Archive for July, 2010

TransVision 2010: Nuovi interventi, ULTIMO GIORNO per iscriversi ai prezzi più bassi

Nuovi interventi confermati per TransVision 2010: il noto studioso del futuro Jamais Cascio e gli italiani Pier Luigi Capucci e Antonio Saccoccio. Il numero di relatori confermati sale a 27, e altri saranno annunciati fra pochi giorni.

TransVision 2010 è un evento transumanista globale, organizzato da varie organizzazioni e gruppi transumanisti coordinati dall’ Associazione Italiana Transumanisti (AIT) con la collaborazione di un gruppo di esperti. L’ evento avrà luogo il 22, 23 e 24 Ottobre 2010 a Milano, con varie possibilità di accesso remoto online.

Registrati adesso

per approfittare dei prezzi speciali Early Bird validi fino a fine luglio (DOMANI È L’ ULTIMO GIORNO PER ISCRIVERSI AI PREZZI PIÙ BASSI), posta segnalazioni a Twitter, i tuoi blog e siti web, e aggiungi il tuo nome alla pagina TransVision 2010 su Facebook.

TransVision 2010: New confirmed speakers, LAST DAY to register at the lowest rates

The following speakers will give talks at TransVision 2010, which brings the number of confirmed speakers to 27. Other speakers will be announced in a few days.

Pier Luigi Capucci Pier Luigi Capucci is professor at the University of Urbino, at the SUPSI – University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, at the NABA in Milan, and in other institutions. He has been professor at the Universities of Rome “La Sapienza”, Bologna and Florence. Since 2008 he has been working as a supervisor in the M-Node PhD Research Programme of the Planetary Collegium (University of Plymouth). Capucci’s has published over 300 texts in books, magazines and conference papers. His books include Realtà del virtuale (Reality of the virtual, 1993), on virtual technologies and the relationships between culture and sensorial representations; Il corpo tecnologico (The technological body, 1994), on the impact of technologies on the human body; and Arte e tecnologie (Art and technologies, 1996), about arts, sciences and technologies.
Jamais Cascio Jamais Cascio is a San Francisco Bay Area-based writer and ethical futurist specialising in design strategies and possible outcomes for future scenarios. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2009, Cascio writes about the intersection of emerging technologies, environmental dilemmas, and cultural transformation, specializing in the design and creation of plausible scenarios of the future. His work focuses on the importance of long-term, systemic thinking, emphasizing the power of openness, transparency and flexibility as catalysts for building a more resilient society.
Antonio Saccoccio Antonio Saccoccio, born in Roma in 1974, is the founder of Net.Futurismo. He is a composer, a writer, and a designer-producer of multimedia performances and net.art. A student of Futurist history (Marinetti, Papini, Boccioni, Russolo), he participated in 2009-10 in several events dedicated to the first centenary of the Futurist Manifesto, in Italy and abroad (Roma, Cagliari, Madrid, Torino, Bremen, etc.). His fields of study are the relations between new media and human sensibilities, the dissolution of traditional Art in diffuse, evolved forms of thought and creativity, the new cognitive paradigm and its impact on the education of new generations. Since 2010 he coordinates the Laboratory of Art and Comunication (LAC) of AIT.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention, organized by several transhumanist activists, groups and organizations, under the executive leadership of the Italian Transhumanist Association (AIT) and with the collaboration of an Advisory Board. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

Register now

to take advantage of our special Early Bird rates (TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER AT THE LOWEST RATES), post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

TRANSVISION 2010 Toward Scientific Futurism

Some translated excerpts of Roberto Guerra’s TRANSVISION 2010 Verso il Futurismo Scientifico (original in Italian), with comments. Roberto is one of the leading Italian Futurist (not Neo-Futurist: Futurism is always Neo) artists and, like all Futurist writers, he uses language in a mercurial and unconventional way which makes his writings a pleasure to read, but difficult to translate. My translation is understandable, but does not have the futurist sparks of the original, and I encourage those who read Italian to read the original.

“Soon (October 2010, Milano) starts Transvision 2010, the periodic event of the Transhumanist Movement, the futurology of the age of Internet, globally disseminated. A Great Event once promoted by the Humanity + (ex W.T.A) mother-ship. This edition is organized by the Italian Transhumanist Association (AIT).”

Of course, the “mother-ship” Humanity+ will be represented by many participants and speakers, including the Chair David Orban, the Vice Chair Ben Goertzel and the Executive Director Alex Lightman. From this article is evident that TransVision 2010 will not be focused only on contemporary and future scientific advances, but also on the synergies between Science and Art, of which contemporary Italian Futurism represents one of the best examples.

“The AIT, in a recent and very significant turn of the movement toward activism in the media, collaborates with the promoters of contemporary Futurism: Graziano Cecchini (well known for the Red Fountain performance and other futurist actions, the only italian artist in the Taschen Usa 2010 catalog), Antonio Saccoccio (the net-futurist digital natives of the web), Giovanni Tuzet (teacher at the Bocconi in Milano, theorist of logic futurism) and the author [Roberto] (writer and electronic poet). A futurology-transhumanism-neofuturism synergy, officially defined in the year of the futurist centenary, with the live centenary in Ferrara-emphasized by Rai Due [Italian television] in The Future of Futurism… and the book published by the AIT Divenire 3 Futurismo: the re-invention of futurism in its essence, dynamic and techno-scientific ante litteram….”

Transhumanists of the world, unite and come to Milan to meet Italian Futurists! Many of the Futurist artists, writers and theorists above will participate in TransVision 2010. Issue 3 of the AIT’s print magazine Divenire, dedicated to Futurism, is available online.

“[Riccardo] Campa [in his recent book Mutare o Perire (Change or Perish - The Challenge of Transhumanism)] emphasizes also the need for the collaboration of the artists more attuned to the new cyber-cultures (for example the writers- in Italy, the young connectivists like Verso, Battisti and others- science-fiction film makers, even the still leading futurist aesthetics) to facilitate overcoming a certain future shock, whose neo-obscurantist symptoms are often clearly evident in old media (like the printed press), in Italy, in certain cultural circles historically entrenched in obsolete epistemologies, para-religious or para-secular and ideological (right/left together… not surprisingly!), the well known gap between the national humanistic tradition and… the Earth rapidly spinning in the universe. The urgency of new paradigms, also social and cultural, and especially institutional and economic, insists Campa, appears even more urgent in view of the most advanced frontiers of contemporary science, which is now close, beginning in the second half of this century, to make reality of apparently science fictional ideas like human hibernation, cloning, Artificial Intelligence, Mind-Up Loading (that is, the transfer of human consciousness in cloned, robotic or even virtual bodies, practically a form of semi-immortality), the so-called technological Singularity, not to speak of very current and “vulgar” developments like cognitive science, education after Internet, online information, eBooks, domotics, cybersex, almost total autimation, space travel, GMO and nanotechnology for medical and other applications (and similar things behind the corner…).”

Mind-Up Loading is Roberto’s Futurist version of the more frequent Mind Uploading, which will be extensively discussed at the conference in all its scientific, technical and philosophical aspects.

“Another plane of the human condition is already surfacing with the post- and trans- human, perhaps a new phase of evolution, which requires entirely new mental paradigms, even more complex and revolutionary, almost multitasking brains to answer with speed… beauty and truth (and well-being) to such new challenges of modernity…”

Speed is a quintessential Futurist meme. From the current version of the Wikipedia article on Futurism: “the ideals of futurism remain as significant components of modern Western culture; the emphasis on youth, speed, power and technology finding expression in much of modern commercial cinema and culture.” The article defines and characterizes Futurism as “Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century… The founder of Futurism and its most influential personality was the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti launched the movement in his Futurist Manifesto, which he published for the first time on 5 February 1909 in La gazzetta dell’Emilia, an article then reproduced in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro on 20 February 1909. He was soon joined by the painters Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini and the composer Luigi Russolo. Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially political and artistic tradition. “We want no part of it, the past”, he wrote, “we the young and strong Futurists!” The Futurists admired speed, technology, youth and violence, the car, the airplane and the industrial city, all that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature, and they were passionate nationalists. They repudiated the cult of the past and all imitation, praised originality, “however daring, however violent”, bore proudly “the smear of madness”, dismissed art critics as useless, rebelled against harmony and good taste, swept away all the themes and subjects of all previous art, and gloried in science… Marinetti’s legacy is also obvious in philosophical ingredients of transhumanism, especially in Europe.” Modern transhumanists who may find something objectionable in this description should bear in mind that the strongly unPC language of Marinetti was typical of the artistic circles of his times, and that some historically inaccurate allegations written by the winners (like most of history) are not correct. Come to Milan to learn about Futurism – at TransVision 2010 many different interpretations of Transhumanism will be represented, including its most radical and hardcore interpretations.

“In the healthy crisis of ideologies, beyond future shock in Italy, evident in the historic and cultural stagnation (even political…) facing the evolution of contemporary science, Transvision 2010, in summary, announces the arrival in the field of the new italian futuribiles- marching with the global movement- hoping in new synergies with possible scientific and cultural movements as a fundamental means to re-futurize XXI century’s Italy and cast it into new, strong, humanist and post-humanist, net-modern scenarios.”

Eppur si vola

Roberto Guerra: writer and video poet. His published works include, among other writings, “Marinetti e il Duemila” (in AA.VV. “Divenire 3 Futurismo” edited by AIT, 2009, Sestante Edizioni) and  “Moana Lisa Cyberpunk” (Edizioni Diversa Sintonia, 2010). He participated in “The Scientist International Videoart Festival” organized by Ferrara Video&Arte. In 2009 he organized, with Graziano Cecchini “Futurismo 100 live”, dedicated to 100 years of Futurism. Since 2010 he is the coordinator of the Laboratory of Futurist Literature of AIT (Italian Transhumanist Association).

*Videopoesie
1.Bunker (2000) 12′ di Andrea Forlani, Filippo Landini, con Roberto Guerra * da The Scientist 2007 Video Festival Internazionale (Ferrara)
2.Moana Lisa Cyberpunk (2010) 2′ di Maurizio Ganzaroli. Promo Ufficiale dell’omonimo volume  di Roberto Guerra (Edizioni Diversa Sintonia)
3.Graziano Cecchini 1 Maggio Futurista (2010) 1′ di Roberto Guerra- tributo a Rossotrevi

TRANSVISION 2010 Verso il Futurismo Scientifico, di Roberto Guerra

TRANSVISION 2010 Verso il Futurismo Scientifico, di Roberto Guerra
-Italia: da Galileo a Marinetti ai Transumanisti-

Tra breve (ottobre 2010, Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo Da Vinci-Milano) scocca Transvision 2010, l’evento periodico del Movimento Transumanista, ovvero la futurologia dell’era di Internet, disseminato a livello internazionale. Grande Evento a suo tempo promosso dall’astronave madre anglosassone di Humanity + (ex W.T.A), tra i fondatori e-o ricercatori figure, filosofi, scienziati del calibro mondiale di Nick Bostrom, David Orban, Max More e Natasha Vita More, Ben Goertzel, Aubrey de Grey, gli scrittori stessi William Gibson e Bruce Sterling, padri del cyberpunk.

Questa edizione è a cura degli Italiani, dell’Associazione Italiana Transumanisti dei vari Riccardo Campa (Presidente AIT, saggista e sociologo della scienza) , Stefano Vaj (filosofo) Giulio Prisco (Fisico e Informatico), sede centrale Milano. Per il Transumanesimo italiano doverosa segnalazione anche per -tra altri- Ugo Spezza (Giornalista Informatico); l’indipendente e a modo suo, peculiare e trasversale, Gianni Vattimo (notissimo filosofo italiano); gli stessi Giuseppe Vatinno (Fisico teorico); Bruno Lenzi (pioniere della crionica); e “Estropico” (primo divulgatore on line in Italia del Transumanesimo) del secondo Network Transumanisti attivo in Italia.

Più nello specifico l’AIT, in certa recente e significativa svolta più mediatica e attivistica del movimento, coinvolge anche i promotori di certo stesso futurismo contemporaneo, ovvero i vari Graziano Cecchini (celebre per la Fontana Rossa performance e altre azioni futuriste, unico artista italiano nel catalogo Taschen Usa 2010), Antonio Saccoccio (i netfuturisti nativi digitali del web), Giovanni Tuzet (docente alla Bocconi di Milano, teorico del futurismo logico) e chi scrive (poeta elettronico e saggista). Sinergia futurologia-transumanesimo-neofuturismo codificata ufficialmente proprio nell’anno del centenario futurista, con il centenario live di Ferrara-evdienziato dai Rai Due in Il Futuro del Futurismo… e il volume a cura AIT, AA.VV. Divenire 3 Futurismo): la reinvenzione del futurismo nella sua essenza dinamica tecnoscientifica ante litteram….

Questo volume sul futurismo (la revisione futurista senz’altro più autorevole), il precedente libro stesso mediatico , “Transumanesimo: Cronache di una rivoluzione annunciata”, a cura dello stesso Campa, florilegio dalla stampa nazionale sulla new wave futurologica e futurista transumanista, e soprattutto il più recente (2010) volume esclusivamente di Riccardo Campa, Mutare o Perire sono certamente preludio e introduzione al grande evento prossimo internazionale di cui prima. (che per la cronaca fa seguito- prova di una significativa accelerazione in Italia del movimento- al recente importante Congresso di Caserta- “Evoluzione Autodiretta…” del Network parallelo di Vatinno, Estropico, De Biase, Stile… eccetera del giugno scorso- scienziati come Edoardo Boncinelli tra i relatori).

La più recente editorialistica transumanista AIT è una specie di superbollettino, download aggiornato al 2010 del divenire di certo post-umanesimo scientifico, culturale e finanche estetico, di cui i Transumanisti sono certamente una delle avanguardie mondiali più attive e consapevoli. Divenire- questa forse la scommessa più radicale di Transvision 2010- del movimento stesso verso una specie di futurismo scientifico rivoluzionario, metapolitico, alla luce delle potenzialità comunicative del web stesso, ormai (leggi Obama stesso primo Presidente postInternet) figura sfondo oggettiva della stessa dimensione strettamente politica (Il Web è il Messaggio!).

Mutare o Perire in particolare ha un titolo esplicito e indicativo: o le istituzioni e le unità umane si adattano in fretta alla nuova era della conoscenza e della scienza anche applicata, accettandone non solo i supergadget spettacolari, o le ricadute tecnologiche di massa nella vita di tutti i giorni (dal computer ai telefoni ai robot per l’industria e le nanopillole per la medicina) oppure all’orizzonte, tra appena qualche decennio, anziché un mondo planetario più giusto e equilibrato, in temi di benessere e sicurezza, più ricco di creatività e libertà individuale, più longevo in buone condizioni, anche l’Occidente rischia non un nuovo rinascimento ma certo medioevo prossimo venturo, paventato dallo stesso Roberto Vacca (certa analisi recente dello stesso Jacques Attali).

Nonostante certa crisi strutturale contemporanea, la scienza e la tecnologia hanno le ricette per un salto quasi quantico possibile per gli umani del XXI secolo: certamente, uno dei sensi neppure taciti del volume., altre soluzioni verosimili non esistono… Campa, con parole trasparenti, scorrevoli narra, da un punto di vista libertario e radicale dichiarato, la storia della futurologia più recente, la sua sincronia e orizzonti nient’ affatto utopistici ma possibili, potenziali, prospettici, previsionali probabili, nonché tutti i gap psicosociali, chiaramente irrazionalisti, oggi persino new age e pseudoambientalisti, che frenano il nuovo progresso possibile postinformatico e postecologico.

Campa evidenza anche la necessaria complicità degli artisti più sensibili alle nuove ciberculture nascenti (ad esempio gli scrittori- in Italia gli stessi giovani connettivisti quali Verso e Battisti e altri- o cineasti di science-fiction, finanche certa estetica futuristica tutt’oggi propulsiva) per favorire il superamento di certo attuale choc del futuro, i cui sintomi di neo-oscurantismo appaiono lampanti spesso in certi old media (tipo la stampa), in Italia in certa casta culturale storicamente arroccata su epistemologie arcaiche parareligiose o paralaiche ed ideologiche (destra/sinistra assieme…non a caso!), il ben noto iato tra tradizione umanistica nazionale e ormai… la Terra che gira veloce nell’universo. L’urgenza di nuovi paradigmi anche sociali e culturali, soprattutto istituzionali ed economici, sottolinea infine Campa, appare ancora più urgente alla luce delle frontiere più avanzate della scienza contemporanea, ormai prossima a partire dalla seconda metà di questo secolo a concretizzare temi apparentemente fantascientifici. Quali l’ibernazione umana, la clonazione, l’Intelligenza Artificiale, il Mind-Up Loading (ovvero il trasferimento della coscienza umana in corpi cloni robotici o persino virtuali, in pratica la semi-immortalità), la cosiddetta Singolarità tecnologica, per non parlare di temi già presentissimi e “profani” quali le scienze cognitive, la scuola dopo Internet, l’informazione on line, gli eBook, la domotica, il cybersex, l’automazione semi-totale, i viaggi interstellari, OGM e nanotecnologie mediche e no ( e temi affini o avanti l’angolo…).

Un altro livello della condizione umana è già affiorato a livello appunto del post o del transumano, forse una nuova tappa dell’evoluzione, che domanda veri e propri nuovi paradigmi mentali, ancor più rivoluzionari e complessi, quasi cervelli multitasking per rispondere con velocità… bellezza e verità (e benessere) a tali ulteriori sfide della netmodernità… Riformattazioni mentali basate su sguardi al mondo e al suo divenire simili alle pupille… per così dire di fisici, matematici e anche artisti contemporanei, oltre l’illusione classica del tempo lineare, causa-effetto, nel cuore invece della complessità postmoderna e postumana, netmoderna, più prossima a scansioni esistenziali (nelle sue ricadute sulla condizione umana) aleatorie,stocastiche, relativistiche: nello stesso tempo però ostili al nichilismo e alla necrofilia, capaci di parlare le verità dinamiche del nostro tempo come ipotesi verosimili, secondo il linguaggio della scienza e delle scienze umane…

Il movimento transumanista italiano dopo Transvision 2010, che ospita significativamente oltre agli italiani, molti dei leaders mondiali anglosassoni del movimento, in certo senso, dopo anni di esperimenti culturali e -nella metafora- di tac del Pianeta Terra- Regione Italia- atterra… nei cieli cari a Leonardo… Galileo, Volta, Meucci, Marconi, Fermi, Maiorana e… Marinetti. (e Rubbia, Dulbecco, Montalcini, Hack..).

Rilancia, in vettori paralleli a certa stessa cultura o movimento scientifico nazionale (da Erice Città della Scienza al C.I.C.A.P. di Piero Angela alle varie fondazioni scientifiche diffuse sul territorio – tipo quella di Umberto Veronesi, al CRN stesso, a certe eccellenze scientifico-culturali anche accademiche- Bocconi- La Sapienza (eccetera) finanche nuove risorse organizzate nate nel web, ad esempio Agorà Digitale e molte altre), la futurologia in Italia, finalmente “scientifica”, sulla scia di pionieri stessi quali gli stessi Roberto Vacca, Silvio Ceccato, il Club di Roma di Aurelio Peccei, da angolazioni specifiche consapevolemente più radicali e futuribili e complementari.

Nella crisi anche salutare delle ideologie, oltre lo stesso choc del futuro in Italia, trasparente in certo impasse storico culturale (finanche politico…) rispetto all’evoluzione scientifica contemporanea , Transvision 2010, riassumendo, annuncia la discesa in campo, dei nuovi futuribili italiani- al passo con il movimento mondiale- auspica future sinergie stesse con i movimenti scientifico-culturali possibili, più specifici, paralleli di cui prima ed altri, quale ricetta fondamentale per re-futurizzare l’Italia del XXI secolo e proiettarla in nuovi scenari forti umanistici e postumanistici, netmoderni.

Parafrasando un recente stupendo libro di Autino, l’Italia è incinta… da troppo tempo: le doglie ancora dolorose, ma i Figli di Galileo pronti all’Eresia finale vincente… a innestare il virus della tecnoscienza nella biochimica degli scimpanzé al potere che inquinano il futuro venuto alla luce (nella cultura, la politica, la religione, l’informazione, l’università, l’arte stesse).

“Eppur si vola”

Roberto Guerra: scrittore e videopoeta. Ha pubblicato, tra l’altro, “Marinetti e il Duemila” (in AA.VV. “Divenire 3 Futurismo” a cura dell’AIT, 2009, Sestante Edizioni) e “Moana Lisa Cyberpunk” (Edizioni Diversa Sintonia, 2010). Ha partecipato a “The Scientist International Videoart Festival”a cura di Ferrara Video&Arte. Ha curato nel 2009 con Graziano Cecchini “Futurismo 100 live”, centenario del futurismo. Dal 2010 è coordinatore del Laboratorio di letteratura futurista per l’AIT.

TransVision 2010: Last week to register at the reduced Early Bird fees

Please note that this is the last week to register for TransVision 2010 at the reduced Early Bird fees. On August 1 registration fees will go up.

Note also that the conference venue has a limited capacity of approximately 230 seats, so you may wish to register now to reserve your seat.

TransVision 2010: Nuovi interventi

Nuovi interventi confermati per TransVision 2010: il Direttore di Humanity+ Alex Lightman e gli italiani Roberto Guerra, Marta Rossi e Jacopo Tagliabue di iLabs, e lo scrittore Francesco Verso, vincitore del Premio Urania Mondadori 2008. Il numero di relatori confermati sale a 24, e altri saranno annunciati fra pochi giorni.

TransVision 2010 è un evento transumanista globale, organizzato da varie organizzazioni e gruppi transumanisti coordinati dall’ Associazione Italiana Transumanisti (AIT) con la collaborazione di un gruppo di esperti. L’ evento avrà luogo il 22, 23 e 24 Ottobre 2010 a Milano, con varie possibilità di accesso remoto online.

Registrati adesso

per approfittare dei prezzi speciali Early Bird validi fino a fine luglio, posta segnalazioni a Twitter, i tuoi blog e siti web, e aggiungi il tuo nome alla pagina TransVision 2010 su Facebook.

TransVision 2010: New confirmed speakers

The following speakers will give talks at TransVision 2010, which brings the number of confirmed speakers to 24. Other speakers will be announced in a few days.

Roberto Guerra Roberto Guerra: writer and video poet. His published works include, among other writings, “Marinetti e il Duemila” (in AA.VV. “Divenire 3 Futurismo” edited by AIT, 2009, Sestante Edizioni) and  “Moana Lisa Cyberpunk” (Edizioni Diversa Sintonia, 2010). He participated in “The Scientist International Videoart Festival” organized by Ferrara Video&Arte. In 2009 he organized, with Graziano Cecchini “Futurismo 100 live”, dedicated to 100 years of Futurism. Since 2010 he is the coordinator of the Laboratory of Futurist Literature of AIT (Italian Transhumanist Association).
Alex Lightman Alex Lightman is the Executive Director of Humanity+ (formerly the World Transhumanist Association), author of over 800,000 words mainly about science, technology, science fiction, and the future including Brave New Unwired World: The Digital Big Bang and the Infinite Internet. He is a graduate of MIT and attended graduate school at MIT and Harvard. He completed Army Airborne paratrooper training, Navy Cold Weather Survival School, and over 25 road races including six marathons in the last 18 months. He got support from 40 countries for his government policy recommendations for IPv6.
Marta Rossi Marta Rossi graduated (B.A.) in Philosophy of Mind and Languages from San Raffaele University (Milan) with a dissertation on self-reference. She received her M.A. from the same institution with a final dissertation on the ontology of functionalism and its consequences in ethics and social theory. Her research are focused on mind-body relations, philosophical and scientific accounts of consciousness and the link between Singularity and social changes. Currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences, she has been working @ iLabs since 2006, where she is Strategic Partnership Manager, leading the management of projects in ethics, social and political theory.
Jacopo Tagliabue Jacopo Tagliabue graduated (B.A.) in Philosophy of Mind and Languages from San Raffaele University (Milan) with a dissertation on formal ontology. He received his M.A. from the same institution with a final dissertation on scientific explanations in complex systems. He studied microeconomics, statistics and complexity theory in renowned international institutions (London School of Economics, New York University, Santa Fe Institute) and he is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences. He has been working @ iLabs since 2006, where he is now Chief Scientist for Qualitative Modelling.
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, organized by several transhumanist activists, groups and organizations, under the executive leadership of the Italian Transhumanist Association (AIT) and with the collaboration of an Advisory Board. The event will take place on October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 in Milan, Italy with many options for remote online access.

Register now

to take advantage of our special Early Bird rates, post links to Twitter, your blogs and websites, and add your name to the TransVision 2010 Facebook page.

David Pearce at TransVision 2010: Fostering Post-Darwinian Life

David Pearce will give a talk at TransVision 2010:

Fostering Post-Darwinian Life
The case for paradise-engineering
by David Pearce

In the state-space of all possible minds, presumably only a tiny percentage can ever be physically realized – since matter, energy and information in the accessible universe are all finite. So we need to consider not just whether intuitively it is ethically good or bad for a sentient being – or species of sentient beings – to exist, but also the cost of such existence in terms of opportunities forgone. Some minds are clearly much more beautiful than others. For example, when the technology matures, would it be better if all our matter and energy were converted into different species of posthuman “smart angel”?

Our response to this question may depend at least in part on how it is posed. Thus if asked whether you’d take a wonderpill that overnight made you several orders of magnitude smarter, happier and more ethically sophisticated than you are now, then one might say yes. On the other hand, if asked whether you’d consent to having your brain reformatted and its matter reprogrammed into a different sentient being who was unimaginably more wonderful, then one might say no. For such a supermind wouldn’t be “me”.

More generally, a problem with being a classical utilitarian is that one is (apparently) obliged to seek the extinction of all existing species, including humans. This is because our matter and energy could be used more efficiently to produce utilitronium – whether in the guise of orgasmium, hedonium, pleasure plasma or Jupiter brains is still unclear. Critics might see this conclusion as a reductio of classical utilitarian ethics. Yet in a world run on utilitarian principles, it’s hard to see how such an outcome could be avoided, in the long run, on pain of inconsistency. True, the physical capacity to manufacture utilitronium is decades away at best, and perhaps centuries or more. So this argument might seem idle philosophizing. But the classical utilitarian is supposed to recognize that time-discounting at a rate different from zero is morally unacceptable too.

In this talk, I shall argue that we should strive for an impartial, “God”s-eye-view” in ethics, just as we do in natural science. Thus we should aim computationally to maximise the cosmic abundance of subjectively hypervaluable states in our Hubble volume. This entails fostering the emergence and spread of post-Darwinian life. I predict our descendants – and maybe our mature selves – will be wiser and happier beyond the bounds of normal human experience.

TransVision 2010 is a global transhumanist conference and community convention, organized by several transhumanist activists, groups and organizations, under the executive leadership of the Italian Transhumanist Association (AIT) and with the collaboration of an Advisory Board. 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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