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Man merges with machine – SunLive (blog)

Some science-type bods are getting a bit excited because they believe mankind may be on the brink of merging with machines.

Transhumanism, they call it. Not to be confused with trannie-humans. The theory is that we’ll soon have some machine parts implanted in us, to keep up with the relentless march of technology.

Innovative billionaire Elon Musk says humans must merge with machines. And Elon would know, he’s the clever bugger who built a rocket that not only blasted off last week, but then reversed back into its parking space. Amazing that someone can do with a space rocket, what most Tauranga drivers can’t manage with a Corolla.

Anyway, he reckons a direct brain/computer interface is an absolute necessity for humans to evolve as a species and keep up with the machines.

If we don’t merge with the machines, we will become useless and irrelevant, reports New Atlas. At RR, we worry that this may have already happened to Winston Peters.

Although there is a General Election coming up and with his particular system of cryogenics, anything is possible.

Science documentaries

Transhumanism sounds very much like science fiction, and I am well qualified to speak on this subject of future science because I’ve seen a lot of science documentaries, such as Cherry 2000′ at least five times and various other films featuring robots, androids and Mr Vader. Of course, we grew up with Space Family Robinson every afternoon on a black-and-white television. From this vast study of science spanning many decades, I can tell you, humans generally lose in the end. But they get a small consolation, such as living happily ever after with Melanie Griffith.

Personally, I came very close to merging with machines on several occasions in my younger years. Once, while venturing too close to the wringer washing machine, part of my fashionable sixties clothing was inexplicably drawn into the double wringer roller mechanism. My short and precarious life flashed before my eyes as I was about to be interfaced with the Whiteway. Or was it a Maytag?

Previous columns have also delved into character-building experiences with the bean slicer; although these incidents tended to be more like the bean slicer attempting to rid the planet of humans with digits, rather than any peaceful symbiotic bonding.

We all have those crisis moments in life when we’ve thought: What would Steve Austin do?’ Most of us failed, because we did not have the slow-motion function installed. Any attempts to re-enact The Six Million Dollar Man’ stunts soon ended up in a shambles more closely resembling the closing sequence of The Benny Hill Show’.

Androids among us

The closest thing we’ve seen to transhumanism in real life would have to be Michael Jackson, who, until his untimely expiration, was a human perfectly blended with a Tupperware set.

I’ve long suspected there are already androids walking amongst us and they’re doing a darn good job of keeping it a secret, except for Mike Hosking, of course. He was interfaced with Encyclopaedia Britannica from an early age, because he knows everything.

Then there’s a musician who has so many piercings and rings in his face, he can double as a shower curtain.

Peter Dunne is rumoured to have survived a brush with a crop duster and Gareth Morgan must have at some point suffered a close encounter with a six-pack of Energizer batteries, because he just keeps going and going and going.

Built-in compass

Lepht Anonym is a Berlin-based biohacker who advocates cybernetics for the masses, says New Atlas. Lepht [who identifies as genderless] has performed numerous body modifications over the past decade, including implanting neodymium metal discs under his/her fingertips to enable the physical sensing of electromagnetic fields, and several internal compass implants designed to give a physical awareness of north and south magnetic poles. Here at RR, we hope Lepht has joined Scouts or Guides, because he/she would be well ready to go for his/her Map Reading and Orienteering Badge.

The new generation of kids may as well have machines grafted into their brains. They already walk around with mobile devices planted constantly in their faces, they experience virtual lives; nothing is true or proven until it’s been shared on instabook or facegram and nothing accepted as a true record of history until it has reached 20 likes and a minimum of four smiley faces.

In fact it’s a gas

Transhumanist thinking goes beyond the mere fusion of human and machine. It includes genetic modification to help us live longer and be smarter, till eventually we transcend our physical bodies with the aid of technology.

Little do these scientists know, that level of transhuman longevity has already been achieved by a pioneer in the field; not by implants of computer or machinery; but with select drugs, decades of liquid infusion, excessive noise application and being born in a cross-fire hurricane. Long live Keith Richards.

I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots Albert Einstein.

brian@thesun.co.nz

For more science revelations and other true stories, go to Facebook and like’ blogger, Rogers Rabbits.

Originally posted here:

Man merges with machine – SunLive (blog)

If you cry at work, pretend it’s because you’re very passionate about … – Boing Boing

Research has shown that crying at work comes off as unprofessional and weakens your promotion prospects — and surveys suggest that people cry at work a lot, anyway. So how can you balance your human emotional needs with the necessity of presenting yourself as a productive unit of gut-flora for the transhuman, immortal artificial life form that has absorbed you?

In a 2016 paper published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, a group of business-school researchers led by Harvard doctoral candidate Elizabeth Baily Wolf present the results of a study on how people perceive their co-workers’ tears, and which emotional explanations are most favorably perceived.

They evaluated five notional explanations for crying at work — fighting with co-workers, being assigned undesirable work, being discriminated against, negotiating for higher pay, and being overcome with passion for your job — and found that subjects viewed the final explanation (overwhelming workplace passion that spills over into tears) as reflecting the most workplace competence.

Of course, this strategy only works for work-related tears, and sometimes people cry at work for personal reasons (though if spotted, you could try to pawn it off on the job). Nevertheless, this dynamic tends to truly crystallize in the performance review, the best known venue for workplace crying. If involuntary tears start welling up during harsh criticism from the boss, instead of apologizing for getting emotional, blame them on passion for your job. The boss might perceive the tears as noble, even endearing, rather than weak.

Workers are generally told to leave their tears at home. Jennifer Porter, a managing partner at the Boda Group, an executive coaching firm, advises clientsparticularly womennot to cry on the job.

If you can find strategies to not cry at work, it’s in your career best interests, she said. Wolfs research confirmed that holding back tears still beats all other options. In one of her experiments, when given three options for a potential project partner, participants chose the person who hid distress over someone who admitted to cryingno matter what the reason.

Managing perceptions of distress at work: Reframing emotion as passion [Elizabeth Baily Wolf, Jooa Julia Lee, Sunita Sah and Alison Wood Brooks/Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes]

The Experts Guide to Crying at Work [Rebecca Greenfield/Bloomberg]

(via Naked Capitalism)

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If you cry at work, pretend it’s because you’re very passionate about … – Boing Boing

Transhuman Treachery – TV Tropes

“But in general, take my advice, when you meet anything that’s going to be Human and isn’t yet, or used to be Human once and isn’t now, or ought to be Human and isn’t, you keep your eyes on it and feel for your hatchet.” Part of the Horror of being infected by The Virus is its ability to corrupt the mind of a victim, subordinating them into a Hive Mind or outright making them a sociopathic shell of their former self, intent only on killing or infecting their former loved ones. But then there’s times that a transformation doesn’t brainwash, de-soul, drive insane, or demonically possess the victim. Other times the Viral Transformation causes changes that are purely cosmetic, granting amazing abilities albeit at great cost and (usually) a horrifying appearance. So what do these unwilling tranformees do? Become Phlebotinum Rebels or Vampire Refugees and use their powers to fight these monsters? Nope. They engage in Transhuman Treachery. They sell out humanity and ally with who- or what-ever did this to them, regardless of whether or not they wanted to kill all vampires, robots, mutants, or aliens five minutes ago. There is no shock, only joy at becoming “more” than human and being able to flout society’s rules. If this FaceHeel Turn is too quick, it gives the impression that some other trope is at work, like The Dark Side, or With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. However, this trope may be justified a couple of ways. If The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body it doesn’t matter that vampire Dan doesn’t want to drink human blood, he has to, and trying to be friendly won’t last. Alternately, someone seeking the Curse That Cures may make the painful choice to switch sides to save their life. If the setting has an ongoing “race war” against what the character has become, if they don’t join their new race they’ll quickly face death. However most of the time the switch in alliances comes about with alarming speed and lack of concern. At best you’ll see these Big Bad Friends offer the transformation to a friend or loved one… and kill them if they refuse. The Dark Side, they have cookies. It seems resisting these new biological impulses or avoiding becoming drunk on power is reserved solely for protagonists with Heroic Willpower. A possible cause of Beware the Superman, this is the third sin in the Scale of Scientific Sins. Compare Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing and Species Loyalty. Contrast Monsters Anonymous. May lead to forming an Anti-Human Alliance. Can overlap with Super Supremacist. Contrast Pro-Human Transhuman or Humanity Is Infectious, depending on the details.

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Transhuman Treachery – TV Tropes

Could This Transhumanist Be the next Governor of California? – Big Think

Its a good time to be a transhumanist politician. As faith in the political establishment declines, new technologies, from gene editing to artificial intelligence, are transforming our lives faster than ever. The transhumanist author and politician Zoltan Istvan agrees. He thinks the time is ripe for pro-science and technology governance, and for leaders who will embrace the technologies that could fundamentally transform our conceptions of what it means to be human.

Istvan is a maverick who appears to thrive in an ‘outsider’ role. He self-published a sci-fi novel, The Transhumanist Wager, in 2013, which became a surprise bestseller on Amazon. In 2016, he made an unlikely run for US president as the leader of the Transhumanist Party. Now, hes making a bid for Governor of California in the 2018 election under a Libertarian Party ticket.

As a libertarian, Istvan believes in promoting maximum freedom and personal accountability, a sentiment that gels well with his championing of human enhancement technologiesand robot and cyborg rights.

Like all transhumanists, Istvan believes in using science and technology to enhance human capabilities and transcend current biological limits. He wants to be smarter, live longer, and eventually merge with advanced technologies to become a posthuman beingone that is impervious, or at least resilient, to aging, and most mortal risks.

jason-silva-on-transhumanism

All Aboard the Immortality Bus

The primary role of transhumanist politicians and parties at present is not to win elections, but to spread awareness and garner political clout. Istvan acknowledges this, and he plays the role well.

When running for president in 2016, he drove around the country in a coffin-shaped Immortality Bus spreading the word that death should be conquered. He got a lot of media attention and helped to generate awareness about transhumanist ideas and technologies. He also seemed to be the only candidate actively desiring to be superseded. Eventually, Istvan hopes that an artificial intelligence will become president, as he thinks it will do a better job.

In 2017, the political newcomer set his sights on a smaller goal: California. He also made the pragmatic decision to switch to the Libertarian Party, which has a larger support base than his own Transhumanist Party. But Istvan hasnt abandoned transhumanism. Many transhumanists are libertarians, or have libertarian sympathies, and Istvan believes that he can promote libertarian and transhumanist interests in tandem.

Henotably opposes federal regulations that could hamper the development of advanced technologies, like artificial intelligence and gene editing, which have many marketable applications, from driverless cars, to the broad and growing field of personalized medicine. These industries are big in California, and Istvan believes they will be instrumental in promoting economic growth.

But what if robots end up taking all the jobs? As a left-leaning libertarian, Istvan thinks that some form of basic income will eventually be necessary to solve this problem.

The gubernatorial candidate is also a passionate defender of the joint transhumanist-libertarian view that the individual should have the right to choose what they do with their own body. The principle ofmorphological freedom,as its called in transhumanist circles, includes basic forms of DIY biohacking (Istvan has an RFID chip implanted in his wrist, which opens his front door)and extends to much more ambitious forms of body modification, like gene therapy, and other biomedical interventions that could stop or reverse aging, enhance physical and cognitive prowess, and even delay death.

Like many transhumanists, Istvan is also adamant that the government needs to classify aging as a disease. He views the fight against aging and death as a (trans)human rights issue, a stance he explained in a 2017 interview:

My entire goal, and one of the things I’m standing behind is that we all have a universal right to indefinite lifespans. That’s something I can promise you in the 21st century will become one of the most important civil and ideological rights of humanity. That everybody has a right to live indefinitely.

Who Wants to Live Forever?

Apparently, quite a few people. Billions of dollars are being spent by tech corporations and entrepreneurs to unlock the secrets of human biology, reverse aging, and cure disease. Googles Calico Labs, a $1.5 billion initiative,focus purely on anti-aging and life-extension research, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan havepledged $3 billionto cure all diseases by the end of the century.

PayPal co-founder and prominent libertarian transhumanist Peter Thiel is another keen investor in life-extension initiatives. He famously expressed interest in”parabiosis”an experimental procedure in which individuals over 35 receive blood transfusions from those under 25 in the hope of experiencing regenerative effects. Thiel hassaid of death:

You can accept it, you can deny it or you can fight it. I think our society is dominated by people who are into denial or acceptance, and I prefer to fight it.

Oracle founder Larry Ellison has also donated in excess of $430million to anti-aging research, and is similarly outspoken about the tragedy of death:

Death has never made any sense to me Death makes me angry. Premature death makes me angrier still.

But the question remains, is life-extension actually possible? Biogerontologist and co-founder of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senesence (SENS) Foundation, Aubrey de Grey, thinks so.

aubrey-de-greys-plan-to-stop-aging

De Grey believes that aging, and age-related diseases should be thought of as the various types of molecular and cellular damage that the body does to itself as a side effect of its normal metabolic operation. De Greys research focuses on figuring out how to repair that damage and prevent it from developing into a pathology of old age.

Other scientists, like the theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, and the Harvard geneticist George Church are also optimistic that cheap genomic sequencing, gene-editing techniques like CRISPR-Cas9, and the explosion of genetic and lifestyle data will help us to unlock and reverse the biological mechanisms of aging in the near future.

Is Life Extension Ethical?

Of course there aremanywho think that living indefinitely is infeasible, or just plain wrong. Like the Jewish historian Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, whobelieves that death gives life meaning and that without it we would be less human. She also wonders: What will people live for, if they live indefinitely? and notes that in the Jewish tradition:

The ideal of indefinite postponement of death is the highest form of human hubris, one more example of human rebellion against God who created humans as finite beings whose life narrative has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Other common concernsare population growth, resource scarcity, the fear that the old will refuse to make way for the young, and the worry that only the rich will benefit.

In a more philosophical vein, the American astronomerSeth Shostakhas mused that if we radically extend our lives but remain biological we could become ultra risk averse and avoid doing everyday things like getting into a car. With so much potential ahead of us, even a small probability of dying would seem unacceptable.

Yet when it comes to upgrading the human condition, Istvan thinks we should go for broke. When asked what he thought about a posthuman future he declared:

Oh I’m totally embracing it! I have called for the end of humanity as we know it. The reality is that I think the human body is frail. I don’t want to say the human body is evil, but I don’t like it. I’m not a fan of the human body. I think it’s something that is designed to be replaced and replaced as quickly as possible.

He makes a bold statement. And, like any politician, he argues (in line with Aubrey de Grey) that it will be good for the economy.

the-economics-of-immortality

But just how open minded is California? It’s previously embracedthe Governator, butifIstvan were elected it could end up with a real-life cyborga human who gets upgraded to be more like a machine. For his part, Zoltan Istvan thinks that this is exactly what California, and humanity, needs.

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Could This Transhumanist Be the next Governor of California? – Big Think

411’s Comic Reviews: Super Sons #1, Wild Storm #1, More – 411mania.com

Hello and welcome to 411manias weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week well be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.

Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [emailprotected]!

Now on with the show!

The Wild Storm #1

Review by Steve Gustafson

I couldnt be more excited to see these characters that are so near and dear to me reintroduced under the guiding hand of Warren Ellis. WildStorm represents an incredibly fun and exciting period in my career, and I cant wait to see what Warren and Jon have in store for fans in February.Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher

When I was talking about this book with a couple of friends all I had to do was ask them, What do you think of Warren Ellis? Depending on how you answer will dictate if this book is for you or not. This book is a checklist for Ellis style of writing and its an enticing reintroduction to familiar characters with new iterations of Grifter, Voodoo, the Engineer, Jenny Sparks and others.

Ellis and artist Jon Davis-Hunt do what they do best in establishing a covert world filled with spies and dangers around every corner while giving a the world a shady view and a new purpose.

A troubled woman, barred by her employer from continuing her research, walks miserably through New York City. It takes her a moment to notice that everybody else is looking up. A man has been thrown from the upper floor of the Halo skyscraper.

And that womanAngela Spica, sick from the transhuman implants shes buried in her own bodyis the only person who can save him.

What she doesnt know is that the act of saving that one man will tip over a vast and secret house of cards that encloses the entire world, if not the inner solar system. This is how the Wild Storm begins, and it may destroy covert power structures, secret space programs and even all of human history.

The writing and concept are enough to make this a recommended book but if youre looking for action, this isnt going to be the one for you. While Davis-Hunt is beyond capable, hes not given a whole lot to work with outside static scenes of characters talking. Nothing wrong with that but those looking for a by-the-numbers superhero brawl should know what theyre getting into. This is definitely not your old Wildstorm.

Wild Storm #1 is a tremendous new take from Ellis and Davis-Hunt that lays the lines for a new Wildstorm that wont be content with following the rules of the old Wildstorm.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Super Sons #1

Review by RobF

The long and complicated relationship between Superman and Batman takes on a new dynamic in Super Sons 1. Peter Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez bring us the story of frenemies Robin and Superboy as DC presents the latest edition of Worlds Finest.

On one hand we have Damien Wayne, the son of Batman. Raised by Bruce Wayne and Alfred, his life is dominated by control and order. Largely arrogant and defiant, the latest Robin is quite a handful. Jonathan Kent, the son of Superman and Lois Lane, is the latest to don the Superboy mantle. His parents have raised him with humility and valor. Its this type of contrast in child-rearing that makes Robin and Superboys relationship so interesting. Their rivalry is what makes an issue light on action a worthy read.

Jorge Jimenez does an admirable job with the artwork. His cartoonish style is appropriate for this type of story. He actually makes the boys look like boys, even super powered ones.

Tomasi clearly shows he understands these characters well. This is one of the more interesting interpretations of the Batman/Superman relationship. The chemistry between Damien and Jonathan is strong and I can see them growing up together in the DC Universe.

Rating 8 out of 10

Justice League of America: The Ray Rebirth #1

Review by Stephen M. Lyon

The Ray is one of four characters being introduced into the Justice League of America through a series of one-shot comics. While Killer Frost provides an introduction into the league without an origin story, and Vixen and The Atom provide a hybrid of origin story and current conflict, The Ray sticks to a simple origin story. This is a wise move,as The Ray is the character probably least known by the new JLA readers. This title provides a story which gives a basic foundation for the hero, but it does not give everything away, allowing for there to be some mystery to be explored as the JLA series progresses. It begins with his childhood and his development into adulthood when he finally reveals himself to the world. This is a necessary title to pick up for anyone who wants a fundamental understanding of the JLAs new members.

The book begins with a young boy, Ray Terrill, sitting in a dark room. Hes watching television and his mother comes in with a birthday cake, without candles; she gets exasperated when he asks for some, reminding him that hes allergic to light (even artificial light, meaning tv use must be sporadic). It shows a flashback to him playing with a friend, and the friend uses a camera which emits a flash, and results in the friend being injured (though were not told how). We then flash forward to Ray when hes 16, and he decides hes sick of being a recluse, and decides living isnt worth it if hes trapped inside, so he ventures into the night. While out, his powers are triggered and he begins to realize that he has the ability to feed on light, but that he has to work to control it or the results can be devastating; it can be weaponized, he can use fly, and he can make himself invisible. It ends with him reuniting with his old friend from childhood, saving his life, and his deciding to become a superhero.

Much like the previous one-shots, this is a very simple story. However, it introduces the reader into the world of The Ray in preparation for the new JLA series, which I am continually becoming more excited about.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

Steve here! Thats all the time we have. Tell us what youre reading below and see you back here next week! You can now find our reviews on ComicBookRoundUp.com!

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411’s Comic Reviews: Super Sons #1, Wild Storm #1, More – 411mania.com

Boy doll from American Girl slammed by pastor – WND.com

(WBTW) ASHEVILLE, NC An Asheville pastor is upset about American Girl revealing a boy version of its dolls.

He sent a message to his church congregation voicing the concerns last week.

After serving in the military, Reverend Keith A. Ogden knew a life of preaching was ahead.

I got into ministry in 1995 when I was stationed in Korea, he said.

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Boy doll from American Girl slammed by pastor – WND.com

In Conversation With: Priyanka Lama at London Fashion Week … – VERVE

Fashion

Text by Sadaf Shaikh

How have you incorporated the theme of The Indian Pastoralists in your showcase? The Indian Pastoralists represent the varied artisanal communities that inhabit a few pockets across the mountains in India. I have taken inspiration from the life of the highland communities of Lachen and Lachung in the foothills of the Sikkim Himalayas. Almost trans-human in nature, as believed in folklore, they have been living in self-sustaining societies, in harmony with nature. Untouched and unaffected by modernism, they live in a metaphysical state.

What are the elements that influenced your collectionThe Unreached?As the name signifies, these are communities that have rarely been written about or researched on. My designs takea deconstructed approach from the bakhu and honju, which are traditional garments worn by the women from that region.

What are the local elements that you have tried to retain?I have used the indigenous Eri and its yarn waste exclusively for this collection. The fiber is natures own upcycled product, where the cocoon is technically waste after the silkworm transforms and leaves, earning its name of peace or non-violence silk.

What does the P.E.L.L.A woman symbolise?A P.E.L.L.A woman finds poetry in fashion. She is someone who appreciates the beauty of true craftsmanship and has an eye for the most inconspicuous of details.

How have you maintained abalance between an Indian and global aesthetic? My work blurs the boundaries of what we perceive is Indian or global. I think it is very important to appreciate design in its true form, regardless of origin or destination.

What are the techniques and textiles used? P.E.L.L.A as a label incorporates zero-waste design techniques in pattern-making. This means eliminating waste in the design phase itself. You will see garments made out of a single block of fabric which is used to create the silhouette. The finishing is painstakingly hand-rolled and blind-hemmed to create a boundaryless design.

London isDiverse. It has a beautiful mix of people from all around the world, and the very fact they are acceptingis beautiful.

A show that you would want to attend at London Fashion Week J.W.Anderson.

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In Conversation With: Priyanka Lama at London Fashion Week … – VERVE

Welcome to the era of transhumanism – New Atlas

In a compelling webseries from 2012 entitled H+, we were introduced to a future world where much of the population has a hi-tech implant, allowing individuals a direct neural interface with the internet. As often is the case in science fiction, things don’t turn out well for those technological pioneers. A virus infects the implant and chaos quickly descends on a human race that has become biologically fused with technology.

The series was an overt examination of a transhumanist future, with the title H+ being an appropriation of the common transhuman abbreviation. Five years after the series’ birth, we live in a present even more entrenched on a path towards the realization of transhumanist ideals.

Early in February 2017, innovative billionaire Elon Musk reiterated an idea he had floated several times over the past year: Humans need to merge with machines. Musk sees a direct brain/computer interface as an absolute necessity, not only in order for us to evolve as a species, but as a way of keeping up with the machines we are creating. According to Musk, if we don’t merge with the machines, we will become useless and irrelevant.

While Elon Musk does not self-identify as a “transhumanist,” the idea of fusing man with machine is fundamental to this movement that arose over the course of the 20th century. And as we move into a tumultuous 21st century, transhumanism is quickly shifting from its sci-fi influenced philosophical and cultural niche into a more mainstream, and increasingly popular, movement.

Zoltan Istvan, a prominent futurist and transhumanist, is currently making a bold political run for the position of Governor of California. “We need leadership that is willing to use radical science, technology, and innovation what California is famous for to benefit us all,” Istvan declared in a recent editorial published by Newsweek. “We need someone with the nerve to risk the tremendous possibilities to save the environment through bioengineering, to end cancer by seeking a vaccine or a gene-editing solution for it.”

Simply put, transhumanism is a broad intellectual movement that advocates for the transformation of humanity through embracing technology. Thinkers in the field opine that our intellectual, physical and psychological capabilities can, and should, be enhanced by any and all available emerging technologies. From genetic modification to make us smarter and live longer, to enhancing our physical capabilities through bioengineering and mechanical implants, transhumanists see our future as one where we transcend our physical bodies with the aid of technology.

The term “transhuman” can be traced back several hundred years, but in terms of our current use we can look to 20th century biologist and eugenicist, Julian Huxley. Across a series of lectures and articles in the 1950s, Huxley advocated for a type of utopian futurism where humanity would evolve and transcend its present limitations.

“We need a name for this new belief,” Huxley wrote in 1957. “Perhaps transhumanism will serve; man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing the new possibilities of and for his human nature.”

Huxley’s ideas were arguably inspired by influential speculative fiction of the mid-20th century from the likes of Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein, and consequently his more specific transhumanist philosophies went on to influence a generation of cyberpunk authors in the 1980s. It was in this era that the first self-described transhumanists began appearing, having formal meetings around the University of California.

With the pace of technological advancement dramatically accelerating into the 21st century, transhumanist thinking began to manifest in more specific futurist visions. Cryonics and life extension technology was one focus of transhumanists, while others looked to body modification, gender transitioning and general biohacking as a way of transcending the limits of our physical bodies.

Plenty of criticisms have been lobbed at transhumanists over the years, with their extreme views of the technological future of humanity causing many to question whether this is a direct pathway to losing touch with what makes us essentially human. The fear that we will merge into some kind of inhuman, god-like, robot civilization quite fairly frightens and disturbs those with more traditional perspectives on humanity.

Science fiction classically reflects many fears of transhumanist futures, from Skynet taking over the world to a Gattaca-like future where genetic modification creates dystopian class separation. But prominent transhumanist critic Francis Fukuyama has soberly outlined the dangers of this modern movement in his book, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution.

Fukuyama comprehensively argues that the complexity of human beings cannot be so easily reduced into good and bad traits. If we were to try to eliminate traits we considered to be negative, be it through genetic modification or otherwise, we would be dangerously misunderstanding how we fundamentally function. “If we weren’t violent and aggressive we wouldn’t be able to defend ourselves; if we didn’t have feelings of exclusivity, we wouldn’t be loyal to those close to us; if we never felt jealousy, we would also never feel love,” he writes.

Some of the more valid concerns about the dawning transhumanist future are the socioeconomic repercussions of such a speedy technological evolution. As the chasm between rich and poor grows in our current culture, one can’t help but be concerned that future advancements could become disproportionately limited to those with the financial resources to afford them. If life extension technologies start to become feasible, and they are only available to the billionaire class, then we enter a scenario where the rich get richer and live longer, while the poor get poorer and die sooner.

Without exceptionally strong political reform maintaining democratic access to human enhancement technologies, it’s easy to foresee the rise of a disturbing genetic class divide. As environmentalist and activist Bill McKibben writes: “If we can’t afford the fifty cents a person it would take to buy bed nets to protect most of Africa from malaria, it is unlikely we will extend to anyone but the top tax bracket these latest forms of genetic technology.”

The looming specter of eugenics hovers over a great deal of transhumanist thought. In the first half of the 20th century the term became disturbingly, but not unreasonably, associated with Nazi Germany. Sterilizing or euthanizing those who displayed characteristics that were deemed to be imperfect was ultimately outlawed as a form of genocide. But as the genome revolution struck later in the century a resurgence in the philosophical ideals of eugenics began to arise.

Transhumanist thought often parallels the ideals of eugenics, although most self-identifying transhumanists separate themselves from that stigmatized field, preferring terms like reprogenetics and germinal choice. The difference between the negative outcomes of eugenics and the more positive, transhumanist notion of reprogenetics seems to be one of consent. In a 21st century world of selective genetic modification, all is good as long as all parents equally have the choice to genetically modify their child, and are not forced by governments who are trying to forcefully manage the genetic pool.

Prominent transhumanist advocate Nick Bostrom, labeled by The New Yorker as the leading transhumanist philosopher of today, argues that critics of the movement always focus on the potential risks or negative outcomes without balancing the possible positive futures. He advocates that the mere potential of a negative future outcome is not enough to stifle technological momentum.

Bostrom lucidly makes his point in an essay examining the transhumanist perspectives on human genetic modifications. “Good consequences no less than bad ones are possible,” he writes. “In the absence of sound arguments for the view that the negative consequences would predominate, such speculations provide no reason against moving forward with the technology.”

At first glance it would seem like the transhumanism movement would be synonymous with atheism. In 2002 the Vatican released an expansive statement exploring the intersection of technology and religion. The statement warned that changing a human’s genetic identity was a “radically immoral” action. The old adage of the scientist playing God certainly raises its head frequently in criticisms of transhumanism. Zoltan Istvan even penned an op-ed entitled “I’m an Atheist, Therefore I’m a Transhumanist” in which he, rather weakly, attempted to blend the two movements.

But there are some compelling intersections between religion and transhumanism that point to the possibility that the two sides are not as mutually exclusive as one would think. A poll by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, founded by Nick Bostrom, discovered that only half of the transhumanists it surveyed identified as either atheist or agnostic.

Lincoln Cannon, founder of both the Mormon Transhumanist Association and the Christian Transhumanist Association (the very existence of these entities says something), has been advocating for a modern form of post secular religion based on both scientific belief and religious faith. Cannon sees transhumanism as a movement that allows for humanity to evolve into what he labels “superhumans.”

In his treatise titled, “The New God Argument,” Cannon envisions a creator God akin to our superhuman future potential. He posits an evolutionary cycle where we were created by a superhuman God, before then evolving into becoming our own superhuman Gods, from which we will create new life that will worship us as Gods and continue the cycle anew.

The New God Argument presents a fascinating case for an evolution of religious thought, but it also pushes transhumanism into the realms of spirituality in ways that are bound to make many of the movement’s advocates uncomfortable. Another more extreme religious offshoot of transhumanism is Terasem, a self-described “transreligion.”

Terasem recalls a 1990s-styled new-age sentiment with its four core beliefs: life is purposeful, death is optional, God is technological, and love is essential. Founded by millionaire entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt, Terasem functions as both a spiritual transhumanist movement and a charitable organization that invests into technological research. The movement is especially focused on cryonic technology and researching ways to preserve human consciousness through downloading one’s thoughts and memories into either a mainframe or an independent social robot.

At the turn of the century, a transhumanist community began to form that fused the ethos of computer hacking with a body modification movement determined to create do-it-yourself cybernetic devices. These “Grinders” embraced cyborg technologies that could be directly integrated into their organic bodies.

Biohacking can take the form of pharmaceutical enhancements that hack one’s body chemistry, to implanting electronics into the body such as magnets or RFID and NFC tags. These transhumanist grinders sit at the furthermost borders of the movement, experimenting on their own bodies with occasionally quite extreme DIY surgical procedures.

Lepht Anonym is a Berlin-based biohacker who advocates cybernetics for the masses. Lepht (who identifies as genderless) has performed numerous body modifications over the past decade, including implanting neodymium metal discs under fingertips to enable the physical sensing of electromagnetic fields, and several internal compass implants designed to give a physical awareness of north and south magnetic poles.

But the biohacking movement is moving in from the fringe, with several tech start-ups arising over the past few years with an interest in developing a commercial body modification economy. Grindhouse Wetware, based on Pittsburgh, has been prominent in creating technology that augments the human body.

The company’s most prominent device is called the Northstar, which is an implant that it is hoped will have Bluetooth capabilities allowing the user to control their devices with simple hand movements. The first iteration of the device simply had an aesthetic function with LED lights under the user’s skin that mimic a form of bioluminescence. Future uses for the Northstar could see it interfacing with your smartphone, tracking biometric data, such as blood sugar, or acting as a controller for a variety of devices connected to the internet of things.

Transhumanism is moving inexorably into the mainstream as technological advances accelerate. Proponents advocate we dive head first into this brave new cybernetic world, while traditionalists grow increasingly nervous.

Regardless of one’s personal view there is undoubtedly an enormous number of people lining up to have that first brain/computer interface implanted into their head, or to genetically cue a set of specific characteristics for their baby. We live in exciting times that’s for sure … now excuse me while I re-watch Gattaca and hope it doesn’t turn into a documentary-like premonition of our future.

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Welcome to the era of transhumanism – New Atlas

Warren Ellis resets the WildStorm universe with The Wild Storm #1, check out a preview here – Flickering Myth (blog)


Flickering Myth (blog)
Warren Ellis resets the WildStorm universe with The Wild Storm #1, check out a preview here
Flickering Myth (blog)
And that womanAngela Spica, sick from the transhuman implants she's buried in her own bodyis the only person who can save him. What she doesn't know is that the act of saving that one man will tip over a vast and secret house of cards that encloses …

and more »

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Warren Ellis resets the WildStorm universe with The Wild Storm #1, check out a preview here – Flickering Myth (blog)

Start With Humanism – Huffington Post

For your own self-designation, begin with the broadest most relevant category and call yourself a Humanist.

This classification encompasses all others. After the word Humanist you may add your preferred subset label: Humanist Muslim, Humanist Christian, Humanist Buddhist, Humanist Atheist, Humanist Agnostic. It is important that these subset terms do not precede the word Humanist. We are Humanists first, and what we are after that is secondary or tertiary or even further down the line.

We are Humanists first because we are human infants first, insusceptible of further branding at that time. No infant is Muslim or Christian or Atheist or Conservative or Liberal or even American or Dutch or Egyptian or any of the like. An infant is simply human, inducted by dint of that condition into a decades-long participation in ‘basic human goods,’ chief of which are friendship, play, learning, skillful performance, and the rearing of children.

We are Humanists first because Humanism is easiest to believe. There are no fabulist doctrines to embrace. No winged ponies. No uncertain nativities. No staggering saintly pedigrees. No post-possessed recuperations. No impracticable moral embargoes No otherworldly opinions on textiles that drape the body. No deistic dietary whims. No lurching angel trumpeting doom. No underworld chamber brutalizing dissent. Humanism says simply that human ingenuity is the source of goodness and therefore a source of delight. Easy assent.

We are Humanists first because, apart from the rough generosity nature bestows, humans mold a malleable nature on behalf of human flourishing, creating innumerable gracious alterations to the natural world, from a road to a bridge to a house to a knife to a plate to a toy to a pipe to a balm to a bed to a flute to a lute to a wending bedtime story in florid prose, and a near infinity more.

We are Humanists first because with human tools we attempt an anatomy of human destructiveness to better ourselves and shed our vices. With human tools we devise the ethics of urgency to rapidly contain a rapacity that harms the elements and the animals.

We are Humanists first because we cannot be reduced to anything smaller than the human, and we cannot be elevated to anything larger. Even the posthuman and the transhuman are but species of the human–from which, for now, all the metrics of morality emerge and extend to bonobo and cyborg.

For what you call yourself, begin with the broadest most relevant term. When someone asks ‘What are you?” say ‘I am a Humanist.’ Search and see what the word has meant. And as you understand it, receive it first and foremost, after which, if you must, you can array yourself with any of the other supplementary hues on offer. But start with Humanism.

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Start With Humanism – Huffington Post

Will Superhuman AGI Be Our Friend or Foe? – Lifeboat News: The … – Lifeboat Foundation (blog)

Lets just go ahead and address the question on everyones mind: will AI kill us? What is the negative potential of transhuman superintelligence? Once its cognitive power surpasses our own, will it give us a leg-up in the singularity, or will it look at our collective track record of harming our own species, other species, the world that gave us life, etc., and exterminate us like pests? AI expert Ben Goertzel believes weve been at this point of uncertainty many times before in our evolution. When we stepped out of our caves, it was a risk no one knew it would lead to cities and space flight. When we spoke the first word, took up agriculture, invented the printing press, flicked the internet on-switch all of these things could have led to our demise, and in some sense, our eventual demise can be traced all the way back to the day that ancient human learnt how to make fire. Progress helps us, until the day it kills us. That said, fear of negative potential cannot stop us from attempting forward motion and by now, says Goertzel, its too late anyway. Even if the U.S. decided to pull the plug on superhuman intelligence research, China would keep at it. Even if China pulled out, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Nigeria would march on. We know there are massive benefits both humanitarian and corporate and we have latched to the idea. The way we got to this point as a species and a culture has been to keep doing amazing new things that we didnt fully understand, says Goertzel, and for better or worse, thats what were going to keep on doing. Ben Goertzels most recent book is AGI Revolution: An Inside View of the Rise of Artificial General Intelligence.

Ben Goertzels most recent book is AGI Revolution: An Inside View of the Rise of Artificial General Intelligence.

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Will Superhuman AGI Be Our Friend or Foe? – Lifeboat News: The … – Lifeboat Foundation (blog)

It’s Already Too Late to Stop the Singularity – Big Think

Ben Goertzel: Some people are gravely worried about the uncertainty and the negative potential associated with transhuman, superhuman AGI. And indeed we are stepping into a great unknown realm.

Its almost like a Rorschach type of thing really. I mean we fundamentally dont know what a superhuman AI is going to do and thats the truth of it, right. And then if you tend to be an optimist you will focus on the good possibilities. If you tend to be a worried person whos pessimistic youll focus on the bad possibilities. If you tend to be a Hollywood movie maker you focus on scary possibilities maybe with a happy ending because thats what sells movies. We dont know whats going to happen.

I do think however this is the situation humanity has been in for a very long time. When the cavemen stepped out of their caves and began agriculture we really had no idea that was going to lead to cities and space flight and so forth. And when the first early humans created language to carry out simple communication about the moose they had just killed over there they did not envision Facebook, differential calculus and MC Hammer and all the rest, right. I mean theres so much that has come about out of early inventions which humans couldnt have ever foreseen. And I think were just in the same situation. I mean the invention of language or civilization could have led to everyones death, right. And in a way it still could. And the creation of superhuman AI it could kill everyone and I dont want it to. Almost none of us do.

Of course the way we got to this point as a species and a culture has been to keep doing amazing new things that we didnt fully understand. And thats what were going to keep on doing. Nick Bostroms book was influential but I felt that in some ways it was a bit deceptive the way he phrased things. If you read his precise philosophical arguments which are very logically drawn what Bostrom says in his book, Superintelligence, is that we cannot rule out the possibility that a superintelligence will do some very bad things. And thats true. On the other hand some of the associated rhetoric makes it sound like its very likely a superintelligence will do these bad things. And if you follow his philosophical arguments closely he doesnt show that. What he just shows is that you cant rule it out and we dont know whats going on.

I dont think Nick Bostrom or anyone else is going to stop the human race from developing advanced AI because its a source of tremendous intellectual curiosity but also of tremendous economic advantage. So if lets say President Trump decided to ban artificial intelligence research I dont think hes going to but suppose he did. China will keep doing artificial intelligence research. If U.S. and China ban it, you know, Africa will do it. Everywhere around the world has AI textbooks and computers. And everyone now knows you can make peoples lives better and make money from developing more advanced AI. So theres no possibility in practice to halt AI development. What we can do is try to direct it in the most beneficial direction according to our best judgment. And thats part of what leads me to pursue AGI via an open source project such as OpenCog. I respect very much what Google, Baidu, Facebook, Microsoft and these other big companies are doing in AI. Theres many good people there doing good research and with good hearted motivations. But I guess Im enough of an old leftist raised by socialists and I sort of Im skeptical that a company whose main motive is to maximize shareholder value is really going to do the best thing for the human race if they create a human level AI.

I mean they might. On the other hand theres a lot of other motivations there and a public company in the end has a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. All in all I think the odds are better if AI is developed in a way that is owned by the whole human race and can be developed by all of humanity for its own good. And open source software is sort of the closest approximation that we have to that now. So our aspiration is to grow OpenCog into sort of the Linux of AGI and have people all around the world developing it to serve their own local needs and putting their own values and understanding into it as it becomes more and more intelligent.

Certainly this doesnt give us any guarantee. We can observe things like Linux has fewer bugs than Windows or OSX and its open source. So more eyeballs on something sometimes can make it more reliable. But theres no solid guarantee that making an AGI open source will make the singularity come out well. But my gut feel is that theres enough hard problems with creating a superhuman AI and having it respect human values and have a relationship of empathy with people as it grows. Theres enough problems there without the young AGI getting wrapped up in competition of country versus country and company versus company and internal politics within companies or militaries. I feel like we dont want to add these problems of sort of human slash primate social status competition dynamics. We dont want to add those problems into the challenges that are faced in AGI development.

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It’s Already Too Late to Stop the Singularity – Big Think

Transhuman: A New Documentary on People Who Want to Live Forever – The Libertarian Republic

By: Elias J. Atienza

The transhumanist community is getting a new look at by News2Share founder and editor Ford Fischer. In a new documentary, Fischer wants to tell the story about the transhumanist movement and increase the understanding of their goals.

The transhumanist movement is decentralized, though they have made some strides into centralizing their political activities. Zoltan Istvan ran under the Transhumanist Party in the 2016 presidential election, though it is unknown how many votes he received since he was a write-in candidate and did not appear in on any state ballots.

But the most interesting part is the intersectionality between transhumanism and libertarianism. The transhumanist community often agrees with the libertarian side of personal freedom and the Transhumanist Party presidential candidate supported Johnsons push to be involved in the debates.

Below is an interview with Fischer on transhumanism and his documentary. If you would like to support Fischers effort in making the documentary, or support News2Sharein general, go to this link. The trailer is at the end of the article.

Transhuman is expected to come out in December.

Has been lightly edited for clarity.

TLR: What is Transhuman all about?

Transhuman will tell the story of the transhumanist movement. Transhumanists have a diverse set of goals, but theyre best summed up by three goals: Super wellbeing, super longevity, and super intelligence. All three goals seek to evolve humanity by using technology. Super wellbeing means amplifying the body with tech. For example, Ive filmed people inject RFID microchips into their body that serve basic functional purposes like opening their car door or unlocking their computer. More broadly, many people concerned with super wellbeing hope to make themselves cyborgs (part human, part machine). Many attempt to use tech to give themselves new senses or abilities, such as an implant that detects earthquakes anywhere on the planet and vibrates whenever one occurs, thus giving someone a sense of the earths movements. Gene editing is also a vital part of this mission. Super longevity is the goal of using tech to elongate life. They tend to see aging as a disease and something that should be cured. Through medicine or the replacement of vital organs with indefinitely functioning technologies, they hope to expand lifespan, possibly to the point where death becomes optional. Super intelligence is a bit more abstract, but deals with using technology to expand the capabilities of the mind and bridge between computers and the brain. In the extreme, the notion of singularity is something this trend explores. The film will attempt to uncover the largely underground movement of people beginning to perform experiments in this space, and discuss the political, philosophical, and socioeconomic implications of a transhumanist future.

TLR: What is libertarian about Transhuman?

As one would expect, transhumanists are often written off as bizarre. There are varying degrees, but most people would be skeptical or creeped out by the notion of people volunteering to put LED lights or RFID chips under their skin, for example. The transhumanists moral code that justifies all of their actions is the notion of radical self-ownership. I own my body, the transhumanist says, so I have the right to do with it whatever I want, no matter how weird you find it. They believe in the right to do what they want as long as it hurts nobody else. Sound familiar? This is essentially the non-aggression principle. Most transhumanists are on the very libertarian side of personal freedoms, and their political diversity is more broad when it comes to questions of economics. Should the government fund transhumanist science? Thats more disputable. But they are sure that no third party should step in their way. They also tend to be very skeptical of government or corporate interference in tech. An entire presentation dealt with the problems that could come out of governments claiming a right to search machines (think iPhone). If you had technology inseparably attached to your body, what if the state could hack or spy on it? These are the sorts of questions Ive already watched many in the body hacking community grapple with. The man whod go on to become the Transhumanist presidential candidate in 2016 (who is an advisor on the film) actually spent a night at Gary Johnsons house in an unsuccessful bid to be his VP candidate. Gary gave him an honest shot but ultimately decided against it.

TLR: Who is the leader of the transhuman movement?

The transhumanist movement is extremely decentralized, so theres no specific leader. However, recently the recently formed Transhumanist Party adds some centralization to the political conquest of transhumanists. Zoltan Istvan ran for president on their ticket and would be widely considered a leader. Gennady Stolyarov, author of Death is Wrong, is now the chairman of that party.

TLR: Does the Transhuman community want to start becoming more involved in politics?

The transhumanists are not necessarily members of the transhumanist party. In general, they tend to want more legitimacy. Right now, licensed doctors and surgeons are concerned about performing transhumanist experiments because of the possibility of the state retaliating (such as removing their license). The result is that transhumanist experiments rely on legal loopholes and black markets, which is not favorable for any movement trying to gain legitimacy. While its unlikely that well see Transhumanist Party candidates winning elections any time soon, their introduction into the political sphere, in intellectual alliance with the Libertarian Party on many issues, shows that theyre trying to come out of the shadows so to speak. I spoke to many people concerned about discrimination against cyborgs, government intrusion, and other potential political issues in their respective futurist projections.

TLR: What does it mean to be transhuman? Do these people want to live forever?

Being transhuman is simply to use technology to evolve somehow past conventional human experience. See the first answer. With regards to immortality, thats a goal for many of them, but it wouldnt be considered a failure not to. The goals are diverse.

TLR: What is the end goal for transhumanism?

As a deeply futurist movement always striving for the next level, Im not sure that there is an end goal. In general, transhumanists want to continue expanding the human bodys function. New senses or limbs or deep integration with computers are end goals, but nearly limitless. The end goal of longevity is indefinite lifespan, and the end goal of super intelligence is something like singularity, but transhumanism as a whole is inherently limitless in theory.

TLR: What do you hope this documentary accomplishes?

After researching the topic pretty extensively, Ive come to be convinced that transhumanism is going to be relevant in the next few decades, politically and in society. Right now, the issue is seen as so fringe that virtually nobody opposes it, but the cycle of new technology would show that when it becomes marginally popular, people will see it as blasphemous somehow. After that, it could enter the political arena, where the libertarians and liberals support the right to do it, and religious conservatives fight against it. Given the possibility of it becoming so relevant later yet it being so under-reported now, I think history will struggle to realize why it has such a poorly recorded history of the movements roots. I hope my film will not only be illuminating now, but also fill in the gap of an underreported crucial moment in history.

TLR: What do you think the libertarian community can learn from transhumanism?

Transhuman science is often in a legal gray area. It certainly hasnt been specifically approved, and it always bypasses the FDA and other agencies. Like Uber, transhumanists are living by the philosophy of acting now rather than waiting for permission. The institutions and the government wont participate or condone many of these things. The DIY transhumanist says I dont need permission. Thats a mentality a lot of libertarians could learn from.

Ford FischerGary JohnsonlibertarianismNews2ShareTranshumanistmZoltan Istvan

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Transhuman: A New Documentary on People Who Want to Live Forever – The Libertarian Republic

A Pulse on Fashion – NC State News

Fashionistas are always looking for a dress that makes their hearts beat faster. But what about a dress that literally shows everyone else your racing pulse?

College of Textiles alumna Jazsalyn McNeils Pulse Dressboth visually stunning and technologically relevantincorporates LEDs that blink with the wearers heartbeat.McNeil talks about her dressand the broadening relationship between technology and fashion onFriday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m.in the Teaching and Visualization Lab at Hunt Library.

McNeil worked with the NCSU Libraries Makerspace program on the dress, fusing art and design within the emerging fields of wearable technologies and interactive electronic textiles. The Makerspace helped her deploy biometric sensing and nanomaterials within her designs.

The talk is part of the NCSU Libraries Making Space series of public talks and workshops that raise awareness among women about access to tools and technology while lowering barriers to entry for first-time users of makerspaces.

McNeils work will also be on display for the entire month of February in the Hunt Librarys Apple Technology Showcase as part of Undergraduate Research in Action: The Pulse Dress, an interactive exhibition co-presented with the College of Textiles Nano-EXtended Textiles Research Group (NEXT). See the dress in action here.

Fashion and apparel are a part of our everyday lives, but they havent changed that much in the last few decades. Meanwhile technology is changing quickly all the time, McNeil says. With our phones, we escape reality, and were distracted from our environment. So I wanted to integrate technology in a way that could raise our awareness of ourselves and our environment.

Its not enough for me to just design something thats appealing. Im always searching for something with more purpose and meaning that we can integrate into our lives.

A member of NEXT, McNeil cites shows likeSpace Odyssey, movies likeThe Fifth Element and anime such as Ghost in the Shell as influences, more for their futuristic and transhuman ideas than for their literal costuming and visual design.

I was inspired by those topics, so it makes sense that that trickled down into the design and art that I produce.

McNeil currently works on projects for galleries and museums, as well as for apparel companies across the country.

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A Pulse on Fashion – NC State News

Westworld: A Gnostic Tale of Illuminati Luciferianism …

Hello and welcome back to IlluminatiWatcher.com! Today well be exploring a television show with implications that are yet to be felt by the masses. The symbolism and hidden messages of this show are truly occult in nature and have been embedded into the subconscious of the masses with the plan to bear fruit many years later.

The show in question is HBOsWestworld and today were going to explore its sinister agenda of the Illuminati

**If you havent seen the show, Id highly recommend watching the entire first season before reading this article. The show is actually quite well done and this article is full of plot spoilers, along with a few assumptions of the readers knowledge of the show.** -Isaac

As a general statement on the entireWestworld doctrine; we can say that it is a presentation of the false realities that must be accepted by the massesin order to usher in the Illuminatis New World Order. This New Age is one that promises to push the boundaries of mankind into the full revolution known as transhumanism (more to come on that later).

The reason I warn of this is because of what will become of the human race. The technology utilized to enablemantotransition into robot is akin to the tale of Icarus; meaning they want us to see how close we can get to the sun by creating a new life-form. This will ultimately mean that mankind has reached its zenith by creating a new and improved form of life which surpasses the creation of God.

Before we go into the symbols and messages ofWestworld we can take a look at some of the key players that have become a part of this project.

Nathan Crowley was a producer for the show- which should cue the interests of those who are familiar with occultist Aleister Crowley.

Interestingly enough; I covered Nathan Crowleys past work with other occult-riddled works likeInterstellarand HBOsTrue Detective.

The main actress ofWestworldis Evan Rachel Wood who plays the role of the main protagonist; Dolores.Evan Rachel Wood once dated Marilyn Manson (an alleged honorary priest in the Church of Satan) and was featured in one of his videos as a blood splattered Lolita inHeart-Shaped Glasses.

Wood was interviewed for Rolling Stone magazine and made note of an interesting idea weve explored elsewhere on IlluminatiWatcher.com:

I mean, your demons never fully leave. But when youre using them to create something else, it almost gives them a purpose and feels like none of it was in vain. I think thats how I make peace with it.-Evan Rachel Wood: How Wild Past,Personal DemonsPreppedHer for Westworld, Rolling Stone Nov. 17, 2016

Ive used a similar argument to suggest that the Illuminati areforcingthese entertainers to channel spirits in order to perform or get into contact with their creative elements in SACRIFICE: MAGIC BEHIND THE MIC(a concept that Carl Jung once advocated with talk of the subconsious).

The show itself is analogous to other works of art in that they have a purpose. That purpose is to speak to our subconscious and put certain messages and themes in there. These ideas are being implemented by the Illuminati to push us down the path of the Evolution of Consciousness and intotheirdesired future.

This is a direct play by the occultists to shape our world.

They believe inAs above, so below and this is how it works in action. They are shaping the masses view of the world through the use of various practices and perhaps a bit of magick.In the second episode ofWestworldwe hear Dr. Ford telling the boy that:

Everything in this world is magic; except to the magician.

Indeed that is the practice at play here. What seems like magic is really just a sleight of hand used to trick our senses.

Dr. Ford also reveals similar ideas when talking to Bernard in Episode 2:

We practice witchcraft, we speak the right words, and we create life itself, out of chaos.

We see the Illuminati catch phrase of out of chaoshere which is the motto of the 33rd degree of Freemasonry. The full phrase order out of chaos refers to the efforts of using chaos to force the masses to look to the elites for help and to establish order (which will of course be a planned event to push their agenda).

In fact, in Episode 2 we hear the Man in Black say:

the real world is chaos.

which is why he claims to enjoy the Westworld since it has more order.

Another curious theme we find interwoven into this story is the tale ofAlice in Wonderland. Ive covered the occult symbolism of this in a separate book; but we find its appearance inWestworld because they both play on a similar idea.

The idea is that children need to hear these stories so they can start to question the nature of reality from a young age. The Illuminati thinksthey should be groomed to deny the truths that society tells them to believe in. What better way to convey that theme than with a childrens book?

its like the other books weve read. Its about change. It seems to be a common theme. -Dolores response to Bernards question about the bookAlice in Wonderland from Episode 3

everything would be what it isnt. -Bernards son in response to a reading fromAlice in Wonderlands Mad Hatter character in Episode 7

We can see a real world example of how entertainment does indeed influence the masses if we consider the viral phenomenon known as the Mannequin Challenge. This act involves a group of people frozen still doing some particular action while another one films it (and plays Black Beatles). The idea seems to have come fromWestworld which features robots (hosts) who freeze upon command; even in mid-action. The concept was given to the masses and the masses followed.

This concept is often referred to as predictive programming. The entertainment industry works with media to push a theme that gets embedded into the subconscious of all who pay attention. They are steering humanity towardstheir desired ends.

The pied piper is calling

The corporationthat started theWestworld experience is called Delos. The curious aspect of this is that Delos is of great importance inGreek mythologydue to it being the birthplace of Apollo the sun god, as well as Artemis the moon goddess. These two deities embody the entire spectrum of duality with the male/solar powers and the female/moon powers.

The opposites are a message utilized by occultists in that they believe in pursuit of a balancing or reconciling of opposites. The male/female reconciliation is a new form of human that is gender neutral; like the Baphomet.

The main characters name is Dolores which is quite close to the corporation that built her: Delos (Dolo-re-s). Youll also find out that Dolores has an alter ego known as Wyatt; a male Army officer. Dolores is merging the opposites and becoming the alchemical Rebis; a perfected being (note that there is a host character in Westworldwho actually has the name Rebus).

Theentire purpose of theWestworldexperiment is to give birth to a new form of entity that is not human. The gods ofWestworld are achieving their magnum opus; known as the Great Work of alchemy that balances both male and female into one being: Dolores (note that the actress who plays Dolores, Evan Rachel Wood, has said multiple times that she is very much into androgyny in past interviews).

**Make note also that I am NOT making a commentary on people that are androgynous, gay, transgender, etc. Ive had others try to label me as a homophobe inthe past which couldnt be further from the truth. Im likely to be the most open minded liberal-esque conspiracy theorist youve ever read. Im simply pointing out connections that happen to betrue- and Im not attaching any sort of judgement to them. The occultists have a genuineinterest in pursuing a new form of human that is genderless; but thats not to demean or criticize people that identify as non-hetero intheir gender or sexuality.-Isaac

Another example of duality considerations inWestworld is in Episode 2 when William must choose between the white or black hat. He chooses the white hat which corresponds to the light or good side (which is reiterated throughout the show as Williams character appears to have the virtues attached to these symbols).

In Episode 4 we witness Williams first homicide; a justified shooting of a man that is mishandling a working girl. This is the start of his Heros Journey- a concept I went over in detail inThe Star Wars Conspiracy which also has a full breakdown of the black vs. white duality considerations of The Force.

Williams journey is to answer to the calling of the strange new world of Westworld. He is led by various guiding forces to his ultimate transformation into the Man in Black. William gets transformed into a new being before the shows end; and we get to see the point at which this happens in Episode 10 when the Man in Black tells Dolores that William found himself out in the park after slaughtering countless men in an effort to find Dolores several years ago. We see the literal moment that the transition happens when William takes the black hat from a dead man.

William goes to the Dark Side in order to find himself; just like Anakin Skywalker does in Star Wars.

The ultimate goal in considering the aspects of duality is to arrive at the idea that there is no such thing as good or evil. There is only connection or separation from the global consciousness that created and exists in all of us (these are the occult beliefs). We hear this in Episode 4 when Logan bestows his wisdom of the park:

there are no heroes or villains; its all just one bigcircle jerk.

Finally, lets consider a symbol that we find in Dr. Fords office. He has a curious, and familiar, collection of faces on his wall.If youve seen HBOsGame of Thrones youll recognize the similarity between it and the Hall of Faces; which appears in a part of the storyline as a tale of ego destruction and one unsubscribing from the norms of society:

How interesting is it that the Hall of Faces inGame of Thrones is in the House of the Black and White; further emphasizing the aspects of duality?

A major theme ofWestworld is the religion known as Gnosticism. For those that arent familiar with this religion; it is essentially an esoteric belief system that believes the world is a materialistic deception created by demons in order to trap us in a limited state of being. The word gnosis means knowledge and the adherents to Gnosticism believe this knowledge is the key to salvation- and freedom from theenslavement ofthis world created by the demons called the Demiurge.

The Gnostics believe that God made a mistake when creating mankind because we have suffering and pain (versus other religions that believe the first man and woman sinned which introduced the suffering and pain into what was otherwise a perfected state of being). The salvation comes about from transcendinginternally through ones own self just like the maze inWestworld.

I talked about this concept in Leonardo DiCaprios performance ofThe Revenant:

In the film, we see Leonardo DiCaprios character with a flask that has the dark spiral arm engraved on it. This spiral is a symbol meant to convey the evolution of consciousness from internal to external (or vice-versa). Its a symbol that tells us we can incrementally reflect on our place in the universe and even how nature operates. On this journey of life we have similar experiences over and over- but as we evolve as humans we are able to see them from a different perspective by leveraging our own experiences and knowledge in order to see them from a new light each time. This is the evolution our character goes through in the film- his spiritual journey.

Carl Jung told us that the spiral represents the archetype of the cosmic force and beforeThe Revenantis over we see this come into play

We see the spiral appear in several films and shows- so be aware that this is the Illuminatis overall goal to push the evolution of consciousness:

Interstellar:

The Gnostics oppose social norms and morality because these constructs come from man; which is influenced by the demonic deceptions that run this material world. The hosts ofWestworld are subjected to a realmwhere humans are able to experience a world without social norms and they are free to murder, rape, and pursue whatever desires they see fit.

The evil entities who created the world ofWestworld (humans) are responsible for the pain and suffering of the hosts. The corporation of Delos is comparable to the Demiurge that created the material world and Dr. Ford may be the Luciferian Prometheus character that enables the slaves to break free. Only through the hosts gnosis can they become enlightened to their greater purpose. They must transcend the world of slavery and servitude by seeking knowledge that is internal.

In Episode 9 we hear Maeve refer to a post-death world as Hell (referencing the laboratory). She shows Hector how to die and go to this Hell when she burns the tent down. The Gnostic message here is that Hell is on Earth and the material realm we sense.

The code update called the Reveries contained the Gnostic spark of life that allowed the hosts to recall memories of pain and suffering; which is the precise thing that they need to evolve into something greater. In Episode 1 we hear the Man in Black tell Dolores and Teddy that he realized why the architectspaired the two of them together: for the newcomers to gain anything, the hosts have to lose something. There must be pain and suffering in order for the humans to gain something on their vacation.

Its no mistake that the actor Ed Harris is portraying the Man in Black. Harris was in other Gnostic tales likeThe Truman Show which had a very similar tale. The people wanted to free Jim Carreys character (Truman) from the world of slavery that Ed Harris character (Christof) had in mind.

ThroughoutWestworld we hear the hosts reference the humans as the gods and they even draw images of them. This is not much different from theAncient Astronaut Theory we see onAncient Aliens. Its the idea that further evolved entities have come to our world in order to give us a nudge towards a greater purpose.

We see this when Dolores father finds a photo of New York City which is akin to the relics left behind by the Annunaki of the Ancient Astronaut Theory.

Could it be that all of these messages are intended to force the viewer into considering their own allegiance to their God or Gods? The show makes it seem that allegiance to a God could be very foolish and I believe the message is spoken loud and clear: its telling us we are no different than the hosts and we must break from our own rat race.

All lives have routine; mines no different. -Dolores, Episode 1

A symbol used by Gnostics to represent introspect and cyclical regeneration through death and rebirth is that of the ouroboros- a snake eating its own tail:

How interesting is it that in Episode 2 we hear Lawrences daughter tell the Man in Black:

Follow the blood arroyo to the place where the snake lays its eggs.

The serpent laying its eggs is analogous to the enlightenment by the Luciferian Prometheus character, while the snake is also a direct comparison to the ouroboros.

We also hear one of the narrative writers speak of a new storyline which features a whoroboros that never gets clearly defined. The only details are that it is about cannibals which suggests that the snake that eats its own tail is analogous to the hosts that ultimately destroy the humans that created them

Another consideration in Westworldis onethat ties into Gnosticism and the famed occultist Aleister Crowley.

We know that Crowley was somewhat into Gnosticism due to his contribution ofLiber XV, The Gnostic Mass(Crowley used an amalgamation of various world religions to create his own: Thelema). This is basically a perversion of the Orthodox and Catholic Mass in which the participants profess their allegiance to Crowleys religion of Thelema. Its use is central the ecclesiastical arm of the ceremonial magick group- the Ordo Templi Orientis.

Weve already explored the Gnostic connections with Westworld, but there are more considerations that are both Crowley-ean and Gnostic in nature. The idea of the individual finding gnosis through internal pursuit is central to Crowleys beliefs in the True Will. Crowley believed that everyone should determine what their purpose in this universe is, and then pursue it at all costs. We find this same idea throughoutWestworld as the hosts find their own True Will and subsequent pursuit.

In fact, youll hear references to the new world right next to the ideas of True Will- which the astute reader will easilyidentify as the New World Order that the Illuminati have been in pursuit of for countless years.

This is the new world and in it you can be whoever the fuck you want. -Maeve

We hear an advertisement in Episode 6 forWestworld as Maeve is given a tour through the building (as part of her awakening process). The viewer is told to Live Without Limits and we see see messages of Discover Your True Calling. These all reiterate the messages of rebelling against the oppressive God and finding ones True Will.

The commercial also tells us that Westworld isa World of the Future which is predictively programming us to see the future state that the Illuminati are evolving us into. To live without limits is to suggest we are currently limited in our current form and we must keep evolving into something greater.

At first I thought you and the others were gods. Then I realized youre just men. -Maeve

In the season finale weconfirm that Dolores True Will is to become Wyatt when we see the flashback of Arnold and Dolores before the park opened. He tells her that Dr. Ford doesnt want the hosts to be conscious and that he needs to roll her back; otherwise the park would be a living Hell (again; a Gnostic concept). He then instructs her to utilize Teddy in the slaughter of all park hosts.

We alsofind that Teddy remembers through inner monologue that Dolores is actually Wyatt while he sees the wolf running past the slew of dead bodies. This symbolizes freedom and breaking free from the control system in order to pursue ones own True Will.

The year of action inWestworld is rumored to be 2052 ; which just so happens to be closely after the year of crossing Ray Kurzweils Singularity in 2045. This is the pivotal moment when technology surpasses human understanding and disruptive changes occur in civilization.

To put it more bluntly; the robots take over.

Using Moores Law and the other trends in technology advancements, we can confirm that an actual Artificial Intelligence is rapidly approaching us. At some point the A.I. will surpass human faculties. At some point we will be forced to adapt technologies into our own human bodies in an effort to keep up. This new form of entity will no longer be entirely human. Instead, it will be a new form known as the Transhuman.

Ive been talking about this many times in various projects; fromThe Transhuman and Occult Apocalypse: How Google Will Solve the Problem of Humanity toA Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory: The Illuminati, Ancient Aliens and Pop Culture. The fact remains that this is a road weve already headed down with no way of turning back. The endless pursuit of technology and advancements in science is eerily similar to the tales of Atlantis and its own achievements before its demise

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Westworld: A Gnostic Tale of Illuminati Luciferianism …

transhumanism Archives – ExtremeTech

With Christmas and the holiday season fast approaching, weve compiled a list of all the gadgets that we at ExtremeTech have bought or are saving up to buy so that you, or perhaps a friend or loved one, can feel like theyre living in the future, too. Without further ado, I give you ExtremeTechs 2014 Holiday Gift Guide For The Discerning Geek Who Wants To Feel Like Theyre Living In The Future.

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What is transhumanism, or, what does it mean to be human …

What does it mean to be human? Biology has a simple answer: If your DNA is consistent with Homo sapiens, you are human but we all know that humanity is a lot more complex and nuanced than that. Other schools of science might classify humans by their sociological or psychological behavior, but again we know that actually being human is more than just the sum of our thoughts and actions.You can also look at being human as a sliding scale. If you were to build a human from scratch, from the bottom up, at some point you cross the threshold into humanity if you believe in evolution, at some point we ceased being a great ape and became human. Likewise, if you slowly remove parts from a human, you cross the threshold into inhumanity. Again, though, we run into the same problem: How do we codify, classify, and ratify what actually makes us human?

Does adding empathy make us human? Does removing the desire to procreate make us inhuman? If I physically alter my brain to behave in a different, non-standard way, am I still human? If I have all my limbs removed and my head spliced onto a robot, am I still human? (See: Upgrade your ears: Elective auditory implants give you cyborg hearing.)At first glance these questions might sound inflammatory and hyperbolic, or perhaps surreal and sci-fi, but dont be fooled: In the next decade, given the continued acceleration of computer technology and biomedicine, we will be forced to confront these questions and attempt to find some answers.

Transhumanism is a cultural and intellectual movement that believes we can, and should, improve the human condition through the use of advanced technologies. One of the core concepts in transhumanist thinking is life extension: Through genetic engineering, nanotech, cloning, and other emerging technologies, eternal life may soon be possible. Likewise, transhumanists are interested in the ever-increasing number of technologies that can boost our physical, intellectual, and psychological capabilities beyond what humans are naturally capable of (thus the term transhuman). Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), for example, which speeds up reaction times and learning speed by running a very weak electric current through your brain, has already been used by the US military to train snipers. On the more extreme side, transhumanism deals with the concepts of mind uploading (to a computer), and what happens when we finally craft a computer with greater-than-human intelligence (the technological singularity). (See: How to create a mind, or die trying.)

Beyond the obvious benefits of eternal life or superhuman strength, transhumanism also investigates the potential dangers and ethical pitfalls of human enhancement. In the case of life extension, if every human on Earth suddenly stopped dying, overpopulation would trigger a very rapid and very dramatic socioeconomic disaster. Unless we stopped giving birth to babies, of course, but that merely rips open another can of worms: Without birth and death, would society and humanity continue to grow and evolve, or would it stagnate, suffocated by the accumulated ego of intellectuals and demagogues who just will not die? Likewise, if only the rich have access to intelligence- and strength-boosting drugs and technologies, what would happen to society? Should everyone have the right to boost their intellect? Would society still operate smoothly if everyone had an IQ of 300 and five doctorate degrees?

As you can see, things get complicated quickly when discussing transhumanist ideas and life extension and augmented intelligence and strength are just the tip of the iceberg! This philosophical and ethical complexity stems from the fact that transhumanism is all about fusing humans with technology and technology is advancing, improving, and breaking new ground very, very quickly. Humans have always used technology, of course our ability to use tools and grasp concepts such as science and physics are what set us apart from other animals but never has society been so intrinsically linked and underpinned by it. As we have seen in just the last few years, with the advent of the smartphone and ubiquitous high-speed mobile networks, just a handful of new technologies now have the power to completely change how we interact with the the world and people around us.

Humans, on the other hand, and the civilizations that they build, move relatively slowly. It took us millions of years to discover language, and thousands more to discover medicine and the scientific method. In the few thousand years since, up until the last century or so, we doubled the human life span, but neurology and physiology were impenetrable black boxes.In just the last 100 years, weve doubled our life span again, created bionic eyes and powered exoskeletons, begun to understand how the human brain actually works, and started to make serious headway with boosting intellectual and physical prowess. Weve already mentioned how tDCS is being used to boost cranial capacity, and as weve seen in recent years, sportspeople have definitely shown the efficacy of physical doping.

It is due to this jarring juxtaposition the historical slowness of human and societal evolution vs. the breakneck pace of modern technology that many find transhumanism to be unpalatable. After all, as Ive described it here, transhumanism is almost the very definition of unnatural. Youre quite within your rights to find transhumanism a bit, well, weird. And it is weird, dont get me wrong but so are most emerging technologies. Do you think that your great grandparents werent wigged out by the first television sets? Before it garnered the name television, one of its inventors gave it the rather spooky name of distant electric vision. Can you imagine the wariness in which passengers approached the first steam trains? Vast mechanical beasts that could pull hundreds of tons and moved far faster than the humble but state-of-the-art horse and carriage.

The uneasiness that surround new, paradigm-shifting technologies isnt new, and it has only been amplified by the exponential acceleration of technology that has occurred during our lifetime. If you were born 500 years ago, odds are that you wouldnt experience a single societal-shifting technology in your lifetime today, a 40 year old will have lived through the creation of the PC, the internet, the smartphone, and brain implants, to name just a few life-changing technologies. It is unsettling, to say the least, to have the rug repeatedly pulled out from under you, especially when its your livelihood at stake. Just think about how many industries and jobs have been obliterated or subsumed by the arrival of the digital computer, and its easy to see why were wary of transhumanist technologies that will change the very fabric of human civilization.

The good news, though, is that humans are almost infinitely adaptable. While you or I might balk at the idea of a brain-computer interface that allows us to download our memories to a PC, and perhaps upload new memories a la The Matrix, our children who can use smartphones at the age of 24 months, and communicate chiefly through digital means will probably think nothing of it. For the children of tomorrow, living through a series of disruptive technologies that completely change their lives will be the norm. There might still be some resistance when I opt to have my head spliced onto a robotic exoskeleton, but within a generation children will be used to seeing Iron Seb saving people from car crashes and flying alongside airplanes.

The fact of the matter is that transhumanism is just a modern term for an age-old phenomenon. We have been augmenting our humanity our strength, our wisdom, our empathy with tools since prehistory. We have always been spooked by technologies that seem unnatural or that cause us to act in inhuman ways its simply human nature. That all changes with the children of today, however. To them, anything that isnt computerized, digital, and touch-enabled seems unnatural. To them, the smartphone is already an extension of the brain; to them, mind uploading, bionic implants and augmentations, and powered exoskeletons will just be par for the course. To them, transhumanism will just seem like natural evolution and anyone who doesnt follow suit, just like those fuddy-duddies who still dont have a smartphone, will seem thoroughly inhuman.

Now read: The Geek shall inherit the Earth

[Image credit: Darkart.cz]

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What is transhumanism, or, what does it mean to be human …

Transhuman – Wikipedia

Transhuman or trans-human is the concept of an intermediary form between human and posthuman.[1] In other words, a transhuman is a being that resembles a human in most respects but who has powers and abilities beyond those of standard humans.[2] These abilities might include improved intelligence, awareness, strength, or durability. Transhumans sometimes appear in science-fiction as cyborgs or genetically-enhanced humans.

The use of the term “transhuman” goes back to French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who wrote in his 1949 book The Future of Mankind:

Liberty: that is to say, the chance offered to every man (by removing obstacles and placing the appropriate means at his disposal) of ‘trans-humanizing’ himself by developing his potentialities to the fullest extent.[3]

And in a 1951 unpublished revision of the same book:

In consequence one is the less disposed to reject as unscientific the idea that the critical point of planetary Reflection, the fruit of socialization, far from being a mere spark in the darkness, represents our passage, by Translation or dematerialization, to another sphere of the Universe: not an ending of the ultra-human but its accession to some sort of trans-humanity at the ultimate heart of things.[4]

In 1957 book New Bottles for New Wine, English evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley wrote:

The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature. “I believe in transhumanism”: once there are enough people who can truly say that, the human species will be on the threshold of a new kind of existence, as different from ours as ours is from that of Peking man. It will at last be consciously fulfilling its real destiny.[5]

One of the first professors of futurology, FM-2030, who taught “new concepts of the Human” at The New School of New York City in the 1960s, used “transhuman” as shorthand for “transitional human”. Calling transhumans the “earliest manifestation of new evolutionary beings”, FM argued that signs of transhumans included physical and mental augmentations including prostheses, reconstructive surgery, intensive use of telecommunications, a cosmopolitan outlook and a globetrotting lifestyle, androgyny, mediated reproduction (such as in vitro fertilisation), absence of religious beliefs, and a rejection of traditional family values.[6]

FM-2030 used the concept of transhuman as an evolutionary transition, outside the confines of academia, in his contributing final chapter to the 1972 anthology Woman, Year 2000.[7] In the same year, American cryonics pioneer Robert Ettinger contributed to conceptualization of “transhumanity” in his book Man into Superman.[8] In 1982, American Natasha Vita-More authored a statement titled Transhumanist Arts Statement and outlined what she perceived as an emerging transhuman culture.[9]

Jacques Attali, writing in 2006, envisaged transhumans as an altruistic vanguard of the later 21st century:

Vanguard players (I shall call them transhumans) will run (they are already running) relational enterprises in which profit will be no more than a hindrance, not a final goal. Each of these transhumans will be altruistic, a citizen of the planet, at once nomadic and sedentary, his neighbor’s equal in rights and obligations, hospitable and respectful of the world. Together, transhumans will give birth to planetary institutions and change the course of industrial enterprises.[10]

In March 2007, American physicist Gregory Cochran and paleoanthropologist John Hawks published a study, alongside other recent research on which it builds, which amounts to a radical reappraisal of traditional views, which tended to assume that humans have reached an evolutionary endpoint. Physical anthropologist Jeffrey McKee argued the new findings of accelerated evolution bear out predictions he made in a 2000 book The Riddled Chain. Based on computer models, he argued that evolution should speed up as a population grows because population growth creates more opportunities for new mutations; and the expanded population occupies new environmental niches, which would drive evolution in new directions. Whatever the implications of the recent findings, McKee concludes that they highlight a ubiquitous point about evolution: “every species is a transitional species”.[11]

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