—by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, LauraWil Intercultural
West Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 8/8/16 –
“Search is curiosity, and that will never be done.”–Marissa Mayer
The truth is out there, we just need to Google it! So claims Newton Lee, transhumanist author of GOOGLE IT: TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS. The 589-page book explores the impact of information awareness on humanity from the Book of Genesis to the modern day.
GOOGLE IT will be available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Springer Science + Business Media beginning on September 23rd, 2016–the very start of the artistic and intellectual Libra season. Please follow the link below to pre-order the book:
Newton Lee is an educator, technologist, and former Disney producer as well as an author. He graduated with top honors from Virginia Tech with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science and Vincennes University with an A.S. in Electrical Engineering as well as an honorary doctorate in Computer Science. In addition to GOOGLE IT he has co-authored books such as DISNEY STORIES and the two-part series DIGITAL DA VINCI (Computers in Music and Computers in the Arts and Sciences).
As the editor-in-chief of ACM Computers in Entertainment, Lee has interviewed Roy E. Disney, Quincy Jones, George Lucas, and other Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar winners. THT looks forward to partnering with Newton Lee in the near future!
Mr. Lee asked this reporter to review an excerpt from Chapter 31 in GOOGLE IT recently published upon LinkedIn relating to transhumanism in connection with American politics, world peace, and other subjects of major global impact. The request originated from work done by both in collaboration with the International Platform for Peace.
GOOGLE IT is the third book in the “Total Information Awareness” trilogy also comprising FACEBOOK NATION and COUNTERTERRORISM AND CYBERSECURITY. All three volumes have multiple contributors.
In his Prologue to GOOGLE IT Lee suggests that we are all transhumanists to some degree. A transhumanist politician would seek the best solutions with the help of science and technology as well as formal and informal politics in addition to relying upon a moral compass.
Transhumanism is thus the most inclusive ideology for all irrespective of race or religion, age or political orientation. “That’s the nature of being human–we transcend our limitations,” suggests Ray Kurzweil, futurist and engineering director at Google.
According to Lee, transhumanism entered American politics in 1992 when Dr. Natasha Vita-More was elected as a Councilperson for the 28th Senatorial District of Los Angeles with an openly futurist and transhumanist platform. Vita-More was a professor at the University of Advancing Technology. In 2016 Zoltan Istvan Gyurko became the first transhumanist to run for President of the United States.
“A transhumanist politician must decipher what people really care about, see beyond smoke and mirrors, and create long-term strategy for the betterment of society and humanity,” asserts Newton Lee. Long-term thinking is the key to lasting peace and prosperity.
Lee sums up this excerpt with the following five points and an Epilogue based upon the image of the Tower of Babel. Point #1 concerns education. Like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, Lee applauds college affordability plans supported of course by freely available computer technology.
“Everyone deserves a good education,” says Lee. “The Internet is the teacher.” But NO, high school students should NOT be allowed to count computer coding as a foreign language course!
And let us not forget the humanities in their role of moral anchors. “A more well-rounded higher education is necessary to graduate more ethical hackers and fewer cybercriminals, more socially responsible leaders and fewer wolves of Wall Street,” observes Newton Lee.
An interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving benefits society as a whole. The production of polymathic Renaissance men and women who can solve pressing social problems in many different ways should be the goal of higher education.
Point #2 concerns healthcare. Can Google solve death? Perhaps not, but the human lifespan can certainly be extended.
The Transhumanist Party has put the eradication of disease and improvement of quality of life near the top of its agenda. As Lee states, “A healthy population is vital to a country’s economy and national security.”
Point #3 concerns employment. Let robots do the work and start living your dreams!
This startling proposal may not be such pie in the sky. Google co-founder Larry Page estimates that nine out of ten people would gladly give up their jobs to machines!
The remaining ten percent probably couldn’t live without their well-loved jobs. Talent-based professions such as the arts and sciences typically supply the highest levels of human satisfaction, often with no distinction made between working and playing.
Automation could eliminate mundane low-level jobs and free up more time for exercise, recreation, and travel as well as creative and intellectual pursuits. Happier people are more likely to support peace at any price!
Point #4 concerns public safety. After this season of summertime violence across the globe, gun control is front and center on all of our minds. Transhumanists support the use of smart guns and non-lethal weapons that subdue rather than injure and kill.
Infrastructure investment and law and order are also vital to human well-being. “The American public will be better served if we double the police force and halve the military spending,” states Lee.
And Point #5 concludes Newton Lee’s cogent argumentation with final comments about world peace and prosperity. “World peace is in the best interests of everyone,” claims Lee. “A lasting peace cannot be achieved by force.”
Transhumanists around the world are busily cooperating to mitigate existential threats such as climate change to humankind. “Nationalism should not outweigh international cooperation,” says Lee. Quantum computer simulations can play an important role.
Are we really building the Tower of Babel by adopting a transhumanist philosophy? Newton Lee suggests that transhumanists are building the Tower of Babel NOT to challenge God but to better understand the universe and human beings created in God’s image.
“The future is ours to shape,” says Max Tegmark, MIT cosmologist and co-founder of the Future of Life Institute. Nothing is impossible if we are willing to experiment and learn from our errors as we continue to make progress.
“Let’s not give up before we even get started on accomplishing the impossible–world peace, universal rights, and human longevity to name a few,” says Newton Lee. After all, we have our whole lives ahead of us!
Newton Lee’s thorough and thoughtful analysis in GOOGLE IT: TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS should please pacifists in search of lasting solutions to the planet’s biggest problems. Google it NOW!