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2009 Survey Interim V2

2009 Survey Interim V2



Interim results of feedback survey about Extrobritannia (UKH+) activities, 2009-2010

Interim results of feedback survey about Extrobritannia (UKH+) activities, 2009-2010



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    2009 Survey Interim V2 2009 Survey Interim V2 Presentation Transcript

    • Extrobritannia 2009 feedback survey Interim results (as of 17 Dec 2009)
    • Stated purpose of survey • The goal of this survey is to obtain feedback about how to evolve and improve Extrobritannia (UKH+) activities during 2010 • There are 11 questions in total – All questions are free-text response • Respondents were asked to answer as many or as few of the questions as they wish – Answers are anonymous • Answers submitted by Friday 18th December will be included in the report presented to the Extrobritannia planning meeting on 19th December
    • Survey statistics so far • Survey can be accessed at http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB229Z3JCFYZJ • The survey can have up to 100 responses in total • So far, 26 people have submitted answers – As of 17th December – (Another 7 people have worked part way through the survey, but have not reached the end, so their answers have not been logged into the system yet) • The following pages give the non-null and non-blank answers that have been submitted – In a few cases, the answers have been lightly edited – Answers added since 13th December are in blue
    • Initial comment on responses • The feedback – both positive and negative – is useful, constructive, and thought-provoking • The hard thing to do will be to identify, out of all this feedback, the small number of changes that we can undertake which will have the biggest support and/or the biggest impact
    • Suggested five key projects for 2010 (based in part on reflecting on survey feedback) 1. Use the April 24 conference as a springboard 2. Introduce new membership/financial model 3. Organise some meetings away from London 4. Experiment with a regular IRC chat session 5. Adopt a formal “brainstorm-then-projects” system, that partly replaces the Yahoo group discussion – This will provide a better way to collectively review ideas for projects, to propose solutions, and to track progress – This system will in turn probably spawn at least another 5 key 2010 projects to add to this list
    • Question 1 Does any meeting in the last 12+ months stand out in your mind as particularly good? If so, why? (Feel free to mention more than one meeting if you wish)
    • Q1 answers (page 1 of 3) • Supplements, and Anders on brain simulation, but I have missed quite a few • Mike Darwin on Whatever Happened to the Future of Medicine was the best lecture due to its content and engaging speaker. Swine flu, black swans, and Geneva-eating dragons takes the second place for the same reasons • Swine flu, black swans, and Geneva-eating dragons: Very well presented and lots of non-obvious ideas backed up with hard data. Mike Darwin on Whatever Happened to the Future of Medicine and Bonus UKTA meeting on Cryonics: Knowledgeable and smart speaker puncturing the illusion that advances in science and technology will mean immediate improvements in health care, as well as insider cryonics knowledge. Singularity Summit 2009 (highlights): Great speakers, several interesting subjects, plenty of energy with a good vibe and lots of people. Quantum Computers & the creation of human-level artificial intelligence: Very knowledgeable speaker able to answer lots of questions on the fly and insightful questions from audience - learned a lot • The one on cryonics with Mike Darwin. Charismatic guest-speaker, thoroughly knowledgeable of his field
    • Q1 answers (page 2 of 3) • Anders Sandberg on brain uploading, Mike Darwin on cryonics, Suzanne Gildert on quantum computing, Shane Legg on AI. All of these substantially altered my assumptions going in, which is a sign that I learned something • The singularity summit meeting. Why? Because of the high standard of speakers, interesting topics talking in a manner that the audience can understand. It also got a lot of people to turn up which is great for the cause • Mike Darwin's meeting on medical progress and cryonics, as it showed a view counter to the "we live in an age of accelerating progress" and backed it up. That, and Mike is an excellent speaker. Also, the one with the biogerontolist from Brighton University, who managed to educate us about aging and lifespan while also showing how poor UK funding is and the difficulties of funding neglected areas of biomedical research • Shane Legg • The Shane Legg meeting. A good mixture of solid information on developments and 'philosophising‘ • Meeting Mike Darwin, Shannon Vyff is great as it widens up the view on movements and gives great opportunity to tap into different waters
    • Q1 answers (page 3 of 3) • David Styles' talk on Cryonics in the UK. Quantum Computing talk. The Singularity Summit discussion session • All 3 meetings I attended were interesting! • The role of diet and supplements in longevity - the science behind the hype. Cryonics in the UK: Reality and Vision - specifically for the debate with Mike Darwin • All meetings have their unique quality but in the end the primary purpose they serve is as conversation starters for the ensuing discussions
    • Question 2 Does any meeting in the last 12+ months stand out in your mind as disappointing? If so, why? (Feel free to mention more than one meeting if you wish)
    • Q2 answers (page 1 of 2) • Singularity Summit 2009 - highlights and learnings could have been longer and in a bigger room. Q&A on the Immortality Institute sounded exciting but was quite slow and could have been more informative • The meeting just with Q&A: Not enough presentation before questions • The Singularity Summit retrospective. It didn't include any actual report on the summit • Q&A on the Immortality Institute: Nothing new, few facts and many tired old luddite questions and excuses from the audience rather than a genuine interest in II and CR • Singularity Summit – some speakers self promotion instead of education • The packed one. Mostly because the speakers were mostly repeating things I'd heard from them before • I think some speakers could be more constructive and give more details on actual progress, roadmap, etc.. We are not new to the field, therefore basic marketing is really boring
    • Q2 answers (page 2 of 2) • The singularity summit meeting is a good example of the best and the worst of the H+ meetings. Firstly, everyone in the H+ community has heard what Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey have to say a million times. Therefore they should probably try to spice it up a bit for a H+ audience, this may include greater amounts of speculation, new results and findings, being more specific, etc. In addition, if speakers are too broad it can be boring. The other extreme which can be highlighted by Suzanne’s talk is a very complex talk with much jargon and science. This is not a bad thing per se, but perhaps it is the responsibility of Extrobritannia and the speakers to give the attendees a short reading list so they come prepared and don’t waste time and ask silly questions, especially if they are being recorded. • I've only attended one. I felt the session was more form than substance. I expected more about where we are now, what methods are gaining/losing momentum, what are the barriers to access (what would roll-out to the planet look like?), who are the main dissenters and why. The audience was interesting, I sensed a classic extension of courtesy even if it wasn't what people expected
    • Question 3 What topic(s), if any, would you like to see covered more often in Extrobritannia meetings?
    • Q3 answers (page 1 of 5) • Aubrey's annual update? Frontiers of computation e.g. neural nets, GPUs, massively parallel architectures, data flow machines, asynchronous computing etc etc • Rationality and critical thinking about h+ topics, ways to live your life that maximize your impact on the future of humanity • "Public engagement" • Medical research, especially regarding, longevity, cancer treatments, alternative medicine, nutrition. Politics vs. Science debate could be interesting, especially with speakers involved in both fields, since bureaucracy and pen-pushing stand in a way of progress. It would be great to see Ben Best talking about CI • Practical science being done. - Technology being developed and available now. - Devices and methods available now to improve ourselves as individuals and as a group. - Recommendations of books, websites, courses and other material that may benefit those with transhumanist interests • Philosophy, Design, and Ethics. Cultural movements
    • Q3 answers (page 2 of 5) • Moore's Law and the future of computers. Well-researched speculative futurism near- and long-term. Progress towards space colonization. Future energy • Different peoples views about different types of singularity. More SENS. I find the H+ group as a whole is very sci-fi and scoffs at SENS, only to think that mind uploading and more far out technologies are a better option than SENS (which of course they might be, but they are on a different and more speculative timescale) • Space development / colonisation Existential risk - I love Bostrom’s & Sandberg's work on this • life-extension (from a practical point of view) • artificial intelligence/Technology • Cheaper, easily available Cryonics • Whilst I enjoy a good philosophical discussion as much as the next person, it'd be good to see more meetings that focused on reports of solid progress. Some hard engineering-focused stuff would be good (nano, etc.)
    • Q3 answers (page 3 of 5) • Practical personal strategies for people to pursue: If you call yourself, or think of yourself as, a transhumanist, what can you usefully do to advance the transhumanist agenda both for society and for yourself?. 'Transhumanist contingency planning'. Possibly a "Transhumanism 101" session, an overview of all the ideas and beliefs that comprise transhumanism. Occasional "Progress reports", by people who have knowledge of a specific area. We get this for life-extension, with a specific focus on Aubrey's efforts, but not in other areas like AI, Nanotech, Cryonics, etc. These may become a little technical, but on the other hand, so was Suzanne's talk, and nobody seemed to complain • 1) The classics: Uploading & AI, nano/biotech etc 2) Politics of H+ (including economics, religion, the meta-issue of if/how/when H+ should try to engage the wider public, etc) • Life extension, cognitive enhancement • Progress and paths towards realisation of AGI Machine-human merging Biotechnology and Nanotechnology
    • Q3 answers (page 4 of 5) • I quite liked Darren Reynolds talks on fertility and stem cells topic, real social examples, and social impact of the change. We not only need to perfect the technology, bet the whole social change which will by brought by the singularity.. Does that mean that people gradually will become more cynic until they will become robots..? As now suicide rate is quite high, does that mean that future belongs to geeky, cynic people..? I would like to see more SMART topics (SMART, MEASURABLE, ACCURATE, TIMELINED) projects in works. I would like to get more measured talks on stopping ageing. There are a lot of projects. Maybe someone summarizes them and could give some accurate metrics. Meeting someone from UK on par with Terry Grossman would be interesting, to discuss next 5-10-20 personal health plan or health clinics where hi-level ageing could be measured and projected. • Life extension // Political aspects • We often talk about either high-tech or about abstract philosophical concepts, but it would be very rewarding to delve deeper into the political and economical dimensions of transhumanism • Human irrationality regarding artificial intelligence and existential risks. Human intelligence enhancement
    • Q3 answers (page 5 of 5) • These should flow from our mission I think, but in principle things from Dirk's topics, to which I'm tempted to add 'body enhancement' - despite some misgivings about promoting 'better pecs and breasts', I'm thinking that by highlighting things like better pacemakers or the recent benefits of silicon eyelenses giving better than 20/20 vision and prosthetics for athletes are examples of early deliverables of the transhumanist concept that are available today. Such topics have wide interest and allow promotion of our other topics to gain wider awareness. Any transhuman development that looked to create improvements in football or sports medicine will have a global following and give us awareness to a very large tranche of ordinary people, for instance. The more we 'get real' and understand that we are already implementing new technologies with obvious benefit, the more we should be encouraging further implants etc. This progression is obvious to transhumanists, but the public is way down the learning curve. Putting up a 'digest' slide of any significant developments in our core interests at the end of each meeting would be a simple way of expanding interest in those attendees who may have been attracted by a single topic.
    • Question 4 What topic(s), if any, would you like to see covered less often in Extrobritannia meetings?
    • Q4 answers (page 1 of 2) • Everything is quite interesting and I suppose there have to be a variety of topics to suite various people. Personally, I find it more interesting to talk about existing and real issues, rather than potential future problems or developments • When inviting interesting speakers like Aubrey de Grey have them talk more about "the latest developments", recent progress/problems and more technical stuff rather than repeat what most of us already know by now • Health (short of actual technological fixes, simple health is pretty obvious - exercise and eat veg) • None really. I like the odd different meetings such as the Energise! one • science and technology • We've had a good mix lately so I have no complaints • anti-aging/life-extension • philosophical gibberish • Vague topics. I.E. we had topic on supplements, where pretty much nothing was certain. I think every discussion/lecture should be results oriented. Whether we could avoid something, use something better etc...
    • Q4 answers (page 2 of 2) • Fringe topics. However, as it is not possible to say that today's fringe is not tomorrow's mainstream, I'd probably suggest having these as a parallel stream of colloquia in addition to more meaty topics supporting our core mission. That enables maintenance of a wider membership and 'ambassador' set • Risk / Unfriendly AI scenarios • There may be a little too much emphasis on life extension
    • Question 5 What feedback do you have, if any, about the Extrobritannia message (mail) group on Yahoo?
    • Q5 answers (page 1 of 3) • Does its job reasonably well. Adverts are a bit of a pain • I think it’s a great resource with some really excellent discussions • Lots of interesting talk, but the volume from some posters can be a bit overwhelming. Perhaps a maximum post limit like the extropy mailing list? • The group is very informative, it could possibly benefit from some moderation or pruning. I say this only due to the excessive posts on the same or just off topic, I sometimes receive. However, what makes the group interesting could be lost if over moderated • Perhaps there needs to be a separate list for official announcements? • I find that other issues to H+ issues are discussed there which can be inappropriate. Also, more mailing feed options would be nice, and I am not sure Yahoo caters for that. Surely this mailing group could be moved somewhere else as Yahoo is very 1990's. Also I find a lot of what goes on in the message group is a few cynics dismissing many trails of thought and arguments do seem quite nihilistic or libertarian, which I think only covers a small percentage of the philosophical spectrum and may scare away younger, more optimistic, positive and politically neutral people
    • Q5 answers (page 2 of 3) • It is fabulous!! • No f***er can remember to trim the message they're replying to, which is annoying. I do like the discussions and find them more relevant to me than other lists (slightly more than ExI, much more than wta-chat). I also approve of the very light moderation and the fact we seem to understand some unspoken rule of debate. Either that, or we're all being terribly British about it all • It seems to work • Interesting but seems to have the same posters over and over recycling other people’s posts/news from internet • works ok • Yahoo is dead ;-) Can we make the messages plaintext instead of HTML? HTML messages are a bugger to reply to via most email clients • I don't like yahoo's mailing lists format, it is quite difficult to follow. Migration to forum or something more effective could be considered • David, you're doing a wonderful job
    • Q5 answers (page 3 of 3) • I read the digests, but you have to scan an awful lot of repeated info. As we pass the 10000 posts mark, it becomes ever harder to search what has gone before, yet there are probably many gems now hidden there • I think the thread system on the Yahoo forum is quite confusing to use, perhaps a different system could be tried - maybe Google Wave or something like that? • Very interesting! I wish I had time to answer (and a better capacity in English) • Great, lots of interesting content, I much prefer a lively mailing list where perhaps 50% is irrelevant for me than a tired mailing list with only a few messages per day
    • Question 6 A whole-day meeting "Humanity+, UK 2010" is going to be held in Conway Hall on Sat 24th April. Speakers confirmed so far are Nick Bostrom, Max More, Aubrey de Grey, David Pearce, Anders Sandberg, Amon Twyman, Natasha Vita-More, and David Orban. It is proposed that attendance at this meeting will be free to Extrobritannia members, but will otherwise cost £25 per person (reduced to £15 for non-waged). Are you likely to attend? If not, why not?
    • Q6 answers (page 1 of 2) • Yes [ 8 people gave this single-word answer ] • You are on the wrong side of the ocean. If I win the lottery I will attend • yes, if I am in the UK • Sounds fantastic! Yes, as of this moment, I am certain to attend • Yes, I am likely to attend • Yes - I really hope such a meeting will focus on the latest developments and try to push the boundaries rather than repeat the usual transhumanist memes we are all pretty familiar with by now • I would like to attend, alas , such meetings are always in london, so the amount of logistic planning required for attendance would preclude said attendance • Firstly, how do I become an Extrobritannia member? I am not sure that I am. 15 pounds sounds reasonable anyway, but I think the membership of the group should be more advertised and accessible. It is great to see that Nick will be there. This alone is worth it • Yes, I will attend. There needs to be more female speakers
    • Q6 answers (page 2 of 2) • I would love to, because of the speaker list. The main stumbling block is that I've a long way to travel, and getting there for the start of the whole-day meeting might be tricky • Yes, indeed I am • no - this event just seems like one big Extrobritannia meeting. A load of stuffy transhumanists! - it seems like there is nothing here for the average person • No, entrance cost, travel cost • No - I live in West Wales and I work overseas and it is very difficult to schedule time off • Yes, I'll be there. Are we going to ask for some kind of proof that someone is non-waged, or take it on trust? • I will attend, very good idea. I beg you to make strong, smart contents, at least few action groups, like signing petitions for some research laws, funding, attention to education or something, to make the day really meaningful • I will be attending! • I shall, and consider fee entirely reasonable. Events like this are likely to be core revenue sources that might fund other activities
    • Question 7 What one other UK-based speaker would you like to see added to the list of speakers for the "Humanity+, UK 2010" meeting?
    • Q7 answers (page 1 of 2) • http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/ • Charles Stross: transhumanistic author (f.ex. Accelerando) and often touches on transhumanist themes on his blog http://www.antipope.org/Charlie/blog- static/index.html. AND/OR Cory Doctorow: Another author well versed in transhumanism (Down and Out in The Magic Kingdom), co-editor of Boing Boing, liberal copyrights activist and has attended Singularity Summit in the past. Canadian but lives in UK • Julian Savulescu, Kevin Warwick • More women! • Ask Charles Stross if he's up for coming down from Edinburgh, as he's very entertaining • Steve Grand (Author of "Life, and how to make it", and creator of Lucy, a robotic orang-utan), if he thinks he has anything to say • Non Speakers! Maybe a nanotech company, people making virtual worlds/games/mmo's, Black Line Ascension, APPLE!, Emotive, maybe even a robot or two!
    • Q7 answers (page 2 of 2) • Dr. David Warwick • Cory Doctorow would be *brilliant* to have • Brian Cox, Michio Kaku, Terry Grossman, Charles Stross, someone from 23andme DNA screening someone from 1000genomes and/or 10000genomes projects • David Wood • Chris Bishop (Microsoft)? Kevin Warwick? David Orban? (not UK but European) • Cory Doctorow, a great sci fi writer who lives in London. He could add flavor to the more 'scientific' group we already have in place
    • Question 8 It's been proposed that the formal Extrobritannia membership scheme is revised, with annual membership costing £40 (or £20 for people who are unwaged). This is to support more frequent meetings and other group activities. If this scheme is adopted, are you likely to join?
    • Q8 answers (page 1 of 2) • Yes [ 9 people gave this single-word answer ] • yes, if I am in the UK • If it meant that meetings could be taken "on the road" (and by this I mean, from time to time, out of London) to increase participation, then yes, certainly • Probably, yes. What about couples? Would it be GBP 80 per year or some discount? • Yes - and I support the idea of group activities like organising visits to interest laboratories, tech exhibitions and other relevant events - followed by discussion in the pub of course • probably not as meetings are again in london, it would appear that the group is very London-centric and not in-keeping with a global internet community • Perhaps. Would there be a reasonably priced life membership option? say, 100-200 pounds?
    • Q8 answers (page 2 of 2) • Probably not, as I'm broke at the minute. If I had £40 to spare on membership, it's 50/50 whether I'd spend it on Extrobritannia or the British Interplanetary Society • Possibly • Maybe • No • Possibly. Not certain • Yes, absolutely. I think this is important requirement for reliable growth of the community both quality and quantity • Probably not, I am not in the UK • Absolutely • Yes (if allowed for non UK residents) • I will join
    • Question 9 What do you consider the main strengths and weaknesses of Extrobritannia at present?
    • Q9 answers (page 1 of 7) • Strengths - knowledgeable membership, good speakers and topics. Weaknesses - lack of publicity. If only 1 in 1000 people were interested our London meeting would have thousands turn up! • Strengths: Regular meetings, Informal atmosphere encourages discussion Weakness: London-centric, Limited participation • The strength is in good networking - it's growing fast. Weaknesses: sometimes it seemed to me that speakers were not aware what kind of audience they are talking to and what for? I think this is the reason why some lectures were not as engaging as others • +David Wood +Great Speakers +Interesting and knowledgeable members +Birkbeck is great location for the talks -Widespread membership/recognition -Poor focus -Weak online presence (Website with feeds to transhumanistic news, organisations and events of various categories and an active forum would help a lot) • Strength / Weakness : Lack of formal organisational structure
    • Q9 answers (page 2 of 7) • Strengths: Open message board discussing a broad range of topics Weaknesses: Very London centric (I do understand why doesn’t mean I have to like it) • Strengths: very educational presentations from and direct access to people who are top of their fields and/or influential in transhumanist projects. Weaknesses: no political influence and no public voice • At present, it seems to be doing something well by attracting so many more new people. I do find that the cynicism and skepticism of some of the older members isn’t particularly good for the changing, dynamic, growing, optimistic nature of a H+ organisation which is focused upon the positive aspects of humanity and life and saving and upgrading these things towards some vision of utopia. Grumbling about the singularity in a pub whilst doing nothing about it isn’t actually that useful. If Extrobritannia are to survive, and make a difference, the move from becoming a sizeable group to changing the world for the better as a sizeable group is its next and hardest challenge. Many options for how to do this have been discussed already, but have in many cases been disregarded by some of the older members
    • Q9 answers (page 3 of 7) • Not making the conference about transhumanism. Humanity+ is weak but a good name. You need to make it about the future of human society based on technological change affected by design, philosophy, ethics and sociability • Strengths: Numbers have greatly increased recently. Excellent speakers at meetings. Informal and flexible structure and atmosphere that doesn't offend anyone. The writing group sounds like it will hold great promise. Weaknesses How do we afford anything? Where does the money come from? London- centric. Attracts a fairly narrow cross-section of society at the minute • I'll defer answering this until we have something along the lines of a 'mission statement', as discussed on the list • Strengths: Well organised meetings. Interesting speakers, growing group, busy message board/yahoo group, approachable organisers. Weaknesses: Self Absorbed with own matters. Too scientific/inhuman
    • Q9 answers (page 4 of 7) • Strong in active message forum. Weak in impact on Govt. or even other Think- Tank policies and knowledge. Seems to me that active (dominant) members are against State intervention to aid Transhumanism and cryonics • Too centred in London. Needs a "standard" type Internet Forum, like other Forums • Strengths: good speakers, good organisation, varied subject matter Weaknesses: low profile, occasionally repetitive speakers who concentrate on saying what most have already heard instead of new developments. I understand why this is the case (after all there are usually new people in the audience for whom the material is new) but a bit more of a balance would help • Strength is dedication of some really cool guys like D.W. and other active members . Regularity of meetings, openness and positiveness, good feelings are definitely good. I think there is lack of resources in engaging community into actions and stimulation to get more done on important subjects, get more quality and result oriented actions. Some quality assurance processes could be utilized :))
    • Q9 answers (page 5 of 7) • We seem to be in a bit of a transition phase between being 6-guys-in-a-pub and whatever-we're-turning-into (if anything). The big email conversation about mission statements etc the other day suggested to me that evolving into something with clear, pro-active aims (and realistic plans for achieving them) would be a widely welcomed move. I may be wrong, but it feels like we have a sense of open-ended momentum in the air at the moment... One other thing: As mentioned by someone else, I agree that although some degree of "public engagement" activity is a good idea, we mustn't water down H+ until it means nothing just to win a larger membership. As said by others: It's better to shock people rather than lie to them. If people don't believe us about certain impending technologies, then we're not putting on the right talks or other activities, or presenting good enough evidence in the right way. At the moment I doubt we're convincing anyone new of anything much • Lacks a voice that can be heard by the media • Strengths - good leadership. Weaknesses - no fundraising strategy
    • Q9 answers (page 6 of 7) • You are making a great job. I would love to organize something even 5 times less ambitious in my country. Weakness: more people should be involved of course (but this is not your fault) • Strengths: The meetings are excellent and appear to be gaining in popularity. The speakers are good quality and the format of the meetings works well. Weaknesses: The official membership scheme seems a bit confused and needs overhauling? Perhaps there could be more interaction with other international groups? • Strengths: Great people, world class discussions Weaknesses: As all volunteer based organisation it is completely dependent on the voluntary work put in by a few organizers. This is a risk to the long term survival of the network
    • Q9 answers (page 7 of 7) • S) Its members are a considerable resource, and the fact that it has a achieved a presence in a useful corner of society. W) It's fledgling status, not as bad as the one the libs had when they all fitted into one taxi! - but its external image is probably still one of 'a bunch of blokes that meet in a pub'. How many people across the universities ought to be members? Why isn't there an affiliated group in every university, or a regular newspaper column entitled 'this week in transhumanism' perhaps. What are the milestones that will lead us to venues larger than the Conway Hall? If a big breakthrough came, I'd expect us to have been seeding favourable press in its run up; to know what the protagonist groups were most likely to say and to be seeding anti-toxins in advance, not for them to get in some negative headlines before we react after the damage may have been done. The media editors will tend to put their money where the profit is, and that will be in negative controversy. If we have been leading the popular educational wave, negative headlines will have less traction. Humanity cannot afford the potential delays that a repeat of the 'Franken-food' label caused to GM food (which I'd naively thought was going to help feed the third world with disease and pest resistant crops). It only takes one truly toxic idea to derail progress or for more than one newspaper to feel it can make more money by championing the 'no'campaign. We do not seem to be prepared for this?
    • Question 10 Are there activities or projects that you'd like to see Extrobritannia undertake in 2010? Is there anything we should stop doing?
    • Q10 answers (page 1 of 5) • The use of a growing membership for networking? • post videos of all talks • Raise public awareness - Try at least one meeting away from London? • Invitation to speak offered to academics, technical experts in subjects of interest to UKTA. Proposed as an opportunity to correct perception of subject or to engage with an audience with differing viewpoints. This includes offering invites to people skeptical of Transhumanism, Singularity, Cryonics... • I'd like to see more art/demonstrations and less talking about what may happen • 1. Scheduled official live videobroadcasting of every meeting, with ability to ask questions online and therefore build a larger, stronger community. A lot of people cannot attend. And transhumanists are spread across the world, therefore interactive lectures and communication is something transhumanists should lead. 2. integral/user-friendly website, community projects, plans, more visibility 3. as per above, start working on some realistic, practical, long and short term community projects. Identify some problems we can work on, write project, do fundraising and etc
    • Q10 answers (page 2 of 5) • I'd like to see us promoting ways to get involved in actively developing "the future" - so maybe organising a list of research organisations we can support, maybe even a "careers guide for the young transhumanist" I'd like to suggest an amazing idea to promote the idea and name of transhumanism throughout the UK media, but my ideas are no better than anyone else's on the yahoo group. Currently, I approve of all Extrobritannia activities, there is nothing we should stop doing • Organised visits to "cutting edge" Science research establishments. E.g. CERN, ESA, etc • Regularise the meeting dates (last Saturday of month for instance) would help long term planning • More focused political and/or think-tank-style activity, with clear goals / mission statement in mind would be good, I think. Nothing we need to actively stop doing, that I can think of • Projects we should do - some policy analysis and recommendations, though this might be too optimistic given Extrobrit's current membership structure
    • Q10 answers (page 3 of 5) • 1) A 'rebuttals' project, to arm members with good, robust answers to the common objections and arguments we hear to transhumanist ideas like life- extension and uploading. This should not just be reactive, but include "Why this is a good idea" items, too. 2) "Why science fiction is not a good way to think about the future". 3) A feasibility study on the possibility of creating a transhumanist-themed film or mechinima production, using a virtual setting like Second Life or a MMORPG engine, including technical and logistical feasibility, creating a script/screenplay, and what we'd actually do with it if we could make such a thing. 4) (Tentative, as I don't really know what would be involved. This could be totally impractical, but it's worth mentioning) Create a museum exhibition on "Transhumanism" (or some other title), and persuade one of the big museums to put it on (The Science Museum in London!). Can't think of anything we should stop doing • Do politics. Do schedule extra time after talks for in-room chat and questions, rather than retiring to the noisy cramped pub. Don't tame the message for public consumption while doing politics. Shocking the public is better than lying to them • Urge Govt. NHS to fund cryonics for UK citizens (cradle to Dewar healthcare)
    • Q10 answers (page 4 of 5) • Projects we should do - some policy analysis and recommendations, though this might be too optimistic given Extrobrit's current membership structure • Perhaps hold some more workshop-styled sessions on things like Whole Brain Emulation and AGI. Get the writing group to work on write-ups of our meetings/events and reach out to national press etc. Get UKH+ t-shirts/merchandise available! Great for promotion of the group and the H+ community in general • 1. Strengthen and institutionalise the organisation 2. Tune up our presence in the public debate by a few degrees otherwise, keep going as today only bigger, better, faster and more!
    • Q10 answers (page 5 of 5) • 1. Establish a database (transparent to members) of what we know in terms of relevant technologies, their histories, leading champions, where they are currently, when their research is likely to bear fruit and in what coin (= benefit deliverables). We should flag any which might appear to be orphan ideas potentially worthy of a grant from us perhaps. For each area there should be a 'core value to humanity statement' so that all members are clear and able to sing the same song. 2. A membership drive. If I were Edina Monsoon in Ab Fab, I would be saying 'I want to see names, darling, names, names' - anybody not on the register who ought to be. The RSA list is like Who's Who, ours should be the same for UK universities and leading lights at least. Honorary memberships may be a useful tool, plus annual fellowships to worthy researchers; life memberships to those who made the biggest difference in the year. Criteria to be agreed of course. If people don't want to be members, we need to know why they don't value humanity's future! 3. We also need profiles of those people who the media would turn to for negative views. The Data Protection Act would require us to furnish any personal details on request, so this would have to be strictly factual info that is already in the public domain - news articles etc. However, the lead media contacts need to know who these people are and what they are likely to say. If 'our' people and 'theirs' were to appear together on a public platform, then we need to brief 'our' people as per the PM at question time. We might choose to invite them to our public platform rather than theirs, maybe, but again good briefing will be essential. 4. Prepare packs for start-up of Uni socs - the seed corn of the future Transhumanist movement, and excellent fertilisers of campus opinion that will take on a life after graduation. I presume there may already be some pilots, maybe at OxBridge? Otherwise that would be a good place to start and roll-out after feedback later. 5. Have clarity on both our own value and the value of transhumanism to humanity. Humans rarely understand the value concept except in association with money. Whilst there are many businesses that stand to gain by supporting and developing the fruits of transhumanist researches, we need to be clear on our relationship and positioning to all stakeholders (are we clear who these are?) and the value we are helping to deliver. I suspect our group's value is at least as educators and facilitators, but we have not truly clarified the dimensions of our value as yet - or whether they should change over time.
    • Question 11 Final question: Do you have any other comment or suggestion about Extrobritannia?
    • Q11 answers (page 1 of 3) • I cannot see why our membership should not expand into the tens of thousands. If Mensa can do it, why not us? (Maybe advertise in Mensa London magazine?) • Hold meetings using Skype or second life • Going strong and I'm very positive about where it is going, but still lots that we can improve on • Keep up the good work! • Update the yahoo group to something better. Allow multiple avenues for H+ members to be active, including mini-conferences, writings clubs, more social groups (to separate H+ members that want to meet other H+ members for friends, relationships and not necessarily further the cause), and perhaps an online resource that H+ members can work on various project together on (some software like qtask or something) • Keep the Extropy! • I am amazed at how much gets done with so little resources. Well done!
    • Q11 answers (page 2 of 3) • It rocks! • I think it’s a great and very useful group and I am glad I am involved with it • Is the only place I've found with active discussions on Transhumanism in the UK, so it'd be a pity to lose it; BUT doesn’t have critical mass of influential and wealthy members to get anything physical done • Needs to expand and attract more members. Needs to have a more "political" agenda. (I.e. more money should be spent on science & research, etc.) • For those of us not in academia, extro has become almost TED-like in the opportunity it gives us to encounter new ideas and thinking. Long may it continue • I see progress, it is really good you are doing this survey in first place. Thank you for all your hard work and commitment. I really would like to say thank you million times! :) Let's keep that open good spirit • We should find out when Fabio formed the list. There might be a 10th birthday party to plan in a year or three! Any excuse for a party ;-)
    • Q11 answers (page 3 of 3) • As membership grows, we need to be clear that we are meeting their expectations (and fees). An annual survey would be good. Lastly, some sort of award for the Uni Soc which 'achieves the most' in some way. Some sort of challenge would provide us another profile-raising opportunity • Perhaps set up an official UKH+ website which at the least incorporates the blog but perhaps some things like FAQ, (similar format to the humanity+ site but specifically for the UK) This is a project which would, however, need very dedicated input from members and would be a lot of work to maintain. But we should perhaps discuss the possibility • Great also to ask. Maybe it would be good to make a little bit more "advertisement" and to try to invite scientific journalists and/or "important" people politically active would be great (but can be also "dangerous" so needs a good preparation). But I know all this takes time and anyway, I will come back to London a few times to assist to these great activities!