Tag Archives | Technology

Biohackers on “Grinders,” Van Gogh’s Other Ear and the Augmented Self at Techonomy

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 3.36.58 PM

via Re/Code:

Eri Gentry, who works at the Institute for the Future and co-founded something called BioCurious, asked the audience at the Techonomy Conference if they “knew about Grinders.”

Not the gay hookup app, she clarified. She meant the hackers who have begun to implant devices into their own bodies. The ones who design human-safe sensors, cut open their own arms or fingertips, insert said sensor, and sew themselves back up, without anesthesia.

“They’re raring to go!” Gentry said. And they’re not interested in waiting for multimillion-dollar clinical trials.

The Techonomy conference — an annual mix of mainstream technologists, CEOs and fringe futurists at the luxe Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif. — attracts an eclectic group, from the new Coursera CEO to a Pinterest-star representative. The founder, reporter David Kirkpatrick, wore a bright pink-and-green paisley shirt for his interviews with guests, who included LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

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There Are No Muggles. We Are All Wizards Now.

harry-potter-books

via Techpinions:

I read the first three Harry Potter novels to my son. It’s a fond memory strengthened by the fact the books were quite good. In each, the young Harry Potter straddles two very distinct worlds, the magical world of wizards and the familiar world of non-magical folk, Muggles. Us. Except, this is not true, not anymore.

There are no Muggles. We are all wizards.

I realized this while texting my son baseball playoff updates — as I was flying across the country, 30,000 feet above the ground.

Think of it. Nearly 2 billion of us carry wands. We call them smartphones. These semi-magical devices enable us to connect with nearly anyone at any time from any place. We can instantly access the world’s knowledge. Always in hand, always at the ready, we use these “wands” for work, for play, to protect us, to make our lives better.

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Why Running Simulations May Mean the End is Near

Idaho National Laboratory via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Idaho National Laboratory via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

via Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies:

People have for some time speculated about the possibility that we’re living inside a computer simulation. But the 2003 publication of Nick Bostrom’s “Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?” brought a new level of sophistication to the topic. Bostrom’s argument is that one (or more) of the following disjuncts is true: (i) our species will go extinct before reaching an advanced posthuman stage; (ii) our species will reach a posthuman stage but decide not, for whatever reasons, to run a large number of simulations; or (iii) we are almost certainly in a simulation.

Defeaters of this argument include the possibility that present trends in technological development are non-projectable into the future, and that the philosophical theory of “functionalism” is false. In the absence of these defeaters, though, the argument appears sound.

The claim that at least one of these three possibilities holds is known as the simulationargument.

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The Uber for Pot App

eazeYou just know Eaze, the “Uber for Pot” app, is going to be massive (unless or until Apple quashes it). Story from Pando:

“Uber for pot” exists because of course it does.

Last July, former Yammer executive Keith McCarty took the leap from enterprise software solutions to marijuana tech by launching Eaze, an app that allows patients to order medicinal marijuana within minutes on their smartphone.

It may sound like one of Dave Chappelle’s schemes from the movie “Half Baked,” but McCarty and his team are serious about providing a fast, easy way for people to access medical marijuana. His staff includes a number of executives with a history in health-care, and today the company has announced $1.5 million in funding along with a partnership with SPARC, a San Francisco-based dispensary and nonprofit advocacy collective.

“Our core values are providing an easy, quick way for patients to receive medical marijuana, and SPARC’s been performing that since Day One,” McCarty says.

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Congress Wants To Push Dangerous Cybersecurity Bill After The Election, Says US Economy Depends On It

Free Press (CC by-nc-sa 2.0)

Free Press (CC by-nc-sa 2.0)

via Tech Dirt:

Reports are coming out that Congress is looking to push forward with bad cybersecurity legislation after the election, but before the new Congress takes over in January. We’ve discussed the bill in question, CISA, before. The main idea behind it is to immunize companies from liability if they share certain information with the government. Supporters of the bill note that the information sharing is entirely voluntary, but by taking away the liability it also makes it a lot more likely that companies will choose to give information to the government, and it’s not yet clear why the government really needs that information. But the FUD levels are high, with Senator Saxby Chambliss actually suggesting the entire economy is at stake here:

“If we wait another year, we are really risking the economy of the United States.”

Oh, come on. People have been saying this for years — along with the whole “cyber pearl harbor” claims — but have failed to present any explanation or details of how (1) there’s a real risk to the economy or (2) how current laws block necessary solutions.

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The Chimera of Human Advancement

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via Tricycle.com:

Three Soto Zen masters discuss the mistaking of technological progress for human transformation. Kodo Sawaki, Kosho Uchiyama, and Shohaku Okumura.

In The Zen Teachings of Homeless Kodo, three generations of dharma teachers grapple with the social and technological changes they witnessed in Japan over the course of their respective lifetimes. Kodo Sawaki, the eponymous “Homeless Kodo,” first brought Soto Zen Buddhism out of the monasteries and into the streets during the early 1900s. His dharma heir, Kosho Uchiyama, continued this tradition during the latter half of that century. Now Shohaku Okamura, the title’s translator and last commentator, applies the wisdom of his forebears to our present day.—Ed.

Read More: http://www.tricycle.com/blog/chimera-human-advancement

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Which New Technology Will Win the Race to Repair and Replace Our Organs?

University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences (CC by-sa 2.0)

University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences (CC by-sa 2.0)

via Singularityhub:

An extraordinary competition is underway—one that could be more impactful to the human species than any other technological rivalry to come before it. Soon, the radical concept of substantially improving or outright replacing our organs is going to be commonplace.

Globally, organ failure is a leading cause of death. But transplantable organs are in far too short of a supply around the world to help many in need—even former Vice President Dick Cheney had to wait 20 months to get his new heart.

Various methodologies, technologies, and even spiritual and philosophical preferences are dividing up this human upgrade quest. Companies are launching into the field, hoping to create the dominant longevity tech that people in the near future will use to live to 150 and beyond. Many futurists believe each of our major body parts will likely one day be replaced or significantly modified by extreme science and technology.

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Dr. Rick Strassman Sheds Light on the Mysterious, Profound Paradox Hiding Within Us- DMT

Join Dr. Rick Strassman (DMT the Spirit MoleculeDMT and the Soul of Prophecy) and I as we discuss the deeply mysterious, alien-filled inter-dimensional chemical portal that is DMT. 

Via Midwest Real

“DMT is a forcible reminder that there’s a lot more about reality, the universe, ourselves, (and) the biosphere than we imagine.” – Dennis McKenna.

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Within your body, there’s a chemical gateway to another world and it’s called DMT (dimethyltryptamine).

IMG_6098As if that weren’t crazy enough, it’s not just in the human body. In fact, it’s quite commonplace throughout nature. DMT is produced within every mammal and found in thousands of plant species (which indigenous cultures have taken advantage in ceremonies for thousands of years). Why is this compound with such extreme psychedelic capabilities so ubiquitous and what is its practical function? There’s no consensus.

Chemically speaking, DMT is not a complicated substance. In fact, it closely resembles neurotransmitters and essential amino acids that your brain is brimming with.… Read the rest

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RoboLaw: Why and how to regulate robotics

smlp.co.uk (cc by 2.0)

smlp.co.uk (cc by 2.0)

via Robohub:

The issue is often raised whether robotics needs to be regulated. While some believe that there is no need to intervene because regulation may stifle innovation, others believe that indeed there is need to intervene since robotics may otherwise prove disruptive. However, both arguments are partial, and for this very reason wrong. Thanks to existing laws, a robot (like any other physical phenomenon) is already instantly regulated in the very moment materializes.

Contrary to popular belief, the law is faster than any technological development.

If a time machine was invented tomorrow and time travel became reality, every aspect of the machine would already be regulated before news of the device could be shared with the world. If the first time traveller did not come back from his or her trip to the past, that person’s spouse could, under existing legal frameworks, sue the inventors of the time machine and claim them liable for the accident.

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