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A new publisher for H+ Magazine

       The design, launch, and initial management of a new magazine, as with any startup, is the most exciting, but also the most risky period in the life of the project. When H+ Magazine was born, its publisher, Betterhumans,Inc., did a great job creating great design and content — and brought together a community around it.

After an initial period, the magazine has been donated to Humanity+.  We are very grateful for this. With the efforts of R.U. Sirius, who stays on as Editor, we hope to be able to continue attracting curious readers who want to learn about technology, society, the evolution of the human condition, and all the exciting topics that we will cover in the future.

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BP as Inverse-Icarus: The Hole to Hell is Drilled with Good Intentions (A Transhumanist View on July 13 of the Oil Spill)

A Transhumanist view on July 13 of the Oil Spill

As I write this, British Petroleum is claiming that they’ve got the spilling oil well in the Gulf of Mexico capped, and seems to be implying that the worst is over. Though the ramifications of the BP oil spill will take years to understand, unfold, and transform aspects of business, regulation, and society’s approach to energy, now is as good a time as any for an H+ overview of the BP oil spill. Here are a dozen points:

1:  The entire process seemed very clumsy and “future-stupid” to many people. I shouldn’t put quotes on future-stupid, since I coined the term just for this article, but there just didn’t seem to be a better way to put my finger on why the entire debacle was so upsetting. Future-stupid is in contrast to future-savvy. If I had to say what caused the problem, it would be “too much future-stupid and not enough future-savvy.” In other words, it seemed as though BP were drilling its first well, and hadn’t really thought through very much at all, and was like a (huge) deer caught in headlights.

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Holy Roller

“I will poor out my spirit on all flesh… He said I’m gonna raise you… God never asked you to do anything he doesn’t give you the power to do it with… if you don’t put on the Truth, you cannot stand…” 

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The MONDO 2000 History Project

MONDO 2000 was the first popular cyberculture magazine, starting before the web (or the World Wide Web as it was called for the first few years) came into play. It started in 1989 (and, really, in 1984 as High Frontiers) when the internet was a place full of ascii-based bulletin boards. MONDO evolved out of another magazine called Reality Hackers that, in turn, evolved out of a magazine called High Frontiers. In the words of journalist Jack Boulware, the magazine kept “changing names to avoid detection.” I was the initial founder and editor-in-chief of these various periodicals.

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Venter’s Hype? Skeptical Views

Last week, I hustled up a post about Craig Venter’s announcement that he and his team had created synthetic genes and implanted them into living bacteria.  The chatter on this was already mixed. Exciting new breakthrough or mostly hype?  

So I emailed Dr. Alan Goldstein, who is offering something called an A-Prize through the Lifeboat Foundation.   The prize is for "the person or organization responsible for creating an Animat/Artificial lifeform with an emphasis on the safety of the researchers, public, and environment OR the person or organization who shows that an Animat/Artificial life form has been created."  Goildstein refers to this as "breaking the carbon barrier."  Every once in awhile, a news item prompts me to email Goldstein and jokingly try to collect the prize, by being the first person to inform him about an Artificial Life form.

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Porting Digital Memory

As human neural networks and electronic digital networks converge there is some debate over how to best move data from neural to digital formats.

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Synthetic Genes Come To Life

Yesterday’s announcement that a team of 23 scientist led by Craig Venter has created synthetic genes and implanted them into living bacteria has already been reported in my morning newspaper (if it weren’t Venter, it would probably have taken a few days). Here’s the Venter Institute press release about it.

Here’s an h+ article from August 21, 2009 about a "master class" insynthetic life taught by Venter and George Church. It includes a video of Venter’s TED talk on the topic.

Here’s a Wired article about George Church’s quest:How the Personal Genome Project Could Unlock the Mysteries of Life.

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DJ Dolphin Z: How Dolphins Can Improve on Cochlear Implants

DJ Dolphin-Z with the perfect beat. If dolphins could actually do human-style DJ’ing with turntables, mixers, samplers, and drum machines, they might paint something that looks like 3D sound “pictures” of their moods, feelings, and surroundings.