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25 posts tagged with transhumanism.
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If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

posting such things on an Internet forum could cause incalculable harm

Some people familiar with the LessWrong memeplex have suffered serious psychological distress after contemplating basilisk-like ideas ... The notion is taken sufficiently seriously by some LessWrong posters that they try to work out how to erase evidence of themselves so a future AI can't reconstruct a copy of them to torture. Yudkowsky considers the basilisk would not work, but will not explain why because he does not consider open discussion of the notion of acausal trade with possible superintelligences to be provably safe.
If it's the first time you've heard of Roko's Basilisk, this post may have unfortunately put (a perfect future simulation of) you in danger of eternal torture by a Friendly Artificial Intelligence.
posted by crayz on Jun 15, 2014 - 271 comments

A Tale of Surgically Enhanced Long Distance Love

Collision Detection. "They sit cross-legged, facing each other, six thousand miles apart. Then he strokes her cheek." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 20, 2013 - 14 comments

A man before his time: FM-2030

Notable transhumanist and futurist FM-2030 (née Fereidoun M. Esfandiary) was really, really into the future.
posted by edwardog on Sep 24, 2013 - 7 comments

Central Station

The Smell of Orange Groves. This short story by Lavie Tidhar (author of Osama: A Novel) is part of his Central Station story cycle, taking place in or around Tel Aviv’s Central Station neighborhood sometime in the future. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Mar 29, 2013 - 4 comments

The Quantified Man

The culture of hyper capitalism. "Our work is being re-quantified — in a big way — and Chris Dancy, a director in the office of the chief technology officer at BMC Software, thinks it’s time for employees to take these metrics into their own hands." [Previously on MF] [more inside]
posted by instinkt on Feb 26, 2013 - 24 comments

Bad Feeling. Behind seeing-thing. In you-place.

Reset is a game about the bizarre, frightening, and exciting possibilities for kink in the cyborg / transhuman future.

via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
posted by Elementary Penguin on Jan 21, 2013 - 19 comments

H+

This past August, producer Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men) launched a new digital series: H+. The premise: in the near future, 33% of humanity has retired their smartphones, tablets and computers in favor of an implanted computer system, H+, which connects them directly to the internet 24/7. The story begins as a computer virus attacks the implants, killing billions. In intersecting storylines across four continents (told in part through flashbacks,) the series then unravels what happened, who caused it and why. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 19, 2012 - 66 comments

Singularity, I don’t know

The American Repertory Theater presents a musical by The Lisps about the Civil War, Ada Lovelace, and the Singularity, including such songs as Singularity, which is breathtakingly terrible but ever so catchy. [more inside]
posted by dmd on Mar 24, 2012 - 23 comments

The Case For Enhancing People

Just as Dante found it easier to conjure the pains of Hell than to evoke the joys of Heaven, so too do bioethicists find it easier to concoct the possible perils of a biotech-nanotech-infotech future than to appreciate how enhancements will contribute to flourishing lives. One of the chief goals of this symposium is to think about the indispensable role that virtue plays in human life. The chief motivating concern seems to be the fear that biotechnologies and other human enhancement technologies will somehow undermine human virtue. As we will see, far from undermining virtue, biotech, nanotech, and infotech enhancements will tend to support virtue; that is, they will help enable people to be actually good.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 30, 2011 - 22 comments

2061

On November 22, 2011, TEDxBrussels held an all day event whose theme was: "A Day in the Deep Future." Speakers were asked to try and contemplate what life will be like for mankind in 50 years. Overview. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 28, 2011 - 29 comments

When the armor no longer needs us - what happens?

The Weaponized Transhuman: Halo, Deus Ex, Crysis, Bioshock, Warhammer, and the Future of Wetware (Us). Related: New Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Jul 21, 2011 - 37 comments

Is it really that deep, though?

Kyle Munkittrick, a program director at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and a grad student at NYU, writes an interesting essay on understanding Pixar's movies through relationships between the human and non-human characters -- and perhaps shaping how an entire generation sees life and reality.
posted by bayani on May 16, 2011 - 26 comments

“You just have to get deep enough to open a hole and put something in. It’s that simple.”

Lepht Anonym is a DIY biohacker (a.k.a. a grinder) who, with vodka, scalpels, an anatomy book, and a spotter if she passes out, inserts tings like RFID chips, compass chips, and nedymium discs into her body in order to expand her senses.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Mar 8, 2011 - 87 comments

Kurzweil vs. Myers

Ray Kurzweil: Reverse-Engineering of Human Brain Likely by 2030. PZ Myers: Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain.
posted by homunculus on Aug 18, 2010 - 195 comments

The Rapture of the Nerds

Science Fiction writers Alastair Reynolds, Vernor Vinge, Karl Schroeder and MeFi's own Charles Stross discuss the Singularity - which, Stross cheekily points out, has been around the corner for a good 20 years.
posted by Artw on Feb 17, 2010 - 27 comments

transcendental numbers rumble in the technium

Extropy
How did life arise? What is information? In his recent dispatches from The Technium, Kevin Kelly would say extropy (cf. negentropy & Prigogine). [previously 1|2]
posted by kliuless on Sep 20, 2009 - 70 comments

Once Rapture starts leaking, the old girl's never gonna stop.

The Seasteading Institute (previously) is the brain-child of former Google engineer Patri Friedman , and seeks to set up independent governments in international waters. In April 2009, the institute received $500,000 of seed funding from PayPal founder Peter Thiel. After reading it's revised manifesto, Brad Reed (of Sadly, No) remains unimpressed. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on May 31, 2009 - 98 comments

Homo Evolutis

Juan Enriquez: Tech evolution will eclipse the financial crisis. "Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez says the big reboot is yet to come. But don't look for it on your ballot -- or in the stock exchange. It'll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be ... different."
posted by homunculus on Feb 18, 2009 - 41 comments

What is a human being? An acorn that is unafraid to destroy itself in growing into a tree.

H+ Magazine is an online quarterly publication focusing on transhumanism, a product of the futurist movement that supports science and technology to enhance the mental and physical capacities of the human being. Sometimes referred to as posthumanism, Francis Fukuyama calls it one of the world's most dangerous ideas. If you feel like you're lagging behind, George Dvorsky is kind enough to inform us ~>H's of the must-know transhumanist terms for today's intelligentsia. [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Dec 19, 2008 - 107 comments

A satirical rendering of Transhumanism.

Enough is Enough: A Thinking Ape's Critique of Trans-Simianism. [more inside]
posted by tybeet on Jun 4, 2008 - 53 comments

The Economist: The World in 2007

In 2007 there will be lots of anniversaries, the web will keep killing the television star, the popcorn will taste familiar, humankind will come closer still to achieving immortality, and text messaging will conquer Africa. And although the spread of democracy is stalling (don't worry however - the Swedes still win (pdf)), it's still down to George Bush.

The Economist: The World in 2007.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 2, 2006 - 38 comments

Democratic Transhumanism

Democratic Transhumanism 2.0. A treatise by James Hughes, author of Citizen Cyborg. [Via WorldChanging.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 6, 2004 - 8 comments

The Hedonistic Imperative

The Hedonistic Imperative. David Pearce wants to promote paradise-engineering and abolish the biological substrates of suffering in all sentient life. A brave new world? What would Buddha do?
posted by homunculus on Nov 8, 2004 - 17 comments

Seriously.

R.U. Sirius, a cyberculture gadfly known for transhumanist techno-agitprop, has launched a new website about human evolution and nanotech, among other things.
posted by moonbird on Oct 16, 2003 - 8 comments

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