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Ascension of Jesus – Wikipedia

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 12:32 pm

The Ascension of Jesus (anglicized from the Vulgate Latin Acts 1:9-11 section title: Ascensio Iesu) is the departure of Christ from Earth into the presence of God. The well-known narrative in Acts 1 it takes place 40 days after the Resurrection: Jesus, in the company of the disciples, is taken up in their sight after warning them to remain in Jerusalem until the coming of the Holy Spirit; as he ascends a cloud hides him from their view, and two men in white appear to tell them that he will return “in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Heavenly ascents were fairly common in the time of Jesus, signifying divine approval or the deification of an exceptional man. In the Christian tradition, reflected in the major Christian creeds and confessional statements, the ascension is connected with the exultation of Jesus, meaning that through his ascension Jesus took his seat at the right hand of God: “He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.” The Feast of the Ascension is celebrated on the 40th day of Easter, always a Thursday; the Orthodox tradition has a different calendar up to a month later than in the Western tradition, and while the Anglican communion continues to observe the feast, most Protestant churches have abandoned it. The Ascension of Jesus is an important theme in Christian art, the ascending Jesus often shown blessing an earthly group below him to signify his blessing the entire Church.

The world of the Ascension is a three-part universe with the heavens above, a flat earth centered on Jerusalem in the middle, and the underworld below. Heaven was separated from the earth by the firmament, the visible sky, a solid inverted bowl where God’s throne sat “on the vaulted roof of earth.”(Isaiah 40:22). Humans looking up from earth saw the floor of heaven, made of clear blue lapis-lazuli (Exodus 24:9-10), as was God’s throne (Ezekiel 1:26).

Heavenly ascents were fairly common in the time of Jesus, signifying the means whereby a prophet could attain access to divine secrets, or divine approval granted to an exceptionally righteous individual, or the deification of an exceptional man. Figures familiar to Jews would have included Enoch (from the Book of Genesis and a popular non-Biblical work called 1 Enoch), the 5th century sage Ezra, Baruch the companion of the prophet Jeremiah (from a work called 2 Baruch, in which Baruch is promised he will ascend to heaven after 40 days)), Levi the ancestor of priests, the Teacher of Righteousness from the Qumran community, as well as Elijah and Moses, who was deified on entering heaven, and the children of Job, who according to the Testament of Job ascended heaven following their resurrection from the dead. Non-Jewish readers would have been familiar with the case of the emperor Augustus, whose ascent was witnessed by Senators, Romulus the founder of Rome, who, like Jesus, was taken to heaven in a cloud, the Greek hero Heracles (Hercules), and many others.

There is a broad consensus among scholars that the brief Ascension account in the Gospel of Mark is a later addition to the original version of that gospel.Luke-Acts, a single work from the same anonymous author, provides the only detailed account of the Ascension.Luke 24 tells how Jesus leads the eleven disciples to Bethany, a village on the Mount of Olives not far from Jerusalem, where he instructs them to remain in Jerusalem until the coming of the Holy Spirit and blesses them. “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”

Acts 1 describes a meal on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus commands the disciples to await the coming of the Holy Spirit, a cloud takes him upward from sight, and two men in white appear to tell them (the disciples) that he will return “in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Luke and Acts appear to describe the same event, but present quite different chronologies, Luke placing it on the same day as the Resurrection and Acts forty days afterwards;[20] various proposals have been put forward to resolve the contradiction, but the question remains open.

The Gospel of John has three references to ascension in Jesus’ own words: “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the son of man” (John 3:13); “What if you (the disciples) were to to see the son of man ascending where he was before?” (John 6:62); and to Mary Magdalene after his Resurrection, “Do not hold me, for I not yet ascended to my father…” (John20:17). In the first and second Jesus is claiming to be the apocalyptic “one like a son of man” of Daniel 7; the last has mystified commentators what should Mary be prohibited from touching the risen but not yet ascended Christ, while Thomas is later invited to do so?

Various epistles (Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:19-20, Colossians 3:1, Philippians 2:9-11, 1 Timothy 3:16, and 1 Peter 3:21-22) also refer to an Ascension, seeming, like Luke-Acts and John, to equate it with the post-resurrection “exultation” of Jesus to the right hand of God.

The common thread linking all the New Testament Ascension references, reflected in the major Christian creeds and confessional statements, is the exultation of Jesus, meaning that through his ascension Jesus took his seat at the right hand of God in Heaven: “He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.” It is interpreted more broadly as the culmination of the Mystery of the Incarnation, marking the completion of Jesus’ physical presence among his apostles and consummating the union of God and man, as expressed in the Second Helvetic Confession:

Despite this, the Ascension itself has become an embarrassment. As expressed in a famous statement by theologian Rudolf Bultmann in his essay The New Testament and Mythology: “We no longer believe in the three-storied universe which the creeds take for granted… No one who is old enough to think for himself supposes that God lives in a local heaven … And if this is so, the story of Christ’s … ascension into heaven is done with.” Modern theologians have therefore de-mythologised their theology, abandoning a God who sits enthroned above Jerusalem for a heaven which is “the endless, self-sustaining life of God” and the Ascension “an emblem in space and time of God’s eternal life.”

The Feast of the Ascension is one of the ecumenical (i.e., universally celebrated) feasts of the Christian liturgical year, along with the Passion, Easter, and Pentecost. Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on the sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday, the fortieth day from Easter day, although some Roman Catholic provinces have moved the observance to the following Sunday to facilitate the obligation to take Mass. Saint Jerome held that it was of Apostolic origin, but in fact the Ascension was originally part of Pentecost (the coming of the Holy Spirit, and developed as a separate celebration only slowly from the late 4th century onward. In the Catholic tradition it begins with a three-day “rogation” to ask for God’s mercy, and the feast itself includes a procession of torches and banners symbolising Christ’s journey to the Mount of Olives and entry into heaven, the extinguishing of the Paschal candle, and an all-night vigil; white is the liturgical colour. The orthodox tradition has a slightly different calendar up to a month later than in the Western tradition; the Anglican communion continues to observe the feast, but most Protestant churches have abandoned the traditional Christian calendar of feasts.

The Ascension has been a frequent subject in Christian art. By the 6th century the iconography of the Ascension had been established and by the 9th century Ascension scenes were being depicted on domes of churches. The Rabbula Gospels (c. 586) include some of the earliest images of the Ascension. Many ascension scenes have two parts, an upper (Heavenly) part and a lower (earthly) part. The ascending Christ may be carrying a resurrection banner or make a sign of benediction with his right hand. The blessing gesture by Christ with his right hand is directed towards the earthly group below him and signifies that he is blessing the entire Church. In the left hand, he may be holding a Gospel or a scroll, signifying teaching and preaching.

The Eastern Orthodox portrayal of the Ascension is a major metaphor for the mystical nature of the Church. In many Eastern icons the Virgin Mary is placed at the center of the scene in the earthly part of the depiction, with her hands raised towards Heaven, often accompanied by various Apostles. The upwards-looking depiction of the earthly group matches the Eastern liturgy on the Feast of the Ascension: “Come, let us rise and turn our eyes and thoughts high…”

The traditional site of the Ascension is Mount Olivet (the “Mount of Olives”, on which the village of Bethany sits. Before the conversion of Constantine in 312 AD, early Christians honored the Ascension of Christ in a cave on the Mount, and by 384 the Ascension was venerated on the present site, uphill from the cave.[33]

Around the year 390 a wealthy Roman woman named Poimenia financed construction of the original church called “Eleona Basilica” (elaion in Greek means “olive garden”, from elaia “olive tree,” and has an oft-mentioned similarity to eleos meaning “mercy”). This church was destroyed by Sassanid Persians in 614. It was subsequently rebuilt, destroyed, and rebuilt again by the Crusaders. This final church was later destroyed by Muslims, leaving only a 12×12 meter octagonal structure (called a martyrium”memorial”or “Edicule”) that remains to this day.[34] The site was ultimately acquired by two emissaries of Saladin in the year 1198 and has remained in the possession of the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem ever since.

The Chapel of the Ascension today is a Christian and Muslim holy site now believed to mark the place where Jesus ascended into heaven; in the small round church/mosque is a stone imprinted with the footprints of Jesus.[33] The Russian Orthodox Church also maintains a Convent of the Ascension on the top of the Mount of Olives.

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Ascension of Jesus – Wikipedia

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The Structure and Mechanical Behavior of Ice – TMS

Posted: at 12:31 pm

Since icebergs were first proposed as potential aircraft carriers in World War II, research has led to a better understanding of the mechanical behavior of ice. While work remains, especially in relating fracture on the small scale to that on the larger scale and to the appropriate structural features, the groundwork in materials science has been laid. This paper presents an overview of the structure and mechanical behavior of polycrystalline terrestrial ice.

Since then ice research has flourished. Nucleation and growth from both vapor and liquid states has been studied and placed within the context of classical thermodynamics and kinetics. The structure of ice and natural ice formations has been examined and then related to the thermal-mechanical history of the material. Electrical properties have been measured and explained in terms of the number density and mobility of protonic charge carriers. Optical and thermal behaviors have been explored. Mechanical behavior has been thoroughly studied, from the flow and fracture of single crystals to the creep of glaciers and the fracturing of Arctic sea-ice covers. Indeed, over the past ten years alone more than 10,000 papers on ice have appeared in the scientific and engineering literature.

Why the interest? Ice, it turns out, is a factor in activities as diverse as skiing and skating, rainmaking, polar marine transportation, and cold ocean oil exploration. It is an element in the degradation of cold concrete and other porous materials. It forms as “icing” on airplanes and electrical transmission lines. Ice is also a factor in global climate, evident perhaps from the facts that the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets cover about 10% of the earth’s land area and sea ice covers about 10% of the ocean surface either seasonally or perennially. In addition, the ice sheets and the air bubbles entrapped therein are the storehouses of the pa-leoclimate record. Ice is also a major constituent of the moons of Jupiter and of other extraterrestrial bodies.

This article reviews the structure and mechanical behavior of polycrystalline terrestrial ice. Fuller accounts are given in the literature cited and in the following references: ice physics by Hobbs2 and by Petrenko and Whitworth;3 ice-structure interactions by Sanderson;4 sea ice by Weeks;5 ice mechanics by Michel;6 and plastic flow and fracture in the Johannes Weertman Symposium.7 Curtin8 offers a historical perspective through the eyes of the U.S. Navy, and Levi9 describes the role of ice in the global heat budget. Durham et al.10 discuss the creep of planetary ice.

The relationship to Ic lies in a common tetrahedral arrangement of H2O molecules. Ic, however, has the diamond cubic crystal structure, in which the stacking sequence relative to the {111} plane is . . . AABBCCAABBCC . . . ; its lattice parameter (at -130C) is 0.635 nm.

The hydrogen atoms are arranged randomly11 according to the Bernal-Fowler rules.12 First, two protons must be located near each oxygen. Second, only one proton must lie on each O-O bond. The random arrangement persists at low temperatures, owing to the extraordinarily slow reorientation of the H2O molecule (greater than 100 years at liquid nitrogen temperature), and this leads to a large amount (3.41 J/mol.) of zero-point entropy. Ice does not violate the third law of thermodynamics.

Point Defects

Violations of the Bernal-Fowler rules create ionic and Bjerrum defects.15 If the proton moves along the O-O bond, then the first rule is violated: one proton near an oxygen atom creates an OH- ion; three create an H3O+ ion. If the proton moves around the oxygen atom, then the second rule is violatedno hydrogen atom on an O-O bond creates L-type Bjerrum defects (L stands for leer, which means empty in German); two protons create a D-type Bjerrum defect (D means doublet). Both kinds of defects contribute to electrical conductivity (the migration of ions allows protons to move from one end of a bond to the other), and the movement of Bjerrum defects allows protons to move from one side of an oxygen atom to another. Without the migration of both defects, long-range protonic conduction could not occur.

Despite the fact that water is a universal solvent, the solubility of substances in ice Ih is very low. The solubility of HCl, for instance, is 3 X 10-6 at -10C. Exceptions are HF and NH3. These molecules are assumed to dissolve substitutionally, creating L-defects in HF and D-defects in NH3, as well as additional ionic defects. The impurities increase electrical conductivity.


Figure 2 shows a composite x-ray topograph illustrating slip bands in two adjacent grains in a polycrystal. In both crystals slip occurred by dislocation glide on basal or {0001} planes.16 The Burgers’ vectors were parallel to the direction and of a magnitude defined by the shortest distance between oxygen atoms in the same basal plane (i.e., by the distance not between nearest neighbors, but between next-nearest neighbors, as in Figure 1). Basal slip,17 in principle, can take place on both a more widely spaced set of planes, termed shuffle planes (e.g., the plane between atoms 8 and 11 in Figure 1), and a less widely spaced set, termed glide planes (e.g., the plane between atoms 1 and 8 in Figure 1). It is not clear which set is dominant. The distinction is significant, however, because adjacent planes of oxygen atoms of the glide set relate to each other in a manner similar to that in face-centered cubic and hexagonal close-packed metals, leading to the possibility of dislocation dissociation into partials. To date, however, partial dislocations have not been observed.

A unique feature is worth noting. Because the protons in ice Ih are arranged randomly, the translation of part of the crystal relative to the rest by the Burgers’ vector will not exactly reproduce the atomic arrangement.18 Instead, the translation introduces Bjerrum defects. The stress needed to create them (of formation energy 0.68 eV) is orders of magnitude greater than can be accounted for by the actual flow stress.18 This implies that some kind of protonic rearrangement must occur. However, the precise way in which dislocations overcome the obstacle presented by proton disorder is not yet known.

Planar Defects

Stacking faults have been observed in as-grown crystals using x-ray topography.19 They can be eliminated by annealing and so are considered to be unstable defects. Twins have not been observed, in material either well annealed or plastically deformed. Barring free surfaces, grain boundaries are the most prominent planar defect. They exhibit ledges, some as large as 1 mm (Figure 2), and close to the melting point they contain liquid water in submillimeter-sized veins that lie along lines of intersection.20 Within warm sea ice they also contain millimeter-sized brine pockets. Grain boundaries are sites of sliding and crack nucleation and are thus important microstructural features.

Arctic sea ice5 forms directly upon the unidirectional solidification of salt water. Floating covers form and consist primarily of columnar-shaped grains elongated in the growth direction, reminiscent of metallic ingots. Once thickened to a few centimeters, the covers develop a strong growth texture in which the crystallographic c-axes are confined more or less to the horizontal plane, but are either randomly oriented within this plane or aligned22 with the ocean current. Sea ice is characterized also by an intragranular porous substructure that consists of submillimeter diameter air bubbles and brine pockets, totaling 4-5 vol.%, arrayed in a plate-like manner parallel to basal planes. Also, cold sea ice may contain precipitates of sea salts (mainly NaCl). Both deformation and growth textures lead to macroscopically anisotropic inelastic behavior.

Inelastic behavior is markedly anisotropic. The critical resolved shear stress for non-basal slip is 60 times or more greater than that for basal slip,24 and this presents a problem for polycrystals. Basal slip allows only two independent deformation modes. When coupled with the facts that twinning does not occur and four independent deformation modes are required25 (from self-consistent calculations) for extensive, crack-free flow, the plastic anisotropy leads to the build-up of internal stresses on the scale of the grain size. The stresses arise because grains favorably oriented for slip shed load to those less well oriented. The implication is that unless time is allowed for the internal stresses to relax, plastic flow will initiate cracks.26,27 If the cracks are tolerated, the ice will exhibit macroscopically ductile behavior. If not, then the material will exhibit macroscopically brittle behavior.

That ice can be brittle at temperatures right up to its melting point is perhaps surprising. The reason is related to the fact that its melting point diffusivity is around 10-15-10-14 m2/s, compared to higher values of 10-11-10-12 m2/s for elemental metals. Diffusion-assisted stress relaxation thus occurs relatively slowly.

Plastic flow and quasisteady-state creep of coarsely grained ice has been explained24,29 and then modeled quantitatively in terms of dislocation or power-law creep (i.e., by glide and climb of basal dislocations). Supporting this view is the fact that the activation energies for self-diffusion (0.65 eV = 62 kJ/mol.) and creep are essentially the same. Also, the creep rate is independent of grain size, and the dependence of the creep rate on stress (the inverse of the strain-rate sensitivity of the flow stress) is of the correct magnitude. The flow of very finely grained ice of micrometer dimensions can be rationalized in terms of grain-boundary sliding accommodated by dislocation creep. The effect of brine inclusions has been explained by a reduction in internal back stress.

Brittle failure under compression (regime CIII, Figures 3 and 4) is marked by sudden material collapse after shortening less than about 0.5%. The failure mode is generally shear faulting on planes inclined by about 30 to the direction of maximum principal stress, although axial splitting can also occur under unconfined loading. The material now exhibits strain-rate softening, but is still thermally softened. The brittle compressive strength rises sharply under a small amount of confinement in a Coulombic manner.42-47 This implies that the deviatoric stress at failure increases with increasing hydrostatic stress and means that frictional crack sliding is an important element in the failure process. Again, the strength decreases with increasing grain size in a Hall-Petch manner.48 Brine inclusions, however, have no effect at all.47

where v is the velocity of the ice relative to the structure, and L is the width of the structure. Typical values are v = 0.1- 1 m/s and L = 10-100 m, giving strain rates that lead to brittle behavior.

Consider the most recent observations.51 Figure 5a shows a typical terminal shear fault; Figure 5b shows a thin section of the same fault, and Figure 5c shows the corresponding stress-strain curve. The fault was created by loading coarsely grained (10 mm) columnar fresh-water ice biaxially across the columns under a moderate degree of confinement (minor stress/major stress = 22/11 = 0.1) at -10C at 5 X 10-3 s-1. In Figure 5, the long axis of the grains is perpendicular to the page.

Experiments and analyses have shown that the parent cracks nucleate through grain-boundary sliding.56-59 The wing cracks initiate as a result of frictional sliding of the parent cracks.50 The splay cracks, it is thought, initiate from Hertzian contact stresses across the parent-crack faces and then propagate within a tensile field created most likely by nonuniform displacements across the sliding crack.

Schulson et al.51 propose that splay cracks are critical features in initiating the fault. Upon forming, they create sets of closely spaced microcolumns fixed on one end and free on the other. The free end contacts the sliding crack, which induces a moment that causes the columns to bend and break, rather like the breaking of teeth in a comb under a sliding thumb (Figure 6). It is the failure of these microcolumns under frictional shear loading, they suggest, that initiates the fault. Near-surface microcolumns probably break first, owing to less constraint there. It is imagined that growth then follows along a band of reduced shear strength that is composed of splay cracks formed prior to fault initiation plus fresh splay cracks created within a kind of process zone just ahead of the advancing fault front (Figure 7). The front moves rapidly across the section, creating “gouge” in its wake.

An estimate of the stress to initiate the fault may be obtained as follows. Assume that the fault is initiated when a microcolumn breaks. Assume also the scenario sketched in Figure 6, where M and P, respectively, are the induced moment and axial load per unit depth of the microcolumn; and n are the shear stress and normal stresses, respectively, acting on the microcolumn; and is the inclination of the parent crack. Then, by invoking the analysis of Thouless et al.60 for the propagation of an edge crack in a brittle plate, one can show that for = 45 the initiation stress, f, under uniaxial loading is approximated by the relationship51

It is not a new idea that failure of deformation-induced microcolumns is the micromechanical event accounting for the initiation of a shear fault. Others have advanced a similar view.63-65 Previously, however, failure was imagined to occur by elastic buckling of columns fixed on both ends, created, for instance, by echelon arrays of wing cracks. Given the dimensions of the splay-induced microcolumns created in ice, the Euler buckling stress is estimated to be 630 MPa to 3,000 MPa, and this is two to three orders of magnitude greater than the strength of the material. Hence, it is our opinion that elastic buckling is not the event that triggers the fault.

The transition can be understood in terms of the competition between stress relaxation and stress build-up at crack tips. At intermediate rates of deformation crack-tip stresses relax through creep deformation, and so the mode-I stress intensity factor KI, at either the tips of wing cracks or splay cracks, never reaches the critical level. At high rates, on the other hand, stress build-up dominates, and KI quickly reaches the critical level Kic. The transition occurs when the competition between stress relaxation and stress build-up is in balance.

Schulson34,48 modeled the process by invoking Ashby-Hallam63 frictional sliding-crack mechanics and Riedel-Rice66 crack-tip creep. By assuming that cracks propagate when the crack-tip creep zone size falls below a small fraction f of the crack length, he obtained the transition strain rate in terms of the independently measurable parameters of fracture resistance (KIc,), creep constant B, (B1/m) friction (), and crack length (D); f must be calculated from the Riedel-Rice model. The transition strain rate may then be expressed by the relationship

where R is the ratio of the confining stress to the most compressive stress. A comparison with experiment34,35,67 shows that the model correctly captures the effects of crack size (set by grain size68 in virgin material), confinement, and brine pores and that it predicts for the conditions of Figure 4 a transition strain rate of 10-3 s-1, which is close to that observed. The model also holds that through the effects of temperature on friction and creep, the transition strain rate is only slightly dependent upon temperature, at least over the range -40C to -3C, again in accord with experiment. Moreover, by including the crack size, the model accounts for the fact that sheets of first-year sea ice, which are laced with meter-sized (and larger) cracks and wind loaded under compression, exhibit macroscopic brittle behavior69 even though they are deformed at rates as low as 10-7 s-1.

Moreover, there is new evidence72 that fracturing and fragmentation of ice exhibit fractal organization in the lab and in the field. Within faulted rock, both splay cracks (as noted above) and zigs and zags denoting wing cracks73,74 have been seen on small and large scales. While the physics may not change with size, the terminal compressive failure stresses will probably be lower in larger features, possibly scaling as (crack size)-0.5. Consistent with this notion, at least for ice, is Sanderson’s4 observation that large fractures fail at lower stresses than small ones. Also consistent are recent measurements of stresses within floating covers,71,75 which are usually within the kPa range as compared with the MPa range of lab measurements. The ductile flow of glaciers, on the other hand, reflects the power-law creep relationship of small test specimens, implying that dislocation-based processes are scale-independent.

Failure under tension is size-dependent, owing in part to the larger flaws within the larger features. Dempsey76,77 has discussed this aspect of the subject, from the perspective of applied mech-anics.

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Ltrs. 8 (1989), p. 1193. 39. E.M. Schulson, P.N. Lim, and R.W. Lee, Phil. Mag. A, 49 (1984), p. 353. 40. J.A. Richter-Menge and K.F. Jones, J. Glaciol., 39 (1993), p. 609. 41. E.M. Schulson, S.G. Hoxie, and W.A. Nixon, Phil. Mag. A, 59 (1989), p. 303. 42. T.R. Smith and E.M. Schulson, Acta Metall., 41 (1993), p. 153. 43. R.E. Gagnon and P.H. Gammon, J. Glaciol., 41 (1995), p. 528. 44. M.A. Rist and S.A.F. Murrell, J. Glaciol., 40 (1994), p. 305. 45. J. Weiss and E.M. Schulson, Acta Metall., 43 (1995), p. 2303. 46. E.T. Gratz and E.M. Schulson, J. Geophys. Res., 102 (1997), p. 5091. 47. E.M. Schulson and E.T. Gratz, Acta Metall. (in press). 48. E.M. Schulson, Acta Metall., 38 (1990), p. 1963. 49. S.K. Singh and I.J. Jordaan, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 24 (1996), p. 153. 50. B. Zou, J. Xiao, and I.J. Jordann, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 24 (1996), p. 213. 51. E.M. Schulson, D. Iliescu, and C.E. Renshaw, J. Geophys. Res. (in press). 52. T.-F. Wong, Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. Geomech. Abstr., 19 (1982), p. 49. 53. R.R. Gottschalk et al., J. Geophys. Res., 95 (1990), p. 21613. 54. S.J. Martel and D.D. Pollard, J. Geophys. Res., 94 (1989), p. 9417. 55. K.M. Cruikshank et al., J. Struct. Geol., 13 (1991), p. 865. 56. H.J. Frost, Proc. in Joint Applied Mechanics and Materials Summer Conference, ed. J.P. Dempsey and Y.D.S. Rajapakse (Los Angeles, CA: University of California, 1995), pp. 1-8. 57. R.C. Picu, V. Gupta, and H.J. Frost, J. Geophys. Res., 99 (1994), p. 11775. 58. R.C. Picu and V.J. Gupta, Acta Metall., 43 (1995), p. 3791. 59. J. Weiss, E.M. Schulson, and H.J. Frost, Phil. Mag. A, 73 (1996), p. 1385. 60. M.D. Thouless et al., Acta Metall., 35 (1987), p. 1333. 61. J.P. Dempsey, Ice Structure Interactions, ed. S.J. Jones (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1991), p. 109. 62. D.E. Jones, F.E. Kennedy, and E.M. Schulson, Ann. Glaciol., 15 (1991), p. 242. 63. M.F. Ashby and S.D. Hallam, Acta Metall., 34 (1986), p. 497. 64. C.G. Sammis and M.F. Ashby, Acta Metall., 34 (1986), p. 511. 65. Z.P. Bazant and Y. Xiang, J. Eng. Mech., 2 (1997), p. 162. 66. H. Riedel and J.R. Rice, ASTM-STP-7700, (1980), p. 112. 67. R.A. Batto and E.M. Schulson, Acta Metall., 41 (1993), p. 2219. 68. D.M. Cole, Proc. Fourth Int. Symp. on Offshore Mech. Arctic Engng. (New York: ASME, 1985), p. 220. 69. J.R. Marko and R.E. Thomson, J. Geophys. Res., 82 (1977), p. 979. 70. E.M. Schulson and W.D. Hibler, III, J. Glaciol., 37 (1991), p. 319. 71. J.A. Richter-Menge et al., Proc. of the ASYS Conference on the Dynamics of the Arctic Climate System, ed. P. Lemke (Gotteborg, Sweden: World Meterological Org., 1996), pp. 327-331. 72. J. Weiss and M. Gay, J. Geophys. Res., 103 (1998), p. 24005. 73. D.E. Moore and D.A. Lockner, J. Struct. Geol., 17 (1995), p. 95. 74. R. Bilham and P. Williams, Geophys. Res. Lett., 12 (1985), p. 557. 75. W.B. Tucker, III and D.K. Perovich, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 20 (1992), p. 119. 76. J.P. Dempsey, contribution to Research Trends in Solid Mechanics, a report from U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (in press). 77. J.P. Dempsey, Johannes Weertman Symposium, ed. R.J. Arsenault et al. (Warrendale, PA: TMS, 1996), p. 351. 78. R.W. Lee (M.S. thesis, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 1985). 79. E.M. Schulson and N.P. Cannon, Proc. IAHR Ice Symp. (Hamburg, Germany: Hamburgische, Schiffbau-Versuchanstahlt GmbH, 1984), p. 24. 80. I. Hawkes and M. Mellor, J. Glaciol., 11 (1972), p. 103.


E.M. Schulson is currently a professor of engineering at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.

For more information, contact E.M. Schulson, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755; (603) 646-2888; fax (603) 646-3856; e-mail

Direct questions about this or any other JOM page to


The Structure and Mechanical Behavior of Ice – TMS

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Biological immortality – Wikipedia

Posted: at 12:19 pm











Biological immortality refers to a stable or decreasing rate of mortality from senescence, thus decoupling it from chronological age. Various unicellular and multicellular species, including some vertebrates, achieve this state either throughout their existence or after living long enough. A biologically immortal living being can still die from means other than senescence, such as through injury or disease.

This definition of immortality has been challenged in the new Handbook of the Biology of Aging,[1] because the increase in rate of mortality as a function of chronological age may be negligible at extremely old ages, an idea referred to as the late-life mortality plateau. The rate of mortality may cease to increase in old age, but in most cases that rate is typically very high.[2] As a hypothetical example, there is only a 50% chance of a human surviving another year at age 110 or greater.

The term is also used by biologists to describe cells that are not subject to the Hayflick limit.

Biologists chose the word “immortal” to designate cells that are not subject to the Hayflick limit, the point at which cells can no longer divide due to DNA damage or shortened telomeres. Prior to Leonard Hayflick’s theory, Alexis Carrel hypothesized that all normal somatic cells were immortal.[3]

The term “immortalization” was first applied to cancer cells that expressed the telomere-lengthening enzyme telomerase, and thereby avoided apoptosisi.e. cell death caused by intracellular mechanisms. Among the most commonly used cell lines are HeLa and Jurkat, both of which are immortalized cancer cell lines. HeLa cells originated from a sample of cervical cancer taken from Henrietta Lacks in 1951.[4] These cells have been and still are widely used in biological research such as creation of the polio vaccine,[5] sex hormone steroid research,[6] and cell metabolism.[7] Normal stem cells and germ cells can also be said to be immortal (when humans refer to the cell line).[citation needed]

Immortal cell lines of cancer cells can be created by induction of oncogenes or loss of tumor suppressor genes. One way to induce immortality is through viral-mediated induction of the large Tantigen,[8] commonly introduced through simian virus 40 (SV-40).[9]

According to the Animal Aging and Longevity Database, the list of organisms with negligible aging (along with estimated longevity in the wild) includes:[10]

Many unicellular organisms age: as time passes, they divide more slowly and ultimately die. Asymmetrically dividing bacteria and yeast also age. However, symmetrically dividing bacteria and yeast can be biologically immortal under ideal growing conditions.[11] In these conditions, when a cell splits symmetrically to produce two daughter cells, the process of cell division can restore the cell to a youthful state. However, if the parent asymmetrically buds off a daughter only the daughter is reset to the youthful state – the parent isn’t restored and will go on to age and die. In a similar manner stem cells and gametes can be regarded as “immortal”.

Hydras are a genus of the Cnidaria phylum. All cnidarians can regenerate, allowing them to recover from injury and to reproduce asexually. Hydras are simple, freshwater animals possessing radial symmetry and no post-mitotic cells. All hydra cells continually divide.[citation needed] It has been suggested that hydras do not undergo senescence, and, as such, are biologically immortal. In a four-year study, 3 cohorts of hydra did not show an increase in mortality with age. It is possible that these animals live much longer, considering that they reach maturity in 5 to 10 days.[12] However, this does not explain how hydras are consequently able to maintain telomere lengths.

Turritopsis dohrnii, or Turritopsis nutricula, is a small (5 millimeters (0.20in)) species of jellyfish that uses transdifferentiation to replenish cells after sexual reproduction. This cycle can repeat indefinitely, potentially rendering it biologically immortal. This organism originated in the Caribbean sea, but has now spread around the world. Similar cases include hydrozoan Laodicea undulata[13] and scyphozoan Aurelia sp.1.[14]

Research suggests that lobsters may not slow down, weaken, or lose fertility with age, and that older lobsters may be more fertile than younger lobsters. This does not however make them immortal in the traditional sense, as they are significantly more likely to die at a shell moult the older they get (as detailed below).

Their longevity may be due to telomerase, an enzyme that repairs long repetitive sections of DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes, referred to as telomeres. Telomerase is expressed by most vertebrates during embryonic stages but is generally absent from adult stages of life.[15] However, unlike vertebrates, lobsters express telomerase as adults through most tissue, which has been suggested to be related to their longevity.[16][17][18] Contrary to popular belief, lobsters are not immortal. Lobsters grow by moulting which requires a lot of energy, and the larger the shell the more energy is required.[19] Eventually, the lobster will die from exhaustion during a moult. Older lobsters are also known to stop moulting, which means that the shell will eventually become damaged, infected, or fall apart and they die.[20] The European lobster has an average life span of 31 years for males and 54 years for females.

Planarian flatworms have both sexually and asexually reproducing types. Studies on genus Schmidtea mediterranea suggest these planarians appear to regenerate (i.e. heal) indefinitely, and asexual individuals have an “apparently limitless [telomere] regenerative capacity fueled by a population of highly proliferative adult stem cells”. “Both asexual and sexual animals display age-related decline in telomere length; however, asexual animals are able to maintain telomere lengths somatically [ie during reproduction by fission or when regeneration is induced by amputation], whereas sexual animals restore telomeres by extension during sexual reproduction or during embryogenesis like other sexual species… homeostatic telomerase activity observed in both asexual and sexual animals is not sufficient to maintain telomere length, whereas the increased activity in regenerating asexuals is sufficient to renew telomere length… “[21]

Lifespan: For sexually reproducing planaria: “the life span of individual planarian can be as long as 3 years, likely due to the ability of neoblasts to constantly replace aging cells.” Whereas for asexually reproducing planaria: “individual animals in clonal lines of some planarian species replicating by fission have been maintained for over 15 years.”[22]

Although the premise that biological aging can be halted or reversed by foreseeable technology remains controversial,[23] research into developing possible therapeutic interventions is underway.[24] Among the principal drivers of international collaboration in such research is the SENS Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that advocates a number of what it claims are plausible research pathways that might lead to engineered negligible senescence in humans.[25]

In 2015, Elizabeth Parrish, CEO of BioViva, treated herself using gene therapy, with the goal of not just halting, but reversing aging.[26] She has since reported feeling more energetic, but long-term study of the treatment is ongoing.[citation needed]

For several decades,[27] researchers have also pursued various forms of suspended animation as a means by which to indefinitely extend mammalian lifespan. Some scientists have voiced support[28] for the feasibility of the cryopreservation of humans, known as cryonics. Cryonics is predicated on the concept that some people considered clinically dead by today’s medicolegal standards are not actually dead according to information-theoretic death and can, in principle, be resuscitated given sufficient technological advances.[29] The goal of current cryonics procedures is tissue vitrification, a technique first used to reversibly cryopreserve a viable whole organ in 2005.[30][31]

Similar proposals involving suspended animation include chemical brain preservation. The non-profit Brain Preservation Foundation offers a cash prize valued at over $100,000 for demonstrations of techniques that would allow for high-fidelity, long-term storage of a mammalian brain.[32]

In 2012 in Russia, and then in the United States, Israel, and the Netherlands, pro-immortality transhumanist political parties were launched.[33] They aim to provide political support to anti-aging and radical life extension research and technologies and want to ensure the fastest possibleand at the same time, as least disruptive as possiblesocietal transition to radical life extension, life without aging, and ultimately, immortality. They aim to make it possible to provide access to such technologies to the majority of people alive today.[34]

Biogerontologist Marios Kyriazis suggested that biological immortality in humans is an inevitable consequence of natural evolution.[35][36] His theory of extreme lifespans through perpetual-equalising interventions (ELPIs) proposes that[37] the ability to attain indefinite lifespans is inherent in human biology, and that there will come a time when humans will continue to develop their intelligence by living indefinitely, rather than through evolution by natural selection.[38][39] Finite telomere regeneration would enable such a theory in biological models upcoming.

Future advances in nanomedicine could give rise to life extension through the repair of many processes thought to be responsible for aging. K. Eric Drexler, one of the founders of nanotechnology, postulated cell repair devices, including ones operating within cells and utilizing as yet hypothetical molecular machines, in his 1986 book Engines of Creation. Raymond Kurzweil, a futurist and transhumanist, stated in his book The Singularity Is Near that he believes that advanced medical nanorobotics could completely remedy the effects of aging by 2030.[40] According to Richard Feynman, it was his former graduate student and collaborator Albert Hibbs who originally suggested to him (circa 1959) the idea of a medical use for Feynman’s theoretical micromachines (see biological machine). Hibbs suggested that certain repair machines might one day be reduced in size to the point that it would, in theory, be possible to (as Feynman put it) “swallow the doctor”. The idea was incorporated into Feynman’s 1959 essay There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.[41]

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Liberal Studies – Interdisciplinary Studies – Clayton …

Posted: November 30, 2016 at 6:44 pm

For more information, call the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies: (678) 466-4883

The Liberal Studies program allows students to create an individualized curriculum composed of courses and experiences which meet their individual career needs. This approach is different from many traditional, discipline-based baccalaureate programs which are designed in part to prepare students for advanced work in a specific academic discipline — a major in history or biology, for example. This flexibility enables students to develop academic plans that meet the ever-changing requirements of the world of work, but it also requires careful planning. Students should clarify their career or learning goals as they begin designing the components of their program. The bachelors degree in Liberal Studies can also be an appropriate preparation for students planning to attend graduate school in certain disciplines and professions. Students may earn either a baccalaureate degree by completing a planned program of 120 semester credit hours or an associate’s degree with a major in Liberal Studies upon the completion of Areas A-F of the Core Curriculum.

While this degree program is open to all qualified students, it has been designed principally to meet the higher education needs of the following two specific groups of students:

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The program allows students the opportunity to bring together — or integrate — courses from a wide variety of academic areas or disciplines to support their individual career goals. In addition to the courses available at Clayton State, students may elect to take courses on the campuses of the Atlanta Regional Consortium like Emory, Georgia State, or Agnes Scott, or they can take advantage of distance learning courses offered by those institutions or others. The program also integrates on-campus with community-based, experiential methods of learning. Workforce skills today require new competencies such as effective collaboration and teamwork which may not be available through classroom instruction alone; these skills must be learned, developed, and advanced in real work environments. For these reasons, internship placements which support this component are arranged for all students in the program.

Since this program was developed to allow students to design individualized curriculum plans, the first step in the application process is the identification and clarification of career goals. These goals will shape the outcomes of individual programs — what students need to know and be able to do in order to be successful in the occupational or professional area chosen. This step is primarily the responsibility of students seeking admission to the program and will require considerable investigation and reflection prior to completion of the application process. Only if students have clear goals statements can faculty advisors effectively assist them in designing programs which are appropriate and which maximize the resources available.

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Admission to the Program: Before enrolling in BALS 3901 (Liberal Studies Internship/Practicum), students must have:

Individualized Curriculum: Students work closely with an assigned Liberal Studies advisor to develop a curriculum plan which takes advantage of the wide range of learning resources available. Courses may be drawn from any discipline, but all courses must apply toward the baccalaureate degrees at Clayton State. Courses from a career associate degree program (AAS) generally do not count toward baccalaureate degrees. Completing a degree in Liberal Studies requires completion of 120 semester hours as follows:

Completing a degree in Integrative studies requires completion of 120 semester hours as follows:

Academic Standing: A grade of C or better is required in the BALS 3901 course. Students must maintain a 2.0 overall grade point average to remain in good standing as defined by University System policy. In addition, no more than 6 semester hours of D grades can be counted in the courses that are chosen to fulfill the upper division requirements of the program.

Residency Requirement: The normal University residency requirement of 30 hours applies, with the following exceptions: (1) all BALS 3901 courses must be taken in residence at Clayton State University; and (2) 9 hours of coursework taken from schools participating in the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE) may be counted as in residence, provided the courses are approved in advance as part of the students Liberal Studies program of study. Note: Of the 30 hours required for residency, 21 semester hours must be 3000-4000 level courses credited toward your degree.

Liberal Studies Internship: The Liberal Studies Practicum/Internship (BALS 3901) is the principal “experiential learning” component of the program, though students may also earn additional credit via other internships or cooperative education. This seminar will normally be taken during the first term of the senior year, and the placement site will be in a professional work environment related to the interests/career goals of the individual student. Placement may be with for-profit, not-for-profit, or governmental entities as appropriate. Collaborating businesses/agencies must agree to create and supervise meaningful experiences that will allow students to observe and participate in real world projects and activities that bear directly on the challenges of the contemporary workplace. Students are permitted to complete a practicum or internship in the company where they are already employed. Students are encouraged to seek experiential opportunities outside the USA.

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The Liberal Studies program provides the opportunity for a student to work with an advisor to design a curriculum that meets the students career and educational needs. This flexibility enables students to develop academic programs that meet the ever-changing requirements of the world of work. A bachelors degree in Liberal Studies can also be designed to prepare students for graduate school in certain disciplines and professions.

Before beginning upper-division study in Liberal Studies, applicants must have:

Core Curriculum (Areas A – E) 42 hours

All Liberal Studies Core Curriculum requirements are shown in the suggested degree program.

Lower Division Core Requirements (Core Curriculum Area F) 18 hours

Humanities 3-9 hours

Any of the following 1000- or 2000-level courses: AFAM, WST, ART, CMS, COMM, THEA, ENGL, FREN, MUSC, PHIL, and SPAN

Social Sciences 3-9 hours

Any of the following 1000- or 2000-level courses: AFAM, WST, ECON, EDUC, HIST, POLS, PSYC, SOCI

Natural Sciences and Mathematics 0-6 hours

Any 1000- or 2000-level MATH courses numbered 1113 or higher not already applied to Areas A or D and/or any 1000- or 2000-level ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, or PHYS, or other science courses not already applied to Area D.

Area Major Courses 0-12 hours

Courses from Area F of any major that have not been used to satisfy other Core Curriculum category requirements.

Upper Division Required Courses 3 hours

BALS 3901, Liberal Studies Practicum/Internship 3 hours

Students may take up to 9 hours of BALS 3901, but students may only register for 1 semester of BALS 3901 per semester. Additional terms of BALS 3901 will be applied in the upper division.

Upper Division Area Major Courses 57 hours

The Liberal Studies Major requires students to complete a CSU minor program in Arts & Sciences (African-American Studies, History, English (Literature), English (Writing), Womens Studies, Communication & Media Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science, Chemistry, etc.).

Fulfilling the requirements for a minor in an area of expertise enables students to move toward achieving career and academic goals. Additional courses may be drawn from any field, but must be in the students advised program of study. No more than 18 lower division hours may be applied to this category.

Total Degree Requirements 120 hours

In order to be admitted to the upper division level of the Integrative Studies program, students must have and institutional grade point average of at least 2.0 and must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to progress to graduation.

For general Clayton State University admission information


or email Clayton State University info

or call (678) 466-4115

BALS Curriculum Worksheet Fall 2015

BALS Graduation Application 2015

BALS Graduation Application 2011

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ACADIA | 2016 Conference

Posted: at 6:42 pm

The ACADIA 2016 Conference will foster design work and research from the worlds of practice and academia that lie at the intersection between procedural design, designed environments and autonomous machines. More specifically, this conference will seek to explore recent work within the current trend in computational design to develop and apply quasi-cognitive machines; the integration of software, information, fabrication and sensing to generate mechanisms for interfacing with the physical realm. The conference will invite the submission of papers and projects that explore and interrogate these questions through interdisciplinary endeavors involving fields such as material science, biology, art, computer graphics, civil engineering, and human-computer interaction.

AIA member attendees will receive 1.5 LU or LU/HSW CEUs per paper session and 1 LU per keynote presentation

FABRICATED, a panel discussion, will mark the close of the 2016 ACADIA workshops and the launch of the conference. The panel will be comprised of workshop leaders Brandon Clifford, Matt Jezyk, Dave Pigram and Lauren Vasey, and moderated by workshop co-chairs and Taubman College assistant professors Wes McGee and Catie Newell. After a brief reflection on the workshops that have just completed, the conversation will focus on the current and future works of the panelist as it relates to the 2016 ACADIA theme Posthuman Frontiers. At the conclusion of the workshops, the Taubman College FABLab will be open for tours.


ACADIA would also like to acknowledge the generosity of Autodesk in their support of additional scholarships and awards including the Autodesk ACADIA Student Conference Travel Scholarships, and the Autodesk ACADIA Research Excellence Awards to support outstanding peer-reviewed papers and projects.

Elizabeth Diller

Elizabeth Diller is a founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), an interdisciplinary design studio that works at the intersection of architecture, the visual arts, and the performing arts. With Ricardo Scofidio, Diller was the first in the field of architecture to receive the genius award from the MacArthur Foundation, which stated their work explores how space functions in our culture and illustrates that architecture, when understood as the physical manifestation of social relationships, is everywhere, not just in buildings.

DS+R established its identity through independent, theoretical, and self-generated projects before coming to international prominence with two of the most important planning initiatives in New York: the High Line, and the redesign of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts campus. In addition to the recently openend Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center at Columbia University, and The Broad museum in downtown Los Angeles, Diller is Principal-in-Charge of The Shed, a new center for artistic invention, and the renovation and expansion of MoMA, both in New York. Diller graduated from the Cooper Union School of Architecture in 1979, and taught at the school from 1981-1990. She is a Professor of Architecture at Princeton University.

Diller is a recipient of the Smithsonian Institutions National Design Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Design, and the Brunner Prize from the American Academy of the Arts and Letters. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 2013, Diller was awarded the Barnard Medal of Distinction, and DS+R was presented a Centennial Medal of Honor from the American Academy in Rome. Diller was selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Iris Van Herpen

Normal rules dont apply…

Iris van Herpen stands for a reciprocity between craftsmanship and innovation in technique and materials. She creates a modern view on Haute Couture that combines fine handwork techniques with digital technology .Van Herpen forces fashion to the extreme contradiction between beauty and regeneration. It is her unique way to reevaluate reality and so to express and underline individuality.

The essence of van Herpen is expressing the character and emotions of a woman and to extend the shape of the feminine body in detail. She mixes craftsmanship- using old and forgotten techniques- with innovation and materials inspired by the world to come.

For me fashion is an expression of art that is very close related to me and to my body. I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting.

In all my work I try to make clear that fashion is an artistic expression, showing and wearing art, and not just a functional and devoid of content or commercial tool. With my work I intend to show that fashion can certainly have an added value to the world, that it can be timeless and that its consumption can be less important then its beginning. Wearing clothing creates an exciting and imperative form of self-expression. ‘Form follows function’ is not a slogan with which I concur. On the contrary, I find that forms complement and change the body and thus the emotion. Movement, so essential to and in the body, is just as important in my work. By bringing form, structure and materials together in a new manner, I try to suggest and realize optimal tension and movement.

Iris designs require every time a unique treatment of material or even the creation of completely new materials. For this reason, Van Herpen prefers interdisciplinary research and often collaborates with other artists or scientists.

Philip Beesley

Philip Beesley is a practicing visual artist, architect, and Professor in Architecture at theUniversity of Waterlooand Professor of Digital Design and Architecture & Urbanism at theEuropean Graduate School. Beesley’s work is widely cited in contemporary art and architecture, focused in the rapidly expanding technology and culture of responsive and interactive systems.

Beesley was educated in visual art at Queen’s University, in technology at Humber College, and in architecture at the University of Toronto. He serves as the Director for the Living Architecture Systems Group, and as Director forRiverside Architectural Press. His Toronto- based practice, Philip Beesley Architect Inc., operates in partnership with the Europe-based practice Pucher Seifert and the Waterloo-based Adaptive Systems Group, and in numerous collaborations including longstanding exchanges with couture designer Iris van Herpen and futurist Rachel Armstrong. PBAI/PS combine the disciplines of professional architecture, science, engineering, and visual art. The studio’s methods incorporate industrial design, digital prototyping, instrument making, and mechatronics engineering. Beesley has authored and edited sixteen books and proceedings, and has appeared on the cover of Artificial Life (MIT), LEONARDO and AD journals. Features include national CBC news, Vogue, WIRED, and a series of TED talks. His work was selected to represent Canada at the 2010 Venice Biennale for Architecture, and has received distinctions including the Prix de Rome, VIDA 11.0, FEIDAD, Azure AZ, and Architizer A+. Beesley’s work is supported by partnerships and by SSHRC, NSERC and Canadian arts and technology funding.

Theodore Spyropoulos

Theodore Spyropoulos is an architect and educator. He is the Director of the Architectural Associations world renowned Design Research Lab (AADRL) in London. He has been a visiting Research Fellow at M.I.T.s Center for Advanced Visual Studies and co-founded the New Media and Information Research initiative at the AA. He has taught in the graduate school of UPENN, Royal College of Art Innovation Design Engineering Department and the University of Innsbruck.

In 2002 with his brother Stephen Spyropoulos he co-founded the experimental architecture and design practice Minimaforms. Using design as a mode of enquiry, the studio explores projects that enable new forms of communication. Embracing a generative and behavioral approach the studio develops open systems that construct participatory and interactive frameworks that engage the everyday. Their work has received international attention which have included nominations for the International Chernikhov Prize in architecture, named one of the top ten international public art installations by the Telegraph for their work Memory Cloud and most recently they were awarded best idea / creative work in the 5th Chinese International Beijing Biennale. Recent projects include two thematic pier landmarks and the illumination concept for a Renzo Pianos master planned 760 acre National Park in Athens, a large scale land art work in Norway, a vehicle in collaboration with artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, a behavior based robotic installation for the FRAC Centre and immersive ephemeral environment for the city of Detroit.

The work of Minimaforms has been acquired by the FRAC Centre, the Signum Foundation and the Archigram Archive, and has exhibited at MOMA, Barbican Centre, Onassis Cultural Centre, Detroit Institute of Arts and the ICA. Recent projects include two thematic pier landmarks and the illumination concept for a Renzo Pianos master planned 760-acre National Park in Athens, a large-scale land art intervention in Norway, and a proposal for self-organizing model named Emotive City. They have been featured in international media including BBC, BBC radio, Robert Elms Show, Wired Magazine, Fast Company, Guardian, Blueprint, and Icon Magazine. They were named Creative Reviews One to Watch.

Previously Theodore has worked as a project architect for the offices of Peter Eisenman and Zaha Hadid. In 2013 the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture awarded him The ACADIA award of excellence for his educational work directing the AADRL. His published books include Adaptive Ecologies: Correlated Systems of Living (2013), Enabling (2010) and forthcoming Behavior (2016).

Mario Carpo

Reyner Banham Professor of Architectural Theory and History, the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL London.

After studying architecture and history in Italy, Dr Carpo was an Assistant Professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, and in 1993 received tenure in France, where he was first assigned to the cole d’Architecture de Saint-Etienne, then to the cole d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette. He was the Head of the Study Centre at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montral from 2002 to 2006, and Vincent Scully Visiting Professor of Architectural History at the Yale School of Architecture from 2010 to 2014.

Mr. Carpo’s research and publications focus on the relationship among architectural theory, cultural history, and the history of media and information technology. His award-winning Architecture in the Age of Printing (MIT Press, 2001) has been translated into several languages. His most recent books are The Alphabet and the Algorithm (MIT Press, 2011; also translated into other languages); and The Digital Turn in Architecture, 1992-2012 (Wiley, 2012).Mr. Carpo’s recent essays and articles have been published in Log, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Grey Room, L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui, Arquitectura Viva, AD/Architectural Design, Perspecta, Harvard Design Magazine, Cornell Journal of Architecture, Abitare, Lotus International, Domus, Artforum, and Arch+.

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ACADIA | 2016 Conference

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TMS Resources – VA Learning University

Posted: at 6:40 pm

Skillsoft course catalogs and other information can now be accessed on the 24×7 Learning Tab of this website.

Important Information from Skillsoft:

Dear Valued Skillsoft Customer,

We wanted to make you aware of new behavior users may be experiencing since the latest Oracle Java JRE updates. After upgrading to JRE versions 1.7.0_55 or 1.8.0_05, users may be seeing the following additional warning message when launching some Java applets:

This message is due to a change that Oracle made to the Java security model. The user must click Allow, or the applet will be unable to communicate. Additionally, the user may click the Do not show this again for this app and web site checkbox in order to suppress the message on future applet launches.

The caller-allowable-codebase attribute was introduced in an earlier version of JRE 1.7.0 and it allows an applet to specify what domains are allowed to communicate with it. Because our applets may be installed in either Skillsoft-hosted environments or customer/partner-hosted environments, we are unable to specify an explicit list of domains that are allowed to launch our applets. Therefore, we specify the wildcard (*) so that the Player is allowed to communicate with any domain it is launched from. Until JRE 1.7.0_51, this worked fine. However, as of JRE 1.7.0_55 and JRE 1.8.0_05, Java will now prompt the user if an applet attempts to allow wildcard (*) as the value for the caller-allowable-codebase attribute.

Despite our best efforts to test with a pre-release version JRE 1.7.0_60, this new behavior was not discovered until the production versions of the JRE was released. This behavior was also not present in the initial release of JRE 1.8, but was introduced with the latest 1.8.0_05 release.

Skillsoft is investigating ways that we might suppress this additional prompt, but in the meantime, users will be required to click Allow in order for the applet to launch successfully.

We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may be causing to your users or your organization.


Skillsoft Support

Update to Skillsoft Courses (May 2013)

In May 2013, an update to all web-based Skillsoft courses in the TMS was deployed. A short post-course evaluation will now be required for each Skillsoft course in order to receive your certificate of completion. These evaluations will gather user feedback to shape future training.

If you did not complete the evaluation immediately following completion of the content, it will be available through your TMS To-Do list to complete later. You can find these evaluations either by changing your To-Do List view to Show: Surveys or by looking for the evaluation by title. Once you complete the short survey, the TMS will be updated with your certificate of completion.

You will need to restart any Skillsoft course that was not completed before May 20.

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TMS Resources – VA Learning University

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IT Automation – BMC

Posted: November 29, 2016 at 1:25 am

BMC digital IT powers 82% of Fortune 500 companies

IT automationwhen it works, its barely visible; when it fails, its catastrophic. Even if your automation initiative can pay for itself with hard-dollar savings in operational costs, taking an ad-hoc approach in the era of the digital enterprise puts you at a serious competitive disadvantage.

Implemented strategically, automation can deliver far greater business value by dramatically improving time to market and quality of service, increasing your ability to respond quickly to changing business requirements, and radically reducing security and compliance risks. BMC Software provides the best-practices guidance, products, and services you need to achieve a lasting competitive advantage through automation.

BMC SecOps solutions enable organizations to prioritize and remediate critical vulnerabilities and compliance violations through visibility into data center assets and their relationships.

BMC BladeLogic Server Automation helps IT rapidly remediate known vulnerabilities, and automate compliance checks for regulatory requirements such as PCI-DSS or security standards like DISA.

BMC BladeLogic Threat Director enables IT operations and security teams to prioritize and remediate threats based on potential impact to the business.

BMC BladeLogic Network Automation enables IT with a policy-based approach to regulatory standards for network management with real-time compliance audit reporting and vulnerability detection and remediation.

BMC BladeLogic Database Automation automates routine administrative tasks and compliance processes, accelerates deployment and patching, and reduces security vulnerabilities by streamlining the database management process.

BMC Discovery (formerly ADDM) automatically discovers data center inventory, configuration, and relationship data, and maps business applications to the IT infrastructure.

BMC Atrium Orchestrator allows IT staff to automate tasks via workflows that span multiple applications, systems, or infrastructure to document change and close the loop on compliance.

BMC BladeLogic Middleware Automation easily deploys, configures, and troubleshoots Java EE applications without manual steps.

Manage data center automation complexity and reduce your IT costs by leveraging the expertise of our project managers, consultants, and architects.

BMC Digital Transformation Consulting Services help develop the initiatives, structures, and capabilities you need to get the most out of your IT investments.

Read the rest here:

IT Automation – BMC

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Free gattaca Essays and Papers – 123helpme

Posted: November 27, 2016 at 9:51 am

Title Length Color Rating Gattaca, A Film by Andrew Niccol – Gattaca, A Film by Andrew Niccol Exactly five seconds after he came into the world, Vincent Freeman was already considered to be a loser. His first genetic test revealed high probabilities of hyperactivity, sight troubles and serious heart diseases, a life expectancy of 30 years and 2 months and quite low intellectual faculties. At that time, the artificial insemination of test tube babies selected according to their genetic potential had become for many people the natural way of making children…. [tags: Movie Films Gattaca Niccol Essays] 1596 words (4.6 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Gattaca: A Philosophical Analysis – Brimming with ultramodern scenery and metaphysical speculation, Gattaca is a profound glimpse into the not-so-distant future of humanity. Vincent, the main character, is a frustrated faith birth living in a world in which his genetically manipulated peers have succeeded him in every competition. Motivated by an unquenchable fascination with space, Vincent recruits the chronically petulant but genetically flawless Jerome Morrow, who allows Vincent to assume his genetic identity in exchange for companionship and free alcohol…. [tags: Literary Themes] :: 2 Works Cited 1070 words (3.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Gattaca and Jurassic Park – The films Gattaca, directed by Andrew Niccol in 1997, and Jurassic Park, directed by Stephen Spielberg in 1993 seem like two films that have no connection. Gattaca is a film about a man, Vincent Freeman, overcoming his genetic disadvantage to become an astronaut. Jurassic Park on the other hand is a film about bringing dinosaurs back to life, while also causing massive chaos. However, despite these major differences in plot, both films are based on a similar idea, genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is defined as the process of directly affecting the genetic makeup of an individual using biotechnology…. [tags: film, andrew niccol, stephen spielberg] :: 3 Works Cited 1110 words (3.2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Analysis of the Bioethical Issues in Gattaca – Analysis of the Bioethical Issues in Gattaca Biology is the science of life. Technology uses science to solve problems. Our society has progressed in its understanding of life to the point that we are able to manipulate it on a fundamental level through technology. This has led to profound ethical dilemmas. The movie Gattaca explores some important bioethical issues that are currently the focus of much dispute. The underlying thematic issue presented is the question of the extent to which biologically inherent human potential determines the true potential of a person…. [tags: Papers] 843 words (2.4 pages) Better Essays [preview] Brave New World and Gattaca – Brave New World and Gattaca Huxley Living in a genetically perfect world is not necessarily a great achievement to mankind. It makes one think, “where do you draw the line in the advancement of eugenics?” Both worlds, the Brave New one and Gattaca, are alternative futures (clearly dystopic), written and shown in a believable way (not as much in BNW, though) through the use of satire. Also, for GATTACA, the director incorporates the traditional elements of movie – a murder-mystery tied in with a love story PLUS a science fiction touch – very effectively. Satire in Huxley’s novel is glaringly obvious (mockery of the education system and the morals of today along wi… [tags: Brave New World] 624 words (1.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Gattaca The Movie And Discrimination – In the movie Gattaca the main character Anton was discriminated against because of his gene makeup. Anton never even had a chance in the society in Gattaca because the potential employees of companies were not tested on their skills or knowledge but on their physical and mental possibilities. The same society also used derogatory terms for people like Anton. Just because his parents decided that he would come into the world naturally instead of through gene therapy or alteration. Terms like faith birth’; and invalid’; were used against Anton…. [tags: essays research papers] 409 words (1.2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Gattaca – Gattaca is a movie directed by Andrew Niccol and the film is set in the “not too distant future.” Andrew Niccol’s perception of the future isn’t what most people expect, but once thought about carefully it seems quite believable. This movie presents us with a new method in which society strives for perfection and it also makes us wonder if genetic engineering is morally correct. Your place in society in Gattaca is based on your genetic makeup and the way you were born. People born the way we know as natural are “in-valids”…. [tags: Movies Film] 703 words (2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Comparison of Scales of Justice and Gattaca – Comparison of Scales of Justice and Gattaca The texts Scales Of Justice and Gattaca are two texts which allow the reader to witness a variety of interpretations and explore the relevant issues that are visible within contemporary society. Such issues as corruption within the police force, racism, sexual harassment, discrimination and manipulation of power are shown to give different interpretations of issues which plague todays society and potentially our future. Scales Of Justice shows the corruption in the police force…. [tags: Contemporary Society Literature Essays] 3904 words (11.2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Gattaca – The story of Vincent shows in Gattaca that there is possibility of beating the genetic engineering system. Vincent is one of the last naturally born babies born into a sterile, genetically enhanced world, where life expectancy and disease likelihood are ascertained at birth. Myopic and due to die at 30, he has no chance of a career in a society that now discriminates against your genes, instead of your gender, race or religion. Vincent an invalid, dreams of working within Gattaca and making it into space…. [tags: essays research papers] 667 words (1.9 pages) Good Essays [preview] Gattaca – Film Name: GATTACA Director / Writer: Andrew Niccol Producers: Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, and Stacey Sher Co-Producer: Gail Lyon Main Characters: Ethan Hawk as Jerome Morrow / Vincent Uma Thurman as Irein Jude Law as Eugene / Jerome Morrow Summary of Film: The film starts out in the not-too-distant future. The setting is a dark almost surreal view of Nineteen-Fifty Retro. In fact, every object in the film has a Fifties look to it, yet every thing was operated with future technology…. [tags: essays research papers] 799 words (2.3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] 1984, by George Orwell and Gattaca, by Andrew Niccol – Nineteen Eighty-Four written by George Orwell and Gattaca directed by Andrew Niccol are prophetic social commentaries which explore the broad social wrong of a totalitarian government. Both texts depict a futuristic, dystopian society in which individuality is destroyed in favour of faceless conformity. Niccol and Orwell through the experiences of their protagonists reflect the impact isolation from society has on individuals. The authors of both texts also use their protagonists Winston, who cannot understand the rhetoric of the government party and Vincent, who is trapped, unable to achieve his dreams because of his imperfect genome, to demonstrate individual rebellion against society and… [tags: Prophetic Social Commentaries] 987 words (2.8 pages) Better Essays [preview] Genetic Perfection in Gattaca – Genetic Perfection in Gattaca Topic: “The world of Gattaca is focused on genetic perfection, yet it is the imperfect Vincent that achieves the most” Discuss. Set within a world governed by genetic engineering, Andrew Niccol’s film, Gattaca, portrays the dire consequences of such a society in “the not too distant future”. Given a pre-determined life as a “god child” due of his parent’s adherence to religious beliefs, Vincent Freeman is an individual who “refuses to play the hand he was dealt”. Vincent although seemingly cursed with an imperfect genetic composition manages to overcome considerable odds in order to achieve his dream of space travel…. [tags: Movie Film Review] 1051 words (3 pages) Good Essays [preview] Cross-Cultural Film Analysis – Gattaca – Cross Cultural Film Analysis – Gattaca Film Summary Vincent is destined to be a second class citizen, conceived naturally, rather than in a laboratory. He is born into a world which discriminates against genetics, rather than religion, race or gender. In order to gain access into the Gattaca Corporation and reach his dream of going to Titan he takes on the identity of Jerome Morrow, a person with ideal genes but crippled from an accident. He uses Jeromes hair, blood, urine and skin to pass all tests and is set to reach his lifelong desire when the mission director is murdered…. [tags: Film Movie Analysis] 1219 words (3.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Human Genetic Screening and Discrimination in Gattaca – Human Genetic Screening and Discrimination in Gattaca Works Cited Missing A few months ago I watched a movie called Gattaca, which dealt with the issue of genetic discrimination in the near future. In the movie, people were separated into two classes, those that were genetically screened and positively altered before birth and the class that was unaltered. The separate classes had stark divisions, from what jobs that you were able to apply for to where you could eat. Security was aimed at keeping unaltered people away from the enhanced people…. [tags: Movie Film Biology Biological Papers] 1808 words (5.2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Andrew Niccols Film, Gattaca – Andrew Niccols 1997 film Gattaca supports the belief that nature, despite its defects, is preferable to a flawless genetically engineered existence. This idea is explored through the character of Vincent who exhibits desire, resilience and determination, natural human elements that cannot be manufactured and are seemingly not present in the faultless future that is presented in Gattaca. These characteristics appear to be contrasted by the other characters in the film, such as Anton and the conforming Irene, who are perceived to be flawless in the context of their surroundings but are quite mechanical and emotionless…. [tags: Movies, Films] 711 words (2 pages) Better Essays [preview] Exploring the Future – Science Fiction often opens the eyes of humanity so we can try to imagine what the future will hold. More specifically, Science Fiction movies allow us to explore examples of utopian or dystopian societies. They allow us to explore different planets in outer space. Due to all of the creative components found in the set designs of several science fiction movies, a viewer can watch the movie and escape reality. The interesting innovations seen in the set designs look very futuristic so the viewers imagination is inspired and lets you indulge in the film…. [tags: Science Fiction, Gattaca] 1252 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Idea of Discrimination Based on Genetic – The film Gattaca was released in 1997, just six years prior to the completion of the Human Genome Project (completed in April 2003), with a working draft completed in June 2000. The name of the film refers to an Aerospace corporation featured in the movie; however, its letters correspond to the 4 nucleotide bases that make up the integrity of the human genome. The sequencing of the human genome poses tremendous benefits not only in the future, but in the present. From identifying pharmaceutical targets in the body, screening for diseased genes, or determine if individuals are predisposed for certain hereditary or nonhereditary illness…. [tags: human genome, gattaca, genetic discrimination] 1245 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Cracking Your Genetic Code: A Review of Genetic Testing – Cracking Your Genetic Code: A Review of Genetic Testing In Gattaca, the plot focuses on the ethics, the risks, and the emotional impact of genetic testing in the nearby future. The film was released in the 90s; yet in the present, the film does not give the impression of science fiction. Today, genetic testing is prevalent in many aspects of the scientific community. This paper will describe genetic testing, its purpose, diagnostic techniques that use genetic testing, relating Huntingtons disease to genetic testing, and the pros and cons of genetic testing…. [tags: film analysis, gattaca, ethics, risks] :: 9 Works Cited 1554 words (4.4 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Comparing Dystopian Dream of Brave New World, The Handmaids Tale and GATTACA – The Dystopian Dream of Brave New World, The Handmaids Tale and GATTACA In Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill writes that it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied. By this he meant there are qualitative degrees of satisfaction and if to be satisfied were lowered in status to that of a pig, its better for us to be dissatisfied humans. The film GATTACA and the books Brave New World and The Handmaids Tale create fictional places where the needs and desires of humans are met, but not as well as they should be and not without a price…. [tags: comparison compare contrast essays] 3033 words (8.7 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Discussion of Whether Gattaca Portrays A Realistic View Of The Future And Gene Manipulation – Discussion of Whether Gattaca Portrays A Realistic View Of The Future And Gene Manipulation Media. It controls a lot of what we think, what we believe and so changes our attitude and behaviour towards certain things. It has changed our thinking so much so that we believe almost anything and everything the media say and do. Without the media, life would not be as it is. Newspapers, magazines, television, internet, radio, the lot have very much altered our thinking. Lately, there have been many talks on the issues regarding genetic manipulation and human cloning…. [tags: Papers] 1548 words (4.4 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Eugenic Decision-Making – Eugenics is defined, in some way or the other, as the process of reshaping the human race by determining the kinds of people who will be born. As such, there is much debate in the field of eugenics, with authors, like Philip Kitcher, who support laissez-faire or a minimalist approach of eugenics in which eugenic decision-making should be limited only to avoid neurological illnesses and in which parental free choice is valued. Gregory Stocks essay, The Enhanced and Un-Enhanced, presents otherwise by supporting the position of maximalist eugenics, allowing individuals the full extent in the selection of genes…. [tags: Gattaca, Laissez-Faire, Maximalist Eugenics] 1482 words (4.2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Evolution of Human Characteristics – Human characteristics have evolved all throughout history and have been manipulated on a global scale through the use of science and technology. Genetic modification is one such process in which contemporary biotechnology techniques are employed to develop specific human characteristics. Despite this, there are a countless number of negative issues related with genetic modification including discrimination, ethical issues and corruption. Hence, genetic modification should not be used to enhance human characteristics…. [tags: genetic modification, ethics, discrimination] 794 words (2.3 pages) Better Essays [preview] A Critique on the Transhumanism Movement – When did being human become not good enough. Transhumanism theories strive toward the perfect human, a posthuman, which can be achieved through modern technology. In the opinion of transhumanists, humans are constantly subject to change and their calling is to transcend their body and brain in order to reach their full potential. While this may have positive effects for the people involved, such as immunity toward hereditary diseases, Down syndrome for example, the question arises what is considered ethical in these practices…. [tags: Genetic Manipulation, Nanotechnology] :: 18 Works Cited 3010 words (8.6 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] The Dangers of Genetic Engineering – The Dangers of Genetic Engineering Science is defined as knowledge based on observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system. It has had an extreme effect on technology, which covers production, transportation, and even entertainment. In the past, though, science has always remained distant. However, with the birth of genetic engineering, science has become something that will deeply affect lives. Advancements are being made daily with genetic engineering: the Human Genome Project is nearly done, gene replacement therapy lies within reach, and cloning is on the horizon…. [tags: Papers] 1248 words (3.6 pages) Good Essays [preview] The Battle Between Science and Religion: The God of the Gaps Theory by Neil DeGrasse Tyson – Imagine a world where many people are not born the way they are just by chance, but by design. Not a design by a god but by men. What is one of the most common science fiction topics. Well thanks to scientific advancement people can start moving cloning more into science and less into fiction. Thanks to the impeccable work of many scientists across the world the world is moving forward in many ways. But it begs the question, what limits do politicians have to place on science. Is best to let them have free reign over their domain, as politicians have on their own, or do they need to be tethered…. [tags: god, scientific ignorance, bias, media] :: 5 Works Cited 1676 words (4.8 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Programmed To Be Free: Exploring Andrew Niccol’s Gatacca – Programmed To Be Free Gatacca by Andrew Niccol tells the story of Vincent, a young man naturally and traditionally engendered in a world where genetic engineering is the followed pattern to have a child. Few minutes after his birth, Vincents fate is revealed through a DNA analysis. Two important facts in the analysis will mark Vincents life, a fail in his cardio system and his life expectancy, only thirty years. The film shows a world where life is highly determined by genetics, and happiness is mostly based on the quality of the genetic profile, a kind of identity card for people…. [tags: Film Analysis, Movies, Films] :: 4 Works Cited 1231 words (3.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Case Against Perfection by Michael Sandel – Michael Sandel is a distinguished political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University. Sandel is best known for his best known for his critique of John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice. While he is an acclaimed professor if government, he has also delved deeply into the ethics of biotechnology. At Harvard, Sandel has taught a course called “Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature” and from 2002 to 2005 he served on the Presidents Council on Bioethics (Harvard University Department of Government, 2013)…. [tags: ethics, biotechnology, genetic engineering] :: 4 Works Cited 972 words (2.8 pages) Better Essays [preview] Testing an Authors Vision Organization Guide – Testing an Authors Vision Organization Guide Introduction You will need to transition us, the readers, from our world into your paper. Make sure you give us a sense of context (what gave rise to your paper?), conflict (give us a sense of They Say/I Say), and focus (give us a question that focuses your paper or give us your thesis statement). So, for the focus you might have: —Is this vision of genetic manipulation in literature possible, and if so, should we be afraid. —OR.This vision of genetic manipulation is occurring in small amounts today and could blossom into a world in which individuals fear imperfection and groups of perfect people wield power over those less than the visio… [tags: Assignment] 1045 words (3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] ?Vincent is not a hero? Discuss – Vincent is not a hero Discuss Andrew Niccol has created a character that is portrayed as being a struggler from the moment he was born, he was destined to play this role as soon as he was conceived naturally as he was to wear the label of God child for the rest of his life , this label determines they life style and quality of life he will lead and the prospects are not good -They used to say that a child conceived in love has a greater chance of happiness. They don’t say that anymore. Niccol leads us to believe that Vincent is a man who has overcome the odds in order to achieve his dream in a society where individuality is an unrequited trait and the ability to conform plus right DN… [tags: essays research papers] 972 words (2.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Genetic Engineering is Immoral – Genetic engineering gives the power to change many aspects of nature and could result in a lot of life-saving and preventative treatments. Today, scientists have a greater understanding of genetics and its role in living organisms. However, if this power is misused, the damage could be very great. Therefore, although genetic engineering is a field that should be explored, it needs to be strictly regulated and tested before being put into widespread use. Genetic engineering has also, opened the door way to biological solutions for world problems, as well as aid for body malfunctions…. [tags: Genetic Engineering Essays] 423 words (1.2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Neo-Eugenics The Social and Biological Ethics of Designer Babies – … Also it is now understood that ooplasm, the cytoplasm within an egg, can be transferred to another egg in order to swap mitochondrial DNA. Scientists have also figured out that ooplasm is not the only part of the cell that can be transferred, but that whole nuclei can be replaced as well. This is a major breakthrough because whole sets of DNA can be placed into another cell. In a culture where parents seek advantages for their children in schooling, diet, exercise, extracurricular activities, and the like, it is hard to imagine that cultural pressures would not be great to pursue the same for their children with respect to enhanced traits. This quote from an academic journal from Berke… [tags: Healthier Reace, Future Generations] :: 2 Works Cited 1586 words (4.5 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Hollywood: Promoting Stereotypes to Make Easy Money – Every week numerous Hollywood movies and rereleases open in theaters, video stores, and online movie distributors nationwide: heartwarming films such as The Blind Side; laughter inducing and children captivating classics like Aladdin; movies about overcoming struggles such as, Gattaca. All these new movies and classics alike hold a particular place in our hearts and in our lives. Maybe because of a similarity to our own lives or the main character embraces characteristics we hold dear. Whatever the reason, a contributing factor to the variety of movie produced in Hollywood can trace itself to liberal and socially progressive movie making…. [tags: Hollywood vs Minorities] 1841 words (5.3 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] The Ethics of Genetically Enhancing Children – The term designer children is unnerving at first to many. The idea of parents designing the genetic makeup of their offspring makes children seem like a commodity in a genetic free market. Thoughts of a dystopian society like the one in the film Gattaca come to mind. However, taking an immediate repugnant stand against genetic enhancement is not well-founded. A more open-minded inspection of the issue reveals that the idea of parents improving their childrens life prospects through genetic engineering (provided it is safe) is, at its core, not unethical…. [tags: designer children] 1314 words (3.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Decline of the World’s IQ – What will end the world as we know it. It could be climate change, disease, famine, or global war. If none of those come to pass there is always the truth that we are breeding our IQ into the basement. Its called dysgeneic fertilization, and it has been happening for as long as weve been recording intelligence. Although this decline can be seen across the board, not everyone is affected the same way or to the same extent. With each generation that passes a gap widens between those retaining intelligence and those hemorrhaging intelligence…. [tags: Dystopic Apocalypse] :: 6 Works Cited 1099 words (3.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] DNA Donation: A Personal Choice – Moral choices, ethical dilemmas, personal biases, and strong opinions tend to go hand in hand; you certainly cannot have one without the other. The topic of this paper is an ethical dilemma that will cause me to make a moral choice; I am also personally biased and strongly opinionated in regards to the situation. The topic is the donation of my DNA for a research study; the goal of the study will be to find a variant of a gene that will resist specific bacterial diseases. If the company succeeds in finding this gene, it may be able to produce a drug to sell to people who have these diseases…. [tags: Medical Ethics ] :: 5 Works Cited 1340 words (3.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Altering Human Genome – Altering Human Genome The gene pool could use a little chlorine. -Bumper Sticker Consider Gods handiwork; who can straighten what He hath made crooked? -Ecclesiastes 7:13, from Gattaca I not only think that we will tamper with Mother Nature. I think Mother wants us to. -Willard Gaylin, from Gattaca With the scientific breakthroughs of the recent decades the humans have become more powerful than ever in their mastery of Nature. The genetic engineering that allows extracting and modifying the genetic makeup of the future person or animal is in a sense the power of Creation…. [tags: Eugenics Genetics Science Essays] :: 14 Works Cited 1425 words (4.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Value of a Dystopia – A perfect world with no negative aspects can be defined as a utopia. A utopia consists of having all the required or desirable elements of life that one has in mind. Everyone has an altered perception on what a utopia is, but in order for the world to be a utopia a universal definition is vital. Some elements to be considered in a utopia include a society that is stable socially, morally, politically, and economically. The more a world is in deficient to these key elements of a utopia, the farther the world travels from the parameters of a utopia…. [tags: Sociology ] :: 5 Works Cited 2306 words (6.6 pages) Term Papers [preview] The Theory of Knowledge – That which is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow. Knowledge itself can be compared to a small child who is about to begin the long way in learning. Why this comparison. Since, as the child grows and goes through all the school years, with time, he will learn more and more than what he did before. The same situation can be applied to knowledge itself. The pursuit of knowledge has lead mankind to the point of development we are at as of the 21st century. With the passing of time, new ideas and methodologies, and key technological developments have lead, not to discarding knowledge, but to modifying our previous knowledge…. [tags: Natural Sciences] :: 3 Works Cited 1037 words (3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Dystopian Comparisons – In the Book A Clockwork Orange, the short stories Harrison Burgeron, The Lottery and the movies Gattaca and the Truman Show by Anthony Burgess, Kurt Vonnegut, Shirly Jackson, Andrew Niccol and Peter Wier respectively. These pieces of literature(and cinematography) all have a society that controls and manipulates the individual or Protaganist. The society does this because it wants total control over both the individual and the society as a whole. A Clockwork Orange is futuristic look at England…. [tags: Compare Contrast] 1439 words (4.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Genetic Engineering and the End of the World As We Know It – “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” — From a Song by REM Having completed the Human Genome Project, scientists now seek to uncover the secrets of the human proteome (Begley 1). It is “guesstimated” that the proteome, meaning all the proteins, will involve up to 1000 times more data than the genome did. But this again brings us to the question: What will the scientific and medical communities do with all this information. deCode Genetics, partnered with Roche Holding of Basel, wants Iceland’s genes to examine 25-35 common genetically linked diseases (Marshall 539)…. [tags: Genetic Manipulation Essays] :: 5 Works Cited 1406 words (4 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Designer Babies – Within the last 100 years or so scientists have many valuable discoveries that have benefited mankind. These discoveries include the discovery of genes. Scientists have discovered what makes humans so unique from one another. However, with this newly gained knowledge of the function of genes comes the ability to alter or change them. Just imagine in the not so near future, you and your partner want to start a family together. You travel to your local gene councillor to pick the physical and characteristic traits of your child…. [tags: Genetic Engineering] :: 3 Works Cited 1141 words (3.3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Therapuetic Cloning – Children grow up watching movies such as Star Wars as well as Gattaca that contain the idea of cloning which usually depicts that society is on the brink of war or something awful is in the midsts but, with todays technology the sci-fi nature of cloning is actually possible. The science of cloning obligates the scientific community to boil the subject down into the basic category of morality pertaining towards cloning both humans as well as animals. While therapeutic cloning does have its moral disagreements towards the use of using the stem cells of humans to medically benefit those with incomplete sets of DNA, the benefits of therapeutic cloning outweigh the disagreements indubitably due… [tags: dna, medicine, treatment] :: 5 Works Cited 1296 words (3.7 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Genetic Engineering – In the field of animal and human genetic engineering there is much more speculation, than fact, because very little has actually been tested in the real world. Firstly, theres a big question mark over safety of genetic engineering. In addition, genetic engineering can cause greater problems than that what we have today. Moreover, we can create a injustice world between Designer vs Non-designer children. Furthermore, genetic engineering is a type of murder because of the process of genetically modifying a baby…. [tags: designer babies, perfect baby] :: 5 Works Cited 911 words (2.6 pages) Better Essays [preview] Biometric Security Technology – Biometric Security Technology You have seen biometric technology in the films Mission: Impossible and Gattaca. The technology has also graced the covers of many weekly news magazines. But many people, even though the technology has been widely talked about for the last half decade, are still surprisingly unaware of what biometrics are and why the technology is so important for computer security and personal identification. Biometrics are automated methods of recognizing a person based on a physical or behavioral characteristic (2001)…. [tags: Technological Computers Essays] :: 6 Works Cited 1393 words (4 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Belief and Knowledge – There are many contentions our present world has faced that require a thorough thought process in order to represent a side of the argument. We see that there are many different authorities that tell us we should be thinking in certain directions. However, most people need to realize that influence from these different sources such as academics, politicians, companies, global organizations, media, and others in this nebulous category, dont always steer us in the write direction. Maybe they can provide us with knowledge about a certain problem, or information regarding each side, but when it comes down to the bottom, belief and knowledge seems to be what most people turn to…. [tags: essays research papers] 1571 words (4.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Truman Show – The Truman Show The life of Truman Burbank has been broadcast around the world with tremendous success since the day he was born. A star for the mere fact that he exists, Truman has no idea that there are cameras in every corner of his world. he has literally been ON television from the moment of his birth. With the honor of being the first child to be formally adopted by a corporation, Truman has had every moment of his existence captured by television cameras. The Truman Show, a worldwide reality series that runs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and every day of the year, has been witness to his first words, his first steps, his first day at school– nothing has escaped the… [tags: Papers] 677 words (1.9 pages) Better Essays [preview] Genetic Manipulation – Genetic Manipulation Genes, being part of the basic building blocks of man, control all aspects of one’s life. They control how tall you are, what color your eyes are, and what diseases might afflict you in the future. Therefore, the manipulation of such genes can be a controversial topic. The controversy most likely stems from the ethical and social questions that are raised by this procedure. Jean Dausset, author of “Scientific Knowledge and Human Dignity,” and George B. Kutukdjian, author of “UNESCO and Bioethics,” both discuss the topic of genetic manipulation…. [tags: Papers] 1136 words (3.2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Is Utopia Possible? – Is Utopia Possible. Utopia: remote cabin on the beach, the kingship of a vast empire, Nirvana; Heaven, the Happy Hunting Grounds, paradise, perfection. What exactly is Utopia. According to Webster it is “1, an imaginary and indefinitely remote place” or ” 2, often capitalized : a place of ideal perfection esp. in laws, government, and social conditions”. Where is this perfect place. Will my dog live forever there. Will I never grow old. If I never grow old there does that mean I never mature…. [tags: Papers] 588 words (1.7 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Truman Show and Pleasantville Review – The Truman Show and Pleasantville Review The Truman Show, a comedy/ drama was directed by Peter Weir (nominee for Best Director in 1998, Academy Awards). The film was scripted by Andrew M. Niccol, including last years “Gatttaca,” a similarly themed tale, Niccol delivers optimism and affection for the human condition. Jim Carry plays the role of Truman Burbank who is a charming and unwitting star, the world’s most popular, 24 hour non-stop soap called ‘The Truman Show’. Pleasantville is a winsome and witty comedy/ drama starring Tobey Maguire as ‘David’ and Reese Witherspoon as ‘Jennifer’…. [tags: Papers] 1332 words (3.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview]

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Banned Books That Shaped America | Banned Books Week

Posted: at 9:44 am

The Library of Congress created an exhibit, “Books that Shaped America,” that explores books that “have had a profound effect on American life.” Below is a list of books from that exhibit that have been banned/challenged.

(To learn more about challenges to books since the inception of Banned Books Week, check out the timeline created by ALA.)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884

The first ban of Mark Twains American classic in Concord, MA in 1885 called it trash and suitable only for the slums. Objections to the book have evolved, but only marginally. Twains book is one of the most-challenged of all time and is frequently challenged even today because of its frequent use of the word nigger. Otherwise it is alleged the book is racially insensitive, oppressive, and perpetuates racism.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X and Alex Haley, 1965 (Grove Press)

Objectors have called this seminal work a how-to-manual for crime and decried because of anti-white statements present in the book. The book presents the life story of Malcolm Little, also known as Malcolm X, who was a human rights activist and who has been called one of the most influential Americans in recent history.

Beloved, Toni Morrison, 1987

Again and again, this Pulitzer-prize winning novel by perhaps the most influential African-American writer of all time is assigned to high school English students. And again and again, parental complaints are lodged against the book because of its violence, sexual content and discussion of bestiality.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown, 1970

Subtitled An Indian History of the American West, this book tells the history of United States growth and expansion into the West from the point of view of Native Americans. This book was banned by a school district official in Wisconsin in 1974 because the book might be polemical and they wanted to avoid controversy at all costs. If theres a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it, the official stated.

The Call of the Wild, Jack London, 1903

Generally hailed as Jack Londons best work, The Call of the Wild is commonly challenged for its dark tone and bloody violence. Because it is seen as a man-and-his-dog story, it is sometimes read by adolescents and subsequently challenged for age-inappropriateness. Not only have objections been raised here, the book was banned in Italy, Yugoslavia and burned in bonfires in Nazi Germany in the late 1920s and early 30s because it was considered too radical.

Catch-22, Joseph Heller, 1961

A school board in Strongsville, OH refused to allow the book to be taught in high school English classrooms in 1972. It also refused to consider Cats Cradle as a substitute text and removed both books from the school library. The issue eventually led to a 1976 District Court ruling overturning the ban in Minarcini v. Strongsville.

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, 1951

Young Holden, favorite child of the censor. Frequently removed from classrooms and school libraries because it is unacceptable, obscene, blasphemous, negative, foul, filthy, and undermines morality. And to think Holden always thought people never notice anything.

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953

Rather than ban the book about book-banning outright, Venado Middle school in Irvine, CA utilized an expurgated version of the text in which all the hells and damns were blacked out. Other complaints have said the book went against objectors religious beliefs. The books author, Ray Bradbury, died this year.

For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway, 1940

Shortly after its publication the U.S. Post Office, which purpose was in part to monitor and censor distribution of media and texts, declared the book nonmailable. In the 1970s, eight Turkish booksellers were tried for spreading propaganda unfavorable to the state because they had published and distributed the text. This wasnt Hemingways only banned book A Farewell to Arms and Across the River and Into the Trees were also censored domestically and abroad in Ireland, South Africa, Germany and Italy.

Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936

The Pulitzer-prize winning novel (which three years after its publication became an Academy-Award Winning film) follows the life of the spoiled daughter of a southern plantation owner just before and then after the fall of the Confederacy and decline of the South in the aftermath of the Civil War. Critically praised for its thought-provoking and realistic depiction of ante- and postbellum life in the South, it has also been banned for more or less the same reasons. Its realism has come under fire, specifically its realistic portrayal though at times perhaps tending toward optimistic — of slavery and use of the words nigger and darkies.

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, 1939

Kern County, California has the great honor both of being the setting of Steinbecks novel and being the first place where it was banned (1939). Objections to profanityespecially goddamn and the likeand sexual references continued from then into the 1990s. It is a work with international banning appeal: the book was barred in Ireland in the 50s and a group of booksellers in Turkey were taken to court for spreading propaganda in 1973.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925

Perhaps the first great American novel that comes to the mind of the average person, this book chronicles the booze-infused and decadent lives of East Hampton socialites. It was challenged at the Baptist College in South Carolina because of the books language and mere references to sex.

Howl, Allen Ginsberg, 1956

Following in the footsteps of other Shaping America book Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsbergs boundary-pushing poetic works were challenged because of descriptions of homosexual acts.

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1966

The subject of controversy in an AP English class in Savannah, GA after a parent complained about sex, violence and profanity. Banned but brought back.

Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison, 1952

Ellisons book won the 1953 National Book Award for Fiction because it expertly dealt with issues of black nationalism, Marxism and identity in the twentieth century. Considered to be too expert in its ruminations for some high schools, the book was banned from high school reading lists and schools in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington state.

The Jungle, Upton Sinclair, 1906

For decades, American students have studied muckraking and yellow journalism in social studies lessons about the industrial revolution, with The Jungle headlining the unit. And yet, the dangerous and purportedly socialist views expressed in the book and Sinclairs Oil led to its being banned in Yugoslavia, East Germany, South Korea and Boston.

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, 1855

If they dont understand you, sometimes they ban you. This was the case when the great American poem Leaves of Grass was first published and the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice found the sensuality of the text disturbing. Caving to pressure, booksellers in New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania conceded to advising their patrons not to buy the filthy book.

Moby-Dick; or The Whale, Herman Melville,1851

In a real head-scratcher of a case, a Texas school district banned the book from its Advanced English class lists because it conflicted with their community values in 1996. Community values are frequently cited in discussions over challenged books by those who wish to censor them.

Native Son, Richard Wright, 1940

Richard Wrights landmark work of literary naturalism follows the life of young Bigger Thomas, a poor Black man living on the South Side of Chicago. Bigger is faced with numerous awkward and frustrating situations when he begins working for a rich white family as their chauffer. After he unintentionally kills a member of the family, he flees but is eventually caught, tried and sentenced to death. The book has been challenged or removed in at least eight different states because of objections to violent and sexually graphic content.

Our Bodies, Ourselves, Boston Womens Health Book Collective, 1971

Challenges of this book about the female anatomy and sexuality ran from the books publication into the mid-1980s. One Public Library lodged it promotes homosexuality and perversion. Not surprising in a country where some legislators want to keep others from saying the word vagina.

The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane, 1895

Restricting access and refusing to allow teachers to teach books is still a form of censorship in many cases. Cranes book was among many on a list compiled by the Bay District School board in 1986 after parents began lodging informal complaints about books in an English classroom library.

The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850

According to many critics, Hawthorne should have been less friendly toward his main character, Hester Prynne (in fairness, so should have minister Arthur Dimmesdale). One isnt surprised by the moralist outrage the book caused in 1852. But when, one hundred and forty years later, the book is still being banned because it is sinful and conflicts with community values, you have to raise your eyebrows. Parents in one school district called the book pornographic and obscene in 1977. Clearly this was before the days of the World Wide Web.

Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Alfred C. Kinsey, 1948

How dare Alfred Kinsey ask men and women questions about their sex lives! The groundbreaking study, truly the first of its scope and kind, was banned from publication abroad and highly criticized at home.

Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein, 1961

The book was actually retained after a 2003 challenge in Mercedes, TX to the books adult themes. However, parents were subsequently given more control over what their child was assigned to read in class, a common school board response to a challenge.

A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams, 1947

The sexual content of this play, which later became a popular and critically acclaimed film, raised eyebrows and led to self-censorship when the film was being made. The director left a number of scenes on the cutting room floor to get an adequate rating and protect against complaints of the plays immorality.

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston, 1937

Parents of students in Advanced English classes in a Virginia high school objected to language and sexual content in this book, which made TIME magazines list of top 100 Best English-Language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960

Harper Lees great American tome stands as proof positive that the censorious impulse is alive and well in our country, even today. For some educators, the Pulitzer-prize winning book is one of the greatest texts teens can study in an American literature class. Others have called it a degrading, profane and racist work that promotes white supremacy.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852

Like Huck Finn, Of Mice and Men and Gone With the Wind, the contextual, historically and culturally accurate depiction of the treatment of Black slaves in the United States has rankled would-be censors.

Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak, 1963

Sendaks work is beloved by children in the generations since its publication and has captured the collective imagination. Many parents and librarians, however, did much hand-wringing over the dark and disturbing nature of the story. They also wrung their hands over the babys penis drawn in In the Night Kitchen.

The Words of Cesar Chavez, Cesar Chavez, 2002

The works of Chavez were among the many books banned in the dissolution of the Mexican-American Studies Program in Tucson, Arizona. The Tucson Unified School District disbanded the program so as to accord with a piece of legislation which outlawed Ethnic Studies classes in the state. To read more about this egregious case of censorship, click here.

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Transhumanisme – Wikipedia

Posted: at 9:43 am

Transhumanisme is een recente vorm van speculatieve filosofie die probeert om de door de natuur gestelde grenzen van het menselijke bestaan te doorbreken.

De aanhangers van deze filosofie noemen zich ‘transhumanisten’ en beweren dat de mens is beland in het post-Darwin tijdperk en zijn evolutie in eigen hand kan gaan nemen. Transhumanisten onderschrijven over het algemeen de standpunten van het traditionele humanisme maar beogen wel het tot de uiterste grens te verkennen en zelfs te overstijgen. Zij propageren dat de mens zich fysiek zal en moet verbeteren of, naar analogie met computers en software, upgraden met technieken als nanotechnologie, genetische manipulatie en vergaande integratie van computertechniek in het menselijk lichaam. Het doel waar transhumanisten naar streven is om posthumanisten te worden.

Bioloog Julian Huxley, broer van Aldous Huxley, definieerde transhumanisme in 1957 als:

“de mens blijft menselijk, maar overstijgt zichzelf, door het realiseren van nieuwe mogelijkheden voor zijn menselijke natuur”.

In 1966, begon FM-2030 (voorheen F.M. Esfandiary), een Iraans-Amerikaans futuroloog die de ‘nieuwe concepten van de Mens’ onderwees aan de New School University, mensen als ‘transhumanist’ (van ‘transitory human’= tussenstadium tussen huidige mens en posthumanist) te identificeren omdat ze nieuwe technologien, levensstijlen en wereldvisies aannamen.

In 1968 verwees Abraham Maslow naar transhumanisme in Towards a psychology of Being.

Met de publicatie van het boek Future Shock (1970) van Alvin Toffler werd de term transhumanisme breder bekend onder het publiek, vooral in de VS.

In 1972 verwees Robert Ettinger naar transhumanisten in Man to Superman.

In 1990 gaf Max More de opkomende filosofie van het Transhumanisme zijn moderne definitie:

Transhumanisme is een klasse van filosofien die probeert ons te begeleiden naar de posthumanistische conditie. Transhumanisme neemt veel elementen van het humanisme over, zoals respect voor rede en wetenschap, een nadruk op vooruitgang en een waardering voor het menselijke (of transhumane) bestaan in dit leven.[…] Transhumanisme verschilt van humanisme in het erkennen en anticiperen van de radicale veranderingen in de natuur en mogelijkheden van onze levens door de verschillende wetenschappelijke en technologische disciplines[…].

De transhumanistische FAQ, opgesteld door de Wereld Transhumanistische Associatie, geeft de volgende twee formele definities:

Transhumanisten willen hun huidige lichaam upgraden met nieuwe technieken, zodat het niet meer veroudert en meer zou presteren dan “natuurlijk” is, bijvoorbeeld door een verbinding van hersenen en computer voor meer intelligentie, zodat de mens een cyborg wordt en evolueert tot posthuman. Volgens hen zijn de huidige prothesen zoals brillen, hoorapparaten en kunstledematen, die tegenwoordig steeds verbeterd worden, al voorlopers van deze ontwikkeling. Recentelijk (2004) is men er al in geslaagd om een verlamd persoon via een sensorimplantaat in zijn hersenen een computer te laten besturen. Hierdoor kan hij met zijn gedachten pc-spelletjes spelen en e-mail openen. In september 2005 kwam het bericht in de media dat nu zonder hersenimplantatie, maar met een soort helm op het hoofd met zeer gevoelige sensors, hetzelfde mogelijk is. Er werd zelfs een demonstratie gegeven hoe een getraind persoon zich in een virtual realityomgeving naar wens in elke richting kon bewegen door dat te “denken”.

Volgens de deskundigen is dit nog maar het begin van een razendsnelle ontwikkeling en verbetering van mens-computer interfaces. In de verdere toekomst versmelten mens en computer wellicht zover dat er zelfs tussen de software van het ‘computerdeel’ en de geest van het ‘mensdeel’ nog nauwelijks onderscheid te maken is. Dan komt het concept van uploading in beeld.

Bij uploading wordt door transhumanisten aangenomen dat het in de (nabije) toekomst mogelijk is de menselijke geest geheel in software te vangen. Hierdoor zou het in principe mogelijk zijn om deze software op een ander, “beter” substraat over te zetten, zoals een zeer geavanceerde computer die alle hersenfuncties kan dupliceren. Dit is uploading van mensen in een virtuele wereld, net zoals internetters bijvoorbeeld een homepage uploaden naar het web. De film The Matrix (1999) geeft een voorbeeld van zo’n virtuele wereld. Hiermee zou bij het eventueel sterven van het lichaam de persoon toch verder kunnen ‘leven’. Hierbij komen wel allerlei nieuwe ethische vragen om de hoek kijken: software kan men heel gemakkelijk kopiren. Dit zou dan ook met ‘menselijk software’ mogelijk zijn. Wat moet men dan aan met begrippen als bv. ‘individualiteit’, ‘ziel’ of ‘persoonlijkheid’?

Transhumanisten trachten zelfs nu al de definitieve lichamelijke dood “te voorkomen”, bijvoorbeeld door overledenen vlak na het sterven in te vriezen. De bovengenoemde Robert Ettinger is de stichter van Alcor, een Amerikaanse organisatie die dode mensen diepvriest met de bedoeling ze weer tot leven te wekken als wetenschap en techniek er klaar voor zijn. Volgens hem zal de voortsnellende techniek het in de toekomst mogelijk maken om deze “diepvriesdoden” weer tot leven te wekken.

In de verdere toekomst als de mensheid de zogenaamde technologische singulariteit bereikt worden volgens hedendaagse transhumanisten de mogelijkheden welhaast onbegrensd. Zo verwachten transhumanisten zelfs dat ook de Aarde zelf, het zonnestelsel en uiteindelijk eventueel de rest van het universum worden aangepast aan de behoeftes en wensen van de posthumans met behulp van Megaschaal Technologie[1] en Ruimte-Tijd Technologie.[2]

Veel transhumanisten verafschuwen sociale status en zijn een voorstander van een libertarische maatschappij. Ze propageren vaak zelfs een anarchistische wereld, dus zonder een enkele vorm van overheid. Ook de huidige toenemende “democratisering” en “verwestering” van de wereld, waarbij autoritaire regimes, maatschappijvormen en culturen steeds meer macht verliezen, is volgens hen een aanwijzing dat de wereld die kant op gaat. Sommigen werpen op dat conservatieve en fundamentalistische elementen uit deze culturen toch veel schade kunnen aanrichten (zie bijvoorbeeld het moslimfundamentalisme) die wellicht zelfs de hele westerse maatschappij kunnen ontwrichten. Maar volgens transhumanisten zijn dit de laatste wanhoopsuitvallen van extremisten die voor een uiteindelijk verloren zaak strijden: de overgrote meerderheid van de mensheid beweegt zich, weliswaar soms erg langzaam, maar onafwendbaar richting meer individualisme, democratie, gelijkheid en anti-autoritairisme.

Een toenemend aantal transhumanisten ziet transhumanisme als een logisch vervolg van de evolutie van de mensheid. Onder hen zijn bekende wetenschappers als Barrow, Kurzweil, Moravec en Tipler, die allen in meerdere of mindere mate gemeen hebben dat zij genspireerd zijn door het werk van de in 1955 overleden Franse priester en paleontoloog Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Deze vorm van transhumanisme combineert wetenschappelijke studie van de evolutie en een open houding tegenover technische vooruitgang met een sterk geloof in een verheven toekomst van de mensheid. Deze stroming omvat zowel athesten als religieus ingestelde mensen. De nadruk wordt gelegd op een toenemende psychische verbondenheid van alle mensen, die daarbij gesteund worden door geavanceerde communicatiemiddelen en een verdere computerisering van de maatschappij. Deze ontwikkeling zal niet ten koste gaan van humane verworvenheden als empathie, vrijheid en zelfverwerkelijking. Immers het kenmerk van de evolutie is dat de echt nuttige en waardevolle eigenschappen behouden blijven. In een nieuwe transhumane samenleving overstijgt de mens zichzelf. Het bewustzijn heeft bij de transhumane mens een hogere dimensie bereikt, waarbij beperkingen van ruimte en tijd nog maar een ondergeschikte rol spelen. In een toekomstig punt Omega bereikt de mensheid een vorm van uiterste psychische concentratie. Teilhard de Chardin spreekt in dit verband over een collectieve personalisatie. Het individuele, tijdgebonden menselijke bewustzijn speelt dan geen rol van betekenis meer, maar is geheel overgegaan (getransformeerd) in een hogere werkelijkheid. Dit laatste is uiteraard in volkomen tegenstelling met de opvattingen van de cryo-transhumanisten en van de sceptici.

Transhumanisme wordt door sceptici beschouwd als de diepgewortelde behoefte van de mens, en ook de wetenschappelijk georinteerde en materialistische mens, om toch het paradijs te scheppen met behulp van supertechnologie waarbij de mens boven zijn grenzen uitstijgt en zichzelf tot God transformeert. Vele sceptici zijn van mening dat uiteindelijk alleen de rijke en machtige toplaag van de mensheid (voorbeelden zijn dictators en andere machthebbende politici, toplieden van het zakenleven en rijke mediasterren) zal profiteren van de voortschrijdende technieken tot het zichzelf verbeteren en zich zullen transformeren tot een gesloten kaste van ‘superhumans’ die de rest van de mensheid voor onbepaalde tijd in hun greep kunnen houden (zie ook Technologische singulariteit). Met dezelfde technieken die het deze elite mogelijk maakt om superintelligent te worden kunnen ze ook dissidenten opsporen en ‘heropvoeden’ of uitschakelen. De filmmaker Aaron Franz maakte in 2008 een documentaire[3] waarin het moderne transhumanisme wordt omschreven als een voortzetting van de eugenetica van 1900 tot aan de Tweede Wereldoorlog. De eugenetica, waarvan ook ‘pre-transhumanisten’ zoals Julian Huxley voorstanders waren, had haar wortels in het sociaal darwinisme en veronderstelde dat door de medische vooruitgang steeds meer ‘ongewenste elementen’ zoals zieke en zwakke mensen, geestelijk en lichamelijk gehandicapten en ‘asocialen’ in leven bleven en zich konden voortplanten en daarmee het menselijke ras biologisch verzwakten. In de VS en Zweden werden zelfs door de regering wetten aangenomen die het mogelijk maakten om deze groepen te steriliseren waarvan uiteindelijk ook velen daadwerkelijk gesteriliseerd werden. De nazi’s ontleenden veel van hun racistische ideologie aan de eugenetica (zie Ubermensch en Untermensch) en brachten die nog verder in de praktijk met actief stimuleren van het ‘veredelen’ van de maatschappelijke elite (zie Lebensborn) en het vernietigen van ‘asocialen’ en ongewenste rassen zoals Joden en Slaven.

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