Thursday, February 20, 2014

Giving props to George Dvorsky


I read whether I have time or not and George Dvorsky is often on the list.

Every morning (or sometimes mid-afternoon, depending on class schedule and students experiencing their own personal apocalypses) I read several news sources.  If you follow me on Twitter or follow my blog's Facebook page...and please head over there and give it a "like" if you haven't already...then you know that io9 is one of my daily go-to sites.  I've told you this before.

But as I shared more and more links on subjects of futurism and transhumanism, I noticed that they were almost always written by the same person: George Dvorsky.  The texts have been among the most helpful for me not as simply a writer but as a thinker.  For example, I found this piece on nanomotors to be especially informative.  It describes how the movements of living cells have can now be directed by the insertion of nano-scale synthetic motors.  This opens up the doors to many other forms of human enhancement technology.  But I digress...

Dvorsky is not simply a contributing editor to io9 but is also a transhumanist who serves as Chairman of the Board for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and blogs at Sentient Developments.  He is a smart guy who really does weigh and consider all of the ethical and philosophical implications of transhuman technology.  In a risky move, and by "risky" I mean upon considering the vehemence of anti-transhumanist camps and their zealous opposition to any alteration of the definition of "human," Dvorsky offered a sort of "Bill of Rights" with which artificial intelligence would be endowed.  Such as:

-The right not to be shut down.
-The right not to be experimented upon.
-The right to self-determination.
-The right to access to its own source code.

And several others which I invite you to read at the link.

Every now and again, Dvorsky will even write on the subject of UFOs and the prospect of alien life.  While he is decidedly ambivalent on the subject of the former, he did write this thought-provoking post on how humanity would change if we knew aliens existed.  Of course this meditation was based around the detection of an extraterrestrial signal and nothing in terms of say, a mass UFO sighting, but I found it intriguing nevertheless.  Here's to hoping that such a discovery (if even announced by the powers that be) would indeed reignite public interest in space science as Carl Sagan once conjectured.

So that's me waxing George's car for the day.  Right now I'm going to go binge watch the Winter Olympics...where rumor has it someone triple salchow-ed their way to an upset.




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