Tihamer Toth-Fejel on Abuse of Power

from the assemblers-actualizing-Acton's-axiom dept.
Jonathan Desp calls attention to a position paper by longtime Foresight friend Tihamer Toth-Fejel of the NSS's Molecular Manufacturing Shortcut Group, entitled "The Abuse of Power on the Eve of the Nanotechnology Revolution". From the paper's position statement: "Taking to heart Lord Acton's admonition that power tends to corrupt, we wish to take the necessary precautions so that humanity survives the coming revolution in molecular nanotechnology." The paper is hosted on Jonathan's Atomasoft site.

Jaron Lanier Takes On "Cybernetic Totalists"

from the una-bummer dept.
SaiyajinTrunks writes "Jaron Lanier has made available what he calls 'One Half of a Manifesto' on the online publication, Edge. It's fourteen courses of good food for thought with a dessert of reactions from big names in the field." (Additional discussion of Jaron's hemi-festo can be found on Slashdot.)

[I might uncharitably summarize Jaron's argument as "I am right and virtuous, and you are all evil and deluded. Q.E.D." Years ago Jaron told me my "extropianism" was "contaminated by compassion and humility". He seems to still be of the belief that posthumanists must therefore hate humanity. — dk]

Distributed Client for Protein Folding

from the ask-and-ye-shall-receive dept.
Chris Healey pointed out a Slashdot article about the Folding@Home client for distributed protein-folding computations, much like that recently called for by Foresight Sr. Associate Robert Bradbury.

Salon article on "Techno-dystopia" ads

from the every-party-has-a-pooper dept.
SeanMorgan wrote to point out a Salon article on the Turning Point Project and their anti-technology ads in the New York Times .

"A mostly sympathetic [to Turning Point] article, but it does include some comments from Foresight Sr. Assoc. Eric Raymond.

They even have a problem with social software:

'Everyone should think different together,' quips the copy, suggesting that huge conglomerates rushing toward globalization are more likely to benefit from 'global computer networks' than individuals."

Gruen Honored For Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Films

Multiple alert Nanodotters wrote in about the Chicago Tribune article describing Dieter Gruen's work at Argonne National Laboratory leading to ultrananocrystalline diamond film. Gruen was honored by the Materials Research Society with the MRS Medal Award. EddieWehri writes, " Preliminary tests show that ultrananodiamonds are 1,000 more wear-resistant than silicon, and 1 million times denser than conventional crystals. This makes them a practical base material for micromachines and other devices that had only been theoretically possible before. Maybe this will mark the real beginning of Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age."

"Letter from 2020": Logical conclusion of current IP trends

from the garden-of-pure-ideology dept.
Found on Slashdot: A not-so-fantastic extrapolation of current IP trends called "Letter From 2020" by Mark Summerfield. "The saddest subversive I met claimed to be a programmer. He said that he was writing a program using Basic.NET. He must have been insane. Even if his program worked he wouldn't be allowed to run it. How could one person possibly check every possible patent infringement in a program they wrote? And even if he hadn't infringed he couldn't sell it without buying a compatibility license from Microsoft.NET and who could possibly afford that?"

Immortality prevention described as "unlikely"

from the "a-little-knowledge-is-a-dangerous-thing" dept.
Saturn Graphix writes "In Daily Telegraph Full Article Here
'Why science may bring curse of immortality' by Roger Highfield
Better treatment of disease could lead to 'generational cleansing' as people live longer, an ethical expert warned last week [in the journal Science]. The elderly could be condemned to death by suicide or euthanasia after an allotted lifespan as medical advances raise the maximum age beyond 120, according to Dr John Harris, professor of bioethics at Manchester University. Professor Harris said a side-effect of research to treat the diseases of old age, such as dementia, cancer and arthritis, could be to extend the maximum age to immortality…He said it was unlikely that we could stop the progression to longer lifespans and even immortality. 'We should start thinking now about how we can live decently and creatively with the prospect of such lives.' "
CP: Some of us are already doing so.

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