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Archive for the 'Memetics' Category

Medical nanorobots win poll on engineering's Next Big Thing

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 10th, 2011

A poll of NewScientist readers selected medical nanorobots as the technology that will have the biggest impact on human life in the next 30 years.

Will building humanlike robots promote friendly AI?

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 15th, 2011

David Hanson of Hanson Robotics argues that building humanlike robots will push the boundaries of several scientific and technical disciplines and prevent intelligent machines from becoming dangerous as they achieve true general intelligence.

Physicist and television host sees future for nanotechnology and AI

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 24th, 2011

In a review of physicist and television host Michio Kaku’s latest book, Foresight advisor Glenn Reynolds finds reason for optimism, but also cause for concern in the career choices of today’s brightest minds.

Does nanotechnology need PR?

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 2nd, 2011

Does nanotechnology need more energetic PR, and if so, what kind?

Time magazine cover article on the Singularity, Ray Kurzweil, AI and nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 17th, 2011

A cover article in Time magazine portrays the Singularity, Ray Kurzweil, AI, life extension, and nanotechnology as “an idea that rewards sober, careful evaluation.”

Humanity+ @ Caltech is being streamed live

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 4th, 2010

Humanity+ @ Caltech: Redefining Humanity in the Era of Radical Technological Change is being streamed live.

Open Science Summit videos available

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 23rd, 2010

Video footage of conference focused on “Updating the social contract for Science”

Humanity+ @ Caltech

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 17th, 2010

Redefining Humanity in the Era of Radical Technological Change, December 4-5, 2010, Pasadena, CA

“Science court”-style software from the CIA

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 16th, 2010

Longtime Foresight supporter John Gilmore writes: “I noticed a story that reminded me of something Foresight wanted to encourage in society.  Wired reports that the CIA uses decision analysis software ‘Analysis of Competing Hypotheses’, and has funded a rewritten version for shared networked analysis by many people.  But the gov’t contractors got into a hassle [...]

New sf novel includes nanomedicine, reviewed by Robert Freitas

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 23rd, 2010

In the mailbag today: A new fiction book Beyond Guilty by Richard Brawer, who got help on it from Robert Freitas, winner of the 2009 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Theory.  Brawer wrote, “Robert A. Freitas Jr., Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, has graciously edited the references to nanomanufacturing and nanomedicine [...]

“Lies don’t work as well as they used to…”

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on January 20th, 2010

Glenn Reynolds, a past Foresight Director, writes some analysis of the recent special election in Mass.: Of course, what the GOP apparat does is less important nowadays than it was. As I noted before, there’s a whole lot of disintermediation going on here — Scott Brown got money and volunteers via the Internet and the [...]

Tiptoe or dash to the future?

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on December 24th, 2009

Over at Overcoming Bias, Robin Hanson wonders whether we should go fast or slow with tech development as we move toward a level of development (solar-system wide or interstellar civilization) where we are reasonably not likely to be wiped out in a single incident. He bases his analysis on how likely we are to stumble (or [...]

Original Sin

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on December 20th, 2009

Mike Treder has a post at IEET that reads like a catechism of the Gaian religion. Now I’m a firm supporter of freedom of religion and Mike has a perfect right to believe what he does and indeed to preach it to whomever will listen. (And besides, Mike is a friend of mine.) But in [...]

Some Historical Perspective

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on December 5th, 2009

At Bryan Caplan’s blog this morning there was an odd comment that stirred up a 40-year old memory: A single sentence in the Durants’ The Age of Napoleon makes me wonder whether I can trust a word they write on economic policy: The memory is that it was reading another part of the Durant’s Story [...]

Eine Kleine Nachtphysik

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on November 29th, 2009

(or a little physics about climate change. Or at least a few clarifications about some of the points being raised.) In the wake of Climategate, a wide variety of mistakes and misapprehensions are being circulated on the Internet (as if that weren’t happening before). For example, in this article from the Telegraph: Phil Jones, the [...]

Superhuman Psychopaths

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on August 22nd, 2009

The usually reliable Michael Anissimov has claimed that I seem to think that “superintelligence will automatically acquire a favorable morality without any real work.”  Now I’m not all that sensitive about such things; but it bothers me that SIAI, of all people, should fail to understand the basic parameters of the problem, and thus have [...]


Posted by J. Storrs Hall on February 11th, 2009

Once upon a time, or so the story goes, there was a young man who was hauled up before the court on charges that he had killed his father and mother. He readily confessed to the crime, but nevertheless pled for clemency: after all, he pointed out, he was an orphan. Recently on his blog [...]

Prediction Markets Summit for 2009 announced

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 24th, 2008

A “Call for Participation” for the first post-US election Prediction Markets Summit and Collective Intelligence Conference of 2009 has been announced.

American public remains uninformed about nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 7th, 2008

A recently released poll shows that the American public is largely uniformed about both nanotechnology and synthetic biology, and furthermore that the level of public awareness about nanotechnology has not changed since 2004.

NanoArt festival to showcase nanotechnology and its impact

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 1st, 2008

Christine Peterson passes along this press release from NANOART FESTIVAL-STUTTGART: The 2nd International Festival for NanoArt organized by NanoArt21 ( will be hosted in Stuttgart, Germany by NAHVISION Institute for International Culture Exchange, between November 1st and November 30th, 2008. The show is curated by artist/scientist Cris Orfescu (USA) and art professor Dorothea Fleiss (Germany). [...]