Lterature review (Anthony Crockett)

Review on The Singularity is Far.


In an article called The Singularity is Far David J. Linden talks about Ray Kurzweil theory about the future and his 2020 invention of nanobots and the abilities its hold. David talked about his thoughts on the Nanobots and put arguments against Ray Kurzweil theory.


David writes about Ray Kurzweil future invention, Nanobots the he read in Kurzweil’s book (The Singularity is Near) and magazines that Ray was interview by. David Quote from a magazine where ray talk about the future nanobots and its explain how the micro robots can power there way through the brains capillaries and able to fully transport our brains to a virtual world by shutting down “ the signals coming from your real senses and replace them with the signals that your brain would be receiving if you were actually in the virtual environment.”


David is very much for Kurzweil’s nanobots in the future but strongly disagree with the timetable for his theory of it. He analyzed Kurzweil’s books and note down a few arguments that contradict and stop himself being full believer.

Ray Kurzweil predicts the nanobots will arrive between 2020s to 2030s, that we are fast approaching, Kurzweil believe this because the rate we are learning about the human brain. “If we keep acuminating data about the brain at an exponential rate, then the long standing mysteries of development, consciousness, perception, decision, and action will necessarily be revealed”.


David believe that Kurzweil is confusing biological data with biological insight. Just because we will have more data about ours brains doesn’t mean that we will understand how are brains work. And David is saying that it will take more time to understand the information we will conceive. David is right about it will take time to crack the code of information so we can fully understand but it seem that he think it will take a serious about of time to gain the knowledge of the brain which I don’t quite believe. He gives example to back up his arguments by using the example of learning that gene duplication is more common that scientist originally thought. We learn that humans have fewer genes and though genes have more complex modes of regulation and more splice-forms.


I believe that David is using the measurement on how people understand information in the past and only looking within his specialties of neuroscience, only looking at one tree instead of the whole forest. In the past there only group of humans putting there minds together to figure out how humans and nature works. Humans was able to create machines that are able to do the same jobs as humans and it was long machines could do those jobs better than humans. We are at a stage where Humans and machines/ robots are working together to cracks tones of information. As well as humans rate of knowledge increase so does the smartness of machines. The speed of computer human intelligent is fast increasing at a scary rate some people would say and it is possible that machines and humans could have the knowledge in time for Ray Kurzweil to keep to his timetables for his futuristic nanobots.

Review on

Designer Babies: Fact and Ethical issues of designer babies


Joey talks about the good and down side of PGD, Pre- implantation Genetic Diagnoses, saying it is use now to treat genetic disease getting assed down to children. Which is a good action, however in the future this technology will develop and will be able to genetically cosmetic babies to select what color their eyes or hair will be. And most people will see it not using the technology what it is intend for, that is tread diseases. On the other hand people will see it as a disease to their faith or culture like how some people see homosexuality as a disease and will try to use PGD to get rid of it.


I feel that will be a failure using the tech to get rid of gay action out of someone. I believe being a homosexual has nothing to do with your genetic makeup of you. Joey say people will want to undergo PGD for every reason that they feel is negative and a disease in their mind. Creating a difficulty to draw a line between preventing diseases and enhancing. He states that it should be banned to avoid complicated grey areas.


Joey Continue to list paragraphs of negative issues about PGD. He goes throw the problems of discrimination of wealth and look since this treatment is highly expensive, the people who will be genetically design will look down on those who are not in their class as them with looks intelligent and wealth. We still have this problem in today society and this will increase ten fold and it look like we are going backwards in society.


He made a valid point and I believe it would be the other way round. The people who are born with natural genetics will look at them someone who is fake. In any case this will create a divide instead of becoming a whole.


He talks on the unbalance of gender in the future and use the example of china and they believe boys are better choice than girls. Boys are stronger, smarter and are more suitable to earn a living while girls are good for household jobs. Joey believe that the majority of the world will choose male babies and this will lead to sexual discrimination and the imbalance of sex will make it hard to reproduce with very few woman to choose from.


Joey is right to mention this point but I feel he is lacking faith in humanity and how they think. In the past, people thought in that way, that male are more ferreter to women and then there was a massive revolution of women standing up for themselves and demanding more rights to be more equal to men. Society doesn’t tend to go backwards. They move forward. Forward to a better place to live. It’s a gamble to trust society with that power of choice and the price is many people lifestyle and the future of human existence on earth.


Do we have the capability of making those choices, playing God in other words. Joey talks on religion saying children are gift from and we should be happy how are children look like and not be ungrateful on what our babies’ cosmetics.


In Joey’s essay it very clear that he is against the treatment of PGD as he his paragraph on negative points about PGD and only put forth one positive statement on PGD and that is to stop life threatening disease being passed down to babies. I am partly against the treatment but don’t think it all gloom and doom Joey makes out to be. I have faith in humanity that they will think carefully about this choice and not be mindless about it.



Review on

The fear of Death and the Longing for immortality: Hobbes and Thucydides on Human Nature and the problems of Anarchy


Peter J. Ahrensdorf analyze two people theory about the psychological side of fearing death and longing for immortality, Hobbes and Thucydides, and compare there thoughts. Both theorist has similar views since Hobbes inspired by Thucydides but Thucydides does not share Hobbes thoughts on fear of violence can lead humans to master their destabilizing hopes. Thucydides put forth that its people hopes, like in immortality, seem to over power humans’ fears. People hope are invincible and Hobbes believe that hope can be control by fear.


Peter Turns to Hobbes’s account of human nature saying what distinguishes humans to other animals is the foresight of death looming closer to is which make us have anxiety about it. This causes us to us to seek to avoid it and also find a way to secure our self from the evil we fear. However you could look at this and say it’s the hope in humans to keep on fighting and looking for better solution on surviving what there is to come. A man without hopes is a man is as good as dead. It’s the hope what keep a person to carry on living and standing up for what he or she believes in. Peter goes in-depth books on what Hobbes say and believe on the subject going through different areas on the subject which gives me a very deep understanding on what Hobbes believe and how he thinks using huge chuck of quotes for Hobbes in books he has written. After he write a page or two on Hobbes belief, he start to question those belief of Hobbes. And question Hobbes student for following Hobbes.


He moves on to Thucydides’ theory and again goes in-depth with pages on what Thucydides believes. However he doesn’t question his theory like he did with Hobbes. That gives me the impression that he siding on Thucydides’ thoughts.





David J. Linden

July 21 2011

The Singularity is Far: a Neuroscientist’s View



June 10 2009

Facts and Ethical Issues of designer babies


Peter J. Ahrensdorf

The Fear of Death and longing for Immortality: Hobbes and Thucydides on humans nature and the problem of Anarchy

Published By American Political Science Association


Gwyneth Dickey

DNA on the move: Nanobots Spiders learn how to walk

Published by Society for Science and public

This is an article on the progress of nanobots and what the will be able to do in the future. Being tested out in a Laboratory in New York. I am looking at how human will be able to live near enough for ever and nanobots are one of the most popular solution on achieving that. It is vital I know as much as I can about Nanobots.



Nick Bostrom

Are w living in a computer simulation?

Published by Wiley for Philosophical Quarterly

            The introduction of this article talks about computers simulation, the same abilities that nanobots will allow us to do to our brains. It will be interesting what his argument on computer stimulation and I could possibly compare it to the nanobots research I will gather.


Michael R. Rose and Lawrence D. Mueller

Ageing And Immortality

Published by The Royal Society

            I’m choosing this journal because it is talking about the concept of force of nature selection and how it was use to explain the evolution of ageing. The period after ageing comes mortality rate plateau and some organisms that would live forever. They will be testing two theories, heterogeneity and the second is late life plateaus in mortality.


Donna L. Dickenson

Are Medical Ethicist out Of Touch? Practitioner Attitudes in the US and UK towards Decision at The End of Life

Published By BMJ publishing group


Charles W. Fowler and Larry Hobbes

Is Humanity Sustainable?

Published by The Royal Society 

Literature review (Gerard Mensah)

Literature Reviews

Travel, Travel Writing, and the Literature of Travel

Michael Meshaw

Michael Meshaw is writer who travels for a living, in the article he discusses different notions about traveling, arguing that travel in the traditional sense is still possible.

“Travel for me is a kind of writing an alternate text, a preliminary draft. It isn’t just a way to escape, as Graham Greene put it, or a way to gather material or battle against boredom. It is an act of creativity in which the world is an empty page and I’m the pen.” Meshew, pg. 9

Traveling can be as seen as one of way of knowing we are still alive where as standing still reminds us of the fact of death.

Meshew borrows ideas from Sigmund Freud in saying that traveling can be seen as a rebellious act, escaping the family or more importantly the father and Paul Fussell who writes “without travel there’s inevitably a decay of imagination and intellectual possibility corresponding to the literal loss of physical freedom”

One reason for the demise of the traveler is due to the advancements in technology

William R. Siddall argues that as beneficial as the improvements to transportation there have been the traveler misses out on a big part of the adventure or moving from one place to another. “Travel without exploration is tourism”



Why reach for the moon?

Lillian Levy

This is article was written before mans first landing on the moon in 1969

It discusses what type of person/s should be the first to visit the moon. For some it would be a way of escaping earth a chance to be “free” Levy says

“Those reaching for the moon to escape from earth or to find perfection lacking on earth, still strive for the unattainable”

The article mentions traveling to the moon “is an ideal launch site for interplanetary travel.

Traveling to the moon would be a futurist’s dream where speed, power and technology advancements the “love of the machine” are seen as the ultimate progression.

Since this article in 1962 we have successfully traveled to the moon Armstrong et al. and have even successfully sent recording apparatus although (not manned yet) to mars.



Why we travel: picturing global mobility in user generated travel journalism

Katie Day Good

The article attempts to dissect a feature published by the Times where people sent in photos of travel destinations.

“Modern tourists leave home to go in search of the “authenticity” that is lacking in their industrialized, workday lives.” Good: 301

Good explores the view of a tourist and the awareness of the commoditized experience.

In this case traveling can be seen as a form of escapism from the “real” whether it be for a week or a few months with the access we have in viewing the world through global technology the world is practically on our doorsteps. “Eurostar” and planes have given us the opportunity to experience different cultures in a whim.

The heart of traveling seems to be in connecting with individuals or cultures and taking time to reflect, this is also part of the adventure.

Chun-Chu Chen and James F. Petrick (July 2013)

Health and Wellness Benefits of Travel Experiences: A Literature Review

Journal of Travel Research 2013

the article looks at finding benefits of traveling and if they actually help our long time health and well being.

James F. Petrick and David Huether. (2013)

Is Travel Better Than Chocolate and Wine? The Benefits of Travel: A Special Series

Journal of Travel Research 2013

the article looks to decipher if promoting travel is an idea for commercialization only and can we over indulge in the activity.

William R. Siddall. (July, 1987),

Transportation and the Experience of Travel

Geographical Review,

Published by: American Geographical Society

Vol. 77, No. 3 (pp. 309-317)

The article looks into the benefits of travel advancements but also comments that this is negative influence in the rise of the “tourist”

Tim Benton. (1990),

Dreams of Machines: Futurism and l’Esprit Nouveau

Journal of Design History, Vol. 3, No. 1 pp. 19-34

Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of Design History Society

Futurism in connection with why we travel is something I want to research more into. The article looks into the history of futurism the political side to the rise of machines in Italy and the celebration of the machine.

Ron Cowen. (Oct. 6, 2007),

Sputnik + 50: Remembering the Dawn of the Space Age

Science News , Vol. 172, No. 14 pp. 216-217, 221

Published by: Society for Science & the Public

The space age is an important part of why we wanted to travel to the moon the article looks into the reasons for the creation of sputnik and the publics reaction to the space age.