Notes from the Transhuman Strategies conference, 21 March 2015

At long last, here are my notes from the Transhuman Strategies conference held by the Brighter Brains Institute on 21 March 2015. It took me a while to find the notebook I wrote them in, so that's why they're a few months late in coming. Anyway, my notes are under the cut.

Hank Pellissier - Transhumanitarian Projects

  • Goals: Extending life, increasing mental ability
  • Life expectency in Japan is 80, in Sierra Leone is 35
  • Hunger is still the greatest killer
  • Shipping food or backing projects
  • De-worming - parasiting infections in children
  • The energy deficit incurred by parasitic infection lowers IQ in children …

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A couple of thoughts on microblogging.

The thing about microblogging, or services which allow posts that are very short (around 140 characters) and are disseminated in the fashion of a broadcast medium is that it lends itself to fire-and-forget posting. See something, post it, maybe attach a photograph or a link and be done with it. If your goal is to get information out to lots of people at once leveraging one's social network is criticial: Post something, a couple of the users following you repost it so that more people see it, a couple of their followers repost it in turn... like ripples on the …

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Your American tax dollars (and login credentials) at work.

Earlier this year, pen-testers hired by the Internal Revenue Service attempted a time-worn attack as part of their assignment: They phoned up 102 people who work at an IRS office while pretending to be tech support and asked them for their usernames. The people called were also asked if they could temporarily change their passwords to something simple (love? sex? secret? god?) as part of a troubleshooting effort.

61 of the 102 people complied with the request of complete and total strangers. If this hadn't been a pen-test, those office networks would have been sitting ducks. Only eight people called …

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