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George Dvorsky interviewed by “The Future and You”
Mar 9, 2012   The Future and You  

IEET Board Member George Dvorsky was recently interviewed by Stephen Euin Cobb at The Future and You Podcast. They spoke for nearly three hours, so the interview was broken into three separate episodes.

Some of the topics discussed include: The importance of studying history in order to extrapolate the future; how democratic transhumanism differs from other flavours of transhumanism; why George is a “technogaian environmentalist” and how that relates to Bright Green Environmentalism; the abolition of suffering in all species; political problems of putting a thermostat on the earth; is it wise to use our emotions (especially repugnance) as a guide to truth; giving protective rights to intelligent animals (apes, whales, dolphins, and elephants), and eventually (when the time is right) to artificially intelligent software; augmenting animals to raise their IQ (animal uplifting); the movie rise of the Planet of the Apes; the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey; better ways to conduct the search for extraterrestrials (SETI); Dyson Spheres; the Fermi Paradox; why  Stephen Euin Cobb hopes we will forever move to universes of ever increasing dimensionality; as well as artificially created universes and simulated universes.

The first episode is HERE 

Second episode is HERE

Third episode is HERE




COMMENTS

I found these pod-casts very interesting, epically when they talk about alien civilizations and the Fermi Paradox (though I still find the whole abolition idea way out of touch with reality).  I recall in the second episode that if an alien civilization when down the trajectory of transhumanism that it may actually be found outside of the habitable zone in order to maintain cool temperatures for their technology.  This is very similar to an idea of an alien race that I made up for a science fiction story that I’m working on.  They are a 10 million year old race of machines that used to be biological though they retain their memories and utilize computing based off their own DNA.  Their home world is a rouge planet that used to orbit its planet’s star until they converted it into a giant spaceship (though still resembling a planet on the outside) and flung it on a constant trajectory through space in order to escape their star’s death and keep a constant cool temperature for their technology.  Since rouge planets (by theory) orbit the galaxy directly, this spaceship planet doesn’t emit anything that would indicate a civilization.  Furthermore, this race remains undetected and keep to themselves because 1) they don’t want to interfere with another civilization’s development since the things they learned they learned on their own (though they are aware that other civilizations are very rare), 2) being technological there is nothing organic planets have that they either want or can’t obtain else where, and 3) they actually spend their time in the vast, virtual world they created using their planet wide tech and data they collected from small probes used to gather information from the planet’s surround environment.  If real alien civilizations are anything like this, it may help explain the Fermi Paradox.

“They are a 10 million year old race of machines that used to be biological though they retain their memories and utilize computing based off their own DNA.”

That’s what I don’t like about posthumanism, the notion that homo sapien must remain the template- why can’t we accept the eventual de-linkage of the future from us? IMO there is nothing sacred about being human; and as for your faith, Chris, IMO we were not created in God’s image because that would make a monkey out of God!

@ Intomorrow

1) Again you are bring up faith (in a ridiculing manner) in a conversation that doesn’t even mention it.

2) IMO it’s not really possible to completely de-link our present and future selves from our past selves (which reminds me of a phrase I recently came across; “Who we are never changes.  Who we think we are does.”  This was not from a religious source).  On top of that these are homo sapiens that I’m describing here and their is no guarantee that any alien species would do the exact same things we would.

3)  If the last part of your comment was referring to evolution, It doesn’t conflict with my faith.  Quoting Orthodoxy by G.K Chesterton, “If evolution simply means that a positive thing called an ape turned slowly into a positive thing called a man, then it is stingless for the most orthodox; for a personal God might just as well do things slowly as quickly, especially if, like the Christian God, he were outside of time.”

“2) IMO it’s not really possible to completely de-link our present and future selves from our past selves"______________________

It is possible to completely de-link our present and future selves from our past selves; it may not be desirable- but it is possible.
I don’t say you are wrong, merely that we not on the same page, we don’t look towards a similar future—that has been the point all along. The near future we might be able to agree on; but if a hundred fifty years from now, say, beings are not anthropic in any way, it means nothing to me. More important IMO would be the concern that the biosphere might be destroyed than what beings may or may not be in the distant future.

@ Intomorrow

fair enough.

@ Gorge Dvorsky (if he is around)

There was recently an episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman about making first contact with an alien civilization and a lot of its content were related to some of the topics you covered in your interview.  For example, when explaining how we would recognize an alien language as intelligent it explain how all known languages follow a forty-five degree pattern constructed by the words most used in those languages and that pattern indicates meaning to those words and transfer of knowledge (or something like that).  This relates to some of your topics in that 1) this exact same pattern was found in the sounds dolphins make showing that their “words” actually have meaning and convey a form of knowledge which makes a good case for dolphins having Person-hood and 2) it is one of the explanations for the Fermi Paradox.  There are other things this episode mentions that I think relate to your topics (including the abolition of predators believe it or not) so here’s a link for it if you or anyone else is interested (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmeWDaY0R7Y).

“For example, when explaining how we would recognize an alien language as intelligent it explain how all known languages follow a forty-five degree pattern constructed by the words most used in those languages and that pattern indicates meaning to those words and transfer of knowledge (or something like that).“_______________________________________________________

Alien language might be telemetry having no significance to us.

@ Intomorrow
can you define “telemetry”, cause I’m not sure what it means.

This is a Wiki definition:

“Telemetry is a technology that allows measurements to be made at a distance, via radio wave or IP network transmission and reception of the information…”

My hunch is we could hypothetically communicate with any alien, yet perhaps not every one—there always exist anomalies.

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