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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

3.8 Billion Years of Wisdom: Intelligence in Nature (1 hr)

Bostrom on Superintelligence (2): The Instrumental Convergence Thesis

Boko Haram and the Threat of Islamic Extremism in Africa

Bostrom on Superintelligence (1): The Orthogonality Thesis

Dazed and Confused — The Case for Comprehensive Sexual Education

Soylent Update Keto Version


ieet books

Virtually Human: The Promise—-and the Peril—-of Digital Immortality
Author
by Martine Rothblatt

Intelligence Unbound: The Future of Uploaded and Machine Minds
by Russell Blackford and Damien Broderick eds.

Between Ape and Artilect: Conversations with Pioneers of AGI and Other Transformative Technologies
by Ben Goertzel ed.

Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision for Our Future Evolution
by Ted Chu


comments

kevinlagrandeur on 'What is the Difference between Posthumanism and Transhumanism?' (Jul 30, 2014)

kevinlagrandeur on 'What is the Difference between Posthumanism and Transhumanism?' (Jul 30, 2014)

rms on 'Convergent Risk, Social Futurism, and the Wave of Change (Part 2 of 2)' (Jul 30, 2014)

rms on 'The Maverick Nanny with a Dopamine Drip: Debunking Fallacies in the Theory of AI Motivation' (Jul 30, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Sherlock Holmes as Cyborg and the Future of Retail' (Jul 30, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'The Problem with the Trolley Problem, or why I avoid utilitarians near subways' (Jul 30, 2014)

Taiwanlight on 'Building the Virtues Control Panel' (Jul 30, 2014)







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JET

Transhumanism and Marxism: Philosophical Connections

Sex Work, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee

Technological Unemployment but Still a Lot of Work…

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Nanomedical Cognitive Enhancement
Jul 11, 2014
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Interview with Transhumanist Biohacker Rich Lee
Jul 8, 2014
(6016) Hits
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Virtually Sacred, by Robert Geraci – religion in World of Warcraft and Second Life
Jul 3, 2014
(4550) Hits
(0) Comments

What is the Difference between Posthumanism and Transhumanism?
Jul 28, 2014
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(4) Comments



RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

Rick Searle

Why the Castles of Silicon Valley are Built out of Sand

by Rick Searle

If you get just old enough, one of the lessons living through history throws you is that dreams take a long time to die. Depending on how you date it, communism took anywhere from 74 to 143 years to pass into the dustbin of history, though some might say it is still kicking. The Ptolemaic model of the universe lasted from 100 AD into the 1600′s. Perhaps even more dreams than not simply refuse to die, they hang on like ghost, or ghouls, zombies or vampires, or whatever freakish version of the undead suits your fancy. Naming them would take up more room than I can post, and would no doubt start one too many arguments, all of our lists being different. Here, I just want to make an argument for the inclusion of one dream on our list of zombies knowing full well the dream I’ll declare dead will have its defenders.

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Transhumanist, Adam Ford Talks with Primitivist, John Zerzan about Technology and Civilization

Adam Ford

Adam Ford talks with John Zerzan about Primitivism and Transhumanism. They discuss everything from ancient cultures to the effects that modern technology have on people around the world. They also talk about the environment, culture, society, and civilization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Zerzan

Modern Electronic / Computer parts "sweatshop":

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This Is My Body

Jason Stefaniak

The Womyn in this video voice their concerns about the possible loss of clinics, such as Planned Parenthood and also strongly enforce the truth that they are the ones to make important decisions about their bodies.

*If the video won't play on your mobile device, WATCH IT ON YOUTUBE: youtube.com/watch?v=z2ME8sR-bnY

**Subtitled Version (English): vimeo.com/48314213

**Spanish Subtitled (fan-made): youtube.com/watch?v=w0V1rVgc3WM&list=PLGJHSqNZHCC_2NcpQWC75ztXA5pcnnSP0

Views = Power, so please share, tweet, email and spread this video! Ask your friends and family to do the same and if you have a favorite women's group or political organization, share it with them too!

Read the monologue and post your own videos @: Facebook.com/ThisIsMyBody

Created by Jason Stefaniak and Siobhan O'Loughlin
JasonStefaniak.com SiobhanOloughlin.com

Thank you to all of the generous "This Is My Body" donors:
Christa Harmon. Maureen Hassenbohler. Lisa Rojas. Lauren McDade. Stephanie Cox. Rachel Fauber. Liz Estela. Scott Berjot-Stafiej. Faith Goodiel. Kristina Ticknor. Brendan Leahy. Megan and Tito Colon. Garrett Mannchen. Katrina Rojas. Kristan and Papo Rojas. Gerry Rojas. Dana Facchine. Jason Kwon. Kathryn Ticknor. Kiel McLaughlin. Beth Goodiel. Jess Bass. AnnaRose King. Brie Aines. Andrew Daugherty. Mitch Troescher. Chris Ciancimino. Gloria and Darrin Frizelle. Krista Armentrout. Melissa Brown. Sam Margolis. Deb Moriarty. Brad Snyder. Lisa Marie. Lisa Simmons. Patrick Martinez. Diane Ambrosio. Alexis Riley. Bill Logan. Mary and Pablo Rojas. Sarah Elfreth. Joyce Wu. Becca Epstein. Lauren Seserko. Ivona Stanoeva. Isadora Guerreiro. Janice Murphy. Annie Fleming.

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IEET Readers Iffy About Mandatory Longevity Therapy for Children

We asked “If a gene therapy that added fifty years of life was safe and effective, should parents be legally required to give it to their children?” Only a third of the 182 respondents thought mandatory gene therapy for longevity for kids was a good idea.

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Sued for Libel - Calling Out Pseudoscience in the Middle of Writing a Book on The Simpsons and Math

Adam Ford

Interview with Simon Singh on skepticism, science, and pseudoscience. He was sued for “libel” by the British Chiropractic Association, and in the first video he explains why and how it worked out in the end.

 

Simon Lehna Singh, MBE (born 19 September 1964) is a British author who has specialised in writing about mathematical and scientific topics in an accessible manner. His written works include Fermat’s Last Theorem (in the United States titled Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem), The Code Book (about cryptography and its history), Big Bang (about the Big Bang theory and the origins of the universe), Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial (about complementary and alternative medicine) and The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets (about mathematical ideas and theorems hidden in episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama).

Singh has also produced documentaries and works for television to accompany his books, is a trustee of NESTA, the National Museum of Science and Industry and co-founded the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme.

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Melanie Swan

Nanomedical Cognitive Enhancement

by Melanie Swan

Overview of Advances Articulated in Nanomedical Device and Systems Design: Challenges, Possibilities, Visions (2013) [1] This article provides an overview of the research findings related to cognitive enhancement that are presented in Nanomedical Device and Systems Design: Challenges, Possibilities, Visions (2013), an encyclopedic textbook chronicling a plethora of recent advances in myriad areas of nanotechnology and nanomedicine. The final chapter discusses progress in nanomedical cognitive enhancement, where we find ourselves in a modern era in which many technologies appear to be on the cusp – helping to resolve pathologies while also having much future potential for the augmentation of human capabilities.

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John Danaher

Radcliffe-Richards on Sexual Inequality and Justice (Part Two)

by John Danaher

Should we worry that only X% of CEOs, or politicians or philosophers (or whatever) are women? Is there something unjust or morally defective about a society with low percentages of women occupying these kinds of roles? That’s what we’re looking at in this series of posts, based on Janet Radcliffe-Richard’s (RR’s) paper “Only X%: the Problem of Sex Inequality”.

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Kris Notaro

Geoengineering as a Human Right

by Kris Notaro

Geoengineering has come under attack recently by conspiracy theorists, scientists, to “greens.” There have been many kinds of proposals for geoengineering, and even a legal/illegal experiment pouring 200,000 pounds of iron sulfate into the North Pacific which was supposed to increase plankton that would absorb carbon dioxide. The experiment did not work and pissed off a lot of scientists. China also recently stopped their “flattening of mountains.” Therefore this article is not purely about techniques of combating global warming, but about the need for people to understand that geoengineering is a must, not only a must, but also a “human right.”

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What Kind of Computer is the Brain?

MIT Alumni Association

Joshua Tenenbaum of MIT (Postdoctoral Associate, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) talks about the difference between supercomputers and the human brain. The human brain is the single most impressive computational artifact in existence. It has long been an assumption that it is best understood scientifically as some kind of computer. But what kind? This talk will touch on the two classic views of the brain as a symbolic logic engine, and the brain as a statistical learning machine.

However successful each of these models has been, they cannot explain or reproduce the heart of human common sense. Prof. Tenenbaum will consider a third alternative: the brain as a simulation engine in which he combines aspects of the two classic views into a model that is capable of explaining human common-sense reasoning.

Image:
http://brainpages.org/whats-the-difference-between-the-mind-and-the-brain/

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Scientists Find ‘On/Off Switch’ For Human Consciousness

newsy

Newsy reports on how George Washington University scientists found a way to turn on and off consciousness using electrical stimulation.

Image:
http://design.creativefan.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/final-face.jpg

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George Dvorsky

Why Anesthesia Is One of the Greatest Medical Mysteries of Our Time

by George Dvorsky

Anesthesia was a major medical breakthrough, allowing us to lose consciousness during surgery and other painful procedures. Trouble is, we’re not entirely sure how it works. But now we’re getting closer to solving its mystery — and with it, the mystery of consciousness itself. When someone goes under, their cognition and brain activity continue, but consciousness gets shut down.

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DeepMind, MetaMed, Existential Risk, and the Intelligence Explosion

Adam Ford

Adam Ford and Jaan Tallinn talk about DeepMind, MetaMed, Existential Risk, and the Intelligence Explosion.

Jaan is an Estonian programmer who participated in the development of Skype in 2002 and FastTrack/Kazaa, a file-sharing application in 2000.

Tallinn is partner and co-founder of the development company Bluemoon which created the game SkyRoads. He graduated from the University of Tartu in 1996 with a BSc in Theoretical Physics with a thesis that involved traveling interstellar distances using warps in space-time.

 

Image:
http://www.swide.com/art-culture/google-buys-artificial-intelligence-firm-deepmind/2014/01/31

 

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Harming and Protecting Robots

lift

Workshop concept & moderation by Kate Darling and Hannes Gassert.

Robots act more and more socially, and humans thus get more and more entangled emotionally, ethically and perhaps even legally.

The workshop participants will explore the psychology of hurting and killing robots designed to bond with humans. In small groups they will make social experiments, record their reactions and contemplate potential future social and legal norms to deal with seemingly sentient robotic companions.

image:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CbqHPA3rRmk/T9XobP0hFBI/AA
AAAAAAGd0/vXiJ68rKEdY/s1600/sad_robot-1920x1200.jpg

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John Danaher

Radcliffe-Richards on Sexual Inequality and Justice (Part One)

by John Danaher

Let’s start with a thought experiment. Suppose that in a given population 50% of people have blue eyes and 50% have brown eyes. Suppose further that there is no evidence to suggest that eye colour has any effect on cognitive ability; indeed, suppose that everything we know suggests that cognitive ability is equally distributed among blue and brown-eyed people. Now imagine that in this population 80% of all senior academics and professors are blue-eyed. What conclusions should we draw about the justice of this society?

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Nano-to-Macro Transport Processes (1hr 18min)

MIT OpenCourseWare

Gang Chen (Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering, Department Head - Director, Pappalardo Micro and Nano Engineering Laboratories & DOE EFRC: Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center - MIT) explains parallel treatments of photons, electrons, phonons, and molecules as energy carriers, aiming at fundamental understanding and descriptive tools for energy and heat transport processes from nanoscale continuously to macroscale.

Topics include the energy levels, the statistical behavior and internal energy, energy transport in the forms of waves and particles, scattering and heat generation processes, Boltzmann equation and derivation of classical laws, deviation from classical laws at nanoscale and their appropriate descriptions, with applications in nano- and microtechnology.

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A Conversation with Noam Chomsky

University of California Television (UCTV)

Jan Nederveen Pieterse in conversation with Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher and political commentator. Chomsky is Emeritus professor of linguistics at MIT. Jan Nederveen Pieterse is professor of Global Studies and Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. Series: “Carsey-Wolf Center” [5/2014] [Humanities] [Show ID: 28120]

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An incremental view of AI, IoT, and solar and battery power

O'Reilly

IEET Fellow Ramez Naam interviewed by Mac Slocum at O’Reilly Media in Sebastopol, California. June 2014.

Naam explains why incrementalism, rather than a dramatic moment of sentience, will likely define our move into artificial intelligence (AI). Naam also weighs in on the Internet of Things (IoT)—and the related “Internet of You”—and looks at the near-term prospects for batteries and solar power.

 

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Zoltan Istvan

Interview with Transhumanist Biohacker Rich Lee

by Zoltan Istvan

Transhumanism—the rapidly growing international movement that aims to use radical science and technology to significantly improve the human being—has many fascinating fields of study. One of my favorite areas is biohacking. I recently had a chance to chat with Rich Lee, a leading biohacker whose upgrades and experiments to his body are both impressive and courageous. His exploits have been featured in CNN, The GuardianPopular ScienceThe Huffingon Post, and many other well-known media sites.

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Seth Baum

When Global Catastrophes Collide: The Climate Engineering Double Catastrophe

by Seth Baum

It could be difficult for human civilization to survive a global catastrophe like rapid climate change, nuclear war, or a pandemic disease outbreak. But imagine if two catastrophes strike at the same time. The damages could be even worse. Unfortunately, most research only looks at one catastrophe at a time, so we have little understanding of how they interact.

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Amon Twyman

Liberal Democracy, The Third Way, & Social Futurism (pt. 1 of 3)

by Amon Twyman

The developed nations of the Western world are currently characterised by a political-economic system typically referred to as Liberal Democracy“*. Up until very recently, there has been a tendency for all major political parties to converge on an ostensibly moderate, centrist, Liberal Democratic position. This position is characterised by Representative Democracy on the one hand, and commitment to Liberalism (both social and economic, but with emphasis on Market Liberalism) on the other. This worldview is frequently depicted by its proponents as the polar opposite of and only ethical or viable alternative to Authoritarian forms of social organization.

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Melanie Swan

Cognitive Enhancement Memory Management: Retrieval and Blocking

by Melanie Swan

One familiar notion of cognitive enhancement is prescription drugs that boost focus and concentration: ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) medications like Modafinil, Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, and Methylin [1], and amphetamines like Adderall, Dexedrine, Benzedrine, Methedrine, Preludin, and Dexamyl [1-3].

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Markov Decision Processes

Adam Ford

What is AGI? Is it a system that thinks, acts, or mimics human rationality (or something else)? Marcus Hutter wants to create a system that acts rational. In his talk he distinguishes the difference between intelligence and rationality. He also talks about “Generic Universal Artificial Intelligence”.

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Rick Searle

How Should Humanity Steer the Future?

by Rick Searle

Over the spring the Fundamental Questions Institute (FQXi) sponsored an essay contest the topic of which should be dear to this audience’s heart- How Should Humanity Steer the Future? I thought I’d share some of the essays I found most interesting, but there are lots, lots, more to check out if you’re into thinking about the future or physics, which I am guessing you might be.

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Recent News on Longevity and Health

Maria Konovalenko

IEET Contributor Maria Konovalenko goes over some recent developments in Genome Sequencing Costs, Results of Aging Research According to the Washington Post, and Why Personalized Cancer Genome Sequencing is a Good Idea.


Full Genome Sequencing Costs

For those who are interested how much it costs to get your full genome sequenced – the prices are below. This table comes from a great review article on cancer genome sequencing that I have written before. The table clearly illustrates the promise of next generation sequencing in terms of pricing. It’s getting more and more affordable. I think we will see full genome sequencing in the clinic as a routine diagnostic tool quite soon. This will mean more accurate diagnoses, hence better treatment for various diseases.

Of course the application to cancer is the most obvious one when we can identify the genome mutations and changes in expression that lead to progression of the disease. More accurate diagnoses and treatments will increase health and longevity of millions of people.


Successful Results of Aging Research According to the Washington Post

It is always nice to see articles about fighting aging in the major press sources. This article in Washington Post sums the most promising results in aging research so far. The most successful interventions include caloric restriction, metformin, acarbose, rapamycin, genetic modification and GDF11/parabiosis. I would say that the author has left out some things like melatonin and aspirin, for example.

Also I wouldn’t suggest parabiosis as an intervention, sure it’s good for the old, but what about the young organisms? Some of their biological parameters become worse as a result of parabiosis. We wouldn’t want that effect in people, would we?)) However, pharmacological intervention based on the GDF11 is another thing that may work.

I was very pleased to see that gene therapy was among the proposed solutions. In my opinion it has enormous potential. We now know about 100 longevity-associated genes.

Why not use gene therapy to either bring these genes into the organism, or increase their efficiency if they already exist. We could try various combinations of those genes and maybe the combinations can lead to synergistic rather than additive effect. But who am I kidding, additive effect would also be amazing if proven safe and efficient in humans.


Why Personalized Cancer Genome Sequencing is a Good Idea

I have just read a very interesting paper on personalized cancer genome sequencing. I think this is a crucial topic in fighting cancer at the moment. There is more and more research data that can be translated into clinic and more and more papers talk about the relevance of personalized oncology. This review is called “Harnessing Massively Parallel sequencing in Personalized head and neck Oncology“.

It has a nice picture that explains why it is a good idea to sequence your cancer genome and compare it to the genome of normal tissue. The article gives examples when next generation sequencing provided very useful data to the patients. Anyway, here is the abstract:

Advances in the management of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have not significantly changed the prognosis of this tumor over the past five decades. Molecular heterogeneity of HNSCC and its association with HPV, in addition to the increase in the number of cancers arising in traditionally low-risk patients, are among some of the obstacles to the successful management of this group of tumors.

Massively parallel sequencing, otherwise known as next-generation sequencing (NGS), is rapidly changing conventional patient management by providing detailed information about each patient’s genome and transcriptome. Despite major advances in technology and a significant reduction in the cost of sequencing, NGS remains mainly limited to research facilities. In addition, there are only a few published studies that have utilized this technology in HNSCC.

This paper aims to report briefly on current commercially available NGS platforms and discuss their clinical applications, ethical considerations, and utilization in personalized patient care, particularly as this relates to head and neck cancer.

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Sex and the Art of Cosmic Governance, on Venus+X

Turing Church
The recently relaunched website Venus+X, founded by my friends Alison Gardner and Dan Massey (1942-2013) and now managed by Alison alone, has serialized and published a chapter of my forthcoming book “Tales of the Turing Church.” The chapter is titled “Sex and the Art of Cosmic Governance.” Enjoy, and please support Venus+X.

The three articles are dedicated to the memory of Dan Massey, a Renaissance man interested in everything under the stars, a visionary thinker, a relentless social activist, a scientist, a teacher, and a friend. Dan passed away on January 28, 2013.

Giulio Prisco’s incoming book examines Sex and the Art of Cosmic Governance (Part 1)

Giulio Prisco discusses Sex and the Art of Cosmic Governance (Part 2)

More on Giulio Prisco’s Sex and the Art of Cosmic Governance (Part 3)

VenusPlusX is devoted to ushering in “The New Age of Sexual Freedom” – a world free from the global culture of racial, sexual, and gender oppression and violence driven by governments, religions, corporations, and social customs.

The two videos mentioned in the articles:

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Richard Eskow

Revolutionary Independence

by Richard Eskow

The event we celebrate on the Fourth of July is not America’s victory over Great Britain. The British weren’t defeated until September 3, 1783. July 4, 1776 is the day the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence.

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David Brin

May I bring up climate change?

by David Brin

A few days ago, I drove up the Califonia coast to help my son move. The trip coincided with the attempted (3 am) launch from Vandenberg AFB of JPL's Orbiting Carbon Observatiory—OCO-2—which will nail down Earth's CO2 cycle. OCO is part of a constellation of five earth-sensing satellites bring launched just this year. (The first OCO failed, weirdly, and others were canceled, back during the Bush Administration. Whereupon it took a while to re-start the earth-sensing programs.)

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The Turing Test is Insufficient

Adam Ford

Adam Ford interviews IEET Fellow, David Pearce about how the Turing Test is insufficient. They also talk about superintelligence, properties of the mind, and consciousness. David believes that modern “chatbots” are useless for understanding consciousness and thinks that in order to really understand consciousness and intelligence we are going to need a better test in the lab.

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Giulio Prisco

Virtually Sacred, by Robert Geraci – religion in World of Warcraft and Second Life

by Giulio Prisco

Robert Geraci, the author of “Apocalyptic AI – Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality,” has a new book published by Oxford University Press: “Virtually Sacred – Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life.” I recommend this book to all those interested in the history and sociology of religions online, and online religions (there is a difference), and also (especially) to those who wish to participate in new, forward-looking, cosmic religious movements. All are invited to come and to Robert Geraci’s talk in Second Life, on Sunday June 29 at noon EDT (9am PDT, 6pm EU) in Soleri City.

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Kris Notaro

The Importance of Qualia to Transhumanism and Science pt2

by Kris Notaro

In my last article on transhumanism and qualia we looked at the definition of qualia and biological experiments that suggest qualia are nothing more then a physical outcome of a complex system, (for now the brain). But what if qualia is not physical in nature in the same way we think of the typical physicalist notion of an atom? What if qualia was not purely biologically evolved, instead was/is part of the universe like the “strings” in M-theory and String Theory, or the basic hydrogen atom? I will argue in defense of quaila and suggest that logical operators can be “felt” by the current human mind.

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