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 [...]
Archive for the 'Memetics' Category
(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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
A “Call for Participation” for the first post-US election Prediction Markets Summit and Collective Intelligence Conference of 2009 has been announced.
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.
Christine Peterson passes along this press release from NANOART FESTIVAL-STUTTGART: The 2nd International Festival for NanoArt organized by NanoArt21 (www.nanoart21.org) 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). [...]
The Convergence08 conference (www.convergence08.org) on Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno (NBIC) technologies and their interactions will be held November 15-16, 2008 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. The event will use an innovative “unconference” format to enable participants to customize the event in a highly interactive way. Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley forecaster with over two [...]
Foresight Nanotech Institute is partnering with the Singularity Institute and other organizations for The Singularity Summit 2008, to be held October 25, Montgomery Theater, San Jose, CA. The speakers include names that will be familiar to most Nanodot readers. A separate Emerging Tech Workshop may also interest many Nanodot readers. A few excerpts from The [...]
Kurzweil’s concept of an impending “singularity,” in which machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence, has garnered support from Intel’s Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner.
We’ve previously pointed out the usefulness of looking at future-oriented fiction as a way of stimulating thinking about nanotechnology. Now Annalee Newitz’s io9 site brings an interview of Kathleen Ann Goonan, who “was writing about nanotech before most people even know it existed.” An excerpt: I think that, for me, nanotech has been a metaphor [...]
The U.S. National Academy of Engineering wants input on what should be the Grand Challenges in engineering over the next century. Let’s let them know: nanotechnology! Specifically, nanotech leading toward, and achieving, productive nanosystems. Heck, they can just follow the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems. The IEEE has a summary. You have until August 17, [...]
These days Foresight is focused on our Technology Roadmap and policy initiatives such as Open Source Physical Security. But we still have our visionary side, shown in a Fortune profile of Foresight advisor Ray Kurzweil, which also features Foresight director and X PRIZE founder Peter Diamandis: If you went around saying that in a couple [...]
Gazette.net reports that nanotechnology is bringing dramatic advances: Imagine not having to go to the doctor when you are sick. No medicine, no popping pills. Instead, tiny cell-like machines in your body would already be at work manufacturing medicine and delivering it exactly where it is needed. University of Maryland researchers say these ‘‘nanofactories” may [...]
We should assume that those participating the ETC Group’s nanotechnology hazard symbol contest are all trying to be helpful, and such a symbol may someday be of some use. However, of the three top symbols named as winners, the first one — by far the most vivid — has a real problem. First, see the [...]
In the November 2006 issue of Nano Today, researcher-turned-science-journalist Jason Palmer urges nanotechnology researchers to open up to the public about the long-term promise of their nanotech work: In this sense, it is as important to consider and discuss what can be done as it is to rule out what cannot. Because they are careful [...]
Richard Jones asks: “Why does the molecular manufacturing community seem to have many fewer members in the UK than it does in the USA? I don’t think it’s fair to say that the dramatic vision of molecular manufacturing is pursued in a contextual vacuum – I think there is quite a well-developed world view that [...]
You may like the “for Dummies” series, or dislike it, but surely it was inevitable that there would be a Nanotechnology for Dummies book, due out in five days. I can’t tell from the description whether this will be a useful introduction or not, but am always a bit nervous when the first phrase is [...]
Concerned about real or imagined risks in nanotechnology? Check out the report of a European workshop on Risk Perception and Risk Communication in the Field of Nanotechnologies. Excerpt: "There are some peculiarities of Nanotechnology which make the risk assessment challenging. The first aspect is the diversity of Nanotechnology. Because Nanotechnology is mainly defined in terms of size, a huge variety of different techniques, research topics, methods of creating or structuring materials, and manipulating surfaces are summarized under the term of Nanotechnology. Very often, the proponents have quite different things in mind when they are talking about Nanotechnology." Er, indeed so. –CP
Foresight Senior Associate Ramez Naam informs us that his book More Than Human has been released.
Here's a description of the book:
"More Than Human is about our growing power to alter our minds, bodies, and lifespans through technology. Over the last 5-10 years scientists and doctors have learned an incredible amount about how to enhance memory, improve physical performance, rewrite our genes, alter the rate of aging, and even how to connect our brains directly with computers and robots. This is not science fiction – this is the research happening in labs around the world right now, research that's restored sight to blind men and women, created mice that live to the age of 200 in "human years", and given the paralyzed the ability to control computers just by thinking about it."