Did Hobbits Exist?

Transcript: Everyone knows that Lord of the Rings is a work of fiction.  There is no evidence that JRR Tolkien’s elves, wizards, dwarves or orcs ever existed.  But recent discoveries have raised an important question: did hobbits actually exist?   In September 2003 a team of archaeologists led by Peter Brown and Mike Morwood unearthed […]

NASA Study and Civilization Collapse

I was invited to speak on The Morning News late last week to discuss a recent NASA-funded study which suggested our civilization was doomed to collapse within 15 years due to economic inequality and ecological instability.  You have probably heard about this study by now as it has received a considerable amount of press and […]

How Many Earth-like Planets Exist?

  Transcript: Our planet is pretty amazing.  It’s the only planet in our solar system capable of sustaining complex life.  There may be microbial life on planetary bodies like Mars or even Venus; and on moons like Europa and Titan. But most scientists are convinced that complex life requires a planet with Earth-like characteristics.  So, […]

Distributed Digital Democracy

  I have been working with the theory of human metasystem transition theory (HMST) and the paradigm of global brain (GB) for quite sometime now.  This theory and paradigm is directing my research and affirming my belief that we need new institutions for the 21st century.  I think the most important institution we need to […]

Extending the Mind

Do you want to travel through the depths of space and time? Do you want to journey to the edge of the universe and back again? If so, it’s a good thing you’re a human, because that is exactly what the human mind allows you to do! Our species is uniquely unique precisely because we […]

Origin of Life

  Transcript: You and I have something fundamental in common.  We are both ALIVE.  We also both surrounded by an uncountable variety and quantity of living forms.  Scoop up a clump of dirt, and you are likely carrying more bacteria than there are humans on planet Earth. Because bacteria are so abundant, ubiquitous, and invisible […]

The End of Biological Reproduction?

A recent paper I submitted to a special publication on radical life extension (RLE) has been reviewed and accepted for publication.  The volume will include articles by cyberneticist Francis Heylighen, philosopher Clement Vidal, biogenrontologist Marios Kyriazis, and evolutionary biologist Michael Rose, among others. The central thesis of my paper posits that humans are in the midst […]

“Her” is about the Singularity… but not the Singularity you think.

The film Her (2013), directed by Spike Jonze, has received an overwhelming amount of well-deserved critical and popular praise.  Where so much science-fiction fails at depicting a real and believable social universe, Her triumphs.  Each character has so much depth.  The social bonds and tensions are uncomfortably relatable.  And the technology is futuristic, yet (potentially) on […]

Promises and Perils on the Road to Superintelligence

In the 21st century, we are walking an important road. Our species is alone on this road and it has one destination: super-intelligence. The most forward-thinking visionaries of our species were able to get a vague glimpse of this destination in the early 20th century. Paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin called this destination Omega Point. […]

Computers Inspired by the Human Brain

Humans have always recognized parallels between the operations of biological brains and the operations of computer systems.  These parallels were so readily apparent because, even from the earliest days of automated computation, computers were able to do things that had previously only been achievable by humans.  One of the early inventors of automated computer systems, […]