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Humans will be able to replace their bodies within 50 years claims transhumanist writer – Express.co.uk

Transhumanists believe humans can and should use technology to artificially augment their capabilities.Natasha Vita-More is Executive Director of Humanity+, formerly the World Transhumanist Association, and is one of the co-authors of the 1998 Transhumanist Declaration.

Speaking toExpress.co.ukshe said: We certainly do need to upgrade our biology and Ive been speaking about this for 30-something years.

The fact that our biology is vulnerable. We exist on a daily basis with an incredible vulnerable vehicle, our bodies, that anything could go wrong at any time.

As far as genetic engineering goes weve seen great work done with certain diseases like Tay-Sachs and sickle-cell anemia, certain cancers, certain diseases that handicap us.

Other gene therapies are in the works and there still needs to be far more work in this area and I think most of us will be undergoing gene therapy as soon as it comes online as needed.

Say 50 years from now I think well be looking at alternative bodies and we can see that really growing in the field of prosthetics.

Transhumanists think human lifespans can be radically extended, with many believing ageing can be reversed and death from disease abolished.

Ms Vita-More argued future humans will look to backup the content of their brains as an insurance policy against death or injury.

She asserted: It is essential our memories be stored some place.

Currently our memories are stored in our brain but thats vulnerable. We have hackers all the time in our brains and those are called viruses and disease.

Disease is constantly hacking our neurons so in order to protect that we need to have copies of it, we need to back it up and you see certain industry leaders like Google looking at how to back up the brain.

I see uploading as a necessary technology for not only backing up the brain but as a means for us to go into different environments.

Were currently in this physical/material world, this biosphere, there are other worlds yet to be explored just as were looking at space exploration.

READ MORE:Oxford academic claims future humans could live for thousands of years

Another area is virtual reality, augmented reality, all these other systems even in games to go into games and participate as yourself taking on an avatar or maybe something else.

Asked about those who might object, on religious or moral grounds, to radical life extension Ms Vita-More expressed confidence their arguments would be overcome.

She commented: I think its largely religious but I think it is also innate.

I think the narrative is engrained in culturalization, it seems to be endemic across cultures.

Given that plus the largest percentage of people on our planet are religious that puts a damper on it too. However it doesnt prevent it.

It could be interesting if we see religious doctrines changing a little bit to include life extension and changing as weve seen with divorce.

If you believe an afterlife it doesnt have to happen at exactly a certain time. Maybe instead of 90 as a lifespan maybe 300 if you want to go that route.

So well see a realisation that religions have to keep up with the state of society and their members within that.

Ms Vita-More is also an advisor to the Singularity University and co-editor and contributing author to The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future.

Asked what most excites her about the future she replied: I would like to totally reengineer my body, its not available yet but Id like to have a whole new body thats smoothly integrated not only with narrow artificial intelligence (AI) but with artificial general intelligence and Id like to have a metabrain where Id have AI working with me like a best friend or cohort.

Excerpt from:

Humans will be able to replace their bodies within 50 years claims transhumanist writer - Express.co.uk

How Britain’s oldest universities are trying to protect humanity from risky A.I. – CNBC

University of Oxford

Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Oxford and Cambridge, the oldest universities in Britain and two of the oldest in the world, are keeping a watchful eye on the buzzy field of artificial intelligence (AI), which has been hailed as a technology that will bring about a new industrial revolution and change the world as we know it.

Over the last few years, each of the centuries-old institutions have pumped millions of pounds into researching the possible risks associated with machines of the future.

Clever algorithms can already outperform humans at certain tasks. For example, they can beat the best human players in the world at incredibly complex games like chess and Go, and they're able to spot cancerous tumors in a mammogram far quicker than a human clinician can. Machines can also tell the difference between a cat and a dog, or determine a random person's identity just by looking at a photo of their face. They can also translate languages, drive cars, and keep your home at the right temperature. But generally speaking, they're still nowhere near as smart as the average 7-year-old.

The main issue is that AI can't multitask. For example, a game-playing AI can't yet paint a picture. In other words, AI today is very "narrow" in its intelligence. However, computer scientists at the the likes of Google and Facebook are aiming to make AI more "general" in the years ahead, and that's got some big thinkers deeply concerned.

Nick Bostrom, a 47-year-old Swedish born philosopher and polymath, founded the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) at the University of Oxford in 2005 to assess how dangerous AI and other potential threats might be to the human species.

In the main foyer of the institute, complex equations beyond most people's comprehension are scribbled on whiteboards next to words like "AI safety" and "AI governance." Pensive students from other departments pop in and out as they go about daily routines.

It's rare to get an interview with Bostrom, a transhumanist who believes that we can and should augment our bodies with technology to help eliminate ageing as a cause of death.

"I'm quite protective about research and thinking time so I'm kind of semi-allergic to scheduling too many meetings," he says.

Tall, skinny and clean shaven, Bostrom has riled some AI researchers with his openness to entertain the idea that one day in the not so distant future, machines will be the top dog on Earth. He doesn't go as far as to say when that day will be, but he thinks that it's potentially close enough for us to be worrying about it.

Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom is a polymath and the author of "Superintelligence."

The Future of Humanity Institute

If and when machines possess human-level artificial general intelligence, Bostrom thinks they could quickly go on to make themselves even smarter and become superintelligent. At this point, it's anyone's guess what happens next.

The optimist says the superintelligent machines will free up humans from work and allow them to live in some sort of utopia where there's an abundance of everything they could ever desire. The pessimist says they'll decide humans are no longer necessary and wipe them all out.Billionare Elon Musk, who has a complex relationship with AI researchers, recommended Bostrom's book "Superintelligence" on Twitter.

Bostrom's institute has been backed with roughly $20 million since its inception. Around $14 million of that coming from the Open Philanthropy Project, a San Francisco-headquartered research and grant-making foundation. The rest of the money has come from the likes of Musk and the European Research Council.

Located in an unassuming building down a winding road off Oxford's main shopping street, the institute is full of mathematicians, computer scientists, physicians, neuroscientists, philosophers, engineers and political scientists.

Eccentric thinkers from all over the world come here to have conversations over cups of tea about what might lie ahead. "A lot of people have some kind of polymath and they are often interested in more than one field," says Bostrom.

The FHI team has scaled from four people to about 60 people over the years. "In a year, or a year and a half, we will be approaching 100 (people)," says Bostrom. The culture at the institute is a blend of academia, start-up and NGO, according to Bostrom, who says it results in an "interesting creative space of possibilities" where there is "a sense of mission and urgency."

If AI somehow became much more powerful, there are three main ways in which it could end up causing harm, according to Bostrom. They are:

"Each of these categories is a plausible place where things could go wrong," says Bostrom.

With regards to machines turning against humans, Bostrom says that if AI becomes really powerful then "there's a potential risk from the AI itself that it does something different than anybody intended that could then be detrimental."

In terms of humans doing bad things to other humans with AI, there's already a precedent there as humans have used other technological discoveries for the purpose of war or oppression. Just look at the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for example. Figuring out how to reduce the risk of this happening with AI is worthwhile, Bostrom says, adding that it's easier said than done.

I think there is now less need to emphasize primarily the downsides of AI.

Asked if he is more or less worried about the arrival of superintelligent machines than he was when his book was published in 2014, Bostrom says the timelines have contracted.

"I think progress has been faster than expected over the last six years with the whole deep learning revolution and everything," he says.

When Bostrom wrote the book, there weren't many people in the world seriously researching the potential dangers of AI. "Now there is this thriving small, but thriving field of AI safety work with a number of groups," he says.

While there's potential for things to go wrong, Bostrom says it's important to remember that there are exciting upsides to AI and he doesn't want to be viewed as the person predicting the end of the world.

"I think there is now less need to emphasize primarily the downsides of AI," he says, stressing that his views on AI are complex and multifaceted.

Bostrom says the aim of FHI is "to apply careful thinking to big picture questions for humanity." The institute is not just looking at the next year or the next 10 years, it's looking at everything in perpetuity.

"AI has been an interest since the beginning and for me, I mean, all the way back to the 90s," says Bostrom. "It is a big focus, you could say obsession almost."

The rise of technology is one of several plausible ways that could cause the "human condition" to change in Bostrom's view. AI is one of those technologies but there are groups at the FHI looking at biosecurity (viruses etc), molecular nanotechnology, surveillance tech, genetics, and biotech (human enhancement).

A scene from 'Ex Machina.'

Source: Universal Pictures | YouTube

When it comes to AI, the FHI has two groups; one does technical work on the AI alignment problem and the other looks at governance issuesthat will arise as machine intelligence becomes increasingly powerful.

The AI alignment group is developing algorithms and trying to figure out how to ensure complex intelligent systems behave as we intend them to behave. That involves aligning them with "human preferences," says Bostrom.

Roughly 66 miles away at the University of Cambridge, academics are also looking at threats to human existence, albeit through a slightly different lens.

Researchers at the Center for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) are assessing biological weapons, pandemics, and, of course, AI.

We are dedicated to the study and mitigation of risks that could lead to human extinction or civilization collapse.

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER)

"One of the most active areas of activities has been on AI," said CSER co-founder Lord Martin Rees from his sizable quarters at Trinity College in an earlier interview.

Rees, a renowned cosmologist and astrophysicist who was the president of the prestigious Royal Society from 2005 to 2010, is retired so his CSER role is voluntary, but he remains highly involved.

It's important that any algorithm deciding the fate of human beings can be explained to human beings, according to Rees. "If you are put in prison or deprived of your credit by some algorithm then you are entitled to have an explanation so you can understand. Of course, that's the problem at the moment because the remarkable thing about these algorithms like AlphaGo (Google DeepMind's Go-playing algorithm) is that the creators of the program don't understand how it actually operates. This is a genuine dilemma and they're aware of this."

The idea for CSER was conceived in the summer of 2011 during a conversation in the back of a Copenhagen cab between Cambridge academic Huw Price and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, whose donations account for 7-8% of the center's overall funding and equate to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

"I shared a taxi with a man who thought his chance of dying in an artificial intelligence-related accident was as high as that of heart disease or cancer," Price wrote of his taxi ride with Tallinn. "I'd never met anyone who regarded it as such a pressing cause for concern let alone anyone with their feet so firmly on the ground in the software business."

University of Cambridge

Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Images

CSER is studying how AI could be used in warfare, as well as analyzing some of the longer term concerns that people like Bostrom have written about. It is also looking at how AI can turbocharge climate science and agricultural food supply chains.

"We try to look at both the positives and negatives of the technology because our real aim is making the world more secure," says Sen higeartaigh, executive director at CSER and a former colleague of Bostrom's. higeartaigh, who holds a PhD in genomics from Trinity College Dublin, says CSER currently has three joint projects on the go with FHI.

External advisors include Bostrom and Musk, as well as other AI experts like Stuart Russell and DeepMind's Murray Shanahan. The late Stephen Hawking was also an advisor when he was alive.

The Leverhulme Center for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) was opened at Cambridge in 2016 and today it sits in the same building as CSER, a stone's throw from the punting boats on the River Cam. The building isn't the only thing the centers share staff overlap too and there's a lot of research that spans both departments.

Backed with over 10 million from the grant-making Leverhulme Foundation, the center is designed to support "innovative blue skies thinking," according to higeartaigh, its co-developer.

Was there really a need for another one of these research centers? higeartaigh thinks so. "It was becoming clear that there would be, as well as the technical opportunities and challenges, legal topics to explore, economic topics, social science topics," he says.

"How do we make sure that artificial intelligence benefits everyone in a global society? You look at issues like who's involved in the development process? Who is consulted? How does the governance work? How do we make sure that marginalized communities have a voice?"

The aim of CFI is to get computer scientists and machine-learning experts working hand in hand with people from policy, social science, risk and governance, ethics, culture, critical theory and so on. As a result, the center should be able to take a broad view of the range of opportunities and challenges that AI poses to societies.

"By bringing together people who think about these things from different angles, we're able to figure out what might be properly plausible scenarios that are worth trying to mitigate against," said higeartaigh.

Original post:

How Britain's oldest universities are trying to protect humanity from risky A.I. - CNBC

Heres Everything Coming to HBO Max in June – TheWrap

HBO Max launches May 27 with a whole lot of content ready to stream immediately. But throughout the nascent streamers first month, even more titles will be added, from HBO Max originals like Adventure Time: Distant Lands BMO, to old favorites like Amelie, Black Beauty and The Bucket List.

Other brand-new HBO Max originals include the third season of comedy Search Party, and the second seasons of Doom Patrol, and Esme & Roy, all coming June 25, and on June 18, the second season of Summer Camp Island and the series premiere kids competition series Karma.

For a list of everything that will be available on launch day, look here.

Below is the full list of everything new coming to HBO Max in June.

Also Read: Chelsea Handler Sets First Standup Comedy Special in 6 Years at HBO Max

June 14th & Forever: Muck City, Season OneAdventures In Babysitting, 1987 (HBO)Amelie, 2001 (HBO)An American Werewolf in London, 1981 (HBO)The American, 2010 (HBO)Another Cinderella Story, 2008Beautiful Girls, 1996 (HBO)Black Beauty, 1994Bridget Joness Baby, 2016The Bucket List, 2007Cabaret, 1972The Champ, 1979Chicago, 2002A Cinderella Story, 2004A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song, 2011Clash Of The Titans, 2010Cradle 2 the Grave, 2003Crash, 2005 (Directors Cut) (HBO)Doubt, 2008 (HBO)Dreaming Of Joseph Lees, 1999 (HBO)Drop Dead Gorgeous, 1999Dune, 1984 (HBO)Elf, 2003Enter The Dragon, 1973Far and Away, 1992 (HBO)Final Destination, 2000Final Destination 2, 2003Final Destination 3, 2006The Final Destination, 2009Firewall, 2006Flipped, 2010Forces of Nature, 1999 (HBO)The Fountain, 2006 (HBO)Frantic, 1988From Dusk Til Dawn, 1996Full Metal Jacket, 1987Gente De Zona: En Letra De Otro, 2018 (HBO)The Good Son, 1993 (HBO)The Goonies, 1985Hanna, 2011 (HBO)Havana, 1990 (HBO)He Got Game, 1998 (HBO)Heaven Can Wait, 1978Heidi, 2006Hello Again, 1987 (HBO)The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2012The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 2013The Hunger, 1983In Her Shoes, 2005 (HBO)In Like Flint, 1967 (HBO)The Iron Giant, 1999It Takes Two, 1995Juice, 1992The Last Mimzy, 2007License To Wed, 2007Life, 1999 (HBO)Lifeforce, 1985 (HBO)Lights Out, 2016 (HBO)Like Water For Chocolate, 1993 (HBO)Looney Tunes: Back in Action, 2003The Losers, 2010Love Jones, 1997Lucy, 2020 (HBO)Magic Mike, 2012McCabe and Mrs. Miller, 1971Misery, 1990Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, 2008 (HBO)A Monster Calls, 2016 (HBO)Mr. Wonderful, 1993 (HBO)Must Love Dogs, 2005My Dog Skip, 2000Mystic River, 2003The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter, 1991The Neverending Story, 1984New York Minute, 2004Nights In Rodanthe, 2008No Reservations, 2007Ordinary People, 1980Our Man Flint, 1966 (HBO)The Parallax View, 1974Patch Adams, 1998 (HBO)A Perfect World, 1993Pedro Capo: En Letra Otro, 2017 (HBO)Personal Best, 1982Presumed Innocent, 1990Ray, 2004 (HBO)Richie Rich (Movie), 1994Rosewood, 1997Rugrats Go Wild, 2003Running on Empty, 1988Secondhand Lions, 2003Shes The Man, 2006 (HBO)Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, 2011 (HBO)Space Cowboys, 2000Speed Racer, 2008Splendor in the Grass, 1961The Stepfather, 1987 (HBO)Summer Catch, 2001Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1990Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, 1991Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, 1993Tess, 1980 (HBO)Tim Burtons Corpse Bride, 2005The Time Travelers Wife, 2009Titanic, 1997TMNT, 2007Torch Song Trilogy, 1988Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, 1997 (HBO)Tweetys High-Flying Adventures, 2000U-571, 2000 (HBO)U.S. Marshals, 1998Unaccompanied Minors, 2006Uncle Buck, 1989 (HBO)Veronica Mars, 2014Walking and Talking, 1996 (HBO)We Are Marshall, 2006Weird Science, 1985 (HBO)When Harry Met Sally, 1989Wild Wild West, 1999Wonder, 2019 (HBO)X-Men: First Class, 2011 (HBO)Youve Got Mail, 1998

Also Read: Here's How You Can Get HBO Max if You Already Pay for HBO

June 2Inside Carbonaro, Season One (TruTV)

June 4HBO First Look: The King of Staten Island (HBO)Were Here, Season Finale (HBO)

June 5Betty, Season Finale (HBO)

June 6Ad Astra, 2019 (HBO)Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It! (HBO)

June 7I May Destroy You, Series Premiere (HBO)

June 10Infinity Train, Season 2 Premiere

June 12El asesino de los caprichos (AKA The Goya Murders), 2020 (HBO)

June 13The Good Liar, 2019 (HBO)

June 14I Know This Much Is True, Limited Series Finale (HBO)Insecure, Season 4 Finale (HBO)

June 16#GeorgeWashington, 2017Age of Big Cats, Season OneAncient Earth, Season OneApocalypse: WWI, Season OneBig World in A Small Garden, 2016The Celts: Blood, Iron & Sacrifice, Season OneCornfield Shipwreck, 2019The Daunting Fortress of Richard the Lionheart, 2019David Attenboroughs Ant Mountain, 2016David Attenbouroughs Light on Earth, 2016DeBugged, 2018Digits, Season OneDragons & Damsels, 2019Ebony: The Last Years of The Atlantic Slave Trade, 2016Expedition: Black Sea Wrecks, Season OneFirst Man, 2017Going Nuts: Tales from Squirrel World, 2019Hack the Moon: Unsung Heroes of Apollo, 2019The History of Food, Season OneHurricane the Anatomy, Season One, 2018Into the Lost Crystal Caves, 2016Jason Silva: Transhumanism, 2016King: A Filmed Record Montgomery to Memphis (Part 1 & Part 2), Season OneKnuckleball!, 2019Leonardo: The Mystery of The Lost Portrait, 2018Looney Tunes (Batch 2) (6/22), Season OneMans First Friend, 2018Penguin Central, 2019Pompeii: Disaster Street, 2020Popeye (Batch 2) (6/22), Season OnePyramids Builders: New Clues, 2019Realm of the Volga, Season OneSacred Spaces, Season OneScandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer, Documentary Premiere (CNN)

Scanning the Pyramids, 2018Science vs. Terrorism, Season OneThe Secret Lives of Big Cats, Season OneSecret Life of Lakes, Season OneSecret Life Underground, Season OneSecrets of the Solar System, Season OneSpace Probes!, Season OneSpeed, Season OneSpies of War , Season OneTales of Nature, Season OneTsunamis: Facing a Global Threat, 2020Versailles Rediscovered: The Sun Kings Vanished Palace, 2019Viking Women, Season OneVitamania, 2018Whale Wisdom, 2019The Woodstock Bus, 2019

Also Read: Here Are the TV Shows and Movies That Will Be Available on HBO Max at Launch

June 18Summer Camp Island, Season 2 PremiereKarma, Series Premiere

June 19Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn, Documentary Premiere (HBO)Entre Nos: The Winners (HBO)Bajo el mismo techo (AKA Under the Same Roof), 2020 (HBO)

June 20Ford V. Ferrari, 2020 (HBO)

June 21Perry Mason, Limited Series Premiere (HBO)

June 22Hard, Series Finale (HBO)

June 24South Park, Seasons 1-23Transhood, Documentary Premiere (HBO)

June 25Adventure Time Distant Lands: BMO, Special Premiere

Doom Patrol, Season 2 PremiereEsme & Roy, Season 2A PremiereSearch Party, Season 3 Premiere

June 26Hormigas (AKA The Awakening of the Ants), 2020

June 27Doctor Sleep (Directors Cut), 2020 (HBO)

June 28Ill Be Gone in the Dark, Docuseries Premiere (HBO)

June 30Welcome to Chechnya, Documentary Premiere (HBO)

Summer is less than a month away and with everyone staying at home as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19, were imagining your plans for June, July and August have more to do with TV listings than usual. Luckily, dozens of new and returning shows are premiering this summer, even though there are fewer than usual due to pandemic-forced production shutdowns. But the list still includes some big titles like The Twilight Zone and The Umbrella Academy, plus original shows for upcoming streaming services HBO Max and Peacock. Click through TheWraps gallery to see which series will be premiering this summer and when.

Also Read: Fall TV 2020: Every Broadcast Show Canceled, Renewed and Ordered So Far (Updating)

Series:NOS4A2 Net: AMC/BBC America Premiere Date: Sunday, June 21 Time: 9 p.m.

Series: Perry Mason Net: HBO Premiere Date: Sunday, June 21 Time: 9 p.m.

Series:Yellowstone Net: Paramount Network Premiere Date: Sunday, June 21 Time: 9 p.m.

Series: Greenleaf Net: OWN Premiere Date: Tuesday, June 23 Time: 9 p.m.

Series: Doom Patrol Net: HBO Max/DC Universe Premiere Date: Thursday, June 25 Time: N/A

Series: Search Party Net: HBO Max Premiere Date: Thursday, June 25 Time: N/A

Series: The Twilight Zone Net: CBS All Access Premiere Date: Thursday, June 25 Time: N/A

Series: Black Monday Net: Showtime Premiere Date: Sunday, June 28 Time: 8 p.m.

Series: Ill Be Gone in the Dark Net: HBO Premiere Date: Sunday, June 28 Time: 10 p.m.

Series: Marriage Boot Camp Net: We TV Premiere Date: Thursday, July 2 Time: 9 p.m.

Series: The Baby-Sitters Club Net: Netflix Premiere Date: Friday, July 3 Time: N/A

Series: Hanna Net: Amazon Prime Video Premiere Date: Friday, July 3 Time: N/A

Series: Outcry Net: Showtime Premiere Date: Sunday, July 5 Time: 10 p.m.

Series: Tough as Nails Net: CBS Premiere Date: Wednesday, July 8 Time: 9 p.m.

Series: Close Enough Net: HBO Max Premiere Date: Thursday, July 9 Time: N/A

Series: Expecting Amy Net: HBO Max Premiere Date: Thursday, July 9 Time: N/A

Series: Greatness Code Net: Apple TV+ Premiere Date: Friday, July 10 Time: N/A

Series: "Little Voice" Net: Apple TV+ Premiere Date: Friday, July 10 Time: N/A

Series: P-Valley Net: Starz Premiere Date: Sunday, July 12 Time: 8 p.m.

Series: Brave New World Net: Peacock Premiere Date: Wednesday, July 15 Time: N/A

Series: The Capture Net: Peacock Premiere Date: Wednesday, July 15 Time: N/A

Series: In Deep With Ryan Lochte Net: Peacock Premiere Date: Wednesday, July 15 Time: N/A

Series: Intelligence Net: Peacock Premiere Date: Wednesday, July 15 Time: N/A

Series: The House of Ho Net: HBO Max Premiere Date: Thursday, July 16 Time: N/A

Series: Room 104 Net: HBO Premiere Date: Friday, July 24 Time: 11 p.m.

Series: "The Alienist: Angel of Darkness" Net: TNT Premiere Date: Sunday, July 26 Time: 9 p.m.

Series: The Dog House" Net: HBO Max Premiere Date: Thursday, July 30 Time: N/A

Series: The Frayed Net: HBO Max Premiere Date: Thursday, July 30 Time: N/A

Series: Muppets Now Net: Disney+ Premiere Date: Friday, July 31 Time: N/A

Series: The Umbrella Academy Net: Netflix Premiere Date: Friday, July 31 Time: N/A

Series: "Selling Sunset" Net: Netflix Premiere Date: Friday, Aug. 7 Time: N/A

Series: The Good Lord Bird Net: Showtime Premiere Date: Sunday, Aug. 9 Time: 10 p.m.

Series: Love Fraud Net: Showtime Premiere Date: Sunday, Aug. 30 Time: 9 p.m.

Heres when 34 broadcast, cable and streaming series debut and come back

Summer is less than a month away and with everyone staying at home as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19, were imagining your plans for June, July and August have more to do with TV listings than usual. Luckily, dozens of new and returning shows are premiering this summer, even though there are fewer than usual due to pandemic-forced production shutdowns. But the list still includes some big titles like The Twilight Zone and The Umbrella Academy, plus original shows for upcoming streaming services HBO Max and Peacock. Click through TheWraps gallery to see which series will be premiering this summer and when.

Also Read: Fall TV 2020: Every Broadcast Show Canceled, Renewed and Ordered So Far (Updating)

Read more here:

Heres Everything Coming to HBO Max in June - TheWrap

Durham’s Kriya Therapuetics lands $80M to advance gene therapies for diabetes, severe obesity – WRAL Tech Wire

PALO ALTO, Calif.andDURHAM Flush with cash, Kriya Therapeutics has big plans.

The biotech startup, with headquarters in Durham and Palo Alto, California, has secured $80.5 million in Series A financing to fund the development of its gene therapies for highly serious diseases.

Among them: type 1 and type 2 diabetes, severe obesity and other indications affecting millions of patients.

Series A investors include QVT, Dexcel Pharma, Foresite Capital, Bluebird Ventures (associated with Sutter Hill Ventures), Narya Capital, Amplo,Paul Manning, andAsia Alpha. This Series A round follows an initial seed financing completed by the company in the fourth quarter of 2019 led by Transhuman Capital, who also participated in the Series A round.

Kriya said financing proceeds would go towards supporting the development of the companys pipeline, internal discovery engine, and proprietary GMP manufacturing infrastructure.

There have been numerous successful gene therapies focused on rare monogenic diseases in recent years, said Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Kriya Therapeutics, in a statement.

We see tremendous potential to expand the field and apply gene therapy to highly prevalent serious diseases. We are focused on designing gene therapies using algorithmic tools, scalable infrastructure, and proprietary technology to optimize the efficacy and durability of our treatments. We look forward to accelerating the development of our pipeline, platform technologies, and internal GMP manufacturing capability with the funds raised in this Series A financing.

Founded in 2019, the companys team includesformer senior leadership from Spark Therapeutics, AveXis, Sangamo Therapeutics, and other gene therapy companies.

Kriyas initial pipeline includes:

Kriya is building a leading team and cutting-edge infrastructure to engineer best-in-class gene therapies for severe chronic conditions and accelerate their advancement into human clinical trials, saidRoger Jeffs, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of Kriya, in a statement.

The company is committed to incorporating the latest advancements in the field into the design and development of its therapeutic constructs. Through its R&D laboratory capabilities in the Bay Area and in-house process development and manufacturing infrastructure inResearch Triangle Park, I believe that Kriya will be uniquely positioned to become a leader in the gene therapy field.

Read more:

Durham's Kriya Therapuetics lands $80M to advance gene therapies for diabetes, severe obesity - WRAL Tech Wire

Introducing When the Sparrow Falls, the Debut Novel From Neil Sharpson – tor.com

Will Hinton, executive editor at Tor Books, has acquired North American rights to two books by debut novelist Neil Sharpson, from his agent Jennie Goloboy at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. The first book, When the Sparrow Falls, is scheduled for publication in spring 2021.

Part thriller, part literary science fiction, When the Sparrow Falls is an exploration of the coming AI revolution, transhumanism, totalitarianism, loss, and the problem of evil.

In the future, AI are everywhere. They are our employers, our employees, our friends, lovers and even our children. Over half the human race now lives online.

But in the Caspian Republic, the last true human beings have made their stand, and their repressive, one-party state is locked in perpetual cold war with the outside world.

The republic is thrown into chaos when the virulently anti-AI journalist Paulo Xirau is found dead in a bar. At his autopsy, the unthinkable is discovered: Xirau was AI.

Security Agent Nikolai South is given a seemingly mundane task; escorting Xiraus widow while she visits the Caspian Republic to identify her husbands remains. He is stunned to discover that the beautiful, reserved, Lily Xirau bears an unearthly resemblance to his wife, who has been dead for thirty years.

As Nikolai and Lily delve deeper into the circumstances surrounding Paulos death, trying desperately to avoid the attentions of the murderous Bureau of Party Security, a tentative friendship between the two begins to blossom. But when they discover Xiraus last secret South must choose between his loyalty to his country and his conscience.

Neil Sharpson said:

Ive been living in the Caspian Republic (whether as a play, screenplay or novel) for around nine years now and its almost impossible to believe that the journey is finally at an end. Its a story about one man trying to survive in a brutal regime who is given one final chance to make amends to the woman he let down. Im incredibly grateful to Will Hinton and the team at Tor for choosing this book, and to Jennie Goloboy, the best agent any writer could ask for. And most of all to my wife Aoife, who never doubted for a second, even when I did. And while its certainly not a place Id recommend moving to, I sincerely hope people enjoy their time in the Caspian Republic.

Will Hinton added:

It is a rare and joyous occasion to discover a debut novel brimming with this much talent, insight, poise and heart. The voice of Nikolai South is indelible and the world he brings us into is unforgettable, part Le Carr, part Philip K. Dick, and many layers besides. Sharpson asks questions, and gives a few answers, about what is gained and what is lost in the way we live in the 21st century that will keep me thinking for a long time. I cant wait for you to read it!

When the Sparrow Falls is scheduled for publication in spring 2021 by Tor in the US and by Rebellion in the UK.

Neil Sharpson lives in Dublin with his wife and their two children. Having written for theatre since his teens, Neil transitioned to writing novels in 2017, adapting his own play The Caspian Sea into When the Sparrow Falls.

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Introducing When the Sparrow Falls, the Debut Novel From Neil Sharpson - tor.com

New Releases And Eshop Discounts Week 20 – N-Europe

Posted 14 May 2020 at 14:35 by Dennis Tummers

Test your reflexes and rhythm feeling by dancing along with Hatsune Miku, the digital J-pop superstar.Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mixis a rhythm game where you can play along to catchy J-pop songs using button, touch or movement input.

Ion Furyis a true blast from the past, as it runs on the ancient Build game engine, the same one that poweredDuke Nukem 3Dback in the days. This first person shooter is the prequel to the 2016 gameBombshelland once again you will take on the bad guys as Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison.

As always the full list of new games can be found on the bottom of this article, after the highlights for this week's new releases, pre-downloads and sales.

Highlights: New Game Releases

Highlights: New Pre-Loads

Highlights: Sales

Highlights: Permanent Price Drops

Download versions of packaged software

Nintendo Switch download software

Nintendo Switch downloadable content

Nintendo Switch demos

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New Releases And Eshop Discounts Week 20 - N-Europe

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]

Examples of transhuman entities in fiction exist within many popular video games. For example, the Bioshock media franchise depicts individuals receiving doses of a substance called ADAM, harvested from a fictional type of sea slugs, able to give the user fantastical powers through genetic engineering. Thus, previously standard humans can gain the ability to summon ice, wield lightning, turn invisible, and commit other seeming miracles due to their enhancement.[12]

A 2014 article from Ars Technica speculated that mutating clumps of mobile genetic elements known as "transposons" could possibly be used as a semi-parasitic tool to raise people to a higher status in terms of their abilities, making at least part of the game's scenario theoretically plausible.[12] Similar commentary later occurred from gamers with the advent of CRISPR gene editing.

Transhumans also have played a major role in the Star Trek media franchise. For example, in "Space Seed", the twenty-second episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series that initially aired on February 16, 1967, a charismatic and physically intimidating genius called Khan Noonien Singh attempts to take control of the Enterprise operated by the show's protagonists. The selectively bred individual had advanced beyond simple human status and nearly succeeds. The starship's crew apt to exile the leader and his league of similar beings to a habitable but isolated alien planet instead of assigning a true punishment per se, a ruling which he accepts without protest. Played by Ricardo Montalbn, Khan returns in the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which broadly serves as a sequel to the episode. References to "Space Seed" appear in episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Enterprise, and the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness as well.

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Transhuman - Wikipedia

What is Transhumanism?

The human desire to acquire posthuman attributes is as ancient as the human species itself. Humans have always sought to expand the boundaries of their existence, be it ecologically, geographically, or mentally. There is a tendency in at least some individuals always to try to find a way around every limitation and obstacle.

Ceremonial burial and preserved fragments of religious writings show that prehistoric humans were deeply disturbed by the death of their loved ones and sought to reduce the cognitive dissonance by postulating an afterlife. Yet, despite the idea of an afterlife, people still endeavored to extend life. In the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (approx. 2000 B.C.), a king embarks on a quest to find an herb that can make him immortal. Its worth noting that it was assumed both that mortality was not inescapable in principle, and that there existed (at least mythological) means of overcoming it. That people really strove to live longer and richer lives can also be seen in the development of systems of magic and alchemy; lacking scientific means of producing an elixir of life, one resorted to magical means. This strategy was adopted, for example, by the various schools of esoteric Taoism in China, which sought physical immortality and control over or harmony with the forces of nature.

The Greeks were ambivalent about humans transgressing our natural confines. On the one hand, they were fascinated by the idea. We see it in the myth of Prometheus, who stole the fire from Zeus and gave it to the humans, thereby permanently improving the human condition. And in the myth of Daedalus, the gods are repeatedly challenged, quite successfully, by a clever engineer and artist, who uses non-magical means to extend human capabilities. On the other hand, there is also the concept of hubris: that some ambitions are off-limit and would backfire if pursued. In the end, Daedalus enterprise ends in disaster (not, however, because it was punished by the gods but owing entirely to natural causes).

Greek philosophers made the first, stumbling attempts to create systems of thought that were based not purely on faith but on logical reasoning. Socrates and the sophists extended the application of critical thinking from metaphysics and cosmology to include the study of ethics and questions about human society and human psychology. Out of this inquiry arose cultural humanism, a very important current throughout the history of Western science, political theory, ethics, and law.

In the Renaissance, human thinking was awoken from medieval otherworldliness and the scholastic modes of reasoning that had predominated for a millennium, and the human being and the natural world again became legitimate objects of study. Renaissance humanism encouraged people to rely on their own observations and their own judgment rather than to defer in every matter to religious authorities. Renaissance humanism also created the ideal of the well-rounded personality, one that is highly developed scientifically, morally, culturally, and spiritually. A milestone is Giovanni Pico della Mirandolas Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486), which states that man does not have a ready form but that it is mans task to form himself. And crucially, modern science began to take form then, through the works of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo.

The Age of Enlightenment can be said to have started with the publication of Francis Bacons Novum Organum, the new tool (1620), in which he proposes a scientific methodology based on empirical investigation rather than a priori reasoning. Bacon advocates the project of effecting all things possible, by which he meant the achievement of mastery over nature in order to improve the condition of human beings. The heritage from the Renaissance combines with the influences of Isaac Newton, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Marquis de Condorcet, and others to form the basis for rational humanism, which emphasizes science and critical reasoning rather than revelation and religious authority as ways of learning about the natural world and the destiny and nature of man and of providing a grounding for morality. Transhumanism traces its roots to this rational humanism.

In the 18th and 19th centuries we begin to see glimpses of the idea that even humans themselves can be developed through the appliance of science. Benjamin Franklin and Voltaire speculated about extending human life span through medical science. Especially after Darwins theory of evolution, atheism or agnosticism came to be seen as increasingly attractive alternatives. However, the optimism of the late 19th century often degenerated into narrow-minded positivism and the belief that progress was automatic. When this view collided with reality, some people reacted by turning to irrationalism, concluding that since reason was not sufficient, it was worthless. This resulted in the anti-technological, anti-intellectual sentiments whose sequelae we can still witness today in some postmodernist writers, in the New Age movement, and among the neo-Luddite wing of the anti-globalization agitators.

A significant stimulus in the formation of transhumanism was the essay Daedalus: Science and the Future (1923) by the British biochemist J. B. S. Haldane, in which he discusses how scientific and technological findings may come to affect society and improve the human condition. This essay set off a chain reaction of future-oriented discussions, including The World, the Flesh and the Devil by J. D. Bernal (1929), which speculates about space colonization and bionic implants as well as mental improvements through advanced social science and psychology; the works of Olaf Stapledon; and the essay Icarus: the Future of Science (1924) by Bertrand Russell, who took a more pessimistic view, arguing that without more kindliness in the world, technological power will mainly serve to increase mens ability to inflict harm on one another. Science fiction authors such as H. G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon also got many people thinking about the future evolution of the human race. One frequently cited work is Aldous Huxleys Brave New World (1932), a dystopia where psychological conditioning, promiscuous sexuality, biotechnology, and opiate drugs are used to keep the population placid and contented in a static, totalitarian society ruled by an elite consisting of ten world controllers. Huxleys novel warns of the dehumanizing potential of technology being used to arrest growth and to diminish the scope of human nature rather than enhance it.

The Second World War changed the direction of some of those currents that result in todays transhumanism. The eugenics movement, which had previously found advocates not only among racists on the extreme right but also among socialists and progressivist social democrats, was thoroughly discredited. The goal of creating a new and better world through a centrally imposed vision became taboo and pass; and the horrors of the Stalinist Soviet Union again underscored the dangers of such an approach. Mindful of these historical lessons, transhumanists are often deeply suspicious of collectively orchestrated change, arguing instead for the right of individuals to redesign themselves and their own descendants.

In the postwar era, optimistic futurists tended to direct their attention more toward technological progress, such as space travel, medicine, and computers. Science began to catch up with speculation. Transhumanist ideas during this period were discussed and analyzed chiefly in the literary genre of science fiction. Authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Stanislaw Lem, and later Bruce Sterling, Greg Egan, and Vernor Vinge have explored various aspects of transhumanism in their writings and contributed to its proliferation.

Robert Ettinger played an important role in giving transhumanism its modern form. The publication of his book The Prospect of Immortality in 1964 led to the creation of the cryonics movement. Ettinger argued that since medical technology seems to be constantly progressing, and since chemical activity comes to a complete halt at low temperatures, it should be possible to freeze a person today and preserve the body until such a time when technology is advanced enough to repair the freezing damage and reverse the original cause of deanimation. In a later work, Man into Superman (1972), he discussed a number of conceivable improvements to the human being, continuing the tradition started by Haldane and Bernal.

Another influential early transhumanist was F. M. Esfandiary, who later changed his name to FM-2030. One of the first professors of future studies, FM taught at the New School for Social Research in New York in the 1960s and formed a school of optimistic futurists known as the UpWingers. In his book Are you a transhuman? (1989), he described what he saw as the signs of the emergence of the transhuman person, in his terminology indicating an evolutionary link towards posthumanity. (A terminological aside: an early use of the word transhuman was in the 1972-book of Ettinger, who doesnt now remember where he first encountered the term. The word transhumanism may have been coined by Julian Huxley in New Bottles for New Wine (1957); the sense in which he used it, however, was not quite the contemporary one.) Further, its use is evidenced in T.S. Elliots writing around the same time. And it is known that Dante Alighieri referred to the notion of the transhuman in historical writings.

In the 1970s and 1980s, several organizations sprung up for life extension, cryonics, space colonization, science fiction, media arts, and futurism. They were often isolated from one another, and while they shared similar views and values, they did not yet amount to any unified coherent worldview. One prominent voice from a standpoint with strong transhumanist elements during this era came from Marvin Minsky, an eminent artificial intelligence researcher.

In 1986, Eric Drexler published Engines of Creation, the first book-length exposition of molecular manufacturing. (The possibility of nanotechnology had been anticipated by Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman in a now-famous after-dinner address in 1959 entitled There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom.) In this groundbreaking work, Drexler not only argued for the feasibility of assembler-based nanotechnology but also explored its consequences and began charting the strategic challenges posed by its development. Drexlers later writings supplied more technical analyses that confirmed his initial conclusions. To prepare the world for nanotechnology and work towards it safe implementation, he founded the Foresight Institute together with his then wife Christine Peterson in 1986.

Ed Regiss Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition (1990) took a humorous look at transhumanisms hubristic scientists and philosophers. Another couple of influential books were roboticist Hans Moravecs seminal Mind Children (1988) about the future development of machine intelligence, and more recently Ray Kurzweils bestselling Age of Spiritual Machines (1999), which presented ideas similar to Moravecs. Frank Tiplers Physics of Immortality (1994), inspired by the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (a paleontologist and Jesuit theologian who saw an evolutionary telos in the development of an encompassing noosphere, a global consciousness) argued that advanced civilizations might come to have a shaping influence on the future evolution of the cosmos, although some were put off by Tiplers attempt to blend science with religion. Many science advocates, such as Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, and Douglas Hofstadter, have also helped pave the way for public understanding of transhumanist ideas.

In 1988, the first issue of the Extropy Magazine was published by Max More and Tom Morrow, and in 1992 they founded the Extropy Institute (the term extropy being coined as an informal opposite of entropy). The magazine and the institute served as catalysts, bringing together disparate groups of people with futuristic ideas. More wrote the first definition of transhumanism in its modern sense, and created his own distinctive brand of transhumanism, which emphasized individualism, dynamic optimism, and the market mechanism in addition to technology. The transhumanist arts genre became more self-aware through the works of the artist Natasha Vita-More. During this time, an intense exploration of ideas also took place on various Internet mailing lists. Influential early contributors included Anders Sandberg (then a neuroscience doctoral student) and Robin Hanson (an economist and polymath) among many others.

The World Transhumanist Association was founded in 1998 by Nick Bostrom and David Pearce to act as a coordinating international nonprofit organization for all transhumanist-related groups and interests, across the political spectrum. The WTA focused on supporting transhumanism as a serious academic discipline and on promoting public awareness of transhumanist thinking. The WTA began publishing the Journal of Evolution and Technology, the first scholarly peer-reviewed journal for transhumanist studies in 1999 (which is also the year when the first version of this FAQ was published). In 2001, the WTA adopted its current constitution and is now governed by an executive board that is democratically elected by its full membership. James Hughes especially (a former WTA Secretary) among others helped lift the WTA to its current more mature stage, and a strong team of volunteers has been building up the organization to what it is today.

Humanity+ developed after to rebrand transhumanism informing Humanity+ as a cooperative organization, seeking to pull together the leaders of transhumanism: from the early 1990s: Max More, Natasha Vita-More, Anders Sandberg; the late 1990s: Nick Bostrom, David Pearce, James Hughes; the 2000s: James Clement, Ben Goertzel, Giulio Prisco and many others. In short, it is based on the early work of Extropy Institute and WTA.

In the past couple of years, the transhumanist movement has been growing fast and furiously. Local groups are mushrooming in all parts of the world. Awareness of transhumanist ideas is spreading. Transhumanism is undergoing the transition from being the preoccupation of a fringe group of intellectual pioneers to becoming a mainstream approach to understanding the prospects for technological transformation of the human condition. That technological advances will help us overcome many of our current human limitations is no longer an insight confined to a few handfuls of techno-savvy visionaries. Yet understanding the consequences of these anticipated possibilities and the ethical choices we will face is a momentous challenge that humanity will be grappling with over the coming decades. The transhumanist tradition has produced a (still evolving) body of thinking to illuminate these complex issues that is unparalleled in its scope and depth of foresight.

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What is Transhumanism?

transhumanism | Definition, Origins, Characteristics …

The movements adherents tend to be libertarian and employed in high technology or in academia. Its principal proponents have been prominent technologists like American computer scientist and futurist Ray Kurzweil and scientists like Austrian-born Canadian computer scientist and roboticist Hans Moravec and American nanotechnology researcher Eric Drexler, with the addition of a small but influential contingent of thinkers such as American philosopher James Hughes and Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom. The movement has evolved since its beginnings as a loose association of groups dedicated to extropianism (a philosophy devoted to the transcendence of human limits). Transhumanism is principally divided between adherents of two visions of post-humanityone in which technological and genetic improvements have created a distinct species of radically enhanced humans and the other in which greater-than-human machine intelligence emerges.

The membership of the transhumanist movement tends to split in an additional way. One prominent strain of transhumanism argues that social and cultural institutionsincluding national and international governmental organizationswill be largely irrelevant to the trajectory of technological development. Market forces and the nature of technological progress will drive humanity to approximately the same end point regardless of social and cultural influences. That end point is often referred to as the singularity, a metaphor drawn from astrophysics and referring to the point of hyperdense material at the centre of a black hole which generates its intense gravitational pull. Among transhumanists, the singularity is understood as the point at which artificial intelligence surpasses that of humanity, which will allow the convergence of human and machine consciousness. That convergence will herald the increase in human consciousness, physical strength, emotional well-being, and overall health and greatly extend the length of human lifetimes.

The second strain of transhumanism holds a contrasting view, that social institutions (such as religion, traditional notions of marriage and child rearing, and Western perspectives of freedom) not only can influence the trajectory of technological development but could ultimately retard or halt it. Bostrom and British philosopher David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association in 1998 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with those social institutions to promote and guide the development of human-enhancement technologies and to combat those social forces seemingly dedicated to halting such technological progress.

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transhumanism | Definition, Origins, Characteristics ...

OISTE.ORG Foundation endorses preserving the human right to privacy statement during the Covid-19 pandemic signed by a group of more than 300…

OISTE.ORG Foundation endorses preserving the human right to privacy statement during the Covid-19 pandemic signed by a group of more than 300 academics and experts on the human right to privacy

Geneva, 23 April 2020 - OISTE.ORG, a Swiss based foundation with special consultative status with ECOSOC and a recognized member of the not-for-profit constituency of ICANN endorses the views expressed in the "Joint Statement on Contact Tracing" dated April 19, 2020 and signed by a group of more than 300 academics and experts on the human right to privacy.

Governments worldwide have declared or will soon declare national states of emergency to face the Covid-19 threat. Under a state of emergency, governments are legally entitled to dictate measures of exception that would not be accepted or tolerated under normal circumstances. States of emergency are used as a rationale for suspending constitutional rights and freedoms because there is a higher "public good" that makes it justifiable. Nevertheless, experts sound a warning alarm: there is a high risk that governments will overstep and impede rights and freedoms in response to Covid-19. At the present critical juncture, some of the contact tracing applications that are being proposed may override the privacy-protection clauses of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The debate about "contact tracing" using modern digital technologies and the respect of the fundamental human right to privacy is one example of the need to be vigilant of the breaking point where exceptional measures can do more wrong than good. The liberal state has the same obligation to ensure the health and the well-being of its citizens as to guarantee that State surveillance of the individual does not become the norm. There is no doubt that digital technologies have a role to play on the lockdown ease, but not at any price.

Recently, a number of European institutions launched the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing: https://www.pepp-pt.org/ with the objective of interrupting new chains of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by informing potentially exposed people using their Bluetooth devices, though very quickly the two main Swiss technological universities, the EPFZ and the EPFL withdrew their support to the initiative since it is privacy intrusive. That is why the Joint Statement makes the following recommendations:

The authors of the Joint Statement point the following privacy-protecting initiatives as examples of good practice: DP-3T : https://github.com/DP-3T,TCN Coalition : https://tcn-coalition.org/, PACT (MIT) : https://pact.mit.edu/, PACT (UW) : https://covidsafe.cs.washington.edu/

Carlos Moreira, Secretary General of the OISTE Foundation and co-author of the bestselling book "The Transhuman Code" noted: "The digital universe has to be infused by ethical principles. The human right to privacy has to be protected and respected at all times, even during the present pandemic. Applications that permit contact tracing and respect the human right to privacy are being developed."

The OISTE Foundation signed The International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance right after they were launched at the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2013. OISTE invites other organizations to join: https://necessaryandproportionate.org/

About OISTE FOUNDATIONFounded in Switzerland in 1998, OISTE was created with the objectives of promoting the use and adoption of international standards to secure electronic transactions, expand the use of digital certification and ensure the interoperability of certification authorities' e-transaction systems. The OISTE Foundation is a not for profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, regulated by article 80 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code. OISTE is an organization in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and belongs to the Not-for-Profit constituency (NPOC) of the ICANN.

Company Contact:Dourgam KummerFoundation Council Memberdourgam.kummer@oiste.org

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OISTE.ORG Foundation endorses preserving the human right to privacy statement during the Covid-19 pandemic signed by a group of more than 300...

Things To Do: Antonio Eyez Will Perform At R&R Studios April 30 – Houston Press

When an artist as monumental as Prince passes away, he leaves a gaping hole in the landscape of popular music that is not easily filled. As we reach the four-year anniversary of the artist's passing, his influence is still as present as ever.

Houstons downtown venue Lucilles holds a yearly tribute to Prince and Antonio Eyez is a natural fit for the event. Eyez was the main attraction for this year's online event and he did Prince good, as he always does, in addition to performing some of his powerful original songs.

He will also be performing an online concert at R&R studios on Thursday, April 30 at 9 p.m., as part of a socially distant concert series that the studio has been putting out. The studio is the ideal setting to keep artists at safe distances while providing quality sound and streaming capabilities on multiple platforms.

Eyez is accustomed to the Prince comparisons and was even tapped by Morris Hayes himself, Princes longtime keyboardist and musical director. Eyez reached out to Hayes in the simplest way, through Facebook, and didnt really expect to gain any traction from their interactions.

When Hayes held an event for his World Symphony for Peace organization here in Houston, he asked Antonio Eyez to participate. More than anything, he was just surprised I think, says Eyez of the impression he made on Hayes that night.

It was like, We get a lot of people who do Prince, but not make it their own, he was surprised and intrigued by that. It was really cool to experience him as a musician and an artist himself, says Eyez.

Hayes even recently gave a shout out to Eyez while discussing his work and friendship with Prince via Facebook on the anniversary of the singers death.

Eyez was raised in a musical family here in Houston and has played guitar from a young age. His mother, father and grandfather surrounded him with music and were active in gospel quartet groups. Eyez describes it as, Its kind of like if you hear D'angelo mixed with some church, you're going to get quartet, he chuckles.

The multi-instrumentalist and singer embodies the future and breaks down prefabricated rules of genres and gender. Anyone who caught his electrifying set at this year's BowiElvis Fest can testify that he is one part Jimi Hendrix, another part Prince and a perfect fit for Bowie but mostly, hes just himself.

Even at an event as diverse as BowieElvis, Eyez stood out musically and visually with his performance. He donned a fishnet mask, large gold earrings and blew the roof off of the small and packed Big Top lounge that night.

"To be honest, I just want to be able to have a clear message of truth and bringing back real musicianship. I really want to bring that truth to musicianship and artistry back to the stage and also being in fashion, having to look like what you sound like," says Eyez of his approach to performing live.

Its all in there you know, says Eyez of his influences. I think that comes from a lot of studying for sure. I studied D'angelo, Prince, George Clinton, Sly Stone, a whole bunch of other people. I try to get a good combination of all of those elements and make it my own.

Eyez has had the opportunity to work as a touring band member for many artists, including CJ Chenier, son of the King of Zydeco Clifton Chenier. When asked what lessons he has taken from being a backing member to fronting his own band, Eyez says wisely, the importance of the longevity of the music as opposed to just getting in, getting a buck and leaving.

This year Eyez released his solo album, The Second Coming on his own record label, Spacewar Music. The Second Coming sonically is a funky trip to outer space with Eyez maintaining both feet grounded lyrically, tapping into basic human emotions and the common experience of mankind.

Songs like Transhuman show off Eyez vocal abilities and his unique knack for being understated yet powerful.

It's pretty rough right now for a lot of people, says Eyez. Thats why we wanted to write songs like Transhuman, because there's all kinds of people on this world that are looking for something and ultimately they're looking for themselves and where they fit in this world. I think that's something that needs to be spoken about at this particular time.

The Second Coming is rooted in funk but has strong elements of rock sprinkled throughout the album. "Aquarius Rage" takes Eyez down a darker road, with its heavy bass lines sounding off as a warning to the listener of the impending rage they are about the experience.

Eyez admits that people in his personal life often mistake the angry track to be directed at them, but in reality it was his response to being told repeatedly that his music didn't fit neatly enough into any category to be played on the radio stations he approached.

"Right now things are changing in the way where the old system is not going to be the same once things get back to normal because people are finding different ways to get heard and there's not going to be a need for the old radio formula," says Eyez.

Eyez recorded the album in the most futuristic yet simplest way possible, on his iPhone. He described how he used accessible technology to achieve the interplanetary sounds he was seeking, without stepping into a studio.

The artist has been hustling in the way Houston is known for, putting out new songs and videos during this time in quarantine. Though he, like all artists, had his gigs canceled due to COVID-19, he's not letting that stop him from putting out content any way he can.

The good thing about right now is that people are listening and they are able to use platforms to push it and get people more interested.

For his online concert at R&R Studios, Eyez assures he will have all the bells and whistles and will take advantage of the space he is being provided with to help Houston get out of its collective funk with some good funk, seeing this as an opportunity to reach new audiences.

The online concert will be streamed live through the R&R Studio YouTube page, Facebook page, Twitch and Instagram as well on Antonio Eyez own social media accounts.

Gladys Fuentes is a first generation Houstonian whose obsession with music began with being glued to KLDE oldies on the radio as a young girl. She is a freelance music writer for the Houston Press, contributing articles since early 2017.

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Things To Do: Antonio Eyez Will Perform At R&R Studios April 30 - Houston Press

Five Essay Collections to Read in Quarantine – Willamette Week

Make It Scream, Make It Burn, Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison knows how to write a good personal essay because she doesn't assume you want to read about her personally. This was true in her first collection, Empathy Exams, and it is true in her second, Make It Scream, Make It Burn, which pieces together the things that interest Jamison most. In "Sim Life," Jamison examines our e-companions, those virtual characters we find ourselves strangely invested in. In "The Quickening," she reflects on the anxieties of pregnancy, at times addressing her unborn daughter directly, drawing the reader into the most private spaces of pre-parenthood. Each essay is an exercise in thoughtful restraint, never allowing itself to be confused for the work of a diarist.

Black Is the Body, Emily Bernard

On its most superficial level, Black Is the Body is a collection about storytelling within the familyas Bernard lays out in the subtitle, these are 12 stories from her grandmother's time, her mother's time, and her own. Beneath that, Black Is the Body is an expertly crafted collection about blackness in America, as only Bernard has lived it. One essay, "Interstates," documents the time when Bernard, her parents, and her white fianc pulled over to change a flat tire, exposing the family to every prejudice that may pass them on the highway. Other stories examine the relationship between white and black life in the American South, two experiences "ensnared in the same historical drama."

Interior States, Meghan OGieblyn

There are some writers who leave the worlds of devout religionworlds that are at once large, and impossibly smalland spare no second thoughts, rejecting both the baby and the bathwater. Meghan O'Gieblyn's debut collection leaves no thoughts behind, turning to her upbringing of conservative evangelicalism for a series of essays offering razor-sharp cultural criticism on the state of American life. "Ghost in the Cloud," a particular strong point, sews together the parallel theologies of transhumanism (technology that works to avoid death) and Christian millennialism (salvation that works to avoid death). O'Gieblyn is unapologetic in her takes, producing wholly original commentary slated for these times.

Human Relations and Other Difficulties, Mary-Kay Wilmers

Mary-Kay Wilmers, one of the founders of the London Review of Books and its sole editor since 1979, has a lot to say about writing, and women, and the ways women write for themselves and for men. Human Relations and Other Difficulties is the product of a veteran career in book reviewing, and it showsthe essays are clever, frank and delightfully readable. Some provide the literary commentary that Wilmer is known foron Joan Didion, Alice James and Jean Rhyswhile others turn inward, looking to Wilmer's own life as a child and a parent. "There's nothing magical about a mother's relationship with her baby," Wilmer writes of early motherhood. "Like most others, it takes two to get it going."

If there were ever a time to renew your love for the natural world, as the late poet Mary Oliver did throughout her career, it's now. Upstream, a collection of essays published three years before Oliver's death, is the author in her purest formreflecting on the beauty of codfish, grass, and seagulls on the beach. Life, as she writes about it, is precious in all things, without ever dipping into sentimentality. Oliver's meditation on her literary counterparts, including Walt Whitman, a childhood "friend," gives rare insight into the making of the poet, while other essays invite the reader to observe the outdoors with new eyes.

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Five Essay Collections to Read in Quarantine - Willamette Week

The Demo For Soldat 2 Is Now Free On The Steam Platform – Happy Gamer

The original Soldat was highly regarded at the time of its release during the 2000s. Players flocked to the title to get their multiplayer combat action on. It set the stage for a lot of similar games and will go down as one of the better 2.5D combat games to date.

It has been nearly 18 years since the original released, so naturally, fans have anxiously waited for a sequel. Finally, the wait is about to end as Soldat 2 hits the market during the second quarter of this year. So much time has passed, but not enough to make fans forget about the incredible combat action.

Even better, theres a demo right now for Soldat 2 on Steam. It doesnt have all of the features that will be available at launch, but theres definitely enough to get your beak wet. Transhuman Design appears to be keeping the buzz going leading up to this highly anticipated sequels release.

It looks like the developer is keeping some successful elements found in the original, and expanding upon them in all of the right ways for this pending sequel. For example, Soldat 2 will have many more customizeable options. Players will have access to a stage editor, where theyll be able to shape the grounds on which they play. That includes changing the rules, structures, weapons, and aspects of gameplay.

The added customization options should take the Soldat franchise to new heights and attract a new wave of fans whove never had the pleasure of playing the original. As far as what specifically will be available in the demo, players can look forward to online multiplayer with dedicated servers. There will also be procedurally generated levels that should keep each match different from the next.

Whats also important to note is the mod tools that players can access will be user-friendly. You dont have to be a modding wizard to have success out of the gate. Rather, the controls and systems will be pretty approachable. That should give rise to unique matches and limitless hours of fun.

If all of this action sounds like your cup of tea, then head on over to Steam today. In addition to checking out Soldat 2s free demo, you can also go back to the original Soldat. Its also available for no charge on the Steam platform. The developer is doing a solid by giving fans these free experiences, and it should help the sequel gain more attention heading into its release later in the year.

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The Demo For Soldat 2 Is Now Free On The Steam Platform - Happy Gamer

Friending the World Sociality and the Transhuman Vision – Patheos

by Clark Elliston, Assistant Professer of Religion and Philosophy, Schreiner University

Friends are all-too-frequently taken for granted, both in everyday human experience and in theology. It seems that for many people friends simply emerge; a shared laugh or thought becomes many and through some unseen alchemy a friend is created. Theologically the situation is a little more delicate. The concept of friendship poses a problem for theology insofar as friendship, in both antiquity and early theology, remains largely a preferential love. We choose our friends based on any number qualities, but we nevertheless choose them. This is a good gift, but as Soren Kierkegaard makes all too plain, this can be problematic for followers of a Savior who commands a neighbor-love of all persons. A preferential love which by necessity excludes others (as no one can love the whole world equally) thus violates the universality of Christs command to love all. Yet even here there are perplexing tensions. After all, the New Testament repeatedly mentions the beloved disciple and Jesus suggests an appropriate category of friendship when he notes that the greatest love is laying ones life down for friends. Nonetheless such difficulties, as well as the embedded character of human friendship, have made it strikingly absent from much theological discourse.

Yet like so many areas of human life in a technological world, sociality too has been affected. Study after study indicates that the social life of Westerners is suffering. We are more lonely, depressed, and anxious than ever before. We also know that self-reported social encounters are perhaps the greatest source of meaning and happiness available to us. Yet this is not to say that we simply need more social encounters after all, we are in the midst of one of the greatest social revolutions in history courtesy of the Internet. Though we may seclude ourselves physically from the surrounding world, most people will have hundreds of online interactions a day. As we work harder, as traditional ties lessen, and as the allure of instant communication grows, we should not be surprised as social media opportunities increase. Yet this transition into an online context poses myriad problems. Not least is the devolution of friendship as a fundamental form of human relationship. Instead, social media technologies promise ever-greater connectivity to others while paradoxically eroding constituent elements of friendship classically considered.

Two immediate issues arise when considering the digitalization of friendship through social media. First, social media friendship lacks consideration of character and the time it takes to cultivate character. Second, social media friendship remains crucially limited in terms of its presence with the other as friend. These issues, to be sure, do not undermine the project of social media entirely meaningful encounters with others can happen on several platforms. However, social media disciplines and forms our online relationships in crucial ways. When this disciplined thinking and formation creeps into other realms of life it becomes toxic.

When Aristotle wrote one of the most influential treatises on friendship, books seven and eight of the Nicomachean Ethics, he delineated between three types of friendship. Two are immediately familiar to us: friendships based on pleasure and on utility. In these we are friends with those whom we enjoy or who provide clear benefit to our personal projects. These are inferior modes of friendship, however, relative to friendships based on virtue. The friendship of virtue, in contrast, centers upon the character of the friend. We befriend those whose character we admire and who admire us for our character. While this emphasis on virtue possesses problems of its own, it nevertheless offers insight into a crucial facet of authentic friendship, namely that friendship should involve something other than deferred self-love. Friendships of virtue rightly privilege an other for their performance of virtue, rather than our own gratified desires or pursuits.

Second, social media cannot mediate the distance between persons. If time poses an immediate issue for the cultivation of relationship, then we should not be surprised that place does as well. More specifically, friendship is centrally related to presence with and for the other. This is poignantly and pastorally put best by Nicholas Wolterstorff when he writes about the death of his son:

If you think your task as comforter is to tell me that really, all things considered, its not so bad, you do not sit with me in my grief, but place yourself off in the distance away from me. Over there, you are of no help. What I need to hear from you is that you recognize how painful it is. I need to hear from you that you are with me in my desperation. To comfort me, you have to come close. Come sit beside me on my mourning bench (Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, 34).

The images of proximity in this passage resonate. It is not the demonstration of either wit or wisdom which mitigates the distance between self and other, but the sheer presence of oneself alongside another in suffering. Whereas social media, as a quintessentially intellectual exercise, exists primarily in the mind, genuine friendship becomes incarnate in the concrete situations in which we find ourselves. The sympathy that undoubtedly exists in social media communities is thus closer to pity than compassion. Pity remains, while deeply sympathetic, apart from the one being pitied. I can pity someones circumstance from a distance. In contrast, and as indicated above, the practice of compassion requires that I be both present and willing to get my hands dirty. This is profoundly difficult and undermines the easy deployment of what we commonly call compassion.

Social media can be engaged wisely, and it indeed allows for convenient communication. Yet, its value lies primarily in its capacity to support already-existing friendships it is not generative of friendship. Friendship requires the patient cultivation of virtue alongside the courageous willingness to walk alongside another in their suffering. Such friendships school us for loving both God and world. Thus, Nobody would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other good things. (Nicomachean Ethics, VIII.i).

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Friending the World Sociality and the Transhuman Vision - Patheos

Technology and Human Creativity in Theological Perspective – Patheos

by Victoria Lorrimar

In engaging with transhumanist visions of the future, and the more general notion of human technological enhancement, from a theological perspective, a helpful starting point is the place of technology within a doctrine of creation.

Within a Christian understanding, an examination of the biblical language for creation (i.e. a word study of the Hebrew brand ytsar the first of which is reserved only for the action of God while the second is an activity that both God and humans carry out) suggests that it is appropriate to speak of humans as being genuinely creative from a theological perspective. Drawing on a metaphor of God as divine artist, we might situate human making within a theology of creation, rather than relegating it to the more distant doctrines of preservation, providence or redemption. Trevor Hart sums up this approach, arguing that viewing creation as a project divinely begun and established, yet one that is handed over to us with more to be made of it yet and inviting our responsible participation in the making, affords a fruitful perspective on the matter (Making Good, 2014: 8).

For a long time, the semantic scope of creation rejected the possibility of such parallels and served to underscore the radical otherness of God. We can chart the historical shift which saw the notion of creation extended from its previous preserve of God alone to human artistry. Creation proper may still apply solely to the work of God in certain instances, but the idea of creation more generally has expanded in scope.

In fact, we can track the understanding of human creativity as it diverges from its humble scriptural origins. The language of creativity is first ascribed to humans during the Renaissance, as the idea of art being a faithful imitation of divine creativity gave way to the idea of the artist or poet as a creator in their own right. This extends through the Romantic era and the Enlightenment period, with the result that the modern understanding of the arts is, on the one hand, more limited than its classical and mediaeval counterparts, in that earlier understandings of art encompassed human productivity more generally, but also more audacious in the claims it makes on behalf of human capacities and originality.

From the time of Francis Bacon, the father of modern science, we see this understanding of human capacities bound up in the promise of empirical science, the immense confidence in the expansion of human knowledge, the drive to master nature and the flourishing of utopian thought. This emphasis on dominion came to be enmeshed within theological understandings of creation, as creation found its way into the vocabulary used for human activities.

This does not mean, however, that it is inappropriate to speak of humans as genuinely creative. Hart, after an extensive historical analysis of the language of creation, reaches the conclusion that: at various key points in the story of Gods creative fashioning of a world fit for his own indwelling with us, divine artistry actively solicits a corresponding creaturely creativity, apart from which the project cannot and will not come to fruition (Making Good, 2014: 37).

We find similar ideas in the work of Jacques Maritain and Dorothy Sayers, who reinforce the theological significance of human making and its proper place within a doctrine of creation. Maritain describes the creativity of the artist as a development of divine creation, a work proceeding from the whole soul which bears the image of God. Though he distinguishes the creation of God (who is able to truly generate another substance through divine utterance) and human works of creating (which can only ever be signs), Maritain nevertheless grounds the dignity of art in his assertion that it realizes in act one of the fundamental aspects of the ontological likeness of our soul with God. Sayers, too, locates human creativity in our being made in the image of a triune Creator, introduced in her play The Zeal of Thy House(1937) and unpacked further in The Mind of the Maker (1941).

The challenges posed by transhumanist visions of the human future require us to develop a sufficiently robust account of theological anthropology in return. Of course, theological anthropology is a very broad category, and Ive focused on the understanding of human creativity within that. If we reflect on enhancement technologies, this prompts the question as to whether these kinds of technology are a legitimate exercise of our creativity, set within the framework of a broader doctrine of creation.

Most of the detailed theological treatments of human creativity we might turn to focus almost exclusively on the arts. If they do treat technology, they tend to have developed within the science and religion field and often are accompanied by an over-privileging of rationality and an epistemological confidence in human capability that neglects an account of fallenness and the need for discernment (here Im thinking mainly of Philip Hefners created co-creator proposal outlined most comprehensively in his 1993 work The Human Factor). In these latter discourses, even if they are moving beyond a foundationalist epistemology, the role of the imagination for understanding and discernment is often neglected.

Yet, transhumanism as a philosophy is veryimaginative. There are all kinds of synergies with science fiction that other scholars have drawn out, but (whatever we say about some of the ideologies involved) we have to admit that transhumanist visions of transcendence are captivating for many (even if not always taken seriously). If we are to engage these movements from a theological perspective then we need to meet them with equally compelling theological accounts of the future, and the good news is that Christian theology has a deep well of resources to draw on in this area.

James McClendon argued for the need to enter the tournament of narratives competing for attention within a postmodern milieu. Presented in ways that recruit the imagination (as James K. A. Smith describes the imperative for good stories in the moral arena), the visions of transcendence and glorification proclaimed so confidently in transhumanist literature are ripe for reclamation by Christian theologians, philosophers, writers and artists. We might respond with a fuller vision of the human future, a greater hope to set alongside the imaginings of transhumanists and techno-utopians. Of course, this is already a move to eschatology, but then we dont want to separate out creation and redemption as entirely independent doctrinal loci.

Whereas technology itself tends to occupy many of the classic roles of a deity in the present technological paradigm, theologians are able to expose the pretensions to self-love inherent in certain technological mindsets (as theologian Brian Brock puts it). A Christian account of hope declares that in conceiving, assessing and implementing technologies, we bear neither the burden of correctly envisioning or accomplishing redemption for ourselves nor the risk and dread of complete failure. Technology occupies its proper place within the work of a gracious God who allows creation to participate in bringing the creation toward glorious fulfilment.

By reflecting on our technological activity in the context of theological accounts of co-creation (recognising and challenging the ways in which understanding has diverged from a biblical account of creativity), and by setting imaginative portrayals of Christian hope alongside transhumanist projections, we might think of theology as entering the tournament of narratives competing for victory over the human (and non-human, an aspect often neglected by transhumanists!) future.

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Technology and Human Creativity in Theological Perspective - Patheos

How the Fast & Furious Movies Should End (and Live on Forever) – Observer

Observation Pointsis a new, semi-regular discussion of key details in our culture.

TheFast & Furiousmovies are ridiculousness incarnatethe artistic expression of that weird noise your dishwasher makes when a fork gets caught between the grates. Yet strangely, they just work. The physics-defying stunts, the over-the-top lunacy, the complete disregard for coherence and the tried-and-true emphasis on family. It all just somehow clicks together. Thats why its such a monumental letdown that the coronavirus forced F9to abandon its planned May release until April 2021.

The delay gives us roughly 12 months to ponder the future of the franchise and a total of 20 months between series releases when accounting for Augusts Hobbs & Shaw. I dont know about you, but thats too damn long without any fresh Fast & Furiousin my life. So in lieu of the blockbusters we were promised, here is my completely logical plan for the future of the franchise that I definitely have not been thinking about non-stop for the last two years.

SEE ALSO: Mission: Impossible Director Brian De Palma Had Zero Interest in Making Sequels

Here is the official plot synopsis forF9from Universal:

Vin Diesels Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if hes going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver theyve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Doms forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena).

Thats not a whole lot to go on. But we do know that Jakob is working withThe Fate of the Furiouscyber terrorist villain Cipher (Charlize Theron). Thanks to the trailer, we also know that Han (Sung Kang) is somehow alive after seemingly being killed by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) inTokyo Drift. How? Fuck you, this is Fast & Furious, thats how!

InHobbs & Shaw, an unknown villain that uses a computerized voice to communicate leads the terrorist organization Eteon, which specializes in transhumanism. This mysterious mastermind enhances Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) through cybernetics, suggesting advanced bioengineering and technological capabilities. Thats not how Han survivedJakob rescued him and held him hostage to extract information about Dom and his crew, obviouslybut it will come into play later.

And finally, its a safe betat some pointthat one or more members of Doms team will drive in space, given the conspicuous placement of a rocket-powered car in the F9 trailer. Beating theMission: Impossible franchise to that particular punch is a badge of honor.

Thats what we know so far about info teased relating to F9. In our version of the Fastfranchise,F9reveals that, unbeknownst to them, Jakob and Cipher have been serving under this anonymous puppet master for years. Whats more, there are clues indicating that this antagonist has ties to the Diplomatic Security Service, where Dwayne Johnsons Hobbs used to work. Boom, nowFast & Furioushas its own Thanos-lite Big Bad to contend with, though his identity remains unknown.

Fast & Furious 10was meant to arrive on April 1, 2021, but withF9moving into that slot thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown, Universal is going to be forced to delay. In the interim, the studio can pivot to a sequel to the franchises first successful spinoff.

This time around, Hobbs & Shaw have been tasked with investigating the destruction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the worlds largest and highest-energy particle collider and the largest machine in the world, currently built beneath the France-Switzerland border near Geneva. (We know the Hobbs & Shaw post-credits scenes teased a deadly virus, but that just feels yucky after COVID-19.) What concerns authorities more than the supercolliders destruction is what wasntfound in the rubble: central working components of the machine. This technology is used to explore quantum mechanics, general relativity and the deep structures of space and time. In the wrong hands, it poses a global threat.

Naturally, Eteon is behind it all (and no, Ryan Reynolds Locke is not the secret bad guy). To retrieve the stolen materials, Hobbs and Shaw must pull off a daring raid on the organizations secret compound. But instead of finding missing machine parts, they come acrossprepare for our first Holy shit! momentGisele Yashar (Gal Gadot), the love of Hans life who was seemingly killed off in Fast & Furious 6.Shes unconscious, hooked up to a host of medical machines, but very much alive.

Brixton wasnt Eteons only cybernetic human test subject, after all. Dun, dun, dunnnn.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham were not going to appear inF9 thanks toHobbs & Shaw. Assuming Universal doesnt use the 11-month delay to add them into the film, Fast & Furious 10will take on added importance as a reunion of sorts. You can practically hear the box office banknotes rolling in.

Here, our characters are puzzling over Giseles survival, reintegrating her back into the crew (she and Han navigate a V-12 engines worth of sexual tension, obviously) and still searching for Eteon and their supercollider. All of a sudden, a mortally wounded Ciphernot seen since escaping in F9turns up at HQ with a warning. You must stop him, she says as she slips Dom a flash drive before dying. One of their most hated rivals using her last breath to help them? Shit must be getting real.

The flash drive contains detailed files on what Eteon is planning with their supercollidera tear in the space-time continuum that enables time travel, because why the hell not at this point?!The plans also reveal the last piece Eteon needs to complete it which sends our heroes on a mission to intercept them.

A massive battle breaks out immediately upon their arrival. Every rule of physics that can be broken on screen isbroken. Everything that can be on fire ison fire. Every bicep comparison between main characters that can be made is made. You know, normalFast & Furiousstuff.

When the dust settles, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) isheld at gunpoint bywait for itKeanu Reeves! Reeves character is revealed to be the mastermind behind Eteon andHobbs childhood friend/former partner who was believed to be killed on their first mission together. (Hobbs, of course, still blames himself to this day.) He murders Roman (sorry, Tyrese, but we needsome emotional fallout) and escapes, leaving our heroes distraught and defeated.

That brings us to

Reeves bad guyintent on ruining Dom, Hobbs and the whole crew before taking over the worldflings himself to the future in order to kill the adult versions of Doms son Brian and Hobbs daughter Sam, who are totally married and also happen to be badass super spies themselves. Han and Giseles kid is their guy in the chair tech expert too. What is the Fast & Furiousfranchise if not a soap opera soaked in diesel fuel?

Adult Brian is played by Shia LaBeouf, adult Sam is played by Keke Palmer, and Han and Giseles kid is played by Steven Yeun. LaBeouf will win his first Oscar for the role.

So our crew follows Reeves villain into the future where they pair up with the now-grown versions of their own children in an X-Men: Days of Future Past-esque set-up that doubles as the conclusion to the current iteration of theFastseries and a bridge to the new spinoff franchise Universal has been planning this entire time.

MIND = BLOWN.

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How the Fast & Furious Movies Should End (and Live on Forever) - Observer

What is an artificial womb and can it work for humans? – Screen Shot

In 2017, when a premature lamb was successfully grown to term inside an artificial womb, a bio bag, spectators argued that human fetuses would be next. In October 2019, Dutch researchers were awarded 2.9 million to develop a prototype. In a time of a pandemic where everyone is affected and people fear for their life, could artificial wombs represent a glimpse of hope for a better future?

Unlike existing incubators that provide artificial respiration, this technology simulates the biological environment and feeds the fetus oxygen and nutrients through tubes, in the same way the placenta and umbilical cord do. This would allow premature babies, whose lungs are often not developed enough to breathe air and have high mortality rates to grow to term outside the uterus, which is the largest supporting argument for the technology.

Artificial wombs will help babies born prematurely survive. Thats the main help, Zolton Istvan, a transhumanist figurehead running in the 2020 US presidential election as a Republican, told Screen Shot. This is an intrinsic part of the transhumanist movement since it will use radical science to change an existing institution of humanity, he added.

Artificial wombs could eliminate risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth although, currently, the mother is still an integral part of the birthing processan embryo cannot be fertilised and planted in an artificial womb, first it must be partially grown inside a uterus. If this was possible, it would be what is called ectogenesis.

It will also give women a third choice when it comes to abortion. Instead of aborting, they can have the fetus transplanted into an artificial womb, Istvan added. Theres a lot of fighting between pro-life and pro-choice, having a third choice regarding abortion will ease societys divisiveness. Terminating a pregnancy without having to end the life of the child presents vast social and ethical questions, such as an increased pressure on the state to provide the necessary equipment and resources. In 2018, there were 205,295 abortions in England and Wales.

Speaking to Screen Shot, Elizabeth Chloe Romanis, a lawyer and bioethicist at the University of Manchester, explains that Access to choices in pregnancy are subject to lots of social, legal and medical control and we need to make sure that the artificial womb is not used to deny women access to reproductive healthcare like abortion.

Although technology is not yet advanced enough for ectogenesis, many see bio bags, which could hinder female autonomy, as a stepping stone. Removing the natural dependency on women to have children could be integral in achieving true gender equality and balanced parenting. As a result of this, what it means to be a mother could be redefined.

At its very basic level, the technology would mean women no longer have to leave their jobs or go through labour, both things which Ivstan sees as positives. If neither parent was tied to a child physically, maternity and paternity leave would potentially equalise.

Giulia Cavaliere, a lecturer specialising in bioethics and reproductive technology at Lancaster Medical School, agrees with the fact that artificial wombs will allow women to become mothers in the same ways as men became fathers, by enjoying all the positive stuff while not experiencing any of the negative physical, psychological, professional and personal effects.

She added: There are also other benefits; women who could not or would not want to gestate and birth children could still be able to have genetically related children. A society where women are less subjected to health-related risks is a better society. This would be particularly impactful for women without a uterus, male same-sex couples and single males.

Itsvan explained that it is likely that womens pay will increase as a result of the technology, because womens careers wont be interrupted. At the moement, growing embryos into babies outside of a womb is restricted legally and technologically, with no evidence an embryo can be taken to term from scratch with current bio bags, and it being illegal to do so.

Instead, legal definitions and potential backlash to existing functionalities must be managed. Romanis explained that what is most interesting is how this will change some of our ideas about birth. A subject in an artificial womb is not completely born, even though they have been delivered from their mother, because they are still undergoing gestation and are not interacting with the external environment. The social response is hard to predict. Should we treat it like a foetus, or like a born baby?

Regulation will play a part in this, determining whether artificial wombs are restricted for medical use. While depicted as freedom and equality-promoting for all women, as Romanis said, if used generally bio pregnancies could exaggerate class divide with fewer middle-class couples opting for natural pregnancy or, on the contrary, it could see vulnerable mothers who smoke, take drugs or are from a minority group being coerced into using the technology.

If artificial wombs become an option in the near future, it remains uncertain whether women will opt for it without good reasons as Romanis highlighted how invasive the procedure would be. Although it is facing important financial, technological and legal hurdles, the continued development of this niche health tech no doubt holds the key to both true gender equality and widespread social controversy. As controversial as they are, artificial wombs are also something exciting to look out for in the near futurea positive thing to think about while stuck at home.

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What is an artificial womb and can it work for humans? - Screen Shot

Oxford academic claims future humans could live for thousands of years – Express.co.uk

The comment was made by Anders Sandberg, a senior research fellow at the universitys Future of Humanity Institute. His work focuses on the potential risks future technology could pose to human civilisation.

Mr Sandberg has also spent decades involved with the transhumanist movement, which consists of people who believe humans can and should use technology to artificially augment their capabilities.

Speaking to Express.co.uk he argued humans in the future could enjoy greatly expanded lifespans and could even have their brains uploaded onto computers for safekeeping.

Asked how long humans could live Mr Sandberg replied: There is no fundamental ceiling but you are going to need to solve certain problems.

Accidents is the first one cryonics wont help you if a bus runs over you and turns you into mush.

Even if ageing and disease is not a problem you need to handle accidents and probably that means having some form of backup copies. You need some form of uploading or artificial body.

Probably the human brain cant handle that much information so you need to extend it as you get older.

You want to remember what needs to be remembered and maybe put other stuff in cyber storage.

Transhumanists believe humans can halt the ageing process and natural death.

According to Mr Sandberg this is one of the most provocative aspects of their programme.

He explained: Transhumanists have essentially since day one been saying we should really extend the human lifespan and this is perhaps one of the most controversial claims ever made.

We get way more pushback when talking about life extension than cloning or uploading into computers or going to space or taking drugs to become a more moral person.

Thats nothing compared to the potential of oh you might live much longer than you expected.

READ MORE:Academic explains how humans could become part mechanic cyborgs'

That is kind of dreadful to many people so they get very upset and start defending disease, sickness and death very strongly.

Its weird because if one believed their arguments we should be shutting down hospitals left and right and having people naturally and painfully die which of course people dont normally do. Normally we are very keen on having good hospitals and ambulances.

Mr Sandberg is the co-founder of Swedish thinktank Eudoxa and previously chaired the Swedish Transhumanist Association.

Transhumanist ideas have been gaining ground over recent years, with transhumanist political parties emerging in countries across the world including the UK.

An American transhumanist, Zoltan Istvan, recently ran against Trump for the 2020 Republican Presidential nomination.

Mr Sandberg also suggested advances in AI and drugs that improve human abilities are likely to play a role in the future.

READ MORE:US Presidential hopeful plans to ABOLISH DEATH using technology

He asserted: Its very likely artificial intelligence is going to become extremely powerful relatively soon.

Not necessarily the kind of self-willed Hal like being but at least very smart services that can solve problems for us which might speed things up.

I also have been working quite a lot on the ethics of cognitive enhancement. What about making ourselves smarter?

The good news is there are various things like smart drugs that might be helpful for certain mental tasks.

The bad news is there doesnt seem to be anything that really boost intelligence itself. That seems to be very complicated and we dont understand the brain well enough.

Oxford Universitys Future of Humanity Institute was founded in 2005 to focus on the opportunities and threats that could emerge for the human species.

It is headed by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom, who grabbed wide attention with his 2014 book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.

Asked what the world could look like in 40 years time Mr Sandberg replied: think a time traveller going 40 years into the future is first going to be super disappointed because it looks almost the same.

On the surface I think its going to be very similar theres going to be vehicles moving around, maybe without any drivers, there are going to be houses around and so on and then they start interacting with people and theyre going to realise this society works completely differently.

We most likely are going to have quite a lot of enhancements around that are regarded as everyday.

People are not going to think that the morning cognition enhancing pill is any weirder than the morning coffee they might even be the same thing.

The existence of a lot of machine learning and probably nanotechnology making a lot of material way more alive than they used to.

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Oxford academic claims future humans could live for thousands of years - Express.co.uk

Electioneering on the Eve of the Virus Nathan Thornburgh and photographer Shane Carpenter were in New – Roads and Kingdoms

Nathan Thornburgh and photographer Shane Carpenter were in New Hampshire last month for their longterm reporting project on the states odd presidential primary. In hindsight, it looks more surreal than ever.

It is unnerving to look at the pictures at this moment, in this week. Photographer Shane Carpenter and I have been working on a longterm project about the New Hampshire presidential primary for four election cycles spanning 16 years, but the things Ive come to love about the campaign up therethe intimacy of retail politicking, the electricity of the big ralliesnow just trip alarms in my mind. All the handshakes. All the pressed flesh, the leaning in, the campaign buses filled with coughing staffers, the moist microphones, the communal pens at the polls. The collective spittle of a talkative, aging electorate grabbing the shoulders of talkative, aging candidates. The entire thing feels so antediluvian.

But still, this is how it was just a few weeks ago. Were at the end of New Hampshire series of The Trip Podcastthe final episode is with Zoltan Istvan, who is both a lesser-known candidate for president and an avowed transhumanist obsessed with using technology to defeat deathso it seems a good time to publish a few of Shanes photographs from our time there.

We spent some time, as we always do, getting to know the brave and occasionally delusional lesser-known candidates who pay to be on the official ballot in the hopes of stealing some votes for themselves or their cause. And there were mainstream moments, like the Mcintyre-Shaheen candidate cattle-call in the big downtown arena. That one was cathartic for Shane and me in particular; the last time we were at that arena was for Trumps final 2016 rally before the primary in New Hampshire. He used the word pussy while ad-libbing with the crowd; he booed and badgered the press as they stood in their pen. It was the kind of monster truck rally political event that has become all too familiar over the last four years. The next day, Trump won.

This year, the New Hampshire primary was held on February 11, twelve days after the first U.S. coronavirus patient had been diagnosed in Washington State. No candidate mentioned it once while we were there; no voter asked any questions about it. On Primary Day, Shane and I drove down from Dixville Notch, where we had witnessed the campy traditions of the midnight vote. The next day we left the state; I drove back to Boston and took the Acela to New York City.

Less than two weeks after that, the Biogen conference kicked off at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston. So far, 97 confirmed cases have been reported among conference attendees, spreading throughout the U.S. and even to China.

Now the virus is everywhere, and these pictures are unnerving to look at, but somewhere in here youll see the next president of the United States (and no, Im not talking about our lesser-known candidates like self-described jailhouse lawyer Mary Maxwell, Arkansan actual lawyer Mosie Boyd, or Zoltan Istvan). And though its hard to know what the half-life of social distancing will be after this pandemic ends, I do know that many of the building blocks of the new America we get after this one has molted are in these photos. The fervor, the turnout, the radical belief in participatory democracy. Well need them all.

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Electioneering on the Eve of the Virus Nathan Thornburgh and photographer Shane Carpenter were in New - Roads and Kingdoms

MultiBrief: Surviving coronavirus: Bravery, health, and strength – MultiBriefs Exclusive

Be Brave. Good Health. Stay Strong. These three (albeit optimistic) convictions grace childlike artwork pinned to an overturned wooden cable spool in an Albuquerque neighborhood near the University of New Mexico. As coronavirus spreads, a yard full of art reminds us to keep our convictions.

Big Techs version of cable no longer signals a 5G future filled with exuberant STEAM lesson plans guaranteeing a creative class career. Coronavirus has frozen the future in time, requiring repurposed cable spools as tables, with the cable itself used to rig some backyard makeshift permaculture system, at best.

Artwork expresses much more than our irrelevant textbooks and quickly outdated news reports. While stocking up on beans and rice is essential, bravery, health, and strength is more essential in the sink or swim chance environment of COVID-19 contagion. This is a viral contagion that, in addition to its disconcerting capacity to mutate, can also ostensibly live much longer than three days on surfaces. Cruise ships have incubated viral traces living up to 17 days: hows that for an epidemiological learning curve?

Its fortunate schools are closed: what can teachers tell students? Fearful and grumpy, from pre-K to college, they miss their friends desperately, hopefully shuttered in the home their parents secured for the family before the virus hit hard. Homeless students didnt fare that well in this high-stakes game of life they are learning about too young.

Far from Big Techs imposter educated-class vision of a transhumanist egalitarian future with optimized minds delivered by Artificial Intelligence/Big Data, even if your gifted children are quarantined for their own protection, viral contagion of pandemic proportions is not the future trans-humanists plan for.

Hiveminds be damned, the children are still going to sit in parks and hold hands!

At least big boxes like Walmart and Amazon are mass hiring for warehouse work. You might find work making ventilators and masks at one of the repurposed factories. Or you can help innovate the 3-D-printed kind.

Commissary-style prices are looking quite attractive to big-box retailers, as usually spoiled companies adjust profit margin expectations, since prisoner releases will make it harder to price gouge prison commissaries anyway. Healthcare workers, too, are paying dearly, some with their lives.

The global COVID-19 toll surges upwards toward half a million official cases; the line between death and life blurs depending on your chance lot. Whether grave illness, layoff stress, or rent relief describes your days better, life has changed, and uncertainty abounds, especially regarding the newly reconfigured social sphere.

The stock market is trying something new by surging upwards, just as news of a $2 trillion bailout has arrived at a pandemic near everyone. New York states cases double every three days, possibly leaving Wall Street rather empty with no one left to ring that opening bell.

COVID-19s dramatic and tragic spreading has fingers pointing in all directions: plenty of culprits to blame. Death kindly stops for too many, and Trump-era deregulation appears to be curtailed momentarily, but its effects are everywhere when you look closer.

For example, nuclear weapons make the list of essential businesses to remain open, while some nuclear industry employees are encouraged to work from home if possible.

COVID-19 takes no hostages. Many lessons are lost. Setting better priorities and being better prepared for next time or taking time to stop and smell the flowers are quaint lessons from already bygone days that seem more indulgent than the new realities suddenly thrust on everyone living and breathing.

The virus lives longer and spreads faster, winning the race against our now humbled science. Real-time, tech-savvy data on Twitter can update the most well-intentioned graphic renderings, but neighborhood artwork, guided by children, is our real-time information, emerging from imaginations with more time on their hands than ever, but with less certainty than we could have ever imagined.

Adult reality consoles little, with little to show but a nightmare in exchange for all our hard work.

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MultiBrief: Surviving coronavirus: Bravery, health, and strength - MultiBriefs Exclusive


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