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    From TheJehosephat
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    Text that redefines...

    The great enhancement debate
    What will happen when for the first time in ages different human species will inhabit the earth at the same time? The day may be upon us when people...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    I've recently come across a rebuttle to the vision of a future Utopia, where humanity coexists relatively peacefully. The anti-thesis is this:

    Throughout evolution, the concept and implemention of conflict (ie. war) has been paramount to get us where we are today, therefore, war and fighting will continue in our future.

    I find this troubling. On the face of things, and from an evolutionary standpoint, this is probably a salient point. However, I also believe that it overlooks the potential for change and adaption that we humans seem so skilled at. I have since thought of a counter-point, and would like to run it by the Collective to see if it resembles anything at all, or whether any of the arguments are invalid.

    My thought was this. If we accept the inevitability of conflict as a necessary prequisite (or result) of evolutionary progress, could we not simply change our opponent?

    What if, in a hypothetical future, Humanity IS united in some way, and in turn, all of our attempts at conflict are concentrated on a global problem, such has hunger, efficient energy production, a particular disease, or even great engineering feats to further our knowledge of the universe, (Something akin to the LHC or a space station/mission)

    If we transfer all of this need to "battle" something, why not unite our efforts, and tackle the "Aids Monster." Or perhaps a global unification to destroy the "Evil obstacles denying humanity a trip to Mars." Could we not "Kill" these complex systems of problems instead of eachother? Might a perspective such as this quell our psychological need to expand to the detriment of any who oppose?

    So that is the re-buttle to the argument. Do you think it offers a possible alternative to the categoricaly implication that: World peace is impossible?

    I sure hope so.

    If you were director of a global program, what would you propose to a worldwide commitee?
    Thu, Apr 10, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: Global Unification
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    I would like to share the artist Phil Smith with the Collective. I would use the term Visionary to describe his style, as it is very future oriented.

    More specifically, I would like to direct everyone to his Project: Olduvai to Andromeda. (This link is to an essay of his, which is equally stimulating, the link Olducai to Andromeda on that page will open the presentation.) It is a beautifully explained vision of the future detailing the expansion of humanity into space and consequently the evolution of intelligence throughout the universe. Even better, he gives reasons why this should happen, based on historical evolutionary trends.

    The other links on that page refer to a well-designed historical timeline of the planet, along with a surprisingly detailed projection into the future. Hope you like it.

    His ideas are fuel for a hungry imagination.

    Share your thoughts!

    Wed, Apr 9, 2008  Permanent link

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    An interesting article has been presented in Nature, indicating that a portion of the scientific comunity is involved in using medical drugs to enhance cognitive functions.

    Is this a problem? What are the reprecusions of the daily use of these drugs on the body? Is it ethically wrong to gain this sort of "unatural" advantage? Are they putting those that choose not too, or cannot afford these enhancements, at a disadvantage?

    When combined with the information from Wildcat's article on Techno-Doping we see an interesting future emerging. Does this sort of environment widen the gap between Have's and Have-Nots, or does it level the playing field? What is the best method to make these technologies available in order to guarentee an ethically healthy future?

    If the latest prosthetic limb came around, say, in the year 2020, and it functioned better than an average regular limb, and it was relativley cheap compared to the gains it offered, how many people would voluntarily have their arm removed? Remember, this arm is better in many, if not all ways, to a regular limb. Would it be a tough or easy decision? Would you replace both arms? What about your legs? Aside from money, is there a biological or ethical limit to how many natural components of our body can be replaced?


    Wed, Apr 9, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: Cognitive Enhancement
    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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    Let's have a dream about the future...

    With the ongoing developments of sub-vocal comunication technology, such as the Audeo from Ambient Corporation, a possible domain in which intelligence enhancement may emerge can be realized. As the technology is in it's infancy, we can entertain ourselves with thoughts of extrapolated potentials.

    If we assume that, in time, the technology advances to a point where a user of the product can comunicate comfortably, that in itself will change our world in a dramatic way. However, since we are here to dream, let's take this thought further...

    Some of you may have read about the transitors that have been embedded into contact lenses. This is another exciting technology that is just in it's infancy, with critical issues, such as powering the devices, remaining to be solved. Again, amazing possibilities await. Imagine a screen that is always with you, augmenting your reality as you look at the world around you...

    And what about Powerset's intent to revolutionaize our ability to search, using natural language processing to alow the computer to actually understand what we are searching for, rather than relying on keywords and tags.

    So, we have three exciting technologies in their infancies: Sub-vocalized Communication, Bionic vision, and Semantic Search.

    Now for the fun part, Let's dream....

    Imagine all of these technologies mature, and are combined into one functional product, what might the capabilties be? How might this aid humanity? I am imagining being able to open up a browser in my vision, using only a thought (A sub-vocal command) and then asking a question to my favorite search engine, and having the answer appear infront of me.

    Will this not be a remarkable increase in the immediacy of knowledge we all have access to and can share? Answers on the spot. Insta-info. How might this be able to change education, the Military, or gameshows?

    The possibilties are endless....in a dream


    Sun, Apr 6, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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    If ever there was a book I read that "Defined Reality", Then Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality is it. This book simplifies the Physics necessary to understand the most complex and exotic theories of reality that those kooky physicists can dream up.

    The concepts that we take for granted for our entire lives, space and time, are described, explained, and challeneged. Greene answers all of our favorite questions with the latest knowledge from the scientific community:

    Is Space an entity?
    Why does time have a direction?
    Could the universe exist without space and time?
    Can we travel to the past?

    This book will provide the reader with a context that makes it nearly impossible to retain a closed mind, by showing that we all come from the same spot, and indeed, were all headed to the same place.

    Sat, Apr 5, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The Total Library
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    I havn't been fortunate enough to finish reading this book yet. Regardless, this book has provided me with a new way of seeing the world. Perhaps all good books should do this to some degree, but this book has helped me understand why this is so.

    Douglas Hofstadter has infused his central idea with artistry, to the point of making his discussions of Formal Logic exciting and entertaining. (That's skill!). The book attempts to describe features of intelligence, and the nature of the mind and it's methods of identifying, decoding and creating patterns.

    I'm currently only half-way done reading this book, and already I am more conscious of some of the underlying patterns that surround me. Hofstadter has managed to evoke within me the realization that reality is much more simple, and much more complex than I could ever have imagined.

    I highly recommend doing a search for this book, and even of the author, as both results may inform and inspire to a degree that this little review can only hope.







    Sat, Apr 5, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The Total Library
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