Big Think Interview With Barry Ptolemy
Question: How did you react to “The Singularity is Near”?
Barry Ptolemy: Well, I was absolutely floored as a lot of people are but also I was reunited with ideas that I actually had as a teenager and these are ideas that I had put away as I approached college years because they were ridiculous on the face of it and when you talk to someone about living forever, they just dismiss you out of hand. When I came into contact with “The Singularity is Near” I felt like I was reunited with my long lost brethren or something. It was very emotional because I saw in a moment that these ridiculous ideas I had as a youth were actually possible and not only that but Ray was actually clearly articulating how they would become possible.
Question: How did you come across Kurzweil’s book?
Barry Ptolemy: I went to USC Film School for awhile and I had always been interested in the Sciences, particularly the physical science of physics. So after film school, I went back and I attended UCI for awhile and sat in a lot of classes with people like Professor Gregory Benford who actually wrote the book review that actually hooked me up with “The Singularity is Near” as it were. But studied Physics and Astrophysics and Astronomy and the Life Sciences and I had always wanted to merge cinema and physics and so again, when I came across “The Singularity is Near”, I saw this as an opportunity to do that.
Question: Do Ray Kurzweil’s ideas scare you?
Barry Ptolemy: Well, I think man has used technology for primarily good for most of human history. In fact, for the lion’s share of human history, and the majority of people do use technology for good and you see that everywhere you go. Now, events like 9-11 or such do get all of a sudden a lot of press for obvious reasons but everyday people are using technology for good. I mean, look at this conversation we’re having right now using technology and so obviously we should be concerned about the peril and the consequence of these technologies because if they’re misunderstood they could fall into the wrong hands and that’s one of the things that Ray talks about and we do discuss in “Transcendent Man.”
Question: Do you take Ray Kurzweil’s vitamin supplement?
Barry Ptolemy: You know, I’ve talked to Ray [Kurzweil] about that. I don’t. Ray had a father that died at 58, and he’s 60. He had a grandfather that died at 41. My grandparents have lived to a ripe old age and my parents are aging quite well. So I don’t have some of the same needs that Ray has. I’m now 40 years old and I seem to be in pretty good health so I’m hoping I’ll be able to cruise into the singularity unaided and we’ll see if that is the case. I would certainly use whatever technology is available if I need to, that’s for sure.
Question: Will you and Ray Kurzweil do another project?
Barry Ptolemy: Well, we have a few films out. We’re in development of narrative films and we’ll be releasing to the public at large soon. Ray and I will be in collaboration on another film, a science fiction film and Ray will be there to help guide us through some of these future technologies, making sure we get them right in the film.
Question: Have you always wanted to live forever?
Barry Ptolemy: It wasn’t that I’ve always had the desire although I guess you could not say that I did not. But really I think that having been around computers all my life—my father had brought home personal computers at a very early age in the ‘70s—so being around computers from a very early age perhaps I had even subconsciously seen the exponential progression of what was happening with computers. But then later on with the Commodore 64, VIC-20 Commodore 64, and then the Apple and then the PC and on upward. And so you internalize what’s happening and you can see pretty clearly that technology is increasing and I thought that I could get to a point where technology would be so great it would extend my life longer and then I would get to another bridge where I would be able to extend it longer and so on and that’s what I revealed when I was about 14.
Question: What do you like about Stanley Kubrick?
Barry Ptolemy: Well, I think one of the thing that makes a Kubrick film a great experience is the fact that he bends reality to his will and is so confident that he ends up creating something that is the island in the stream of pop culture and he takes a stand that’s so firm and so confident and unyielding that it can’t be ignored and I appreciate that. I don’t know why. I can’t exactly explain it except that I’m mesmerized by it like a lot of people are and I just adore his work and enjoy watching his movies over and over again and I usually always take something else from them.
Question: Were you influenced by Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”?
Barry Ptolemy: Well “2001”, I have a great experience for “2001” because I was in 7th grade at Lorner Bern Middle School and I remember my art teacher, Karen Jones, had created the screening of “2001” and everyday she was going to play every 20 minutes of it in the library and she had set up all these chairs and she had set up the VCR which was going to play it and we had to give 10 cents everyday. And I went in there and I was the only person in the school that went to go see it and that’s how I saw “2001” and even seeing it disrupted day after day like that for the week, it was still the single most profound experience up to that point in my life and I just was really moved by it.
I think “2001” was so powerful because it was a departure from science fiction that came before that. If you look at science fiction previously, just even to the previous decade, you would have seen spaceships that looked smooth and archaic and for the first time someone was really taking space travel and making it realistic and he was also doing something else, he was taking a look at what the future of artificial intelligence was for the first time in the personification of Hal and that really rocked my world. I thought that that was pretty cool but also just the human journey overall starting with these early Homo sapiens and fashioning the first tool which was again what Ray’s ideas come back to is that we’ve always leveraged our self with technology from the very beginning and these early Simians took a tool, extended their reach and we do the biggest jump cut in cinematic history from this bone being thrown into the air to a spacecraft. It jump cuts to a spacecraft if you recall in the film and I think that kind of metaphor speaks for itself and I think that it’s a wonderful metaphor for all of human history.
Question: What future technologies do you look forward to?
Barry Ptolemy: I think that people talk about radical life extensions as if it is just one linear kind of journey, when actually what’s going to happen is we’re going to radically expand our lives billions and billions of times in every way, in every dimension and so I’m looking forward to things I can’t even imagine yet. This conversation becomes so moot because how can we entertain these technologies that haven’t even come about yet but we’re confident will come about. I’d love to live nonbiologically and move about at the speed of light and be in communication with a million people at once and create works of art that are grand and sophisticated and very human at the same time so all these types of things.
Question: Which documentary filmmakers do you look up to?
Barry Ptolemy: Well, obviously Errol Morris is someone that we look to and has shaped really probably more than anyone else the style of our film, “Transcendent Man.” And there’s so many, even Ken Burns. The way he goes about detail, his research is very impressive. But also, I really look to narrative filmmakers to help guide us because our film is a documentary at core but is also very much a narrative film in the sense that it does tell a story. So once again, we did look to storytellers to help guide us.
Question: What are you favorite documentaries?
Barry Ptolemy: Sure. Again, Errol Morris, all of his titles, “Fog of War” is particularly brilliant I think. There is a film called—that also actually had the hero’s journey involved in it—it was called “Dot Com” that came out, I think in about 2001, just after the “Boom and Bust,” the “Dot Com”, “Boom and Bust” and that was quite extraordinary. “Hearts of Darkness” was a film about the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola that honors what Coppola had made and I thought that that was extraordinary. Of course, I’m forgetting so many wonderful documentaries that I just watched recently, they escape me now but they’re just such a contribution to our society. Some of them just tell things or talk about things that we don’t often, sometimes want to hear but they should be heard.
Question: How accurate are films that predict future technologies?
Barry Ptolemy: Steven Spielberg made a movie called “A.I.” and another called “Minority Report” where they do try to extrapolate what the future would be like. The problem is that those futures never really bear out, and obviously for obvious reasons, it’s hard to do so there’s a part at the end of “Minority Report” for example where he picks up, he takes a phone call with a little device and he puts it in his ear and in 2001, that was futuristic but we already have in 2009 those devices. We have bluetooth controllable headsets and so it wasn’t seen, and that film was supposed to take place in 2050 but we already have that now in 2009. So again, like what Ray points out, we mistakenly underestimate what will happen over a decade or two.
Question: What discoveries did you make while filming?
Barry Ptolemy: Probably the most astonishing revelation was the one regarding his father, the relationship that Ray had with his father and that’s something that we’re kind of able to tease out of Ray and we’re able to reveal it and we really, it became a story about a father and son story I should say and that’s what the film really is as a core, as a father and son story. Now, the film also happens to be about all these ideas, but they take place in the diagesis of this father and son story. And that’s probably what was most interesting and I think it’s what adds the human element to a story as well.
Question: How did you develop the storyline of “Transcendent Man”?
Barry Ptolemy: That’s a great question and I don’t know exactly how to answer other than to say I knew I wanted to have these ideas articulated clearly but in a very entertaining way. We wanted to make a film not just for the intelligistas but for mass audiences. So how do you do that? How do you take these ideas and do that? Well, one of the things to do is to create a story that reveals a hero on a journey trying to achieve his or her goal and so we set the film up in that type of framework and so Ray does have a goal in the film. One of the goals is to bring his father, his late father, back as we reveal.
What is the organizing principle for making a film like this? Again, it’s to get these ideas out but what we knew we had to do is to shoot a lot of footage, overshoot as a matter of fact which is what we did. We shot about 200 hours for about an hour and a half final film. So you end really having enough footage to where you can craft and take the film wherever you want to in the editing process and that’s really what we did. And so as it got later in the game and we started to narrow what we’re trying to do then of course we could go out and continue, and shoot more for specific things. And that’s kind of what we did. For example, we needed, at the end of Act Two, we needed a crisis to take place and so knowing that we were able to acquire footage of that kind would help us get or take our hero on that journey right there.
Question: Was it difficult getting big names for the film?
Barry Ptolemy: Not at all. In fact, we left many of the biggest names on the cutting room floor as it were just for time’s sake. So these individuals, people like Colin Powell for example, they really were very generous with their time and they were happy to help us out. I think happy to help be responsible for helping get Ray’s ideas out and so we’re very thankful to them.
Question: What was the funniest thing that happened behind the scenes?
Barry Ptolemy: Oh dear, there were certainly several. Ray is actually a funny guy, believe it or not. He’s a very serious man but he’s also remarkably aware of things that are funny. And one time, he was giving a very serious speech at a venue called TransVision in 2007 at the Field Museum in Chicago and a question and answer session had been provided for and people were lining up to ask questions. This young chap stands up and he said something to the effect of, “Ray Kurzweil”—and this is in front of a huge audience and William Shatner’s there and all kinds of celebrities are there—well, he says, “Ray Kurzweil, post human this,” and he just flips Ray Kurzweil the bird right in front of everybody and I’m filming of course and Ray, just so calmly and coolly, just says “I don’t think I will transcend my humanity but I will transcend my biology”. He just kept on going and that was pretty funny I have to say. And unfortunately, it didn’t make it into the film for various reasons but it was pretty funny.
Question: What were the biggest challenges of the filming?
Barry Ptolemy: Well, the obvious ones: we had to get financing, we needed to figure out the kind of story we were going tell, which we talked about, finding the kind of organizing principle, what would guide us through, and once we found the story I think things flowed a lot easier. There were some tough nights for myself, when I felt like I didn’t know what the story would be so I was very happy when I finally came to terms with that. I think gaining Ray’s trust—he’s now revealed that I always had his trust but I wanted to make sure that he knew that he could trust me so that he could take me into his confidence and reveal things that he wasn’t revealing to anybody else because I knew I needed that confidence if I was able to tease out some of these nuanced ideas and some of his personal beliefs.
Recorded on: April 27, 2009
A conversation with the producer and director of the film "Transcendent Man".
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How would the ability to genetically customize children change society? Sci-fi author Eugene Clark explores the future on our horizon in Volume I of the "Genetic Pressure" series.
- A new sci-fi book series called "Genetic Pressure" explores the scientific and moral implications of a world with a burgeoning designer baby industry.
- It's currently illegal to implant genetically edited human embryos in most nations, but designer babies may someday become widespread.
- While gene-editing technology could help humans eliminate genetic diseases, some in the scientific community fear it may also usher in a new era of eugenics.
Tribalism and discrimination<p>One question the "Genetic Pressure" series explores: What would tribalism and discrimination look like in a world with designer babies? As designer babies grow up, they could be noticeably different from other people, potentially being smarter, more attractive and healthier. This could breed resentment between the groups—as it does in the series.</p><p>"[Designer babies] slowly find that 'everyone else,' and even their own parents, becomes less and less tolerable," author Eugene Clark told Big Think. "Meanwhile, everyone else slowly feels threatened by the designer babies."</p><p>For example, one character in the series who was born a designer baby faces discrimination and harassment from "normal people"—they call her "soulless" and say she was "made in a factory," a "consumer product." </p><p>Would such divisions emerge in the real world? The answer may depend on who's able to afford designer baby services. If it's only the ultra-wealthy, then it's easy to imagine how being a designer baby could be seen by society as a kind of hyper-privilege, which designer babies would have to reckon with. </p><p>Even if people from all socioeconomic backgrounds can someday afford designer babies, people born designer babies may struggle with tough existential questions: Can they ever take full credit for things they achieve, or were they born with an unfair advantage? To what extent should they spend their lives helping the less fortunate? </p>
Sexuality dilemmas<p>Sexuality presents another set of thorny questions. If a designer baby industry someday allows people to optimize humans for attractiveness, designer babies could grow up to find themselves surrounded by ultra-attractive people. That may not sound like a big problem.</p><p>But consider that, if designer babies someday become the standard way to have children, there'd necessarily be a years-long gap in which only some people are having designer babies. Meanwhile, the rest of society would be having children the old-fashioned way. So, in terms of attractiveness, society could see increasingly apparent disparities in physical appearances between the two groups. "Normal people" could begin to seem increasingly ugly.</p><p>But ultra-attractive people who were born designer babies could face problems, too. One could be the loss of body image. </p><p>When designer babies grow up in the "Genetic Pressure" series, men look like all the other men, and women look like all the other women. This homogeneity of physical appearance occurs because parents of designer babies start following trends, all choosing similar traits for their children: tall, athletic build, olive skin, etc. </p><p>Sure, facial traits remain relatively unique, but everyone's more or less equally attractive. And this causes strange changes to sexual preferences.</p><p>"In a society of sexual equals, they start looking for other differentiators," he said, noting that violet-colored eyes become a rare trait that genetically engineered humans find especially attractive in the series.</p><p>But what about sexual relationships between genetically engineered humans and "normal" people? In the "Genetic Pressure" series, many "normal" people want to have kids with (or at least have sex with) genetically engineered humans. But a minority of engineered humans oppose breeding with "normal" people, and this leads to an ideology that considers engineered humans to be racially supreme. </p>
Regulating designer babies<p>On a policy level, there are many open questions about how governments might legislate a world with designer babies. But it's not totally new territory, considering the West's dark history of eugenics experiments.</p><p>In the 20th century, the U.S. conducted multiple eugenics programs, including immigration restrictions based on genetic inferiority and forced sterilizations. In 1927, for example, the Supreme Court ruled that forcibly sterilizing the mentally handicapped didn't violate the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes wrote, "… three generations of imbeciles are enough." </p><p>After the Holocaust, eugenics programs became increasingly taboo and regulated in the U.S. (though some states continued forced sterilizations <a href="https://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/eugenics/" target="_blank">into the 1970s</a>). In recent years, some policymakers and scientists have expressed concerns about how gene-editing technologies could reanimate the eugenics nightmares of the 20th century. </p><p>Currently, the U.S. doesn't explicitly ban human germline genetic editing on the federal level, but a combination of laws effectively render it <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jlb/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jlb/lsaa006/5841599#204481018" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">illegal to implant a genetically modified embryo</a>. Part of the reason is that scientists still aren't sure of the unintended consequences of new gene-editing technologies. </p><p>But there are also concerns that these technologies could usher in a new era of eugenics. After all, the function of a designer baby industry, like the one in the "Genetic Pressure" series, wouldn't necessarily be limited to eliminating genetic diseases; it could also work to increase the occurrence of "desirable" traits. </p><p>If the industry did that, it'd effectively signal that the <em>opposites of those traits are undesirable. </em>As the International Bioethics Committee <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jlb/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jlb/lsaa006/5841599#204481018" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">wrote</a>, this would "jeopardize the inherent and therefore equal dignity of all human beings and renew eugenics, disguised as the fulfillment of the wish for a better, improved life."</p><p><em>"Genetic Pressure Volume I: Baby Steps"</em><em> by Eugene Clark is <a href="http://bigth.ink/38VhJn3" target="_blank">available now.</a></em></p>
Scientists discover burrows of giant predator worms that lived on the seafloor 20 million years ago.
- Scientists in Taiwan find the lair of giant predator worms that inhabited the seafloor 20 million years ago.
- The worm is possibly related to the modern bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois).
- The creatures can reach several meters in length and famously ambush their pray.
A three-dimensional model of the feeding behavior of Bobbit worms and the proposed formation of Pennichnus formosae.
Credit: Scientific Reports
Beware the Bobbit Worm!<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1f9918e77851242c91382369581d3aac"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_As1pHhyDHY?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
The idea behind the law was simple: make it more difficult for online sex traffickers to find victims.
- SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) and FOSTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) started as two separate bills that were both created with a singular goal: curb online sex trafficking. They were signed into law by former President Trump in 2018.
- The implementation of this law in America has left an international impact, as websites attempt to protect themselves from liability by closing down the sections of their sites that sex workers use to arrange safe meetings with clientele.
- While supporters of this bill have framed FOSTA-SESTA as a vital tool that could prevent sex trafficking and allow sex trafficking survivors to sue those websites for facilitating their victimization, many other people are strictly against the bill and hope it will be reversed.
What is FOSTA-SESTA?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="723125b44601d565a7c671c7523b6452"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WBaqDjPCH8k?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) and FOSTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) were signed into law by former President Trump in 2018. There was some argument that this law may be unconstitutional as it could potentially violate the <a href="https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/amendment-1/" target="_blank">first amendment</a>. A criminal defense lawyer explains this law in-depth in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoWx2hYg5uo&t=38s" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">this video</a>. </p><p><strong>What did FOSTA-SESTA aim to accomplish?</strong></p><p>The idea behind the law was simple: make it more difficult for online sex traffickers to find victims. FOSTA-SESTA started as two separate bills that were both created with a singular goal: curb online sex trafficking. Targeting websites like Backpage and Craigslist, where sex workers would often arrange meetings with their clientele, FOSTA-SESTA aimed to stop the illegal sex-trafficking activity being conducted online. While the aim of FOSTA-SESTA was to keep people safer, these laws have garnered international speculation and have become quite controversial. </p><p><a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180321006214/en/National-Anti-Trafficking-Coalition-Celebrates-Survivors-Senate-Passes" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">According to BusinessWire</a>, many people are in support of this bill, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and World Without Exploitation (WorldWE). </p><p>"With the growth of the Internet, human trafficking that once happened mainly on street corners has largely shifted online. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 73 percent of the 10,000 child sex trafficking reports it receives from the public each year involve ads on the website Backpage.com."</p><p>As soon as this bill was <a href="https://www.pivotlegal.org/sesta_fosta_censoring_sex_workers_from_websites_sets_a_dangerous_precedent" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">signed into law</a>, websites where sex workers often vetted and arranged meetings with their clients could now be held liable for the actions of the millions of people that used their sites. This meant websites could be prosecuted if they engaged in "the promotion or facilitation of prostitution" or "facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts with sex trafficking victims." </p><p><strong>The bill's effects were felt around the world — from Canadians being unhappy with the impact of this American bill to U.K. politicians considering the implementation of similar laws in the future.</strong> </p><p>Heather Jarvis, the program coordinator of the Safe Harbour Outreach Project (SHOP), which supports sex workers in the St. John's area, <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/heather-jarvis-website-shutdown-1.4667018" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">explained to CBC in an interview</a> that the American bill is impacting everyone, everywhere: "When laws impact the internet — the internet is often borderless — it often expands across different countries. So although these are laws in the United States, what we've seen is they've been shutting down websites in Canada and other countries as well."</p><p>Jarvis suggests in her interview that instead of doing what they aimed to do with the bill and improving the safety of victims of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation, the website shutdowns are actually making sex workers less safe. </p><p>While <a href="https://gizmodo.com/the-uk-wants-its-own-version-of-fosta-sesta-that-could-1827420794" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">one U.K. publication</a> refers to FOSTA-SESTA as "well-intentioned but ultimately deeply-flawed laws," it also mentions that politicians in the United Kingdom are hoping to pursue similar laws in the near future. </p>
Has FOSTA-SESTA done more harm than good?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUxMzY5Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2ODUyNDc4OX0.dSEEzcflJJUTnUCFmuwmPAIA0f754eW7rN8x6L7fcCc/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=-68%2C595%2C-68%2C595&height=700" id="69d99" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="734759fa254b5a33777536e0b4d7b511" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="sex worker looking online for a job" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
Is this really going to help, or is this bill simply pushing sex work and sex-related content further into the dark?
Credit: Евгений Вершинин on Adobe Stock<p>While <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180321006214/en/National-Anti-Trafficking-Coalition-Celebrates-Survivors-Senate-Passes" target="_blank">supporters of this bill</a> have framed FOSTA-SESTA as a vital tool that could prevent sex trafficking and allow sex trafficking survivors to sue those websites for facilitating their victimization, many other people are strictly against the bill and hope it will be reversed.</p><p><strong>One of the biggest problems many people have with this bill is that it forces sex workers into an even more dangerous situation, which is quite the opposite of what the bill had intended to do.</strong> </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-anti-trafficking-activists-cheer-but-sex-workers-bemoan-shutdown-of/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Globe and Mail</a>, there has been an upswing in pimps sending sex workers messages that promise work - which puts sex workers on the losing end of a skewed power-dynamic, when before they could attempt to safely arrange their own meetings online. </p><p><strong>How dangerous was online sex work before FOSTA-SESTA? </strong></p><p><a href="https://www.beyond-the-gaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BtGbriefingsummaryoverview.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The University of Leicester Department of Criminology</a> conducted an online survey that focused on the relative safety of internet-based sex work compared with outdoor sex work. According to the results, 91.6 percent of participants had not experienced a burglary in the past 5 years, 84.4 percent had not experienced physical assault in the same period, and only 5 percent had experienced physical assault in the last 12 months. </p><p><a href="https://www.pivotlegal.org/sesta_fosta_censoring_sex_workers_from_websites_sets_a_dangerous_precedent" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">PivotLegal</a> expresses concerns about this: "It is resoundingly clear, both from personal testimony and data, that attacking online sex work is an assault on the health and safety of people in the real world. In a darkly ironic twist, SESTA/FOSTA, legislation aimed at protecting victims of and preventing human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, will do the exact opposite."</p><p><strong>Websites are also being hypervigilant (and censoring more content than needed) because they can't possibly police every single user's activity on their platform.</strong> </p><p>Passing this bill meant any website (not just the ones that are commonly used by sex traffickers) could be held liable for their user's posts. Naturally, this saw a general "tightening of the belt" when it came to what was allowed on various platforms. In late 2018, shortly after the FOSTA-SESTA bill was passed, companies like Facebook slowly began to alter their terms and conditions to protect themselves. </p><p>Facebook notably added sections that express prohibited certain sexual content and messages:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>"Content that includes an implicit invitation for sexual intercourse, which can be described as naming a sexual act and other suggestive elements including (but not limited to):</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>– vague suggestive statements such as: 'looking forward to an enjoyable evening'</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>– sexual use of language […]</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>– content (self-made, digital or existing) that possibly portrays explicit sexual acts or a suggestively positioned person/suggestively positioned persons."<br><br> </em></p><p>Additionally, sections like this were also added, prohibiting things that could allude to sexual activity: </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>"Content in which other acts committed by adults are requested or offered, such as:</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>– commercial pornography</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>– partners that share fetishes or sexual interests"</em></p><p>Facebook wasn't the only website to crack down on their policies — the Craigslist classifieds section being removed and Reddit banned quite a large number of sex-worker related subreddits. </p><p><strong>Is FOSTA-SESTA really helpful?</strong> </p><p>This is the question many people are facing with the FOSTA-SESTA acts being passed just a few years ago. Is this really going to help, or is this bill simply pushing sex work and sex-related content further into the dark? Opinions seem to be split down the middle on this — what do you think?</p>
A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.
- A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
- Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
- The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to go ice fishing on Europa<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="GLGsRX7e" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="f4790eb8f0515e036b24c4195299df28"> <div id="botr_GLGsRX7e_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/GLGsRX7e-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/GLGsRX7e-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/GLGsRX7e-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
Water Vapor Above Europa’s Surface Deteced for First Time<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9c4abc8473e1b89170cc8941beeb1f2d"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WQ-E1lnSOzc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Answering the question of who you are is not an easy task. Let's unpack what culture, philosophy, and neuroscience have to say.
- Who am I? It's a question that humans have grappled with since the dawn of time, and most of us are no closer to an answer.
- Trying to pin down what makes you you depends on which school of thought you prescribe to. Some argue that the self is an illusion, while others believe that finding one's "true self" is about sincerity and authenticity.
- In this video, author Gish Jen, Harvard professor Michael Puett, psychotherapist Mark Epstein, and neuroscientist Sam Harris discuss three layers of the self, looking through the lens of culture, philosophy, and neuroscience.