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Notes on video lecture:
What Do We Want to Want?
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
human, biological, exist, equality, deluding, direction, enhancing, insurance, prolong, fair, predict, inorganic, hundred, 15, unpredictable, Internet, materializes, useless, fast, consciousness, CV, brain, stop, short, stronger, 30, stem, diseases, beings, ethical, money, health, forbidden, privacy, DNA, become, Mars
today only a fraction of the potentiality of                      engineering, cyborg engineering and the engineering of non-organic life has been realized
yet we are already dealing with the social, political and                issues of these changes
lawyers and judges need to rethink issues of                and identity
governments need to rethink issues of healthcare and                 
educational institutions need to rethink what          play and achievement means
pension funds and welfare programs need to readjust to a world where 60 is the new     
privacy
mapping the human genome took      years and 3 billion dollars
today you can map your DNA within a few days and at the cost of a few                dollars
this opens the way a revolution in medical care, to personalized medicine that matches treatment to your own       
your family doctor can tell you with greater certainty than ever before that
you may face high risks of liver cancer but don't need to worry much about heart attacks
a common medicine that helps other people is                to you and that you can take another medication that is dangerous to most people but will be very helpful to you
if                    companies are allowed to see your DNA scan, those with high risks based on DNA information would have to pay higher rates
employers may be more interested in your DNA scan than your     
you may not be hired because you have a gene that correlates with problematic behavior
many governments assert today that all citizens should be given fair medical treatment
all citizens have the right to remain in relatively good             
this is all well and good as long as medicine was concerned with preventing illness and healing the sick
what will happen when medicine becomes more and more preoccupied with                    human abilities, giving humans new abilities instead of just healing sickness and illnesses?
throughout history the upper classes always claimed that they are smarter, better, and                  than the lower classes
but they were usually just                  themselves
but today, with the help of new scientific medical advances
those with            may actually be able to become smarter and stronger than those with less money
humans will increasingly become                    in an increasingly large percentage of their bodies
singularity
a point in which even the near future becomes to difficult to               
term taken from singularity
e.g. the Big Bang
all known natural laws including space and time did not           
anything that happened before the Big Bang is also meaningless to us
the notion of time had no meaning during the Big Bang so you can't speak meaningfully about the time before the Big Bang
a point of singularity in the past
we like to believe that in the future people like us will travel from planet to planet in          space ships
we don't like to contemplate that              with emotions and identities like ours will no longer exist and our place in the universe will be taken by our biologically modified descendents, who look at us the same way we look at Neanderthals
but history teaches again and again that what seems to be inevitable just around the corner often never                         
when the nuclear age began in the 1940s
when the space age began with Sputnik and Apollo
people began to forecast that people would live on          or have unlimited nuclear energy
nobody in the time at Hiroshima and Sputnik managed to forecast the                 
therefore one should not take predictions as reliable information
what is important is not the exact predictions but the idea that the future will not only include organizational and technical transformations
but much evidence point toward the possibility of fundamental revolutions in human consciousness and human identity
will call into question what            means
when a singularity-type conditions begins to occur when technology becomes                           
less radical forcasts speak in terms of centuries into the future
but from the perspective of the 70,000 years of human history since the last cognitive revolution, a few centuries is a very            time
what is becoming clear is that homo sapiens should start thinking about these matters
the most important question today for human beings in terms of the far-reaching future is, "what do you want to             ?"
in what way do we want to enhance humankind?
it is unlikely that our biologically modified and evolved descendants who think on another level of                            will have much interest in the religions or ideologies or countries that we find so important today
they may not even have genders like we do
the field of bioethics usually ask not "what do we want to become" but "what is forbidden to do"
is it ethical to genetic experiments on living human beings
is it ethical to genetic experiments on aborted fetuses
is it ethical to genetic experiments on          cells
is it ethical to clone sheep
is it ethical to clone chimpanzees
is it ethical to clone humans
all of these questions are important
but it is naive to believe that we will be able to          scientific projects in the coming centuries which will have as their goal to upgrade the abilities of homo sapiens into a different kind of being
these projects will be inextricably meshed together with the human quest to overcome disease and                human life which even today almost enjoy complete global acceptance
ask scientists who are studying the human genome or are trying to connect a            to a computer why they are doing this
the standard answer is that they are doing this in order to cure                  and prolong human life
yet the implications of breaking the code of the human DNA or creating a mind inside a computer are far more dramatic than curing this or that disease
this argumentation serves to justify almost everything science does
whenever there is ethical doubt, we just remember that we are working to cure disease and prolong human life, and we say, ok, go on
the only thing we can try to do is somehow influence the                    this progress is taking
therefore we need to stop only asking what is ethically                    to do, and start asking a far more important and difficult question: what do we want to become?
and since we may soon be able to engineer even our desires, the real question facing human kind today is "what do we want to want?"

Spelling Corrections:

forcastsforecasts

Ideas and Concepts:

21st century vocabulary via this morning's History of Humankind class: "genetic discrimination, n. unfair treatment which occurs when people are treated differently, for example by their employer or insurance company, because they have or are perceived to have a gene mutation that causes or increases the risk of an inherited disorder"
From the human pride department via tonight's History of Humanity class: "We like to believe that in 1000 years people like us will travel from planet to planet in fast space ships. We don't like to contemplate that beings with emotions and identities like ours will no longer exist and our place in the universe will be taken by our biologically modified descendents, who look at us the same way we look at Neanderthals."
On asking the right questions about the future, via this afternoon's History of Humankind class: "It is naive to believe that we will be able to stop scientific projects in the coming centuries which have as their goal to upgrade the abilities of homo sapiens into a different kind of being, as these projects are inextricably meshed together with the human quest to overcome disease and prolong human life, which even today enjoy almost complete global acceptance. Ask any scientist or science-funding organization today involved in the studying of the human genome or trying to connect a brain to a computer why they are doing this, and the answer will usually be that they are doing this for some medical purpose, e.g. in order to cure diseases or prolong human life. Yet the implications of breaking the code of the human DNA or creating a mind inside a computer are far more dramatic than curing this or that disease, and this argumentation can serve to justify almost any scientific project. Realistically, the most effective thing we can try to do is somehow influence the direction this progress is taking. Therefore we need to stop only asking what is ethically forbidden to do, and start asking a far more important and difficult question, i.e. What do we want to become? And since we may soon be able to engineer even our desires, the real question facing humankind today is:What do we want to want?"
From the intellectual integrity department via this afternoon's History of Humankind course: "We have come to the end of this course, but before we say good-bye, I would like to stress once more that what we learned during this course is not the truth. It is just one possible story about the history of humankind. If you asked 10 different historians to give this course, you would most probably get 10 very different stories. So you shouldn't accept everything you've heard in this course as the truth. It is better to take it as an informed invitation to explore history by yourself. My aim in teaching this course was not so much to convince you that this or that particular theory is true, but rather to raise important questions in your mind about the past, present, and future of humankind. So I hope you leave this course with more questions than when you came, and with a desire to study and learn more about the history of human beings. In addition, I hope you leave this course feeling a bit more uneasy than when you started, uneasy about the many questions for which we humans have no clear answer, uneasy about the many problematic events that have happened in our past, and uneasy about the direction history may be taking us in the future."
The Context of History and Our Extended Human Family
How Walking Upright Led to Better Social and Cooperative Skills
The Importance of Fire and Cooking
Why Did Other Human Species Become Extinct?
The Cognitive Revolution and the Beginning of Human History
The Language of Homo Sapiens
How Fictive Language Enabled Larger Social Groups
The Power of Imagined Realities
How the Ability to Tell Stories Enabled Humans to Cooperate in Massive Groups
The Cognitive Revolution and the Variety of Human Communities
Spiritual Beliefs of Early Humans
Politics and Warfare of Pre-Agricultural Societies
45,000 Years Ago: Human's Decimation of Australia's Large Mammals
14,000 BC: Human Migration to the Americas
Agriculture: The Good and the Bad
10,000 BC: Agricultural Revolution
The Origins of Agriculture
The Code of Hammurabi and Other Imagined Realities
Inter-Subjective Reality and Romantic Consumerism
The Human Brain's Outsourcing of Mathematics
Unjust and Imagined Hierarchies
Imagined Hierarchies in History
Culturally Defined Gender
Three Theories of Gender Domination
The Direction of Humankind: Global Unity
The Essence of Money
The History of Money
The Historical Definition of Empire
The Relationship between Science, European Imperialism and Capitalism
Science, Capitalism and European Imperialism
Columbus: Last Man of the Middle Ages, Vespucci: First Man of the Modern Age
European Empires, Science, and Capitalism
How Capitalism is Based on Trust in the Future
On the Interdependence of Science and Capitalism
How Capitalism Enabled Small European Countries to Explore and Conquer the World
The Relationship Between Capitalism, the Slave Trade, and Free Market Forces
Industrialization, Energy and Raw Materials
The Second Agricultural Revolution and its Effect on Animal Treatment
The Ethics of Capitalism and Consumerism
On Limitless Energy Resources and the Hegemony of Modern Time Schedules
State/Market vs. Family/Community
Humankind's Rigid and Violent Past, and Flexible and Peaceful Present
Reasons for Our Current Unprecedented Era of International Peace
Three Theories on the History of Happiness
Psychological and Biological Happiness
Measuring Human Happiness
The Future of Cyborgs and Robots
What Do We Want to Want?