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Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category

Nov 11, 2019

The Important Gut-Behavior Relationship

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks, neuroscience

Both humans and mice respond to fear in ways that are deeply etched in survival mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years. Feeling afraid is part of a response that helps us to survive; we learn to respond appropriately, based on our assessment of the danger we face. Importantly, part of this response involves extinguishing fear and modifying our behavior accordingly, once we have learned that a potential threat poses little or no imminent danger. The inability to adapt to fears or lay them aside is involved in disorders such as PTSD and anxiety.

The researchers from Weill Cornell demonstrated that changes in the microbiome can result in an impaired ability to extinguish fear. This was true of two groups of mice: one group had been treated with antibiotics; the other group was raised entirely free of germs. The ability of both groups of mice to extinguish fear was compared with that of control mice whose microbiome was not altered. The difference suggested that signals from the microbiome were necessary for optimal extinction of conditioned fear responses.

Nov 5, 2019

Magazine: Cover design by Thomas Gaulkin. Photos courtesy Marcio Ramalho and Pixabay

Posted by in category: existential risks

In this issue, top experts examine technology-related doomsdays the world might soon face if they go unaddressed, not to frighten readers, but to alert them, so they might act in time, making a loud and unmistakable demand: that the Earth be preserved, that the human experiment be extended, that midnight never toll.

Nov 5, 2019

What if We Nuke a City?

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, existential risks, military

Learn more about nuclear weapons and what you can do to stop them.
EN: http://www.notonukes.org
FR: http://www.sansarmesnucleaires.org
ES: http://www.nomasarmasnucleares.org
PT: http://www.fimdasarmasnucleares.org
DE: http://www.neinzuatomwaffen.org
AR: http://www.notonukes.org/ar
RU: http://www.notonukes.org/ru
CH: http://www.notonukes.org/zh

Spread the word and use the following Hashtags:
EN: #nuclearban FR: #nuclearban
ES: #nomasarmasnucleares
PT: #fimdasarmasnucleares

Continue reading “What if We Nuke a City?” »

Oct 25, 2019

The Ouroboros Code: Bridging Advanced Science and Transcendental Metaphysics

Posted by in categories: biological, cosmology, ethics, existential risks, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience, quantum physics, robotics/AI, science, singularity, transhumanism, virtual reality

By contemplating the full spectrum of scenarios of the coming technological singularity many can place their bets in favor of the Cybernetic Singularity which is a sure path to digital immortality and godhood as opposed to the AI Singularity when Homo sapiens is retired as a senescent parent. This meta-system transition from the networked Global Brain to the Gaian Mind is all about evolution of our own individual minds, it’s all about our own Self-Transcendence. https://www.ecstadelic.net/top-stories/the-ouroboros-code-br…etaphysics #OuroborosCode


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Oct 24, 2019

Fossil Trove Offers Clues to How Life Found a Way After Asteroid That Wiped Out Dinosaurs

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, evolution, existential risks

On the outskirts of Colorado Springs, researchers have uncovered thousands of fossils showing how life on Earth revived in the aftermath of an asteroid impact 66 million years or so ago that killed most dinosaurs and other life on land and sea.

Taken together, the fossil trove documents an era when evolution, in essence, hit the reset button. While countless species vanished forever, some plants and animals rebounded relatively quickly in the first million years after the devastation, including the mammals ancestral to humankind, the scientists said in research published Thursday in Science.

Oct 22, 2019

Study suggests alien probes are too tiny for astronomers to spot

Posted by in categories: alien life, existential risks

Space scientists may have missed alien probes because they’re just too small.

That’s the bold claim from an astrophysicist who reckons we’ve been looking for extraterrestrial life the wrong way.

The argument is an attempt to explain the Fermi Paradox, a decades-old thought experiment.

Oct 21, 2019

Asteroid horror: NASA spots space rock half size of Ben Nevis on dangerous Earth-orbit

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

NASA is keeping a watchful eye on the mid-November close approach of a behemoth space rock that is almost half the size of Ben Nevis and hurtling towards earth at 18,000 miles per hour.

Oct 18, 2019

Evolution tells us we might be the only intelligent life in the universe

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution, existential risks

Are we alone in the universe? It comes down to whether intelligence is a probable outcome of natural selection, or an improbable fluke. By definition, probable events occur frequently, improbable events occur rarely—or once. Our evolutionary history shows that many key adaptations—not just intelligence, but complex animals, complex cells, photosynthesis, and life itself—were unique, one-off events, and therefore highly improbable. Our evolution may have been like winning the lottery … only far less likely.

The universe is astonishingly vast. The Milky Way has more than 100 billion stars, and there are over a trillion galaxies in the visible universe, the tiny fraction of the universe we can see. Even if habitable worlds are rare, their sheer number—there are as many planets as stars, maybe more—suggests lots of life is out there. So where is everyone? This is the Fermi paradox. The universe is large, and old, with time and room for intelligence to evolve, but there’s no evidence of it.

Could intelligence simply be unlikely to evolve? Unfortunately, we can’t study extraterrestrial life to answer this question. But we can study some 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history, looking at where evolution repeats itself, or doesn’t.

Oct 6, 2019

“Human Compatible” is a provocative prescription to re-think AI before it’s too late

Posted by in categories: existential risks, robotics/AI

Dr. Stuart Russell, a distinguished AI researcher and computer scientist at UC Berkeley, believes there is a fundamental and potentially civilization-ending shortcoming in the “standard model” of AI, which is taught (and Dr. Russell wrote the main textbook) and applied virtually everywhere. Dr. Russell’s new book, Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control, argues that unless we re-think the building blocks of AI, the arrival of superhuman AI may become the “last event in human history.”

That may sound a bit wild-eyed, but Human Compatible is a carefully written explanation of the concepts underlying AI as well as the history of their development. If you want to understand how fast AI is developing and why the technology is so dangerous, Human Compatible is your guide, literally starting with Aristotle and closing with OpenAI Five’s Dota 2 triumph.

An interview with Dr. Stuart Russell, author of “Human Compatible, Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control”

Oct 2, 2019

Josh Mitteldorf — Cracking the Aging Code

Posted by in categories: evolution, existential risks, genetics, life extension, sustainability

New interview with author and researcher Dr. Josh Mitteldorf who runs the aging research blog Aging Matters.


Interview with author and researcher Dr. Josh Mitteldorf who runs the aging research blog ‘Aging Matters’.

Dr. Josh Mitteldorf is an evolutionary biologist and a long-time contributor to the growing field of aging science. His work in this field has focused on theories of aging. He asks the basic question: why do we age and die?

Continue reading “Josh Mitteldorf — Cracking the Aging Code” »

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