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Staying away from public events during COVID-19 caution? Stream these shows at home – Johnson City Press (subscription)

So instead of a list of local events, the newsroom staff at Johnson City Press helped pull together a list of shows to watch on streaming services this coming week.

Shrill on Hulu: Shrill is a new Hulu comedy series starring Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live as Annie, a fat young woman who wants to change her life but not her body. Annie tries to advance her journalism career while dealing with bad boyfriends, a sick parent and an often dismissive boss. This show explores sexism, body image issues and much more.

Rebellion on Netflix:Rebellion is a five-part series that is told from the perspectives of a group of fictional characters who live through the political events of the 1916 Easter Rising. The show focuses on the revolutionaries fighting for a free Ireland, as well as those involved in the British occupation. A great show for history buffs.

Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Hulu: Fans of this cult comedy classic were displeased to see the show leave Netflix in 2017, but you can still catch the gang in action on Hulu, which recently added season 14 to its streaming service. The show, starring Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds, Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly, Rob McElhenney as Mac, Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds and Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds, follows the exploits of a group of arrogant narcissists who seem to get worse as the show continues.

Adult Swim App: For fans of alternative comedy, the free Adult Swim app can be found on your Roku device or other smart TVs. The app includes everything the channel has ever featured over the years, includingRick and Morty,The Eric Andre Show,Loiter Squad, all the hijinks ofTim and Eric, and much more. With hours of free TV shows, this app alone could kill a lot of time.

Counterpart on Amazon Prime: Counterpart, a sci-fi thriller drama starring JK Simmons, Olivia Williams and Harry Lloyd, tells the tale of a United Nations employee, played by Simmons, who discovers that the agency he works for is hiding a parallel dimension thats at war with our own. Within that parallel dimension is a top spy whos his other self.

The Expanse, an Amazon Prime original: The Expanse, starring Steven Strait, Cas Anvar and Dominique Tipper, follows a police detective in the asteroid belt, the first officer of an interplanetary ice freighter and an earth-bound United Nations executive as they discover a vast conspiracy that threatens Earth's rebellious colony on the asteroid belt.

Ozark on Amazon Prime:Ozark, starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner, follows afinancial adviser who takes his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks to work for a drug boss who he must appease through money laundering and more. Season three will come out on March 27.

Altered Carbon on Netflix: Altered Carbon, starring Anthony Mackie, Lela Loren and Simone Missick, is set in a futuristic transhumanist world in which peoples consciousnesses can be transferred into other bodies, orsleeves. This show follows a prisoner who returns to life in a new body with a chance to win his freedom by solving a murder. The show is based on Richard K. Morgan's cyberpunk noir novel of the same name.

The Witcher on Netflix: Though the show has received mixed reviews from some, most have seemed to enjoyThe Witcher, an action fantasy series starringHenry Cavill, Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan. The show, which is set for another season, follows a mutated monster-hunter for hire in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts.

Frozen 2 on Disney Plus: The musical fantasy film Frozen 2 was released early on Disney Plus on Sunday for viewers getting throughthis challenging time. This critically acclaimed animated film follows characters Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven as they leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient enchanted land to find the origin of Elsa's powers and save their kingdom in peril.

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Staying away from public events during COVID-19 caution? Stream these shows at home - Johnson City Press (subscription)

cyborgs, robots, and biohackers: the first-ever survey of transhumanism – Designboom

london-based photographers david vintiner and gem fletcher document individuals who form part of the transhumanism culture throughout europe, russia and the united states in their latest collaborative photo series, I want to believe an exploration of transhumanism. the five-year-long project explores the core idea behind transhumanism the belief that human beings are destined to transcend their mortal flesh through technology.

neil harbisson hears color neil harbisson was born with achromatism, a rare disease that renders him colourblind. rather than overcome achromatism, harbisson created a new sense to go beyond the human visual spectrumin 2004 he had an antenna implanted into his skull. the antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colours as audible vibrations, including infrareds and ultraviolets.

the photo series by vintinerand fletcher illustrates three gradual stages of transhumanism from testing ground, patient zero to humanity 2.0. at the lowest tier, testing ground looks into individuals who have created wearable technology to expand their human abilities, improving everything from concentration to mental health.patient zero studies those who have taken permanent action to become half human and half robot. in the final chapter, humanity 2.0, the transhumanist subjects focus on life extension and immortality.

the work of the individuals in this book demonstrates how optimizing our brains and bodies could revolutionize and redefine humanity. as human architects, we are only limited by our imagination, explains vintiner and fletcher.

kevin warrick widely considered as one of the first cyborgs.kevin warrick is a pioneering professor in cybernetics and considered by many as the worlds first cyborg. kevin instigated a series of experiments involving the neuro-surgical implantation of a device into the nerves of his left arm in order to link his nervous system directly to a computer. this enabled him to have a symbiotic connection with a robotic hand. he could control the hand using his own brain signals from anywhere in the world, as well as sense what the robot hand was feeling.

humans are now gods. we are now able to create and design humans, but do humans have the foresight to do it in the right way? questions the photographers.

cyborg arm

for many transhumanists, life extension and immortality is the goal. transhumanism started as early as 1923 and has developed over recent years through the rise of sci-fi themed books, movies and the democratization of technology. as studies on experimental genetic engineering, tissue regeneration and stem cell treatments are also becoming more apparent in todays world, transhumanists hope to extend the life of the human body anywhere from twenty to 500 years longer than the average lifespan.

vintiner and fletcher are working together on releasing the photo series as a book, which can be funded on crowd-funding platform kickstarter, here.

moon ribas sensing earthquakesmoon ribas is connected to online seismographs allowing her to perceive the seismic activity of the planet through vibrations in her body. the vibration she feels depends on the intensity of the earthquake. if she is standing in newcastle, she can sense earthquakes happening everywhere from japan to greece. she describes the sensation as having two heartbeats, her biological heartbeat and the earthbeat, which has its own rhythm inside her body.

dr natasha vita-more a leading expert on human enhancement and emerging technologies

dr. aubrey de grey biomedical gerontologist and the chief science 0fficer of SENS research foundation

liz parrish founder of bioviva

dr max more president and CEO of the alcor life extension foundation

patient zero - james young after an accident that left him a double amputee, james young turned to bionics to redesign his body. obsessed with the metal gear solid, he worked with gaming giant konami and prosthetic sculptor sophie de oliveira barata to develop an advanced bionic arm inspired by the computer game.

carbon fibre bionic limb

patient zero - rob spence known as the eyeborg, rob spence lost an eye as a child while playing with his grandfather's shotgun. inspired by a love of the bionic man and his interest in documentary filmmaking, spence created an eye with a wireless video camera inside. the camera is not connected to his optic nerve but sends footage to a remote receiver. over the years, he has created several different aesthetics for the eye, from a realistic 'hidden camera' version to a terminator inspired glowing red version.

patient zero - neil harbisson neil harbisson was born with achromatism, a rare disease that renders him colourblind. rather than overcome achromatism, harbisson created a new sense to go beyond the human visual spectrumin 2004 he had an antenna implanted into his skull. the antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colours as audible vibrations, including infrareds and ultraviolets.

image out of rob spence's eyes

new ways of seeing - EYEsect the experimental device aims to recreate the experience of seeing the world like a chameleon, with two single steerable eyes. in changing the way we perceive the world around us, eyesect alters our version of reality enabling new ways to sense and experience our environment.

new ways of seeing - north sense created by liviu babitz and scott cohen, north sense is a small matchbox-sized artificial sense organ that delivers a short vibration every time the user faces north, similar to the biological abilities of migratory birds, extending the human perception of orientation.

new ways of seeing - aisen caro chacin / echolocation the echolocation headphones are a pair of goggles that aid human echolocation. it is designed to substitute the users vision augmenting our spatial awareness with sound, similar to the abilities of bats and whales. the device has both the potential to aid the visually impaired and provide sighted individuals with a new sense.

project info:

title:I want to believe an exploration of transhumanism

artistic director: gem fletcher

photographer: david vintiner

kick starter page: I want to believe

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cyborgs, robots, and biohackers: the first-ever survey of transhumanism - Designboom

I turned a psychopath into a noble and rescued drunk royalty in the new RimWorld expansion – PC Gamer

I've been playing RimWorld for the better part of a decade now, since 2013, when it was an alpha you could only get from the developer's website. Much of RimWorld's successas of 2018 it had sold a million copiescomes from its power as a story generator. It builds a procedural arc using an AI director that forces interesting outcomes and interwoven relationships. That arc is stapled to a greater backbone with a single goal: escape the RimWorld. There are a couple ways to do that, like trekking overland or building a new spaceship to escape. The new expansion, Royalty, adds a third escape path to RimWorldwith attendant increase in characters, technologies, and a slew of new quests based on them. The AI storyteller interweaves this new material seamlessly with the old.

Here's the tale of how three crash survivors were marooned on an alien world, made their psychopath leader into space-empire nobility, and got hoodwinked into rescuing a terrible drunk who was far, far more useful than they realised.

In the Royalty expansion, the remnants of an ancient stellar empire have fled to the RimWorld. Where previously the only other inhabitants were regressed tribals, other scattered survivor factions and vicious pirates, there's now a certain civilized air upon the backwater planet. While it was once immeasurably powerful, the shattered empire has lost its home worlds, but the remnants of its military fleet in orbit and its advanced technology make its members the top dogs on the rim. If you can make friends with them and rise through their ranks they might just help you get off this rock and give you sweet psychic powers to boot. This is the kind of stuff that has been implicit in RimWorld's lore for years, but is just now appearing in the game proper.

After a space accident, colonists Onesan, Faina, Xiaohan, and their cat Mr. Boots crash-land on an unknown rimworld. They're in the far south of the Sendor Forest at the crux of a dirt trading road and a river, just west of uninhabited White Sparrow Plateau and east of the sprawling desert of the Stingray Mountains. Mr. Boots is eaten by a bear a few days after landing.

Faina is a beautiful drifter who grew up in a cult. Xiaohan is just 21, but he's brillianttoo brilliant for his own good, and annoying because of it. And then there's Onesan. She's good at manipulating thingsand peoplebecause she grew up on the street and then became a successful merchant. She wants to be eternally better, stronger, faster, and is a transhumanist because of it. She's fascinated with body augmentations.

She's also a psychopath.

A few days into their trials, as they establish a few small stone buildings beside the river, they receive a message: the Empire of Eternity wants to talk. They've offered a position in their society for one of the new colonists if they can shelter a nearby hapless nobleman who's being pursued by an angry, vicious snow hare. (Did I mention the nobleman is hapless?)

Naturally, I choose vicious, amoral Onesan as the colony's new de jure noble leader. I welcome in the Baron and Onesan point-blank executes the rabbit with a revolver.

There are some advantages to having a psychopath as a leader. No matter what happens to the others, Onesan won't lose her cool. She won't get mood penalties when others die along the way which is good because the expectations of an imperial noble are hard to meet on the rim, and that causes mood penalties. Stacking these penalties can lead to colonists going a bit over the edge: throwing tantrums, binge drinking, murdering their rivals. These are not desirable behaviors in a leader. The new path to escape via nobility is hard because I need the wealth to satisfy our noble's desires. But if a character progresses too quickly up the ranks, they will, to put it plainly, lose their shit at the disconnect between expectation and reality. So I put the most predictable person in charge.

In the immortal words of reality TV show contestants the world over: I am not here to make friends, I am here to win.

There are some advantages to having a psychopath as a leader.

Things go well for a while. The nobility wants us to let their pets get a break from the space station life, so they send down a pair of foxes for us to care for. In exchange, Onesan gets promoted high enough in the imperial nobility that they send down a psychic enhancement device for her to plug in. She carves herself a throne out of solid jade and I spend a week building a grand marble hall for it to sit in. Over the next year, she never once sits on the throneshe doesn't even enter the throne room. She is very pleased by its grandeur nonetheless. I guess she just likes to know it's available? The mind of the blessed nobility must operate on a much higher level than my own.

Finally, the imperials turn over the quest for the endgame: if Onesan can reach the rank of Countess, imperial Stellarch Adeodata will come visit us. If I keep her happy she'll fly my colonists off-world.

Royalty presents a new twist on RimWorld for me. Previously the game really focused on building up a base of supplies for an overland trek to an established ship, or on a defensible technological base so you could build a new ship of your own. Royalty wants you to thrive rather than simply survive. The colony must become a lucious, luxurious palace. You must accumulate wealth, and the power to defend it, in a sustainable way.

I'm given several more pets to babysit. I apparently now run a doggie daycare for the miscellaneous animals of the eccentric, bored space nobility. A labrador. An arctic wolf. A pig named Carlos. All of the animals arrive injured in some way. I begin to wonder if the good Baron, fleeing from a snow hare, was not simply fleeing retribution for animal abuse of his own. Another noble asks us to build a monument to the power of his muscles. Onesan rises high enough in the ranks that, when attacked by an overwhelming force of the local tribals, she's able to call down a contingent of imperial shock troops to see them off.

I get a message from the leader of a nearby industrialized settlement, begging us to go out and help a wounded friend. It's a two-day trek, requiring all our supply of travel foods. I saddle up a donkey and go, but am dismayed when the colonists arrive two days later. The man I've been sent to rescue is little more than a wounded drunk lost in the desert. He's heavily alcohol-dependent, with cirrhosis and a cancerous tumor on his liver. His only real skill is cooking, and that offers little to our colony. He'd be more of a drain on resources than he's worth. I consider leaving him for dead or having Onesan put him out of his misery rather than trying to stabilize him and carry him home.

Before I do, I absentmindedly click over to his social tab, curious if the game has given him a relationship with the settlement leader I want to please. It hasn't, but the storyteller has kicked up a relationship for him: he's the father of someone called Adeodata Kosmatos. It says she's a faction leader, but not which one it is. Is he the father of the person who sent me here? Why does that name sound familiar?

I burst out laughing as it strikes me: that's the Empire of Eternity's Stellarch. This wandering drunk fathered the empress herself. Suddenly, making it to orbit doesn't seem quite so hardI just have to reunite a drunken old man with his long-lost daughter.

Royalty is one of those expansions that on the face of it might seem very simple. It adds a bunch of procedural quests, some cool new technological toys, and an interesting new NPC faction. But it's due to RimWorld's nature that I enjoyed it so much. Like a fractal design, these slight increases in complexity lead to entirely novel stories and bizarre new characters. It's a whole new style of game to play with, and I want to play a hundred more hours of it.

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I turned a psychopath into a noble and rescued drunk royalty in the new RimWorld expansion - PC Gamer

Information on all 50 NH Primary candidates (including the Hartford Whalers guy) – Manchester Ink Link

The front and back of Mark Stewart-Greensteins signs. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

The First in the Nation Primary has finally come and New Hampshire voters will head to the polls with ballots that include 50 total candidates between the two parties (including that guy with the Hartford Whaler signs everywhere)

Heres Manchester Ink Links guide to all 50 of those candidates, 37 Democrats and 13 Republicans, divided between candidates campaigns weve reported on/received letters to the editor on directly and other candidates, with each category sorted in alphabetical order by last name. The names of candidates no longer in the race but on the ballot are italicized.

Links to webpages or Facebook pages can be found on the candidates names where applicable, as well as a brief bit of information about each of the lesser-known candidates we could gather.

Michael Bennet

Joe Biden

Cory Booker

Steve Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Tulsi Gabbard

Kamala Harris

Amy Klobuchar

Bernie Sanders

Tom Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

Marianne Williamson

Andrew Yang

Mosie Boyd

An attorney hailing from Arkansas, Boyd seeks to rebuild patriotism by uniting Americans around our shared values.

Boyd received 96,000 votes in the 2002 California Democratic Primary for Governor and also runs a PAC that supports female candidates.

She believes that there will be no clear candidate heading into the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee and can emerge as a dark horse alternative.

Steve Burke

Burke is a cattle rancher and local Democratic party official in New York State. He sees the recent impeachment of Donald Trump as a distraction from issues impacting most Americans such as climate change, unemployment and homelessness.

Julian Castro

Julian Castro was the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017 and mayor of San Antonio, Texas from 2009 to 2014.

His campaign was suspended on Jan. 2, 2020 after the deadline for removing his name from the ballot.

John Delaney

John Delaney was the Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Marylands sixth district from 2013 to 2019.

His campaign was suspended on Jan. 31, 2020 after the deadline for removing his name from the ballot.

Jason Evritte Dunlap

Jason Evritte Dunlap of Arizona is a former military intelligence officer fluent in several languages.

Dunlap does not actually want to run for president, but felt compelled to do so after he said repeated attacks by the Trump administration have put himself and fellow intellligence officers in harms way.

Like Boyd, he believes that there will be no clear candidate heading into the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee and can emerge as a dark horse alternative.

Roque De La Fuente III

Roque De La Fuente III is the son of serial candidate (and 2020 Republican Primary candidate) and is focusing his campaign on global debt relief.

Hes on the ballot in California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Texas and Utah in addition to New Hampshire.

Michael Ellinger

Ellinger is a Ohio resident running on a platform that he calls the Moral Deal. Hes on the ballot in California, Arizona and New Hampshire.

Ben Glieb

Glieb is a comedian that has appeared on CNN, ABC, NPR and other outlets. He dropped out of the race on Dec. 30, 2019.

Henry Hewes

Henry Hewes is from New York and he really, really, really dislikes abortion.

Tom Koos

Koos is the Associate Director for Health and Safety at Stanfords School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences in California.

This is the third time hes put his name in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, running just days after he turned 35 in 2000 and then again in 2008. Hes unable to put up as much effort this time, but feels that its is civic duty to run again.

He is a son of Eastern European immigrants, he feels a strong need to update the countrys immigration laws and he also feels that climate change is a key issue.

Lorenz Kraus

Kraus is an anti-semite from New York who believes the United States should be broken up into four countries.

Rita Krichevsky

Rita Krichevsky is on the ballot in New Hampshire and Colorado. Repeated calls to Krichevsky went unanswered. According to the Lawrenceville, NJ Town Clerks office, her license to practice medicine was suspended in 2018. No further information was available.

Thomas James Torgesen

Torgesen lives in Saratoga, NY. He has been a Democrat since the 1960s and believes the party has gone too far to the left, but he shouldnt have to leave it. Hes running due to the fact that several current candidates protested the Vietnam War while he served in the Navy.

His primary issues are getting prayer in schools, making sure the Navy has a thousand ships and trade surpluses.

Raymond Moroz

Raymond Moroz hails from New York, his primary focus is strengthening labor unions. He received eight votes in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

Joe Sestak

Sestak is a former Pennsylvania congressman and three-star Navy admiral. He dropped out of the race on Dec. 1, 2019 and endorsed Amy Klobuchar on Feb. 7, 2020.

Sam Sloan

A New York resident, Sloan ran for the Libertarian Presidential Nomination in 2012 as well as running for Governor of New York in 2010 and for New Yorks 15th Congressional District seat in 2014.

In 2016, he ran in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary and he received 15 votes.

Mark Stewart-Greenstein

Anyone driving around the greater Manchester area over the past few months has probably seen his signs (see above), a throwback to his grassroots efforts to return the Hartford Whalers to Connecticut several years ago. In the past, Stewart-Greenstein has run for several offices in Connecticut and received 29 votes in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

He describes himself as a conservatarian, blending philosophies from libertarianism and conservatism, but he also says his views are in line with where the Democratic Party once was before it began to move to the left in the 1960s.

Stewart-Greensteins main goal is not earning the Democratic nomination, but building support for his EPIC (Every Politically Minded Citizen) Party.

David John Thistle

Thistle currently lives in Texas, but originally hails from the Manchester area.

Thistle served in the military and is running for president primarily to reform the Veterans Adminstration, which he says harmed him and has harmed many other veterans.

Thistle received 226 votes in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic Primary. and

Robby Wells

Wells is the first white football head coach coach of a Historically Black College or University. He also served in the Army National Guard and has a twelve-point plan he calls Eaglenomics that incorporates left-wing and right-wing policies.

He ran for president in 2012 as a member of the Constitution Party and an independent candidate in 2016.

Donald Trump

Bill Weld

Robert Ardini

A moderate Republican from New York, Ardini ran for Congress in 2016 and lost, writing a book entitled Running for Congress in Trumps Backyard about the experience.

His main goal in running is to bring greater awareness to the national debt. However, he also has other unique proposals, such as pushing the age for drivers licenses and other coming of age landmarks to 25 and requiring all Presidents to select at least 20 percent of their cabinet from a party other than their own.

President R. Boddie

Mr. Boddie, a resident of Georgia, legally changed his first name to President after receiving a vision from God in 2018 that he was destined to become President.

Boddies main goal is to merge the United States with Israel and move to capital of the United States to Jerusalem.

Stephen Comley Sr.

Comley, who hails from Massachusetts, is primarily concerned with corruption within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Roque Rocky De La Fuente

Rocky De La Fuente, (not to be confused with his son, who is also running as a Democrat), is not only running for President, but also running for Congress in the 21st District of California.

De La Fuente recieved 96 votes in the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic Primary, and has also tried to run for the nomination of the Reform Party as well as a party he created called the American Delta Party

He ran for the U.S. Senate in Florida in 2016, ran to become the Mayor of New York in 2017 and ran for the U.S. Senate in nine states simultaneously in 2018.

Bob Ely

Bob Ely of Illinois describes himself as having the charisma of a door knob and in previous attempts running in the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Primary he described himself as a jerk.

Imagine a more boring Vermin Supreme (who is running as a Libertarian this year, so hes not on either ballot in New Hampshire.)

Zoltan Istvan Gyurko

A self-described transhumanist, Gyurko doesnt expect to become president. Instead, he hopes to advance the cause of innovation on the right, which he says has been dominated by the left, not just for the sake of conservatism, but to help America keep track with the innovation of other countries.

Gyurko ran for President in 2016 under the ticket of the Transhumanist Party and ran for Governor of California in 2018 as a Libertarian.

Rick Kraft

Mr. Kraft is a lawyer from New Mexico seeking to unify the country under the principles of Christianity.

Star Locke

Mr. Locke is opposed to abortion, immigration and Islam. Locke received 33 votes as a Democrat in New Hampshire in 2016 and has run for various offices in Texas over the past three decades.

Mary Maxwell

Maxwell, a Concord resident, actually wanted to run for vice president in the Primary, but could not do so. She ran for Congress against Charlie Bass here in New Hampshire in 2006 and ran for the U.S. Senate in Alabama in 2017.

Eric Merrill

Merrill lives in New Boston and ultimately is just running because it was on his bucket list.

He says he has voted Republican in every election since his first vote, which was for Richard Nixon. He generally agrees with mainstream principles of the Republican Party outside of climate change, which he says is a problem, but cannot be addressed with any effectiveness unless China is forced to also reduce its emissions.

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Information on all 50 NH Primary candidates (including the Hartford Whalers guy) - Manchester Ink Link

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 ...

A New Generation of Transhumanists Is Emerging | HuffPost

A new generation of transhumanists is emerging. You can feel it in handshakes at transhumanist meet-ups. You can see it when checking in to transhumanist groups in social media. You can read it in the hundreds of transhumanist-themed blogs. This is not the same bunch of older, mostly male academics that have slowly moved the movement forward during the last few decades. This is a dynamic group of younger people from varying backgrounds: Asians, Blacks, Middle Easterners, Caucasians, and Latinos. Many are females, some are LGBT, and others have disabilities. Many are atheist, while others are spiritual or even formally religious. Their politics run the gamut, from liberals to conservatives to anarchists. Their professions vary widely, from artists to physical laborers to programmers. Whatever their background, preferences, or professions, they have recently tripled the population of transhumanists in just the last 12 months.

"Three years ago, we had only around 400 members, but today we have over 10,000 members," says Amanda Stoel, co-founder and chief administrator of Facebook group Singularity Network, one of the largest of hundreds of transhumanist-themed groups on the web.

Transhumanism is becoming so popular that even the comic strip Dilbert, which appears online and in 2000 newspapers, recently made jokes about it.

Despite its growing popularity, many people around the world still don't know what "transhuman" means. Transhuman literally means beyond human. Transhumanists consist of life extensionists, techno-optimists, Singularitarians, biohackers, roboticists, AI proponents, and futurists who embrace radical science and technology to improve the human condition. The most important aim for many transhumanists is to overcome human mortality, a goal some believe is achievable by 2045.

Transhumanism has been around for nearly 30 years and was first heavily influenced by science fiction. Today, transhumanism is increasingly being influenced by actual science and technological innovation, much of it being created by people under the age of 40. It's also become a very international movement, with many formal groups in dozens of countries.

Despite the movement's growth, its potential is being challenged by some older transhumanists who snub the younger generation and their ideas. These old-school futurists dismiss activist philosophies and radicalism, and even prefer some younger writers and speakers not have their voices heard. Additionally, transhumanism's Wikipedia page -- the most viewed online document of the movement -- is protected by a vigilant posse, deleting additions or changes that don't support a bland academic view of transhumanism.

Inevitably, this Wikipedia page misses the vibrancy and happenings of the burgeoning movement. The real status and information of transhumanism and its philosophies can be found in public transhumanist gatherings and festivities, in popular student groups like the Stanford University Transhumanist Association, and in social media where tens of thousands of scientists and technologists hang out and discuss the transhuman future.

Jet-setting personality Maria Konovalenko, a 29-year-old Russian molecular biophysicist whose public demonstrations supporting radical life extension have made international news, is a prime example.

"We must do more for transhumanism and life extension," says Konovalenko, who serves as vice president of Moscow-based Science for Life Extension Foundation. "This is our lives and our futures we're talking about. To sit back and and just watch the 21st Century roll by will not accomplish our goals. We must take our message to the people in the streets and strive to make real change."

Transhumanist celebrities like Konovalenko are changing the way the movement gets its message across to the public. Gauging by the rapidly increasing number of transhumanists, it's working.

A primary goal of many transhumanists is to convince the public that embracing radical technology and science is in the species' best interest. In a mostly religious world where much of society still believes in heavenly afterlives, some people are skeptical about whether significantly extending human lifespans is philosophically and morally correct. Transhumanists believe the more people that support transhumanism, the more private and government resources will end up in the hands of organizations and companies that aim to improve human lives and bring mortality to an end.

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A New Generation of Transhumanists Is Emerging | HuffPost

Experimental health technology is going too far – The Volante

When it comes to technological advancements, people tend to fall into two categories: those who are excited about the next big thing and those who are extremely concerned about the dangers of these new technologies.

Technological advances have provided immense convenience to our lives. Along with that, though, technological advances have been the cause many issues most of us face in the modern world. For example, total loss of privacy, the dwindling of simple human interaction and the over-reliance on technology. Even though most of us recognize these things as issues, our relationship with technology stays the same.

But technology continues to advance, and as it does, it pushes boundaries further and further. On the west coast, technology is being developed to help people live longer, healthier, higher-performing and more closely monitored lives than ever before. This new technology, which includes implants and microchips, is intended to help improve cognitive ability and health.

Self-described transhumanist Zoltan Istvan is interested in technology that can be transplanted and believes that science can conquer death.

As a transhumanist, Im someone who wants to merge my body with machine parts, Istvan said. I want to becomea more complete, stronger and perfect living entity.

Istvan has a chip implanted in his hand already, which he uses to open his front door, send out text messages and carry other information. Ultimately, he plans to receive an implant in his brain that will connect his brain to the internet.

While a healthier lifestyle sounds promising, we should be focusing on ways to be better versions of ourselves without technological implants. Personally, using technology to make ourselves physically better seems like a cop-out excuse to avoid doing the work required for self-improvement.

Not only that, but technology like this seems extremely dangerous. There are so many things that could go wrong with something like this and I dont think the benefits of this technology can outweigh the risks. Subjecting yourself to operations that have barely been tested is a disaster waiting to happen.

There has been little research so far on the effects of microchips. With that said, its important were careful with the things we put into our bodies. While the intention of these things are to make us better overall, because theres no research to back it up, we dont know what the consequences of this technology will be.

If we really want to start living a stronger, healthier lifestyle, then we need to start making better, healthier choices. There are so many ways you can improve your cognitive ability without having to chip yourself. According to Psychology Today, some of these things include physical activity, openness to experience, social connections and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is not as hard as we all make it out to be; weve done it without brain implants and microchips before and well be fine without them going forward.

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Experimental health technology is going too far - The Volante

Catholic priest at Davos on AI and the soul – The Tablet

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. Photo: Guo Chen/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

New technologies in society raise important questions about the soul, according to a Catholic delegate attending the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Fr Philip Larrey, Chair of Logic and Epistemology at the Pontifical Lateran University, who has been in discussions with tech companies about the ethical questions around Artificial Intelligence and robots,took part in a discussion Faith in the Fourth Industrial Revolution", sponsored by the United Arab Emirates.

Fr Larrey told The Tablet that how emerging technologies raise questions about immortality and the soul. Among Silicon Valley billionaires, he explained, heavy investment was going into technologies about how to vastly extend life expectancy and the transhumanist movement looking at ways to transfer human consciousness into a digital format.

The smartest ones [tech companies] want to dialogue with the Catholic Church because we have a 2,000 year tradition about what it means to be human, he said.The richness of the Catholic tradition gives us the framework to speak out the technologies we have. How we were created and what is our purpose.

Fr Larrey, from Mountain View, California, where Google has its HQ, and who helped arrange the 2016 meeting between the Pope and Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google holding company Alphabet,pointed out that the question of whether we can we really become immortal goes back to the Book of Genesis.

He said some of the tech gurus have made it clear they are not interested in having a dialogue with the Vatican.

They want to do their own thing, and are pushing ahead with a lot of money with projects to try and keep them immortal, or solve health issues, said Fr Larrey, who has written two books,Connected World and Artificial Humanity.

Last September, Silicon Valley big hitters went to the Vatican to discuss ethics amid talk of a potential papal document on artificial intelligence. Archbishop Vincenzio Paglia, the Popes point man on family and pro-life issues, has met Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft. The next assemblyof his Pontifical Academy of Life department will focus on AI.

Fr Larrey stressed that whatever the technological developments, it was important to put people before platforms

The Church is not against the use of machines, but what the Pope is saying is put the human being at the centre of technology, he explained .

The priest-philosopher pointed out that parishes, while using digital technology, are places of human contact. He said claims about robots taking over the world are overblown, and that governments will not allow machines to take over peoples jobs right away. The same is true for pastoral ministry.

I dont see robot priests in the future, he added.

Pope Francis in his messagereminded those at the gathering for the World Economic Forum that their overriding concern must be for the one human family, and warned against the isolationism, individualism and ideological colonisation of contemporary debate.

Digital and technological changes, he said, had benefited humanity, but also left people behind. The Popes message was delivered by Cardinal Peter Turkson, of the integral human development dicastery, who was in Davos, and who was joined by Fr Augusto Zampini-Davies, an official at the dicastery.

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Catholic priest at Davos on AI and the soul - The Tablet

‘Cyberpunk 2077’ Delayed as CD Projekt Red Polishes ‘Crowning Achievement’ Over ‘Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ – Newsweek

Cyberpunk 2077, originally planned for an April 16 release date, but has now been delayed until September 17, developer CD Projekt Red announced on Thursday.

In a statement posted to social media, the Cyberpunk developer did more than announce the delay, further describing just how far along the game is in its development. According to CD Projekt Red, the game is currently "complete and playable," throughout its open world setting of Night City. Instead of core story, content or environmental changes, the delay is primarily motivated by the need for additional "playtesting, fixing and polishing."

Indicating their confidence in the game they've created, CD Projekt Red also set a bold goal for Cyberpunk 2077: topping their own critically acclaimed Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to become their "crowning achievement" in the current console generation. Witcher 3 is often named among the best open world games and best RPGs ever createdit's not even uncommon to hear Witcher 3 named as the best game ever made. So while Cyberpunk 2077 has a lot to live up to, its delay announcement suggests CD Projekt Red feels as if they're near to realizing their complete vision.

CD Projekt Red also promised more frequent updates on the game's progress, particularly as the revised release date approaches.

In Cyberpunk 2077, players start off in Night City as V, a customizable mercenary who acquires transhumanist enhancements throughout the game. Night City is a gigantic corporate-controlled metropolis in the Free State of California, with six different regions for players to explore, each with their own rival factions and gangs. Along the way, players are guided by Johnny Silverhands, a digital ghost played by Keanu Reeves, who haunts the player and nudges him or her towards his own objectives.

Signed by CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiski and the head of studio, Adam Badowski, the full statement reads:

"We have important news regarding Cyberpunk 2077's release date we'd like to share with you today. Cyberpunk 2077 won't make the April release window and we're moving the launch date to September 17, 2020.

We are currently at a stage where the game is complete and playable, but there's still work to be done. Night City is massivefull of stories, content and places to visit, but due to the sheer scale and complexity of it all, we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing and polishing. We want Cyberpunk 2077 to be our crowning achievement for this generation, and postponing launch will give us the precious months we need to make the game perfect.

Expect more regular updates on progress as we get closer to the new release date. We're really looking forward to seeing you in Night City, thank you for your ongoing support."

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'Cyberpunk 2077' Delayed as CD Projekt Red Polishes 'Crowning Achievement' Over 'Witcher 3: Wild Hunt' - Newsweek

The future is sci-fi: How Ghost in the Shell, Deus Ex Human Revolution foreshadowed humanity 2.0 – Firstpost

As we embark on a new decade, how do visions of the 2020s imagined in books likeDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, films likeSoylent Green, or even manga likeGhost in the Shellmatch up against our reality? In this series, we look at seven pop culture artefacts from the past that foretold the future, providing a prophetic glimpse of the decade were now entering.

Words by Prahlad Srihari | Art by Trisha Bose and Sharath Ravishankar | Concept by Rohini Nair and Harsh Pareek

***

We already live in a world where bionic eye implants have made it possible to restore partial sight for visually impaired people. In fact, augmentations to Second Sight's Argus II may enable future users to even see in infra-red, like the Predator. Ossur's implanted myoelectric sensors allow amputees to control their bionic limbs with their minds. Meanwhile, scientists in North Carolina are hard at work trying to build a future where 3D printers can churn out customised kidneys, livers and other vital organs for those in need.

Even if science fiction has had a headstart over science, the latter is catching up. We're not far away from the transhumanist futures of Ghost in the Shell, Deus Ex: Human Revolution or Robocop. Taking cues from these imaginative works, science hopes to aid and accelerate our evolution from human to post-human through genetic modifications, ironing out our limitations and pushing our limits. But as always, sci-fi has repeatedly warned us against the often unnatural nature of science the importance of knowing when to tinker with technology to aid human progress and when to let nature take its course.

Masamune Shirow's manga Ghost in the Shell offers some vital lessons on transhumanism. Our story begins in 2029 at a time when it is all too common for humans to enhance themselves by replacing their organs with cybernetic parts. Our protagonist, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is a cybernetically enhanced officer of an elite cyber-crime-fighting unit called Section 9. Our plot follows the hunt for an elusive cyber-criminal, called the Puppet Master, a formidable AI who can take up residence in any cyborg body, take over their minds and essentially reprogramme them to do his bidding.

Masamune Shirow's manga Ghost in the Shell offers some vital lessons on transhumanism. Illustration by Sharath Ravishankar for Firstpost

So, Motoko has a crisis of identity when she begins to question the authenticity of her thoughts, her memories and the very nature of her being. If she is a human-machine hybrid, is her identity defined by her human thoughts or are they just exabytes of stored data? If she has no memories of her past human existence and her mind can be manipulated, then what makes her human? If Philip K Dick suggested empathy to be the defining factor of humanity, Shirow suggests it is the human soul (what he calls the ghost) that separates man from machine. But a hybrid made of human cells and a cybernetic body (the shell) brings with it its own unbridgeable dualism, as surmised by Motoko. "I suspect I am not who I think I am. Maybe I died a long time ago and somebody took my brain and stuck it in this body. Maybe there never was a real me in the first place, and I'm completely synthetic," she wonders, before questioning, "What if a cyber brain could possibly generate its own ghost, create a soul all by itself? And if it did, just what would be the importance of being human then?"

(Note: Those averse to reading manga should watch the animated film, not the 2017 live-action film featuring Scarlett Johansson, which revels in cyberpunk spectacle rather than the murky waters of obscurity in Shirow's poetic reflections.)

The blurring of these lines between man and machine reaches its climax when Motoko's ghost merges with the Puppet Master to evolve into a new entity, favouring an immaterial existence free of physical boundaries (like Samantha and her fellow AIs in Her). Instead of trying to put Motoko in distinct human or AI camps, Shirow studies the implications of transhumanism in the intermediary phase between the two. He thus foreshadows the emergence of the posthuman or humanity 2.0.

The video game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, ventures further into a transhuman future, with one foot in a utopia, and the other in a dystopia. Its cyberpunk future of 2027 is a world where "augmentations" are what separates the upper classes from the lower. Like in Yukito Kishiro's Alita: Battle Angel, they have become so common they're like tattoos or piercings. After a terrorist attack leaves security guard Adam Jensen critically injured, his life is saved thanks to these "augmentations" that turn him into a Robocop. Stronger, faster, and smarter than before, he begins a pursuit of the terrorists, only to uncover a larger conspiracy involving radical supporters and opponents of transhumanism.

It is easy to see why transhumanism has its fair share of supporters and opponents. On the one hand, it represents the next stage in our evolution as cybernetic implants could extend our lifespan, enhance our physical and mental capacities, and help us shape ourselves according to our needs, our desires, or our environment. On the other, any extension, enhancement or reshaping beyond the natural barriers will make life less miraculous or spontaneous. So, rather than curing death, technology should be used to make life worth living.

However, in this quest to improve the human condition through technology, we should not forget what makes us human. Dick's right: It's our empathy. But it is also our ability to introspect, wonder and speculate. As long as these abilities are inherently linked to the human soul, it does not matter what shell it is, the ghost of humanity will forever be preserved in it.

Also read Class structures and dehumanisation of the workforce, as foretold by Metropolis (1927)

Read our 'Decade in Review' series here.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Jan 05, 2020 01:05:35 IST

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The future is sci-fi: How Ghost in the Shell, Deus Ex Human Revolution foreshadowed humanity 2.0 - Firstpost

GOP candidate pitches robots and immortality to Iowa voters – The Gazette

Democrats have Andrew Yang. Republicans have Zoltan Istvan.

Both men are running for the presidency as political outsiders and pitching radical, future-focused ideas to voters. For Yang, its universal basic income and a slew of other technocratic policy proposals.

Istvan also supports a form of universal basic income, but his primary focus is even wilder he wants the country to prepare for the transhumanist future.

Istvan defines transhumanism as the movement to upgrade human bodies and lives with technology. He predicts a future in which our bodies will be significantly augmented, such as with robotic arms or computer displays in our eyes.

He expects human life spans will drastically increase and robots will take on more humanlike characteristics, including consciousness.

Outside of science fiction entertainment, these are not ideas most Americans think about as public policy issues.

When I was traveling in Iowa and told people about it, they thought I was on some other space ship, Istvan told me during a phone interview last week.

Istvan ran for president in 2016 under the Transhumanist Party, and ran in the California gubernatorial primary with the Libertarian Party last year. Hes not a traditional Republican, but hopes to find allies among GOP primary voters.

As an entrepreneur Ive always been fiscally conservative. Totally socially liberal. Libertarian to the core when it comes to social ideas, Istvan said.

There is a great deal of disagreement about whether and how soon the huge technological developments Istvan discusses might be achieved. It might be 10 or 20 years as he predicts, but also could be more than 100 years away, or never.

Nevertheless, some form of transhumanism and an increasing level of artificial-intelligence-aided automation already are upon us. Istvan warns that the United States will be ill-equipped to manage social and economic changes.

Im worried were going to wake up in four or eight years and China will be the dominant player in the world both culturally and with innovation and with money and the economy, Istvan said.

To prepare, Istvan suggests several steps that will make many Americans uncomfortable.

As a few examples, the transhumanist campaign proposes mandatory college attendance for most people, licensure testing for parents and merging the United States, Canada and the European Union into a joined partnership.

Istvan wants to partially fund the government through leasing federal lands, vast spaces of which sit mostly unused in the western United States with trillions of dollars of natural resources. He has no affinity for nature, which he sees as antagonistic and immoral.

And Istvan would radically expand the use of police surveillance technology, including facial recognition and tracking devices. He generally wants to rollback privacy norms that inhibit technology.

I think these are ideas whose time might never come, but Istvan predicts the rest of us will eventually come around.

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The transhumanist age will be upon us sometime. People will remember Zoltan has been out there talking about these ideas for a long time, he said.

(319) 339-3156; adam.sullivan@thegazette.com

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GOP candidate pitches robots and immortality to Iowa voters - The Gazette

6 Books, Movies, and Shows to Bend Your Neocortex This Winter – NEO.LIFE

As we careen into another decade of bioengineering advances, questions about how, and how much, we ought to manipulate our own biology grow more urgent. Thankfully, the books, movies, and TV series exploring such questions have never been smarter. For proof, check out these underrated biohacking titles from the past few years.

A transhumanist entry in the recent surge of feminist reinterpretations of classics

If youve ever marveled at the timelessness of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelleys Frankenstein, at how forward-thinking and eternal the young (20-year-old!) writer was for her early-19th-century time, this novel from celebrated queer novelist Jeanette Winterson will delight you. It feels inaccurate to call Frankissstein a novel, thoughcall it more of an act of modernization, of revivification, a fitting ritual for a story that changed societys views about transcending the laws of nature.

The book jumps between two timelines, the first being a fictionalized diary of Mary Shelleys, from that one summer in which she wrote Frankenstein for husband Percy Shelley, stepsister Claire Claremont, and friends Lord Byron and John Polidori, all the way to her (imagined) meeting of computing godmother Ada Lovelace, the daughter abandoned by Lord Byron. The other is a retelling, of sorts, of both history and novel: in the near future, trans doctor Ry Shelley becomes involved with cis futurist Victor Stein, a Silicon Valley visionary seeking to recreate the brain of his mentor, a collaborator of Alan Turing. The two stories are elegantly similar; Winterson continues Shelleys line of philosophical inquiry and shows just how little weve figured out in the intervening two centuries.

The Hunger Games meets Orphan Black

If you want to get your kid thinking about the possibilities that await them, or if you are just a sucker for smart adventures, check out Emily Suvadas post-apocalyptic biohacking trilogy. In a future America where everyone is implanted with a panel in their forearm at birth, people are able to hack their own DNAor to be more precise, theyre able to wrap their own DNA in custom mods, as long as theyre proprietary apps made by Cartaxus, an Amazon/Apple-type megacorporation that ends up having just about as much ethical fortitude as youd expect from an Amazon/Apple-type megacorporation with a name like Cartaxus.

Not everyone sticks with out-of-the-box mods; fringe groups experiment with high-concept hacks like feathers (!) while people with debilitating diseases too rare to interest Cartaxus set out to design their own cures. Oh, also: A massive global pandemic is making people first hunger for human flesh, then explode into vapor, so Cartaxus is providing refuge to people in massive underground bunkersprovided they wipe their panels of any non-Cartaxus code first. The protagonist, 18-year-old Catarina Agatta, is the daughter of one of the worlds best gene hackers and has a disease that prevents her from accepting any mods; Cartaxus has re-requisitioned her father, allegedly to work on a cure for the explosion disease, and Cata biotech genius in her own rightis stuck out in the world working on a cure herself.

The series is meticulously researched without being weighed down by hard-sci-fi exposition; its exciting without being simple, and best of all, the technology, and the way it perpetuates inequality, feels plausible. Plus, youer, your kidwill learn something about the science of gene hacking along the way. The third installment, This Vicious Cure, will be released on January 21, so you(r kid) have a couple of weeks to get caught up.

Imagine Altered Carbon with a distinctly French malaise

People angry about the Gen Z retort OK, boomer dont know how good they have it. In the future imagined by this French series, the youths are literally killing themselves to escape the hellishness their parents have left for them. Its a future that might even seem desirable to the transhumanists of today: Biotechnology has uncovered a gene in jellyfish that has been reverse-engineered into a process allowing people to stay youthful, ostensibly forever. (Its not too far into the future; the oldest woman on earth is only 169.)

For the kids born into this world, however, its an eternal prison. Society has started treating childhood like a waiting room for the day one is able to start the anti-aging treatments, and even then, some people are ruled genetically incompatible and forced to live a normal life alongside immortals. So when a bunch of youths wash up dead on a beach, seemingly as a result of a mass suicide, one detective must track down the leaders of a death cult. He enlists the help of Christa Novak, a 20-year-old former member of the cult who has been institutionalized since the last mass suicide and has her own reasons to catch the leader. Where Altered Carbon thought about biohacked immortality through the lens of radical inequality, Ad Vitam presents a slightly tweaked view, in which the dangers of consumer biotech lie not just in the berpowerful demigods of the .00001%, but also in the more gradual, banal effects invited by everyone else.

Its like a super-feminist episode of Black Mirror

Jennifer Phangs film about a 40-something mother who runs out of options will haunt you for years to come. In a future in which women are becoming increasingly infertilelike right before Margaret Atwoods Gileadone biotech company has finally cracked the code on human consciousness transfers. A few weeks before the procedures commercial launch, the company lays off its spokeswoman, Gwen, implying that shes too old (and too Asian) to be the face of a product designed to eliminate aging altogether. Her daughter Juleswhose existence is itself a privilege only the rich can affordhas just been accepted to an expensive prep school; moreover, it quickly becomes clear that her former employer is railroading her into having the consciousness-transfer procedure done in exchange for having her job back.

With her daughters future on the line, Gwen makes a choice that, in reality, is no choice at all. Equal parts gorgeous and harrowing, the film is a reminder of the ways that purported biotech utopias can diminish human diversity.

A Black Mirror spin-off series about love and privacy

Look, the French are doing the most when it comes to transhumanist television. Osmosis is the most recent of the bunch. (See also: Transfers, about illegal consciousness transplantsbasically Travelers without all the time-travel insanity.) The Netflix original from showrunner Audrey Fouch imagines a near-future Paris where rising-star supergenius Esther Vanhove has developed Osmosis, a technology that uses nanobots that implant themselves in your brain; capture every fleeting desire youve ever had, conscious or subconscious; and sift through social networks to single out your soul mate. Once matched, even if youre separated by distance your respective implants link to create a virtual space where you can meet for some very sexy, emotional time together.

Together with her brother and business partner Paul, a sentient voice assistant Martin, and a few elite employees, she conducts a beta test with a handful of all-too-willing subjects, and it goes just about as smoothly as youd expect it to.

Think of the Spider-Man meme, but with two Paul Rudds

OK, so this Netflix series uses biohacking more as dark-comedy device than realistic concept. That doesnt mean its not delightful. Paul Rudds character Miles has hit a serious rough patch in his life: despite having the exact life he chose for himselfwith a high-paying job at an ad agency and a beautiful wife (Aisling Bea) and a gorgeous house in the suburbshes become depressed, listless, and close to losing it all.

Does he consider medication and therapy, you may ask? Of course not! When a colleague comes into the office one day with an entirely new, sparkling personality, Miles decides thats the kind of magical, extremely expensive fix he needs, so he gathers the savings he and his wife have collected for fertility treatments and goes to a spa, where instead of getting a really good massage (or, you know, Lexapro), he wakes up buried alive in the woods. Turns out the treatment facility is two dudes conducting a very illegal operation wherein they clone you but take out all the bad parts of your brain, leaving the best version of yourself to go back to your life none the wiser, while they kill the hard copy. Except it didnt take in Miles case, and now hes stuck fighting with a New Miles for control of a life the latter is easily better at leading. Its a light, funny snack of a series that gets at the heart of what we really mean when we say we want to use biotech to improve ourselves.

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6 Books, Movies, and Shows to Bend Your Neocortex This Winter - NEO.LIFE

Meet the Microchipped Transhumanist Cyborg Whos Running Against Trump in the 2020 GOP Primary – Mediaite

Zoltan Istvan, a transhumanist journalist, is running for the U.S. presidency as a Republican in 2020, challenging President Donald Trump in the primary.

Istvan, who also ran for president in 2016 on a lesser scale, has written for The New York Times, Vice, and National Geographic, and describes himself as the founder of the Transhumanist Party, the original author of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, and a frequently interviewed expert on AI, genetic editing, tech policy, and futurism.

His campaign policies for 2020 range from the relatively normal to the quite absurd, from ending the drug war, beating China in the artificial intelligence race, restoring the environment, and providing universal basic income for all, to the development of artificial wombs, nearly open borders, stopping mass shootings and terrorism with drones, robots, AI scanners, and other technology, and licensing parents, or as Istvan explained, requiring prospective parents to pass a series of basic tests, similar to a DMV driving test, to quality and get the green light to get pregnant and raise children.

As a passionate transhumanist (or, as philosopher Max More explains, someone who supports the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology), reportedly with a microchip in his hand that allows him to open doors and use his phone, Istvan also wants the Republican Party to reclaim transhumanism from the far-left.

This week, Mediaite got the opportunity to talk with Istvan about his 2020 campaign and the policies within.

Your campaign policies are very interesting. Typical libertarian policies mixed with some quite out-there stuff like artificial wombs, nearly open borders, and stopping borders with drones. What was the inspiration behind such an odd variety of campaign focuses?

I was busted for dealing marijuana I guess maybe 26 years ago, where I was convicted of a felony conviction for distribution of narcotics, which also made me highly libertarian kind of from the start of my adult years. And then as I went through the National Geographic days I began to try to think about what would be better policy so we didnt get in these wars all the time and the government sort of left us alone. But at the same time, its not that I want to be left alone entirely. I think there should be some safety nets.

If you look through some of my 2020 plans youll see theres a lot of liberalism built into it, so it kind of tries to take the very best parts from all the different ideologies that are out there and put it in one. To be honest, I just dont understand why there cant be conservative people like myself who are totally socially liberal, and while thats classic libertarianism, the reality is that the Libertarian Party just doesnt have enough connections, money, and all these other things to run campaigns that can actually win office, which is ultimately why Im now with the Republicans trying to make a difference, trying to get people that might be fiscally conservative to have some sensibility when it comes to being more open-minded.

You say on your campaign website that youre trying to reclaim transhumanism from the far-left. What do you mean by that?

Thats probably my number one policy goal right now, and its because whats happened recently, at least in the last four or five years, is it seems like transhumanism has been growing dramatically. Im excited about that, but its also growing dramatically to the left, and if it continues to grow and grow in that direction it means that it will be almost this socialist dystopia, in my opinion, where everyone thinks they own everything and they can just do what they want.

Innovation, capitalism and Im saying this from an entrepreneur of twenty years it requires free markets in many ways to come up with these creative ideas in the first place. We all love going to Europe. We all love the quasi-socialism that they have there when were there. But Europe hasnt really created anything innovative in fifty years. I mean not much when you compare to, lets say, America. We want to be careful that in order for transhumanism to survive, it doesnt fall into the hands of the new breed of socialists that America is contending with. Silicon Valley is going that direction, Ive been watching that happen over the last ten years, and so I thought it was finally time somebody stood up and said, Wait a second, we need a better balance here. We need a balance of people who are willing to innovate in libertarian-minded economical ideals without bowing down to the far left.

So do you think transhumanism would die out if we did end up with a socialist society?

No. I dont think it would die out. I just think so you gotta understand the number one goal of transhumanism is really to try to overcome biological death by finding technology. And really, what happens when you put socialism into medicine and some of these other things, innovation dramatically stops. So somebody like myself whos 46-years-old, and of course all the other older people that have been involved in the movement forever, if innovation and science and all that other stuff stopped just even for ten or fifteen years, or doesnt go as fast as it is, a huge amount of extra people wont make it to this new generation where well have all these different techniques to keep people alive.

So theres actually a race going on. A race to keep transhumanism in kind of this capitalistic, libertarian somewhat framework so that innovation continues to move forward and that people like myself will have a chance in thirty years to actually benefit from these life extension medications and innovations that come out.

If we are able to overcome death with science by 2030 versus the year 2050, over one billion lives will be saved. So the meaning here is incredibly important, which is why Im very cautious about socialists being in charge.

Are you not worried that we could end up with a Fallout: New Vegas Mr. House situation, where you have a really really rich guy, or a bunch of rich people who are practically living forever, while no one else can get access to this technology?

That is one of my number one fears.

First of all, from a transhumanist perspective, if everyone lives forever, were going to have overpopulation problems, and I already believe we have overpopulation problems. You can see the climate changing and things like that.

But I think the other one is, whats to keep the Mark Zuckerbergs and the other people of the world from taking this radical technology, using it on themselves, and leaving the rest of us behind? This is where I lose a little bit of my libertarianism, and all the libertarians get mad at me. I actually think under these circumstances there should be some government mandate when it comes to healthcare, when it comes to different types of rights to life extension. That we should all have some type of a universal right to life extension and some of these medicines, even it requires government grants and things like that, because the very last thing that I want to do is create a world where only the one percent has access to these technologies, or even beyond the one percent, and the rest of the people get left behind in some kind of dystopia.

So, this is where I kind of break down and say a little bit of big government is fine, especially if its going to protect and make sure everyone has benefits to this new future that were talking about: the Transhumanist Age.

Do you think there are already some minor life extension schemes going on in the one percent?

I dont believe that theres a conspiracy going on with the one percent, because if it is, I havent heard about it. There are companies like Human Longevity. They cater only to the very wealthy But its not that they dont cater to the super poor, its just that their prices are expensive and theyre not covered by insurance, so only the very wealthy use them.

I would be very surprised if even someone like Peter Thiel has a very strict regiment of kind of undercover, secretive longevity people. I think were all working on this together. We realize the humanitarian aspects of making us all live longer. The person who could come up with the magic pill, or 3D-printing organs, however were going to keep ourselves alive longer, I think not only is it the most important capitalistic thing someones going to become a trillionaire off these kinds of innovations but I also think theres a very deep humanitarian aspect to share with your family, your friends. So I dont think people are hording this technology. I just dont think weve come up with the right technologies yet.

But if you look at the statistics, five years ago this was maybe a one or two billion dollar industry when you talk about longevity, and Bank of America recently said its going to be a 600 billion industry by 2025. I mean it is skyrocketing in terms of venture capital and investment. A lot of money is coming into it, so I hope by now in the next two to five years youre going to have a lot more innovation and announcement.

It seems like youre putting up more of a fight this primary to beat President Trump. Last election you put up a fight, but you werent listed on the ballots, whereas this time youre going to be listed on some the ballots, right?

Yeah, were going to be on basically all the ballots we can be until Super Tuesday, and were going to see how we do. Were spending a lot of our funding for ballot access right now, but thats okay. What happened is the first time around, I had some unique ideas. Of course, I had been a writer for a lot of major media, and so people listened and they liked those ideas, but for the Transhumanist Party as an independent, you really cant make any ground unless you have ballot access.

Were hoping that if we do well in New Hampshire, and were hoping that if we do well in Iowa, maybe get a few delegates here, then we could all of a sudden take it to the next level and make a real push to try to compete against Trump.

Id be lying to you if I said, Look, I think were going to win this thing. Thats not really what were trying to do. What were trying to do is get the attention of the Republican Party and say, Isnt it time there could be a new way of looking at things? Does it always have to be fiscally conservative and also conservative moral values? Why doesnt the Republican Party open itself up to socially liberal values? They would make a lot more room for people like myself who fit right there in the middle. Who dont want to necessarily give up all their money to the government, but also want to say to people, Hey you can do exactly what you want to do with your body. This is something that I dont think the Republican Party has had yet from any kind of public figure or anyone whos run a real viable campaign.

If you could address Republican voters right now with a short statement, what would you say?

The premise here with Trump is that we were promised greatness, and that sounded kind of neat in the beginning, and I was excited not to have an attorney at the top of the chain of command in America, but it turns out that Trump didnt really deliver that.

All we have are these squabbles in America. It seems like peoples views are just attacking each other. I really think its time not only just for a professional to be in the White House, but for somebody with really brand new ideas. And I dont mean empty the swamp. I mean lets fly above the swamp. Why do we even need to be in the swamp anymore? This is the kind of thing Im trying to bring.

Photo courtesy of Zoltan Istvan.

This interview has been edited and condensed for content and clarity.

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Zoltan Istvan, a Leader in Science and Technology, Will Run for US President and Challenge Trump in the 2020 Republican Primaries – PR Web

Zoltan Gyurko Istvan

SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) November 19, 2019

Born in California, Istvan is a former journalist for National Geographic and has recently penned articles for The New York Times opinion section. In 2013, Istvan published his novel The Transhumanist Wager, which became a #1 Philosophy and Science Fiction bestseller on Amazon. The book has been compared more than 1,000 times to Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged. Istvans most recent book of political essays titled Upgrading America was a #1 bestseller in Politics on Amazon.

Istvan has become known around the world for spearheading the multi-million person transhumanism movement, which aims to upgrade the human body with science and technology. The #1 goal of transhumanism is to overcome biological death. While still outside the political mainstream, the worlds largest companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft are key innovators in the transhumanist movement.

Istvan has consulted for the U.S. Navy and given speeches at conferences around the world, including for institutions such as the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. Istvan has traveled to over 100 countries and is a former director of a major wildlife organization, WildAid. He has a degree from Columbia University in Philosophy and Religion. A successful entrepreneur with multiple businesses, Istvan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his physician wife and two young daughters.

Istvans 20-point political platform, available on his campaign website http://www.zoltan2020.com, advances ideas that so far have been absent in the Republican primaries. Although his years as a businessman have made him fiscally conservative, Istvan supports a Universal Basic Income that is based off monetizing government resources, called a Federal Land Dividend. He proposes ending the war on drugs, making public preschool and college both free and mandatory, and licensing parents to make sure they are ready to raise children. He supports artificial wombs as a third option in the pro-life vs pro-choice debate, and would like to cut the military budget in order to create a science industrial complex in America. He aims to fight climate change with geo-engineering and end the IRS with a straightforward national sales tax. He favors nearly-open borders, tort reform, deregulation, banning private prisons, and using AI-operated drones and robots to stop mass shootings in public places and schools.

Istvan is also worried that China is beating America on the technological front in areas such as artificial intelligence, genetic editing, and neural prosthetic development. As president, he promises to get America innovating again, because once the Chinese take a lead in innovation, the United States may never get it back.

Pratik Chougule, Istvans campaign manager, says that Istvan is running as a new type of Republican politician. He expects Istvans bold ideas about the countrys future will resonate with a wide cross-section of Americans.

Istvans campaign slogan is: Upgrading America.

For more information, contact campaign manager Pratik Chougule at: pc@zoltan2020.com

To schedule an interview or talk to Mr. Istvan, email: info@zoltanistvan.com or call: 415-802-4891http://www.zoltan2020.comTwitter: @zoltan_istvan

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Zoltan Istvan, a Leader in Science and Technology, Will Run for US President and Challenge Trump in the 2020 Republican Primaries - PR Web

Someday, Robot Artists May Have to Explain Their Creations to Us – Futurism

Someday, artificial intelligence could become so advanced that it gains the ability to think creatively and, perhaps, so vastly surpasses humanitys artistic abilities that it would have to explain its creations to our squishy, primitive brains.

At least, thats one of the predictions that physicist, philosopher, and creativityscholar Arthur Miller makes in his new book, The Artist in the Machine. The book, released last month, details how machines are starting to demonstrate creativity, from learning to improvise music to pulling together insights from seemingly unrelated fields of research and suggests how the trend might continue.

Futurism caught up with Miller to chat about his book and his thoughts on art and the future of creativity. While some of the technology Miller describes, like artificial general intelligence, is probably hiding in thedistant future, he argues that todays technology may be more creative than most assume.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Futurism: In your book, you describe creativity as the amalgam of a long list of traits and characteristics is a simpler definition possible, and does it change when youre describing a machine versus a person?

Arthur Miller: Its essentially going beyond what you know. Similarly in a machine: to go beyond its algorithm to produce some new form of the arts. Creativity is accomplished by problem solving.

F: I understand the argument that seeing an algorithm make jumps beyond its explicit programming or drawing connections among different wells of data resembles human creativity. But isnt there an argument that doing that arriving at the most elegant solution to a problem as in when playing chess or Go is exactly what AI and machine learning tools are programmed to do, even if that elegant answer is a different solution than what humans found?

AM: When you talk about AlphaGo, the algorithm that cracked Go, what it essentially did was jump its program. It wasnt supposed to make a key move. In fact, it was considered to be a bad move the Go team thought it had glitched. It won based on calculating the odds of a human making that move to be one in 10,000. Thats more than a glimpse of creativity.

There are experiments with language which I find extremely interesting. What machines can do is create prose with wordplay that were not used to. Machines can investigate into that fine line between whats sense and whats nonsense.

This shows that machines can transform the landscape of language. The endpoint of this could well be that when we have sophisticated machines that can produce prose that is meaningful to them, they may have to translate it for us. They would have to educate us this is far in the future and we might even agree that what they produce is more sophisticated or more interesting than what we do.

For me, we should always have in mind the big question: can machines be creative, can machines produce art? But also, the question can we learn to appreciate it?

F: At one point in your book, you write When machines reach our level of creativity, they will be able to develop a creativity of their own creativity that at present we are not equipped to imagine. What will that new level of creative thinking look like? When you talk about needing translations, are you suggesting that AI might someday conjure truly exotic creations, or is it more that we wont understand the logic that a machine used along the way?

AM: It is a mix of both. In my view, what will happen is when machines have fluency in the English language, good natural language processing, theyll read the web very quickly. Machines will contain more knowledge than we could gather in a lifetime.

Theyll see things like love and emotion, and say Gee isnt that cool, lets look into it, and theyll convince us they have these things. Machines will eventually be able to duplicate our emotions, our intelligence, our creativity. Thats something called artificial general intelligence: when the machines are as smart as us.

And then they may evolve a creativity that goes beyond us because machines have the potential for unlimited creativity. What I mean by that is when you do research in an area, you do research based on cumulative knowledge. The machines will have more cumulative knowledge and a greater capacity for creativity through problem-solving.

F: Is finding a way to program consciousness the key to building truly creative AI? Can a non-conscious technology be truly creative?

AM: Why should the property of sentience be attributed only to human beings? As we move along, the concept of what it means to be a human will be transformed.

The transhumanist line, for example, predicts well replace parts of our brains with chips. We will reach a point where machines and humans are working together, and then machines will drift over and work by themselves. So we will have three groups. The humans left behind, the humans who work with machines, and the machines.

Theres no reason a machine cant be sentient. The definition of what it means to be human is rapidly changing. And what it means to be sentient that definition has been changing as well.

F: So lets talk about a future where the human mind is at least partially merged with machinery. How would that merger work? Is it a matter of machines bringing new skills to the table?

AM: Theres a nice example in my book of a device called the Continuator, created by Franois Pachet. At one point he was interested in coming up with a device that could aid musicians, mostly in creativity, in improvising. A pianist sits down at a piano and starts playing, and the notes are fed into the Continuator. It turns them into phrases, and the Continuator produces its own improv based on what the musician had played. And then the pianist will play more, and the cycle continues. Improvisation becomes a conversation between musician and machine.

F: When we talk about musical improv, theres randomness and surprise within a phrase, but theres also order behind it. Can a computer know when to follow the rules of musical theory and when to break them?

AM: These machines have no awareness. It, so to speak, chugs along, looks for recurring patterns and analyzes them. There is surprise in the humans face because the human has a sense of self-awareness, but the machine doesnt.

F: If the machine is just doing pattern analysis, does its value come from us interpreting it as improvisation?

AM: We look for patterns in whatever we do its a built-in survival mechanism, actually. The audience responds and the musician responds, but the machine isnt aware of what sort of music is improvised, even if it sounds pleasant. Its the sort of music we would expect, it isnt really pioneering. But someone standing in the next room cant tell whether the human is playing or the Continuator is playing, so in this way the computer passes a musical Turing test.

F: Is there a way to assign value to robotic art without comparing it to a humans creation?

AM: I think its wrong to assess the work of an AI on whether it can be distinguished from the work of a human. Because whats the point? You want AI to create works of art that you cant even imagine right now. To define what is art is impossible. Picassos artworks were considered a joke at the time he did them.

F: Todays technology can already help people boost their creativity and give people new tools with which to create art, and there are rudimentary tools out there that create things on their own. Where does the line between creator and tool end? When does the technology itself become the creator?

AM: You start crediting the machine when the machine produces works that are generally accepted in the art world and when you learn to accept it as a work of art even though it was done by a machine.

F: Are we there yet?

AM: The art world is coming to that point, but were not quite there. We cant even imagine what that new art will be. Maybe it will be 3D 3D-printed art.

F: This is a debate already happening developers are fighting the patent office over whether they or an algorithm should get credit for the algorithms output.

AM: I think I know what youre talking about. Theres an algorithm where you put in the qualities of a chair and it creates two million chairs. At least at this point the machine and the engineer should share the credit.

But I would almost weigh in on the side of the machine, actually. The machine was generating three-legged chairs and weird designs that the human wouldnt have. So the machine has creative license because its jumping its algorithm its going beyond its programming. It produced something that was not in the gamebook.

Futurism Associate Social Media Editor Natalie Coleman provided significant research assistance for this story.

More on creative AI: Will the Next Mozart be a Robot?

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Someday, Robot Artists May Have to Explain Their Creations to Us - Futurism

The transhuman future is here – Dazed

The future isnt an accident, its something we create and it seems our goal is to hack what it means to be human. What was once science fiction is now reality: the first cyborgs are here. A revolution is unfolding in operating rooms, labs, artist, and designer studios across the world.

Scientists and entrepreneurs are on a quest to unlock the secrets of the human brain through implantable technology. The documentary I am Human by Elena Gaby follows three people with varying degrees of disabilities who have been implanted with brain-computer interfaces allowing them to achieve what was once impossible. Programmes such as BrainGate, Synchron, and Neuralink are among the neurotech organisations working to restore communication, mobility, and independence in people who have lost movement due to paralysis, limb loss, or neurodegenerative disease.

In the documentary, Stephen, who is blind, has a retinal implant which connects to electrodes in his brain. Elsewhere, Anne who suffers from Parkinsons Disease is considering whether to have deep brain stimulation through inserted electrodes. These brain implants come with great societal implications as groundbreaking neurotechnologies could gradually branch out into the general population when people adopt how transformational they can be.

A future where we can type or control our cars with our mind is within reach and if the technology were to make it outside the medical domain, the future is one of brain-to-brain communication, enhanced memory, and cognition where even speaking to each other may not be as necessary. In her recent article for the Guardian, Zoe Corbyn features Dennis Degray, a paraplegic man who was able to send text messages, shop on Amazon, and stack blocks by controlling a robotic arm through the neurons of his mind. Brain implants could revolutionise the way we connect to the world around us. If harnessed, for example, in the military, in retail, the workplace or train stations, they could become the new standard for interactions between people, machines, and products.

But cognitive enhancements, although still in experimental stages, should make us question the deep implications of self-governance and privacy. In our cyber future, will humans or technology prevail? Daniela Skills short film featured on Nowness portrays a future where humanity battles with cyborgs and robots in a quest for co-existence. This appears to be a far-fetched scenario, but if we observe the signals of today and operate as cultural listeners, we can see a tipping point between humanity and machines through the rise of neurotechnology.

Bionic humans and intelligent robots are here, and you better get used to them; you might even become one of them in the future. Companies such as Youbionic aims to democratise smart prosthetics in an effort to enhance the human intellect and physiology its recent invention, the Youbionic Paw Arm, is now available through open sourcing. Another open-source, artificially intelligent prosthetic leg designed by scientists Levi Hargrove and Elliott Rouse at the University of Michigan and Shirley Ryan Ability Lab will be released to the public and scientific community. This naturally redefines the changing boundaries between the human and the machine, the animate and inanimate, controller and controlled, and how accessible this may all become.

In our quest to merge the physical, digital and machine, ancient themes of Animism dating from ancient civilisations and religions such as the Golem are being played out with todays toolbox. Creatives like Princess Gollum illustrate our fascination with giving life to non-living things. Humans cannot help but explore their power and their fears in a bid to take control of the inevitable: the degradation of the human body and mind. This need for eternity has inspired us to create human-like creatures with special abilities from Frankenstein to todays alien Avatars such as Galaxia.

In her art installation Homemade RC Toy, Geumhyung Jeong questions our relationship with machines by interacting naked with homemade robotic sculptures. Flowing Water Standing Time by fashion designer Ying Pao is a robotic garment which moves according to colour and is inspired by the work of neurologist Oliver Sacks. We could see the development of garments that can be a tool for navigation, communication, and as an amplifier for VR spaces with projects like Ava Aghakouchaks soft wearable Sovar.

Meanwhile, Ai-Da, the worlds first humanoid robot artist, has had her first solo exhibition of eight drawings, twenty paintings, four sculptures and two video works. There was debate about granting personhood to AI in the EU courts in 2017. This was ultimately rejected; however, recently two professors from the University of Surrey filed patents on behalf of an AI system. They are arguing it should be recognised as inventor, and although the Patents offices in the UK, EU and US insist innovations are attributed to humans only, this now seems to be an outdated notion.

So, what does this mean for the human body, intelligence and emotions? In What humans will look like in the next 100 years, we discussed the acceptance of baby androids in our society and the manufacturing of cyborgs by 2048. The project Replika by Pleun Van Dijk, commissioned by Roskilde Festival, echoes this transhumanist concept. By staging a human production-line, designers act as gods and stage a future where human shells are reshaped by industry and capital. New research shows that we may also be able to regenerate human tissue and body parts, as scientists have discovered the human body can renew like salamanders.The paper, published in Science Advances, explains we have the same healing process as amphibians and this previously unknown ability might be exploited to enhance joint repair and establish a basis for human limb regeneration.

Science fiction artistEsmay Wagemans explores a parallel concept of re-creating body parts in a race to res-culpt humanity. This idea, paired with the developments of soft computers such as the Octobot, a chemically powered robot which can essentially take any shape, points to the potential for merging soft wearables with Augmented Reality, social media, and Artificial intelligence. This could lead to a new way of communicating and representing ourselves in which our skins would become screens reflected in Aposema, a facial prosthesis which acts as an external emotional indicator. The project speculates on our ability to empathise in an age where people prefer technological devices over in-person interactions. Built using soft robotics prosthetics, biometric sensors and an augmented reality digital layer, Aposema would translate facial expressions when we are no longer able to understand emotions.

How we relate to other humans and our own physicality is changing deeply as we race to virtualise and reinvent our body. The democratisation of technologies ranging from robotic limbs to mixed realities, coupled with the progress of 3D scanning and modelling, are suggesting the possibility of a human body that is modifiable, customisable and open source. New beauty standards will emerge out of this transhumanist scenario in which mutant creations would colonise our current traditional sense of reality.

We are creating another dimension, another human nature before our eyes. The speculative design studio Imprudence explores future beauty products with their online store selling items ranging from cat eye DNA, nano filter make-up to a skin scanning soap. Face filters are a key illustration of the viral desire for wearing 3D makeup as seen in Ines Alphas recently launched collaboration with the fashion brand Bimba y Lola.Through her digital creations, digital artist Ksenia Trifonova engages with a future where images will be projected onto our faces and give us the ability to transform and communicate data, style, social media posts on our skins.

Our clothing will not be immune to the changes in our reality paradigm. Rflctv Studios streetwear collection transforms into interactive hyperreal dichroic garments through augmented reality. Moin Roberts-Islam of the London-based Fashion Innovation Agency recently featured a prototype scanner for human body augmentation and customisation created by Cyberpunk 3D artist Rafe Johnson. It could offer new ways of trying on jewellery, accessories and tattoos.

And with Virtual humans, avatars will not only populate our feeds, but they will also enter customer service applications as we are now able to replicate human emotion and mimic meaningful and authentic interactions. Soul Machines enables highly realistic Autonomous Animations of humans through an AI-powered Digital Brain. The avatars are already planned to be rolled out in customer service for Natwest. Concurrently, Facebook has outlined its plans to turn us into holograms in a future communication where instead of using Skype, we could be teleported to our parents living room for dinner across the world. The holographic avatar in Blade Runner or the loveable operating system in Her are here.

Western philosophy makes an absolute distinction between the living and the non-living. We presumed that humans were the only thinking things but now machines think, they will sense, feel, reflect, even have a sense of self, through avatars like Josefin Jonssons virtual humans, cyborgs and humanoids. As we use advanced technologies to push the edges of humanity, machines are becoming like us. The question now is, where do we end and where do they begin? And is this a true advancement for society?

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The transhuman future is here - Dazed

Do transhumanists need their own bill of rights? – Quartz

In todays future-facing era, phenomena once relegated to the world of science fiction are starting to edge their way into reality.

We have scientists growing brains from stem cells in petri dishes; robots are being granted national citizenship; virtual intelligences experience and expressanger.

For the past 50 years, the microprocessorthe chip that processes information in a computerhas doubled in capacity at least everyyear to two years. Experts predict that machine intelligence will be smarter than humans by 2030.

So heres my question: When the machines weve created possesses an intelligence that equals ours, will they deserve our protection?

Will they desire it? Maybe even demand it?

This should be your question, too. Because in a little longer than a decades time, well need answers if want to avert moral and civil rights mishaps.

Futurists and technologists have been working to prepare the world for radical new sapient technologies and intelligences with publications such as the Cyborg Bill of Rights V1.0 which advocates equality for mutants.

Beyond the microprocessor, instrumental in catapulting machine intelligence to new levels through its ever-increasing speed for calculations, weve seen accelerating advances in genetic editing, stem-cell research, and 3D bioprinting, each which will help to create entities that have both consciousness and intelligence. This year 3D bioprinting has come so far that a team of Israeli scientists were able to successfully print part of a human heart.

Netflix released a popular four-part documentary series called Unnatural Selection on the topic.

Scientists are already wading into murky waters when it comes to the rights of these new intelligent organisms that we create. AtYale University brains from deceased pigs are being stimulated in a vat, which has prompted controversy in the animal rights world.

Do the brains of these animals, once dead, now represent live animals? And if so, do they receive the same legal rights that have informed laws that protect animals against harmful animal testing and animal cruelty?

As a result of these emerging ethical issues, were seeing more debates about new terms of futurist-oriented rights.

But the fact remains that there are few, if any, actual rules for most of our new scientific realities.

This is largely what inspired me to come up with theTranshumanist Bill of Rights, which Wiredpublished in full in 2018. The document recently underwent its third rendition via crowdsourcing.

When the machines weve created possesses an intelligence that equals ours, will they deserve our protection?

Like many of the cyborg bills that existthere are about half a dozen significant ones floating around the internetthis bill includes legal protections for thinking robots, gender explanations for virtual intelligences, laws for genetically engineered sapient creatures, defense of freedoms allowing biohackers to modify their bodies, and many other protections. It even includes policies to fight off environmental destruction and planetary existential threats such as asteroids, plagues, nuclear war, and global warming.

In 2015, Iwalked up to the US Capitol building holdinga single-page print out of the document I had written. The machine gun-toting police standing guard just feet away from me threatened arrest, but there was little need; the taped-on page quickly fell off the building, fluttered off the wall in the wind.

I wasnt arrested. The police and journalists surrounding me chuckled at the bungled ceremonial moment.

I recall that I couldnt help but smile myself at the idea of getting a futurist bill of rights to become a fixed part of US governing policy at the time.

But four years later, with machines showing ever increasing sophisticationhumans are even marrying robotsin some parts of the worlda bill of rights is not as wild as it once sounded. We could easily say the same for genetically-modified babies being born, which happened for the first time inChinalast year.

In my work, I meet with people around the world who are interested in answering not if we need a futurist bill of rights, but when we will need it, from Harvard Universitys Kennedy School of Government to theCato Institute to theWorld Economic Forumto European ministries.

If you look through the various cyborg-inspired bills of rights already out there, youll find that a major goal is to include cyborg and transhumanist rights in the UNs 1948Universal Declaration of Human Rights one day.

The ideas of personhood, a right to education, and freedom of speech were once considered unattainable in some countries. Now these basic human rights are common, and at least some of this change is due to the powerful legal influence of the UNs universal bill, often seen as a blueprint for governments and laws around the globe.

Interestingly, one of the challenges of getting a transhumanist bill of rights taken seriously comes from minorities groups, when its perceived that futurist rights will undermine movements of historically marginalized peoples. While plenty of transhumanists are members of the LGBTQ community, the community has been reluctant to wander intofuturist LGBTQissues, such as nongender roleplaying as different species in virtual environments.

LGBTQ friends of minewhile often sympathetic to transhumanist goalshave told me that they believe that after their historic quest for rights in America especially, they still need to focus on progress for their own movement and its goals. They perceive a futurist bill of rights as a distraction.

I respect and agree with this. Minorities in the US and around the world face social discrimination and violations of rights that warrant our attention. But it wont slow down the trajectory of radical technologies, which is spurring a growing futurist community to call for its own set of rights, rules, and protections.

I understand that at times it seems preposterous to believe the world will need to consider whether super intelligentrobots can vote, or whether human heads can betransplantedto waiting tech-engineered bodies, or if four years of college education canbe downloadedinto human brains.

But these realities are likely to occur long before the century is out.

If society doesnt accept that new sapient lifeformswhether its an autonomous digital avatar living in a supercomputer, or a biological creature with human-level intelligence that genetic editing createdalso need rights, or that new forms of engineered conscious intelligences will walk among humans on Earth as a result of scientific progress, society will undergo another wave of civil strife as we scramble to play catch-up to whats fair and moral.

At the very least, societies and governments need more comprehensive plans to formally deal with these new realities. That begins with a Congressional dialogue and forming preliminary legal documents outlining potential rights for the evolving future.

Ultimately, it comes down to how humans believe new intelligent life deserves to be treated.

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Do transhumanists need their own bill of rights? - Quartz

Could a robot be prime minister? Machines will soon be smart enough to run the world, says futurist – CBC.ca

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Canadians are heading to the polls in two weeks, but one futurist argues that one day we'll be casting our votes for a robot prime minister.

"At some point we're going to create a machine that's better than the human brain, and that machine is going to be better at running the planet and running the world," said Zoltan Istvan.

"You really have an opportunity here to maybe get what we can see as true leadership, for the very first time in perhaps everyone's lifetime."

Istvan ran in the 2016 U.S. presidential election under the banner of the Transhumanist Party, a group that believes in using technology to modify and enhance our intellect and bodies as long as no harm results to anyone else. He is not running in the 2020 campaign.

He said people he met along the campaign trailwere skeptical of the Transhumanist pitch, but argued that people underestimate how quickly technology is advancing.

He told The Current's Laura Lynch that "almost every single action that a human does, a machine can almost certainly do dramatically better."

"When you talk about running a country, you talk about governing for the greatest good," Istvansaid. "Amachine is going to have better algorithms."

He added that one benefit of robot leaders would be that they could improve over time, weeding out idiosyncrasies or issues experienced by previous iterations.

A robotprogrammed to lead wouldn't necessarilybe stuck behind a desk on Parliament Hill it could beartificial intelligence that you could access anywhere, like a smart speaker in your living room.

The implication for democracy would be that "in the future, an AI will be able to keep on millions and millions of close relationships with its voters base," Istvansaid.

It "might be campaigning right in your living room," he added.

"That's where this becomes really interesting, is a really direct relationship with a potential AI political leader."

Kerstin Dautenhahn, Canada 150 research chair in intelligent robotics, said she "would definitely not want political leaders to be robots."

She told Lynch that "we need to maybe be realistic on what machines are good at, and what humans are good at."

"AI is certainly very good [at] enhancing vast amounts of data, so for example, recognizing one face in a million different faces, or collecting data on people's habits and then recognizing patterns," said Dautenhahn, director of the social and intelligentrobotics research lab at the University of Waterloo.

"What machines are not very good at is common sense and general intelligence, so for example machines lack compassion, they lack empathy."

Dautenhahn said those common sense decisions are vital for politicians "because they are dealing with incomplete information, they have to make quick decisions, they have to make predictions."

"That's what people are very good at and it is because we are human beings," she said.

Istvan argued that decisions based on emotion can lead to "total chaos."

"That's why we want pure reason, pure statistical analysis," he said.

He told Lynch that "even if the picture is incomplete, a statistical analysis of that would make a much better decision than something that comes out with emotions."

"Frankly, the last thing I want is [U.S. President Donald] Trump to be emotional as he's making decisions with the military and things like that."

Istvan said the qualities needed for leadership could eventually be programmed into robots, but Dautenhahn warned that the people programming them could unwittingly introduce their own biases.

"I would certainly not vote for a robot because ... there's no such thing as pure rational decision-making," she said.

Dautenhahn acknowledged that humans make mistakes, but perhaps robotics could be used to help us make better-informed decisions, rather than just making them for us.

"I think humans are pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good in what they're doing, and they can certainly be complemented by AI, in areas where the AI is very good."

Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Ben Jamieson.

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Could a robot be prime minister? Machines will soon be smart enough to run the world, says futurist - CBC.ca

Education and Enhancement in a Transhuman Future – Patheos

by David Lewin

Should we expect the schools of the future to be saturated with technology? It has been widely reported (e.g. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/319288) that some leaders within major Silicon Valley tech companies have, rather hypocritically, chosen to limit the influence of their products on their own children, by restricting access to screen time and social media. Take the following report:

You cant put your face in a device and expect to develop a long-term attention span, [said] Taewoo Kim, chief AI engineer at the machine-learning startup One Smart Lab A practicing Buddhist, Kim is teaching his nieces and nephews, ages 4 to 11, to meditate and appreciate screen-free games and puzzles. Once a year he takes them on tech-free silent retreats at nearby Buddhist temples. (https://www.businessinsider.com/silicon-valley-parents-raising-their-kids-tech-free-red-flag-2018-2)

Other educational spaces also appear to provide shelter from technology saturation, for instance Waldorf schools, which prioritise outdoor learning and low-tech play. This concern to shelter students reflects certain perceived risks of technology saturation: distractedness and diminished attention span, heightened depression and anxiety, poor health and obesity and, in extreme cases, suicide. Limiting access to technology has become newsworthy because of the prevailing assumption that technology enhances education. Whatever the truth of the matter, we currently know little about the long-term impact of many technologies on the educational formation of young people: the influence of technology seems widespread, indeterminate, and seldom given sufficient justification. This knowledge gap is by no means unique to modern technologys educational interventions, but is at the foundation of education itself: there is an interpretive gap between what educators intend and what students learn.

This raises two general questions: First, how do we justify influencing others? If the answer to this question is basically consequentialist (because the outcomes of influence are good), then we are presented with a second question which problematizes this response: namely, what are we to make of the gap between our intentions to influence or enhance, and the outcomes of these intentions?

I would argue that human enhancements have existed as long as education itself. Nick Bostrom and Anders Sandberg (https://nickbostrom.com/cognitive.pdf) have suggested that education may be usefully labelled as a conventional means of human enhancement, as distinct from nominally unconventional means of enhancement, such as nootropic drugs, gene therapy, or neural implants. This distinction has its place, though Bostrom and Sandberg acknowledge the continuum between enhancements that are conventional (working through education) and unconventional (drawing upon recent technologies), making the distinction fluid, indeterminate and contextual. Caffeine is one thing, but gene editing for purposes of non-therapeutic interventions (e.g. selecting or removing traits in reproduction) remains controversial. Of course, convention is a rather unstable form of justification. In general, the question of the justification of unconventional enhancement parallels that of conventional enhancement. It is one of the key questions that shapes education theory: namely, how are our intentions to influence justified?

The gap between the intentions and the outcomes could be understood as a weakness or risk intrinsic to education. Gert Biesta speaks of the beautiful risk of education (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMqFcVoXnTI), arguing that it is a misconception to see education as a stable relation between inputs and outputs in which we can eliminate the unexpected or the risky. To construe education without risk is to miss something of its beauty. Education can make use of, or better, relies on this gap in order to create spaces that are essentially open to something unbidden, an opening that involves, as Hannah Arendt puts it, the coming of the new and young. By contrast, the sciences of learning have worked to eliminate this gap through the development of what is known as the behavioural objectives model in which measurable educational objectives and outcomes are made explicit and become the sole target of education. The behavioural objectives model can be interpreted as the expression of technical subjectivity in which all forms of insecurity are eliminated in favor of pure transmission, and the risks of exposure to the unbidden are minimised. The idea that behavioural objectives ensure control of the educational process is seductive but, illusory and ultimately corrosive since, as Arendt, Biesta and others have argued, the educational event itself depends upon the introduction of something radically new. What makes the new radical here is that there is a discontinuity between the conditions in which newness may arrive, and the very arrival itself. Something about the new is necessarily unanticipated. Without the new, education becomes the reproduction of the old which, echoing Adornos critiques of Halbbildung (half-education), is only ever half the educational story.

This gap between educational intention and what actually takes place demands something of those involved: speculative, or interpretive judgements. We might say that interpretation constitutes the pedagogical relation between educator and student: the educator speculates that the student is educable, projecting ideas about what capacities the student could realise through certain educational influences; the student speculates about what the educator intends and is capable of, e.g. that they are (or are not) both interested in and able to support the students growth. Then there is speculation about the outcomes of the educational event: the enhancement of a capacity may not be immediately obvious to the student or educator, taking days, months or even years to be properly realised or recognised. In short, there is a great deal of faith in pedagogical structures, processes and relations. This is significant because unconventional means of enhancement likewise involve speculation, risk, and judgement. Just as writing may enhance or diminish human memory, so ubiquitous access to google may extend and undermine certain cognitive capacities; at least an ambivalence should be noted. Unconventional means of enhancement through, for instance, drugs like Ritalin or Modafinil, might be thought to involve unacceptable risks in comparison to conventional schooling, but risks are part of any effort to influence because they are defined by the gap described between intention and outcome.

In her essay The Crisis in Education, Arendt says that hope always hangs on the new which every generation brings; but precisely because we can base our hope only on this, we destroy everything if we so try to control the new that we, the old, can dictate how it will look. Indeed, the older generation cannot fully anticipate changes brought on by the young but can, indeed must, show the world and let go, hoping that in doing so conditions are created in which the new may arrive. Education involves creating conditions in which it is possible for the new to come in to the world, conditions that might also be described in terms of openness: openness to the mystery, the unbidden, the Other, or as self-transcendence.

I would not be the first to challenge the view that the technologically defined immortality of transhumanism would be an enhancement, though my challenge is based on educational insights. Specifically, the transhuman quest for immortality, in which the old seeks to sustain itself indefinitely, seems to oppose the radical renewal of education described by Arendt and others. There is the basic problem of resources: the old must make space for the new by the renewal of life through death, which perhaps could be solved by extraterrestrial colonization or through digitization and uploading. However, the educational principle that life is constituted by a creative tension between those coming in to the world (the young) and those going out (the old) is a basic condition for life itself. The necessity of education correlates with the necessity of the renewal of the world.

Rather than being regarded as revolutionary or radical, transhumanism is, then, fundamentally and ruinously conservative: it seeks to sustain what is, as it is. Transhumanists sometimes berate those who are hesitant about the scale and scope of technological change as bio-conservative, though maybe the transhuman community itself that is the most conservative of all: it fails to see how the preservation of the old world is an affront to the ongoing renewal that sustains the world.

This renewal is not a case of the new entirely replacing or displacing the old, as a cult of youth might have it. By no means does this jettison tradition and the past. In order for children to arrive in the world, they must, says Arendt, be introduced to it. Herein lies the legitimate but limited authority of educators: that, by showing the world, they are able to take responsibility for it, while letting the forces of renewal remake it. Arendt ends her Crisis in Education essay with the following appeal to love:

Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it and by the same token save it from that ruin which, except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and young, would be inevitable. And education, too, is where we decide whether we love our children enough not to expel them from our world and leave them to their own devices, nor to strike from their hands their chance of undertaking something new, something unforeseen by us, but to prepare them in advance for the task of renewing a common world.

For Arendt, this renewal is not realised in a techno-utopia in which we may exist indefinitely, but a common world in which the old order is in constant transformative renewal. This means convention and tradition provide the ground for representing the world to the young, who then are able to introduce something new through invention and transformation. This balance between old and new, past and future, makes education both necessary and possible.

My concerns are less that transhuman prospects for extended or unending life are real possibilities than what these prospects indicate about contemporary attitudes to human formation and education: namely, the current technologisation of education disregards the interpretive gap which makes education more than a mechanical process of construction. Bringing to view the interpretive gap reminds us that renewal is both possible and essential in order to exceed the conservative forces that seek only to recreate the patterns of the past.

Every parent, educator and transhumanist has an idea of the good and a belief or hope in the possibility of realising it; what might be called a faith in the future. Faith is necessary because of the gap between our intentions to make change, and the outcomes of those intentions. There is a twofold problem: we often dont know whether change is good, and even if we did know this, we often dont know if change can, or has, been realised. It is the human condition to live in this gap, a gap that requires us to live between the conventions and traditions that ground us, and the inventions and transformations that develop us. This gap ensures that, thankfully, the influences of the old on the young are not entirely mechanical or predictable, and that our humanity is staked upon a wager to affirm the world without hanging on to it indefinitely. Because of this gap, it is incumbent upon us to reflect upon the judgements that we must inevitably make, and the possible futures in which we put our faith, hope and love.

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Education and Enhancement in a Transhuman Future - Patheos

Transhumanist politics – Wikipedia

Transhumanist politics constitutes a group of political ideologies that generally express the belief in improving human individuals through science and technology.

The term "transhumanism" with its present meaning was popularised by Julian Huxley's 1957 essay of that name.[1]

Natasha Vita-More was elected as a Councilperson for the 28th Senatorial District of Los Angeles in 1992. She ran with the Green Party, but on a personal platform of "transhumanism". She quit after a year, saying her party was "too neurotically geared toward environmentalism".[2][3]

James Hughes identifies the "neoliberal" Extropy Institute, founded by philosopher Max More and developed in the 1990s, as the first organized advocates for transhumanism. And he identifies the late-1990s formation of the World Transhumanist Association (WTA), a European organization which later was renamed to Humanity+ (H+), as partly a reaction to the free market perspective of the "Extropians". Per Hughes, "[t]he WTA included both social democrats and neoliberals around a liberal democratic definition of transhumanism, codified in the Transhumanist Declaration."[4][5] Hughes has also detailed the political currents in transhumanism, particularly the shift around 2009 from socialist transhumanism to libertarian and anarcho-capitalist transhumanism.[5] He claims that the left was pushed out of the World Transhumanist Association Board of Directors, and that libertarians and Singularitarians have secured a hegemony in the transhumanism community with help from Peter Thiel, but Hughes remains optimistic about a techno-progressive future.[5]

In 2012, the Longevity Party, a movement described as "100% transhumanist" by cofounder Maria Konovalenko,[6] began to organize in Russia for building a balloted political party.[7] Another Russian programme, the 2045 Initiative was founded in 2012 by billionaire Dmitry Itskov with its own "Evolution 2045" political party advocating life extension and android avatars.[8][9]

Writing for H+ Magazine in July 2014, futurist Peter Rothman called Gabriel Rothblatt "very possibly the first openly transhumanist political candidate in the United States" when he ran as a candidate for the United States Congress.[10]

In October 2014, Zoltan Istvan announced that he would be running in the 2016 United States presidential election under the banner of the "Transhumanist Party."[11] By May 2018, the Party had nearly 880 members, and chairmanship had been given to Gennady Stolyarov II.[12] Other groups using the name "Transhumanist Party" exist in the United Kingdom[13][14][15] and Germany.[16]

According to a 2006 study by the European Parliament, transhumanism is the political expression of the ideology that technology should be used to enhance human abilities.[17]

According to Amon Twyman of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), political philosophies which support transhumanism include social futurism, techno-progressivism, techno-libertarianism, and anarcho-transhumanism.[18] Twyman considers such philosophies to collectively constitute political transhumanism.[18]

Techno-progressives also known as Democratic transhumanists,[19][20] support equal access to human enhancement technologies in order to promote social equality and prevent technologies from furthering the divide among socioeconomic classes.[21] However, libertarian transhumanist Ronald Bailey is critical of the democratic transhumanism described by James Hughes.[22][23] Jeffrey Bishop wrote that the disagreements among transhumanists regarding individual and community rights is "precisely the tension that philosophical liberalism historically tried to negotiate," but that disagreeing entirely with a posthuman future is a disagreement with the right to choose what humanity will become.[24] Woody Evans has supported placing posthuman rights in a continuum with animal rights and human rights.[25]

Riccardo Campa wrote that transhumanism can be coupled with many different political, philosophical, and religious views, and that this diversity can be an asset so long as transhumanists do not give priority to existing affiliations over membership with organized transhumanism.[26]

Some transhumanists question the use of politicizing transhumanism.[who?] Truman Chen of the Stanford Political Journal considers many transhumanist ideals to be anti-political.[27]

Democratic transhumanism, a term coined by James Hughes in 2002, refers to the stance of transhumanists (advocates for the development and use of human enhancement technologies) who espouse liberal, social, and/or radical democratic political views.[28][29][30][31]

According to Hughes, the ideology "stems from the assertion that human beings will generally be happier when they take rational control of the natural and social forces that control their lives."[29][32]The ethical foundation of democratic transhumanism rests upon rule utilitarianism and non-anthropocentric personhood theory.[33] Democratic transhumanist support equal access to human enhancement technologies in order to promote social equality and to prevent technologies from furthering the divide among the socioeconomic classes.[34]While raising objections both to right-wing and left-wing bioconservatism, and libertarian transhumanism, Hughes aims to encourage democratic transhumanists and their potential progressive allies to unite as a new social movement and influence biopolitical public policy.[29][31]

An attempt to expand the middle ground between technorealism and techno-utopianism, democratic transhumanism can be seen as a radical form of techno-progressivism.[35] Appearing several times in Hughes' work, the term "radical" (from Latin rdx, rdc-, root) is used as an adjective meaning of or pertaining to the root or going to the root. His central thesis is that emerging technologies and radical democracy can help citizens overcome some of the root causes of inequalities of power.[29]

According to Hughes, the terms techno-progressivism and democratic transhumanism both refer to the same set of Enlightenment values and principles; however, the term technoprogressive has replaced the use of the word democratic transhumanism.[36][37]

Hughes has identified 15 "left futurist" or "left techno-utopian" trends and projects that could be incorporated into democratic transhumanism:

These are notable individuals who have identified themselves, or have been identified by Hughes, as advocates of democratic transhumanism:[38]

Science journalist Ronald Bailey wrote a review of Citizen Cyborg in his online column for Reason magazine in which he offered a critique of democratic transhumanism and a defense of libertarian transhumanism.[22][23]

Critical theorist Dale Carrico defended democratic transhumanism from Bailey's criticism.[39] However, he would later criticize democratic transhumanism himself on technoprogressive grounds.[40]

Libertarian transhumanism is a political ideology synthesizing libertarianism and transhumanism.[28][41][42]Self-identified libertarian transhumanists, such as Ronald Bailey of Reason magazine and Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, are advocates of the asserted "right to human enhancement" who argue that the free market is the best guarantor of this right, claiming that it produces greater prosperity and personal freedom than other economic systems.[43][44]

Libertarian transhumanists believe that the principle of self-ownership is the most fundamental idea from which both libertarianism and transhumanism stem. They are rational egoists and ethical egoists who embrace the prospect of using emerging technologies to enhance human capacities, which they believe stems from the self-interested application of reason and will in the context of the individual freedom to achieve a posthuman state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. They extend this rational and ethical egoism to advocate a form of "biolibertarianism".[43]

As strong civil libertarians, libertarian transhumanists hold that any attempt to limit or suppress the asserted right to human enhancement is a violation of civil rights and civil liberties. However, as strong economic libertarians, they also reject proposed public policies of government-regulated and -insured human enhancement technologies, which are advocated by democratic transhumanists, because they fear that any state intervention will steer or limit their choices.[45][46][23]

Extropianism, the earliest current of transhumanist thought defined in 1988 by philosopher Max More, initially included an anarcho-capitalist interpretation of the concept of "spontaneous order" in its principles, which states that a free market economy achieves a more efficient allocation of societal resources than any planned or mixed economy could achieve. In 2000, while revising the principles of Extropy, More seemed to be abandoning libertarianism in favor of modern liberalism and anticipatory democracy. However, many Extropians remained libertarian transhumanists.[28]

Critiques of the techno-utopianism of libertarian transhumanists from progressive cultural critics include Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron's 1995 essay The Californian Ideology; Mark Dery's 1996 book Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century; and Paulina Borsook's 2000 book Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp Through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High-Tech.

Barbrook argues that libertarian transhumanists are proponents of the Californian Ideology who embrace the goal of reactionary modernism: economic growth without social mobility.[47] According to Barbrook, libertarian transhumanists are unwittingly appropriating the theoretical legacy of Stalinist communism by substituting, among other concepts, the "vanguard party" with the "digerati", and the "new Soviet man" with the "posthuman".[48] Dery coined the dismissive phrase "body-loathing" to describe the attitude of libertarian transhumanists and those in the cyberculture who want to escape from their "meat puppet" through mind uploading into cyberspace.[49] Borsook asserts that libertarian transhumanists indulge in a subculture of selfishness, elitism, and escapism.[50]

Sociologist James Hughes is the most militant critic of libertarian transhumanism. While articulating "democratic transhumanism" as a sociopolitical program in his 2004 book Citizen Cyborg,[31] Hughes sought to convince libertarian transhumanists to embrace social democracy by arguing that:

Klaus-Gerd Giesen, a German political scientist specializing in the philosophy of technology, wrote a critique of the libertarianism he imputes to all transhumanists. While pointing out that the works of Austrian School economist Friedrich Hayek figure in practically all of the recommended reading lists of Extropians, he argues that transhumanists, convinced of the sole virtues of the free market, advocate an unabashed inegalitarianism and merciless meritocracy which can be reduced in reality to a biological fetish. He is especially critical of their promotion of a science-fictional liberal eugenics, virulently opposed to any political regulation of human genetics, where the consumerist model presides over their ideology. Giesen concludes that the despair of finding social and political solutions to today's sociopolitical problems incites transhumanists to reduce everything to the hereditary gene, as a fantasy of omnipotence to be found within the individual, even if it means transforming the subject (human) to a new draft (posthuman).[51]

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Transhumanist politics - Wikipedia


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