红宝石活动优惠大厅

August 1, 2003

August 2003

August 30, 2003
UPDATED QUOTES SECTION
Added new quotes from H. G. Wells, Martin Rees, J. B. S. Haldane, Carl Sagan, Emile Durkheim, Ben Goertzel, & Peter Singer.

August 29, 2003
TODAYS LINKS:
.: On the day of the Betterhumans event, Debating the Future, the Globe & Mail has published a pair of articles by James Hughes & Margaret Somerville. Hughes's article is called The Human Condition Hurts: We'd be fools not to better it, and Somerville wrote, How Perfect Do We Want to Be?
.: Part III of the debate between Cohen and Smith.

August 28, 2003
TODAYS LINKS:
.: Famous atheists and agnostics -- check it out, Tool, Bj?rk and Eddie Vedder made the list
.: Personal Fabrication: An Edge.org talk with Neil Gershenfeld
.: Do you suffer from nanophobia?
.: Part II of James M. Pethokoukis's e-mail debate between the New Atlantis's Eric Cohen and
August 27, 2003
TODAYS LINKS:
.: Steve Mann declares
Cyborgs Unite! (C|Net)
.: Ry Crozier writes about the Rise of Machines and its effect on increasing automation (Electronics News)
.: Click on Detroit is reporting that a State Orders Local Cryonics Institute To Close because it's operating Without proper license
.: Richard C. Saltus asks, Lack Direction? Evaluate Your Brain's C.E.O. (NY Times)

August 26, 2003
ERIC COHEN VS. SIMON SMITH
James M. Pethokoukis of US News is posting an e-mail debate between the New Atlantis's Eric Cohen and A rollicking debate on technology's impact on our lives.

August 26, 2003
TODAY'S LINKS:
.: Keith Burgess-Jackson's Are You Living Uprightly? -- Peter Singer's Argument for Sacrificing for the Poor (Tech Central Station)
.: Blackout! - An Edge.org conversation with Steven Strogatz & Albert-László Barabási
.: Steven Smith is in the lab Seeking the Secret of Youth (Boston Globe)
.: Ministry of Nanoethics? (Slashdot)
.: Toyota plans to release a car next month in Japan that parallel parks itself (Wired)
.: Panpsychism (only because it's such a cool and controversial topic)

August 26, 2003
QUASI RANDOM THOUGHT ABOUT THE NATURE OF EXISTENCE AND REALITY
The brain is actually a projector (or interpreter) through which consciousness and mind emerges both creating and revealing the universe. Now you know.

August 25, 2003
TODAY'S LINKS:
.: Shannon Foskett interviews biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey (Betterhumans)
.: Dear Posthumans by Kenneth Silber (Tech Central Station)
.: Science as Democratizer by Robert Lawrence Kuhn (American Scientist)
.: Study Spurs Hope of Finding Way to Increase Human Life by Nicholas Wade (NY Times)
.: Robert Levine interviews sci-fi author Neal Stephenson (Wired)
.: Take the moral sense test

August 25, 2003
EVENTS FOR TORONTO TRANSHUMANISTS
On Friday August 29 we've got the Debating the Future event, featuring James Hughes and Margaret Somerville, and on September 1, the TTA is hosting an evening with AI researcher and singularitarian Eliezer Yudkowsky. Eliezer is going to deliver the speech he gave at TV03. E-mail me if you're interested in attending either event.

August 25, 2003
SCISCOOP'd
A link to my Betterhumans column, The Wannabe Cyborgs Grow Up, was posted on the SciScoop blog on August 15, spawning an interesting discussion.

August 22, 2003
BETTERHUMANS QUOTES BOSTROM, STOCK
This Betterhumans article, Legalization of Human Genetic Engineering Sparks Controversy, quotes Nick Bostrom, the Chair of the WTA, and Gregory Stock, author of Redesigning Humans.

August 21, 2003
BETTERHUMANS MILESTONE
This article on nanotechnology became the first Betterhumans item to ever reach 10,000 hits.

August 21, 2003
TODAY'S LINKS
.: New Atlantis article on Nanotechnology
.: Reason's Ronald Bailey on Artificial Wombs
.: The Slate Explores the Multiverse

August 20, 2003
GO TO THE MOON
According to Bernard Foing of the European Space Agency, human colonies may sprout on the moon in less than 20 years.

August 19, 2003
PROTO-HUMANS WERE AQUATIC CREATURES
I love swimming and I feel particularly at home in the water. But not only that, my body seems uncannily adapted to swimming -- smooth, (nearly) hairless skin, webbed fingers, subcutaneous layer of fat, and so on. In fact, some anthropologists, such as Elaine Morgan, speculate that early humans took to the water for an extended period of time and started adapting to aquatic life. But for some reason we bailed on the project and reverted back to land-lubbers.

Elaine Morgan put out an intriguing book in 1982 called The Aquatic Ape, which was summarily dismissed as bunk and pseudoscience. Unfortunately, there's very little empiric evidence to support this theory. All evidence is fairly circumstantial -- that is until we can decipher our genome a bit better. And recently, the aquatic ape idea has encroached back into the scientific consciousness, and the scientific community is finally starting to take this theory seriously.

August 19, 2003
RADICAL GENE THERAPY USED TO TREAT PARKINSON'S PATIENTS
The New York Times reports that yesterday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital a Parkinson's victim became the first person to undergo gene therapy to treat that disease. In this radical and controversial procedure, the harmless AAV virus was given the task of disseminating the healthy genes into cells. For all intents-and-purposes, this is nano-biotechnology put into practice today.

August 18, 2003
SHANNON LARRATT, BODY MODIFICATION, AND POSTHUMANISM
Body modification guru Shannon Larratt has written an interested article titled Body Modification's Role In The Coming Human-Robot Apocalypse. Larratt writes:

The world as we know it — the world dominated by homo sapiens — is quickly coming to an end. We may well be the last generation of "true humans" that live out natural lives, and I believe that it is essential that we embrace body modification in order not only to safely and positively prepare ourselves for transition into our next evolutionary step, but also to survive that step. We're not just watching human evolution — we're about to watch a battle for survival between human and non-human entities in what you've heard me talking about for years in my online journal: the coming human-robot apocalypse.

Laugh it up, puny humans, but I'm not kidding. Hear me out before you assume this is just crazy old Shannon on another conspiratorial rant.

A Canadian, Shannon Larratt is the editor and publisher of BMEZINE.COM, the largest and oldest full-spectrum body modification publication on the planet. He also is known for his promotion of radical individualistic politics & spirituality.

August 18, 2003
WHO TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS?
Whoa, that was a crazy weekend with the wide-scale power outage. I spent the time walking around Toronto, drinking Creemore beer with some friends at a local pub, and playing soccer under moonlight until 2AM. Man, was it ever weird looking at those unlit buildings in Toronto. And boy, was it dark. Way to go Toronto for not regressing into Lord of the Flies territory!

August 18, 2003
GOOGLE NEWS AND BETTERHUMANS
Google News pulls news items from the Betterhumans news section, but not any other section, such as columns or reports. I recently contacted Google News (I'm the Deputy Editor of Betterhumans) and asked them to pull content from those sections. They approved my request, so look for more expansive coverage of Betterhumans on Google News in the very near future.

August 18, 2003
NEW HUGHES & SMITH COLUMNS
New columns on Betterhumans by James Hughes and Simon Smith. Hughes's is on Marquis de Condorcet and Smith's is on the .

August 14, 2003
BAILEY ON ACCELERATING CHANGE
Latest Ronald Bailey column on Reason Online:
Accelerating Change: Why technology will be the defining battle of the 21st century.

August 14, 2003
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE
This article claims that 8,000 U.S. doctors demand Canadian style health care.

August 14, 2003
TERROR FUTURES
The recent DARPA proposal for a futures market on terror was the brainchild of the transhumanist thinker Robin Hanson. It was a variant of his proposal for an idea futures market. Too bad nobody actually took the to time to understand it.

August 11, 2003
NEW SENT.DEV ARTICLE
The Wannabe Cyborgs Grow Up
Academic attention and widespread media coverage show that the transhumanist philosophy and movement have matured from misunderstood and marginalized to credible and challenging. By George Dvorsky

August 7, 2003
DISABILITY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Some members of deaf culture don't believe they're disabled. In fact, they think that they've got something unique and special, and as a result, are often hostile to ideas of "fixes."

Gregor Wolbring is one such individual who seeks to defend the rights of the disabled. Wolbring is the Director of the International Center for Bioethics, Culture and Disability, founder and coordinator of the International Network of Bioethics and Disability, and co-founder of the World Federation of Thalidomiders. He believes that transhumanism, with its promise to end disability and prevent it from coming about, is actually a mandate for genocide against disabled people.

This Wired article, Glove Won't Speak For The Deaf, is another example of how advocates of deaf culture often react negatively to new technologies that are supposed to "fix" the disabilities imposed by deafness.

August 6, 2003
CQ (CYBERNETIC QUOTIENT): MEASURING CYBERNETIC ENHANCEMENTS ON THE HUMAN SPECIES AND ITS EFFECTS ON HUMAN PERFORMANCE
Is there a Moore's law in effect for human evolution?

I've argued in the past that humans are in a Gouldian punctuated equilibrium phase. The rate of change in this phase may be increasing exponentially as we head towards a posthuman condition. Perhaps we will achieve a Dawkinsian fitness peak once we achieve full posthuman form.

Is human biological change increasing at a rate comparable to what is happening with processor speed? Seeing as we're bridging the gap between the biological and the mechanical, the analogy may hold some validity. We are becoming cyborgs.

Without question, the personal computer and the World Wide Web has greatly enhanced the human. Information retrieval has never been easier and more accessible, and the Web acts as an almost limitless repository of data; it's like having a second brain with perfect memory and oodles of information (this is what Ernst Kapp called the exosomatic organ). Computers help us organize ourselves and to perform work easier (when they work, that is). These are cybernetic technologies even though they are external to the body; they make us more than we really are.

This begs the question: How much more "intelligent" or augmented are we than we were 25 years ago as a result of these and other developments (or 100 or 1000 years ago for that matter)? Is there a proper metric to measure the cyborgization of the species? Just how "cyborg" are we today?

Here's a proposal: the Cybernetic Quotient (CQ).

It would represent the sum total effect of cybernetic technologies on an individual, including cognitive, emotive, and physical abilities. CQ would be tabulated by bringing together a number of sub-quotients; there would be traditional ones like IQ and EQ, and some news ones, like CIQ (Cybernetic Intelligence Quotient) and PAQ (Physical Ability Quotient).

This metric could do a number of things. It would take your base IQ and other abilities and tell how how much more "augmented" you are due the effect of extrinsic and intrinsic technologies and information at your disposal. It would describe a wide array of traits that can be augmented and how, including such things as intelligence, logic, emotional well-being, athletic prowess, etc. It could also measure the speed, efficiency, and efficacy of the work that you perform to garner a sense of just how "enhanced" you are.

An excellent application of CQ would be to chart your CQ over time to see how much more of a cyborg you are becoming with each passing year. Scientists could also compare the CQ of past generations to today's levels to gauge the rate of cyborgization. Perhaps humans are evolving at a discernable and measurable rate, one reminiscent of Moore's Law.

The CQ would also help us to distinguish between a "natural" human and a posthuman. Seeing as no effective definition exists to describe the posthuman -- mostly because there won't be just one type of posthuman (i.e. speciation), this could help differentiate and quantify various posthumanistic individuals.

August 5, 2003
TV03 SPEECH
The speech I delivered at TransVision has been posted here in MP3 format. Other TV03 speeches can be accessed here.

August 5, 2003
HUGHES V. SOMMERVILLE RE: GAY MARRIAGE
Betterhumans has a great pair of columns by James Hughes and Margaret Sommerville regarding the issue of gay marriage which recently became legal in Canada. Hughes wrote Beyond Gay Marriage and Sommerville retorted with Culture is Wedded to Nature.

August 5, 2003
CANADA IS SOOOOO COOL
Naomi Klein wrote this excellent article about Canada's recent exploits into progressive sociopolitics: Canada: Hippie Nation?

August 5, 2003
NEW TRANSHUMANIST BBS & LISTSERV
The World Transhumanist Association is organizing a new BBS and Listserv for discussions.

August 5, 2003
TRANSHUMANISM IN THE VILLAGE VOICE
The Village Voice has posted an excellent article by Eric Baard about Transhumanism and TransVision 2003.

August 5, 2003
LATEST SENT.DEV ARTICLE
Book Review - Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning, by Martin Rees, 2003
A renowned scientist has created an accessible but problematic introduction to the technological dangers of the 21st century and the potential for either human extinction or posthuman greatness. By George Dvorsky

August 5, 2003
BACK FROM VACATION

红宝石活动优惠大厅