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Aug 27, 2013

The Unconventional Way Bitcoin Can Make You Wealthy

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics, education, finance, philosophy, policy

Originally posted as Part IV of a four-part introductory series on Bitcoin on June 19, 2013 in the American Daily Herald. See the Bitcoin blog for all four articles.

Prologue

I am reminded of Sisyphus, King of Ephyra (later, Corinth), who was referred to by Homer as the craftiest of men. He committed terrible crimes against mere mortals and ‘worse’ still, and with great cunning, he offended Zeus and cheated Death. For his crimes he was eternally condemned to thrusting a heavy boulder up a hill, only having it come rolling back down as he got near the top. Had his earthly actions against his fellow men not violated the non-aggression principle, I could have probably warmed up to him as some sort of tragic hero, doing all he can to live life as he wanted it, while beating the gods at their own game. But given his crimes as a ruler over men, it does seem appropriate that his punishment is an ever-repeating cycle of arduous labor, engendering within him hope of a brighter future, yet concluding with dashed dreams and a return to square one. After all, to this day, rulers are notorious for repeating past mistakes while expecting different outcomes (a condition humorously defined by Einstein as insanity).

National currencies

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Aug 27, 2013

On the ‘Evil’ of Hoarding

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics, ethics, finance, policy

Originally posted as Part III of a four-part introductory series on Bitcoin on May 21, 2013 in the American Daily Herald. See the Bitcoin blog for all four articles.

With gold prices back in the $1,300-$1,400/oz range it is sometimes difficult explaining to non-gold bugs why owning physical gold is still a good long term strategy. Some define buying gold as ‘an investment’, and others as ‘a hedge against inflation’. I tend to look at it as an insurance policy against hyper-inflation or just simply as sound honest money. However, when describing a strategy of accumulating money (in gold form) in some far-away vault, only to be used in some end-of-the-world scenario, it goes without saying that an image of a miserly old man replaces my likeness in the eyes of my conversation partner. Few people stuff dollar bills in their mattress any more, but hoarding of gold and silver when these were de-facto money was not unusual. Commodity money, which tends to increase in purchasing power over time, is predisposed to this ‘problem’. When you ‘love money’ so much that you hold on to too much of it or for too long a time, then you are hoarding.

Can ‘hoarding’ be defined?

Robert LeFevre once joked that while he was courting his soon-to-be-wife, he was impressed when she told him how much she loved money. Yet after they were married, it turned out that she really didn’t love money. In fact, she would try to find any excuse to get rid of it… in her shopping sprees, of course! Apparently money is no different than other goods and services; you trade one for the other. You trade the lesser valued good for the more valued good. When you make a purchase, you make a choice. You value your money less than the good you are buying. Similarly, when you refrain from purchasing an item, the indication is that your money is of more value than the foregone good. This is the basic premise in anticipation of a transaction, that both sides benefit – otherwise the transaction would not take place.

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Jul 3, 2013

Human Destiny is to Eliminate Death — Essays, Rants & Arguments on Immortalism (Edited Volume)

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, education, ethics, fun, futurism, human trajectories, life extension, media & arts, neuroscience, philosophy, policy, rants

coveroriginalhankImmortal Life has complied an edited volume of essays, arguments, and debates about Immortalism titled Human Destiny is to Eliminate Death from many esteemed ImmortalLife.info Authors (a good number of whom are also Lifeboat Foundation Advisory Board members as well), such as Martine Rothblatt (Ph.D, MBA, J.D.), Marios Kyriazis (MD, MS.c, MI.Biol, C.Biol.), Maria Konovalenko (M.Sc.), Mike Perry (Ph.D), Dick Pelletier, Khannea Suntzu, David Kekich (Founder & CEO of MaxLife Foundation), Hank Pellissier (Founder of Immortal Life), Eric Schulke & Franco Cortese (the previous Managing Directors of Immortal Life), Gennady Stolyarov II, Jason Xu (Director of Longevity Party China and Longevity Party Taiwan), Teresa Belcher, Joern Pallensen and more. The anthology was edited by Immortal Life Founder & Senior Editor, Hank Pellissier.

This one-of-a-kind collection features ten debates that originated at ImmortalLife.info, plus 36 articles, essays and diatribes by many of IL’s contributors, on topics from nutrition to mind-filing, from teleomeres to “Deathism”, from libertarian life-extending suggestions to religion’s role in RLE to immortalism as a human rights issue.

The book is illustrated with famous paintings on the subject of aging and death, by artists such as Goya, Picasso, Cezanne, Dali, and numerous others.

The book was designed by Wendy Stolyarov; edited by Hank Pellissier; published by the Center for Transhumanity. This edited volume is the first in a series of quarterly anthologies planned by Immortal Life

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Jun 2, 2013

The Hubris of Neo-Luddism

Posted by in categories: human trajectories, policy

This essay was originally published by the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies

One of the most common anti-Transhumanist tropes one finds recurring throughout Transhumanist rhetoric is our supposedly rampant hubris. Hubris is an ancient Greek concept meaning excess of pride that carries connotations of reckless vanity and heedless self-absorbment, often to the point of carelessly endangering the welfare of others in the process. It paints us in a selfish and dangerous light, as though we were striving for the technological betterment of ourselves alone and the improvement of the human condition solely as it pertains to ourselves, so as to be enhanced relative to the majority of humanity.

In no way is this correct or even salient. I, and the majority of Transhumanists, Techno-Progressives and emerging-tech-enthusiasts I would claim, work toward promoting beneficial outcomes and deliberating the repercussions and most desirable embodiments of radically-transformative technologies for the betterment of all mankind first and foremost, and only secondly for ourselves if at all.

The ired irony of this situation is that the very group who most often hails the charge of Hubris against the Transhumanist community is, according to the logic of hubris, more hubristic than those they rail their charge against. Bio-Luddites, and more generally Neo-Luddites, can be clearly seen to be more self-absorbed and recklessly-selfish than the Transhumanists they are so quick to raise qualms against.

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Jun 1, 2013

Longevity’s Bottleneck May Be Funding, But Funding’s Bottleneck is Advocacy & Activism

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, human trajectories, life extension, policy

The following article was originally published by Immortal Life

When asked what the biggest bottleneck for Radical or Indefinite Longevity is, most thinkers say funding. Some say the biggest bottleneck is breakthroughs and others say it’s our way of approaching the problem (i.e. that we’re seeking healthy life extension whereas we should be seeking more comprehensive methods of indefinite life-extension), but the majority seem to feel that what is really needed is adequate funding to plug away at developing and experimentally-verifying the various, sometimes mutually-exclusive technologies and methodologies that have already been proposed. I claim that Radical Longevity’s biggest bottleneck is not funding, but advocacy.

This is because the final objective of increased funding for Radical Longevity and Life Extension research can be more effectively and efficiently achieved through public advocacy for Radical Life Extension than it can by direct funding or direct research, per unit of time or effort. Research and development obviously still need to be done, but an increase in researchers needs an increase in funding, and an increase in funding needs an increase in the public perception of RLE’s feasibility and desirability.

There is no definitive timespan that it will take to achieve indefinitely-extended life. How long it takes to achieve Radical Longevity is determined by how hard we work at it and how much effort we put into it. More effort means that it will be achieved sooner. And by and large, an increase in effort can be best achieved by an increase in funding, and an increase in funding can be best achieved by an increase in public advocacy. You will likely accelerate the development of Indefinitely-Extended Life, per unit of time or effort, by advocating the desirability, ethicacy and technical feasibility of longer life than you will by doing direct research, or by working towards the objective of directly contributing funds to RLE projects and research initiatives. (more…)

May 8, 2013

Mechanics of Gravity Modification

Posted by in categories: defense, education, engineering, general relativity, military, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

The Rocky Mountain chapter of the American Institute of Astronautics & Aeronautics (AIAA) will be having their 2nd Annual Technical Symposium, October 25 2013. The call for papers ends May 31 2013. I would recommend submitting your papers. This conference gives you the opportunity to put your work together in a cohesive manner, get feedback and keep your copyrights, before you write your final papers for journals you will submitting to. A great way to polish your papers.

Here is the link to the call for papers: http://www.iseti.us/pdf/RMAIAA_Call_For_Abstracts_2013-0507.pdf

Here is the link to the conference: http://www.iseti.us/pdf/RMAIAA_General_Advert_2013-0507.pdf

I’ll be presenting 2 papers. The first is a slightly revised version of the presentation I gave at the APS April 2013 conference here in Denver (http://www.iseti.us/WhitePapers/APS2013/Solomon-APS-April(20…45;15).pdf). The second is titled ‘The Mechanics of Gravity Modification’.

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Apr 19, 2013

Bitcoin’s Dystopian Future

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cybercrime/malcode, economics, ethics, finance, futurism, information science, lifeboat, open source, policy

I have seen the future of Bitcoin, and it is bleak.


The Promise of Bitcoin

If you were to peek into my bedroom at night (please don’t), there’s a good chance you would see my wife sleeping soundly while I stare at the ceiling, running thought experiments about where Bitcoin is going. Like many other people, I have come to the conclusion that distributed currencies like Bitcoin are going to eventually be recognized as the most important technological innovation of the decade, if not the century. It seems clear to me that the rise of distributed currencies presents the biggest (and riskiest) investment opportunity I am likely to see in my lifetime; perhaps in a thousand lifetimes. It is critically important to understand where Bitcoin is going, and I am determined to do so.

(more…)

Apr 2, 2013

Techno-Progressives and Neo-Luddites are Brothers in Arms

Posted by in category: policy

This article first appeared under the title “Techno-Optimists & Pessimists are Brothers in Arms at Transhumanity.net, where Franco is a contributing editor.

opt4It is all too easy to assume that techno-optimists and techno-pessimists are diametrically opposed. But while they may have different destinations in mind, the road to get there – what they need to do to achieve their respective ends – is a shared one. Techno-optimists, Techno-progressives, Techno-gaians and Techno-utopians express hope and passion for technologies’ liberating and empowering potentials, while techno-pessimists are fearful of their dystopic and dehumanizing potentials. Optimists want to spread awareness of the ways in which technology can improve self and society, while pessimists seek to spread awareness of the ways in which technology can make matters worse. Techno-criticism is the neutral middle, where the unbiased study of culture and technology take place, and so should not be confused with Techno-pessimism.

But they both agree on the underlying premise that technologies can and likely will have profoundly transformative effects on self and society. They agree not only that we have the power to shape the outcomes such technologies can foster, that we have the power to affect and to a large extent determine the ultimate embodiment and repercussions of such technologies, but also that such technologies impel us to make concerted efforts towards determining such repercussions and embodiments! It may not look that way from the inside-out, but they are fighting to realize their vision of Humanity’s brightest future. Until we reach the day when the majority of humanity has extensively acknowledged the expansive power such transformative technologies hold, Techno-optimists & Techno-pessimists, Transhumanists & Luddites, and Revolutionaries & Revivalists alike are on the same side! Both camps are on a campaign to alert planet earth of the titanic transformations rushing foreforth upon its horizon. Both agree on the underlying potential such technologies hold for changing the world and the self – whether encased as Prized Present or in Pandora’s Box – and both are weary for the world to wake up and smell the rising.

opt8And besides, we’re all in it together, no? At least Techno-pessimists are thinking about such issues, and putting forth their appraisals. At least they’ve begun to consider what is at stake. Is a techno-pessimist closer to a Technoprogressive or Transhumanist than one who doesn’t take a stance either way is? Maybe.

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Mar 31, 2013

American Physical Society (APS) Conference in Denver

Posted by in categories: cosmology, defense, education, engineering, events, general relativity, nuclear energy, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space, supercomputing

The APS April Meeting 2013, Vol. 58 #4 will be held Saturday–Tuesday, April 13–16, 2013; Denver, Colorado.

I am very pleased to announce that my abstract was accepted and I will be presenting “Empirical Evidence Suggest A Need For A Different Gravitational Theory” at this prestigious conference.

For those of you who can make it to Denver, April 13–16, and are interested in alternative gravitational theories, lets meet up.

I am especially interested in physicists and engineers who have the funding to test gravity modification technologies, proposed in my book An Introduction to Gravity Modification.

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Mar 26, 2013

Colorado Celebrating Space Exploration

Posted by in categories: education, open access, policy, space, transparency, treaties

Yesterday, March 25 2013, the Colorado Legislature passed a resolution making March 25, Aerospace Day. What a great way to celebrate Colorado’s participation in space endeavors. The state is the second largest employer of space related companies. Thanks to Colorado Space Business Roundtable (CSBR), the Colorado Space Coalition (CSC), the Rocky Mountain AIAA (RMAIAA), and the many sponsors who helped make this possible.

The sponsors are Aurora Chamber of Commerce, Ball Aerospace Technologies, GH Phipps Construction, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Metro State University of Denver, United Launch Alliance, Red Canyon Software, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Webster University, and the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum.

Picture of the Colorado Senate just after passing the resolution.

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