Tuesday, October 16, 2012
What we call the news is really just the fractal repetitions of the human condition, the follies and triumphs that are experienced by individuals, communities, cities, states, nations, empires, each at its own scale. Those who are closely touched by these matters must for better and for worse attend to them to the appropriate degree. But our own affairs are just that; most of the time what the news tells about the affairs of others has very little to do with them, and our interest is the interest of the voyeur. In the midst of the flow of events, I am not aware of anyone who has a consistent ability to pick out and highlight those relatively few things that will have enduring or widespread significance. Time does that for us. If we wanted to be serious about “current events,” then nothing would be covered until after it had had a chance to age; we would want our news to be our olds.
What does this point have to do with transhumanism? We’ve noted before in this blog how transhumanism is in many respects a manifestation of some of our more problematic cultural characteristics. If our fascination with the news is unhealthy, then transhumanism shares that ailment, with its love of the new, the novel, whatever appears disruptive. It routinely confuses the latest with the greatest, and mistakes speedy communication of information for knowledge. Like the news, it is subject to thinking that something is important because it is happening right now, under our noses, making its allegedly long view remarkably short-sighted.
Posted by Charles T. Rubin at 1:43 PM
Charles T. Rubin, New Atlantis contributing editor.
Adam Keiper, New Atlantis editor.
Ari N. Schulman, New Atlantis executive editor.
Brendan Foht, New Atlantis assistant editor.
by Charles T. Rubin
- Machine Morality and Human Responsibility
- Beyond Mankind
- Why Be Human?
- Our Bodies, Ourselves
- The Rhetoric of Extinction
- Man or Machine?
- Artificial Intelligence and Human Nature
by Adam Keiper
by Adam Keiper and Ari N. Schulman
by Ari N. Schulman
by other authors
- Humanism and Transhumanism (Fred Baumann)
- The Trouble with the Turing Test (Mark Halpern)
- Disenchanting Determinism (Caitrin Nicol)
- The Anti-Theology of the Body (David B. Hart)
- Ageless Bodies, Happy Souls (Leon R. Kass)
- Transitional Humanity (Gilbert Meilaender)
- Till Malfunction Do Us Part (Caitrin Nicol)
- Methuselah and Us (Diana Schaub)
"There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" 1984 2001 30 Rock Aaron Saenz Abraham Lincoln academia addiction Adventures of Huckleberry Finn aesthetics Agnes Heller AI Al Jazeera Alan Jacobs Alan Rubenstein Alasdair MacIntyre Alcor Alex Backer Alex Knapp Allen Buchanan Amy Gutmann Ana Maria Cuervo Anders Sandberg Andrew Hessel animal uplift Anna Salamon anti-progress Apple argument from inevitability argument from infallibility Aristotle art Arthur C. Clarke artifacts Artificial intelligence artificial life artificial wombs Asilomar assisted reproductive technology Aubrey de Grey Audrey Hepburn augmented reality authenticity automation autonomy Avatar avian flu beauty behavioral science Ben Goertzel Benjamin Storey Beyond Therapy Big Dog Bill Joy bioart bioethics bionics body image body modification Brad Templeton Bradley Allenby Bradley J. Thames Brain Preservation Foundation brain scans brain uploading brain-computer interfaces Brandon Keim Brave New World breathing Brian Christian Brian Malow Bryan Caplan C.S. Lewis Caprica Carl Woese cats cell phones character Charles Taylor chess children chimeras Christianity Christine Rosen Christmas cloning CNN coercion cognitive computing cognitive enhancement cognitive liberty comments commercials communication technologies compression computational biology Condorcet consciousness constant connection creativity cryonics cyborg Cynthia Kenyon Dale Carrico Daniel Sarewitz Daniel Sportiello Darlene Cavalier DARPA David A. Noebel David Benatar David Chalmers David F. Noble David Foster Wallace David Gelernter David Pearce David Rose death Deep Blue democracy Derek Parfit design designer babies despair despotism dictators disability distraction distributive justice diversity DIYbio Down syndrome drones dualism e-memory e-readers Earth eclipse economics Ed Boyden Ed Regis efficiency Eliezer Yudkowsky ELIZA embodiment empathy enhancement Enlightenment entropy environmentalism equality of access Eric Drexler ethics eugenics everyday life evolution evolutionary psychology existential risks extropy eyes in the back of your head Facebook faith fantasy fashion faux caution fiction Fight Aging Fixed Flannery O'Connor folk psychology Foresight Institute Fort Hood Frances Willard Francis Bacon Fred Baumann French Revolution Friedrich Nietzsche friendly AI Futurism (art) Futurisms futuristic distance gaming Garry Kasparov Gary Drescher Gary Marcus Gary Wolf genetics geoengineering George Dvorsky George Orwell Gilbert Meilaender Gizmodo global warming gloomy God goodness Google Gordon Bell government GPS Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition Greg Benford Gregor Wolbring Gregory Benford Gödel H+ magazine H+ Summit 2010 Halloween Hank Hyena Hans Moravec heartbreak Heather Knight Heidegger Her history holism hubris human excellence human extinction human life human nature human significance humanism humanities humanoid robotics humor Iain M. Banks Ian Pearson ICRAC IEET immortality infanticide IQ Irfan Khawaja Isaac Asimov Isaac Newton Itamar Arel IVF J. M. Bernstein Jamais Cascio James Hughes James Jorasch James W. Wagner Japan Jason Furman Jason Robert Jende Andrew Huang Jeopardy Jesse Schell Jessica Scorpio Jill Lepore John Markoff John Ruskin John Singer Sargent John Smart Jonah Lehrer Joseph Weizenbaum journalism joy Judaism Juergen Schmidhuber Julian Savulescu Katja Grace Ken Hayworth Kevin Jain Kevin Kelly Kindle kissing Kyle Munkittrick L5 Society lambda calculus Lauren Silbert law of accelerating returns lay science Leon Kass Leon R. Kass Lepht Anonym liberalism libertarian transhumanism libertarianism life extension lifelogging linguistics Lisa Katayama literature loneliness Lost love Ludwig Wittgenstein MacIntyre Conference mainstream man as beast Marcus Hutter Marilynne Robinson Mark Gubrud Mark Walker Martine Rothblatt Marxism Maryanne Wolf materialism Matthew Crawford Max More memory Methuselah Foundation Methuselarity Micah Mattix Michael Anissimov Michael Nielsen Michael Pollan Michio Kaku Mike Treder Milan Kundera military Millie Ray mind as computer Mind Children mind control minds Modern Times molecular manufacturing monstrosities moral relativism morality morphological freedom Morris Johnson multitasking nanotechnology NASA Natasha Vita-More National Geographic National Nanotechnology Initiative natural rights Neal Stephenson Ned Seeman neuro-everything neurobiology neuroelectronics neuroengineering neuroscience Never Say Die conference New America Foundation Nick Bostrom Nick Carr Nietzsche Nikki Olson Nikolai Fyodorov Noah Goodman Noel Sharkey normativity nuclear weapons Olympics ontological fortitude P. W. Singer paradox of choice parenthood Patrick Hopkins Patrick Lin Patrick McGuire pattern-identity personal identity personhood Peter A. Lawler Peter Singer Peter Thiel philosophy of mind photography plastic surgery plastination politics postmodernism predation President's Council on Bioethics Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues progress progressivism psychology public relations quantum computing racism Radiohead Ramez Naam Randal Koene rationality Ray Kurzweil Ray Tallis recommended reading regulation religion relinquishment repugnance resentment watch response to critics resurrection rhetoric of inevitability Richard Feynman Rick Weiss rights ritual Robert Ettinger Robin Hanson robotics robots Roger Scruton romance Ron Bailey Ron Fouchier S. Jay Olshansky Santa Claus science science fiction scientific enterprise scientism scientists secrecy sectarianism seduction community self-driving cars September 11 Seth Lloyd sex sex selection sexual enhancement Sherry Turkle simulation Singularitarianism Singularity Singularity Hub Singularity Summit Singularity University Slate sleep smart phones SMBC social interaction social robotics society Sonia Arrison Sorites paradox space space colonization space exploration sports Star Trek Star Wars stem cell research Stephen Cave Stephen Johnston Stephen Wolfram Steve Sailer Steve Talbott Stuart Hameroff substrate chauvinism suffering superstition suspended animation synthetic biology systems tacos Tao Tea Party movement Techno-Human Condition Ted Fishman Ted Goertzel Teddy Ruxpin terrorism The New York Times The New Yorker The Prospect of Immortality the rhetoric of extinction thinking thought experiments Tim Tyler Time magazine Tocqueville Todd May totalitarianism transhumanism transhumanist tech fail translation travel Turing Machines Turing Test TV Twitter Tyler Cowen tyranny UAVs UGVs uncanny valley unemployment uploading USVs utilitarianism Utopia UUVs virtual reality virtues Wafaa Bilal Walker Percy Walter Kirn Watson we are already x whole-brain emulation William Dickens Wired wisdom women's lib XKCD Yuval Levin Zoltan Istvan
- ▼ 2012 (38)
- ► 2011 (46)
- ► 2010 (83)