His project has been derided as "dangerous," "ludicrous," and "a red flag for a potential eating disorder" by nutrition experts. Fortunately for Rob, the supporters of Soylent have been generous: a crowdfunding project for his fancy health goo raised almost $800,000 in under 30 days. Now Rob is the CEO ofthe Soylent Corporation; his hobby has officially turned into a career. His management team might look like the kind of technically minded nerds who'd want to consume most of their meals in the form of a beige, odorless powder mix, but they're also the potential forefathers of a famine cure.
With over $1 million in preorders already received for Soylent worldwide, it seems like this stuff is going to stick around. I caught up with Rob to ask how it's all going for Soylent—which some are already calling "the future of food."
Drugs and digital technologies that will allow people to work harder, longer and smarter are coming soon, say scientists and ethicists, so we need to decide now how best to ensure they are used properly.
The comments are published on Wednesday in a report on human enhancement in the workplace written by experts from the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Human Enhancement and the Future of Work considers everything that could be said to improve a person's ability to do work, including so-called smart drugs, which can enhance memory and attention, as well as physical and digital enhancements such as bionic implants or the ever-improving computer technology to store and access information.
Genevra Richardson, a professor of law at King's College London and chair of the steering committee that produced the report, said she defined "human enhancements" as technologies that improved a person beyond the norm. "They could influence our ability to learn or perform tasks, influence our motivation, they could enable us to work in more extreme conditions or into old age," she said.
"Although human enhancement technologies may benefit societies in important ways, their use at work also raises serious ethical, political and economic questions that demand broad consideration. These questions include, how do the public view these technologies, what are the consequences of their long-term use in individuals? There's the question of coercion. And who pays? If the private individual pays, then the rich will get cleverer."
Transhumanism needs an Enhancement. A Facelift, an Upgrade, some Serious Augmentation. H+ espouses the utopian potential of accelerating technology, but philosophically-culturally-ethically, it’s stale.
A bioengineer and geneticist at Harvard's Wyss Institute have successfully stored 5.5 petabits of data -- around 700 terabytes -- in a single gram of DNA, smashing the previous DNA data density record by a thousand times.
This may seem like something out of a science fiction movie: researchers have designed microparticles that can be injected directly into the bloodstream to quickly oxygenate your body, even if you can't breathe anymore.
After recent studies show that implants could repair lost brain function, Martin W. Angler asks whether we can use this technology for creating enhanced humans. (Future - Technology - Will we ever… have cyborg brains?
The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace.
'Man is something that shall be overcome,' wrote Nietzsche. He may have never envisioned today's efforts to re-engineer the body, but he looks prophetic as pioneers aim to push the envelope of human capability.
Cannon led me down into the basement, which he and Sarver have converted into a laboratory. A long work space was covered with Arduino motherboards, soldering irons, and electrodes. Cannon had recently captured a garter snake, which eyed us from inside a plastic jar. "Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been telling people that I want to be a robot," said Cannon. "These days, that doesn't seem so impossible anymore." The pair call themselves grinders — homebrew biohackers obsessed with the idea of human enhancement — who are looking for new ways to put machines into their bodies. They are joined by hundreds of aspiring biohackers who populate the movement’s online forums and a growing number, now several dozen, who have gotten the magnetic implants in real life.
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