Notes from the Artificial Intellligence and the Singularity conference in September.

As I've mentioned several times before, every couple of week the Brighter Brains Institute in California holds a Transhuman Visions symposium, where every month the topic of presentation and discussion is a little different. Last month's theme was Artificial Intelligence and the Singularity, a topic of no small amount of debate in the community. Per usual, I scribbled down a couple of pages of notes that I hope may be interesting and enlightening to the general public. A few of my own insights may be mixed in. Later on, a lot of stuff got mixed together as I only wrote …

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Video from the Global Existential Risks and Radical Futures Conference is up.

UPDATE: 20191230 - Uploaded a copy of the video to my Peertube account.

In June of 2014 the Global Existential Risks and Radical Futures conference was held in Piedmont, California, which I was invited to present at. After a delay of a couple of months videos of the presentations have been uploaded to YouTube. Among them is the presentation I gave; the audio's a little quiet due to the accoustics of the building and the Q&A has been cut off at the end but it does have the entire talk (local mirror). The presentation's slides aren't in frame but I …

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Transhuman visions presentation.

To everyone who attended the Global Existential Risks and Radical Futures Conferences yesterday, thank you. It was an honor and a privilege to meet with and speak to all of you.

As promised, here are my slides in the form of an HTML5 presentation. They were authored in Markdown and run through Landslide to convert them into HTML5 slides.


This work by The Doctor [412/724/301/703][ZS] is published under a Creative Commons By Attribution / Noncommercial / Share Alike v4.0 License.

Notes from the Religion and Transhumanism conference, 10 May 2014

A couple of weekends ago I attended one of the IEET's conferences in California on the topic of Religion and Transhumanism. While I was there I took notes during the speakers' presentations, and I promised some people that I'd put them online at my earliest convenience. Here they are, in the best order I can conceive of and with whatever links I can dig up to elucidate my somewhat cryptic chickenscratch. Please note that I took notes on things I don't necessarily agree with, and that I advise you to follow some of the links before jumping to conclusions …

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I'll be presenting at the Global Existential Risks and Radical Futures Conference

I have other stuff to write about that will come in time.

I'll be presenting at the Global Existential Risks and Radical Futures Conference in San Francisco, CA on 14 June 2014. I'll be giving a talk entitled Echos Into the Past: Outbreaks of Future Technologies in the Present, about technologies that exist right now which the transhumanist community may wish to consider as first steps toward long-term goals.

Ray Kurzweil: The Transcendent Man

Some months ago I caught word that somebody had made a documentary about possibly the most high profile transhumanist in the history of the movement/subculture/distributed multicellular mass of hackers, geeks, and technologists, Ray Kurzweil. He was the first to not only speculate seriously but write at length about the possibility of what Verner Vinge dubbed the technological singularity, a hypothetical point in human history at which the rate of change goes asymptotic. Which, so the hypothesis goes, could either go weakly godlike or pear-shaped, the jury's still out on that particular point. I've kept a sensor array peeled …

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Some mods good, some mods bad.

It almost seems as if we're indoctrinated by North American culture to not enhance ourselves (the blizzards of spam to the contrary) in some way, shape, or form but still be told to do whatever we can to make sure that we get ahead. It's safe to say that we've grown up in a time when we can't remember hearing about at least one star athlete being suspended from a league because they tested positive for anabolic steroid use (be careful searching on that term, there are a couple of dodgy SEO sites in the top twenty) to build up …

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On transhumanism.

I've been wrestling with this post for weeks now because, at its heart, transhumanism isn't a simple set of beliefs, actions, or ideas. It encompasses many disciplines, from cybernetics to engineering to computer science to biology and many things in between. I say that not as a cop-out but because practically every discipline is covered in some way and informs the body of knowledge somehow. It is also a deeply personal philosophy, often attracting adherents who attempt to lead by example as well as participating in the research, development, and deployment of the technologies which originally inspired it (such as …

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Four nucleotides just aren't enough these days.

DNA, the molecule underlying every form of life on this planet, is in essence a very long chain of sugar and phosphate molecules connected end to end ('long' being a relative term, of course - a molecule 5 centimeters long is gargantuan when you take into account the fact that it's only about 2.4 billionths of a meter in diameter). Each link in the chain is called a nucleotide, and is comprised of one of four possible compounds, adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine. Adenine bonds with thymine and cytosine to guanine; each pairing has two possible orientations, for example A-T …

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