The Prometheus League
Breaking News and Updates
- Abolition Of Work
- Alternative Medicine
- Artificial Intelligence
- Atlas Shrugged
- Ayn Rand
- Basic Income Guarantee
- Big Tech
- Black Lives Matter
- Boca Chica Texas
- Casino Affiliate
- Cbd Oil
- Chess Engines
- Cloud Computing
- Conscious Evolution
- Corona Virus
- Cosmic Heaven
- Designer Babies
- Donald Trump
- Elon Musk
- Ethical Egoism
- Eugenic Concepts
- Fake News
- Fifth Amendment
- Fifth Amendment
- Financial Independence
- First Amendment
- Fiscal Freedom
- Food Supplements
- Fourth Amendment
- Fourth Amendment
- Free Speech
- Freedom of Speech
- Gene Medicine
- Genetic Engineering
- Germ Warfare
- Golden Rule
- Government Oppression
- High Seas
- Hubble Telescope
- Human Genetic Engineering
- Human Genetics
- Human Longevity
- Immortality Medicine
- Intentional Communities
- Jacinda Ardern
- Jordan Peterson
- Las Vegas
- Life Extension
- Marie Byrd Land
- Mars Colonization
- Mars Colony
- Mind Uploading
- Minerva Reefs
- Modern Satanism
- Moon Colonization
- National Vanguard
- New Utopia
- New Zealand
- Online Casino
- Online Gambling
- Personal Empowerment
- Political Correctness
- Politically Incorrect
- Post Human
- Post Humanism
- Private Islands
- Proud Boys
- Quantum Computing
- Quantum Physics
- Resource Based Economy
- Ron Paul
- Second Amendment
- Second Amendment
- Socio-economic Collapse
- Space Exploration
- Space Station
- Space Travel
- Sports Betting
- Teilhard De Charden
- Terraforming Mars
- The Singularity
- Tor Browser
- Transhuman News
- Victimless Crimes
- Virtual Reality
- Wage Slavery
- War On Drugs
- Zeitgeist Movement
The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Transhumanism
Posted: October 21, 2021 at 10:26 pm
Our natural behavior is to eat and reproduce above all and to fight and defend over food, resources, and mates. The problem is that our bodies are designed to eat the most high calorie foods and store energy as fat which leads to chronic diseases and early death. We also become easily controlled by our emotions which often leads to self-destructive behaviors and violence (physical and mental) and murder. Our brains are also maladapted to modern society and mental illness is super common now because many of us cannot cognitively handle reality as it is. Our genes make it where almost everything that gives us pleasure is harmful to us (eating meat, drinking alcohol, risky exciting behavior like sports/irresponsible sex) even at times with moderation - but thats what drives most of our actions. Our body is designed to live just long enough to propagate our genes and protect them through raising children and then dying.
I just think its ridiculous that people value being human and willingly accept the self-destructive drives we have as being normal and use it to justify being unhealthy.
See original here:
Posted: at 10:26 pm
Quick update with recent news. Ill probably write a better article at some point, but this will do for now. I still havent thought of a new name for an optics-friendly blog, otherwise Id put this stuff on there.
Also adding new Great Reset category to the site.
As Im sure many of you are already aware, globalist elites are using their COVID19 psyop to push through The Great Reset, which is simply a rebranding of the United Nations Agenda 21 (also known as Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals).
The Great Reset was known as Agenda 21 while globalists were using Global Warming as the primary psyop excuse for creating a one-world government, The Great Reset is merely the virus psyop rebrand.
When Globalists say things like:No poverty!Good health!Zero hunger!
Theyre telling you that they plan to take totalitarian control over that aspect of humanity, and will micromanage it like the neurotic freaks that they are. They obviously dont care about poverty, hunger, etc., they just want power. Same deal when they talk about World Peace. Any conflict that they havent personally engineered causes instability and factionalism that threatens their global dominance. They dont actually want World Peace, they want a monopoly and violence, and to transform you into a pacifist cuck who kisses their boots while they stomp on your neck.
What the Great Reset is bringing us is what the globalist (or United Nations) agenda has always been: Global Communism. Dont forget that the four pillars of Communism, as laid out in Marx Communist Manifesto, are:
Anyway,themajor aspect of The Great Reset is the digitization of humanity. In other words, they aim to force transhumanism onto the entire human population or the populace of the West, at least. In the words of the sinister Great Reset faceman, Klaus Schwab, they aim to [fuse] our physical, digital and biological identity.
The transhumanist agenda dates back to the early 1900s, and globalists such as UNs Julian Huxley, who coined the term.
Unfortunately, the history of transhumanism is too long and complex to get into here, but the fusion of man with machine has always been on the globalist cards. However, their aim is not to use technology to make the masses of humanity into superhuman cyborgs, but to use technology to transform the masses of humanity into easily controlled slave gimps.
As explained by Julian Huxleys brother, Aldous (who authored Brave New World, a dystopian fiction novel), the globalists aim is to transform the world into a painless concentration camp in which pharmacological methods will make people love their servitude.
We effectively already have this with anti-depressants and so on, which are designed to stop you from feeling shitty about having such a wretched, soulless society, and kick your ass back into the meatgrinder so you can wagecuck like a good little debt slave. Around 20% of Americans are on psychiatric pharmaceuticals. Normies think that this is becausewe simply have a better understanding of mental health now,and not because society is disgusting and everyone fucking hates it.
The final step is to technologically regulate human behavior via transhumanism. Simply put, theyre going to put microchips in your brain and frazzle your thoughts. They already have the technology. (I know it sounds wacky, but you can look all if this up yourself. Its real).
So, how do globalists plan to achieve this?
Well, if youve seen the Great Reset primer image that was handily created for us by the World Economic Forum, youll have noticed that it includes things like:
The World Economic Forum, which is part of the United Nations network, very recently announced the release of a digital identity app, you can read the details in the second image below, which is higher res. The digital identity agenda will likely be the wedge issue that globalists use to force transhumanism upon the masses.
This is where the virus psyop comes in.
Globalists claim that the functionally useless lockdowns are an absolute necessity to combat the 99%-survival-rate virus. In reality, they are being used to break the will of the public and irreparably destroy the final few freedoms people have left. The middle class has been devastated, while global elites are more powerful than ever.
There are massive protests all across the West in response to the lockdowns, though these will soon be met with violent oppression from the globalist-puppeteered governments.
It is likely that people will be banned from travel, shopping, socializing, etc., unless theyre vaccinated. Some sort of digital chip may be implanted alongside the vaccine, which will be used to prove the individuals vaccinated status (tagged and bagged with a slave stamp).
This may be the beginning of the individuals digital identity, with the excuse that they must be loaded into a virus-free database.
The technology to do this has already been patented by none other than the Bill Gates Foundation.
As with the lockdowns, many people will resist the digitization of humanity and the transhumanist project as a whole. However, many more will embrace it with open arms.
For the digitization of humanity to be successful, elites will have to create a significant distinction between the digitized and non-digitized. Perhaps the virus will play a role, those who are not vaccinated may be treated as inhuman and socially ostracized, though it is more likely that non-vaccinated people will simply be refused access to basic services within society, as outlined above. This will create a pariah caste, who are completely unable to function in the newly digitized world.
Eventually, the masses will be so distraught and demoralized by lockdown life that they will beg to be vaccinated.
Get the vaccine, Leftoid. You dont want to be one of those racist, bigots, do you?
The success of the transhumanist project is also reliant upon the creation of a one-world digital currency, that will undoubtedly be linked to these digital identities. The creation of a one-world currency is something that elites have talked about for decades.
An article from the Rothschild-owned Economist paper:
Many elites, such as Bill Gates, have invested in and endorsed digital currency:
We may see the implementation of UBI, linked to some sort of Communist China-style social credit system. ThisForbes articlestates that the Federal Reserve has plans to create a digital dollar and a digital dollar wallet via the U.S Treasury, which was suggested to provide economic stimulus benefits and possibly universal basic income to Americans.
Facebooks Tel Aviv team are working on a digital wallet:
The Jerusalem Post stated that a global collapse would be a way to wipe the slate clean of nation-based currencies, especially the US dollar, and establish an international one: like bitcoin.
Klaus Schwab has ominously warned (threatened?) that there may be a Cyber Pandemic (what does this even mean?) that will be worse than COVID. How will this convince the masses that a digital identity and one-world digital currency is a good idea? I dont know.
Wolfish (who makes good YouTube videos, check him out) guesses that the Cyber Pandemic may be used to create a one-world digital currency, which would require the United Nations digital identity to use.
The final and most disturbing thing that Ive learned of recently is this patent, which seems to be for some sort of device that would essentially transform an individual into a human bitcoin mining device. I havent looked into it fully, but it seems to be style biological energy harvesting a la The Matrix. So, yeah, were heading towards some really fucked up shit here.
Posted: at 10:26 pm
Dr Carrie Madej joins journalist, Alex Newman to discuss the transhumanist agenda behind the COVID vaccines. She speaks in a very approachable and straightforward way, that anybody can understand, in what is a deeper xpos than she previously gave on the Alex Jones show of the transhumanist technologies that are being rolled out upon and within us without our informed consent.
As for SARS-CoV-2 she says, Theres not been any Freedom of Information Act around the world that has ever produced an actual, bonafide specimen of the virus. It literally does not exist. We only have the code and thats important to know.
Nobody has the actual virus. Why is that? Theyve never answered that. So they cant make the normal vaccine. Its a recombinant code with a gene synthesis. That means theyre pushing together different types of genetic material, pushing them together like a Frankenstein puzzle and then, to fill in the missing blanks, they have an Artificial Intelligence computing program do that for them.
What she says is that the shot contains various proteins, some found in the human placenta and sperm that can trigger an autoimmune response in the tissues that have those proteins.
So far, 18 subunits of HIV1 have been in the virus genetic code, causing the body to purposely produce the HIV1 virus. Could this give you HIV or AIDS? Nobody has the answer to that. Only time will tell; years from now, well know. But just know that people who have been tested for HIV after getting these vaccinesin Australia, they have been tested positive. So that is something to be very concerned about.
Also, SARS-CoV-2 (the mathematical model) contains a replica of human chromosome 8, which means that the WHOs PCR test kits should find a positive result in all humans tested. More worryingly, chromosome 8 has to do with human intelligence and fertility. This means it could trigger an autoimmune response against a chromosome that codes for two of our most precious attributes as humans.
Pfizer and Moderna have also inserted an artificial nucleoside in the vaccines RNA called Pseudouridylyl or Psi for short, which is completely not from this world. Dr Madej says, Nobody knows the ramifications of thisIt can act as a computer hacker program. It can act as a one-way in, always to hack into the bodythey say theyre suppressing our immune checkpoints so they can sneak in the code and our body wont destroy it.
Suppressing our immune checkpoints? Well, for how long? We need our immune system! Our immune system protects us from cancers and infections and toxins and all sorts of things
Dr Madej gets into a fascinating discussion of DARPA hydrogels, which contain nanobots and how these have the ability alter human genetics and create transhuman cyborgs. The military has been testing this technology for decades. It allows controllers to see through the soldiers eyes; they can communicate and program the brain, as well as know and hear the thoughts of the soldier.
The COVID nasal swabs have been studied as a delivery mechanism to deliver nano sized drugs directly into the brain. Speaking of which, here are some spectacular photos from a recent study of nasal swabs in Slovakia, which were found to deploy hydrogel-releasing hollow nylon fibers. After the DARPA hydrogel contacts organic fluids (eg saliva), the photos reveal that they quickly began to form rectangular crystal structures (apparent nano antennae). These structures were dissolved by COVID antibodies in one test and by Ivermectin in another.
The intended uses for these hydrogel nanobots include monitoring body movement, to mine a cryptocurrency based on human labor. During business owners meetings that Dr Madej attended in Atlanta, they stated plainly their intention to secretly implement this technology that can monitor and control the behavior of the populace, in conjunction with a Pavlovian social credit system and Predictive Policing.
Based on the meetings she attended and the scientific papers she read, the true agenda behind the vaccines is to bring about the first phase of transhumanism or what she calls Human 2.0, which is already being tested in West Africa, as we speak.
Posted: at 10:26 pm
Russian philosopher and life extensionist
Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov (Russian: ; surname also Anglicized as "Fedorov", June 9, 1829 December 28, 1903) was a Russian Orthodox Christian philosopher, who was part of the Russian cosmism movement and a precursor of transhumanism. Fyodorov advocated radical life extension, physical immortality and even resurrection of the dead, using scientific methods.
Fyodorov's parents were the (noble) Pavel Ivanovich Gagarin and Elisaveta Ivanova, a woman of lower-class nobility.
He studied at the Richelieu Lyceum in Odessa. From 1854 to 1868, he served as a teacher in various small Russian towns. In 1878, he joined the Rumyantsev Museum staff as a librarian. Fyodorov opposed the idea of property of books and ideas and never published anything during his lifetime. His selected articles were printed posthumously with the title Philosophy of the Common Task (also known as Philosophy of Physical Resurrection).
Fyodorov was a futurist, who theorized about the eventual perfection of the human race and society (i.e., utopia), including radical ideas like immortality, revival of the dead, space and ocean colonization.His writings greatly influenced mystic Peter Uspensky. He also had direct contact with early rocket theorist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who visited the library where he worked over a 3-year period. He was also known to Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Leo Tolstoy had the highest opinion of Fyodorov. They were quite friendly, and shared many ideas in the 1880s and early 90s. But Fyodorov refused to see Tolstoy again after 1892, because of their ideological differences. That was the time of some food shortages in Russia because of poor harvest. Tolstoy published in the London Daily Telegraph an article accusing the Russian government of not doing enough for the peasants, which displeased many Russian conservatives.
While Fyodorov shared with Tolstoy many religious ideas, he was also a church-going Christian who cared very much for the Orthodox ritual observance. This was also a big stumbling block between them.
Fyodorov argued that evolutionary process was directed towards increased intelligence and its role in the development of life. Humanity is the culmination of evolution, as well as its creator and director. Humans must therefore direct evolution where their reason and morality dictate. Fyodorov also argued that mortality is the most obvious indicator of the still imperfect, contradictory nature of humanity and the underlying reason for most evil and nihilism of humankind. Fyodorov stated that the struggle against death can become the most natural cause uniting all people of Earth, regardless of their nationality, race, citizenship or wealth (he called this the Common Cause).
Fyodorov thought that death and afterdeath existence should become the subject of comprehensive scientific inquiry, that achieving immortality and revival is the greatest goal of science, and that this knowledge must leave the laboratories and become the common property of all: "Everyone must be learning and everything be the subject of knowledge and action".
Human life, emphasized Fyodorov, dies for two reasons. First is internal: due to the material organization of a human, his or her functionality is incapable of infinite self-renewal. To overcome this, psychophysiological regulation of human organisms is needed. The second reason is the unpredictable nature of the external environment; its destructive character must be overcome with the regulation of nature. Regulation of nature, "introducing will and reason into nature" includes, according to Fyodorov, prevention of natural disasters, control of Earth's climate, fight against viruses and epidemics, mastery of solar power, space exploration and unlimited creative work there.
Achieving immortality and resurrection of all people who ever lived are two inseparable goals, according to Fyodorov. Immortality is impossible, both ethically and physically, without resurrection. We cannot allow our ancestors, who gave us life and culture, to remain buried, or our relatives and friends to die. Achieving immortality for individuals alive today and future generations is only a partial victory over death only the first stage. The complete victory will be achieved only when everyone is resurrected and transformed to enjoy immortal life.
Fyodorov tried to plan specific actions for scientific research of the possibility of restoring life and making it infinite.His first project involved collecting and synthesizing decayed remains of dead based on "knowledge and control over all atoms and molecules of the world". This idea of Fyodorov is related to the modern practice of cloning.The second method described by Fyodorov is genetic-hereditary.The revival could be done successively in the ancestral line: sons and daughters restore their fathers and mothers, they in turn restore their parents and so on. This means restoring the ancestors using the hereditary information that they passed on to their children. Using this genetic method it is only possible to create a genetic twin of the dead person (the problem of identity in cloning). It is necessary to give back the revived person his old mind, his personality. Fyodorov speculates about the idea of "radial images" that may contain the personalities of the people and survive after death. Nevertheless, Fyodorov noted that even if a soul is destroyed after death, humanity will learn to restore it whole by mastering the forces of decay and fragmentation.
The revival of people who lived during the past is not a recreation of their past physical form it was imperfect, parasitic, centered on mortal existence. Fyodorov's idea was to transform it into self-creating, mind-controlled form, capable of infinite renewal, which is immortal. Those who havent died will go through the same transformation. Humans will have to become creators and organizers of their organisms ("our body will be our business"). In the past the development of civilization happened by increasing human power using external tools and machines the human body remained imperfect.
Fyodorov stated that people needed to reconcile the difference between the power of technology and weakness of the human physical form. The transition is overdue from purely technical development, a "prosthetic" civilization, to organic progress, when not just external tools, artificial implements, but the organisms themselves are improved, so that, for example, a person can fly, see far and deep, travel through space, live in any environment. People must become capable of "organodevelopment" that so far only nature was capable of. Fyodorov discussed supremacy of mind, "giving, developing organs for itself" and anticipated V. Vernadskys idea of autotrophic humans. He argues that a person must become an autotrophic, self-feeding creature, acquire a new mode of energy exchange with the environment that will not end.
Fyodorov repeatedly said that only general scientific studies of aging, death and postmortem studies can deliver the means to overcome death and promote indefinite healthy lifespan.
The 2011 BBC documentary Knocking on Heaven's Door, about the Space Race in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, suggests that, in many people's eyes, Nikolai Fyodorov was the true father of the Soviet space project that put the first man in space.
Fyodorov's thought is extensively though indirectly discussed and alluded to in the well-regarded 2010 science fiction novel The Quantum Thief; it is implied that the founders of the post-human collective of uploaded minds called the Sobornost were inspired by Fyodorov and other thinkers associated with cosmism.
The 2013 novel Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux imagines Fyodorov's ideas of the Common Task being developed by Soviet and post-Soviet research to implant a mind into another body using an encoded lexicon from the original mind and an unspecified, but painful, procedure.
Posted: at 10:26 pm
This week, I wanted to cover something important that we havent covered before here at SBM. So I asked myself: What topic related to COVID-19 have we at SBM not covered yet that we really should have covered by now? Given that Steve has already covered the first two COVID-19 vaccines going to the FDA for approval and possible emergency use authorization (EUA), the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it didnt make sense for me to discuss COVID-19 vaccines again. Then it occurred to me. These two new vaccines that will likely soon be available, at least to essential personnel such as medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients anyway, share one thing in common. They are RNA vaccines. What also occurred to me is that there has been a persistent myth about RNA vaccines being promoted by the antivaccine movement. Perhaps youve seen it? Yes? No?
Perhaps youve seen memes like this:
Or this one:
Or this one:
Or this one:
You get the idea. One major theme of antivaccine disinformation related to potential RNA vaccines against COVID-19 is that the RNA used in the vaccine will somehow permanently reprogram your DNA in nefarious ways. Its a claim that goes back at least to May, if not sooner, and arose as soon as antivaxxers became aware that one of the leading candidate vaccines against COVID-19 was Modernas RNA vaccine. After that, it soon became a standard talking point in the antivaccine movements pre-emptive disinformation war against COVID-19 vaccines. Why would anyone want to do this? Conspiracy theorists always havereasonsof course. Some say that its to mark people. Some people say its to develop a technology that allows you to inject DNA directly into cells and reprogram them (Would that this were true! Such technologies would make gene therapy so much less difficult!) Often, antivaxxers conflate RNA with DNA and vice-versa, not realizing that, although both molecules contain genetic information needed for a cell to make protein, they are nonetheless very different in characteristics and behavior.
Of course, to experts the claim that RNA vaccines will somehow reprogram your DNA claims are utterly risible in the ignorance of basic biology and biochemistry necessary to make such unscientific claims. But to nonexperts, most of whom probably long ago forgot their basic biology (if they ever learned it at all), the concept of a vaccine that turns your own cells into little factories making part of a key protein from COVID-19 that provokes a protective immune response (more on the specifics later) can seem quite plausibleand scary. Of course, fear is exactly the intended purpose of the antivaccine disinformation claiming that RNA vaccines will somehow reprogram your DNA and permanently alter you genetically. (We do hope for one permanent alteration in our biology as a result of a COVID-19, though, namely immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Unfortunately, its not yet clear how long such immunity will last.) So lets examine the claims being made and why you dont have to fear RNA vaccines for COVID-19.
Before we do that, lets look at what mRNA vaccines are, how they work, and what their advantages and disadvantages are compared to traditional vaccines.
mRNA vaccines rely on something Ive discussed before, namely the central dogma of molecular biology. I must admit, Ive always hated the use of the word dogma associated with science, but no less a luminary than Francis Crick first stated it in 1958, and it has been restated over the years in various ways. Perhaps my favorite version of the central dogma was succinctly stated by Marshall Nirenberg in 1958 and has since been commonly paraphrased to say, DNA makes RNA makes protein, which about summed up all of molecular biology in five words. (Why I used the past tense in a moment.) In any event, for purposes of understanding RNA viruses, this is the main sequence that you need to understand:
Basically, DNA replicates from a DNA template and results in a double-stranded molecule that is very stable, as it has complementary sequences that tightly bind to each other in a sequence-specific fashion. This DNA template is unwound by enzymes that use the template to make RNA strands, which are single-stranded, which is then used by a ribosome to make protein out of amino acids. Again, to put it simply, each nucleotide equals one letter of the code; each three-nucleotide sequence (codon) equals one word that translates to an amino acid. Given that there are four nucleotides, there are 64 possible codons. Since there are only 20 amino acids, that means that most amino acids are encoded by more than one combination of nucleotides or more than one codon; i.e., the genetic code is redundant. Of course, its more complicated than that, as this diagram shows:
Heres a little video thats useful too:
For instance, messenger RNA (mRNA) doesnt always start out fully formed. Often its made as a longer precursor molecule that is spliced to the final mRNA sequence before being transported out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm to be used to make protein.
In fact, its even more complicated than that. Remember how I used the past tense when I said that the central dogma summed up all of molecular biology? It did, but then we started finding exceptions to the central dogma, such as retroviruses and microRNAs that can regulate gene expression, for instance. You dont really need to know the gory details of many of these, although I will mention a couple of relevant ones and refer you to a post that does go into the gory details, for anyone whos really interested.
Exceptions aside, RNA vaccines consist mainly of, well, RNA. One problem with RNA vaccines is that RNA is an inherently unstable molecule. It is, after all, a messenger. It doesnt need to persist any longer than the message needs to be made. In aqueous solution, RNA molecules rapidly degrade. Indeed, the instability of RNA is why public health experts have been concerned about distributing RNA vaccines. Both companies adopted a similar strategy in designing their mRNA to encode the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with stabilizing mutations added to lock this surface protein into a form easily recognizable to the immune system and therefore make it a better antigen. Pfizer and Moderna also used modified nucleosides (the RNA equivalent to DNA nucleotides) that are more stable to make their RNAs, and placed their RNA within a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery system in which LNPs fuse with the cell membrane to deliver the RNA to the cytoplasm. Nonetheless, there are huge differences in the temperatures at which these vaccines need to be stored to remain stable and active.
Heres what I mean. The Pfizer vaccine (developed in partnership with a company called BioNTech) reportedly needs to be stored at -80C. While I have a -80C freezer in my laboratory (to store RNA samples, among other things), most physicians offices and clinics do not, because such freezers are large and very expensive compared to the more common refrigerators (which generally maintain a temperature of around 4C) and standard freezers (which maintain a temperature of around -20C). Even many hospitals do not have enough -80C freezers to store large quantities of vaccine. Similarly, because of the temperature necessary to keep the vaccine stable and active, transporting the Pfizer vaccine presents logistical challenges, because the vaccine must be kept at -80C or colder during the entire chain of transport. It can be done, using dry ice, of course, but its difficult, and one could easily imagine an impending dry ice shortage once such vaccines roll out. To this end, both companies have apparently used modified nucleotides to try to make their mRNA molecules more stable The Moderna vaccine, in contrast, can reportedly be stored at -20C for up to six months, which is much more doable, as most standard freezers can reach this temperature. Even better, the Moderna vaccine will remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2 to 8C (36 to 46F) for up to 30 days and remains stable at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Why the difference? Its hard to know for sure, as both companies are tight-lipped about the exact differences in their vaccines. A Moderna spokesperson explained to NPR:
Moderna spokesperson Colleen Hussey explained to NPR in an email that its vaccine doesnt need to be kept so cold because of its particular lipid nanoparticle properties and structure, and because the company has learned from experience its developed ten mRNA vaccine candidates already. Now we dont need [ultra-cold conditions] as the quality of product has improved and [it] doesnt need to be highly frozen to avoid mRNA degradation, Hussey explained.
In terms of safety and the reported immune response provoked by the two competing vaccines:
On the safety side, while both BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 were generally well tolerated by participants of phase 3 trials, with most side effects short-lived, the Moderna vaccine was linked to a greater incidence of severe adverse events such as a fatigue and muscle pain after the second shot. Experts speculate that the different dosages (30 micrograms for BNT162b2 versus 100 micrograms for mRNA-1273) could account for the different tolerability profiles.
The Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine might also have a slight edge when it comes to the immune response. In phase 1 trials, with both vaccines, humoral immunity was strong, with virus-neutralizing antibody titers generally surpassing those found in individuals who had recovered from natural infection. As for cellular immunity, both also induced CD4+ T-cell responses skewed toward T-helper type 1 cells. Yet, as reported, only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine seemed to bring about any sort of cytotoxic CD8+ T cell response. Direct comparisons are difficult, however, as the two vaccine developers used different assays for profiling immune cells.
So basically the two vaccines are very similar in design and differ mainly in their required storage conditions.
Before I move on to explain why antivaxxers claims about mRNA vaccines are nothing but fear mongering, its useful to answer the question: Given all the challenges described above, why use mRNA vaccines at all? Why not make a more traditional vaccine, in which a protein (or proteins or fragments of key proteins) are made and used as antigens to provoke an immune response? Why go to the trouble of using mRNA vaccines to get the bodys own cells to make antigen? The answer is rather simple. RNA is easier and quicker to produce on a mass scale than more traditional protein-based vaccines. Moreover, compared to DNA vaccines (which could achieve the same thing, getting the body to produce the necessary protein antigen), RNA vaccines have a definite safety advantage over DNA vaccines:
Particularly compared with DNA as a therapeutic or more specifically as a vaccine, mRNA offers strong safety advantages.5 As the minimal genetic construct, it harbors only the elements directly required for expression of the encoded protein. Moreover, while recombination between single-stranded RNA molecules may occur in rare cases,6,7 mRNA does not interact with the genome. Thus, potentially detrimental genomic integration is excluded. Finally, this lack of genomic integration in combination with mRNA being non-replicative as well as metabolically decaying within a few days8 makes mRNA a merely transient carrier of information.
Remember that paragraph as I now move on to deconstruct an antivaccine claim regarding COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. The bottom line is that the mRNA used in RNA vaccines cant integrate with your DNA, much less reprogram it.
Although Ive seen a lot of antivaxxers and COVID-19 deniers/minimizers out there sharing a lot of ridiculous memes falsely claiming that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines will somehow reprogram your DNA, one of the grand masters of this claim is a physician named Dr. Carrie Madej. I first encountered her in October and have been meaning to use her to illustrate how unscientific the claims about mRNA vaccines are, given how viral her videos and articles have gone. In particular, her website is Stop World Control, where you can find her video that went viral.
Heres what Stop World Control says about Dr. Madej:
Dr Carrie Madej directed two large medical clinics in the state of Georgia, USA. Since her twenties she has been fascinated by vaccines and studied them ever since. Her in depth research led her to discover what the proposed technologies are for the new COVID-19 vaccines. What she is revealing is alarming.
This video is an in depth documentary that shows how these new vaccines can alter our DNA, turning us into hybrids. The plans are to connect humans to artificial intelligence and global control networks. This is the start of transhumanism, turning us into HUMANS 2.0.
Study. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Seriously, I bet that Dr. Madej studies vaccines in the same way that Mike Adams does, her being a physician notwithstanding.
I found out a bit more. Dr. Madej is an internist in McDonough, Georgia. Shes Medical Director of Phoenix Medical Group of Georgia, where she has a full time practice in Internal Medicine. Her Twitter feed is a wretched hive of scum, quackery, and conspiracy theories. Unsurprisingly, she is an antimasker, seems to buy into every major conspiracy theory about COVID-19 out there, and has appeared on The Alex Jones Show, antivaxxer Sherri Tenpennys show, and on Mike Adams show. She also gave a virtual speech to the gathering of antimaskers and COVID-19 lockdown protesters at Trafalgar Square in September. When I first encountered her last month, I thought it odd that I hadnt heard of her before.
So what is transhumanism? However I describe it, Im sure someone will object, but here goes anyway. Basically, it is a social, scientific, and philosophical movement devoted to the idea that humans can be enhanced by technology, be it biological, computer-based, or physical. The idea is that such technologies would augment or increase human perception, physical abilities, intelligence, and cognition, and also radically improve human health and extend human life spans. Unsurprisingly, the movements adherents tend to be employed in technology, biotech, and academia, and there is a strong link between libertarianism and transhumanism. The ultimate outcome is thought to be the singularity, a time when computers become so advanced that artificial intelligence transcends human intelligence, potentially erasing the boundary between humanity and computers, even leading to the merging of humans and computers. Personally, Ive always looked a bit askance at transhumanism, because there is certainly a lot of woo in the movement. Moreover, transhumanists do tend to assume that the coming singularity will necessarily be a good thing. Science fiction, however, provides many potential counterexamples, SkyNet in the Terminator movies and the Borg in Star Trek being two of the most famous of them.
Science fiction dystopian views of transhumanism aside, I am not opposed on general principle to human-enhancing technologies. After all, what is medicine but an effort over many millennia to overcome the inherent biological weaknesses and defects in humans in order to extend lifespans and enhance the quality of life during those lifespans by preventing premature infirmity and death due to aging and external disease? True, there is a philosophical argument to be had over how much modification might be too much, but thats not what a crank like Dr. Madej is about. Rather, just as antivaxxers have used the COVID-19 pandemic and President Trumps Operation Warp Speed program to stoke fear that any new COVID-19 vaccine will be unsafe, having been rushed to approval too quickly with inadequate safety testing, and thereby to cast doubt on all vaccines, here antivaxxers are painting COVID-19 mRNA vaccines as incipient transhumanism in order toyou guessed it!spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about all vaccines.
Unsurprisingly, ber-quack Dr. Joe Mercola is all on board with this tactic, and it was his article Will New COVID Vaccine Make You Transhuman? that first brought my attention to Dr. Madej. Indeed, if you Google Will COVID-19 vaccine make you transhuman? you will rapidly find a lot of links reposting all or part of Mercolas article, plus articles making the same sort of claim. Im half tempted to respond to the question in the headlines of such articles with Betteridges Law of Headlines and just answer with a resounding No! but unfortunately more is required. In any case, lets see Mercolas take on Madejs article:
Many of the COVID-19 vaccines currently being fast-tracked are not conventional vaccines. Their design is aimed at manipulating your very biology, and therefore have the potential to alter the biology of the entire human race.
Conventional vaccines train your body to recognize and respond to the proteins of a particular virus by injecting a small amount of the actual viral protein into your body, thereby triggering an immune response and the development of antibodies.
This is not what happens with an mRNA vaccine. The theory behind these vaccines is that when you inject the mRNA into your cells, it will stimulate your cells to manufacture their own viral protein. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be the first of its kind. No mRNA vaccine has ever been licensed before. And, to add insult to injury, theyre forgoing all animal safety testing.
Alter the biology of the entire human race? Surely Dr. Mercola must know the central dogma of molecular biology? (Maybe he doesnt.) Again, remember that paragraph I quoted before this section. mRNA like that found in the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines simply cant alter your DNA. As for reprogramming human biology, one could argue that all vaccines do that. Some, such as the ones that can produce lifelong immunity to a vaccine-preventable disease, can do it permanently, by permanently altering the immune system to be able to recognize the relevant antigens when it encounters them again. This whole take is silly. Obviously, what Mercola and Madej are trying to scare readers with is the idea that somehow mRNA vaccines permanently alter your DNA, but, again, they cant do that. They just cant.
Madej also claims (and Mercola repeats):
The problem with all of this, Madej notes, is that theyre using a process called transfection a process used to create genetically modified organisms. She points out that research has confirmed GMO foods are not as healthy as conventional unmodified foods. The question is, might we also become less healthy? Vaccine manufacturers have stated that this will not alter our DNA, our genome, Madej says.I say that is not true. Because if we use this process to make a genetically modified organism, why would it not do the same thing to a human? I dont know why theyre saying that.
If you look at the definition of transfection, it will tell you that it can be a temporary change in the cell. And I think that is what the vaccine manufacturers are banking on.
Or, its a possibility for it to become stable, to be taken up into the genome, and to be so stable that it will start replicating when the genome replicates. Meaning it is now a permanent part of your genome. Thats a chance that were taking. It could be temporary, or it could be permanent.
Dr. Madej says this is not true. Well whoop-de-doo and la-dee-da! No, seriously. This is not a DNA vaccine. One more time, it is not possible for the RNA to become stable and be taken up into the genome. (Indeed, RNA viruses that can integrate into the genome rely on first being reverse transcribed into DNA, which can then be integrated into the genome.) Again, this is Molecular Biology 101. As for transfection, all that is, is a technique to introduce RNA or DNA into cells. Thats it! Most commonly its used to introduce plasmids (circular lengths of DNA containing genes of interest) into cells. Methods range from really old school ones that I used in graduate school 30 years ago, such as calcium phosphate precipitation (which is horrendously inefficient and usually only introduces the plasmid into single digit percentages of the cells) to various liposome-based methods, which are much more efficient and get the desired DNA into a larger percentage of the target cells. (These liposomes were similar to the ones being used by Moderna and Pfizer.) While it is true that the introduction of mRNA into a cell will produce a temporary change, namely that the cells ribosomes will start using the mRNA to make the desired protein, that temporary change is just thattemporary. It has nothing to do with altering the cell permanently, and as soon as the mRNA degrades naturally the cell will go back to normal. Seriously, Dr. Madej, molecular biologists are laughing at you.
Theres so much more in the video that I could unpack but wont, in order to keep my focus on mRNA vaccines. I did let a little slip in regarding Dr. Madejs claim that microneedles and a Hydrogel base will be used to inject the new vaccines; so I might as well briefly explain that shes almost certainly referring to quantum dot tags, which are copper-based quantum dots embedded in biocompatible, micron-scale capsules. Theyre tagged with a near-infrared dye thats invisible, but the pattern they set can be read and interpreted by a customized smartphone. Contrary to Madejs and Mercolas claims, these are not permanent, as the currently estimated time during which they can be read is five years. Moreover, these quantum dot tags are not nearly as nefarious as Madej and Mercola make them sound. For one thing, knowing whos already received a specific vaccine can protect that person from unnecessarily being advised to receive that vaccine again if there is uncertainty over whether they have ever had it. Also, this technology is a long way from being ready for prime time. It is, however, unsurprising that Madej and Mercola would weave a conspiracy theory about it; this is also likely the origin of the conspiracy theory about COVID-19 vaccines claiming that they will implant a chip, and some of the conspiracy theories about it go right into tinfoil hat territory, with one crank claiming, This vaccine will not only mark you like a cattle, you will be injected with nano particules that will make a you a Perfect antenna for the 5G frequencies wich they will use to track you, make you feel and think anything they want and Madej saying:
Were gonna be branded. Each person will have their own ID. This reminds me of World War II. You know, its something to think about, being branded like a product in the storeSo well be branded. What can that be used for. There are lots of technologies out there, and thats something we need to be concerned about.
Gee, that reference to World War II and branding wouldnt be a reference to the Nazis tattooing prisoner identification numbers on the inmates in their concentration camps, would it? More importantly, neither the Moderna nor the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines use microneedles or quantum dot tags.
But back to Madej and Mercolas other claims about RNA vaccines:
Getting back to the mRNA vaccines, time will tell just how hazardous they end up being. Clearly, if the changes end up being permanent, the chance of long-term side effects is much greater than if they end up being temporary.
In a worst-case scenario, whatever changes occur could even be generational. The problem is these issues wont be readily apparent any time soon. In my view, this vaccine could easily turn into a global catastrophe the likes of which weve never experienced before.
We really should not be quick to dismiss the idea that these vaccines may cause permanent genetic changes, because we now have proof that even conventional vaccines have the ability to do that, and they dont involve the insertion of synthetic RNA.
I love that first paragraph. Its the very epitome of just asking questions (a.k.a. JAQing off), in which a crank claims just to be asking questions, never mind that the questions are based on pseudoscience, bad science, and claims that science doesnt support. Moreover, this not-so-dynamic duo seem utterly oblivious to the difference between somatic cells and germ line cells. Alteration of the DNA in somatic cells (every cell in the body except for cells that make eggs in females and sperm in males) are not propagated to the next generation. Alterations of DNA in germline cells can be passed on to the next generation, but theres no evidence that the mRNA in vaccines like the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines can permanently alter germline DNA because these vaccines cant alter any DNA in cells permanently in the way that Madej and Mercola claim.
But what are we to make of Mercolas claim that even conventional vaccines can alter DNA? Its nonsense, of course. Lets look at Mercolas example:
After the H1N1 swine flu of 2009, the ASO3-adjuvanted swine flu vaccine Pandemrix (a fast-tracked vaccine used in Europe but not in the U.S. during 2009-2010) was causally linked9 to childhood narcolepsy, which abruptly skyrocketed in several countries.
Children and teens in Finland, the U.K. and Sweden were among the hardest hit. Further analyses discerned a rise in narcolepsy among adults who received the vaccine as well, although the link wasnt as obvious as that in children and adolescents.
A 2019 study16 reported finding a novel association between Pandemrix-associated narcolepsy and the non-coding RNA gene GDNF-AS1a gene thought to regulate the production of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor or GDNF, a protein that plays an important role in neuronal survival.
They also confirmed a strong association between vaccine-induced narcolepsy and a certain haplotype, suggesting variation in genes related to immunity and neuronal survival may interact to increase the susceptibility to Pandemrix-induced narcolepsy in certain individuals.
Steve Novella has discussed the issue of whether Pandemrix caused a spike in the incidence of narcolepsy in these countries. Its important to note that this is a strange case. The association was only observed in specific countries and not in others (including the US) in which the vaccine does not appear to be a consistent or unique risk factor for narcolepsy in these populations. Overall, it was a confusing set of data to derive any clear picture of whether the H1N1 vaccine was a true risk factor. On the other hand, there are data suggesting that Pandemrix might trigger the production of antibodies that can also bind to a receptor in brain cells that help regulate sleepiness in genetically susceptible people. Basically, the whole situation is confusing, and its not clear if any of the H1N1 vaccines truly caused narcolepsy.
Also, the study cited by Mercola does not show that the H1N1 vaccine caused permanent genetic changes. The investigators did a genome-wide association study (GWAS), a type of study that frequently finds associations that do not hold up to scrutiny but can nonetheless be useful for hypothesis generation. What this study shows is an association between the haplotype and vaccine-induced narcolepsy, not that the H1N1 vaccine produced permanent genetic changes. Mercola is either grossly ignorant of basic molecular biology, or hes lying, knowing that his audience doesnt know the difference. Take your pick. (I know which option I pick.)
The bottom line is that the fear mongering by Drs. Madej and Mercola is nothing new. The lie that vaccines somehow permanently alter your DNA is not a new one; the rise of mRNA-based vaccines simply makes it easier for antivaxxers to spin a convincing yarn making such false claims. Indeed, I saw the very same claim, namely that vaccines are transhumanism, eight years ago, when Sayer Ji wrote a hilariously silly piece claiming that vaccines are transhumanism in the service of subverting evolution because they interfere with how we have co-evolved with pathogens. (I certainly hope they interfere with our co-evolution with pathogens! Thats rather the point, Id say!) A few years later, antivaxxer Sherri Tenpenny was making the same sort of nonsensical argument, but by then antivaxxers had started pointing to DNA vaccines as a hopelessly unnatural corruption of our genes. Throughout it all, antivaxxers were also making ridiculous claims about how trace amounts of contaminating DNA from the cell lines used to grow viral antigens for some vaccines can somehow get into the brain, express non-self proteins, and trigger an autoimmune response causing autism. Truly, to antivaxxers, DNA and RNA are magic!
When you come right down to it, this new spin on an old antivaccine trope is nothing more than an appeal to nature as being somehow always superior to anything humans can do. Indeed, Dr. Madejs video is nothing new. Months before, a natural healing consultant named Dr. Andrew Kaufmann was featured in a video in which he made very similar claims, including that a future COVID-19 vaccine would provide a vessel to inject genes into humans, first by a procedure known as electroporation, in which an electric current create[s] little holes in our cells that allow the DNA to go into our own cells and then through the insertion of foreign proteins that supposedly generate immunity. Kaufman even concluded that such an mRNA vaccine, like the results of biotechnology in agriculture, will turn humans into genetically modified organisms.
Of course, as I mentioned before, biology is more complex than the central dogma, which was based on an understanding of molecular biology that is now 60 years old. Thats why I, as I enter the conclusion of this post, I will link to an article by Edward Nirenberg, which gets into the weeds of the exceptions to the central dogma as he refutes the nonsensical idea that mRNA vaccines permanently alter your DNA and concludes, quite reasonably:
There is no feasible means by which an mRNA vaccine could end up in the nucleus of a cell, nor prime a reverse transcription reaction, nor give you a mitochondrial disease.
There is no reasonable possibility based on the totality of our knowledge of cell biology, reverse transcriptases, human genetics, and the immune system that mRNA vaccines can affect your DNA.
We should await the detailed safety data, but, a priori, a segment of RNA encoding the spike protein RBD of SARS-CoV-2 with no replicative potential, and no ability to form whole virus, nor even whole ability to form an ENTIRE spike protein, should be expected to be a safe vaccine that isnt going to cause these insane pie-in-the-sky science fiction scenarios.
If you are worried about the mRNA vaccines, then dont get them. The data suggest that there will soon be other kinds of vaccines with good efficacy as well. I, however, am content to roll up my sleeves for one of them.
As I likely will be, once they are available.
On a final note, let me just conclude with a thought about the ridiculous claim that mRNA vaccines permanently alter your DNA or somehow make you transhuman. You have to remember that antivaxxers view vaccines as somehow unnatural to the point of altering what human beings are. Theyve been making that clear ever since I started paying attention to antivaccine pseudoscience two decades ago, and were doing so long before that. Of course, just because something is natural does not make it good, benign, or even just neutral. Nature is harsh, and the battle for survival brutal, and its completely natural for all manner of animals to be eaten by bigger, faster, and hungrier animals, and its just as natural for humans do die horrible deaths from infectious diseases. Indeed, just look at how horrible the deaths suffered by over 260K of my fellow Americans have been, and COVID-19 is entirely natural. Yet the mindset behind so much of alternative medicine and antivaccine views is that natural is always good and that anything synthetic should be viewed with extreme suspicion. (Come to think of it, thats why COVID-19 denialists go to such enormous lengths to falsely portray SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease, as somehow unnatural and bioengineered in a laboratory, with the pandemic being a plandemic initiated by global elites to control and subjugate the population.) Its silly, because even natural nutrients and medicines are just as much chemicals as any synthetic nutrient or chemical. We have to judge whether such chemicals are harmful based on science and where the evidence leads us, not based on whether the chemical is natural or not. When considering claims about a novel disease such as COVID-19 and vaccines against it, we must also consider the totality of what we know about biology, especially molecular biology, and how a potential vaccine works in assessing the plausibility of alarmist claims about vaccines like those developed by Moderna and Pfizer. Claims that mRNA vaccines like these can permanently alter your DNA (or make you transhuman) fail miserably on that score.
Think of the claims about mRNA vaccines this way. They are very much of a piece with how quacks glom on to any new finding in molecular biology, particularly the way quacks have hijacked the new science of epigenetics to claim that you can use mind-body interventions to reprogram your own DNA. In quackworld, RNA and DNA are magic, and the disinformation about mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 reflects that belief in magic.
Posted: October 15, 2021 at 9:16 pm
Transhumanism is a futuristic religion that exalts technology as the highest power. The movements goal is to merge man with machine. Their wildest prophecies seem ridiculous at first, until you consider the dizzying advances in bionics, robotics, neuroprosthetics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and genetic engineering.
Prominent figures gathered at the TransVision 2021 conference in Madrid over the weekend. Listening to the proceedings online, I heard a broad range of totalizing schemes. There were no Luddites or Amish onstage, but of course, Spain is a long haul for a horse-and-buggy. Besides, no unvaccinated person can legally cross the Spanish border.
Transhumanists hold that the human condition of ignorance, loneliness, sadness, disease, old age, and death can be transcended through improved gadgetry. Many believe tribalism will also be eliminated perhaps through brain implants but this elite clique tends to be so convicted, legacy humans will have no say in the matter.
Their radical ideas are hardly marginal. Transhuman values have been implicitly embraced by the worlds wealthiest technologists. Consider Bill Gates pushing universal jabs, Jeff Bezoss quest for life extension, Elon Musks proposed brain implants, Mark Zuckerbergs forays into the Metaverse, and Eric Schmidts plans for an American technocracy racing against China.
If Big Tech is the established church, transhumanists are Desert Fathers in the wilderness.
Naturally, the dominant tone at TransVision was set by hardcore transhumanists: Max and Natasha More, Jos Cordeiro, David Wood, Jerome Glenn, Phillipe van Nedervelde, Ben Goertzel, Aubrey de Grey, Bill Faloon, and even in his absence, Ray Kurzweil, a top R&D director at Google and founder of Singularity University. Each proponent has a unique angle, but they converge on a shared mythos.
Allowing for variation, transhumanists confess there is no God but the future Computer God. They believe neuroprosthetics will allow communion with this artificial deity. They believe robot companions should be normalized. They believe longevity tech will confer approximate immortality. They believe virtual reality provides a life worth living. Above all, they believe the Singularity is near.
According to the Cult of the Singularity and its prophet, Ray Kurzweil, well see artificial general intelligence by 2029. Unlike narrow algorithms performing specific tasks, AGI will be robust cognition enacted by neural networks, far faster than any human brain.
By 2045 (or 2049), we will hit the Singularity when artificial superintelligence surpasses human intellect to the point we cannot comprehend its output. Purely organic humans will be left in the smart dust. Our only chance for long-term survival is to fuse our minds and bodies with the All-Powerful Machine to become a new posthuman species.
Therefore, our meaning in life is to make sure the future Computer God is benevolent, while we still have time. (In most cases, benevolent is synonymous with lefty globalist.) Todays machine learning systems are prompted by programmers, then trained with our language and behavior via mass data extraction.
As computers advance to superintelligence, the story goes, their output will tilt toward humanitys moral compass. Eventually, this digital deity may colonize distant galaxies turning all usable matter into computerized mind so our actions today might determine the fate of the entire universe.
Im reminded of the subterranean mutants who worshiped the atom bomb in Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Many mammals use tools to survive, but even a chimp knows better than to raise up a stick and call it God.
Back on Earth, the early phase of this scheme is far from heaven. Just as the TV kept Americans pacified and glued to their couches, the digital revolution has profound demoralizing and dehumanizing effects.
To their credit, TransVision invited a handful of critics to ring alarm bells. The ethicist Sara Lumbreras discussed the devastating impact of smartphones and social media on attention span, memory, and self-control. If you can just Google the information, why does it matter? she asked. Because remembering things is the only way that we can use that information for critical thinking and for creative thinking.
Both transhumanists and Luddites see 24/7 reliance on smartphones as an early phase of our symbiosis with machines. For all the convenience gained, many schoolteachers worry that the shift to digital platforms is making kids antisocial and functionally illiterate. An entire generation is being lost to self-pleasure.
Oxford philosopher Anders Sandberg discussed a 1954 experiment in neuroprosthetics. Using electro-stimulation, the scientist James Olds discovered the pleasure center in a rats brain. He wired up numerous rats, enabling them to stimulate themselves by pressing a lever. These rodent wireheads ceased to do anything besides push the lever. One by one, they died with smiles on their faces.
Video games and corporate opioids find us in a similar predicament. Even in the Victorian era, Sandberg explained, intellectuals wondered if humans were already becoming parasites on machines. They connected that to discoveries in biology that parasites quite often seem to be simplified forms of older species [and they thought] we might become some kind of barnacle sitting on the technological infrastructure, slowly losing our brains.
Hence, the Wireheading Myth the narrative that civilization could collapse due to techno-hedonism. Sandberg insisted that while this story isnt completely untrue, it isnt inevitable either. Building real happiness is a really complex thing, but we know we can make it increase.
In conclusion, he wondered, Can we use the transhuman ambition to say I want to be way happier, I want entire societies to be happier. I want my artificial intelligences to go for the true and daimonic good?
Sandberg is an optimist, but not without reservations. He has contemplated the dangers of artificial superintelligence rigorously. This digital entity would be entirely unpredictable to mere human minds, and perhaps uncontrollable. In a real sense, advanced AI is comparable to the development of thermonuclear warheads.
A humorous hypothetical is an AI system that makes paperclips. What if it goes haywire and turns everything on Earth into paperclips, including us? More realistically, what if an advanced AI is programmed to solve climate change, then arrives at the straightforward conclusion that humans must be exterminated?
Sandberg takes these existential risks seriously, but in the end, hes ready to go for it.
The term transhumanism evokes such revulsion, normal people immediately recoil. So the alpha-dog transhumanist Max More a leading figure at Alcor cryonics lab urged the audience to abandon loaded words like immortality in favor of life extension. Meanwhile, 184 deceased customers lay frozen at his facility, some $200,000 in the hole, waiting to be resurrected.
We mortals have more pressing concerns. Discussing the displacement of actual people by robots and artificial intelligence, Jerome Glenn of the Millennium Project was emphatic that artists, media moguls, and entertainers should psychologically prepare the public to accept economic obsolescence.
The loudest alarm was sounded by tech ethicist Nell Watson, an Apple consultant and chairwoman at IEEE. The global health crises are being used as an excuse for greater authoritarianism, she said, shocking everyone awake. [T]his could end up as a Trojan Horse for some kind of social credit-style monitoring system.
Today, its immunity therapies, Watson warned, but in 10 or 15 years, it might be people who reject some kind of brain-computer interface or a financial technology thats linked to biometrics. She worried that transhumanists might become scapegoats for oppressive policies they are not responsible for.
In response, Anders Sandberg took to Twitter to defend vaccine mandates in the workplace. The conference proceeded apace.
As a broad ideology, transhumanism is as relevant for the 21st century as communism was for the 20th century. In the mid-1800s, Karl Marx and his crew were mere socialist intellectuals. By 1923, the Bolsheviks had taken over Russia. By 1949, Mao had taken over China. In our age of all-pervasive technology, entire societies are revolutionized before anyone can grasp the change.
The futurists who gathered in Madrid last weekend along with those preaching technocracy at the World Economic Forum are laying the intellectual groundwork for a fully digitized social order. Today, its the Fourth Industrial Revolution a global paradigm of total transformation embraced by Microsoft, Alibaba, Sony, General Motors, Mozilla, and Salesforce, among many others. Tomorrow, the faithful proclaim, it will be artificial superintelligence, brain implants, and unstoppable killer drones.
The labels dont matter. To the extent that Silicon Valley, the Chinese tech sector, and various quirky start-ups converge on the central goal to merge human beings with digital devices you could say transhumanism is already a ruling ideology. One has only to look past this text and focus on the glowing screen to see their fantasies are becoming reality.
Posted: September 16, 2021 at 6:12 am
A Peruvian physician used a crude instrument and began scraping a hole in her patients skull.
The doctor did not use anaesthetic or sterile procedures and most of her patient's shattered upper skull was removed before the surgery was finished. The head wound was a result of a battle between warring tribes. Surprisingly, the operation was a success and the victim survived.
One can only imagine that the hospitals medical review board would be aghast when learning about this unorthodox procedure. Interestingly, this did not happen in a hospital but in a cave. And there were no review boards at the time, as we are talking about trepanation: operations performed in ancient times to treat head wounds, or for mystical reasons.
For millennia, humans have been peering into the skulls of others, interested in the workings of the brain and curious about why our cranium is smaller than those of other mammals. Thankfully, brain surgery is very advanced these days and we do not have to bite on a plank as the local witch doctor opens our skull.
The most recent breakthrough in brain-reading technology is the brain-computer interface. The brain may be regulated by a variety of variables, all of which can be controlled by devices implanted in the neural network.
In the realm of neurotechnology, it represents a new form of technological integration. Smart devices might lead to a cure for serious brain disorders as part of the long-term aim of human improvement known as transhumanism.
Nervous system injuries often irreversible are difficult to treat. However, the answer to some of the problems that people with paralysis or other disabilities confront is likely to be found at the confluence of science and technology.
Nerve-stimulating devices have been created by technologists to aid amputees suffering from phantom limb discomfort. The technique works by stimulating particular neurons and blocking chronic pain with a generator the size of a pacemaker and an electrode.
Neurotechnology-based treatments, which were previously considered science fiction, are rapidly becoming a reality.
The gadget might also be used to treat pain in other chronic diseases, such as post-surgical pain and migraine headaches.
Neurotechnology-based treatments, which were previously considered science fiction, are rapidly becoming a reality.
The field blurs the borders between technology and biology, utilising neurostimulation techniques and brain-machine interfaces. In order to do this, they either record brain impulses and "translate" them into technical control orders, or deliver electrical or visual stimulation to the brain in order to influence it.
Hybrid brain-machine systems are likely to become increasingly common in the future. Numerous neurotech firms, in various phases of development, are trying to do anything from forecasting an athlete's potential, to treating depression.
Scientists predict a big advance in neurotechnology, thanks to the development of ultra-flexible brain-machine interfaces that might reduce the immunological response of the patient.
It has the potential to be a game-changer for many patients, as well as having far-reaching societal consequences.
Brain-interface technology is still in its early stages, but it's vital to investigate ethical issues as devices are created, to ensure they're not harmful. We would not want scientists to create a new gadget and then discover that it has significant ethical implications.
When it comes to neurotechnology, ethical concerns are entrenched not just in the technology or research, but also in society.
Questions like these aren't only for scientists, engineers, or even professional ethicists; they're part of a wider discussion in society over technology's proper applications, the use of personal data, and when patients should be free to decline treatment.
Originally posted here:
The afterlife is having a moment. ‘Beyond’ will help Christians and nonbelievers alike discuss what lies beyond the grave. – America Magazine
Posted: September 14, 2021 at 4:27 pm
The afterlife is having a moment.
In the past two years, no fewer than three well-publicized books by prominent intellectuals have explored the history and ethics of heaven and hell. While David Bentley Hart sought to challenge the justice of eternal damnation in That All Shall Be Saved and Bart Ehrman argued in Heaven and Hell that Christianity invented its afterlife with scant help from Jesus, Catherine Wolffs new book Beyond is a gentler and more personal journey. In it, she mixes well-written impressionistic summaries of various religious perspectives with personal anecdotes to answer the age-old question of what lies beyond the grave.
This book is not for anyone who wants to understand what a religious group thinks or believes about the afterlife. For that you will need a small library. It does hold promise, however, for the non-linear reader who wants to dip into a set of beautifully curated vignettes about particular thinkers or topics. For example, if you wanted to learn in roughly three pages what Islam really says about jihad and the seventy-two virgins mentioned in the Quran, Wolff has you covered.
More than anything else, Wolff is a reassuring guide for the spiritually curious Christian. She often relies upon anecdotes and conversations with friends and colleagues, which is not necessarily a weakness, as her coterie is filled with impressive scholars and thought leaders. A talented curator, Wolff has synthesized, organized and summarized these key thinkers and perspectives into easily digestible small chapters.
Though it is not a history of the afterlife, Beyond is chronologically organized. Beginning with Neanderthals and what Wolff calls primitive religion, we learn about shamanic and indigenous beliefs. From there we move to Ancient Religion, the eternally popular theories of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians regarding the afterlife, then on at breakneck speed through Judaism to Christianity, and then Islam. Hinduism and Buddhism find themselves as bedfellows in part six. Part seven melds science, psychedelics, transhumanism and near-death experiences into a tidy final section about our current age.
The scope of the book is audacious but not Promethean, as this is well-trodden ground. The Afterword tells us what Wolff herself knew from the beginning: There are no definitive answers and we should be open to the many potential ways of experiencing the divine. Whether that encounter is through prayer, meditation, ritual or hallucinogenic substances is up to us.
At the heart of this book is an admirable desire to demonstrate that the secular and the spiritual do not have to be sharply divorced from one another. Christians do not have to be afraid of the religious and spiritual inquiries of others. Science is not the proverbial bogeyman. Even the Eleusinian mysteries, banned by the Christian emperor Theodosius I in 392 C.E., are presented as friendly attempts to answer eternal questions. The open, ecumenical spirit of the book is infectious and engaging. The non-Christian, the simply spiritually curious, the cafeteria Catholic and the smorgasbord Lutheran will have much to think and talk about.
While the personal anecdotes that punctuate the work provide refreshment from Wolffs eloquent but rich summaries of various arguments and thinkers, they also dilute the quality of the material. Wolff makes a conscious choice to rely on believers over scholars, but some precision and detail has been lost along the way. Though erudite, the book often lapses into broad generalizations.
I teach classes about life after death every year, and I tell my students that ideas about the afterlife tell us more about the hopes, fears and priorities of those speaking than they do about heaven and hell. In this respect, Wolff is no exception. While she protests that this is not a history, she organizes her discussion of various theories on the afterlife as if it were and has made revealing choices about what to include and when.
For instance, the section on Christianity is almost twice as long as any other section and remains a touchstone throughout the book. (To her credit, Wolff is honest about her Christian bias.) Indigenous religions garner only a few paragraphs at the very beginning of the book alongside a discussion of primal people. We progress in an intellectual ascent toward modern science, bypassing the ancient philosophers who had also asked scientific questions about cosmology and the afterlife.
The truth is that humans of every age have believed that they stood on the cusp of uncovering the secrets to eternal life. We are not so special.
It is perhaps because of this that I selfishly wish that Wolff could have tackled the oppressive structural hierarchies at play in descriptions of the afterlife in a more systematic fashion. While she briefly discusses Muslim theories about the moral inferiority of women, she does not mention the early Christians, some of whom also wondered if women would have to become male to enter the kingdom of God (e.g., Gospel of Thomas 114). Similarly, her brief discussion of Swedenborgs idea of women as heavenly childcare providers does not acknowledge that this expands and mirrors something dark and patriarchal: In the Latin Vision of Ezra, women are condemned for failing to breastfeed the children of strangers.
Gender, disability, race, identity and power have recently been the subject of important books about the afterlife by Meghan Henning and Taylor Petrey. (Full disclosure, I myself have also written about disability and the eradication of identity in heaven.) Ideas about the hereafter can inflict harm as well as provide comfort, so it is disappointing that Wolff does not think about the kinds of lives, experiences and bodies implicitly devalued in her presentation of her own vision of heaven. Though Wolffs book is more of a quest than a historical account, every pilgrim should be aware of the environmental costs they incur on behalf of others in their journey.
Missed opportunities, however, are surely not the fault of Wolffwho writes clearly and has done enormous amounts of researchbut are due to the scope of the project. If the truth of what happens when we die is unknowable, then documenting that truth in 300 pages is impossible. Fortunately, Wolff suggests, we have an eternity to explore its complexities.
Go here to see the original:
more and more humans are born with an extra artery in the arm CVBJ – Central Valley Business Journal
Posted: August 30, 2021 at 2:40 am
What will the human being be like in 1,000 years? What about 100,000? It is difficult to know, but we may be somewhat different than we are now: evolution is slow but inexorable.
That is of course what a new study by several researchers points out that reveals something curious: more and more humans have an extra artery in the arm.
It is called the satellite artery of the median nerve (or median artery) and is an occasional anatomical variant that usually forms during the first weeks of the fetuss life.
This artery appears in the center of the arm and is responsible for carrying blood to the hands as they grow, but normally it usually regress at eight weeks.
It is then when the normal thing is that stop developing and the other two arteries (ulnar and radial, the latter being the one we use, for example, to detect the pulse) are responsible for this function.
Now a group of researchers has discovered something curious: that extra artery that usually disappears soon it appears more and more frequently in humans.
Anatomy expert Teghan Lucas explained how the prevalence was around 10% in people who were born in the mid-1880s, who compared to 30% in those born at the end of the 20th century, and that supposes a significant increase in a really short period of time if we talk about evolution .
After analyzing 80 limbs from cadavers donated by descendants of people in Australia and Europe, these anatomists discovered that the presence of the artery was becoming more and more frequent. This increase could be the result of gene mutation involved in the development of the median artery or health problems in mothers during pregnancy .
Having that extra artery could lead to more dexterous fingers or stronger forearmsBut it is also true that the presence of this artery in adults poses a greater risk of suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
According to these researchers, if this trend continues, most people will have the median artery of the forearm by the year 2100It is not a huge evolutionary difference, but it certainly shows that human beings continue to evolve. And if we do not do it alone, transhumanism will try to make us do it with external elements such as that curious third thumb that someone came up with in 2019.
Via | Science Alert
The rest is here:
Posted: August 16, 2021 at 1:46 pm
For anthropologist Fanny Parise, the emergence of a hyper-exclusive world in which the virtual replaces reality is a real possibility.
A virtual reality headset on your head, controllers in your hands, and you go away to join friends at the bar. without leaving home. Perhaps in a few years, this gesture will become commonplace in the metaverse: a virtual world in which we can work, go out, find relatives The project sounds crazy but it is being studied in the offices of the largest digital companies in the world. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg announced the formation of a team of 10,000 employees to deal with the construction of such a universe. Made on Facebook.
Fanny Barris, an anthropologist, takes it very seriously. A research associate at the University of Lausanne, observed an acceleration in Digitizing Lifestyles With the Covid-19 crisis and confinement. In other words, real existences willingly or forcibly are moving towards digital more quickly.
Imagine the emergence of new epidemics. Can the alternative equation replace reality, and become our daily life?
It does not seem possible. In anthropology, we work with very extreme scenarios, not to say that the future will be white or black, but because depending on the development of the situation, we will go towards one more than the other.
Currently, we have two prevalent scenarios. The first is technological collapse. The second is where the individual, who is forced to stay at home, will have to push their use of technology even further. During the first confinement, digital technology allowed the continuity of social interactions, for life in society. If successive constraints are put in place in the coming years, the default will provide an opportunity for the continuity of our life in society, for our daily life, when a part of it becomes impossible in material life.
It is also important to consider that other forms of crisis, social or environmental, can democratize the virtual world. On the other hand, this will lead to other problems. If a social crisis arises in material life, how can we ensure peaceful interactions or not in the metaverse? Similarly, in the event of a major climate problem, will digital pollution or server management associated with running the metaverse always be compatible with the new situation?
Live your life in the skin of an avatar, without moving from home In your relationship with yourself and others, that should make some changes, right?
So much. It wont necessarily change the way they interact, but it will lead individuals to ask themselves questions at the beginning of social interaction. Depending on the level of closeness to the person, they will have to decide: do I meet them in physical life or in the metaverse? It is likely that new ways of winning friends and relatives will appear.
For an individual, the metaverse will create an extension of self in default. The whole question would be to find harmony between our different identities. Some, for example, may find themselves caught between a reality they dont like and a virtual world they prefer.
For Mark Zuckerberg, the metaverse will make its users experience a real sense of it Presence On the other hand, more than social networks. Isnt this ambition exaggerated?
I really do not agree. In studies, we see that leaving the virtual assistant or the TV on is enough to create a so-called co-presence. The individual does not have the impression of being alone and accepts the fact of being confined or far from his relatives better. The VR headset will not bring more co-presence. On the other hand, with immersive reality, we will have a greater impact on peoples lives, on the way they adhere to different universes, and different ways of life.
Exactly, does this virtual world risk being the scene of drifts?
One of the questions I would like to ask is: What are we going to do with these metaverses? Will it be a form of transhumanism, which will increase our capabilities? Will it lead to thinking of a new way of living, perhaps more compatible with environmental constraints? Or will it be a duplication of reality?
My concern is that they are preempted by brands or companies. In fact, the problem with the metaverse is that it immerses us in a visible universe that prevents us from getting away. For companies, depending on what they make of it, it will be easier to get us to stick to models of society and political models Who tells us that the universe will be built according to moral reasoning? And not business partnerships? What is interesting is that history repeats itself after the creation of the Internet. Before, we had the idea that it would be a space of freedom, where we could create new ways of interacting. Now it has become a place where material and commercial life is reproduced. We dont invent anything.