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Live-Blogging the Afternoon of Day Two of Humanity+ San Francisco
Kris Notaro   Dec 2, 2012   Ethical Technology  

Our brains are slopping over full at this point at the end of the Humanity+ San Francisco 2012.  Congratulations to Natasha and her team for putting on a great conference. Hopefully next time we’ll have control of the weather.

Adam Ford "The Mask, the Mirror, and the Moving Image" Abstract: Moving image is becoming ubiquitous – reaching out from flat screens, moving beyond mere mediums for entertainment and asynchronous communication. We will wear the moving image, we will inhabit it. Without reluctance we don our avatars; multi-casting our our memes across many nodes with more frequency than we do with our mouths. A picture tells a thousand words – moving images will reflect the ambient colors of our culture, and embody our personal narratives: we will feel naked without them.

PJ Manney "YOUR Story Will Create the Future" Abstract: Stories are the common heartbeat of human experience. We all have stories to tell. And I think more of us can tell them. Through empathy with characters, we live lives beyond our own imaginings and share our hopes and dreams. This is the emotional power of story. However, H+ers often get caught up in the technical aspects of our goals. We could do a better job sharing our ideas by learning to engage others at the emotional, visceral level. As a futurist and entertainment industry writer, I have seen the transition from a speculated technology to story many times. What is it about certain futurist writers who transcend our community and reach the mainstream, inspiring others to take their concerns and dreams as their own? What is the empathy engine they use? It’s all about you. Your inner life. Your passions. We need more of the H+ community sharing stories about why we want the future we want. What is the future YOU want? How do you see yourself as a character bringing it about? This is a participatory, community-building talk. Because together, through telling our stories, we can make the future happen.

- Why are you here?

- Who are you and what do you consider yourself?

- She mentioned good and evil, destruction and creativity

- What will happen when transhuman gadgets get in the hands of people who are out for power and destruction

- The audience had an opportunity to explain why they are here and who they are. People told some interesting stories, from the lost of loves ones, reading science fiction, “because someone has to do it”, from computer culture to people culture, to become a futurist facilitator, influenced by Kurzweil, one audience member said that we come from nature to only enhance our understanding of nature, and finally one menationed that he wanted to be part of a positive community.

Michael Anissimov "Media Performance of Transhumanism" Abstract: Since 2005 or so, transhumanism and transhumanist ideas have had a rising profile in the media. What have been our greatest successes of the past few years and how can we repeat them? Which memes are getting the most airtime, and which are being ignored? Is more media exposure always better? What can we do to ensure that we and our organizations are media-savvy? How do we leverage technology to maximize the impact of social media? This talk by the media director of the Singularity Institute will examine these questions and come to concrete conclusions.

Anissimov made a graph of the mention of the singularity in mass media. He was happy with the fact that mass media is starting to catch onto the fact that the transhuman human is rising up and getting the credit it deserves.
He noted that:

- The New York Times put out a positive article about transhumanism.

- BigThink attacked the Singularity Institute, and gave the impression that the transhuman movement, looking into the future, takes less action in the present (like fixing global warming) This notion can be misleading because there are many examples of the modern futurist movement changing the lives of many around the world. Ideas have spread around the globe about how to use technology as a positive social force.

- Futurisms is a blog that constantly criticizes transhumanism, and it is useful sometimes to read criticisms of your own outlook on life.

- Anissimov was concerned that scientists sometimes have PR interests, for example IBM stating that they simulated a cats brain in a computer. In reality it will take possibility decades to reach that kind of computer power. The reporting on simulated cat brains was misleading and untrue but gave the scientists at IBM a huge PR boost.

- He also mentioned that the term “singularity” has been thrown around so much it is losing some of its meaning.

Andrea Kusczewski "The Power of Science Narrative to Teach, Excite, and Inspire Action" Abstract: As science communicators, we need to do more than just entertain — we need to inform; to persuade; to inspire action. One of the biggest challenges in selling ideas about radical science and technology is engaging and exciting an audience in a way that is non-threatening, believable, and structured in a way that they can relate to personally. You want to get people on-board and excited about your ideas, but if you take it too far on the awe-spectrum without getting that personal connection, it may seem too much like science fiction, and not like something that is easily adoptable for them, in their lifetime. Good science communication is more than just making science accessible — more than just losing the jargon, and more than just reaching out to new audiences. The best science communication uses facts intertwined with a compelling narrative — a delicate balance of awe and reality — that people can relate to on a personal level. If the story feels personally relevant, and they can see themselves as part of the story, then people will be more willing to not only entertain those ideas, but to take action as well."

Kuszewki gave a great talk about inspiring authors to learn how to write in such a way that they influence people in the real world to take action. She noted that:

- Science literacy is low

- People need to make information accessible to the public

- How do we reach new audiences?

- Her main concern is to inspire action

- Incite the feeling of “oh wow” to induce wonder in science

- Awe, wonder and curiosity can lead to action, but how can that happen?

- The more radical science is, the harder it is for people to understand. What happens when your audience thinks something is cool, but doesn't take action?

- You can talk to people about personal issues like longevity, and increasing their own quality of life, and the life of their family.

Desiree Dudley " Effectively Inspiring An Era of World-Changers" Abstract: Futurists have long been inspired by the vast potential in emerging technologies. But often those inspired by the grandest visions of the future struggle to convey that vision in a way that convinces others to be inspired. Desiree will discuss examples from her experiences with this year’s pilot of the Futurist Youth Outreach Literature Program and Essay Contest. She will also discuss revitalizing interest and productive action in Nanotechnology. Desiree will also discuss how to understand and maximize factors involved in personal psychology, one-to-one interactions, group dynamics, volunteer inspiration, public speaking, and media relations.

David Bolinsky "Caves of Ideas Synopsis" Abstract: Humans have spent the better part of 30,000 years inventing visual communication. From the earliest scratched and painted petroglyphs adorning cliffs and caverns wherever modern humans have roamed, to the vast and awe-inspiring panoramas found in caves in Spain and southern France, humans have given great thought and have expended bounteous creativity in the service of showing others the fruits of their thoughts and imaginations. The clans who depicted the subjects of their hunts in the Chauvet Pont d’arc thirty millennia ago, brought more than life to the concept of visualization. Of necessity, they invented the methods of drawing itself- of depicting contour, color, likeness and movement. They created the tools and media required to fix their visions to a flinty canvas, lit only by flames. These paintings fired my imagination fifty years ago. They propelled me into my profession as, first, a medical illustrator and then as an animator, as intent on inventing new visual tools to illuminate our age as were our early cousins theirs. My subjects are the latest ideas in science and technology. My canvas is the interactive screen and my audience is, potentially, over three hundred million students worldwide. Join me.

- He stated that cave people in the tundra “represents the first transhuman technology” through the use of cave paintings.

- Cave paintings inspired him to become an artist. He became a medical illustrator later in life.

- The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress influenced his interest in science

- Used early computer art to show how the human body worked, utilizing very early computer graphics to produce wonderful digital art, utilizing command line code.

- Would students be more interested in molecular biology if it was turned into a movie?

- 8 minute movie called The Life of a Cell jumped students grades from Cs to A+s.

- Once on Youtube people around the world wanted to see more videos like it

- He is now making molecular biology videos for children all around the world

- He is also working with One Laptop Per Child to spread laptops around the world to help with science education

Todd Huffman "Wide and Deep" Abstract: A convergence of changes in technology, the law, and society are allowing open participation in the creation of previously specialized fields of knowledge creation such as journalism and science. Early results show the potential for mistakes, from unintentional to malicious, but there is evidence these mistakes can be anticipated and controlled. The potential of open participation is still emerging and will continue to grow and dramatically change the landscape of specialized knowledge creation.

- Currently working on a 3D microscope that can automate the representations of the cells
- Doctors can use the microscope in the future to navigate through the data
- He talked about and how people are taking an innovative approach at looking at their data

Kris Notaro served as Managing Director of the IEET from 2012 to 2015. He is currently an IEET Rights of the Person Program Director. He earned his BS in Philosophy from Charter Oak State College in Connecticut. He is currently the Bertrand Russell Society’s Vice-President for Website Technology. He has worked with the Bertrand Russell A/V Project at Central Connecticut State University, producing multimedia materials related to philosophy and ethics for classroom use. His major passions are in the technological advances in the areas of neuroscience, consciousness, brain, and mind.

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