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Ethereum Price Forecast and Analysis – September 15, 2017

China is the only Ethereum news that matters today, as crypto markets continue to reel from a Chinese crackdown on local exchanges. The entire crypto market is under siege.

Ethereum to USD prices are down about 20.85% and Ethereum to Bitcoin prices dropped roughly 3.1%, suggesting that investors are coalescing around the market leader in times of uncertainty.

With ETH prices touching a two-month low at $201.62, many are wondering when the pain will stop. The truth is, there might be more pain to come.

Two of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges have not yet shut.

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Ethereum Price Forecast and Analysis – September 15, 2017

Bitcoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017

Bitcoin (BTC) is once again nearing the all-important $4,000 threshold, a significant bounce-back compared to last week’s low point of $3,200 that came as a result of China’s crackdown on initial coin offerings (ICO).

Of course, the brightest cryptocurrency future has to include the Chinese market and its loads of cash, but for now, Bitcoin should be able to pull itself up steadily back to the $5,000 mark without China’s help.

Cryptocurrencies will need to find a way to reintegrate themselves into the Chinese market in the long term. BTC prices benefit from a surge in.

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Bitcoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017

Litecoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017

While most of the cryptocurrency market hit the snooze button on Monday, Litecoin traders were up and about. More than $408.0 million worth of LTC coins changed hands as the Litecoin to USD exchange rate jumped roughly 4.11%.

Litecoin also gained around 2.9% against Bitcoin, possibly balancing for the different speeds in their recoveries. Nevertheless, it’ll be a long time before the two currencies are disentangled.

To this day, investors perceive Litecoin as “the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.”

There were moments when the market started to value LTC based on Litecoin news alone (which led to all-time highs), but then China rained on everyone’s parade by shutting down.

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Litecoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017

Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017

Ripple prices took a break from the high drama of recent weeks, ending the last 24 hours a slight twitch up to around $0.185670. The stability of the Ripple to USD exchange rate is a constructive signal for investors that grew nervous after the Chinese crackdown.

After all, XRP fell by double digits only a few days ago, putting our annual Ripple price prediction in jeopardy. Cooler heads have prevailed since then, and Ripple is back above where it was a.

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Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017

Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 18, 2017

For the first time in a week, cryptocurrencies stuck their heads above water. The Ripple-to-USD exchange rate jumped 7.13% to $0.188622, while simultaneously falling 4.22% against Bitcoin.

China’s ban on cryptocurrency exchanges was once again the biggest piece of Ripple news. This time, however, prices moved to the upside, because investors realized that last week’s reaction was a little excessive (if not downright apocalyptic).

What makes it worse is that Ripple didn’t deserve the beating it took last week.

For one thing, less than five percent of its.

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Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 18, 2017

Litecoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 18, 2017

Despite China taking a bat to Litecoin’s knees, the Litecoin-to-USD exchange rate bounced up about 9.68% to roughly $51.89. “What explosive piece of Litecoin news caused this rally?” you ask.

Oddly, nothing in particular.

This was a see-saw moment for Litecoin prices. After tilting hard towards the bearish side last week, investors pushed off the bottom to bring LTC prices back above $50.00.

Perhaps they thought the reaction to China’s ban on cryptocurrency exchanges was a tad overblown. Or perhaps they thought LTC is a buy under $50.00.

In either case, the surge in prices is likely to continue now that the fog of uncertainty has lifted.

Last week, we knew nothing.

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Litecoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 18, 2017

Ethereum Price Forecast and Analysis – September 18, 2017

Hallelujah! After a week of non-stop pain, investors finally moved past China’s ban on cryptocurrency exchanges. They bid up prices, bet on fundamentals, and were rewarded with flashing green numbers on their trading monitors.

For instance, the Ethereum-to-USD exchange rate jumped 17% to $280.69 on Sunday.

Considering that it slipped below $200.00 on Friday, the rebound was particularly steep. Who said there’s no resilience in cryptocurrencies? It took less than a week to shrug off China’s ban, which was definitely more than a flesh wound.

Ethereum gained.

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This Cryptocurrency Could Be the Next Bitcoin

Bitcoin Turned $25 into $34 Million
Bitcoin, bitcoin, bitcoin, bitcoin, bitcoin, bitcoin…bitcoin. It’s all that anyone seems to be talking about, yet the volatility of Bitcoin is terrifying. Double-digit swings are a normal occurrence. And no one can explain what it does, at least not in plain English.

But there’s no denying that Bitcoin is a gold mine.

Investors who bought BTC coins in 2013 would have gained 2,411% by now. And those who “mined” the currency made even bigger returns..

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Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 15, 2017

As with the rest of the cryptocurrency market, China takes center stage in our Ripple news update. It’s the only thing that matters at the moment, though one could argue that XRP is unfairly caught in the crossfire.

After all, less than five percent of Ripple’s trading volume comes from within China. Add that to the fact that the ban is on trading, and not “blockchain activities,” and it seems like Ripple’s eastward expansion is still on track.

What the regulators objected to was the “disorder” of cryptocurrency exchanges. They aren’t fond of chaos. But.

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Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 15, 2017

Ethereum Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017

As the dust settles from China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies, Ethereum looks poised for a rally that could send it across the $300.00 level. However, the situation remains tenuous.

The Chinese ban confirmed the worst fears of some investors—that central banks and other vested interests will regulate against cryptocurrencies to keep their hold on power.

It’s not an unreasonable fear, but I should add that regulators only banned yuan to crypto exchanges, not the existence of blockchain itself. That may sound like a difference without a distinction, but it could be.

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Listen to article The super-connector airlines face a world of troubles

WHEN a video of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight went viral last month, the American carriers Middle Eastern rivals were quick to mock its customer service. Qatar Airways updated its smartphone app to say it doesnt support drag and drop. The ribbing was justified. Over a decade of expansion, Qatar Airways, along with Emirates of Dubai, the worlds largest airline by international passenger miles travelled, and Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi, wowed customers with superior service and better-value fares.Passengers joined them in droves, abandoning hub airports in America and Europe as well as the airlines that use them.

Crew members and the father had a disagreement over where to store a birthday cake.

The Derek Jeter interview: How he became No. 2

A look behind some of the words that are making an impact in the general election campaign this week.

Government must unveil revised plans on 9 May and cannot wait until after the general election as it wanted to

More than 200 jail officers in Cook County, Ill. called out sick Sunday, forcing the facility to be placed on lockdown, officials said.

Classroom collaboration software exists, but Epigrammar thinks its approach better tackles the issue of student grammar, test creation and comprehension. Teachers can help facilitate student conversations on an assigned text by uploading it to Epigrammar, then helping their students review and annotate the work, in real time. Read More

Opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline has persuaded some banks to stop supporting projects that might harm the environment or tread on indigenous rights, but calling the divest movement a success might be a stretch

The biggest cyberattack the world has ever seen is still claiming victims and threatens to create even more havoc on Monday when people return to work.

W. Kamau Bell explores the causes behind poverty, unemployment and crime among the country’s indigenous people. “United Shades of America” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

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Posthuman – Wikipedia

Posthuman or post-human is a concept originating in the fields of science fiction, futurology, contemporary art, and philosophy that literally means a person or entity that exists in a state beyond being human. The concept addresses questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. Posthumanism is not to be confused with transhumanism (the nanobiotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality.[1] The notion of the posthuman comes up both in posthumanism as well as transhumanism, but it has a special meaning in each tradition. In 2017, Penn State University Press in cooperation with Stefan Lorenz Sorgner and James Hughes (sociologist) established the “Journal of Posthuman Studies” in which all aspects of the concept “posthuman” can be analysed. [2]

In critical theory, the posthuman is a speculative being that represents or seeks to re-conceive the human. It is the object of posthumanist criticism, which critically questions humanism, a branch of humanist philosophy which claims that human nature is a universal state from which the human being emerges; human nature is autonomous, rational, capable of free will, and unified in itself as the apex of existence. Thus, the posthuman position recognizes imperfectability and disunity within him or herself, and understands the world through heterogeneous perspectives while seeking to maintain intellectual rigour and a dedication to objective observations. Key to this posthuman practice is the ability to fluidly change perspectives and manifest oneself through different identities. The posthuman, for critical theorists of the subject, has an emergent ontology rather than a stable one; in other words, the posthuman is not a singular, defined individual, but rather one who can “become” or embody different identities and understand the world from multiple, heterogeneous perspectives.[3]

Critical discourses surrounding posthumanism are not homogeneous, but in fact present a series of often contradictory ideas, and the term itself is contested, with one of the foremost authors associated with posthumanism, Manuel de Landa, decrying the term as “very silly.”[4] Covering the ideas of, for example, Robert Pepperell’s The Posthuman Condition, and Hayles’s How We Became Posthuman under a single term is distinctly problematic due to these contradictions.

The posthuman is roughly synonymous with the “cyborg” of A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway.[5] Haraway’s conception of the cyborg is an ironic take on traditional conceptions of the cyborg that inverts the traditional trope of the cyborg whose presence questions the salient line between humans and robots. Haraway’s cyborg is in many ways the “beta” version of the posthuman, as her cyborg theory prompted the issue to be taken up in critical theory.[6]

Following Haraway, Hayles, whose work grounds much of the critical posthuman discourse, asserts that liberal humanism – which separates the mind from the body and thus portrays the body as a “shell” or vehicle for the mind – becomes increasingly complicated in the late 20th and 21st centuries because information technology puts the human body in question. Hayles maintains that we must be conscious of information technology advancements while understanding information as “disembodied,” that is, something which cannot fundamentally replace the human body but can only be incorporated into it and human life practices.[7]

The idea of post-posthumanism (post-cyborgism) has recently been introduced.[8][9][10][11][12] This body of work outlines the after-effects of long-term adaptation to cyborg technologies and their subsequent removal, e.g., what happens after 20 years of constantly wearing computer-mediating eyeglass technologies and subsequently removing them, and of long-term adaptation to virtual worlds followed by return to “reality.”[13][14] and the associated post-cyborg ethics (e.g. the ethics of forced removal of cyborg technologies by authorities, etc.).[15]

Posthuman political and natural rights have been framed on a spectrum with animal rights and human rights.[16]

According to transhumanist thinkers, a posthuman is a hypothetical future being “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards.”[17]

Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousnesses, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound technological augmentations to a biological human, i.e. a cyborg. Some examples of the latter are redesigning the human organism using advanced nanotechnology or radical enhancement using some combination of technologies such as genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, life extension therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information management tools, memory enhancing drugs, wearable or implanted computers, and cognitive techniques.[17]

As used in this article, “posthuman” does not necessarily refer to a conjectured future where humans are extinct or otherwise absent from the Earth. As with other species who speciate from one another, both humans and posthumans could continue to exist. However, the apocalyptic scenario appears to be a viewpoint shared among a minority of transhumanists such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] and Hans Moravec, who could be considered misanthropes, at least in regard to humanity in its current state. Alternatively, others such as Kevin Warwick argue for the likelihood that both humans and posthumans will continue to exist but the latter will predominate in society over the former because of their abilities.[18] Recently, scholars have begun to speculate that posthumanism provides an alternative analysis of apocalyptic cinema and fiction, often casting vampires, werewolves and even zombies as potential evolutions of the human form and being.[19]

Many science fiction authors, such as Greg Egan, H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Bruce Sterling, Frederik Pohl, Greg Bear, Charles Stross, Neal Asher, Ken MacLeod and authors of the Orion’s Arm Universe,[20] have written works set in posthuman futures.

A variation on the posthuman theme is the notion of a “posthuman god”; the idea that posthumans, being no longer confined to the parameters of human nature, might grow physically and mentally so powerful as to appear possibly god-like by present-day human standards.[17] This notion should not be interpreted as being related to the idea portrayed in some science fiction that a sufficiently advanced species may “ascend” to a higher plane of existencerather, it merely means that some posthuman beings may become so exceedingly intelligent and technologically sophisticated that their behaviour would not possibly be comprehensible to modern humans, purely by reason of their limited intelligence and imagination.[21]

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Posthuman – Wikipedia

Leo Igwe – The Maravi Post

Leo Igwe

Leo Igwe (born July 26, 1970) is a Nigerian human rights advocate and humanist. Igwe is a former Western and Southern African representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and has specialized in campaigning against and documenting the impacts of child witchcraft accusations. He holds a Ph.D from the Bayreuth International School of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, having earned a graduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. Igwe’s human rights advocacy has brought him into conflict with high-profile witchcraft believers, such as Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, because of his criticism of what he describes as their role in the violence and child abandonment that sometimes result from accusations of witchcraft. His human rights fieldwork has led to his arrest on several occasions in Nigeria. Igwe has held leadership roles in the Nigerian Humanist Movement, Atheist Alliance International, and the Center For InquiryNigeria. In 2012, Igwe was appointed as a Research Fellow of the James Randi Educational Foundation, where he continues working toward the goal of responding to what he sees as the deleterious effects of superstition, advancing skepticism throughout Africa and around the world. In 2014, Igwe was chosen as a laureate of the International Academy of Humanism and in 2017 received the Distinguished Services to Humanism Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Igwe was raised in southeastern Nigeria, and describes his household as being strictly Catholic in the midst of a “highly superstitious community,” according to an interview in the Gold Coast Bulletin.[1] At age twelve, Igwe entered the seminary, beginning to study for the Catholic priesthood, but later was confused by conflicting beliefs between Christian theology and the beliefs in witches and wizards that are “entrenched in Nigerian society.”[1] After a period of research and internal conflict due to doubts about the “odd blend of tribalism and fundamentalist Christianity he believes is stunting African development,” a 24-year-old Igwe resigned from the seminary and relocated to Ibadan, Nigeria

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Posthuman – Wikipedia

Posthuman or post-human is a concept originating in the fields of science fiction, futurology, contemporary art, and philosophy that literally means a person or entity that exists in a state beyond being human. The concept addresses questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. Posthumanism is not to be confused with transhumanism (the nanobiotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality.[1] The notion of the posthuman comes up both in posthumanism as well as transhumanism, but it has a special meaning in each tradition. In 2017, Penn State University Press in cooperation with Stefan Lorenz Sorgner and James Hughes (sociologist) established the “Journal of Posthuman Studies” in which all aspects of the concept “posthuman” can be analysed. [2]

In critical theory, the posthuman is a speculative being that represents or seeks to re-conceive the human. It is the object of posthumanist criticism, which critically questions humanism, a branch of humanist philosophy which claims that human nature is a universal state from which the human being emerges; human nature is autonomous, rational, capable of free will, and unified in itself as the apex of existence. Thus, the posthuman position recognizes imperfectability and disunity within him or herself, and understands the world through heterogeneous perspectives while seeking to maintain intellectual rigour and a dedication to objective observations. Key to this posthuman practice is the ability to fluidly change perspectives and manifest oneself through different identities. The posthuman, for critical theorists of the subject, has an emergent ontology rather than a stable one; in other words, the posthuman is not a singular, defined individual, but rather one who can “become” or embody different identities and understand the world from multiple, heterogeneous perspectives.[3]

Critical discourses surrounding posthumanism are not homogeneous, but in fact present a series of often contradictory ideas, and the term itself is contested, with one of the foremost authors associated with posthumanism, Manuel de Landa, decrying the term as “very silly.”[4] Covering the ideas of, for example, Robert Pepperell’s The Posthuman Condition, and Hayles’s How We Became Posthuman under a single term is distinctly problematic due to these contradictions.

The posthuman is roughly synonymous with the “cyborg” of A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway.[5] Haraway’s conception of the cyborg is an ironic take on traditional conceptions of the cyborg that inverts the traditional trope of the cyborg whose presence questions the salient line between humans and robots. Haraway’s cyborg is in many ways the “beta” version of the posthuman, as her cyborg theory prompted the issue to be taken up in critical theory.[6]

Following Haraway, Hayles, whose work grounds much of the critical posthuman discourse, asserts that liberal humanism – which separates the mind from the body and thus portrays the body as a “shell” or vehicle for the mind – becomes increasingly complicated in the late 20th and 21st centuries because information technology puts the human body in question. Hayles maintains that we must be conscious of information technology advancements while understanding information as “disembodied,” that is, something which cannot fundamentally replace the human body but can only be incorporated into it and human life practices.[7]

The idea of post-posthumanism (post-cyborgism) has recently been introduced.[8][9][10][11][12] This body of work outlines the after-effects of long-term adaptation to cyborg technologies and their subsequent removal, e.g., what happens after 20 years of constantly wearing computer-mediating eyeglass technologies and subsequently removing them, and of long-term adaptation to virtual worlds followed by return to “reality.”[13][14] and the associated post-cyborg ethics (e.g. the ethics of forced removal of cyborg technologies by authorities, etc.).[15]

Posthuman political and natural rights have been framed on a spectrum with animal rights and human rights.[16]

According to transhumanist thinkers, a posthuman is a hypothetical future being “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards.”[17]

Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousnesses, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound technological augmentations to a biological human, i.e. a cyborg. Some examples of the latter are redesigning the human organism using advanced nanotechnology or radical enhancement using some combination of technologies such as genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, life extension therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information management tools, memory enhancing drugs, wearable or implanted computers, and cognitive techniques.[17]

As used in this article, “posthuman” does not necessarily refer to a conjectured future where humans are extinct or otherwise absent from the Earth. As with other species who speciate from one another, both humans and posthumans could continue to exist. However, the apocalyptic scenario appears to be a viewpoint shared among a minority of transhumanists such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] and Hans Moravec, who could be considered misanthropes, at least in regard to humanity in its current state. Alternatively, others such as Kevin Warwick argue for the likelihood that both humans and posthumans will continue to exist but the latter will predominate in society over the former because of their abilities.[18] Recently, scholars have begun to speculate that posthumanism provides an alternative analysis of apocalyptic cinema and fiction, often casting vampires, werewolves and even zombies as potential evolutions of the human form and being.[19]

Many science fiction authors, such as Greg Egan, H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Bruce Sterling, Frederik Pohl, Greg Bear, Charles Stross, Neal Asher, Ken MacLeod and authors of the Orion’s Arm Universe,[20] have written works set in posthuman futures.

A variation on the posthuman theme is the notion of a “posthuman god”; the idea that posthumans, being no longer confined to the parameters of human nature, might grow physically and mentally so powerful as to appear possibly god-like by present-day human standards.[17] This notion should not be interpreted as being related to the idea portrayed in some science fiction that a sufficiently advanced species may “ascend” to a higher plane of existencerather, it merely means that some posthuman beings may become so exceedingly intelligent and technologically sophisticated that their behaviour would not possibly be comprehensible to modern humans, purely by reason of their limited intelligence and imagination.[21]

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Posthuman – Wikipedia

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Listen to article CityConnect shows you how climate change will impact your own home

Weve all seen the maps that show Florida being consumed by rising sea levels. But many of us still underestimate the impact of climate change because we cant visualize its effects. At the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017 Hackathon, James Butler, Caitlin Squyres and Florian Carls put together CityConnect, which lets people see flood levels for the City of Cambridge using Read More

European and U.S.-based tech scale-ups with Asia ambitions, rejoice. Outing today is a new $500 million VC fund from Silk Ventures, and backed in part by the Chinese government. Read More

Liverpool beat West Ham at London Stadium to move back into third place as striker Daniel Sturridge scores his first goal since January.

Experts’ picks: Any love for Spurs in conference finals?

The Tories pledge a workplace rights expansion, but Labour says they are “taking people for fools”.

The Greater Manchester system has been suspended as control room staff cannot see the trams.

An alert researcher, a cheap domain name, cross-ocean cooperation helped stem effects of cyberattack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is trying to determine how keeping his promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem could affect his hopes of brokering a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, his secretary of state said on Sunday.

The Tory leader tells the BBC’s Westminster Hour she wants to keep 18 as minimum age – in contrast to most other parties.

Richard Russell, the head of XL Recordings, walked into a small recording studio in West London and found a woman named Caroline Simionescu-Marin sitting, cross-legged, atop a rack of audio equipment. Russell is known for signing distinctive and driven young artists, from M.I.A. to Vampire Weekend to Adele, and on this drizzly August morning he had come to hear some music that Simionescu-Marin wanted to play for him. They traded gossip about Zayn Maliks departure from One Direction while a studio manager served egg sandwiches, and a sound engineer cued up track files on a large console.

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What is Transhumanism?

The human desire to acquire posthuman attributes is as ancient as the human species itself. Humans have always sought to expand the boundaries of their existence, be it ecologically, geographically, or mentally. There is a tendency in at least some individuals always to try to find a way around every limitation and obstacle.

Ceremonial burial and preserved fragments of religious writings show that prehistoric humans were deeply disturbed by the death of their loved ones and sought to reduce the cognitive dissonance by postulating an afterlife. Yet, despite the idea of an afterlife, people still endeavored to extend life. In the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (approx. 2000 B.C.), a king embarks on a quest to find an herb that can make him immortal. Its worth noting that it was assumed both that mortality was not inescapable in principle, and that there existed (at least mythological) means of overcoming it. That people really strove to live longer and richer lives can also be seen in the development of systems of magic and alchemy; lacking scientific means of producing an elixir of life, one resorted to magical means. This strategy was adopted, for example, by the various schools of esoteric Taoism in China, which sought physical immortality and control over or harmony with the forces of nature.

The Greeks were ambivalent about humans transgressing our natural confines. On the one hand, they were fascinated by the idea. We see it in the myth of Prometheus, who stole the fire from Zeus and gave it to the humans, thereby permanently improving the human condition. And in the myth of Daedalus, the gods are repeatedly challenged, quite successfully, by a clever engineer and artist, who uses non-magical means to extend human capabilities. On the other hand, there is also the concept of hubris: that some ambitions are off-limit and would backfire if pursued. In the end, Daedalus enterprise ends in disaster (not, however, because it was punished by the gods but owing entirely to natural causes).

Greek philosophers made the first, stumbling attempts to create systems of thought that were based not purely on faith but on logical reasoning. Socrates and the sophists extended the application of critical thinking from metaphysics and cosmology to include the study of ethics and questions about human society and human psychology. Out of this inquiry arose cultural humanism, a very important current throughout the history of Western science, political theory, ethics, and law.

In the Renaissance, human thinking was awoken from medieval otherworldliness and the scholastic modes of reasoning that had predominated for a millennium, and the human being and the natural world again became legitimate objects of study. Renaissance humanism encouraged people to rely on their own observations and their own judgment rather than to defer in every matter to religious authorities. Renaissance humanism also created the ideal of the well-rounded personality, one that is highly developed scientifically, morally, culturally, and spiritually. A milestone is Giovanni Pico della Mirandolas Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486), which states that man does not have a ready form but that it is mans task to form himself. And crucially, modern science began to take form then, through the works of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo.

The Age of Enlightenment can be said to have started with the publication of Francis Bacons Novum Organum, the new tool (1620), in which he proposes a scientific methodology based on empirical investigation rather than a priori reasoning. Bacon advocates the project of effecting all things possible, by which he meant the achievement of mastery over nature in order to improve the condition of human beings. The heritage from the Renaissance combines with the influences of Isaac Newton, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Marquis de Condorcet, and others to form the basis for rational humanism, which emphasizes science and critical reasoning rather than revelation and religious authority as ways of learning about the natural world and the destiny and nature of man and of providing a grounding for morality. Transhumanism traces its roots to this rational humanism.

In the 18th and 19th centuries we begin to see glimpses of the idea that even humans themselves can be developed through the appliance of science. Benjamin Franklin and Voltaire speculated about extending human life span through medical science. Especially after Darwins theory of evolution, atheism or agnosticism came to be seen as increasingly attractive alternatives. However, the optimism of the late 19th century often degenerated into narrow-minded positivism and the belief that progress was automatic. When this view collided with reality, some people reacted by turning to irrationalism, concluding that since reason was not sufficient, it was worthless. This resulted in the anti-technological, anti-intellectual sentiments whose sequelae we can still witness today in some postmodernist writers, in the New Age movement, and among the neo-Luddite wing of the anti-globalization agitators.

A significant stimulus in the formation of transhumanism was the essay Daedalus: Science and the Future (1923) by the British biochemist J. B. S. Haldane, in which he discusses how scientific and technological findings may come to affect society and improve the human condition. This essay set off a chain reaction of future-oriented discussions, including The World, the Flesh and the Devil by J. D. Bernal (1929), which speculates about space colonization and bionic implants as well as mental improvements through advanced social science and psychology; the works of Olaf Stapledon; and the essay Icarus: the Future of Science (1924) by Bertrand Russell, who took a more pessimistic view, arguing that without more kindliness in the world, technological power will mainly serve to increase mens ability to inflict harm on one another. Science fiction authors such as H. G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon also got many people thinking about the future evolution of the human race. One frequently cited work is Aldous Huxleys Brave New World (1932), a dystopia where psychological conditioning, promiscuous sexuality, biotechnology, and opiate drugs are used to keep the population placid and contented in a static, totalitarian society ruled by an elite consisting of ten world controllers. Huxleys novel warns of the dehumanizing potential of technology being used to arrest growth and to diminish the scope of human nature rather than enhance it.

The Second World War changed the direction of some of those currents that result in todays transhumanism. The eugenics movement, which had previously found advocates not only among racists on the extreme right but also among socialists and progressivist social democrats, was thoroughly discredited. The goal of creating a new and better world through a centrally imposed vision became taboo and pass; and the horrors of the Stalinist Soviet Union again underscored the dangers of such an approach. Mindful of these historical lessons, transhumanists are often deeply suspicious of collectively orchestrated change, arguing instead for the right of individuals to redesign themselves and their own descendants.

In the postwar era, optimistic futurists tended to direct their attention more toward technological progress, such as space travel, medicine, and computers. Science began to catch up with speculation. Transhumanist ideas during this period were discussed and analyzed chiefly in the literary genre of science fiction. Authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Stanislaw Lem, and later Bruce Sterling, Greg Egan, and Vernor Vinge have explored various aspects of transhumanism in their writings and contributed to its proliferation.

Robert Ettinger played an important role in giving transhumanism its modern form. The publication of his book The Prospect of Immortality in 1964 led to the creation of the cryonics movement. Ettinger argued that since medical technology seems to be constantly progressing, and since chemical activity comes to a complete halt at low temperatures, it should be possible to freeze a person today and preserve the body until such a time when technology is advanced enough to repair the freezing damage and reverse the original cause of deanimation. In a later work, Man into Superman (1972), he discussed a number of conceivable improvements to the human being, continuing the tradition started by Haldane and Bernal.

Another influential early transhumanist was F. M. Esfandiary, who later changed his name to FM-2030. One of the first professors of future studies, FM taught at the New School for Social Research in New York in the 1960s and formed a school of optimistic futurists known as the UpWingers. In his book Are you a transhuman? (1989), he described what he saw as the signs of the emergence of the transhuman person, in his terminology indicating an evolutionary link towards posthumanity. (A terminological aside: an early use of the word transhuman was in the 1972-book of Ettinger, who doesnt now remember where he first encountered the term. The word transhumanism may have been coined by Julian Huxley in New Bottles for New Wine (1957); the sense in which he used it, however, was not quite the contemporary one.) Further, its use is evidenced in T.S. Elliots writing around the same time. And it is known that Dante Alighieri referred to the notion of the transhuman in historical writings.

In the 1970s and 1980s, several organizations sprung up for life extension, cryonics, space colonization, science fiction, media arts, and futurism. They were often isolated from one another, and while they shared similar views and values, they did not yet amount to any unified coherent worldview. One prominent voice from a standpoint with strong transhumanist elements during this era came from Marvin Minsky, an eminent artificial intelligence researcher.

In 1986, Eric Drexler published Engines of Creation, the first book-length exposition of molecular manufacturing. (The possibility of nanotechnology had been anticipated by Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman in a now-famous after-dinner address in 1959 entitled There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom.) In this groundbreaking work, Drexler not only argued for the feasibility of assembler-based nanotechnology but also explored its consequences and began charting the strategic challenges posed by its development. Drexlers later writings supplied more technical analyses that confirmed his initial conclusions. To prepare the world for nanotechnology and work towards it safe implementation, he founded the Foresight Institute together with his then wife Christine Peterson in 1986.

Ed Regiss Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition (1990) took a humorous look at transhumanisms hubristic scientists and philosophers. Another couple of influential books were roboticist Hans Moravecs seminal Mind Children (1988) about the future development of machine intelligence, and more recently Ray Kurzweils bestselling Age of Spiritual Machines (1999), which presented ideas similar to Moravecs. Frank Tiplers Physics of Immortality (1994), inspired by the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (a paleontologist and Jesuit theologian who saw an evolutionary telos in the development of an encompassing noosphere, a global consciousness) argued that advanced civilizations might come to have a shaping influence on the future evolution of the cosmos, although some were put off by Tiplers attempt to blend science with religion. Many science advocates, such as Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, and Douglas Hofstadter, have also helped pave the way for public understanding of transhumanist ideas.

In 1988, the first issue of the Extropy Magazine was published by Max More and Tom Morrow, and in 1992 they founded the Extropy Institute (the term extropy being coined as an informal opposite of entropy). The magazine and the institute served as catalysts, bringing together disparate groups of people with futuristic ideas. More wrote the first definition of transhumanism in its modern sense, and created his own distinctive brand of transhumanism, which emphasized individualism, dynamic optimism, and the market mechanism in addition to technology. The transhumanist arts genre became more self-aware through the works of the artist Natasha Vita-More. During this time, an intense exploration of ideas also took place on various Internet mailing lists. Influential early contributors included Anders Sandberg (then a neuroscience doctoral student) and Robin Hanson (an economist and polymath) among many others.

The World Transhumanist Association was founded in 1998 by Nick Bostrom and David Pearce to act as a coordinating international nonprofit organization for all transhumanist-related groups and interests, across the political spectrum. The WTA focused on supporting transhumanism as a serious academic discipline and on promoting public awareness of transhumanist thinking. The WTA began publishing the Journal of Evolution and Technology, the first scholarly peer-reviewed journal for transhumanist studies in 1999 (which is also the year when the first version of this FAQ was published). In 2001, the WTA adopted its current constitution and is now governed by an executive board that is democratically elected by its full membership. James Hughes especially (a former WTA Secretary) among others helped lift the WTA to its current more mature stage, and a strong team of volunteers has been building up the organization to what it is today.

Humanity+ developed after to rebrand transhumanism informing Humanity+ as a cooperative organization, seeking to pull together the leaders of transhumanism: from the early 1990s: Max More, Natasha Vita-More, Anders Sandberg; the late 1990s: Nick Bostrom, David Pearce, James Hughes; the 2000s: James Clement, Ben Goertzel, Giulio Prisco and many others. In short, it is based on the early work of Extropy Institute and WTA.

In the past couple of years, the transhumanist movement has been growing fast and furiously. Local groups are mushrooming in all parts of the world. Awareness of transhumanist ideas is spreading. Transhumanism is undergoing the transition from being the preoccupation of a fringe group of intellectual pioneers to becoming a mainstream approach to understanding the prospects for technological transformation of the human condition. That technological advances will help us overcome many of our current human limitations is no longer an insight confined to a few handfuls of techno-savvy visionaries. Yet understanding the consequences of these anticipated possibilities and the ethical choices we will face is a momentous challenge that humanity will be grappling with over the coming decades. The transhumanist tradition has produced a (still evolving) body of thinking to illuminate these complex issues that is unparalleled in its scope and depth of foresight.

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What is Transhumanism?

Czech researcher speaks at UNL on Europe’s state of democracy – Daily Nebraskan

Dr. Martina Klicperova-Baker, a senior researcher from the Institute of Psychology & Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic, spoke at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

She opened her presentation on the state of democracy in Europe by referencing her own experience of living with, and losing, democracy in her own country.

Thank you for sharing with me your solar eclipse, Klicperova-Baker said. The day of the Soviet invasion [of the Czech Republic] in 1968 was the day of the eclipse. It is a day ingrained in our memory. It began an age of totality that lasted 20 years.

Klicperova-Baker was invited by the universitys Czech and Global Studies programs to utilize her specialties in the psychology of democracy, the transition to democracy and political psychology to discuss democracy in Europe.

She began the program by discussing the institution of democracy.

Quoting Madeleine Albright, Klicperova-Baker said, While democracy in the long run is the most stable form of government, in the short run it is the most fragile.

Despite the permanent tension of democracy, Klicperova-Baker said its the regime that best secures the rights and self-actualization of its citizens.

Democracies are killing fewer of their own citizens than other regimes, Klicperova-Baker said. And real democracies do not wage war with each other.

Klicperova-Baker pointed to democracies around the world, such as Canada and Australia, as examples of secular democratic systems in which citizens enjoy a high quality of life, yet conceded that, while democracy is imperfect, we dont have anything better.

The more we approach [an ideal democracy], the more it is running away from us, Klicperova-Baker said. It is always on the horizon.

Klicperova-Baker said the number of people living in democratic institutions around the world is growing, but the number of those in autocracies remains stable.

She attributed the difficulty of maintaining a healthy democracy as a reason autocracies remain prominent.

Humans are not necessarily naturally predisposed to a positive democratic coexistence, Klicperova-Baker said. The human psyche is, to a great degree, selfish and self-serving.

Klicperova-Baker then moved to the structure of democracy, breaking it down to its simplest values by alluding to the French Revolutions motto of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

Liberty, or freedom, is exemplified by less frustration and, in turn, less aggression, Klicperova-Baker said. Equality, or vertical closeness, appears when the gap between the law and popular sovereignty is small. Fraternity, or horizontal closeness, is apparent in humanism, civic culture and civility.

Expanding on her final point of civility, Klicperova-Baker said, Civility is the most important aspect of democracy. Benevolence and respect: that is the cushion, that is the buffer to the permanent conflicts.

According to Klicperova-Baker, the Velvet Revolution and the Velvet Divorce are two events in Czech history that feature the importance of civility.

They were not even stepping on the grass, Klicperova-Baker said. It was a moral revolution, more like a cultural festival.

The Velvet Revolution was a number of peaceful protests in the late 1980s that ultimately led to the split that created the Czech Republic and Slovakia, also known as the Velvet Divorce.

Klicperova-Baker closed by examining the state of democracy in Europe, stressing the importance of looking at specific groups of people rather than entire nations.

To summarize her speech, Klicperova-Baker said, What is important? We found democrats, whether religious or secular, in every country. We cannot forget about the minority, the people who have it very tough in those countries.

How does one remember the minority? According to Klicperova-Baker, The democrats have to stand their ground; they have to fight for free and honest media.

To call this era post-factual or post-truth we must not accept that, Klicperova-Baker said. We cannot let that kind of language win.

news@dailynebraskan.com

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Czech researcher speaks at UNL on Europe’s state of democracy – Daily Nebraskan

Joss Whedon fan site shuts down after ex-wife’s critical essay – EW.com

After 15 years, Whedonesque is shutting down.

The popular Joss Whedon fan site announced Monday it is closing down and will become a read-only site at some stage in the future. The site was a discussion board hub for all things related to The Avengers director and Firefly showrunner, who has inspired a passionate and loyal fan community that few writer-producers in Hollywood can match.

Recently, Whedon who has supported and espoused feminist causes and created strong female characters throughout his career has been under fire among somefans after his ex-wife, Kai Cole, wrote a guest blog for The Wrap alleging her former husband is a hypocrite preaching feminist ideals.

The two were married in the 1990s, separated in 2012 and finalized their divorce in 2016. Cole accused her ex ofa secret affair on the set ofBuffy the Vampire Slayer, and claimed Whedon hid multiple affairs and a number of inappropriate emotional ones that he had with his actresses, co-workers, fans, and friends. Cole said she wrote the blogto let women know that he is not who he pretends to be. Whedon issued a statement sayingthe blog includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations, but also that he wont comment out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.

Whedonesque owners were asked by readers if the site was shutting down because of the issue or for another reason.While no exact reason was given for the closure, one owner, Caroline van Oosten de Boer, didnt deny it might have been a factor, but stated, I have been toying with closing down the site for various reasons for the last five years or so.

On social media, van Oosten de Boer also tweeted about the site shut down (and alluded to Coles accusations):

Readers opinions were varied, many feeling that Whedons personal life shouldnt be an issue in continuing the fan site. Though as one reader put it: Seems the right decision to close the site, and a dignified last post. This site has felt like a kind of time capsule to me, the way it harks back to the golden age of Joss Whedon shows, and also the now antiquated site design. 🙂 It served fans of his work well over the years, but times change and its time to move on.Obviously, a sad way for things to end, but such is life. I guess heroes always turn out to be flawed and complex people, some more than others.

Despite the site closing, the Whedonseque Twitter account will remain active:

Whedon was previously criticized from a feminist perspective after his film The Avengers: Age of Ultron came under fire for its depiction of Black Widows storyline.

Next up for Whedon is Nov. 17s Justice League, where Whedon took over directing duties from Zack Snyder after the latter suffered a personal family tragedy.

For more on Whedon, check out our 2013 deep-dive interview with the director where he talks about his upbringing, inspirations, early career and more.

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Joss Whedon fan site shuts down after ex-wife’s critical essay – EW.com


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