If we can enhance our species – make it live longer and resist disease – we should do it

Posted in Evolution / Genetics, Future, Human Enhancement at 7:52 am by rheil

If we can enhance our species – make it live longer and resist disease – we should do it (timesonline)

John Harris

In the future there will be no more human beings. This is not something we should worry about.

Much of today’s scientific research may enable us eventually to repair the terrible vulnerability to which our present state of evolution has exposed us. It is widely thought inevitable that we will have to face the end of humanity as we know it. We will either have died out altogether, killed off by self-created global warming or disease, or, we may hope, we will have been replaced by our successors.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill would allow for inter-species embryos that will not only enable medical science to overcome the acute shortage of human eggs for research, but would provide models for the understanding of many disease processes, an essential precursor to the development of effective therapies. [...]


What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2008? (Nov, 1968)

Posted in Future at 6:57 am by rheil

40 Years in the Future (Modern Mechanix)

By James R. Berry

IT’S 8 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008, and you are headed for a business appointment 300 mi. away. You slide into your sleek, two-passenger air-cushion car, press a sequence of buttons and the national traffic computer notes your destination, figures out the current traffic situation and signals your car to slide out of the garage. Hands free, you sit back and begin to read the morning paper—which is flashed on a flat TV screen over the car’s dashboard. Tapping a button changes the page.

The car accelerates to 150 mph in the city’s suburbs, then hits 250 mph in less built-up areas, gliding over the smooth plastic road. You whizz past a string of cities, many of them covered by the new domes that keep them evenly climatized year round. Traffic is heavy, typically, but there’s no need to worry. The traffic computer, which feeds and receives signals to and from all cars in transit between cities, keeps vehicles at least 50 yds. apart. There hasn’t been an accident since the system was inaugurated. Suddenly your TV phone buzzes. A business associate wants a sketch of a new kind of impeller your firm is putting out for sports boats. You reach for your attache case and draw the diagram with a pencil-thin infrared flashlight on what looks like a TV screen lining the back of the case. The diagram is relayed to a similar screen in your associate’s office, 200 mi. away. He jabs a button and a fixed copy of the sketch rolls out of the device. He wishes you good luck at the coming meeting and signs off. [...]


Natasha Vita-More: Transhumanism on the Rise

Posted in Future, Human Enhancement, Transhumanism at 6:11 am by rheil

Natasha Vita-More: Transhumanism on the Rise

March 07 2008 / by Venessa Posavec (Future Blogger)

Artificial intelligence, super-extended lifespans, colonies in outer space – the future seems like a weird (and sometimes, scary) place. Then again, it’s all about perspective. From a transhumanist point of view, the advances in technology and intelligence will give us the opportunity to be more fully human than ever before in history. To explore these views, we tracked down the authority: Natasha Vita-More, the “first female philosopher of transhumanism”, according to the New York Times. [...]


“Gefühle entwickeln immer nur wir” (Technology Review)

Posted in Deutschsprachige Seiten, Future, Transhumanism at 7:26 am by rheil

“Gefühle entwickeln immer nur wir”

Von Martin Koelling, Tokio

TR: Herr Professor Ishiguro, der Brite David Levy geht davon aus, dass bereits Mitte des Jahrhunderts Liebe und Sex mit Robotern nicht nur möglich, sondern auch sehr populär sein werden. Halten Sie das für Science Fiction?

Hiroshi Ishiguro: Ehrlich gesagt halte ich das sogar für sehr wahrscheinlich. Nehmen Sie einmal das Internet. Wir nutzen es zu vielen Zwecken, jedoch sind 70 Prozent Sex oder Dingen gewidmet, die sexy sind. Wenn es erst einmal überall Roboter gibt, werden Menschen sie auch für diese Zwecke verwenden. Aber wir sollten diese Entwicklung nicht fördern. Wir sollten überlegen, wie wir Roboter für andere, kreativere Aufgaben nutzen können. [...]


Superhuman Imagination – Vernor Vinge on science fiction, the Singularity, and the state

Posted in AI / Singularity, Future, Human Enhancement, Transhumanism at 6:18 am by rheil

Superhuman Imagination – Vernor Vinge on science fiction, the Singularity, and the state

Mike Godwin | Reason Magazin

(»A few decades ago, the most popular science fiction epics were works like Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy or Frank Herbert’s Dune series—stories that were set thousands or even tens of thousands of years in the future but involved human beings more or less like us and societies more or less like our own, but with more advanced technology. Today, by contrast, many of the genre’s top writers are unwilling to speculate more than 20 years ahead. The acceleration of technological advance, they argue, has begun to make traditional visions of far-future humanity look increasingly myopic and parochial.

One increasingly popular vision of that rapidly accelerating progress is called the Technological Singularity (or, sometimes, just the Singularity)—a concept evoked not just in science fiction novels by the likes of Charles Stross and Bruce Sterling but in works of speculative nonfiction, such as the futurist Ray Kurzweil’s popular 2005 book The Singularity Is Near. No name is linked more tightly to the idea of the Singularity than that of Vernor Vinge, 63, who for four decades has written stories about the ways humanity and its technologies are building a future that may be impossible for us even to imagine. “It seems plausible,” Vinge says, “that with technology we can, in the fairly near future, create or become creatures who surpass humans in every intellectual and creative dimension. Events beyond such a singular event are as unimaginable to us as opera is to a flatworm.” [...]«)


Prolegomena to any defence of human enhancement

Posted in Future, Human Enhancement, Nootropics, Transhumanism at 6:54 am by rheil

Russel Blackford: Prolegomena to any defence of human enhancement

(»Any full-scale defence of human enhancement technologies first needs to clear away a lot of misunderstandings. Here’s an attempt to do so.


As a species, we have reached a point in our history where we’ve developed sophisticated, and increasingly powerful, forms of technological intervention in the functioning of our own bodies. Existing possibilities include not only the array of modern techniques for combating disability and disease, but also cosmetic surgery, performance-enhancing or consciousness-altering drugs, the contraceptive pill, and genetically-based methods for the sex selection of children. That list is obviously not exhaustive, and nor does it represent an end point of human inventiveness: for example, there is the much-discussed prospect that we might develop radical new reproductive technologies, such as the asexual creation of embryos through somatic cell nuclear transfer (i.e. reproductive cloning). [...]«)

The Compatibility of Religious and Transhumanist Views of Metaphysics, Suffering, Virtue and Transcendence in an Enhanced Future

Posted in Ethics, Future, Human Enhancement, Transhumanism at 5:58 am by rheil

James J. Hughes: The Compatibility of Religious and Transhumanist Views of Metaphysics, Suffering, Virtue and Transcendence in an Enhanced Future


Transhumanism – the proposition that human beings should use technology to transcend the limitations of the body and brain – is a product of the Enlightenment humanist tradition. As a consequence most avowed transhumanists are secular, and many religious are skeptical or hostile towards the transhumanist project. However there are also many religious transhumanists who find the project of human enhancement at least consistent with, and sometimes a fulfillment of, their metaphysics, soteriologies and eschatologies. Transhumanism appears to be especially compatible with religious traditions that emphasize human agency and evolution to a transcendent state, such as Buddhism, or that have incorporated Enlightenment values, such as liberal Christianity. But elements of the transhumanist worldview and enhancement technologies are compatible with one element or another of most world faiths, even the most fundamentalist. We can thus expect that human enhancement technologies will be adopted creatively into the theologies of groups within all the world’s faiths, producing many flavors of “trans-spirituality.” [...]«)


Engineering Transcendence

Posted in Anti-Aging, Future, Human Enhancement, Nootropics, Transhumanism at 7:05 am by rheil

Giulio Prisco (Transhumnar): Engineering Transcendence

(»I moved this old (2004) article here for further editing and translating. I argue that science may develop the capability to resurrect the dead, perhaps sooner than envisaged by Tipler in his Omega Point scenario. I propose to base a “transhumanist religion” (perhaps “religion” is not the right word) on this idea.

The essay is divided in “Engineering Resurrection”, “Engineering God”, and “Engineering Hope and Happiness”. [...]«)


Technoprogressivism Beyond Technophilia and Technophobia

Posted in Critics, Future, Human Enhancement, Politic, Technology, Transhumanism at 8:02 am by rheil

Dale Carrico: Technoprogressivism Beyond Technophilia and Technophobia

(»Technocentrism, Technophilia, and Technophobia

A technophile is a person to whom we attribute a naïve or uncritical enthusiasm for technology, while a technophobe is a person to whom we attribute a no less uncritical dread of or hostility to technology. But what does it tell us that there is no comparably familiar word simply to describe a person who is focused on the impact of technology in a critical way that is attentive both to its promises and its dangers?

Why is it that any technocentric perspective on cultural, historical, political, and social questions is always imagined to be either uncritically technophilic or technophobic? Is it really so impossible to conceive of a critical technocentrism equally alive to real promises and alert to real dangers? [...]«)

Democratic Transhumanism 2.0

Posted in Ethics, Future, Human Enhancement, Politic, Technology, Transhumanism at 7:48 am by rheil

James Hughes: Democratic Transhumanism 2.0


(»Biopolitics is emerging as an axis of modern politics alongside economic politics and cultural politics. Transhumanists, people who embrace technologies that extend and enhance regardless of their effect on “natural” life spans, limitations or social institutions, are the progressive end of the new biopolitical continuum. BioLuddites, who call for bans on technologies that threaten the “natural,” are conservative end of the new biopolitics.

But biopolitics only complicates the preexisting political landscape, they doesn’t supplant it. There are Christian fundamentalists, centrists and socialist-feminists forming alliances to to oppose human genetic engineering and nanotechnology. But the transhumanists are, so far, much less diverse, mostly adhering to one or another flavor of libertarianism. Democratic transhumanists, pro-scitech social democrats or Left technoutopians are conspicuously absent from their theoretical niche in this new political landscape. This essay is an attempt to identify democratic transhumanists and urge their coalescence.

Read the rest of this entry »


Anne Corwin: Yesterday’s Future

Posted in Future, Transhumanism at 7:14 am by rheil

Yesterday’s Future

(»I have long been fascinated by old magazine articles and advertisements that describe the technology of the times or make speculations about the future. As a teenager, I would spend hours hunting in my great-grandmother’s basement amidst musty boxes for the publications containing these treasures.«)

A Blogentry about the:


Must-know terms for the 21st Century intellectual: Redux

Posted in Future, Transhumanism at 7:33 am by rheil

George P. Dvorsky’s Blog: Must-know terms for the 21st Century intellectual: Redux

(»Blog posts can be strange and unpredictable things. There are times when I pour a ton of energy and creativity into a post only to have it largely ignored. Other times I quickly and haphazardly put something together and it ends up attracting thousands of hits. Such was the case with my recent post, Must-know terms for today’s intelligentsia.

Owing to all the interest, feedback and requests, I’ve decided to revise the list and provide greater detail and links. I apologize for not providing this in the first place.«)


Top Ten Cybernetic Upgrades Everyone Will Want

Posted in Future, Human Enhancement, Technology, Transhumanism at 7:20 am by rheil

Top Ten Cybernetic Upgrades Everyone Will Want (»Science fiction, computer games, anime… cyborgs are everywhere. Transhumanists are philosophers who believe that one day, cybernetic upgrades will be so powerful, elegant, and inexpensive that everyone will want them. This page lists ten major upgrades that I think will be adopted by 2050.«)


Energy 2020: A Vision Of The Future

Posted in Future, Technology, Transhumanism at 6:54 am by rheil


By Lifeboat Foundation Scientific Advisory Board member José Luis Cordeiro

(»In 2020, world population has grown to 7.5 billion people, the global economy is approaching $80 trillion, and the wireless Internet 4.0 is now connecting almost half of humanity. Synergies among nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science (commonly known as NBIC technologies) have dramatically improved the human condition by increasing the availability of energy, food, and water and by connecting people and information anywhere, anytime. The positive effects are to increase collective intelligence and to create value and efficiency while lowering costs. [...]«)


The Edge Annual Question 2007

Posted in Ethics, Future, Human Enhancement, Technology, Transhumanism at 7:04 am by rheil

The Edge Annual Question — 2007


As an activity, as a state of mind, science is fundamentally optimistic. Science figures out how things work and thus can make them work better. Much of the news is either good news or news that can be made good, thanks to ever deepening knowledge and ever more efficient and powerful tools and techniques. Science, on its frontiers, poses more and ever better questions, ever better put.

What are you optimistic about? Why? Surprise us!”)

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Overcoming Bias (Blog)

Posted in Future, Transhumanism at 7:21 am by rheil

Overcoming Bias: (“How can we better believe what is true? While it is of course useful to seek and study relevant information, our minds are full of natural tendencies to bias our beliefs via overconfidence, wishful thinking, and so on. Worse, our minds seem to have a natural tendency to convince us we that are aware of and have adequately corrected for such biases, when we have done no such thing.

In this forum we discuss whether and how we might avoid this fate, by spending a bit less effort on each specific topic, and a bit more effort on the general topic of how to be less biased. Here we discuss common patterns of bias and self-deception, statistical and other formal analysis tools, computational and data-gathering aids, and social institutions which may discourage bias and encourage its correction. Other topics may be discussed to the extent they exemplify important biases and correction issues.

This forum is brought to you by the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, and consists of posts and comments on posts. We allow open comments on most posts, but are selective about who can post.”)


Accelerating Future (Blog: Michael Anissimov)

Posted in Future, Transhumanism, Transhumanists at 7:29 am by rheil

Accelerating Future: (»Futurism! Science! Excitement! Fun!«)


Our Technological Future (Blog: Jan-Willem Bats)

Posted in Future, Nanotechnology, Technology, Transhumanism, Transhumanists at 9:51 am by rheil

Our Technological Future: (“About upcoming technologies such as nanotechnology/molecular manufacturing, artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology. All of these are accelerating exponentially. The implications are vast.”)


Future Human Evolution

Posted in Evolution / Genetics, Future, Human Enhancement, Transhumanism at 4:12 pm by rheil

Future Human Evolution (“This site is about the future of human evolution. We explore and present information on technological activities (and their associated social implications) that have the capacity to not only enhance our survival probability as a species, but to improve the quality of life as we move along the evolutionary path. We are non-partisan, and are neither anti nor pro-religious, preferring to remain open or at least tolerant regarding theories and beliefs which can be neither proven nor refuted scientifically. (See our pages on Macro vs. Micro Evolution and Science vs. Religion for more on these topics.)”)


Posted in AI / Singularity, Evolution / Genetics, Future, Human Enhancement, Nanotechnology, Technology, Transhumanism at 4:04 pm by rheil

KurzweilAI.net (“KurzweilAI.net features the big thoughts of today’s big thinkers examining the confluence of accelerating revolutions that are shaping our future world, and the inside story on new technological and social realities from the pioneers actively working in these arenas. We are witnessing intersecting revolutions in a plethora of fields: biotechnology, nanotechnology, molecular electronics, computation, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, virtual reality, human brain reverse engineering, brain augmentation, robotics, and many others. The leading visionaries represented on this site examine these transforming trends and their profound impact on economics, the arts, politics, government, warfare, medicine, health, education, disabilities, social mores, and sexuality.”)

The World Future Society

Posted in Future, Transhumanism at 2:39 pm by rheil

The World Future Society (“The World Future Society is an association of people interested in how social and technological developments are shaping the future. The Society was founded in 1966 and is chartered as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. What Does the Society Do? The Society strives to serve as a neutral clearinghouse for ideas about the future. Ideas about the future include forecasts, recommendations, and alternative scenarios. These ideas help people to anticipate what may happen in the next 5, 10, or more years ahead. When people can visualize a better future, then they can begin to create it.”)

The Oxford Future of Humanity Institute (Nick Bostrom)

Posted in Future, Nanotechnology, Technology, Transhumanism at 2:21 pm by rheil

The Oxford Future of Humanity Institute (“The Oxford Future of Humanity Institute focuses on big picture questions for humanity. The Institute studies how anticipated technological developments may affect the human condition in fundamental ways, and how we can better understand, evaluate, and respond to radical change. The Institute’s current work streams include Human Enhancement, Global catastrophic risk, Methodology, and Rationality. While the Future of Humanity Institute is located with the world-leading Oxford Faculty of Philosophy, we take an unashamedly multi-disciplinary approach to our subject areas. We use scientific research methods, philosophical techniques, ethical analysis, technology and risk assessment, and policy evaluation tools. We also work to promote public engagement and informed discussion among stakeholders in government, industry, academia, and the not-for-profit sector. “)
Director: Dr. Nick Bostrom


Posted in Future, Technology, Transhumanism at 2:15 pm by rheil

Nick Webster: FUTURES MARKET – Welcome to tomorrow’s world.. where robots have rights and the moon is just another holiday destination. [Mirror.co.uk, 26.07.05] (“CARS that drive themselves, artificial brains and human rights for robots… it’s just a matter of time. A Technology Timeline compiled by researchers at BT’s futurology department has come up with a list of advances it says will change tomorrow’s world.”)

Future Human Evolution

Posted in Evolution / Genetics, Future, Technology, Transhumanism at 2:13 pm by rheil

Future Human Evolution (“From the down to earth application of stem cell research to the outer regions of interstellar space we take you on a journey through the actual, the probable, the plausible, and a sampling of the very unlikely. This site is dedicated to news, tutorials, editorials, and speculation on technologies and social issues impacting our collective future, The Future of Human Evolution. Its primary purpose is to stimulate your thinking.”)


James Hughes: Den Wandel mit aller Entschlossenheit ergreifen – Ein posthumanistisches Plädoyer für die Gentechnologie

Posted in Deutschsprachige Seiten, Evolution / Genetics, Future, Politic, Transhumanism at 8:54 am by rheil

James Hughes: Den Wandel mit aller Entschlossenheit ergreifen – Ein posthumanistisches Plädoyer für die Gentechnologie (“Über eine Bioethik wird in Deutschland noch wenig öffentlich diskutiert. Die neuen Biotechnologien werfen jedoch viele Fragen und Probleme auf, die tief in unser Verständnis von Leben und Person eingreifen werden. Der Bioethiker James Hughes hat ein entschiedenes und provozierendes Plädoyer für die intensive Nutzung der Gentechnologie verfaßt, das wir in Telepolis zur Diskussion stellen wollen.”)

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