A recent article in The Economist chronicled the downturn in the popularity and standing of democracy over the last fifty years. In the first half of the twentieth century democracy (“government by the people”) was the gold standard, and was riding a wave of adoption worldwide. Democracy, national pride and economic success appeared to go… Read more I want what he’s having… Trump’s envy of Putin’s large(r) hands?
(the first of a series of articles on this subject) From the time man first realized the immensity of our universe, scientists have been wondering why we have not yet found any evidence of intelligent life somewhere out there. As our telescopes and related technology have improved, the mystery has deepened—because the odds against our… Read more Will our species pass the BIG intelligence test?
‘Tis the season… for stupidity. In one corner we have the legions of believers who hold their beliefs to be sacred (Xmas trees battling Menorahs, etc.). In the other corner we have the atheists that solicit donations to fund the “cause” of debunking the idea that there is a God. It is difficult for a… Read more Atheist ads make headlines – and underscore the immaturity of our species
Imagine you are seventy years old and showing (and feeling) your age. The year is 2017. You have money and/or friends in high places, so you get an appointment at the Return-to-Youth Clinic. After a brief stay in the waiting room, you are taken to the preparation room to lie on a hospital bed. An… Read more Nanobots—Good or Evil?
Humanity has survived, and generally prospered, through various “ages” and “revolutions” over the last 10,000 years. They include the Agricultural Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and, most recently, the Information Age. We are now seeing the beginning of the GNR Revolution, standing for Genetics, Nanotechnology and Robotics. The engine that is driving the GNR Revolution is… Read more The Nanobot Attack is coming soon…
About a million years ago, our pre-human ancestors used their fledgling intelligence to conclude that all life, including their own, must eventually face death – and that the world would continue after their lives ended. So far as we know we are the only creatures on earth that have faced this sobering fact. I sometimes… Read more On our planet we own the future. We could even achieve time travel – or not…
Interest in driverless cars began over 30 years ago and was accelerated by the European Prometheus project that put up over 1 billion dollars (in today’s money) for research and development. In 1994 this effort achieved a major milestone with the successful demonstration of two identical vehicles driving more than 1000 km in normal traffic… Read more Driverless cars and the future….
Computers today are omnipresent. They have been an essential component of our work environment for decades and in the developed nations, few households lack a home computer with a high speed internet connection. Less visibly, almost all our appliances (including cameras, automobiles and elevators) incorporate computers that enhance their functionality. It is part of human… Read more The future of man – a choice between cyborg or extinction?
When Mother Nature got life started on Earth, 4.7 billion years ago, her formula was beautifully simple – she made life self-replicating according to a ‘recipe’ encoded within the cell. Her masterstroke was to make the recipe copying process almost error-proof. A very high degree of copying accuracy was needed – otherwise life would forever… Read more Is this the beginning of the end – or the end of the beginning?
We think of ourselves as civilized – but what does that mean? The Romans who entertained themselves by watching Christians being thrown to lions thought that they were civilized. So did the English colonialists who kidnapped Africans to sell as slaves. And are the practitioners of female genital mutilation (partial or total removal of the clitoris… Read more Future Man – and Civilization