Book review: To Be A Machine

  criticism life_extension transhumanism book_review anthropology outsiders observers conferences ai grinding cryonics

It seems like everybody is reviewing the book To Be A Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O'Connell, and most of the book reviews are, to be frank, kind of pants.  The mainstream book reviewers seem to have read only the first and last chapters and make light (at best) or a joke (at worst) of the life's work of people who are actually doing the work in some parts of the medical profession instead of just playing "Won't it be nice when..." on Slack channels and Facebook.  A …

Read more...

Steps toward an open source microfacture shop and what could be the first recorded nanoparticle injury.

  3d_printing allergies criticism hardware injury medicine microfacture nanoparticles nanopoisoning open_source project

A common criticism of 3D printers is that they're not a panacea. They can't do it all - a limitation shared by every tool, when you think about it - and because of that some vocal people claim they're worthless. You can't really convince anyone who's dead-set against being convinced, so let's move on to more interesting things. A problem being worked on right now is developing a set of technologies and workflow for microfacture - extremely small scale automated manufacture, on the scale of a hackerspace or a home workshop. Most of the components exist right now, from 3D printers to lathes …

Read more...

Mesh networks, censorship resistence, and free ponies.

  censorship criticism infrastructure internet mesh_networks problems solutions technology

A couple of weeks ago the crowd over at Reddit started putting together a project that's been referred to online as /r/darknetplan, an effort to build a completely decentralized, encrypted wireless mesh network that is censorship-resistent and anonymized. They kick around a lot of ideas in their discussion threads (mostly links to other articles, with discussion of each on-site) and the project's IRC server is packed with interested people. Now, I'm not one to slam anyone who wants to give such a project a shot but they came under some scrutiny from a blogger whose opinion is that it's …

Read more...