Posts Tagged 'transhumanism'

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Riccardo Campa

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Riccardo Campa

The Transhumanist Movement: a Sociological Overview

The central transhumanist idea of self-directed evolution can be coupled with different political, philosophical and religious opinions. Accordingly, we have observed individuals and groups joining the movement from very different persuasions. On one hand such diversity may be an asset in terms of ideas and stimuli, but on the other hand it may involve a practical paralysis, especially when members give priority to their existing affiliations over their belonging to organized transhumanism. In my lecture, I shall discuss the outlines of those internal differences.

Riccardo Campa Riccardo Campa is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cracow. He possesses two Master of Arts degrees, in Political Science and Philosophy, from the University of Bologna and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Nicholas Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland. He founded and is currently president of the Italian Transhumanist Association, and is a Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

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post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Stefano Vaj

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Stefano Vaj

The mission of transhumanism

Contrary to widespread expectations, be they positive or negative, eschatological or millenaristic, there are reasons to believe that the pace of change may be slowing down in comparison with what we had been living in the century going roughly from 1870 to 1970. Even some of the most spectacular achievements since fall well within the boundaries of pre-existing trends and paradigms, and risk to appear as the proverbial feats of dwarves on the shoulders of giants. Cultural and educational decadence, ideological biases, prohibition and unfavourable legal frameworks, the inertia of increasingly globalised socio-economic patterns, all play an active role in this scenario. Temptations by transhumanists to take “into their hands” what largely depends on full-scale societal and civilisational projects and/or individual genius are in most case delusional. But even more futile is to reduce oneself to a cheerleading or monitoring group of technoscientific developments which are believed to happen automagically, no-matter-what, and be mainly concerned with “steering” things which are not going to happen at all unless a sufficient mobilisation is created to that end, leading to a deep change of current policies and value systems. The mission of transhumanism is that of explicitely organising advocacy, lobbying, and metapolitical activism aimed at presenting the case for innovation and for a posthuman, and before that a posthumanist, change.

La missione del transumanismo

Al contrario delle aspettative di molti, positive o negative, escatologiche o millenaristiche, vi è ragione di ritenere che il ritmo dei processi di cambiamento stia in realtà rallentando a paragone di ciò che avevamo vissuto nel secolo che va approssimativamente dal 1870 al 1970. Persino alcuni dei risultati più spettacolari successi dei nostri giorni ricadono ampiamente nel perimetro di trend e paradigmi preesistenti. e rischiano di apparire come le proverbiale gesta di nani sulle spalle di giganti. La decadenza culturale e dei sistemi educativi, il pregiudizio ideologico, il proibizionismo ed un quadro normativo sfavorevole, l’inerzia di modelli socio-economici sempre più globalizzati, tutti giocano un ruolo in questo scenario. Le tentazioni da parte dei transumanisti di “prendere in mano” ciò che dipende largamente da progetti che richiedono il coinvolgimento di intere società o civiltà, o dal genio individuale, sono nella maggior parte dei casi figlie dell’illusione. Ma ancora più futile è ridursi a fare le cheerleaders di sviluppi tecnoscientifici che si ritiene debbano prodursi automagicamente, in ogni caso; o essere principalmente preoccupati del fatto di “guidare” cose che non vedranno mai la luce se non viene generata a tale fine una sufficiente mobilitazione che conduca ad un profondo mutamento delle politiche in essere e del sistema di valori dominante.
La missione del transumanismo è quella di organizzare esplicitamente la promozione, l’attività di lobbying e l’attivismo metapolitico volti a sostenere la causa dell’innovazione e di una trasformazione postumana, e prima ancora postumanista.

Stefano Vaj Stefano Vaj is a prominent attorney and writer in Italy, and serves as the national secretary of the larger of the two transhumanist groups in Italy, the Italian Transhumanist Association or AIT.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

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post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Natasha Vita-More

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Natasha Vita-More

The Expectant Automorph: an emergent life of bio-synthetic systems

The AUTOMORPH project was developed in 1997 as a self-actualized morphing of physiology in an attempt to reduce cellular damage and increase neuroplasticity. This project steered away from cyborgnization of the human and leaned toward a different aesthetic — that of life prolongation. In recent years, the genesis of human enhancement interfacing with emerging technologies has had an affect on its ecomorphology. AUTOMORPH is one project that views human physiology as a relationship between the individual’s environment and behaviors with her/his morphological adaptations. This morphology reflects how physiology could correlate with the functional use of space and time. What variation-niche might we inhabit? What might it look like? Developments in human enhancement technologies (NBIC+) are providing designers with insights into the properties of living and synthetic systems. These insights are positioned to revolutionize the architecture of life prolongation.

Natasha Vita-More Natasha Vita-More, Ph.D. researcher, University of Plymouth, is a theorist and media designer and visiting lecturer at academic institutions such as Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Applied Sciences, Universität für Angewandte Kunst Wien, Centre Interuniversitaire des Arts Médiatiques, University of Quebec, and other learning intuitions such as Metanexus Institute, American Philosophical Association, Sala Parallo, Trondehim Festival, Pecci Museum, SESCE Brazil, and Lisbon Arte e Ciência Cordoaria, and Russia’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts. Vita-More is best known for “Primo Posthuman” future human prototype. Her writings have been published in numerous books, she has appeared in more than twenty-four televised documentaries, and featured in magazines including The New York Times, Wired, Village Voice, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, U.S. News & World Report, Net Business, and Teleopolis. Vita-More is the author of the Transhuman Statement (1983), producer and host of “Transcentury Update” (1987-1994), and the founder of Transhumanists Arts, Sciences & Culture (1991) and H+ Lab (2005). As the former President of Extropy Institute (2002-2005), she is currently on the Board of Directors for Humanity+, Fellow at Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Advisor of the Singularity University, Lifeboat Foundation, Alcor Life Extension Foundation, and Visiting Scholar at 21st Century Medicine.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

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post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Ben Goertzel

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Ben Goertzel

A Cosmist Manifesto: Practical Philosophy for the Posthuman Age

The term Cosmism was introduced by Tsiolokovsky and other Russian Cosmists around 1900. Goertzel’s “Cosmist Manifesto” gives it new life and a new twist for the 21st century. Cosmism, as Goertzel presents it, is a practical philosophy for the posthuman era. Rooted in Western and Eastern philosophy as well as modern technology and science, it is a way of understanding ourselves and our universe that makes sense now, and will keep on making sense as advanced technology exerts its transformative impact as the future unfolds. Among the many topics considered are AI, nanotechnology, uploading, immortality, psychedelics, meditation, future social structures, psi phenomena, alien and cetacean intelligence and the Singularity. The Cosmist perspective is shown to make plain old common sense of even the wildest future possibilities.

Ben Goertzel Ben Goertzel is founder and CEO of two computer science firms Novamente LLC and Biomind LLC, and of the non-profit Artificial General Intelligence Research Institute. He serves as Director of Research for the Singularity Institute for AI.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

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TransVision 2010 Presentation by Lincoln Cannon

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Lincoln Cannon

Transfigurism

Transhumanism is compatible with some forms of religion, as illustrated by a syncretization of Mormonism and Transhumanism. God, creation, prophets, revelation, commandments, Christ, faith, worship, repentance, atonement, rituals, miracles, spirit, apocalypse, millennium, transfiguration, resurrection, immortality, salvation and heaven: all are compatible with contemporary science, technological trends and Transhumanist values.

Lincoln Cannon Lincoln Cannon is the Director and President of the Mormon Transhumanist Association and one of the main exponents of modern religious transhumanism.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

Register now

post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Max More

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Max More

The Expanded Self: The Past, Present, and Future of Being You

Transhumanists seek to survive and thrive into the indefinite future, and to enhance and expand themselves. But what is this “self” that we aim to preserve and develop? Does it exist? Or is it largely an illusion? I will argue that selfhood is much less real and substantial than commonly believed (even among sophisticated transhumanists). The human self is a kludge, a clumsy, accidental conglomeration of cognitive, emotional, and perceptual functions that is poorly and loosely integrated. The 15 billion year history of the universe is one of expanding awareness and self-awareness. We can, perhaps, catch glimpses of our posthuman selves as unprecedented beings of improved integration and integrity, greater virtue, and deeper meta-awareness, enabled by increasingly subtle and deep infusions of technology into our neural and biological substrate.

Max More Max More, the founder of Extropy Institute, has written many articles espousing the philosophy of transhumanism and the transhumanist philosophy of extropy, most importantly his Principles of Extropy (currently version 3.11). In a 1990 essay “Transhumanism: Toward a Futurist Philosophy”, he introduced the term “transhumanism” in its modern sense. More is also noted for his writings about the impact of new and emerging technologies on businesses and other organizations. His “Proactionary Principle” is intended as a balanced guide to the risks and benefits of technological innovation.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

Register now

post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Robert Geraci

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Robert Geraci

The Mythic Power of Transhumanism

As transhumanism has gained cultural cachet over the past two decades, more attention has been paid to its role in the modern world. Some commentators have been inclined to label transhumanism as religious despite the frequently vigorous rejection of traditional religion and, indeed, the entire category of religion by transhumanists. Despite the very common objections among transhumanists themselves, transhumanism is a religious movement. This religiosity is apparent within transhuman movements, and is perfectly expressed in transhumanist interpretations of and expectations for digital technologies (robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual worlds). Far from being an obstacle for adherents, the religious dimensions of transhumanism lend it considerable strength; it is when cloaked in the religious aura of transhumanism that adherents have their greatest opportunities.

Robert Geraci Robert Geraci studies the power of religion in contemporary culture, particularly with regard to the interaction between religion and technology. Other interests include the history of science, anthropology of science, contemporary art, literature, Christian history, and economics. His past research focused upon the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and religion (primarily the Singularity, mind uploading, & sentient machines, but also Shinto and Buddhist ideas as they relate to the development of Japanese robotics). He is the author of Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

Register now

post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

TransVision 2010 – Francesco Verso

TransVision 2010 – Francesco Verso

English summary: How Transhumanism entered my novels and changed my life. Francesco Verso, one of the emergent Italian science fiction writers, will tell us how Transhumanist ideas inform and shape his literary work.

Come il Transumanesimo si è insinuato nella mia narrativa e mi ha cambiato la vita

Premetto che non sono un transumanista. Né posso fregiarmi di essere uno scienziato. E quindi da queste doverose premesse, viene spontaneo chiedersi: “che cosa ci faccio io qui?”. Ci sono perché le idee del Transumanesimo e le sue applicazioni pratiche, da alcuni anni fanno parte dei miei romanzi.

In questo, forse ero un transumanista in nuce o soltanto incosciente. A un certo punto della mia vita, ho capito che c’era un’opportunità da cogliere. Che tutte le notti trascorse a scrivere, che tutte le albe trascorse a riscrivere, che tutti i mesi passati a revisionare, e tutti gli anni in cui avevo accumulato materiale per mettere nero su bianco un romanzo di senso compiuto, avevano una loro ragione di esistere, una loro consistenza e non erano più soltanto tanti fatti slegati, pagine e pagine di frasi e personaggi irreali…

Del resto, senza sogni come è possibile trasformare qualsiasi cosa, inclusa la propria vita?

Il passaggio dalla mia vita precedente a quella attuale ha avuto tre fasi.

La stesura di Antidoti umani e la finale del Premio Urania – in questa fase sono passato dall’essere uno scrittore amatoriale a essere uno scrittore sconosciuto.

La stesura di e-Doll e il Premio Urania – quando da scrittore sconosciuto sono diventato uno scrittore di nicchia.

La stesura di Livido – con cui ho compiuto un salto da scrittore di nicchia a scrittore professionista.

A questo punto, se la mia storia personale può essere paragonata a un passaggio da una fase iniziale, inconscia e dettata da certe condizioni di partenza per arrivare alla consapevolezza della necessità di una trasformazione, un tema che ho trovato spesso nelle argomentazioni del movimento, ebbene i temi dei miei romanzi sono ancora più chiaramente legati al “transumanesimo”.

In fondo, parafrasando Chuck Palahniuk, sono qui perché il futuro di oggi è sempre diverso dal futuro di ieri e da quello di domani.

Nel mio intervento non tenterò di dimostrare nulla, al contrario, racconterò come il meme del transumanesimo si sia diffuso nella mia narrativa e in quella che leggo; come lo abbia già fatto in quella di molti prima di me, e sperando, come continuerà a farlo anche in quella degli altri dopo di noi.

NOTA: Francesco è stato recentemente intervistato sul sito della RAI – Millepagine.

Francesco Verso Francesco Verso is an Italian SF writer (tough he defines his genre as “future fiction” from a definition of Anthony Burgess for A Clockwork Orange). He follows transhumanism since many years because its themes are strictly connected to the ones of his novels. Books: Antidoti umani – (Human Antidotes) – short-listed for the Urania Mondadori 2004 Award, deals with human augmentation & sensorial prosthetis. e-Doll – winner of the Urania Mondadori 2008 Award – is about the relationship between Maya, a moscow teenager, and Angel, an highly sofisticated replicant  who is employed in the business of sex. The novel talks about the birth of consciousness and analyses aspects of human sexuality.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

Register now

post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Anders Sandberg

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Anders Sandberg

Thermodynamics of advanced civilizations: living in a unsustainable universe

Civilizations are thermodynamic objects, fundamentally bound by considerations of energy, entropy and information. While their purposes for manipulating the physical world could be almost anything, they are constrained by available resources and physical laws. This gives us some bounds on what can be achieved in the truly long-term given our current understanding of the universe.

This talk will look at what constraints we are facing, giving some estimates for how much information processing, beings and activity can take place in the far future. I will also discuss the ethical consequences of these considerations here and now: how they force us to consider existential risk more seriously, how our current limitation to a single planet is an important opportunity for coordination, and the ethical problems of initiating radical interstellar expansion.

Anders Sandberg Anders Sandberg is a researcher, science debater, futurist, transhumanist, and author. He holds a Ph.D. in computational neuroscience from Stockholm University, and is currently a James Martin Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. Sandberg’s research centres on societal and ethical issues surrounding human enhancement and new technology, as well as on assessing the capabilities and underlying science of future technologies.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

Register now

post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Valerija Pride

TransVision 2010 Presentation by Valerija Pride

Noosphere Posthuman – A hypothetical concept and technological preconditions for its implementation

N. Bostrom considered the space of possible forms of living creatures selecting among them animals, humans, transhumans and posthumans. Just as animals and humans has long been classified by numerous parameters into various types so can the hypothetical phenomena “transhuman” and “posthuman”.

There are already some versions of transhumans in the popular imagination: cyborgs, genetically modified humans, uploaded minds, persons augmented with nanotechnology, and others. Good descriptions and even visualizations of various types of transhumans were produced by the authors of a role-playing game “Eclipse phase”.

Posthuman is defined as someone “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards”. Currently we foresee, for example, the following varieties of posthumans:

  • AI that can be based on different architectures
  • Uploaded human brain, modified and accelerated
  • AI based on enhanced human intelligence
  • Noospheric (planetary) posthuman
  • Hybrid (composed from above types)
  • Something not imagined by me

This report discusses the concept of one type of posthuman – noosphere (planetary) posthuman (NPH).

I want to say that the NPH is fundamentally different from such entities as the society (in all its variations) or “intelligent anthills” by the presence of a single consciousness and identity. From other types of posthumans it differs mostly in the history of its creation (a factor, which may possibly define the type and the essence of posthumans).

Noosphere (or planetary) posthuman is an intelligent system composed of a number of people and/or transhumans somehow integrated into a single creature with self-consciousness, self-identification, memory, desires, will and other properties usually attributed to a human person – admitting the fact that by the time posthumans emerge, the meaning of all these concepts will be expanded.

We can envision different types of NPH. As already mentioned, its essence will in the strongest way depend on the history of its creation, on the basic ideas that underpin its design. It may be a voluntary union under certain “rules”, where the supersystem is useful for its elements. It may also be experienced as a “terrorist”, dictatorial structure where the most inhumane methods may be used for exploitation of subsystem-humans by supersystem-posthuman.

Valerija Pride Valerija Pride is a Transhumanist and President of KrioRus, the first cryonics company outside of the United States, whose recent scientific work includes work on the very promising Human Aging System Diagram project.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

Register now

post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.



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