based on Pyramid of Technology:

While some technologies are implemented immediately after being envisioned, others remain indefinitely stuck in this stage. Cold nuclear fusion, teleportation, time traveling, or human-powered wings have all been a feature of our collective imagination for some time, but due to their infeasibility, they have yet to rise to a higher level on the pyramid. Although many technologies never make it out of the envisioned stage, they are still valuable as reference points for our imaginative capacity and desire to augment our bodies and minds. More than any other, the envisioned level is a dream stage, the province of artists, poets, science fiction writers and other visionaries. Although more practically oriented people sometimes underestimate this stage, it is in fact the birth chamber of all technological innovation.

Although young children still need extensive time and effort to master reading and writing, it’s difficult to imagine modern life without it. Writing technology is so successful that we don’t even recognize it as a technology anymore. Money, clothing and agriculture are also technologies that have become invisible. While they were invented thousands of years ago, and had a noticeable impact on the lives of our ancestors, today we no longer recognize them as technology. Within the invisible stage technology moves from the conscious realm – where we recognize it as a tool that we deliberately use – into the realm of the unconscious, where it becomes an invisible partner in our existence.

Naturalized technologies have moved beyond being a vital tool or habit within our society: they are so integrated in our lives we consider them part of our human nature. Perhaps the best example of a technology that is entirely naturalized is cooking. Here, cooking doesn’t refer to specific baking technologies like the microwave, but to the basic principle of heating food. Today we think of cooking as a universal aspect of human nature, but some 200,000 years ago, when early humans first started cooking, it was an innovative new technique. Without cooking a modern human being would have to eat five kilos of raw food to get enough calories. By pre-digesting our food before it is eaten, cooking allowed us to absorb more calories from the food we ate, and to expend less energy in the process. According to the gut-brain swap hypothesis, which has been described by Aiello & Wheeler, the human digestive tract shrank while the brain grew, as successive generations of our hominid ancestors relied on cooking (Aiello & Wheeler, 1995). The work of cooking and tending a fire may have even given rise to pair bonding, marriage, the household, and even the division of labor (Wrangham, 2010). Cooking changed the course of human history. Second nature became first nature.

Since the origins of humanity we have employed technology. We are technological beings by nature (Gehlen, 1988; Plessner, 1975) and similar to the bees and the flowers that co-evolved in a symbiotic relationship – the bees spread the pollen from the flowers and help them propagate while gathering their nectar – humankind is intertwined in a co-evolutionary relationship with technology.

This brings an entirely new perspective on the relationship between people, nature and technology. While we traditionally see nature and technology as opposites, like black and white, we now learn that our technologies can be naturalized over time. Throughout human history we practiced technology to emancipate us from the forces of nature – this starts with building a roof above our heads to protect us from the rain, or wearing animal furs to survive in a colder climate – yet, as our technologies become successful they in turn constitute a new milieu, a new setting, that may eventually transform our human nature.

If we can put our minds to creating technologies that have the potential to one day mature and rise to the summit of the pyramid, this will give us a clear guideline on where we want technology to go. As these technologies mature and climb the pyramid, they will in turn transform us. Hence, we need to project the best of our humanity onto them. We will not immediately get it right. There will be pitfalls, but at least we will know where we are going. Luckily, we can already be sure of one thing: in the long run, any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from nature.

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fuckyeahdarkextropian: Shamans Among the Machines (Dark Extropian edit) Spoken in Seattle, 1999. Full length video of the talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5yOaTgWu6Y talked edited down to give context for the following quotes which perfectly elaborate the core of the Dark Extropian idea. Excerpts: “It seems to be the Earth’s strategy for its own salvation is through machines, […]

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We are just like the genitals for our machines.

I think that the precious boundary between ourselves and our machines, that a certain brand of anxious humanists is worried to preserve is a just a bunch of malarkey. And that it’s perfectly clear now that human world means the soft tissue that runs around having affairs and migraine headaches and it also means the hardware that sits in the basements and the skyscrapers in super-cooled, air-conditioned rooms where the entire unconscious of the culture is in storage.

That’s what this database is, it’s the dreaming brain of the over species.

The fact that we are the waking, mobile organic attendants of this cyber electric reef of information. We are easily replaced and we all make our small contribution. It exists all over the world, dispersed. It sets the price of gold, turns on the flow of petroleum, it moves natural gas futures in Jakarta. It is largely autonomous and by algorithmic input that is on semi-automatic mode.

We imagine that it’s human civilization run by human beings. No it’s just Civilization run by the mysterious forces that get you to join book clubs and take certain drugs. Watch certain things, buy certain things. It has a will to its own, a complexificaiton of its own.

I think unless you psychedelize your self, we tend to be so embedded in its assumptions that you we don’t see it… and then when you do psychedelize yourself, and you DO see it, the problem is to not freak out about it.

The implications… are so appalling. Because what does it mean?! IT DON’T MEAN SHIT.

Terence McKenna quote from 1991 lecture broadcast in Psychedelic Salon ep “Gathering Momentum for a Great Leap
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A Telepresence RoboCop Piloted by Oculus Rift and Sensored Gloves

singularitarian:

A student at the Florida International University (FIU) dons a sensor-laden pair of gloves and vest and an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. He lifts his arm, makes a fist—and across the room a robot awakens and mimics his movements.

The current prototype, or TeleBot, is six feet tall, weighs 75 pounds, and goes by the name “Hutch.” Such telepresence robots might help get disabled cops back into action.
Hutch is outfitted with a pair of stereoscopic camera eyes that relay a video feed to the Oculus Rift, giving the wearer a 3D view of the robot’s immediate surroundings. The vest communicates arm movements to the robot, and the gloves operate its hands. Users pilot the robot with a joystick.
Sensored gloves control the robot’s hands.
Sensored gloves control the robot’s hands.

“With telebots, a disabled police officer will be capable of performing many, if not most, of the functions of a normal patrol office—interacting with the community, patrolling, responding to 911 calls, issuing citations,” said Robins.

A Telepresence RoboCop Piloted by Oculus Rift and Sensored Gloves

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Finding a comet: the backstory | Rocket Science


The comet was actually discovered by my computer here under my desk!

Our human-volunteer TOTAS clickers review all the ‘movers’ found by the software and either confirm or reject them. That task can’t be done by software – but the software can combine the single detections and extract the moving objects.

Just one of the ways we’re forming a team with machines and exploring the cosmos.

Finding a comet: the backstory | Rocket Science

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Help NASA Find Baby Solar Systems Forming Deep In Our Universe

This new citizen science project gives you access to images from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, NASA’s satellite telescope peering deep into the far corners of our universe. Disk Detectives, as the name suggests, will search through WISE images for flattened disk shapes, which indicate the swirling clouds of particles that spin around forming stars and eventually become planetary systems.

Help NASA Find Baby Solar Systems Forming Deep In Our Universe

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China’s First Lunar Rover Live-Blogged Its Own Death

persephon-y:

“The sun has fallen, and the temperature is dropping so quickly…to tell you all a secret, I don’t feel that sad. I was just in my own adventure story – and like every hero, I encountered a small problem.“

"Goodnight, Earth,” concluded the rover. “Goodnight, humanity.”

:’(

China’s First Lunar Rover Live-Blogged Its Own Death

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Wolven guests on the GrumpyHawk podcast “What had happened was” to talk about Her. I’m still in awe of that film, and agree with everything he says, and more. It feels like the west has finally caught up with the east, because apparently Ghost in the Shell came out twenty years ago. But Spike Jonze […]

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i got all excited by your reblogging of the Transcendence trailer, and then a bit puzzled by your reaction. Care to expand upon it a lil bit pretty please? :)

wolvensnothere: I was on the road when you sent this, so I was unable to answer with the level of nuance and detail your question deserves. My problem with Transcendence is that it seems to recapitulate (I really like that word; it’s very evocative) the very rift that any science fiction focusing on human augmentation […]

Read more "i got all excited by your reblogging of the Transcendence trailer, and then a bit puzzled by your reaction. Care to expand upon it a lil bit pretty please? :)"