Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryEnvironment

fiery-apocalyptic-planet-earth-engulfed-in-scorching-flames-and-devastating-destruction-stockpack-adobe-stock
Fiery Apocalyptic Planet Earth Engulfed in Scorching Flames and Devastating Destruction

When Darwinism becomes a fashionable doomsday cult…

Like all cults, it can make otherwise intelligent people begin to sound rather strange, even precarious
One thing the dialogue makes quite clear is that Darwinism can underlie a classic fashionable cult that does not reflect well on its adherents' intelligence. Read More ›
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A wildlife conservationist caring for a rescued, endangered species, showing their dedication to preserving nature.

If Humans Were Just Animals, We Would Not Help Animals

Whether we like it or not, the gulf fixed between humans and other animals is what makes it possible for us to reject cruelty to animals
The “human evolution” narrative that ignores the critical distinction handicaps the thinking of philosopher Hugh Desmond and many others. Read More ›
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Earth Mother International day illustration 3d concept of gaia made with Generative AI

Harvard Law to Teach Rights of Nature

People think that such a whacky idea will never gain traction. But the nature-rights movement is making great headway
If the law grants geological features, viruses, and pond scum “rights,” our economies and human exceptionalism will be the victims. Read More ›
earth on precipice
北アメリカを中心としたクリスタルの地球儀の背景に清流が流れている

Gaia Reborn? New Climate Book Sees Earth as Living Entity

The Gaia hypothesis, pioneered by Lynn Margulis and James Lovelock was once ridiculed but Ferris Jabr thinks we should take it seriously to fight climate change
This idea, which can be placed along the panpsychism spectrum, risks making climate issues a religion and will cast specifically human rights into doubt. Read More ›
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Aerial photo of mix color of stream in to river

Utah Goes Up Against “Nature Rights”

Utah is the fourth state — the others are Ohio, Florida, and Idaho — restricting rights to the human realm where they belong.
Indeed, it is our obligation as humans to benefit from the earth’s bounties in responsible ways. But nature rights would stifle our ability to thrive and shrivel the principle of human rights. Read More ›
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Nuclear power plant.

Is Our World, Post-1950, Really a Geological Epoch?

Some earth scientists lobby for calling the past 75 years the Anthropocene epoch, giving it equal importance with the 16-million-year Upper Jurassic
Whether it’s good science terminology, the Anthropocene concept broadcasts so much cultural vibe that it may not just go away after a No vote. Read More ›
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Beautiful autumn tree with mushrooms and moss in forest

The Anti-Human “Rights of Nature” Movement

Environmentalism is growing increasingly antii-human. Just look at what Milwaukee County did.

Environmentalism is growing increasingly anti-human. The “nature rights” movement epitomizes the misanthropy. If the suppose rights of Nature (with a capital N) were ever enforced legally–human thriving would be throttled by elevating the entire natural world to quasi-personhood status deserving — at minimum — equal consideration with humans. Moreover, nature rights laws generally allow anyone to sue to enforce nature’s supposed rights, which would mean that human enterprise would be subject to lawfare by the most extreme environmentalists. Milwaukee County has jumped on the bandwagon. From a formal “Resolution Supporting the Nature Rights Movement:” WHEREAS, major bodies of water within Milwaukee County, including the Menominee River, Milwaukee River, and Fox River as well as Lake Michigan, provide essential biodiversity and wildlife habitats; andWHEREAS, these Read More ›

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Top view on blue ocean waves. Nature background.

The United Nations is Considering Granting “Ocean Rights”

Why is granting “rights” to oceans becoming a thing?
Common-sense environmentalism is no longer in style. The Ocean and Nature rights movements are symptoms of a viral anti-humanism. Read More ›
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Psychology.

Theoretical Physicist Admits That Humans Are Unique

In his forthcoming book, Marcelo Gleiser challenges us to acknowledge our responsibility to save the planet
Gleiser is safer than some near the Third Rail in science —admitting an immaterial reality— because he approaches it under cover of saving the planet. Read More ›
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Aerial view of farming tractor plowing and spraying on field

Are Synthetic Pesticides Actually Good for Crops?

Josh Gilder thinks that government policies relating to pesticides are leading to declining crop yields

Starting with the premise that any substance can be poisonous depending on the dose, Josh Gilder, founding partner of Reach Global Strategies argues that government policies related to synthetic pesticides, GMOs, and organic farming is reducing years of massive gains in agricultural production and is leading to declining crop yields and malnutrition. (REGISTER NOW FOR COSM 2023) COSM is an exclusive national summit on the technologies remaking the world as we know it. The mission of the conference is to stimulate debate and deliberation amongst industry leaders, illuminating the synergy between Seattle and the world and providing a scene of civilized conversation and exchange. (REGISTER NOW FOR COSM 2023) We’ve been sharing a number of lectures from past COSM conferences. This Read More ›

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diversity and inclusion hands of peace.  women uniting for social justice

Humanity is Not a Terminal Illness

Anti-humanism has been part of the environmentalist movement for decades
Anti-humanism has become a hallmark of environmentalism. It is also becoming official government policy. Read More ›
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Yosemite Firefall

John Muir and the Pleasures of Nature

The inventor-turned-naturalist can teach us the benefits of loving the natural world

April 21 is John Muir’s birthday. Muir is typically remembered as one of America’s foremost naturalists, father of our national parks and a tireless defender of the wilderness. But he might very well have been none of those things. As a young man, Muir was gifted at building machines, and he was set to pursue a career in technology until everything went dark. Literally. Revisiting this little-known chapter of Muir’s life can inspire us to better navigate our own relationship to technology and give us a fresh reason to celebrate his work. In 1849, Muir left his homeland of Scotland and moved with his family to the backwoods of Wisconsin. Farm work, chores, and family Bible studies kept him busy Read More ›

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instagram filter Himalaya mountains nepal

Boy Scouts and Tech Addiction

You can't mimic the reality compared to what you see on the screen

The Boy Scouts of America once enjoyed a booming membership. But over the last decade especially, due to some policy changes, abuse scandals, and a giant lawsuit, the once great organization has seen a colossal decline. In last week’s podcast, Robert J. Marks sat down with former Boy Scout leader and his cousin Kent Marks. Together they talked about the tragic decline in the Boy Scouts program, which coincides with the enduring need to help boys navigate the many distractions and difficulties of growing up in a digitally mediated world. Today, Kent continues to lead boys on wilderness expeditions and believes that getting guys away from the screens and into the beauty of the outdoors is a key to their Read More ›

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Wheat field. Ears of golden wheat closeup. Harvest concept

Pesticides Bad, organics good! But how do we know it’s true?

Thinking that pesticides are bad and organic is good is thinking is ingrained into our common wisdom. Few question it

Josh Gilder, who worked with the State Department and was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan (1911–2004 ), opened by quoting the 16th century Swiss alchemist Paracelsus, who reportedly said “The dose makes the poison.” For example, a very small amount of arsenic will have “no detectable physiological effect on you whatsoever,” whereas drinking too much water can kill you. (Recall the woman who tragically died in the “Hold your Wee for a Wii” contest.) The body produces electricity but “you get hit by a lightning bolt, you’re dead,” Gilder explained. These and innumerable other examples confirm the wisdom of Paracelsus.The relevance for us today, Gilder explained, is that many chemicals that are regulated or even banned — due to their Read More ›

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Human hand is holding Electric Car Charging connect to Electric car

Cars of the Future Will Offer “Electrifying” Rides — Guaranteed

Electric car expert Tony Posawatz will be speaking about new industry developments at COSM 2022

After forty years in the car business, professional engineer Tony Posawatz, is optimistic about the future of electric vehicles (EVs). At Forbes, he was mooted to replace Elon Musk at Tesla in 2018. Well, one thing Posawatz would not do is jump into an expensive catfight with… Twitter. He is wholly focused on ACES, as it is called: Autonomous, Connected, Electric & Shared vehicles, as the future of private transportation. Go here to get the Early Adopter rate before September 15. Current CEO of Invictus iCAR, a consulting firm that specializes in making cars leaner, meaner, and greener, Posawatz describes himself as “known for championing award-winning products and electrifying rides.” His interests and achievements span many automotive areas: “His product/general Read More ›

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Stack of ether or ethereum coins. ETH Coin.New Virtual Money.Physical coins. Cryptocurrency mining and trading concept.

Ethereum Moves From Mining to Staking This Month

As there came to be more and more “eth” in the world, the puzzles computers had to solve got very much harder, consuming vast energy resources

In this first part of “Staking and Liquidity on Web3”, the fifth episode of the podcast series between computer engineering prof Robert J. Marks and engineers Austin Egbert and Adam Goad, look at upcoming changes in mining — how cryptocurrency is produced. In Episode 4, the discussion centered on what a decentralized crypto financial system would look like and on challenging new concepts like flash loans and smart contracts. Dr. Marks is the director of the Walter Bradley Center. https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/08/Mind-Matters-203-Adam-Goad-Austin-Egbert.mp3 A partial transcript, notes, and Additional Resources follow. Robert J. Marks: Like gold, cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum is mined, at least so far. Mining becomes harder and harder as more gold is mined… finding fresh gold deposits becomes more Read More ›

Chinese microchip
Macro image of a motherboard with the inscription

How Safe Is Our Tech If It Depends on Non-Free Nations?

Europe’s energy woes, in the wake of the Russia–Ukraine war, should spur us to take the question seriously

Keith Krach, former chairman and CEO of Docusign, the app that enables you to conveniently buy a house in Delaware while selling one in Oregon, is speaking at COSM (November 9–11 in Seattle). Docusign was of immense help during the COVID pandemic when in-person transactions were often impractical, illegal, or just impossible. Go here to get the Early Adopter rate before September 15. Krach, former Under Secretary of State and current Chairman of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University, has been thinking a good deal about our future and new technology. He is committed to the importance of rehoming technology Americans need in the United States, as he told Fierce Electronics recently: Our adversaries, starting with the Read More ›

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humanoid head as concept for Artificial Intelligence, future generations of humans, technology singularity, cyberlife and digitally created personas

Could We Really Increase Human IQ via Genetic Engineering?

One suggested approach is to only implant “intelligent” human embryos and discard the rest, to avoid editing individual genes

At Big Think, we have been told by the managing editor, in a tone of considerable confidence: Because intelligence is such a strong genetic trait, rapidly advancing genetics research could result in the ability to create a class of super-intelligent humans one-thousand times higher in IQ than today’s most brilliant thinkers. Stephen Hsu, Vice-President for Research and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University, believes we are only a decade away from identifying the many thousands of genetic variants that control for intelligence. These variants, called alleles, could then be selected for by the parents of a soon-to-be-conceived child, and possibly genetic engineering could be done on adults to boost their intelligence. Orion Jones, “Genetic Engineering Will Create Super-Intelligent Read More ›

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Statue of Gaia

Pioneer Environmentalist: Cyborgs Will Rule the Planet

In one of his last pieces, James Lovelock, famous for the Gaia Hypotheses argues that half-human/half-machines will be vastly superior to humans

It might seem odd that a pioneer figure in the environment awareness movement would embrace part-human/part-machine cyborgs. But in 2019, James Lovelock (1919–2022) — one of the originators of the Gaia Hypothesis (that the whole planet can be thought of as a single organism) — wrote that cyborgs would inherit the Earth in the “coming age of hyperintelligence.” Nautilus draws attention to his thoughts on the topic, in recognition of his death on July 26 at 103. In an essay adapted from Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence (2019), Lovelock writes, Our reign as sole understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to an end. We should not be afraid of this. The revolution that has just begun may be Read More ›

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Alien Planet with Moons

Could Real Planets Be Like the Sci-Fi Ones?

The hive mind works well on Earth. Could global consciousness work on Pandora in Avatar (2009)?

Last month we looked at some really strange planets astronomers have discovered outside our solar system. Which prompts a question: Could some of the odd planets known to science fiction exist in the actual universe, given its laws? How about Tatooine from Star Wars which orbits “two scorching suns”? Part of a binary star system, the planet orbited two scorching suns, resulting in the world lacking the necessary surface water to sustain large populations. As a result, many residents of the planet instead drew water from the atmosphere via moisture farms. The planet also had little surface vegetation. It was the homeworld to the native Jawa and Tusken Raider species and of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, who would go on Read More ›