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What is Transhumanism? / Innovations Classed As Transhumanism
« Last post by Tim Walker on February 24, 2018, 09:43:53 pm »
Transhumanist web sites may discuss different types of innovation.  These may be general topics, or specific technologies.
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Books, Book Reviews and Online Resources / Futurism.com
« Last post by DepletedSoul on August 20, 2017, 07:32:39 pm »
While Futurist and Transhumanist are not one in the same I find this to be a great website to help me keep up with the pace of humanities rapid technological progression.  Does not hurt that it's a beautiful site that is well put together and really pleases my aesthetic sense.

https://www.futurism.com/
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Transhuman Rights / Human, Transhuman, Transgenger
« Last post by DepletedSoul on August 20, 2017, 06:59:43 pm »
I great article by Jason Kuznicki about Transhumanism and humanity in general as we approach the singularity.  I have said before that I believe we will need to fight for Transhuman rights and that Transhuman rights will be very similar to the fight faced by the LBGT community.

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Changing stuff, and changing ourselves, is exactly what we have always done.

Read the full article here:

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/human-transhuman-transgender
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I have been very much hoping for a response and the response is well thought out and much more than I could have ever asked.

http://transhumanist-party.org/2017/08/20/ustp-statement-on-istvan-weiss-exchange/

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Recently a large amount of controversy has been generated, and questions have been raised regarding the compatibility or lack thereof among transhumanism, libertarianism, and conservatism as well as certain positions which have been commonly attributed to transhumanism as a philosophy and as a movement. The controversy was generated by an exchange between Zoltan Istvan, founder and former Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party (but now our Political and Media Advisor with no official decision-making role), and Kai Weiss in the pages of The American Conservative Magazine. Mr. Istvans article, The Growing World of Libertarian Transhumanism (August 8, 2017), made the case for an essential compatibility between libertarian and transhumanist ideas. Mr. Weiss countered with a disparaging article, Transhumanism Is Not Libertarian, Its an Abomination a piece which largely critiques a contrived caricature of transhumanism and does not genuinely engage views which most, many, or in some cases any self-identified transhumanists actually hold. In response to some of Mr. Weisss assertions, Mr. Istvan released a post on his Facebook profile which reinforced and endeavored to explain some of Mr. Istvans personal views regarding parenting (which he correctly and prominently clarified as not an official platform policy in any way and just a philosophical stance).

.... See the link for the remainder....

 

Gennady Stolyarov II, FSA, ACAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, ARC, API, AIS, AIE, AIAF
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Lost Forever / Legendary Comedian and Actor Jerry Lewis Dead at 91
« Last post by DepletedSoul on August 20, 2017, 01:26:23 pm »
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An interesting essay I found while doing my daily Transhuman Google sessions.

http://blogs.cui.edu/core/2015/04/27/what-does-it-mean-to-be-transhuman/

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This is the first post of a two-part essay on transhumanism and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Many of our universities are currently stuck in an internal debate about online course offerings, attempting to determine whether the potential gains of Internet-based instruction outweigh the costs. On one side of the ledger, the online student is afforded new levels of individualized education that no longer restricts them to the institution-centric forms of physical, in-class environments. On the other side, many educators caution whether this technologically-mediated methodology undercuts the nature of the learning enterprise, treating students as disembodied entities rather than as physical men and women. The center of the proverbial storm is the body. Does physical presence matternot just in the university environmentbut as a touchstone to understand community more broadly? Or, put more succinctly, is physical embodiment a necessary feature of the 21st century person?

The contemporary world is in the throes of a digital revolution, precipitated by the invention of the microprocessor and every bit as transformational as the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Futurists tells us that, due to exponential pace in which computers are processing commands, we will soon be entering into an era of human-computer parity, perhaps ushering in an age in which technological change outpaces the human ability to understand their world. Yet this technological expansion is not accomplished in a vacuum; men and women (at least until machines have the capacity themselves) drive the progress. Humanity yearns to explore, to discover, to drive past the speed limits laid forth by a finite natural world and its own finite condition within it. Just as the Gagarin and Shepard once broke through the boundaries of Earths gravitational pull, humanity consistently seeks other venues by which to challenge its inherent limitations.

Today, the human body looks to be ripe for conquest for those who would seek a world without physical boundary. This two-part essay explores the tension between the reality of the human condition as a function of its bodily limitation and the current drive toward the technological Singularity, where some believe that in the very transcending of physical limitation lies a type of salvific eternal life.

The term Singularity was originally coined by John von Neumann in 1958 to describe a future condition in which computers exceed human intelligence and thus bring about a change in society so dramatic, so total, that predicting future conditions of life becomes essentially impossible.

More recently, author/futurists, such as Ray Kurzweil, have, to varying degrees, lauded the coming of the Singularity by suggesting that technological advancements will afford humanity the opportunity to eradicate formerly unsolvable problems, such as famine and disease. This optimistic view of the human-machine relationship is often called The Theory of Abundance.

The resulting effect of these theoretical advances culminates in transhumanism, a state-of-being that promises three particular ways of human flourishing: Super-longevity, Super-intelligence, and Super-wellbeing. In short, super-longevity seeks to transform the way humanity thinks about physical death, from an inevitable natural process to an individual decision. The goal of super-intelligence is to provide each human brain immediate internal access to the worlds repository of information at the speed of thought. Or, alternately conceived, super-intelligence refers to a state in which computers exceed the intelligence of the combined intellectual force of humanity, leading people into a golden age of knowledge. Finally, super-wellbeing refers to the transhumanist promise that, by editing our genes, we can eliminate human suffering (and the suffering of other sentient beings) altogether.

Philosopher David Pearce calls this the hedonistic imperative, the moral obligation we have as humans to eliminate all forms of suffering and accentuate, via drugs and/or gene therapy, all forms of pleasure.

My particular interest in the Singularity and the transhumanist movement has less to do with predicting the nature of society or technology-human interactions than it does exploring one of the characteristics of futurist thinking on the matter: The body contributes quite little to what makes humans, human. In one sense, this conclusion might be somewhat unsettling; conceiving oneself without the body becomes a challenging feat, indeed! The body acts as the initial point of contact when a person has a face-to-face conversation. It is the control center for the information gathering of the senses, and often shapes the identity of the person and his/her vocation. The athlete, for example, is known as such only when his/her body contains a certain amount of natural athletic skill.

In another sense, however, we intuitively recognize the bodys waning influence in matters of social interaction. The ubiquity of online social networks has demonstrated the ease in which the contemporary person feels connected to their contacts without necessarily associating their physicality with such connection. Apart from using actual fingers to punch keystrokes, the body is no longer necessary for ones participation in social settings.

Community, as a term, is under similar pressures, as each wave of social technologies seems to be promising greater levels of social bonding. Whether you consider the bodys dwindling role in identity-formation as a cause for anxiety, or if you believe this turn to be of neutral or even positive value, one must be willing to probe the meanings of humanity and community before offering a position of substance.

One particularly influential view of what it means to be human emerged in Enlightenment thought: man was analogous to a machine.

If one simply breaks down the human form to small enough parts, it could be reduced, quantified, and understood as an intricate, yet predictable, mechanical device. Some modern scholars have suggested that the machine-like-ness of the body uniquely positions the human to be a natural-born cyborg, in the language of Andy Clark.  If the body is machine, then it is no stretch to see how thoughts and consciousness itself can be conceived as a series of inputs, outputs, zeroes and ones.

Ray Kurzweil, perhaps the most recognizable of the current futurists, openly acknowledges his eager anticipation of the Singularity, for it will open the door for humans to upload their consciousness into an eternal human cloud. The body dies, but Ray the person may live on for an indefinite amount of time. In this case, the human machine has actually melded with machines.

The salvific undertones of Kurzweils work are unmistakable. Since human existence is limited by its body, technology offers a particular brand of transcendenceit is a way to jettison that which is flesh so that the mind, or perhaps, soul,  might experience a dramatic ascent into everlasting life. Or, at least, a delay of death until the person wills it to be. Each of the above prongs of transhumanist study (i.e., super-longevity, super-intelligence, and super-well-being) seeks to overcome a physical limitation inherent in the physiological system, whether its the size of human brains or the cellular breakdown that comes with age. Consider how transhumanist terminology echoes classic religious thought about the afterlife: a place that is eternal, where one understands all things, and sadness is no more.

Joel Oesch is Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia University Irvine
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Books, Book Reviews and Online Resources / The Transhumanist Reader
« Last post by DepletedSoul on August 14, 2017, 10:29:32 pm »
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The rapid pace of emerging technologies is playing an increasingly important role in overcoming fundamental human limitations. Featuring core writings by seminal thinkers in the speculative possibilities of the posthuman condition, essays address key philosophical arguments for and against human enhancement, explore the inevitability of life extension, and consider possible solutions to the growing issues of social and ethical implications and concerns. Edited by the internationally acclaimed founders of the philosophy and social movement of transhumanism, The Transhumanist Reader is an indispensable guide to our current state of knowledge of the quest to expand the frontiers of human nature.

http://a.co/icfGnDc
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Important Figures and Organizations / Cryonics Institute (CI)
« Last post by DepletedSoul on August 14, 2017, 09:50:17 pm »
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The Cryonics Institute (CI) is an American member-owned-and-operated not-for-profit corporation which provides cryonics services, regarding the preservation of humans in liquid nitrogen after legal death, with hopes of restoring them when new technology will be developed in the future. The Cryonics Institute continues to be an industry leader in terms of both membership & practical affordability for all and also the Cryonics Organization with the largest number of members & whole body preservation in the World. (Fully & Not Funded). CI is located in Clinton Township, Michigan.

As of August 4th, 2017, The Cryonics Institute has 1766 members in total (including 157 preserved bodies & 185 Assoc. Members). 222 of those funded members had contracts with Suspended Animation, Inc. for standby & transport. 157 humans, 254 human tissue/DNA samples and 142 pets and 79 pet tissue/DNA samples are cryogenically preserved in liquid nitrogen storage at the Cryonics Institutes Michigan facility.
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryonics_Institute

http://www.cryonics.org/
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Important Figures and Organizations / Alcor Life Extension Foundation
« Last post by DepletedSoul on August 14, 2017, 09:35:59 pm »
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The Alcor Life Extension Foundation, most often referred to as Alcor, is a Scottsdale, Arizona, USA-based nonprofit organization that researches, advocates for and performs cryonics, the preservation of human corpses in liquid nitrogen after legal death, with hopes of restoring them to full health when hypothetical new technology is developed in the future.

As of January 31, 2017, Alcor had more than 1,618 members, including 354 associate members and 149 in cryopreservation, as whole bodies or brains.  Alcor also cryopreserves pets. As of November 15, 2007, there were 33 animals preserved.

Alcor accepts bodies as "anatomical donations" under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act and Arizona Anatomical Gift Act for research purposes, reinforced by a court finding (Alcor, Merkle & Henson v. Mitchell) in its favor that affirmed a constitutional right to donate one's body for research into cryopreservation.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcor_Life_Extension_Foundation

http://alcor.org/
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