Wednesday, January 21, 2009

PZ Myers to vist Alberta

PZ Myers is visiting Calgary & Edmonton

"Voices of Reason" Lecture on protecting Evolution education
Sunday, January 25, 2009
2:00pm - 5:00pm
University of Calgary ICT 102 (Information & Communications Technologies Building)
Collegiate Place N.W.
Calgary, AB

Does God Exist? Debate Featuring Dr PZ Myers
Monday, January 26, 2009
5:30pm - 7:30pm
ETLC E1-001 University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB

Sunday, January 4, 2009

YES! to Transhumanism

From Order of Cosmic Engineers

Transhumanism is both a reason-based worldview and a cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability, for those who choose it, of fundamentally improving the human condition by means of science and technology. Transhumanists seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values.

Visionary, bold and fun. That is what transhumanism has always been.

Transhumanists have always sought personal improvement; to free themselves from all the limitations of biology; to radically upgrade their mental and physical faculties; and to beat a path to the stars.

This is what transhumanism is. What it has always been. This is what transhumanism ought to continue to be.

With due concern, we fully and deeply realize that there are, have always been and will continue to be complex scientific, technical, cultural, moral, societal and political challenges to deal with. They require careful assessment, planning, and leadership. These challenges need to be met head on with due courage, forbearance, focused attention, rationality, compassion, empathy and wisdom.

We must and will continue to do our best to overcome them. We will persevere to mitigate their potential and actual dangers, while safeguarding the maximizing of their potential and actual benefits.

Some however are advancing that transhumanists should abandon their efforts at realizing -or even promoting- their radical futurist worldview... in favor of exclusively -or at least primarily- focusing on today's world issues. Transhumanist organizations should, in their view, become nothing more than nice, soft spoken, moderate, ethical, responsible and politically correct quasi-mainstream social clubs.

To such suggestions and proposals, we unequivocally say: NO!

As citizens, we have to and will do our best to play an active and positive role in today's world.

But that is not what transhumanism at its origin and core is about. There are numerous suitable organizations within which transhumanist citizens can and should play an active and positive role in today's world, including organizations in the environmental movement, political parties and movements, philanthropic organizations, research institutes, commercial enterprises.

We however categorically refuse to abandon our core original transhumanist vision of a radically better future for our species and ourselves.

We say YES to transhumanism. To the undiluted, unadulterated, uncompromising original core of transhumanism, that is.

This Position Statement YES! to Transhumanism was collaboratively authored by members of the Order of Cosmic Engineers -

Thursday, January 1, 2009


So what am I, Cyborg, Transhuman, or human?  Call me whatever you want, I just take ideas from all over the place and use whatever I find useful.

... we shall be cyborgs not in the merely superficial sense of combining flesh and wires but in the more profound sense of being human-technology symbionts: thinking and reasoning systems whose minds and selves are spread across biological brain and nonbiological circuitry.

As technology becomes portable, pervasive, reliable, flexible, and increasingly personalized, so our tools become more and more a part of who and what we are.

 - Natural-Born Cyborgs - Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence - Andy Clark

I use computers, cell phone, and various other technologies, therefore I am cyborg.  Humans have been using technology since the beginning.  Of course it depends on what you define as the beginning, so in order to avoid regressing back to the organic molecule stage of evolution, lets use a circular definition, by saying we became human when we started to use technology.  I will define technology as the process of using something as a tool, or making a tool. If I studied Anthropology and was witting scientific papers, I would be a little more precise, but the details are irrelevant here. So cyborg is just another word for human.

So why call myself a cyborg?  Because it focuses my attention on how I use technology to enhance my abilities, and quality of life.  In effect, modifying who I am.  Since reading NBC(Andy Clark), I have become more conscious of and more active in seeking out technologies to improve my life and the life of others.  If it was all about me there would be no purpose in blogging about it.

If you don't want to be borg, throw away all your technology right now, including your clothes, and move out into the woods.  Since you are still reading, you have accepted that you are part of the borg collective.  Now, nothing has changed in your life as a result of being labeled as part of the borg collective, but hopefully you will start to think more about how you use technology and how it affects your life.  Also realize that the capability of technology is growing exponentially.  The more you ignore, fear, or become disgusted by technology, the more you will have to operate on the fringes of society.  My solution is to embrace the technology, use it to enhance our abilities and bring every single person on the planet closer together.  So lets create, party, and use technology to include every human on the planet as part of the family.

There are many problems to be solved, but that is where science, engineering, reason and technology come in.  These are the best tools we have for solving problems, and like any tool, the more you use it, the more you learn about how to improve it.  It is time we stop making decision for political, and emotional reasons, and figure out what works best for all concerned, while protecting individual rights.

I have no training as a scientist, engineer, or philosopher, but 40 years of self study has convinced me of the capability of these tools.

I didn't discuss transhumanism, not directly anyway, but there is always next time.