three “Jeopardy!” TV shows this week, especially Wednesday night, as Watson proceeded to totally own the humans.

ADDED FEBRUARY 24, 2011:

From Final Jeopardy: Man vs Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker:

“After the match, Jennings and Rutter stressed that… read more

UPDATE | Kurzweil to ‘grind into smithereens’ Colbert’s understanding of world tonight, says Comedy Central

April 12, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

colbert

Tuesday night April 12, “Ray Kurzweil — inventor and subject of the documentary Transcendent Man — stops by to take everything that Stephen thinks he understands about the world and grind it into unrecognizable smithereens before his forlorn and tearful eyes,” Comedy Central’s Indecision reports.

11:00 p.m. EDT update: In related news, at #30, Kurzweil has edged out Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert… read more

Txting makes u stupid

February 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Yeah, you knew that already. How else to explain the zombies who text while driving or randomly jaywalking in traffic, AGKWE*?

But now there’s a reason: they have a tiny vocabulary.

Textisms

Or so says says University of Calgary linguistics researcher Joan Lee, who interviewed texters in research for her master’s thesis. Texting is associated with rigid linguistic constraints that caused students to reject many… read more

tribute | Ray Kurzweil remembers his mentor Marvin Minsky, PhD

April 27, 2016

Marvin Minsky PhD - A1

Dear readers,

When I was 14 I wrote Marvin Minsky a letter asking to meet with him. He invited me to visit him at MIT and he spent hours with me as if he had nothing else to do.

When my daughter Amy was about eleven and we went out for a meal at the Harvest Restaurant in Cambridge with my wife Sonya and his wife Gloria,… read more

Transhumanist Science, Futurist Art, Telepresence and Cosmic Visions of the Future at TransVision 2010

November 2, 2010 by Giulio Prisco

tv10max1

The transhumanist conference and community convention TransVision 2010, which took place in Milan October 22 to October 24, 2010, was very intense, informative, and scientific, as well as an entertaining tour de force in contemporary transhumanist thinking, activism, science, technology,  and innovation, and grand visionary dreams.

Over 40 talks over the three days explored the scientific, technological, cultural, artistic and social trends that could change our world… read more

Transhumanist religion 2.0

July 13, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

The_material_around_SN_1987A_900

Cosmism, an emerging “religion 2.0” that is part of a radical futurist conception of the future development of humanity, can give us the positive optimism and “strenuous mood” to overcome our current problems and embark on our cosmic journey.

So say contemporary cosmists, who believe that the “manifest destiny” of our species is colonizing the universe and developing spacetime engineering and scientific “future magic” much beyond our current understanding… read more

Transhumanist position on human germline genetic modification

March 22, 2015 by James Hughes

(credit: pixabay)

Recently a group of scientists and an industry group have issued statements calling for a moratorium on human heritable or germline genetic modifications (see herehere and here), now that we have the powerful CRISPR technique to pursue such modifications.

These statements have been greeted rapturously by bioconservatives, who want to see a global ban on germline and enhancement genetic therapies.

Of… read more

Toward a Science of Consciousness: Brain, Mind, Reality

April 27, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Center for Consciousness Studies)

Toward a Science of Consciousness: Brain, Mind, Reality will be held May 3–7, 2011 at Stockholm University, Stockholm Sweden, keynoted by Sir Roger Penrose, speaking on “Consciousness and Physical Law.”

I attended the 2010 conference in Tucson; it was one of the most interesting and mind-expanding events I’ve ever experienced. This one should be even better.

It will feature sessions like Brain Electromagnetic Fields andread more

Yorkshire Evening Post | Title track from Foals’ new album, Total Life Forever, inspired by futurist Ray Kurzweil

April 29, 2010

foals album

Source: Yorkshire Evening Post — April 29, 2010 | Duncan Seaman

“I don’t think it was a conscious decision to change any of our sounds, more that we have progressed as a band,” explains bass player Walter Gervers of Foals’ new album Total Life Forever. “Our tastes have changed. What we were trying to create was a record with more space and more freedom than the first time.”

The album’s title track was inspired by Raymond Kurzweil, the… read more

Tiny bugs are controlling your mind!

August 30, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

probiotic

Before you take another probiotic cap, you may want to read this. Yet another study at McMaster University in Canada suggests that gut bacteria might be able to alter your brain chemistry and change your mood and behavior, reports Science NOW.

We reported on earlier research on gut bacteria at McMaster University and at Ohio State University. We also mentionedread more

Tinkerers

November 8, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

tinkerers

What if America lost its knack for making things?

Manufacturing is the root that all other projects sprout from … even the arts, says famed author David Brin.

His TINKERERS graphic novel, set in the year 2024, combines art with history and tech, exploring where we went wrong, and how to win back the knack.

(Hardcopies will be on sale in January.)… read more

Timothy Leary — transhumanism with a SMI2LE

June 9, 2013 by R.U. Sirius

TimothyLeary

Most people know Timothy Leary as the “LSD guru” who encouraged people to “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” in the 1960s. But a surprising number of transhumanist types don’t know that he was one of them.

In fact, Leary may have been the first to signal a memeplex for the transhuman future — SMI2LE (Space Migration Intelligence Increase and Life Extension) — back in the mid-1970s.

My… read more

This is your brain on magic mushrooms

January 24, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

psilocybin

Stoner alert: psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms) messes with your brain.

OK, not exactly a news flash. But that’s what researchers in the U.K. and Denmark found when they scanned the brains of 30 people tripping on psilocybin.

But here’s what’s interesting: the researchers did two different types of functional MRI (fMRI) brain scans with two groups of 15 — one scan that measured blood flow throughout the… read more

Thinking quantitatively about technological progress

July 11, 2011 by Anders Sandberg

Production growing exponentially (credit: Béla Nagy, Santa Fe Institute)

I have been thinking about progress a bit recently, mainly because I would like to develop a mathematical model of how brain scanning technology and computational neuroscience might develop.

Experience curves

In general, I think the most solid evidence of technological progress is Wrightean experience curves. These are well documented in economics and found everywhere: typically the cost (or time) of manufacturing… read more

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