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Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12
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Transhumanism In The Uk 2008 12

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Presentation given in London to UKH+, 15th March 2008. …

Presentation given in London to UKH+, 15th March 2008.
Transhumanism in the UK 2008-12: Hopes and fears, opportunities and risks

Published in: Technology, Travel, Business
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  • 1. Transhumanism in the UK, 2008-2012 Hopes and fears, opportunities and risks And why this is important! David Wood, UKTA, London 15 March 2008
  • 2. What’s so important about transhumanism? Transhumanism supports and encourages the thoughtful development and application of technology to significantly enhance human mental & physical capabilities Thoughtful: Technology: Sceptical of snake-oil Biotechnology Require peer reviews Nanotechnology Avoid runaway scenarios AI, ICT Avoid divisive outcomes Cognitive (brain) science Prioritising and accelerating substantial enhancements: Anti-disease & pro-cures: “Better than well” Anti-aging & pro-longevity: expanding & extending life Anti-constraint & pro-autonomy: more choices & experiences Smarter, stronger, wiser, kinder: to solve our BIG problems
  • 3. Questions for consideration today What changes are feasible in the UK between now and 2012: • Regarding public attitudes towards transhumanism? • Regarding progress with specific transhumanist projects? What role (if any) can interested individuals (such as us!) play: • In regard to changing these attitudes? • In regard to accelerating (or decelerating) these projects? What could go wrong: • What could generate adverse feedback to transhumanism? • And how can we guard against these risks? Is there a special UK angle to transhumanism • Or should UK H+ fans all emigrate to eg Singapore?!
  • 4. Summary of my answers Transhumanism should be much more influential in the UK by 2012 than now (but there’s nothing guaranteed about it) There are many reasons for us to be hopeful about the future of transhumanism in the UK (but also some reasons to be fearful) We can make a lot of difference to the outcome (through both local and global activity)
  • 5. Drivers for the development of technology? The logic of science Not much we can do to influence these? The logic of business
  • 6. Drivers for the development of technology? Science, which follows: Lots of diverse internal logic Funding policy decisions made by governments Fashionable and interesting ideas advanced in the media Prize funds established by individuals and groups Research sponsored by businesses Business, which follows: The logic of business The profit motive – goods that sell well The future profit motive – goods that may sell well in the future Opportunities enabled by new science & technology Philanthropic motivations of well-placed individuals
  • 7. Five factors that we can influence – in order to change priorities Science, which follows: Lots of diverse internal logic Funding policy decisions made by governments Fashionable and interesting ideas advanced in the media Prize funds established by individuals and groups Research sponsored by businesses Business, which follows: The profit motive – goods that sell well The future profit motive – goods that may sell well in the future Opportunities enabled by new science & technology Philanthropic motivations of well-placed individuals
  • 8. Networks of interaction: our chance to influence technology Media Politicians Ideas Business plans Individuals Transhumanism supports and encourages the thoughtful development and application of technology to significantly enhance human mental & physical capabilities
  • 9. Transhumanism in the UK, 2008-2012 A battle of ideas We need to advance H+ ideas that are clear, striking, compelling, and sticky
  • 10. 6 ideas that can work to our advantage Pro-beauty, cosmetic surgery, anti-aging, dietary supplements, memory enhancers Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s the best (this is “the nature delusion”) It’s no longer “reasonable to be unreasonable” (breaking “the death delusion”) The right to prepare to vitrify our bodies for cryonic preservation (self-determination) The benefits of ever smarter, ever smaller devices for computing, communications, and medicine Environmental and energy problems could have smart technological fixes (nanotech, geo-engineering et al)
  • 11. 7 aspirations for UKTA: themes Mutual support via face-to-face & online interaction Collect and share reliable information about dietary supplements, cryonic techniques, scientific developments, etc Develop, debug, debunk, and prioritise ideas relevant to H+ Champion and highlight good art that supports H+ Novels, plays, poems, films, drawings, etc Encourage others to see through the fallacies of the nature delusion and death delusion, and to appreciate the value of H+ Outreach – in universities, to overseas H+ groups, to media, to fertile ground wherever we find it Avoid the risks of inaction and apathy, and of other ideas driving out H+ ones from the public mind

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