Functional Immortality: The Case for Accepting Transhumanism

Our bodies, our minds and our civilization will be completely and irreversibly transformed

Time.com

Computers are getting faster. Everybody knows that. Also, computers are getting faster faster — that is, the rate at which they’re getting faster is increasing.

True? True.

So if computers are getting so much faster, so incredibly fast, there might conceivably come a moment when they are capable of something comparable to human intelligence. Artificial intelligence. All that horsepower could be put in the service of emulating whatever it is our brains are doing when they create consciousness — not just doing arithmetic very quickly or composing piano music but also driving cars, writing books, making ethical decisions, appreciating fancy paintings, making witty observations at cocktail parties.

If you can swallow that idea, and Kurzweil and a lot of other very smart people can, then all bets are off. From that point on, there’s no reason to think computers would stop getting more powerful. They would keep on developing until they were far more intelligent than we are. Their rate of development would also continue to increase, because they would take over their own development from their slower-thinking human creators. Imagine a computer scientist that was itself a super-intelligent computer. It would work incredibly quickly. It could draw on huge amounts of data effortlessly. It wouldn’t even take breaks to play Farmville.

Probably. It’s impossible to predict the behavior of these smarter-than-human intelligences with which (with whom?) we might one day share the planet, because if you could, you’d be as smart as they would be. But there are a lot of theories about it. Maybe we’ll merge with them to become super-intelligent cyborgs, using computers to extend our intellectual abilities the same way that cars and planes extend our physical abilities. Maybe the artificial intelligences will help us treat the effects of old age and prolong our life spans indefinitely. Maybe we’ll scan our consciousness into computers and live inside them as software, forever, virtually. Maybe the computers will turn on humanity and annihilate us. The one thing all these theories have in common is the transformation of our species into something that is no longer recognizable as such to humanity circa 2011. This transformation has a name: the Singularity. (Comment on this story.)

The difficult thing to keep sight of when you’re talking about the Singularity is that even though it sounds like science fiction, it isn’t, no more than a weather forecast is science fiction. It’s not a fringe idea; it’s a serious hypothesis about the future of life on Earth. There’s an intellectual gag reflex that kicks in anytime you try to swallow an idea that involves super-intelligent immortal cyborgs, but suppress it if you can, because while the Singularity appears to be, on the face of it, preposterous, it’s an idea that rewards sober, careful evaluation.

People are spending a lot of money trying to understand it. The three-year-old Singularity University, which offers inter-disciplinary courses of study for graduate students and executives, is hosted by NASA. Google was a founding sponsor; its CEO and co-founder Larry Page spoke there last year. People are attracted to the Singularity for the shock value, like an intellectual freak show, but they stay because there’s more to it than they expected. And of course, in the event that it turns out to be real, it will be the most important thing to happen to human beings since the invention of language.

The Singularity isn’t a wholly new idea, just newish. In 1965 the British mathematician I.J. Good described something he called an “intelligence explosion”:

Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an “intelligence explosion,” and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.

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Codex Alimentarius: No More Health Freedom

The United Nations and World Health Organization’s FrankenScience to Push Restrictions on What You Eat

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
May 1, 2010

Almost no time is given to considering the one type of freedom that we all seem to take for granted. Health freedom, or the possibility to choose a good state of being and to nourish it through methods of our own choosing, is something that many times borders into the abstract. Besides being a population accustomed with consuming pharmaceuticals as a way to “maintain” and “improve” our health, many people are unaware that all we need to stay healthy is to provide our body with the nutrients it needs in order to maintain a strong immune system. Part of the reason why this is so is that we all have been brought up within a cultural frame that from our very early years induces us to rely on processed synthetic products, instead of the natural ones which cost just a fraction of the price and that are more effective in providing us the health we all seek.

If the fact natural medicines and products really are the solution to our health problems was not true, the big pharmaceutical conglomerates would not spend billions every year in research and development with profit written all over it. If you have never asked yourself where pharmaceuticals come from, this is a good time to learn. To a great extent, such products are developed based on the curative properties of natural ingredients found in plants and trees. They are then copied and synthetically mass produced for everyone to consume. Given the fact chemical conglomerates use natural solutions to create their products, one would think there would be a concerted effort to promote the use of such natural solutions, however it is not so. Since the 1960´s there is a concerted effort to not only limit the choices we as consumers and human beings have in order to take care of our health, but also to restrict the access to food itself as we know it.

Codex Alimentarius (Codex for short) means “Food Code.” This world food code is a United Nations agency, jointly sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It has existed for nearly 50 years and its International Statute gives it a joint mission: protecting food safety and promoting world food trade. It is supposed to do so by adopting voluntary Guidelines and Standards (defining foods in international trade) and its decisions are enforced through the World Trade Organization (WTO) which considers its Guidelines and Standards as presumptive evidence in WTO trade disputes. It has become a creature of the Bigs – Big Govt, Big Agra, Big Pharma… etc.

Codex Alimentarius (Codex for short) means “Food Code.” This world food code is a United Nations agency, jointly sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It has existed for nearly 50 years and its International Statute gives it a joint mission: protecting food safety and promoting world food trade. It is supposed to do so by adopting voluntary Guidelines and Standards (defining foods in international trade) and its decisions are enforced through the World Trade Organization (WTO) which considers its Guidelines and Standards as presumptive evidence in WTO trade disputes. It has become a creature of the Bigs – Big Govt, Big Agra, Big Pharma… etc.

In order to understand what Codex Alimentarius is, one needs to know it has nothing to do with consumer protection as its charter says. Such statement is just a catchy phrase to have the people and the nations approve its implementation. “Codex Alimentarius” means “food rules” in Latin. The plan was born in 1962 when the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) was founded by the U.N. to supposedly facilitate trade relations. In reality, it was created to regulate and control the way in which food and nutrition are guided and how products are sold to people. It is indeed all about the profits of multi-national corporations. The relation is very simple: the more natural products people use, the less profits the pharmaceutical corporations make. Codex Alimentarius was created to protect Big Pharma´s profits through the elimination of natural health products and treatments. What is more alarming at this point is that Codex was scheduled to be approved on December 31st, 2009. Once this plan is signed, it will be mandated through its approval by Congresses around the world, and imposed to all nations; a lot like the Copenhagen Treaty is intended to be implemented.

As in several other programs that the U.N. FAO and WHO want to impose, Codex is based on pseudo-science. For example, it classifies nutrients as toxins and uses “Risk Assessment” to set ultra low so-called “safe upper limits” for them. The proper science for classifying nutrients and its proper levels is Biochemistry, but Codex does not use Biochemistry. Instead, it uses Risk Assessment which is a branch of Toxicology, or the science of assessing toxins. Those who propose Codex as a way to maintain and improve health have the unscientific idea that vitamins and other nutrients´consumption needs to be reduced. Codex is composed of a series of rules specifically focused on all aspects of food. For example, one of them ratified (approved) on July 2005; Vitamin and Mineral Guideline (VMG), seeks to ban all high potency and clinically effective vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C which would be limited to a few milligrams per dose. Other nutrients, such as amino acids, are also under threat.

How was Codex broadly accepted?

As it is typical in this kind of programs, the U.N. and the WHO use their favorite technique to mandate and implement Codex Alimentarius; that is Compartmentalization. In plain words, this is the policy of creating little groups of people who in theory work for a common purpose; to achieve a grand goal, but who in reality are fed different kinds and amounts of information in order to manipulate the outcome of such discussions. Codex is not the exception. Although its formation seems inclusive from the outside, the truth is that each and every committee created to work on Codex, had its own set of standards and guidelines. Such committees formed at the local, regional and international levels are headed by the CAC, the top-level of the Codex hierarchy. After these committees and task forces formulate rules which become ready for ratification (once they reach step 8 of the formulation process), they are then presented to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) for ratification.

Codex is not only unscientific and manipulated; it is also undemocratic. One example of how Codex is run is the way in which the Chairman of the CAC conducts business. Dr. Grossklaus, Chairman of CAC and anti-nutrition Chairman of the pivotal “Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses” (CCNFSDU), had the delegate from India bodily removed during a November 2003 CCNFSDU meeting. The delegate’s crime? Insisting on discussing the inclusion of CCNFSDU-approved material in baby formula which could kill 10% of newborns in his country. After the delegate was forcibly removed, Dr. Grossklaus declared the issue approved by “consensus”. The Chairman can prevent a delegate from being heard by deliberately refraining from turning on the delegate’s microphone. So if the Chairman (i.e. Dr. Grossklaus) does not like what is being said, he can flip a switch and that will be that. This guarantees that there is no sustained opposition if the Chairman does not want there to be any opposition.

How will Codex be Implemented?

According to Codex Alimetarius´ own records, once a rule or standard is ratified by CAC it becomes an official regulation and it is implemented through the World Health Organization (WHO) where it is used to decide trade disputes. Outrageous sanctions will be applied onto countries that are deemed to be in violation of the Codex Alimentarius Standards via the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Resolution process. By Codex´s writings a compliant nation is deemed to be the automatic winner in a trade dispute with a country whose laws are not Codex-compliant. The plan then gives the WTO a set of rules to judge if a country is providing a hidden or overt barrier to trade (i.e. not complying domestically with Codex regulations).

The prevailing country, by the way, selects the area in which the trade sanctions will be applied in order to damage the offending country in the way that serves its needs best. Both the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement (SPSA) and the Technical Barrier to Trade Agreement (TBTA) have provisions which could be used to force law into compliance with Codex Alimentarius. Many fear that both CAFTA and NAFTA could do the same (force compliance with Codex) as could the FTAA agreement. Article 3 of the SPSA makes domestic compliance mandatory with WTO-accepted standards (e.g. Codex Alimentarius) regarding toxins. Countries whose domestic law complies with Codex are held to be in automatic compliance with Codex Alimentarius for the WTO Dispute Resolution purposes. Countries not in internal compliance with Codex Alimentarius can be held to be providing a hidden barrier to trade in any food-related trade dispute and be subject to severe WTO trade sanctions.
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., author of “Death by Medicine”, attended a Codex committee meeting (CCNFSDU, Bonn, 2004), a long-time employee of Codex told her that once the World Trade Organization took over Codex in 1995…

“It was no longer in the hands of the 165 member nations of the WHO (World Health Organization) but in the hands of trade organizations in the 148 countries of the WTO (World Trade Organization), which seems intent on standardizing everything to do with international trade in our emerging global economy.”

How will Codex negatively affect humans and the Environment?

Implementation of Codex Alimentarius would result in severe consequences for human and the environment. For example, high potency nutrients will be labeled as illegal, valuable nutrients not on Codex list will be illegal, new nutrients or herbs will be illegal, traditional medicines with nutritional value will be illegal, antibiotic and hormone-free milk, poultry, fish and meat will not be available in supermarkets due to degraded organic standards, levels of pesticides, hormones, animal drugs and other toxins will be increased in the food supply, labeling for GMOs will not be required, irradiated food will become an accepted practice, and so on.
A new study by French scientists from the universities of Caen and Rouen on three varieties of genetically modified maize, shows clear evidence of health risks. Spain is the only EU country that allows the cultivation of one of these maize, MON810, in large scale. The other two corns are authorized for import and for entry into human and animal food supplies. Farmers, consumers and environmentalists call for applying the precautionary principle and ban GM crops and foods. The study was conducted through tests by the multinational Monsanto, which sells the three types of corn. The science team examined data from tests with rats that were submitted to obtain authorization, which were hitherto confidential and have been obtained in many cases through the courts. According to the authors, it is the first time that these confidential tests from Monsanto have been released to be reviewed by independent researchers.

Scientists have found clear evidence -by analyzing the data- that there are health risks in blood parameters associated with kidney and liver functions. The changes observed in transgenic maize are the three typical patterns of disruption in the metabolic system. The team also sharply criticized the way the data were analyzed by Monsanto, without complying with international statistical standards, or standards for food tests. The three maize have, however, clearance from European authorities, which enabled them to enter the food and feed in Europe. “These studies demonstrate that it is not possible to guarantee the safety of GM food. We must apply the precautionary principle and withdraw transgenic food from our agriculture and our food “said David Sanchez, in charge of Agriculture and Food Friends of the Earth.

This new study adds to a long list of independent studies on the environmental impacts and health risks of transgenic products, which are repeatedly ignored by the Spanish and European authorities. Ana Etchenique, vice president of the Confederation of Consumers and Users (CECU) said: “It is not possible that a government listens to the industry before the public. The government has to ensure responsible agricultural practices for food safety and the health of citizens / consumers. Why our government does not follow the lead of countries like France, Austria and Germany, which already have banned the planting of GM crops? ”

According to the Natural Solutions Foundation, Codex will also bring a considerable loss of access to natural products, which would mean a huge increase in illness. On July 4 in Rome, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) ratified the destructive Codex Alimentarius “Vitamin and Mineral Guideline”. Vitamins and minerals in doses high enough to have a therapeutic effect could become just a memory. Other nutrients (such as amino acids and herbs) will, according to Codex, follow quickly. The driving force of the VMG is economics, not medicine, and has nothing to do with consumer protection. Dr. Rima Laibow a co-founder of NSF has been fighting Codex for many years, and she concludes that nothing positive will result from the adoption of the U.N.´s sponsored program. “High potency nutritional products are highly beneficial for health. Many people would suffer greatly if nutritional products were removed from their reach while health promotion and disease prevention would be nearly impossible without them,” Laibow says.

This would leave, says the doctor, more than 60% of the world’s population without any legal medical care of any kind. In addition to cutting down access to vitamins and supplements, Codex also promotes the use of pesticides and other chemicals in the food supply such as growth hormone as well as insect and vegetable genes in produce. The direct health consequence of this will be a perpetual state of disease because both pesticides and drugs are highly toxic to the liver, our primary organ of detoxification. The poisoning of organs and enzyme systems leads to side effects and illness. If you think that the connection between pesticides and Big pharma is unbelievable, if you do not think a corporation could ever plan such a continuum of disease, think again. It is well-known that drug companies fabricate illnesses for the sake of drug sales. For example, the “fabrication” of mental illnesses.

“Despite a nearly 500 percent increase in mental health drugs being prescribed to children in the previous six years, the NFC [New Freedom Commission on Mental Health] recommended a plan of mandatory mental health screening for all public school students and follow-up treatment with drugs when needed. “The fact is, this is nothing more than another elaborate profiteering scheme hatched by Bush and the pharmaceutical industry to convert the millions of people in public systems into customers for new psychiatric drugs in order to funnel more tax dollars to Pharma,” asserts Evelyn Pringle on the Online Journal.

Codex Alimentarius allows pesticides, veterinary drugs and other toxic residues in foods at levels much higher than even industry lobbyists have asked for! In speaking only of current pesticide levels (Codex levels would be much higher), the Ontario College of Family Physicians notes. Codex Alimentarius would not only allow for the use of more pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other GMO in food, but will also open the door to more dangerous substances like aflatoxin. This drug is a strong carcinogen in milk, peanuts, almonds and other foods. Aflatoxin is the second most potent non-radiation cancer-inducing agent known to man. However, Codex allows corporations to use high levels of aflatoxin in milk: 0.5 mg/kg. That is at least 100 times more than the recommended dose.

How to stop Codex on its tracks?

As it often happens, the people will need to rise against Codex in an effort to inform their relatives, neighbors and friends. The best way in which countries can reject Codex Alimentarius is by opting out of it. This is a decision that must be made by the people through Congress. A letter is available here to send to your Congressman along with detailed information contained in this article or any of the sources provided. Each Congress and the representatives who are negotiating Codex in each local, regional and international committee need to oppose Codex and officially, on behalf of each nation, opt out of it. Only a massive opposition by the people can defeat this initiative. Citizens may not trust their politicians to make the right decisions when it comes to their health freedom. So, contact your government officials and inform them about Codex right now.

Sources:

Who is Behind Codex Alimentarius?

Amended Codex vitamin and mineral guide

Risk Assessment Science + Nutrition = A Toxic Brew!

Documentary: We Become Silent – The Last Days Of Health Freedom

British Parliament Officially Warns About Pharmaceutical Industry

8-Step Codex Decision Process

50 Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified Foods

Codex Threatens the Health of Billions

Billions of people expected to die under Codex Alimentarius

The Coming Nutricide: Former Nazi is the Father of Codex

Los riesgos para la salud de transgénicos cultivados y consumidos en España