IN A NUTSHELL 7/2019-20

IN A NUTSHELL 7/2019-20

TRANSHUMANISM: OPPORTUNITY OR DANGER?

Over the last 50 years the world of technology has changed beyond recognition. There are people who think that if we want to go even further we have to challenge the limitations of our bodies. Transhumanists, as they are called, do it by using implants with all kinds of technological upgrades. Winter Mraz, an engineer featured in a BBC report about the issue, has a chip to open door to her flat in her left hand, a chip with her business card in her right one, a contraceptive implant and a magnet which lets her sense EM fields (whatever the purpose). Since she went through a serious crash which damaged her knees Winter also has a 3D printed knee cap, refunded by NHS. That last one is broadly seen as an obvious direction which humanity should follow, that is to say technology assisting medicine, but the things like your payment card, car keys or mobile phone (still the future) being integral part of your body do raise controversies. Especially in the situation when more and more people perform such upgrades on their own using chips and other equipment bought online. They even have a name — biohackers. Should we go this way?

Source: bbc.com, a video material from October 6, 2019 about transhumanism

PENSIONERS IN 2060 WILL GET A QUARTER OF THEIR SALARIES

Most of us realize that when you retire you must be ready for getting less money every month. Poles who retire today can count on a transfer amounting to 56% of their current earnings on average. According to calculations Professor Gertruda Uścińska presented to Business Insider this will change in the next decades and it is a change we should think about seriously. In 2040 pensioners are expected to get 40% of salaries an in 2060 it is likely to be below 30%. A simple explanation to this trend is that our society is aging and longer life means the state has to pay pensions for a longer time. In Poland your pension is calculated in a simple way: you get the same amount you put into the system while you worked divided by the number of months you are expected to live — on average, of course. What should the current 30-year-olds do then in order to survive when they retire? Experts say we should make sure we work legally and start saving money.

Source: businessinsider.com.pl, an article from October 7, 2019 about future pensions

DEMI MOORE CONFESSES HER MOTHER SOLD HER

Demi Moore, one of Hollywood’s top actresses ever, has recently published her autobiography. While discussing it during an interview for ”Good Morning America” she made a confession not many people would be ready to handle. Not only did she say she was raped when she was 15, she added it was her mother who ”sold” her. One day, she said, she came to her mum’s apartment where she met an older man who used her sexually and asked her in the end: ”how does it feel to be whored by your mother for $500?” The actress says she did not believe the attacker somewhere deep in her heart, but it is true her mother, an alcoholic, took Demi Moore to bars so that men could see the daughter. There are more tragic moments in the biography. For example, Moore writes she stopped her mum’s first suicide attempt when she was 12 and that she herself struggled many times with addiction to different substances.

Source: theguardian.com, an article from September 24, 2019 about Demi Moore

CHINA THREATS TO BOYCOTT THE NBA OVER A TWEET

Last weekend Daryl Morey, the owner of the Houston Rockets, tweeted a “Fight for freedom – Stand with Hong Kong” image, clearly picking sides in a conflict between Hong Kong (where violent street protests for more democracy have been going on for months) and China – or the Chinese Communist Party to be precise. Chinese government is still furious over the tweet and the lack of NBA’s proper apology for it. Why does China’s fury even matter to an American business that has always been sensitive to social issues and has traditionally “led the way in progressive thought and supported speaking your mind”? Well, the NBA has 25 official marketing partnerships and over 200 stores in China. In the 2017-18 season 600 million people watched NBA games broadcast there – more than in the US itself. NBA’s business deals in Asia are worth billions of dollars. Morey has already deleted the tweet and NBA’s commisioner Adam Silver issued a statement saying that it regrets offending the leagues’s Chinese fans, but at the same time emphasized that he was not apologising for Daryl Morey exercising his freedom of speech. Meanwhile politicians in the US are accusing the NBA of caving in, while the Chinese feel the actual apology is still missing and threat to boycott the league further. It is a classic example of a lose-lose situation, where standing (or not standing up enough) for your principles causes backlash from both sides of a conflict.

Source: cnn.com, a CNN10 video from October 9, 2019 on Daryl Morey voicing support for protesters in Hong Kong

DISCUSSION:

  1. Humans should never modify their bodies in any unnecessary way.
  2. The best way to ensure safe retirement is working legally all the time.
  3. It is impossible to forgive a great harm a parent does to you.
  4. Sport organizations like NBA should be politically neutral.

 

GERMAN VERSION [LEAD ARTICLE ONLY]

TRANSHUMANISMUS: GELEGENHEIT ODER GEFAHR?

In den letzten 50 Jahren hat sich die Welt der Technologie unerkennbar verändert. Es gibt Menschen die glauben, dass wir in der nächsten Stufe die Einschränkungen unserer Körper herausfordern sollten. Transhumanists (Transmenschen), wie sie jetzt heißen, versuchen es bereits mit Implantaten, die verschiedene technologische Verbesserungen beinhalten. Winter Mraz, eine Ingenieurin aus der neusten BBC Reportage über Transhumanismus, hat einen Chip zum Öffnen und Schließen der Haustür in ihrer linken Hand, einen Visitenkartechip in der rechten, ein kontrazeptives Implantat, als auch einen Magnet, der sie elektromagnetisches Feld erkennen läßt (wozu auch immer). Seitdem sie einen schweren Unfall überlebte, in dem sie ihre Knien schwer verletzt hat, trägt sie auch eine 3D-gedrückte Kniescheibe, rückerstattet von NHS. Diese letzte Verbesserung gilt wohl als eine klare Entwicklungsrichtung, die die Menschlichkeit folgen soll. Das heißt, Technologie als Unterstützung für Medizin. Aber die Zahlungskarten, Autoschlüssel oder Handys (das kommt noch) als eingebaute Teile unseres Körpers – das sind die Sachen die (noch) einen Streit auslösen. Besonders weil viele Menschen diese Verbesserungen mit Chips und anderen online ge-kauften Geräten selbst umsetzen. Diese Menschen haben sogar einen Namen  – Biohackers. Wollen wir wirklich da rein?

DISKUSSION:

  1. Menschen sollen ihre Körper (in einer nicht notigen Weise) nie ändern.

 

TRANSHUMANISMO: ¿OPORTUNIDAD O PELIGRO?

En los últimos 50 años, el mundo de la tecnología ha cambiado más allá del reconocimiento. Hay personas que piensan que si queremos ir aún más lejos tenemos que desafiar las limitaciones de nuestros cuerpos. Los transhumanistas, como se les llama, lo hacen mediante el uso de implantes con todo tipo de actualizaciones tecnológicas. Winter Mraz, un ingeniero que mostró en un informe de la BBC sobre el tema, tiene un chip para abrir la puerta de su apartamento en la mano izquierda, un chip con su tarjeta de presentación en la mano derecha, un implante anticonceptivo y un imán con que le permite detectar los campos electro magnetico (sea cual sea el propósito). Desde que sufrió un accidente grave que le dañó las rodillas, Winter también tiene una rotula impresa en 3D que fue financiada por el Servicio Nacional de Salud. Esto último es visto en términos generales como la dirección obvia que la humanidad debería seguir, es decir, tecnología que ayuda a la medicina, pero cosas como su tarjeta de pago, llaves del automóvil o teléfono móvil (aún el futuro) como parte integral de su cuerpo generan controversias. Especialmente en la situación en la que cada vez más personas realizan tales actualizaciones por su cuenta utilizando chips y otros equipos comprados en línea. Incluso tienen un nombre: Biohackers.

¿Deberíamos ir por este camino?

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