Category: Opinion

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Our Amazing Future

While teaching courses in the computer science department at the University of Texas at Austin, I came to believe that 21st century technology—especially nanotechnology, genetics, artificial intelligence and robotics—will transform reality.

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What is the Greatest Threat to Humanity?

Over breakfast this morning I got into a debate with a friend about threats to humanity in the near future. I argued that anthropomorphic influence on the environment and climate represented the greatest threat in the 21st century. He, on the other hand, picked up his smartphone and said “these are the greatest threat.”

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Facebook

A firestorm erupted across the world wide web when Facebook announced that it had made over half of a million of its’ users subjects in a large-scale, short-term psychological study on the impact that social networking has on people’s emotional states, using linguistic analysis to assess which posts had a positive or negative emotional connotation, and editing the subjects’ feeds to skew one way or the other to see if that emotional slant would be mirrored in that user’s own posts

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Jaron Lanier on Transhumanism

I first encountered Jaron Lanier’s work when I taught his essay “One-Half of A Manifesto” to computer science students at the University of Texas at Austin. In it he argues, against most of his fellow computer scientists, that humans are not digital or biological computers and they are unlikely to be replaced by computers anytime soon. Lanier rejects what he calls “cybernetic totalism.”

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Review: Alpha Brain Nootropic Blend

Alpha Brain is one of the most famous nootropic blends that sparked debate and controversy in many communities. Produced by Onnit Labs since 2010, Alpha Brain has been featured in a variety of media outlets including the Joe Rogan Experience. Many nootropics users question the validity, price, and efficacy of Alpha Brain for cognitive enhancement, but few provide a full analysis of their complaints, biases, and / or compliments.