Atomised

Michel Houellebecq is clearly a polymath. In Atomised (a science fiction novel very cleverly disguised as serious prize-winning literary fiction) he demonstrates his wide ranging knowledge and deep understanding of subjects ranging from philosophy to physics, and from biology to psychology, to brilliant effect. The book reveals the author's uniquely considered philosophy of history. He illustrates through his … Continue reading Atomised

Scale

"The pseudoscience of planning seems almost neurotic in its determination to imitate emphatic failure and ignore empire success." - The Life and Death of American Cities   Scale by Geoffrey West may not be the easiest read (it has a highly academic style, complete with lots of highly academic jabs at different academic fields - … Continue reading Scale

Build Your Own Body Parts – A Brave New World Indeed

The Brave New World conference took place in the Netherlands this week. One of the biggest ideas on display was that of bio-organic, 3D printed body parts. Yes, 3D body parts have been around for a while. The list of replacement cells, arteries and organs scientists can design and manufacture is an impressive, growing one. The … Continue reading Build Your Own Body Parts – A Brave New World Indeed

Cheek to cheek, brain to brain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOYzFKizikU Dancing cheek to cheek may have been "the" way to get close to someone's thoughts back in Fred Astaire's day, but these days you can literally get into someone else's head. Matrix-style brain-to-brain internet (aka the Internet of People) is here. Mind reading? No problem! Japanese scientists can now de-code your thoughts into visuals that … Continue reading Cheek to cheek, brain to brain

Procreative Freedom vs Genetic Inequality

“You can’t really put a lid on it, even if you wanted to” ~ Dr Jennifer Doudna, CRISPR researcher As always, the dichotomy between freedom and equality threatens to split humanity. This time though, I'm not talking about economic freedom vs economic equality; that good old battle between free market "monopoly capitalists" and their arch … Continue reading Procreative Freedom vs Genetic Inequality

Senicide and other such things

I have already written about the inherent conflict between past, present and future generations for earthly resources. I thought, while I was at it, it was worth taking a few minutes to explore the future euthanasia and the great grey area mess of ethics around this concept. First, some definitions: Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally … Continue reading Senicide and other such things

Robot rights - robot responsibilities

With robot rights, come robot responsibilities

Person or Property? - That is the Question... “From a legal perspective, this is a complicated area, as the algorithms of an AI act as a “black box” — even the creator of the artificial intelligence is not always sure why the algorithm made a certain decision," ~ Marten Kaevats, Adviser of the Strategy Unit of the Government … Continue reading With robot rights, come robot responsibilities

Homo Deus – A Brief History of Tomorrow

Following on from Sapiens, Homo Deus is as illuminating as its predecessor. This volume looks at transhumanism, that is the evolution of homo sapiens (that's us) into an entirely new species: Homo Deus, the first terrestrial species to emerge to have created itself, though a combination of biological, genetic engineering and technological enhancements, rather than to … Continue reading Homo Deus – A Brief History of Tomorrow

Amortality and the right (or demand) to die

"Amortal: Unable to die from disease or age." Amortality: A dream that could become reality in our lifetimes. Google has invested $1.5Bn in its strange and secretive project Calico, which has a mandate to “kill death” and stop human aging. Mark Zuckerberg's also invested $3Bn in projects to eradicate human diseases before the end of … Continue reading Amortality and the right (or demand) to die

Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind

The first of Yuval Noah Harari's two best-selling books on the evolution of human society  Sapiens, just like the book that follows it, Homo Deus (review coming soon), is a must-read for anyone interested in history or futurism. Sapiens tackles the same issues covered by Jared Diamond's (excellent) Guns, Germs and Steel, and Niall Ferguson's … Continue reading Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind