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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old December 27 2012, 08:25 PM   #16
RAMA
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post

No one's fighting anything, you're just upset that people aren't lapping up the Kurzweil Kool-Aid.

I'm a huge fan of technology and what it can and will do for us in the future. I just don't presume to think that any one person knows what the future will look like. That is what I consider "boxed-in": the belief that the future will look any certain way that we can predict right now. The fact is, we are notoriously bad at predicting the future, because technology isn't driven by any one factor. It's not driven just by what a bunch of eggheads imagine, nor what a megacorp's bean counters think will sell. It's a confluence of many factors that are difficult to track, measure, and predict.

I prefer to keep my options open.
I'm not upset at all. I'm trying to tell you the paradigm has changed, while no one is a prophet, we have systems available to predict the future with greater accuracy than ever before. Therefore we have the ability to affect more than ever...it's reinforcing...see how that works?

What I meant by fighting tooth and nail is the fact that humans are short-sighted...we pine for the past, eras which were supposed golden ages, when the very best we ever were is right now...even with all our imperfections. People want to bury their heads in the sand, they want to ignore technological change(how often have you heard people who use smartphone say they hate technology, or even see people choosing old phones over new ones)..it appears natural human instinct to do so as the information age expands, nostalgia flourishes(in the USA slightly less than in most countries, which to me is the only REAL world reason America is a superpower and so cool to be in)....here is where it gets good...we don't have to be that way...trans-humanism can mean expanding our human "RAM" and storage, as smartphoes, laptops, google etc are already doing to a degree. Sharing ideas, knowledge in real-time from our minds to a network can change human perception, change our provincialism as a species, mitigate tribal or political bias. It can change our perception of time to something more akin with reality. If you consider this boxed in, I feel sorry for you.
Sorry, but having a smartphone in your pocket is absolutely nowhere near being a cyborg. That's the kind of talk that makes you lose people, when you jump from current technology straight to fantasy. You also fail to acknowledge that just because something is possible, it doesn't mean everyone's going to want to do it.

Do you really think most people will be okay with cybernetically modifying their bodies, having all sorts of implants, enhancements, etc.? What about the legal ramifications? What impact will this have on education, sports, and human health in general? Instead, the talk is all about how cool it would be if we could do all this, and that we'll soon have the ability. Maybe we will, maybe we won't, but it's foolish to believe that once it is possible and practical, everyone will do it "just because."
Wow...the fact that portable computing devices increase the depth of knowledge and in effect enhances human faculties is by far NOT the most contentious issue I raise. Far from making me lose people, it's already an established fact...portable computers are a transformative technology, with both extenuating and direct impact on economics, knowledge, and information gathering. This has been discussed for decades.

I would read this entire pdf:

http://pages.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~gaine...KA/IJHCSKA.pdf

http://www.abundancethebook.com/faqs...-to-abundance/

The idea that these enhancements can be tied directly into the brain and used networked in real time is more controversial. Smartphones don't make us cyborgs, but they can lead to a technology that will.

Well I have explained WHY we'd want to be cyborgs and more before haven't I? Not least if which is this:

http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?...3&postcount=62

RAMA
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Old December 27 2012, 08:28 PM   #17
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

RAMA wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post

I'm not upset at all. I'm trying to tell you the paradigm has changed, while no one is a prophet, we have systems available to predict the future with greater accuracy than ever before. Therefore we have the ability to affect more than ever...it's reinforcing...see how that works?

What I meant by fighting tooth and nail is the fact that humans are short-sighted...we pine for the past, eras which were supposed golden ages, when the very best we ever were is right now...even with all our imperfections. People want to bury their heads in the sand, they want to ignore technological change(how often have you heard people who use smartphone say they hate technology, or even see people choosing old phones over new ones)..it appears natural human instinct to do so as the information age expands, nostalgia flourishes(in the USA slightly less than in most countries, which to me is the only REAL world reason America is a superpower and so cool to be in)....here is where it gets good...we don't have to be that way...trans-humanism can mean expanding our human "RAM" and storage, as smartphoes, laptops, google etc are already doing to a degree. Sharing ideas, knowledge in real-time from our minds to a network can change human perception, change our provincialism as a species, mitigate tribal or political bias. It can change our perception of time to something more akin with reality. If you consider this boxed in, I feel sorry for you.
Sorry, but having a smartphone in your pocket is absolutely nowhere near being a cyborg. That's the kind of talk that makes you lose people, when you jump from current technology straight to fantasy. You also fail to acknowledge that just because something is possible, it doesn't mean everyone's going to want to do it.

Do you really think most people will be okay with cybernetically modifying their bodies, having all sorts of implants, enhancements, etc.? What about the legal ramifications? What impact will this have on education, sports, and human health in general? Instead, the talk is all about how cool it would be if we could do all this, and that we'll soon have the ability. Maybe we will, maybe we won't, but it's foolish to believe that once it is possible and practical, everyone will do it "just because."
Wow...the fact that portable computing devices increase the depth of knowledge and in effect enhances human faculties is by far NOT the most contentious issue I raise. Far from making me lose people, it's already an established fact...portable computers are a transformative technology, with both extenuating and direct impact on economics, knowledge, and information gathering. This has been discussed for decades.

I would read this entire pdf:

http://pages.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~gaine...KA/IJHCSKA.pdf

The idea that these enhancements can be tied directly into the brain and used networked in real time is more controversial. Smartphones don't make us cyborgs, but they can lead to a technology that will.

Well I have explained WHY we'd want to be cyborgs and more before haven't I? Not least if which is this:

http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?...3&postcount=62

RAMA
Where did I say anything disparaging about portable computing devices, or call them "contentious"? Where did you even get that??
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Old December 27 2012, 09:41 PM   #18
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Do you really think most people will be okay with cybernetically modifying their bodies, having all sorts of implants, enhancements, etc.? What about the legal ramifications? What impact will this have on education, sports, and human health in general? Instead, the talk is all about how cool it would be if we could do all this, and that we'll soon have the ability. Maybe we will, maybe we won't, but it's foolish to believe that once it is possible and practical, everyone will do it "just because."
I know this wasn't directed at me, but I spent such a long time researching this subject I can't help but comment:

Certain people ALREADY use implants regularly for cosmetic purposes, as well as certain medical implants (glasses, pacemakers, contact lenses, etc) which have discrete utilities. It's not hard to imagine that new functionality built into existing non-functional implants (earrings, for example) could enable a sort of bottom-up cybernetic revolution; bluetooth-enabled earrings become more common, "smart glasses" with HUD and GUI displays, etc. There's also likely to be a subculture among adopters of this technology that is really "in to" that sort of thing way more than everyone else.

As with a lot of things, it won't exactly transform the fundamental nature of human existence (except on a purely philosophical level) but for those who adopt this technology -- especially more advanced forms of it like brain-computer interfaces -- it WILL begin to blur the lines between man and machine.
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Old December 27 2012, 09:53 PM   #19
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Do you really think most people will be okay with cybernetically modifying their bodies, having all sorts of implants, enhancements, etc.? What about the legal ramifications? What impact will this have on education, sports, and human health in general? Instead, the talk is all about how cool it would be if we could do all this, and that we'll soon have the ability. Maybe we will, maybe we won't, but it's foolish to believe that once it is possible and practical, everyone will do it "just because."
I know this wasn't directed at me, but I spent such a long time researching this subject I can't help but comment:

Certain people ALREADY use implants regularly for cosmetic purposes, as well as certain medical implants (glasses, pacemakers, contact lenses, etc) which have discrete utilities. It's not hard to imagine that new functionality built into existing non-functional implants (earrings, for example) could enable a sort of bottom-up cybernetic revolution; bluetooth-enabled earrings become more common, "smart glasses" with HUD and GUI displays, etc. There's also likely to be a subculture among adopters of this technology that is really "in to" that sort of thing way more than everyone else.

As with a lot of things, it won't exactly transform the fundamental nature of human existence (except on a purely philosophical level) but for those who adopt this technology -- especially more advanced forms of it like brain-computer interfaces -- it WILL begin to blur the lines between man and machine.
All that stuff is a pretty far cry from (as you mentioned) brain implants that increase mental capacity/power/storage. I think there would be substantial societal, regulatory, and ethical hurdles to get over before something like that even approaches being a routine occurrence.

I think most of the development will be where it is now: in repairing/replacing existing physiological functions that are defective in some way. Think giving blind people new cybernetic eyes that work roughly as well as natural ones.

I think it moves into totally different territory once you talk about actually enhancing people's natural capabilities with implanted technological devices. It upends a lot of what we take for granted. For instance, say we start implanting people with flash drives of a large capacity. What do you then do about taking exams or other tests of knowledge? Does having the requisite information in a solid-state brain implant still count as "knowledge" or "expertise"? I find those implications a lot more interesting (and ultimately problematic) than what will be technically possible.
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Old December 27 2012, 09:54 PM   #20
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

RAMA wrote: View Post
Wow...the fact that portable computing devices increase the depth of knowledge and in effect enhances human faculties is by far NOT the most contentious issue I raise. Far from making me lose people, it's already an established fact...portable computers are a transformative technology, with both extenuating and direct impact on economics, knowledge, and information gathering. This has been discussed for decades.
And yet, it's a pretty enormous leap from "smartphone in your pocket" to "microprocessor in your brain," especially since not everyone in the western world even USES smartphones.

More importantly, smartphones can be as much a benefit as they are a distraction; along with turn-by-turn navigation and 4G internet, you also get twitter and facebook updates. You gain the ability to teleconference with your coworkers via facetime or skype, but you also run the risk of being run over by someone who starts reading a text message in the middle of a u-turn. You can store all your contact information and all of your appointments and reminders, and you can also store a gigabyte of porn to pass the time between them.

You're too focused on the technology, Rama. You never seem to take PEOPLE into account.

The idea that these enhancements can be tied directly into the brain and used networked in real time is more controversial. Smartphones don't make us cyborgs, but they can lead to a technology that will.
Correction: they lead to a technology that COULD.

Well I have explained WHY we'd want to be cyborgs and more before haven't I?
You've explained why SOMEONE might want to be a cyborg, sure. But that's an assumption that is entirely divorced from the way real people make value judgements, especially on things relating to body modification and medical procedures.
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Old December 27 2012, 10:14 PM   #21
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
Wow...the fact that portable computing devices increase the depth of knowledge and in effect enhances human faculties is by far NOT the most contentious issue I raise. Far from making me lose people, it's already an established fact...portable computers are a transformative technology, with both extenuating and direct impact on economics, knowledge, and information gathering. This has been discussed for decades.
And yet, it's a pretty enormous leap from "smartphone in your pocket" to "microprocessor in your brain," especially since not everyone in the western world even USES smartphones.

More importantly, smartphones can be as much a benefit as they are a distraction; along with turn-by-turn navigation and 4G internet, you also get twitter and facebook updates. You gain the ability to teleconference with your coworkers via facetime or skype, but you also run the risk of being run over by someone who starts reading a text message in the middle of a u-turn. You can store all your contact information and all of your appointments and reminders, and you can also store a gigabyte of porn to pass the time between them.

You're too focused on the technology, Rama. You never seem to take PEOPLE into account.

The idea that these enhancements can be tied directly into the brain and used networked in real time is more controversial. Smartphones don't make us cyborgs, but they can lead to a technology that will.
Correction: they lead to a technology that COULD.

Well I have explained WHY we'd want to be cyborgs and more before haven't I?
You've explained why SOMEONE might want to be a cyborg, sure. But that's an assumption that is entirely divorced from the way real people make value judgements, especially on things relating to body modification and medical procedures.
Well if you want to get technical, there are already tens of millions of cyborgs alive in the world today.

Wanting to keep humanity IN AI is survival, quite a common human value.

Smartphones are basically a buffer to your brain already; chips implanted in humans are not sci fi they already have been done; human to computer and human to robot parts links have already been done. I've already posted my timeline when I think these technologies will mature, but they are already here.

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Old December 27 2012, 10:28 PM   #22
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

Let's define some terms here. What RAMA is basically predicting is the advent of "recreational cybernetics," which is the use of cybernetics to enhance the abilities of otherwise perfectly healthy people to give them an edge over their non-cybernetic peers. This is a contrast with "corrective cybernetics" which is essentially a high tech prosthesis which replaces functionality lost due to illness or injury.

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
All that stuff is a pretty far cry from (as you mentioned) brain implants that increase mental capacity/power/storage. I think there would be substantial societal, regulatory, and ethical hurdles to get over before something like that even approaches being a routine occurrence.
Well the first hurdles would obviously be financial and medical. Most of those recreational technologies will evolve out of prosthetic ones; implants designed to correct, say, extreme forms of epilepsy or Alzheimers would probably gain a secondary use enhancing otherwise healthy people who want to be able to use those implants for additional mental stability and cognition.

The thing is, the corrective technology is already so expensive that it is only used in extreme cases. Note that in this example "Extreme cases" means either an extremely bad case of Alzheimers, or for the treatment of an extremely important (or extremely wealthy) patient. The procedure is likely to remain extremely expensive for a long period of time since at the outset only a handful of surgeons would even be familiar with the procedure -- let alone qualified to perform it -- and only a handful of patients would be able to afford their rates. If/when it became more common it would still remain relatively expensive and difficult enough that it would continue to be used prosthetically as opposed to recreationally for a considerable length of time.

But there's another side to this, see below:

I think it moves into totally different territory once you talk about actually enhancing people's natural capabilities with implanted technological devices. It upends a lot of what we take for granted. For instance, say we start implanting people with flash drives of a large capacity. What do you then do about taking exams or other tests of knowledge? Does having the requisite information in a solid-state brain implant still count as "knowledge" or "expertise"? I find those implications a lot more interesting (and ultimately problematic) than what will be technically possible.
One thing I've figured out is that, initially, recreational cybernetics will be an outgrowth of prosthetic technologies; you don't just want replacement legs, you want high-performance replacement legs that might allow you to jump higher than someone with normal legs. You don't just want a prosthetic arm, you want an arm with superior dexterity than your original arm. You don't just want your sight back, you want 20/5 vision, enhanced night vision and maybe infrared. You don't just want the chip that stabilizes your epileptic episodes, you want one that can enhance your concentration or improve your spontaneous recall or visual memory.

We had a taste of this with Oscar Pistorius' Olympic bid, first with the controversy over his prosthetic legs (the extent to which they gave him an advantage over able-bodied athletes) and to what extent his performance was owed to the quality of his prosthetics or his own athletic skill. It wound up not mattering at all since Oscar didn't place in the finals, but it marks a precedent for the way these things are likely to progress: a generation of two from now, we're going to see at least one parapelegic or otherwise handicapped athlete win Olympic glory and then be immediately challenged on the premise that the high-end prosthetics he's using give him an unfair advantage over other athletes. Eventually, the Olympic committee will probably treat high-end prosthetics as a kind of cybernetic performance enhancement and regulate them accordingly; handicapped athletes will have to have their prosthetics certified and approved beforehand in addition to the usual steroid/performance enhancer testing. That same standard is likely to extend to the broader economy and the workplace; people who don't care about performance enhancers won't care much that the VP of Communications has a chip in his head that allows him to work twenty hours without passing out, while police departments might include the overall integrity of prosthetic parts and implants as part of their physical fitness standards (and maybe require an upgrade for a one-armed ex-Marine attempting to join the force with a cheap plastic arm he got from his crappy HMO).
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Old December 27 2012, 10:39 PM   #23
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

RAMA wrote: View Post
Wanting to keep humanity IN AI is survival, quite a common human value.
That's long-term species survival, which is not an overriding one, nor is it a universal one. We're more likely to stop fighting wars and using fossil fuels long before we embrace AI and/or brain uploading on their own merits.

On the other hand, "survival" in human terms is individualistic. When you wake up one morning with an empty stomach and an empty fridge, the first thing most people think is "I better go find something to eat," not "I better go program a smart AI that can increase global food production enough that I'll have more to eat in the mornings."

Smartphones are basically a buffer to your brain already
No, smartphones are handheld computers that double as communications devices. They're no more a "buffer to your brain" than a pencil and a post-it note, except that while everyone in America knows how to use a pencil, not everyone knows how to use a smart phone, or even owns one.

You also continue to ignore the fact that implanting a chip in your brain involves a highly invasive major medical procedure. Most people -- NORMAL people -- would probably elect not to undergo major brain surgery unless it was medically necessary; putting a smartphone in your brain isn't medically necessary, especially since that same smartphone fits just as handily in your front pocket.
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Old December 28 2012, 12:00 AM   #24
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

RAMA wrote: View Post
Snowjourner wrote: View Post
You get paid to post all these link threads, don't you?
This is a science and technology forum... flying cars, bullet trains, 50s retro scifi are boring, these posts are genuinely mind expanding, with real and potential technologies/discoveries that should fire your imagination, instead, you're probably interested in Doctor Who, cosplay, and Space Patrol. That's not the future, so deal with it.

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Old December 30 2012, 08:57 PM   #25
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Frankly all I see coming out of ever more immersive cyber is a rise in pickpockets and purse-snatchers among the non-connected.

Only here, the mark will not even notice the theft for some minutes afterwards.
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Old December 31 2012, 01:26 AM   #26
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

Snowjourner wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
Snowjourner wrote: View Post
You get paid to post all these link threads, don't you?
This is a science and technology forum... flying cars, bullet trains, 50s retro scifi are boring, these posts are genuinely mind expanding, with real and potential technologies/discoveries that should fire your imagination, instead, you're probably interested in Doctor Who, cosplay, and Space Patrol. That's not the future, so deal with it.

RAMA
You really do not know your audience do you?

Possibly overstating the case, but I still see quite a lack of imagination from the supposedly imaginative. Sad really.
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Old December 31 2012, 03:23 AM   #27
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

We're all very imaginative, just not delusional.
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Old December 31 2012, 05:35 PM   #28
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

Snowjourner wrote: View Post
We're all very imaginative, just not delusional.
Absolutely Right(TM).

Belief in the Singularity is very much like belief in "Ancient Aliens" and is similarly a failure of imagination.
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Old December 31 2012, 06:07 PM   #29
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^ Not really. There's a concept of technological utopianism, the idea that technology will solve all problems and conquer all barriers. Like all utopnianists, the basic premise is that the world can be made into a paradise just by systematically eliminating all of its varied problems.

Singularity theory is really just the cyperpunk wing of utopianism: the idea that cybernetics and/or AI are the means to eliminate all of those problems. It's no less imaginative than the belief that the discovery of alien life will unify mankind and transform our entire civilization, for example.
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Old December 31 2012, 07:48 PM   #30
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
^ Not really. There's a concept of technological utopianism, the idea that technology will solve all problems and conquer all barriers. Like all utopnianists, the basic premise is that the world can be made into a paradise just by systematically eliminating all of its varied problems.

Singularity theory is really just the cyperpunk wing of utopianism: the idea that cybernetics and/or AI are the means to eliminate all of those problems. It's no less imaginative than the belief that the discovery of alien life will unify mankind and transform our entire civilization, for example.
I don't think any kind of utopia is particularly imaginative. In any case, even if we were to consider a Singularity-based civilization a utopia, that came out of the imagination of one person, or perhaps a handful of people. Those individuals get the credit for being imaginative. The thousands of others who blindly parrot it as inevitable, however, do not.
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