Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Clearing out the inbox: Mind-computer blend?

This was probably an interesting conference:
Is a machine-dominated society á la The Matrix or a Borg-esque collective intelligence looming in humanity’s future?

Emerging technologies in the areas of neuro-enhancement and artificial intelligence promise to drastically alter: our ability to augment human intellectual and sensory capacity; the role of machines; and how we connect, communicate, and share information.

I somehow doubt it, but that’s because people have been telling me it would happen next year since I was a kid fifty years ago. For a dose of really far out predictions, go here and listen to computer prophet Ray Kurzweil, who takes hundreds of nutritional supplements every day, “reprogramming my biochemistry.” Time was, we called that food, and it tasted okay too.

For a fun sci fi look at the whole thing, see Rob Sawyer’s novels.

Clearing out the inbox: Harvard briefly considers core course in religion

Very briefly, I suspect, or at least until everyone who even considered that was sent to academic Siberia, but, as Paul Greenberg notes,
God may not matter all that much to Harvard's well-gated community, but He seems to matter a great deal to a lot of us out here in the grubby world. Therefore, if America's oldest university is going to turn out graduates who'll be able to communicate with the rest of us, even lead us, they'll need to be religiously knowledgeable. At last religion would be usable.

Well, maybe. Religion is actually one of those subjects where people with no spiritual interests or experience are privileged to pontificate without any experience at all. The pop science media is full of stuff like Dear Pastor and Letter to a Christian Nation, and any amount of anti-God campaigning, usually by people with amazingly little understanding of what they are talking about. And if ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise. Yet the same people are constantly carrying on about the fact that they have no impact. Correlation maybe? Naaah!

(Note: Here’s Stanley Kurtz on the skinny. )

My other blog is the Post-Darwinist, detailing events of interest in the intelligent design controversy.

Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O'Leary ( is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy, and of Faith@Science. She was named CBA Canada's Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of the forthcoming The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul (Harper 2007).