Cory Doctorow, Writer, blogger, activist.
agrees Net neutralityThe internet isn't nearly so important as racial injustice and vanquishing white supremacy, nor smashing patriarchy, nor rescuing our planet from looters and clmate vandals, nor feudal inequality: but EVERY ONE of those fights will be won or lost with the internet
Ray Kurzweil, Author, computer scientist, inventor and futuristAdopting a universal basic income for all people can help society think creatively with new ideas, develop new industries — and free-up people to work on important future projects. This practical social support program can grow as science & technology rapidly evolve, becoming part of world abundance.
Mike Bloomberg, American businessman and politician, former mayor of new york city
agrees Health taxesNoncommunicable diseases are a growing global crisis, especially in low-and-middle income countries. There’s substantial evidence that taxes and fiscal policies are essential to confronting this health threat.
Mike Bloomberg, American businessman and politician, former mayor of new york city
agrees Soda taxesNoncommunicable diseases are a growing global crisis, especially in low-and-middle income countries. There’s substantial evidence that taxes and fiscal policies are essential to confronting this health threat.
Noam Chomsky, Linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activistIt comes from the right wing originally. Milton Friedman proposed it for example. From his point of view it was part of an effort to undermine welfare state measures. But it doesn’t have to have a reactionary component. It can be interpreted as something progressive. That people have rights. In fact if you read the universal declaration of human rights, 1948, take a look at article 45. It says peo... See More
Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian and a tenured professor at the Hebrew University of JerusalemPaying people not to work will only increase inequality and rancor. [...] If universal basic income is aimed to improve the objective conditions of the average person in 2050, it has a fair chance of succeeding. But if it is aimed to make people subjectively more satisfied with their lot in order to prevent social discontent, it is likely to fail.
Chris Hedges, American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University lecturer.The oligarchs do not propose structural change. They do not want businesses and the marketplace regulated. They do not support labor unions. They will not pay a living wage to their bonded labor in the developing world or the American workers in their warehouses and shipping centers or driving their delivery vehicles. They have no intention of establishing free college education, universal governm... See More
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader, and risk analystThere are resilient ways to solve problems, say feed the world, without complicated technologies that entail fragility and unkown possibilities.
Peter Hitchens, Author, journalist
agrees State-funded faith schoolsAnd I have little doubt that these schools are generally better than their secular equivalents partly (but not wholly) because they are selective. Selection, alas, is the foundation of authority in schools, and those which have little or none tend to be anarchic, unless they come under the leadership of those rare charismatic heads whose personality is so strong that they could have quelled the Mu... See More
disagrees Creationism in schoolsBut it doesn’t matter what the definition of “science” is: the First Amendment prohibits pushing religion in the classroom, and creationism is religion. Scholars don’t have the right to “explore” the role of God in the history of life. As I said, I’d object to scholars lying to their students, but would try to take legal action only against lies that violate the Constitution. The courts have defin... See More
disagrees Creationism in schoolsThe creationists have also changed their name, this time to “Intelligent Design Theorists” who study “irreducible complexity” and the “abrupt appearance” of life, yet more jargon for “God did it.” This is what ignites my ire about the creationists — their disingenuousness about their religious motivations. Make no mistake about it. Creationists do not want equal time. They want all the time. Their... See More
Carlo Rovelli, Theoretical Physicist and AuthorHow close to thinking are the machines we have built, or are going to be built soon? The answer is easy: immensely far. The gap between our best computers and the brain of a child is the gap between a drop of water and the Pacific Ocean. Differences are in performance, structural, functional, and more. Any maundering about how to deal with thinking machines is totally premature to say the least.
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard UniversityThere is not the slightest reason to believe in a coming singularity. The fact that you can visualize a future in your imagination is not evidence that it is likely or even possible. Look at domed cities, jet-pack commuting, underwater cities, mile-high buildings, and nuclear-powered automobiles--all staples of futuristic fantasies when I was a child that have never arrived. Sheer processing power... See More
Sam Harris, American author, philosopher, and neuroscientistIt is sobering to admit that chaos seems a probable outcome even in the best-case scenario, in which the AGI remained perfectly obedient. But of course we cannot assume the best-case scenario. In fact, “the control problem”—the solution to which would gu
Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media. Investor. Studied at Harvard University.Fear is not the right frame of mind to think about AI's impact on our society
Ray Kurzweil, Author, computer scientist, inventor and futuristThe existential threat from genetic technologies is already here: the same technology that will soon make major strides against cancer, heart disease, and other diseases could also be employed by a bioterrorist to create a bioengineered biological virus that combines ease of transmission, deadliness, and stealthiness, that is, a long incubation period. The tools and knowledge to do this are far mo... See More
Vernor Vinge, Retired San Diego State University Professor and authorWithin thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended (1993)
Robert J Shiller, Professor of economics at Yale and Nobel laureate
agrees Robot TaxA moderate tax on robots, even a temporary tax that merely slows the adoption of disruptive technology, seems a natural component of a policy to address rising inequality. Revenue could be targeted towards wage insurance, to help people replaced by new technology make the transition to a different career. This would accord with our natural sense of justice, and thus be likely to endure.
Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin (400 companies)
agrees CryptocurrenciesI think it [Bitcoin] is working. There will be other currencies like it that may be even better, but in the meantime there's a big industry around bitcoin. You know, people have made fortunes out of bitcoin, some people have lost money out of bitcoin.
Hanna Rosin, American author and writerThe Bureau of Labor Department statistics show that the median earnings of full-time female workers is 77 percent of the median earnings of full-time male workers. But that is very different than “77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men
David Bellamy, English author, broadcaster, environmental campaigner and botanist
disagrees Climate change is realFor the last 16 years, temperatures have been going down and the carbon dioxide has been going up and the crops have got greener and grow quicker. We’ve done plenty to smash up the planet, but there’s been no global warming caused by man
K. Eric Drexler, Founding father of nanotechnologyAI technologies may reach thethreshold of rapid, open-ended, recursive improvement before we are prepared to manage the challenges posed by the emergence superintelligent AI agents.
Jenny McCarthy, American actress, model, television host, author, screenwriter, and anti-vaccine activist
disagrees VaccinesWhat I really am is “anti-toxins” in the vaccines. I do believe that there is a correlation between vaccinations and autism. I don’t think it’s the sole cause, but I think they’re triggering–it’s triggering–autism in these kids. A really great example is…is, sometimes obesity can trigger diabetes. I do believe that vaccines can trigger autism…It’s so much more than just mercury. That is one ingred... See More
Tim Worstall, Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute and writer
disagrees Job GuaranteeGovernment simply isn't capable of planning what should be done. And we can't just do really simple things because we don't have any really simple things to do with lots of labour. Thus the idea of a government job guarantee just isn't going to work.
MIchael Hudson, Economist. Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.The problem’s not only income, but what people have to spend it on. Paine didn’t talk about universal income, he talked about everybody should have the right to a place to live, a means of their own self-support. That’s independent from income. Once you economize and financialize it, you put in a distortion. You don’t want to give people income to buy what really should be public goods and servic... See More
Ron Unz, Physicist, software developer, entrepreneur, writerJust as their predecessors of the 1920s always denied the existence of “Jewish quotas,” top officials at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the other Ivy League schools today strongly deny the existence of “Asian quotas.” But there exists powerful statistical evidence to the contrary. Each year, American universities provide their racial enrollment data to the National Center for Education Statistics, ... See More
Alec Ross, Former Senior Innovation Advisor to Hillary Clinton, currently running for Governor of Maryland
disagrees Social media threaten democracyThe information control that some of the world’s strongmen and terrorist groups have on people is tenuous. The digital world is still relatively new, and for the most part, when young people come to more power, we will have more open societies. If you look at this over decades, I think it will be very positive globally
Francis Fukuyama, Senior Fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute, political scientistThere are entire countries where Facebook Messenger has replaced email as the primary channel by which people communicate. This kind of power wielded at such a scale is unprecedented in human experience, and we need to think carefully about whether American democracy can continue to coexist with such power concentrated over the longer run.
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