Posted by: Michael D. Austin | July 22, 2012

Lifeboat Foundation

There is an especially interesting group, the Lifeboat Foundation, which you might like to peruse. The mission statement for Lifeboat Foundation is this:

“… a nonprofit nongovernmental organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies, including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics/AI, as we move towards the Singularity.
 
Lifeboat Foundation is pursuing a variety of options, including helping to accelerate the development of technologies to defend humanity, including new methods to combat viruses (such as RNA interference and new vaccine methods), effective nanotechnological defensive strategies, and even self-sustaining space colonies in case the other defensive strategies fail.
 
We believe that, in some situations, it might be feasible to relinquish technological capacity in the public interest (for example, we are against the U.S. government posting the recipe for the 1918 flu virus on the Internet). We have some of the best minds on the planet working on programs to enable our survival. We invite you to join our cause!”

Lifeboat Foundation activities will be worthwhile as our species moves forward into its future. I’m not a fan of unchecked technological developments. In fact, I tend to believe the lowest levels of technology are often best, and that’s reflected in my upcoming essay, “Dreaming Earth,” for the Spanda Foundation. If I could be a successful Luddite, I might entertain the notion. GMO agricultural or livestock technologies are one of my favorite examples of irreparably flawed thinking. But our species will continue on its fast and furious bent toward technology, so it’s smart to manage our impulses toward new toys and solutions by discussing them openly. Maybe you’d enjoy seeing what Lifeboat Foundation’s up to?

I’m now on these Lifeboat Foundation advisory boards:

… and Lifeboat’s bio about me is here.


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