In the opening session of Techonomy 2012 today, Techonomy founder David Kirkpatrick interviewed Ray Kurzweil, the futurist and transhumanist who has developed a cult following for his prediction of the merging of humans and computers.
Reading a person's thoughts, implanting machinery into man, and augmenting our neural processing powers with cognitive enhancers are all matters of neuroethics. They bring us face to face with questions about who has access to powerful new technologies and for what purposes.
As I stepped off the NYC subway on my way to interview Ray Kurzweil, a woman bumped into me and my iPhone fell, bounced, and then dropped down into the tracks. People looked on in horror as if a puppy had just died.
In Darwin's Pharmacy, the transhumanist philosopher Richard Doyle focuses on his favorite technology: the psychedelic, "ecodelic" plants and chemicals -- read: drugs -- that can help make us process more information.
Why aren't religious organizations imbued with the same spirit of wide open discovery we find in a place like Singularity University? Is it because religions hold that nothing beyond what is written in the sacred texts is worth discovering?
There is no basis at present for believing that medical interventions based on postulated but not-yet-realized nanobots will perform their duties without the side-effects associated with every other therapeutic agent ever employed.