Archive

Steven Pinker on Genetically Re-engineering Human Nature

There are many changes to our insti­tu­tions and our norms and our ideas that can reduce or elim­i­nate the risks of nuclear war with­out what I con­sid­er a rather quixot­ic attempt to change the course of human evo­lu­tion.

Forbidden Research: Messing with Nature Part I: Genetics

When it comes to a field as fast-moving and as high of stakes as genet­ic engi­neer­ing, how do we pro­ceed wise­ly? How do we bal­ance our own wild­ness and civil­i­ty as we devel­op increas­ing­ly pow­er­ful ways to inter­act with the liv­ing world?

Planetary Initiation

I think that Western mod­ern civ­i­liza­tion end­ed up kind of caught in a trap locked in its egoic struc­ture, and based our whole trip on kind of hyper­indi­vid­u­al­ism, accu­mu­la­tion of resources, and so on. And we’ve now reached a point where we can’t go fur­ther than that.

The Conversation #2 — Max More

My main goal is not to die in the first place. I hope to keep liv­ing, hope­ful­ly long enough that sci­ence will have solved the aging prob­lem and I won’t have to die. But since I don’t know how long that’s going to take, cry­on­ics is the real back­up pol­i­cy for me.

Applying Neuroscientific Findings to Enduring Social Problems

When low­er pri­mates form a hier­ar­chy, those at the bot­tom under­go a change in their dopamine sys­tem. This makes them more like­ly to con­sume drugs in an addic­tive fash­ion. Now, if this turns out to be true of our species, that would mean that human beings are par­tic­u­lar­ly vul­ner­a­ble if they’re in some way dom­i­nat­ed or don’t have any pow­er.

The Computer as Extended Phenotype

The com­put­er is being used for so many things that I claim that we have to con­sid­er the com­put­er as part of our extend­ed phe­no­type. It’s just a part of a thing that has evolved with us using memes.

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