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The recent Skeptical Enquirer article linked to this site proclaiming antimatter propulsion as “pseudoscience” was.….wrong.

Antimatter will have to be produced in quantity to be used for propulsion but very small quantities may be all that is required for an interim system using antimatter to ignite fusion reactions.

It may be that some people pushing their own miracle solutions do not like other more practical possibilities.

Unlike any type of gravity manipulation, anti-matter is a fact. Anti-matter catalyzed fusion is a possible method of interstellar propulsion; far more in the realm of possibility than anti-gravity.

Whether via spintronics or some quantum breakthrough, artificial intelligence and the bizarre idea of intellects far greater than ours will soon have to be faced.

Cover the deserts in solar energy plants and use electric trains for our transportation infrastructure; the best future I can imagine. A favorite Einstein quote is “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Perhaps the number we are counting that counts is the amount of energy it would require for a future population of 10 billion people to live like we do in the west.

I was surprised to find a statement to the effect that only one method of generating this energy is practical; solar energy beamed to Earth from the Moon; from wiki–

“In short, Criswell believes that lunar-solar energy is the only viable option for generating the massive amounts of electrical power that would be needed to raise the standard of living in third-world nations to that of first-world nations.

He once said, from the University of Houston, that “We are already well beyond what the biosphere can provide. We have to go outside to get something else.”

If that is the only way then that is the only way. We had better start asking ourselves what the cost of denial is going to be.

One more step has been taken toward making whole body cryopreservation a practical reality. An understanding of the properties of water allows the temperature of the human body to be lowered without damaging cell structures.

Just as the microchip revolution was unforeseen the societal effects of suspending death have been overlooked completely.

The first successful procedure to freeze a human being and then revive that person without damage at a later date will be the most important single event in human history. When that person is revived he or she will awaken to a completely different world.

It will be a mad rush to build storage facilities for the critically ill so their lives can be saved. The very old and those in the terminal stages of disease will be rescued from imminent death. Vast resources will be turned toward the life sciences as the race to repair the effects of old age and cure disease begins. Hundreds of millions may eventually be awakened once aging is reversed. Life will become far more valuable overnight and activities such as automobile and air travel will be viewed in a new light. War will end because no one will desire to hasten the death of another human being.

It will not be immortality, just parole from the death row we all share. Get ready.

AI scientist Hugo de Garis has prophesied the next great historical conflict will be between those who would build gods and those who would stop them.

It seems to be happening before our eyes as the incredible pace of scientific discovery leaves our imaginations behind.

We need only flush the toilet to power the artificial mega mind coming into existence within the next few decades. I am actually not intentionally trying to write anything bizarre- it is just this strange planet we are living on.

One way that astronomers and astrobiologists search for life in the galaxy is observation of rocky planets orbiting other stars. Such planets may contain an atmosphere, liquid water, and other ingredients that are required for biological life on Earth. Once a number of these potentially inhabited planets have been identified, the next logical step in exploration is to send remote exploratory probes to make direct observations of these planets. Present-day study of other planetary systems is so far limited to remote observation with telescopes, but future plans for exploration include the design and deployment of small robotic exploratory spacecraft toward other star systems.

If intelligent, technological extraterrestrial life exists in the galaxy, then it is conceivable that such a civilization might embark on a similar exploration strategy. Extraterrestrial intelligent (ETI) civilizations may choose to pursue astronomy and search for planets orbiting other star systems and may also choose to follow-up on some of these targets by deploying their own remote exploratory spacecraft. If nearby ETI have observed the Solar System and decided to pursue further exploration, then evidence of ETI technology may be present in the form of such exploratory probes. We refer to this ETI technology as “non-terrestrial artifacts”, in part to distinguish these plausible exploratory spacecraft from the flying saucers of science fiction.

In a recent paper titled “On the likelihood of non-terrestrial artifacts in the Solar System”, published in the journal Acta Astronautica (and available on as a preprint), Jacob Haqq-Misra and Ravi Kopparapu discuss the likelihood that human exploration of the Solar System would have uncovered any non-terrestrial artifacts. Exploratory probes destined for another star system are likely to be relatively small (less than ten meters in diameter), so any non-terrestrial artifacts present in the Solar System have probably remained undetected. The surface and atmosphere of Earth are probably the most comprehensively searched volumes in the Solar System and can probably be considered absent of non-terrestrial artifacts. Likewise, the surface of the moon and portions of Mars have been searched at a sufficient resolution to have uncovered any non-terrestrial artifacts that could have been present. However, the deep oceans of Earth and the subsurface of the Moon are largely unexplored territory, while regions such as the asteroid belt, the Kuiper belt, and stable orbits around other Solar System planets could also contain non-terrestrial artifacts that have so far escaped human observation. Because of this plenitude of nearby unexplored territory, it would be premature to conclude that the Solar System is absent of non-terrestrial artifacts.

Although the chances of finding non-terrestrial artifacts might be low, the discovery of ETI technology, even if broken and non-functioning, would provide evidence that ETI exist elsewhere in the galaxy and have a profound impact on humankind. This is not to suggest that the search for non-terrestrial technology should be given priority over other astronomical missions; however, as human exploration into the Solar System continues, we may as well keep our eyes open for ETI technology, just in case.

Dear Lifeboat Foundation Family & Friends,

A few months back, my Aunt Charlotte wrote, wondering why I — a relentless searcher focused upon human evolution and long-term human survival strategy, had chosen to pursue a PhD in economics (Banking & Finance). I recently replied that, as it turns out, sound economic theory and global financial stability both play central roles in the quest for long-term human survival. In the fifth and final chapter of my recent Masters thesis, On the Problem of Sustainable Economic Development: A Game-Theoretical Solution, I argued (with considerable passion) that much of the blame for the economic crisis of 2008 (which is, essentially still upon us) may be attributed the adoption of Keynesian economics and the dismissal of the powerful counter-arguments tabled by his great rival, F.A. von Hayek. Despite the fact that they remained friends all the way until the very end, their theories are diametrically opposed at nearly every point. There was, however, at least one central point they agreed upon — indeed, Hayek was fond of quoting one of Keynes’ most famous maxims: “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else” [1].

And, with this nontrivial problem and and the great Hayek vs. Keynes debate in mind, I’ll offer a preview-by-way-of-prelude with this invitation to turn a few pages of On the Problem of Modern Portfolio Theory: In Search of a Timeless & Universal Investment Perspective:

It is perhaps significant that Keynes hated to be addressed as “professor” (he never had that title). He was not primarily a scholar. He was a great amateur in many fields of knowledge and the arts; he had all the gifts of a great politician and a political pamphleteer; and he knew that “the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is generally understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else” [1]. And as he had a mind capable of recasting, in the intervals of his other occupations, the body of current economic theory, he more than any of his compeers had come to affect current thought. Whether it was he who was right or wrong, only the future will show. There are some who fear that if Lenin’s statement is correct that the best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency, of which Keynes himself has reminded us [1], it will be largely due to Keynes’s influence if this prescription is followed.…

Perhaps the explanation of much that is puzzling about Keynes’s mind lies in the supreme confidence he had acquired in his power to play on public opinion as a supreme master plays on his instrument. He loved to pose in the role of a Cassandra whose warnings were not listened to. But, in fact, his early success in swinging round public opinion about the peace treaties had given him probably even an exaggerated estimate of his powers. I shall never forget one occasion – I believe the last time that I met him – when he startled me by an uncommonly frank expression of this. It was early in 1946, shortly after he had returned from the strenuous and exhausting negotiations in Washington on the British loan. Earlier in the evening he had fascinated the company by a detailed account of the American market for Elizabethan books which in any other man would have given the impression that he had devoted most of his time in the United States to that subject. Later a turn in the conversation made me ask him whether he was not concerned about what some of his disciples were making of his theories. After a not very complimentary remark about the persons concerned, he proceeded to reassure me by explaining that those ideas had been badly needed at the time he had launched them. He continued by indicating that I need not be alarmed; if they should ever become dangerous I could rely upon him again quickly to swing round public opinion – and he indicated by a quick movement of his hand how rapidly that would be done. But three months later he was dead [2].

As always, any and all comments, criticisms, thoughts, and suggestions are welcome!

Bidding you Godspeed,

Matt Funk, FLS, PhD Candidate, University of Malta, Dept. of Banking & Finance

[1]. KE YNES, J. (1920). The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (Palgrave Macmillan, London).

[2]. HAYEK, F. (1952). Review of R.F. Harrod’s ‘The Life of John Maynard Keynes’. J of Mod Hist 24:195–198.

I’m working on this project with Institute for the Future — calling on voices everywhere for ideas to improve the future of global health. It would be great to get some visionary Lifeboat ideas entered!


“What can YOU envision to improve and reinvent health and well-being for the future?” Anyone can enter, anyone can vote, anyone can change the future of global health.

With obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease rampaging populations around the world, Institute for the Future (IFTF) is turning up the volume on global well-being. Launching today, IFTF’s BodyShock is the first annual competition with an urgent challenge to recruit crowdsourced designs and solutions for better health–to remake the future by rebooting the present.

BodyShock calls upon the public to consider innovative ways to improve individual and collective health over the next 3–10 years by transforming our bodies and lifestyles. Video or graphical entries illustrating new ideas, designs, products, technologies, and concepts, will be accepted from people around the world until September 1, 2010. Up to five winners will be flown to Palo Alto, California on October 8 to present their ideas and be connected to other innovative thinkers to help bring these ideas to life. The grand prize winner will receive the IFTF Roy Amara Prize of $3,000.

“Health doesn’t happen all at once; it’s a consequence of years of choices for our bodies and lifestyles–some large and some small. BodyShock is intended to spark new ideas to help us find our way back to health,” said Thomas Goetz, executive editor of Wired, author of The Decision Tree, and a member of the Health Advisory Board that will be judging the BodyShock contest in addition to votes from the public.

“BodyShock is a fantastic initiative. Global collaboration and participation from all voices can produce a true revolution,” said Linda Avey, founder of Brainstorm Research Foundation and another Advisor to BodyShock.

Entries may come from anyone anywhere and can include, but are not limited to, the following: Life extension, DIY Bio, Diabetic teenagers, Developing countries, Green health, Augmented reality, Self-tracking, and Pervasive games. Participants are challenged to use IFTF’s Health Horizons forecasts for the next decade of health and health care as inspiration, and design a solution for a problem that will be widespread in 3–10 years, using technologies that will become mainstream.

“Think ‘artifacts from the future’–simple, non-obvious, high-impact solutions that don’t exist yet, will be among the concepts we’re looking to the public to introduce,” said Rod Falcon, director of the Health Horizons Program at IFTF.

BodyShock’s grand prize, the Roy Amara Prize, is named for IFTF’s long-time president Roy Amara (1925−2000) and is part of a larger program of social impact projects at IFTF honoring his legacy, known as The Roy Amara Fund for Participatory Foresight, the Fund uses participatory tools to translate foresight research into concrete actions that address future social challenges.


Joanne Andreadis
Lead of Innovation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Linda Avey
Founder, Brainstorm Research Foundation

Jason Bobe
Director of Community, Personal Genome Project

Alexandra Carmichael
Co-founder, CureTogether
Director, Quantified Self

Ted Eytan, MD
Kaiser Permanente, The Permanente Federation

Rod Falcon
Director, Health Horizons Program

Peter Friess
President, Tech Museum of Innovation

Thomas Goetz
Executive Editor, WIRED Magazine
Author, The Decision Tree

Natalie Hodge,MD FAAP
Chief Health Officer, Personal Medicine International

Ellen Marram
Board of Trustees, Institute for the Future
President, Barnegat Group LLC

Kristi Miller Durazo
Senior Strategy Advisor, American Heart Association

David Rosenman
Director, Innovation Curriculum
Center for Innovation at Mayo Clinic

Amy Tenderich
Board Member, Journal of Participatory Medicine


An online competition for visual design ideas to improve global health over the next 3–10 years by transforming our bodies and lifestyles. Anyone can enter, anyone can vote, anyone can change the future of health.

Launch — Friday, June 18,2010

Deadline for entries –Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Winners announced –Thursday, September 23, 2010

BodyShock Winners Celebration at IFTF — 6 — 9 p.m. Friday, October 8, 2010 — FREE and open to the public


(and 124 University Ave, 2ndFloor, Palo Alto, CA)

With our growing resources, the Lifeboat Foundation has teamed with the Singularity Hub as Media Sponsors for the 2010 Humanity+ Summit. If you have suggestions on future events that we should sponsor, please contact [email protected].

The summer 2010 “Humanity+ @ Harvard — The Rise Of The Citizen Scientist” conference is being held, after the inaugural conference in Los Angeles in December 2009, on the East Coast, at Harvard University’s prestigious Science Hall on June 12–13. Futurist, inventor, and author of the NYT bestselling book “The Singularity Is Near”, Ray Kurzweil is going to be keynote speaker of the conference.

Also speaking at the H+ Summit @ Harvard is Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a California-based charity dedicated to combating the aging process. His talk, “Hype and anti-hype in academic biogerontology research: a call to action”, will analyze the interplay of over-pessimistic and over-optimistic positions with regards of research and development of cures, and propose solutions to alleviate the negative effects of both.

The theme is “The Rise Of The Citizen Scientist”, as illustrated in his talk by Alex Lightman, Executive Director of Humanity+:

“Knowledge may be expanding exponentially, but the current rate of civilizational learning and institutional upgrading is still far too slow in the century of peak oil, peak uranium, and ‘peak everything’. Humanity needs to gather vastly more data as part of ever larger and more widespread scientific experiments, and make science and technology flourish in streets, fields, and homes as well as in university and corporate laboratories.”

Humanity+ Summit @ Harvard is an unmissable event for everyone who is interested in the evolution of the rapidly changing human condition, and the impact of accelerating technological change on the daily lives of individuals, and on our society as a whole. Tickets start at only $150, with an additional 50% discount for students registering with the coupon STUDENTDISCOUNT (valid student ID required at the time of admission).

With over 40 speakers, and 50 sessions in two jam packed days, the attendees, and the speakers will have many opportunities to interact, and discuss, complementing the conference with the necessary networking component.

Other speakers already listed on the H+ Summit program page include:

  • David Orban, Chairman of Humanity+: “Intelligence Augmentation, Decision Power, And The Emerging Data Sphere”
  • Heather Knight, CTO of Humanity+: “Why Robots Need to Spend More Time in the Limelight”
  • Andrew Hessel, Co-Chair at Singularity University: “Altered Carbon: The Emerging Biological Diamond Age”
  • M. A. Greenstein, Art Center College of Design: “Sparking our Neural Humanity with Neurotech!”
  • Michael Smolens, CEO of dotSUB: “Removing language as a barrier to cross cultural communication”

New speakers will be announced in rapid succession, rounding out a schedule that is guaranteed to inform, intrigue, stimulate and provoke, in moving ahead our planetary understanding of the evolution of the human condition!

H+ Summit @ Harvard — The Rise Of The Citizen Scientist
June 12–13, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

You can register at

Over 300 Women Share Experiences, Treatments for Painful, Common Chronic Conditions

CureTogether, a Health 2.0 Startup based in Silicon Valley, has released the first crowdsourced books on vulvodynia and endometriosis: two common, poorly understood conditions causing daily pain for millions of women. Assembled from the input of 190 and 137 women living with these respective conditions, “Vulvodynia Heroes” and “Endometriosis Heroes” are the product of an ongoing online research study at

“Patients came together and decided what symptoms and treatments they wanted to track. They went on to diligently gather detailed, quantitative data on their bodies and experiences,” said Alexandra Carmichael, co-Founder of CureTogether. “The hope of this book is to spread awareness, reach out to people in pain who may not have heard of endometriosis, and increase interest and funding for future research.”

“These heroes are pioneers not just in investigating their own condition, but in developing self-cure practices that others can follow.”, said Gary Wolf, Contributing Editor of Wired and Blogger at The Quantified Self. “Many other women who are suffering will find this very helpful and inspiring,” said Elizabeth Rummer, MSPT at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco. A patient with endometriosis added, “This is great. I am just starting to really appreciate what awesome power CureTogether can have.”

Endometriosis is a painful chronic condition that affects 5–10% of women, and vulvodyna affects up to 16% of women at some point in their lives. They are two of the most active condition communities at CureTogether, with information about symptoms, treatments, and causes added by over 300 women. The books are available at and

About CureTogether

CureTogether launched in 2008 to help people anonymously track and compare health data — to better understand their bodies, make more informed treatment decisions and contribute data to research. Starting with 3 conditions (Migraine, Endometriosis and Vulvodynia), its members have since expanded it to support 228 conditions.

*Please note that the information in Vulvodynia Heroes and Endometriosis Heroes and at does not constitute medical advice.

For more information, please contact Alexandra Carmichael at 650−533−2163 or [email protected]