[extropy-chat] Fwd: Rushkoff, Kurzweil to be on CNN special

Jonathan Despres jonano at gmail.com
Wed Mar 22 18:57:15 UTC 2006

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jonathan Despres <jonano at gmail.com>
Date: Mar 22, 2006 1:56 PM
Subject: Rushkoff, Kurzweil to be on CNN special
To: Cryonet <cryonet at cryonet.org>

>From BetterHumans:

IEET fellow Douglas Rushkoff was recently recorded for a CNN special
called Welcome to the Future, along with Jeff Greenfield, Ray
Kurzweil, Mirka De Arellano, and Margaret Cho. The program will air on
CNN Saturday March 25 at 7pm EST, and will be repeated Sunday at the
same time.

Rushkoff has an account of the experience on his blog. Here's an excerpt:
It was a strange and long journey into various utopian and dystopian
high-tech scenarios concerning everything from nano-bots implanted in
two-year-olds so they can compete for places at increasingly selective
nursery schools to why we never got to ride go carts on Mars even
though Lost in Space was set in 1997.

I found Kurzweil brilliant but a little creepy. I'm usually on the
gung-ho pro-technology side of discussions, so it was fun to be
voicing some of the more cautionary concerns for a change. Of course,
I've never really been pro-tech or anti-tech - just pro "life" (in the
living things sense) and pro consciousness. While Mirka would argue
against, say, genetic selection techniques on religious grounds (we
should raise the children as God gave them to us), I was in the
interesting position of suggesting how a balance could be struck
between human agency and new technology. Do we *want* to choose our
child's talents? If so, what does that say about why we want to have a
child in the first place? Is it to have the opportunity to care for
another human being, or simply to extend our own obsessions to another

It all came down to "human nature" for Jeff Greenfield; you know, the
idea that we can develop all sorts of technologies but human nature
will stay the same, and use them for the same good and bad reasons.
And that's when, for me, it became about the opposite: yes, human
beings may have their biases, but so do the technologies we develop
and implement. And we don't always know those biases when we set out
to invent this stuff in the first place.

Thanks for reading!


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