Hughes, Prisco, Goertzel @ Modern Cosmism Conference October 10, 2015


Date: Saturday, October 10, 2015, 9am-6pm
Location: New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64 Street, Manhattan, 10023
Director: Vlad Bowen
Contact: Tel: 800-350-0393


Conference Description:

Cosmism was originated in Russia more than a hundred years ago. That was an esoteric futuristic philosophy about post-humanity, technological immortality, resurrection and cosmic expansion. Early cosmists proposed the idea of decompaction (lightweighting) of the human body, that eventually wouldn’t need an atmosphere and would be powered directly by solar energy. They call it “radiant humanity” - a perfect society of highly moral and super-conscious beings merging and colonizing the whole Universe. Modern Cosmism brings to this doctrine an ontological foundation, a scientific structure and a deeper comprehension of possible technology.

Cosmism will “work closely together” with Transhumanism on the transition period until consciousness uploading becomes possible. Then, most likely humanity will be divided in two main directions: an Earth-based genetically improved biological civilization and a departing digital society, creating a new cosmic reality where the concepts of truth, consciousness, freedom and happiness will be deeply revised.

The conference will review the critical question about meeting (and joining) with advanced extraterrestrial civilizations and suggest few hypothesis about their “eerie silence”. We will touch some related problems in cosmology, and astrophysics such as the shape and future of the Universe, black hole information paradox, multidimensional space, dark energy and interpretation of quantum mechanics. Are they a separate arrow of time? Are there exceptions to the principle of causality?

Like no other area of philosophy and technology before, Modern Cosmism raises fundamental questions about the post human nature and how it will be connected to the reality and why we should eventually get rid of our biological hardware. How we can define Cosmic Evolution and what is the role of intelligent life? Is the structure of reality included the consciousness? Is this possible to create a Universe in a lab?

Are there limits to the functional simulations of consciousness? Will we be able to create super intelligent agents with consciousness and feelings? What are the limits of artificial capacities we should create?  Could we enhance our own humanity by genetically redesign our nature? 

The conference will address fundamental philosophical issues that arise with the future design and use of artificial consciousness, mind uploading and cyber-immortality.  How will our concepts of subjectivity, perception, and morality change, if we will live in mega-consciousness environment where you can experience multiple presence, personality, gender (or no gender at all) and unlimited kinds of artificial feelings? What is a possible ramification and consequences of digital consciousness? Cosmism suggested that the profound nature of the reality is also digital and it utilizes existential source code coming from Being that is using “radiant humanity” for its own preservation and modification.

Our keynote and plenary speakers are well-known international protagonists of Cosmism, Transhumanism and interdisciplinary researchers.  Their lectures will discuss the most important current issues of Modern Cosmism from the point of view of philosophy,  technology, ethics, robotics, psychology, and anthropology.


09:00 - 09:30
Registration and coffee

09:30 - 10:15
Vlad Bowen
Modern Cosmism and Singularity

10:15 - 11:15
Ben Goertzel
What will the advent of advanced AI and robotics mean for humanity?

11:15 - 11:30
C o f f e e   b r e a k

11:30 - 12:15
Jeremiah Ostriker
Current Scientific Understanding of the Nature, Origin and Future of the Universe

12:15 – 1:00
Randal Koene
Whole Brain Emulation and Neuromorphic Technology

1:00 – 2:30
L u n c h   b r e a k

2:30 – 3:15
Plenary Discussion
What should we be doing now to maximize the odds of humanity participating in an amazingly positive Cosmist future?

3:15– 4:00
Giulio Prisco
Minimalist, Open, Extensible Cosmism

4:00 – 4:45
Wendell Wallach
Transcendence, Life Against Death, and Scientifically Inspired Visions for the Future

4:45 – 5:00
C o f f e e   b r e a k

5:00 – 5:45
James J. Hughes
Cosmism, Moral Enhancement and the Religious Dialogue with Transhumanism

5:45 – 6:30
Jay Friedenberg
Avatars and Virtual Worlds: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

6:30 – 8:30
Cosmic Reception