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Let’s tell everyone how to make a virus that could kill millions!

November 26, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

H5N1 virus (credit: Lennart Nilsson)

Here’s an idea: why don’t we just tell everybody in the world how to make an airborne H5N1 influenza virus strain (“bird flu”) that has been genetically altered to be easily transmissible (between ferrets, which mostly closely mimic the human response to flu), and which if released, could trigger an influenza pandemic, quite possibly with many millions of deaths?

OK, it seems like a totally evil idea, one that… read more

Italy elects first transhumanist MP

August 26, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

giuseppe_vatinno

A transhumanist congressman? In Italy? Seriously?

Yes. In July, Italy — ironically, a stronghold of the Catholic Church —  became the first major Western nation to elect an active transhumanist.

Giuseppe Vatinno, a member of the Italian Parliament, ran on a platform of “politics that strive to improve the human condition, making use of appropriate advanced technologies.”

And not a moment too soon, as Italy… 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

Wild ride ahead: glimpse at humanity’s long range future

July 23, 2014

A Type III civilization can harness all the energy of a galaxy (credit: ESA)

Imagine if you could take an exotic vacation billions of light years from Earth, peek in on the dinosaurs’ first-hand, or jump into a parallel universe where another you is living a more exciting life than yours — and you could swap places if you like.

For years, scientists have bandied about radical ideas that future humans will one day harness wormholes to zip across the universe at faster-than-light… read more

The Limits of the Earth — Part 1: Problems

April 18, 2013 by Ramez Naam

Naam-Limits-of-Earth-Part1-001-earth (600x600)

This is part one of a two-part series on the limits of human economic growth on planet Earth. Part one details some of the environmental and natural resource challenges we’re up against. Part two, on the ultimate size of the resource pool and solutions to our problems, will be published tomorrow and linked here. Both parts are based on Ramez Naam’s new book, The Infinite Resource: The Powerread 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

The BRAIN mapping initiative needs rethinking

April 10, 2013 by Don Stein

Grid structure of cerebral pathways (credit: Science)

As a biomedical research scientist I am concerned about President Obama’s broad new research initiative ”to map the human brain.”

The BRAIN ((Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative is a very ambitious, and perhaps even noble, effort, and I am most definitely not against imaging or nanotechnology as tools for research.

But, without specific goals, hypotheses or endpoints, the research effort becomes a fishing expedition. That is,… read more

Crowdsourcing a TEDx talk: what are the three most important trends shaping humankind’s future in the next 10 years?

January 19, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Eric Ezechieli

We received an interesting email from sustainability expert/Singularity University grad Eric Ezechieli:
On January 27, I will be delivering a TEDx Trieste presentation, and I will speak in ‘”Exponentialish.” In exponential times, half a gallon of brain does not suffice to keep up with what is going on, and in any case a single perspective is limited.

So, I am asking for your help: could… read more

The Ubi ubiquitous computer is here

Talk to your wall and your wall will talk back
February 10, 2014 by Amara D. Angelica

Ubi (credit: Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation)

In the next few days, I expect to receive my Ubi “ubiquitous computer.” I can’t wait.

According to the promo, I’ll be able to plug it into a power outlet and the WiFi-connected, voice-operated Ubi gadget will magically make the environment around it Internet-enabled.

Think an environment-aware version of Siri — with sensors that allow for remote monitoring of temperature, humidity, air pressure, and ambient light,… read more

Ask Ray | Thoughts on Amazon’s plans to use drones for delivery

December 4, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

Amazon Prime Air drone in warehouse

Dear readers,

I am reviewing the recent news on Amazon’s interest in using unmanned drones to make product deliveries.

There is public discussion about the feasibility of this logistically, and some concerns about using drones in public due to privacy and other issues.

You can read some background on Amazon’s plans in this report by 60 Minutes:

CBS News | “Amazon unveils futuristic planread more

Swarms of tiny intelligent drones with cameras — what could go wrong?

May 10, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

flying_3d_eyebots

Are you ready for Eye-Bots — flying smarms of intelligent drones that zoom in and track everything going on?

Yo boy, this one’s gonna make them spyder bots in Minority Report and Big-Brother TV sets in 1984 look positively user-friendly.

A flock of flying robots rises slowly into the air with a loud buzzing noise. They perform an intricate dance in the sky above the seethingread more

book review | Nexus continues in Crux by Ramez Naam

August 9, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

crux-cover

Readers of Ramez Naam‘s techno-thriller NEXUS will not want to miss the awesome CRUX sequel, to be published August 27.

Set in a not-too-distant future, these novels tackle head-on an important conflict of our times: between the libertarian approach (those who think that people should be free to experiment with emerging technologies without harming others) and the authoritarian approach (those who want to… read more

Critique of a claimed discovery of a diatom from outer space [UPDATED]

September 21, 2013 by Richard Gordon

Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) (credit: Kitt Peak National Observatory)

A recent paper by Milton Wainwright et al. [1] claimed that sampling of the stratosphere revealed a diatom frustule captured from a height of >25km.

The paper, published in Journal of Cosmology, also argues that the object came from space, with a probable origin in the watery environment of a comet.

There are a number of problems that I would have flagged had I been a… read more

Black boxes to be required in all new cars from 2015

April 23, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

1984-Big-Brother

A new bill (Senate Bill 1813, known as MAP-21) passed by the U.S. Senate in March calls for “mandatory event data recorders” to be installed in all new passenger motor vehicles sold in the U.S. for recording data before, during, or after a crash.

As stated in Section 31406 of the bill, the government would have the power to access it in a number of

read more

Avatars meet in Second Life to celebrate Future Day 2012

March 5, 2012 by Natasha Vita-More

natashafutureday2012

The first Future Day on March 1 featured events in 14 cities in 8 countries. The largest event was at Terasem Island in Second Life, with about 50 attendees.

The auditorium at Terasem Island was full and we were eagerly awaiting three of the speakers to arrive: Ben Goertzel, Martine Rothblatt, and Howard Bloom.

I introduced the event by… read more

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