It’s not really a man, and it’s not really a robot. Nor is it a cyborg, although this might be the most accurate description. This $1 million dollar bionic something is a showcase of what we are currently capable of installing in human beings along with a look at the future of augmented biology.
The godfather of news, Walter Cronkite, had a show on CBS that showed off technology of the future. One episode that aired on March 12, 1967 showed off what a kitchen would look like in 2001.
Cronkite predicted that “Meals in this kitchen of the future are programmed. The menu is given to the automatic chef via typewriter or punched computer cards.” and not only the meal, but also the “cups and saucers are molded on the spot.”
It’s long been a desire of the human species to have complete control over our own thoughts. We’ve all had these moments where we curse our brain. Asking questions like: “Why wasn’t I more fun at that party”, “Why did I act so mean to that person? “ and “Why am I not reaching my creative potential?”. In the last couple of decades, a plethora of psychoactive substances have been discovered. With them came the ability to exercise control over our conscious minds.
Digital and genetic techniques increasingly influence life. Our belief in progress through technology stands in the way of a moral debate on this development.
By Rinie van Est
We keep a close watch on what voters and members of parliament want, but the future of our society is determined by something else: technological development. At least, that’s what thinkers such as Dominique Janicaud believe, who wrote: ‘Technological power is more revolutionary than any revolution; it comes from above, no one can know where it is going’. In views such as these, the role of politics is limited to properly spreading technological innovations. I do not agree with this. Without trying to undermine the revolutionary force of technology, I do think politics is capable of a democratic steering of technology to a certain degree. In fact, I believe that interaction between the political domain and the techno-economic domain is the essence of our democracy. But here, politics is neglectful, because it has a blind spot for the ideological role that technology plays in our society.
In vitro meat has been billed as a way to end animal suffering, put a stop to global warming, and solve the world’s insatiable demand for animal protein. There’s no doubt that our hunger for meat is driving cataclysmic climate change, habitat loss, and overfishing. Things need to change, and change fast. But is meat cultured from animal cells, grown in a lab, and exercised with electric pulses the change we need?
Earlier this year, Mark Post of Maastrict University announced his plan to produce a €250,000 burger. While the cost is astronomical, Post promised that economies of scale would eventually make the lab meat cost-competitive with conventional flesh. However, like jetpacks, underwater cities and orbiting colonies, many scientific breakthroughs that once seemed inevitable have proven to be possible, but economically unfeasible.
We can do it. We just can’t afford it. Below are the top four reasons to believe that in vitro meat isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The weapon industry is one of the most innovative industries in the world for years. However recently, the industry has taken a quite remarkable shift towards genetic manipulation of animals. Researchers at the Hunter College of the City University of New York have successfully “developed” genetic manipulated mice, with extra smell receptors as announced on the annual meeting of the society for neuro science by Charlotte D’Hulst.
The manipulated mice have 500 times more nose cells than regular mice and these extra receptors will make them highly sensitive to the smell of explosives. Scientists hope to use these mice in the future to discover land mines and other explosives, they expect them to be operational in about five years.