The Hedonistic Imperative & A Cosmist Manifesto

Ben Goertzel chimes in on the Hedonistic Imperative – he also discusses A Cosmist Manifesto

It would be great to see David Pearce and Ben Goertzel on a panel about reducing suffering and making the world happy and flourishing place.

David Pearce as commented on this video on Facebook.

The Hedonistic Imperative: http://hedweb.com
A Cosmist Manifesto: http://cosmistmanifesto.blogspot.com.au

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Science, Technology & the Future: http://scifuture.org

Humanity+: http://humanityplus.org

News: Aubrey de Grey speaking at next H+@Melbourne Conf 2012

Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer of the SENS Foundation will be speaking at the next Humanity+ Summit @Melbourne (to be held on 4-6 May 2012).
http://sens.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey_de_Grey
De Grey’s research focuses on whether regenerative medicine can thwart the aging process. He works on the development of what he calls “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence” (SENS), a tissue-repair strategy intended to rejuvenate the human body and allow an indefinite lifespan. To this end, he has identified seven types of molecular and cellular damage caused by essential metabolic processes. SENS is a proposed panel of therapies designed to repair this damage.

H+ Conf @ Parsons (OS)

April 12, 2011 (New York, NY) – Humanity+, the world’s leading nonprofit organization advocating the ethical use of technology to expand human capabilities, today announced its first conference in partnership with Parsons The New School for Design, a leading art and design school in New York City dedicated to the advancement of design thinking and education. Transhumanism Meets Design explores the role of design in transcending and transforming human potential, and will take place at The New School May 14–15, 2011. This groundbreaking conference features lectures and panels that bring together and explore the nexus of emerging technology, transdisciplinary design, culture, media theory, and biotechnology.

Transhumanism aims to elevant the human condition. Design is a process for problem solving. At Transhumanism Meets Design, these two domains will join forces as leading transhumanists, cyberneticists, life extensionists, singularity advocates, artificial intelligence experts, human enhancement specialists, inventors, ethicists, and philosophers gather to explore human futures, ask questions, construct ideas, and peer over the edge into the unknown.

“Translating this narrative calls for a transdisciplinarity that brings emerging technologies and creative insights to the forefront. Transhumanist aesthetics pioneers how we will design our existence and future identity,” said Natasha Vita-More, vice chair of Humanity+, who co-chairs the conference with Ed Keller, associate dean of Distributed Learning and Technology at Parsons. “We live in an era of unprecedented interest in design,” said Keller. “Recognizing that the body could be the next frontier, we are challenging designers to use the research tools developed to enhance products to engage and extend the human body.”

Featured speakers include Howard Bloom, author of Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, and Vivian Rosenthal, cofounder of New York–based Tronic Studio. Also speaking are artificial intelligence researcher Ben Goertzel, chair of Humanity+; Natasha Vita-More, artist and theorist of transhumanism; strategic philosopher Max More, CEO of Alcor Life Extension Foundation; and neuroscientist Anders Sandberg, a James Martin Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University.For a full list of confirmed speakers and additional information about the conference, please visit the conference website: http://humanityplus.org/conferences/parsons.

Transhumanism Meets Design is one of the highlights of Parsons Festival 2011, which takes place May 7–23 and features exhibitions, interactive installations, and programs that showcase the full range of art and design thinking at Parsons. For more information, please visit www.newschool.edu/parsonsfestival. To learn more about Humanity+, please visit www.humanityplus.org.

Humanity+ is an international nonprofit membership organization which advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities. Humanity+ supports the development of and access to new technologies that enable everyone to enjoy better minds, better bodies and better lives. In other words, Humanity+ wants people to be better than well. For more information visit humanityplus.org.

Parsons The New School for Design is a global leader in art and design education. Based in New York City but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of design disciplines. An integral part of The New School, Parsons builds on the university’s legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship, and pedagogy. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, please visit www.newschool.edu/parsons.

Humanity Plus Conference in Melbourne – last weekend in June (25th-26th)

Humanity Plus Summit - 25th and 26th of June 2011About: H+ Conf in Melbourne this year, 2011, on the last weekend in June (25th-26th).

Directions: Melbourne Uni Graduate HouseAddress: 220 Leicester Street, Carlton Victoria 3053 – Google Map

 

Secure Free Tickets >>  

View the program

 

The goal of the H+ Conference is to support discussion and public awareness of emerging technologies, to defend the right of individuals in free and democratic societies to adopt technologies that expand human capacities, to anticipate and propose solutions for the potential consequences of emerging technologies, and to actively encourage and support the development of emerging technologies judged to have sufficiently probable positive benefit.
Humanity Plus Summit @Melbourne June 25-26 2011

Lev Lafayette

Lev Lafayette is a sociologist by profession, a systems administrator by vocation and a old-school gamer for recreation. He is a doctoral candidate at the Ashworth Centre for Social Theory at the the University of Melbourne with a thesis entitled “A Social Theory of the Internet”, as well as being an MBA (Technology) student at the Chifley Business School, and is an honours graduate from Murdoch University in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology.

He works at the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC), a registered research agency specialising established by a consortium of universities. He has worked for the Parliament of Victoria as a database administrator and trainer, and for East Timor’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as their ICT Advisor in their first year of independence. He is the public officer Linux Users Victoria, and founding president of the Isocracy Network.

Lev presented at the Singularity Summit AU in 2010.

Social Formations in a Transhumanist World

A theoretical analysis of social formations assigns qualitative differences to social structures in socio-historical structures and in terms of individual development along formal pragmatics and action, differentiating between social systems and cultural lifeworlds. In the former, broad social formations (primitive, traditional and modern), correlated with means of communication (speech, writing, print), means of production (gathering, agriculture, industry), institutional means (kinship, the state, the corporation), systematic differentiation (kinship, political rank, economic class) and a mode of consciousness (mythic, religious, secular). In the latter, biological evolution of the self (infancy, early childhood, late childhood, adolescence and adulthood) correlates with neurological and social development of the person along cognitive, moral, identity and expressive dimensions.
Positing a technological self-transformation of the species through genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, prosthetics and animal uplifting, or a combination thereof, will also witness changes in cultural mores and social systems. Speculation on the social structural content of a transhuman, post-modern social formation poses some difficulty, due to ontological differences. Nevertheless expressions can be made based on elaborations of best current knowledge which suggest qualitative changes of thought-transference, information economics, collegial management of economic rent, and a universalistic mode of consciousness, challenged by the cognitive capability to adapt mature thought with an accelerated growth phase. The probable postmodern social formation of transhuman life has strong collectivist and environmentalist orientations which may be contrary to the desires of many of its advocates.
http://www.levlafayette.com/

Slade Beard

slade_beard_rc100x120Slade is a systems analyst with extensive experience in the application of systems thinking to complex problems.
He has worked as an Enterprise Architect, Business Analyst, Human Factors Analyst and Project Manager with extensive experience in the Defence, National Security, Emergency Services and secure systems environment. Slade has been in the IT industry since 1988, and is experienced in systems engineering, systems architecture, systems integration, security assessment and development of sustainment frameworks for new systems. He is also a thought leader in human factors for the design of critical incident management systems and environments.
He also, in a rather silly moment, enrolled at the University of NSW in a research PhD where he is undertaking research in complex systems, human decision making and the human journey.
His particular passion is the evolution of human capability and the process of the human collective journey and the relationship between human technology development and the evolution of the individual and society.
He has previously presented papers on subjects as diverse as soft skill development in project management through to the application of human factors in the design of systems to support decision making in response in counter terrorist operations.

Slade presented at the Singularity Summit AU 2010.

Abstract – “Complex Systems and the Human Journey”

At the start of 2001-A Space Odyssey there is a scene where a group of apes experiencing a singularity style event is represented. The scene shows an ape learning to use a bone tool to kill for food. A new technology is developed and as a result the ape species can more effectively control a constrained resource. Then the ape turns the new tool to the task of defending another limited resource – in this case water. A new process is applied to an existing technology resulting in the killing of an enemy. Now a single group of apes can dominate the landscape. The game has changed.
Singularity is one of these future pivotal events. The Kuhnian paradigm shift that changes the game completely.

The human journey is, in my opinion, a set of steps where process is applied to the use of technology to shape or respond to the environment. We are good at it. We adapt technology, we change processes and we shape the environment around us. Then we store what we have learned and then teach it to each other. And so we adapt.
Rather than discuss the potentials held out by singularity or to debate the reality or otherwise of achieving singularity, I would like to take a moment to ponder the human capacity to adapt to these game changing moments. In order to understand how we will deal with the challenges of singularity (and in fact any event which changes the game) I would like to look back a little and see the human journey for the marvel that it is. That we have come so far and adapted so much is a stunning achievement. And there is a definite pattern to how we have undertaken this journey. I will present one viewpoint that sheds some light on this human journey.
From our look backward we will see, in looking forward, how we will adapt to the game changing events like singularity. The systems based viewpoint provides one lens through which we can look forward to these events and understand the human response both collectively and individually.

Slade presented at the Singularity Summit AU in 2010.

I’m just going to back-up my brain – Article in local MX newspaper

I'm just going to backup by brain
Click for larger picture
Another media appearance for techno-progressive related ideas. “I’m just going to back-up my brain” was the title of the article found in the mX newspaper, which reaches over 310,000* people in Sydney*, 307,000 people in Melbourne and 112,000* people in Brisbane every afternoon. * Panorama National Survey (July 2009 – june 2010) Survey 5

People will be able to back-up the human brain, including all the memories it contains, within the next two decades, a leading scientist has claimed. Award-winning futurist Raymond Kurzweil, 62, told 500 guests at a sponsored ‘‘future talk’’ event in Vienna, Austria, the human brain back-up was already technically possible.
‘‘I believe that within the next 20 years we will have thousands of nanobot computer machines in our blood that will heal our bodies, improve our performance, and even be able to back-up all the contents of our brains, just as you back-up your files on a computer,’’ he said.
‘‘That means they would back-up every thought, every experience, everything that makes us an individual.
‘‘It may sound far-fetched, but in the early 1980s, people thought I was crazy for predicting the emergence of the world-wide web by the middle of the 1990s. But it happened, and on the schedule I predicted.’’

At the age of 15, Kurzweil created a program that could re-create music in the style of the great composers, which earned him a visit to the White House and an interview with then US President Lyndon B. Johnson. He also built the first machine that could read written speech for the blind for musician Stevie Wonder – for whom he also later made a revolutionary musical synthesizer capable of re-creating real instruments. Kurzweil has 19 honorary doctorates and advises governments, scientists, military and business people across the world and is currently working with Google on a project about how to solve the world’s energy problems.

*Thanks to Stuart Dobson for the heads up!

P.s. if anyone knows of any other media coverage on related subjects, please let us know!

60 Minutes Mini Documentary on the Singularity University

Spend the next 15 minutes watching a 60 Minutes documentary with reporter reporter Rod Vaughan who visits the Singularity University,” a university unlike any other”. It is a great introduction to future possibilities. And it is great to watch these concepts weave their way into mainstream.

 

Singularity University on 60 Minutes New Zealand from Luke Hutchison on Vimeo.

Nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, the main aim of the curriculum is to develop the technology of the future, which includes a way to download the contents of an individual’s brain to a computer.

For the last two years the university has nurtured a carefully hand-picked group of graduates. And among those brightest minds are two brothers from Auckland – Luke and David Hutchison.

I really like the animations. Looking at creating a documentary myself, and have approached a few people about doing some medical/scientific style animations, but costs are prohibitive.

Singularity Summit Australia – September 2010

The Singularity Summit Australia 2010 is a rare gathering of thinkers to explore the rising impact of science and technology on society. The summit has been organized to further the understanding of a controversial idea – the Singularity scenario.

This is the very first Singularity Summit outside the US – and it will be held in Melbourne, Australia on the 7th, 10th(fri), 11th and the 12th(sun) of Sept.
This Summit held in Melbourne with local luminaries and big thinkers will be an excellent opportunity to see many inspiring talks and discussion panels.
To get an idea of the level of quality of presentations given in previous years go to the Singularity Instutute Media page.
This is your chance to hear world-class speakers, and meet Australian and internationally acclaimed enthusiasts, geeks, transhumanists, singularitarianists, skeptics, humanists, rationalists and possibly even academics and scientists in one of Australia’s most vibrant and exciting cities.

We hope you will join us on September 7th, 10th, 11th & 12th.
Register your interest >>

H+ Conference 2010 Video Feed in Melbourne

We are working to organise a feed of the ‘Rise of the Citizen-Scientist’ conference in Melbourne – The conference in America will be held on June 12-13, at Harvard University. and we are looking at hosting an event in Melbourne to as well.

Please register your interest here (or the ‘H+ Conference’ link up top).

About: The H+ Summit @ Harvard is an educational, and scientific outreach event, that covers the themes of the impact of technology on the human condition. It is hosted, and organized by the Harvard College Future Society, in cooperation with Humanity+.

Speakers include Ray Kurzweil, Stephen Wolfram, Aubrey De Gray and many more.