Topic: Transhumanism

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πŸ”— List of stories set in a future now past

πŸ”— Lists πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Sociology πŸ”— Futures studies πŸ”— Science πŸ”— Popular Culture

This is a list of fictional stories that, when written, were set in the future, but the future they predicted is now present or past. The list excludes works that were alternate histories, which were composed after the dates they depict, alternative futures, as depicted in time travel fiction, as well as any works that make no predictions of the future, such as those focusing solely on the future lives of specific fictional characters, or works which, despite their claimed dates, are contemporary in all but name. Entries referencing the current year may be added if their month and day were not specified or have already occurred.

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πŸ”— Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Soviet Union πŸ”— Russia πŸ”— Russia/technology and engineering in Russia πŸ”— Spaceflight πŸ”— Biography/science and academia πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Russia/science and education in Russia πŸ”— Biography/arts and entertainment πŸ”— Rocketry

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (Russian: ΠšΠΎΠ½ΡΡ‚Π°Π½Ρ‚ΠΈΜΠ½ Эдуа́рдович Циолко́вский; 17 SeptemberΒ [O.S. 5 September]Β 1857 – 19 September 1935) was a Russian and Soviet rocket scientist who pioneered astronautics. Along with the Frenchman Robert Esnault-Pelterie, the Germans Hermann Oberth and Fritz von Opel, and the American Robert H. Goddard, he is one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry and astronautics. His works later inspired leading Soviet rocket-engineers Sergei Korolev and Valentin Glushko, who contributed to the success of the Soviet space program.

Tsiolkovsky spent most of his life in a log house on the outskirts of Kaluga, about 200Β km (120Β mi) southwest of Moscow. A recluse by nature, his unusual habits made him seem bizarre to his fellow townsfolk.

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πŸ”— Kardashev Scale

πŸ”— Technology πŸ”— Environment πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— Astronomy πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Futures studies πŸ”— Energy

The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy they are able to use. The measure was proposed by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. The scale has three designated categories:

  • A TypeΒ I civilization, also called a planetary civilizationβ€”can use and store all of the energy available on its planet.
  • A TypeΒ II civilization, also called a stellar civilizationβ€”can use and control energy at the scale of its stellar system.
  • A TypeΒ III civilization, also called a galactic civilizationβ€”can control energy at the scale of its entire host galaxy.

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πŸ”— Gray Goo

πŸ”— Technology πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— Transhumanism

Gray goo (also spelled grey goo) is a hypothetical global catastrophic scenario involving molecular nanotechnology in which out-of-control self-replicating machines consume all biomass on Earth while building more of themselves, a scenario that has been called ecophagy ("eating the environment", more literally "eating the habitation"). The original idea assumed machines were designed to have this capability, while popularizations have assumed that machines might somehow gain this capability by accident.

Self-replicating machines of the macroscopic variety were originally described by mathematician John von Neumann, and are sometimes referred to as von Neumann machines or clanking replicators. The term gray goo was coined by nanotechnology pioneer K. Eric Drexler in his 1986 book Engines of Creation. In 2004 he stated, "I wish I had never used the term 'gray goo'." Engines of Creation mentions "gray goo" in two paragraphs and a note, while the popularized idea of gray goo was first publicized in a mass-circulation magazine, Omni, in November 1986.

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πŸ”— Google Effect

πŸ”— Internet πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Google

The Google effect, also called digital amnesia, is the tendency to forget information that can be found readily online by using Internet search engines. According to the first study about the Google effect people are less likely to remember certain details they believe will be accessible online. However, the study also claims that people's ability to learn information offline remains the same. This effect may also be seen as a change to what information and what level of detail is considered to be important to remember.

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πŸ”— Ray Kurzweil 2019 Predictions

πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Alternative Views πŸ”— Futures studies

American author, inventor and futurist Raymond Kurzweil has become well known for his predictions about artificial intelligence and the human species, mainly concerning the technological singularity. He predicts that Artificial Intelligence would outsmart the human brain in computational capabilities by mid-21st century. His first book, The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990, put forth his theories on the results of the increasing use of technology and predicted the explosive growth in the internet, among other predictions. Later works, 1999's The Age of Spiritual Machines and 2005's The Singularity is Near outlined other theories including the rise of clouds of nano-robots (nanobots) called foglets and the development of Human Body 2.0 and 3.0, whereby nanotechnology is incorporated into many internal organs.

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πŸ”— AI Winter

πŸ”— United States/U.S. Government πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Technology πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Systems πŸ”— Cognitive science πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Computing/Computer science πŸ”— Robotics πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Systems/Cybernetics

In the history of artificial intelligence, an AI winter is a period of reduced funding and interest in artificial intelligence research. The term was coined by analogy to the idea of a nuclear winter. The field has experienced several hype cycles, followed by disappointment and criticism, followed by funding cuts, followed by renewed interest years or decades later.

The term first appeared in 1984 as the topic of a public debate at the annual meeting of AAAI (then called the "American Association of Artificial Intelligence"). It is a chain reaction that begins with pessimism in the AI community, followed by pessimism in the press, followed by a severe cutback in funding, followed by the end of serious research. At the meeting, Roger Schank and Marvin Minskyβ€”two leading AI researchers who had survived the "winter" of the 1970sβ€”warned the business community that enthusiasm for AI had spiraled out of control in the 1980s and that disappointment would certainly follow. Three years later, the billion-dollar AI industry began to collapse.

Hype is common in many emerging technologies, such as the railway mania or the dot-com bubble. The AI winter was a result of such hype, due to over-inflated promises by developers, unnaturally high expectations from end-users, and extensive promotion in the media . Despite the rise and fall of AI's reputation, it has continued to develop new and successful technologies. AI researcher Rodney Brooks would complain in 2002 that "there's this stupid myth out there that AI has failed, but AI is around you every second of the day." In 2005, Ray Kurzweil agreed: "Many observers still think that the AI winter was the end of the story and that nothing since has come of the AI field. Yet today many thousands of AI applications are deeply embedded in the infrastructure of every industry."

Enthusiasm and optimism about AI has increased since its low point in the early 1990s. Beginning about 2012, interest in artificial intelligence (and especially the sub-field of machine learning) from the research and corporate communities led to a dramatic increase in funding and investment.

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πŸ”— 2001: A Space Odyssey

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Library of Congress πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— United States/Film - American cinema πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Guild of Copy Editors πŸ”— Film/Core πŸ”— Film/British cinema πŸ”— Hertfordshire

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, and was inspired by Clarke's 1951 short story "The Sentinel" and other short stories by Clarke. Clarke also published a novelisation of the film, in part written concurrently with the screenplay, after the film's release. The film stars Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, and Douglas Rain, and follows a voyage by astronauts, scientists and the sentient supercomputer HAL to Jupiter to investigate an alien monolith.

The film is noted for its scientifically accurate depiction of space flight, pioneering special effects, and ambiguous imagery. Kubrick avoided conventional cinematic and narrative techniques; dialogue is used sparingly, and there are long sequences accompanied only by music. The soundtrack incorporates numerous works of classical music, by composers including Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss II, Aram Khachaturian, and GyΓΆrgy Ligeti.

The film received diverse critical responses, ranging from those who saw it as darkly apocalyptic to those who saw it as an optimistic reappraisal of the hopes of humanity. Critics noted its exploration of themes such as human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning Kubrick the award for his direction of the visual effects. The film is now widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. In 1991, it was selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 2022, 2001: A Space Odyssey placed in the top ten of Sight & Sound's decennial critics' poll, and topped their directors' poll.

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πŸ”— Uncanny Valley

πŸ”— Robotics πŸ”— Transhumanism

In aesthetics, the uncanny valley is a hypothesized relationship between the degree of an object's resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to such an object. The concept of the uncanny valley suggests that humanoid objects which imperfectly resemble actual human beings provoke uncanny or strangely familiar feelings of eeriness and revulsion in observers. "Valley" denotes a dip in the human observer's affinity for the replica, a relation that otherwise increases with the replica's human likeness.

Examples can be found in robotics, 3D computer animations, and lifelike dolls among others. With the increasing prevalence of virtual reality, augmented reality, and photorealistic computer animation, the "valley" has been cited in the popular press in reaction to the verisimilitude of the creation as it approaches indistinguishability from reality. The uncanny valley hypothesis predicts that an entity appearing almost human will risk eliciting cold, eerie feelings in viewers.

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πŸ”— Modafinil

πŸ”— Medicine πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Neuroscience πŸ”— Pharmacology πŸ”— Psychoactive and Recreational Drugs

Modafinil, sold under the brand name Provigil among others, is a medication to treat sleepiness due to narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, or obstructive sleep apnea. While it has seen off-label use as a purported cognitive enhancer, the research on its effectiveness for this use is not conclusive. It is taken by mouth.

Common side effects include headache, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and nausea. Serious side effects may include allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, Stevens–Johnson syndrome, misuse, and hallucinations. It is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe. The amount of medication used may need to be adjusted in those with kidney or liver problems. It is not recommended in those with an arrhythmia, significant hypertension, or left ventricular hypertrophy. How it works is not entirely clear. One possibility is that it may affect the areas of the brain involved with the sleep cycle.

Modafinil was approved for medical use in the United States in 1998. In the United States it is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance. In the United Kingdom it is a prescription only medication. It is available as a generic medication. In the United Kingdom it costs the NHS about Β£105.21 a month as of 2018. In the United States the wholesale cost per month is about US$34.20 as of 2018. In 2016, it was the 284th most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than a million prescriptions.

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