Hi to you all, readers of this blog!
With a little delay, I am happy to say Happy Birthday to my blog and thank you all for reading it. It’s been a very fruitful year for this blog- I am not sure how is it for you, but for me it’s been a great stimulus to keep an eye on interesting topics related to the human body or the fate of the Humanities, and share them.
One of the most written about topics it’s been the fate of the human body in the post-modern world, from the body understood as personal project to the objectified human body. Therefore, it’s a funny coincidence that the anniversary of the blog coincides with the news about the ultimate utopia- “the end of dying”, projects that try (at least in theory) of pushing the boundaries of the human body and life in general: http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/18/4852338/ray-kurzweil-immortality
This follows the same line as the Russian millionaire who is planning on uploading his brain to a hologram: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2322703/Want-live-forever-Russian-billionaire-reveals-real-life-avatar-plan–says-upload-brain-hologram-immortal-2045.html or the “assembled bodies”, human bodies grown in laboratory- https://www.sciencenews.org/article/tiny-human-almost-brains-made-lab or those marked by the advances in body-technology. In this latter category, I can mention 2 news which caught my eye in particular:
– the “Living Machines” Conference (International Conference on Biomimetics and Biohybrid Systems) – find out more here: http://csnetwork.eu/livingmachines/conf2013/exhibition. Some of the exhibits featured in the exhibition-conference are “a live musical performance featuring a humanoid robot”, and “a robot swarm whose behaviour is more than the sum of its parts” (well, they also advertise “biohybrid clothing made with amoebas”, but on the one hand it doesn’t fit in the topic of this post and secondly, who would wear amoebas anyway?!…well, I guess it’s a strange world out there).
–iCub, “the humanoid robot developed at IIT as part of the EU project RobotCub… It can see and hear, it has the sense of proprioception (body configuration) and movement (using accelerometers and gyroscopes).” and more recently it is learning how to “track the mental states of others“. As the leader of the research team said about this very special exhibit from the London conference mentioned above, this ability seems to have emerged on its own.
All in all, I am curious where is the human body (and science) heading to in the near future, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see (and the blog will be in the first line, of course 🙂 )
PS: On one of my favourite blogs out there, These Bones of Mine (a bioarchaeology/human osteology academic blog), I’ve noticed that my blog is presented as “Bodies and Academia”- a spot on and concise description of what this blog is all about! Thanks!