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Archive for the ‘defense’ category

Jul 5, 2019

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee PhD. — UCSD Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH) — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, counterterrorism, defense, disruptive technology, existential risks, genetics, health, life extension

May 21, 2019

Commander (ret) Dr. Luis Alvarez, Director of Organ Manufacturing, United Therapeutics, and Co-Founder of GDF11 Harvard spin-out Elevian and MIT spin-out Theradaptive — ideaXme Show — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, business, defense, DNA, health, life extension, military, science

Feb 13, 2019

Could Mosquitos be more friend than foe?

Posted by in categories: aging, bees, biological, biotech/medical, defense, genetics, health, life extension, neuroscience, science

Jun 9, 2017

Startup Societies Summit: A Decentralized Governance Trade Show

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, cryptocurrencies, defense, economics, futurism, geopolitics, governance, government

Lifeboat Foundation readers are aware that the world has become progressively more chaotic. Part of the danger comes from centralized points of failure. While large institutions can bear great stress, they also cause more harm when they fail. Because there are so few pillars, if one collapses, the whole system is destroyed.

For instance, prior to the federal reserve system, bank runs we extremely common. However, since the financial system consisted of small, competing institutions, failure was confined to deficient banks. So while failure was frequent, it was less impactful and systemic. In contrast, after the establishment of the federal reserve, banks became fewer and larger. Failures, while more infrequent, were large scale catastrophes when they occurred. They affected the whole economy and had longer impact.

This is even more important in political systems, which are the foundation of how a society operates. In order to have a more robust, antifragile social order, systems must be decentralized. Rather than a monopolistic, static political order, there must be a series of decentralized experiments. While failures are inevitable, it can be localized to these small experiments rather than the whole structure.

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May 12, 2016

Pentagon Turns to Silicon Valley for Edge in Artificial Intelligence — By John Markoff | The New York Times

Posted by in categories: defense, military

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“In its quest to maintain a United States military advantage, the Pentagon is aggressively turning to Silicon Valley’s hottest technology — artificial intelligence.”

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Mar 18, 2016

Who’s Afraid of Existential Risk? Or, Why It’s Time to Bring the Cold War out of the Cold

Posted by in categories: defense, disruptive technology, economics, existential risks, governance, innovation, military, philosophy, policy, robotics/AI, strategy, theory, transhumanism

At least in public relations terms, transhumanism is a house divided against itself. On the one hand, there are the ingenious efforts of Zoltan Istvan – in the guise of an ongoing US presidential bid — to promote an upbeat image of the movement by focusing on human life extension and other tech-based forms of empowerment that might appeal to ordinary voters. On the other hand, there is transhumanism’s image in the ‘serious’ mainstream media, which is currently dominated by Nick Bostrom’s warnings of a superintelligence-based apocalypse. The smart machines will eat not only our jobs but eat us as well, if we don’t introduce enough security measures.

Of course, as a founder of contemporary transhumanism, Bostrom does not wish to stop artificial intelligence research, and he ultimately believes that we can prevent worst case scenarios if we act now. Thus, we see a growing trade in the management of ‘existential risks’, which focusses on how we might prevent if not predict any such tech-based species-annihilating prospects. Nevertheless, this turn of events has made some observers reasonably wonder whether indeed it might not be better simply to put a halt to artificial intelligence research altogether. As a result, the precautionary principle, previously invoked in the context of environmental and health policy, has been given a new lease on life as generalized world-view.

The idea of ‘existential risk’ capitalizes on the prospect of a very unlikely event that, were it to pass, would be extremely catastrophic for the human condition. Thus, the high value of the outcome psychologically counterbalances its low probability. It’s a bit like Pascal’s wager, whereby the potentially negative consequences of you not believing in God – to wit, eternal damnation — rationally compels you to believe in God, despite your instinctive doubts about the deity’s existence.

However, this line of reasoning underestimates both the weakness and the strength of human intelligence. On the one hand, we’re not so powerful as to create a ‘weapon of mass destruction’, however defined, that could annihilate all of humanity; on the other, we’re not so weak as to be unable to recover from whatever errors of design or judgement that might be committed in the normal advance of science and technology in the human life-world. I make this point not to counsel complacency but to question whether ‘existential risk’ is really the high concept that it is cracked up to be. I don’t believe it is.

Continue reading “Who's Afraid of Existential Risk? Or, Why It's Time to Bring the Cold War out of the Cold” »

Oct 20, 2015

Drone ‘Angst’ extends beyond backyard spying

Posted by in categories: automation, counterterrorism, defense, disruptive technology, drones, ethics, military, privacy, surveillance

http://aviationweek.com/defense/drone-angst-extends-beyond-backyard-spying

Aug 30, 2015

Becoming an Interstellar Species

Posted by in categories: anti-gravity, defense, disruptive technology, physics, space travel

Our interstellar challenge is, how do we as a planet confined humans, become an interstellar species? This encompasses all human endeavors, and is vitally dependent upon interstellar propulsion physics to realize our coming of age as an interstellar species.

There are so many competing ideas on how to realize interstellar propulsion. These include chemical rockets, ion propulsion, nuclear engines, solar sails, atomic bomb pulse detonation, antimatter drives, small black holes, warp drives and much more.

How do we sift through all these competing ideas?

For his objectivity and courage in stating that mathematics has become so sophisticated that it can now be used to prove anything, I have named the approach to solving this interstellar challenge the Kline Directive, in honor of the late Prof. Morris Kline.

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Aug 18, 2015

Using drones to explore space

Posted by in categories: alien life, asteroid/comet impacts, automation, defense, drones, economics, engineering, futurism, innovation, space

Long time ago I was wondering why not to use drones (*) (named for that concrete application Extreme Access Flyers) to explore the space, to reach new planets, asteroids … it would be exciting … rovers are limited in action, so what if we make it airborne? Once in space, why not to send a drone or a swarm of them from the main spaceship to explore a new planet? They could interact, share capabilities, morph, etc.

While the economy looks more or less promising for civil and military, there is still a long path to walk …

“Teal Group’s 2015 market study estimates that UAV production will soar from current worldwide UAV production of $4 billion annually to $14 billion, totaling $93 billion in the next ten years. Military UAV research spending would add another $30 billion over the decade.”

Read more at http://www.suasnews.com/2015/08/37903/teal-group-predicts-wo…-forecast/

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Jul 20, 2015

We May Look Crazy to Them, But They Look Like Zombies to Us: Transhumanism as a Political Challenge

Posted by in categories: defense, futurism, geopolitics, governance, government, life extension, philosophy, sustainability, theory, transhumanism

One of the biggest existential challenges that transhumanists face is that most people don’t believe a word we’re saying, however entertaining they may find us. They think we’re fantasists when in fact we’re talking about a future just over the horizon. Suppose they’re wrong and we are right. What follows? Admittedly, we won’t know this until we inhabit that space ‘just over the horizon’. Nevertheless, it’s not too early to discuss how these naysayers will be regarded, perhaps as a guide to how they should be dealt with now.

So let’s be clear about who these naysayers are. They hold the following views:

1) They believe that they will live no more than 100 years and quite possibly much less.
2) They believe that this limited longevity is not only natural but also desirable, both for themselves and everyone else.
3) They believe that the bigger the change, the more likely the resulting harms will outweigh the benefits.

Now suppose they’re wrong on all three counts. How are we to think about such beings who think this way? Aren’t they the living dead? Indeed. These are people who live in the space of their largely self-imposed limitations, which function as a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are programmed for destruction – not genetically but intellectually. Someone of a more dramatic turn of mind would say that they are suicide bombers trying to manufacture a climate of terror in humanity’s existential horizons. They roam the Earth as death-waiting-to-happen. This much is clear: If you’re a transhumanist, ordinary people are zombies.

Continue reading “We May Look Crazy to Them, But They Look Like Zombies to Us: Transhumanism as a Political Challenge” »

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