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    Thread: Transhumanism

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      Transhumanism

      Who's down?

      I was reading my Pop Sci magazine for the month of January and they were talking about Singularity University and in the article they mentioned that Raymond Kurzweil (one of the founders) is a proponent of the Transhumanist movement.
      I looked it up and I didn't realize that there was a name for it.
      I'm down with this 100% and have been a fan of the concept for quite a long time.
      I may be a bit starry-eyed at the concept though, because I'm also pretty much 100% in agreement with the ideology of Techno-Utopianism.

      Idk. Thoughts?

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      I'm highly skeptical of these guys--they don't strike me as far removed from the alchemists of old. We discussed it at some length not too long ago: http://www.dreamviews.com/community/...ad.php?t=85690

      Their expectations of technology are unrealistic on any timeline, and every attempt at transhumanism to date (though I doubt Kurzweil and pals would acknowledge them as such) has ranged from laughable to tragic: boob jobs, steroids, methamphetamine. While we've made great strides in addressing actual deficits, sometimes bringing people more than just up to speed (certain high-performance prostheses, for instance), no one is lining up to have their legs sawed off for an upgrade.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



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      Some of it will probably happen, some of it probably not. As he said, its easy to predict the general trends, but harder to perdict the details of it. So while some of the specific things he mentioned probably wont happen, there probably will be huge advances in that time.

      Being able to download someone elses experiences is a bit far fetched, at least within a 10-15 year period(like the guy in the video suggested). Injections that will cure type 1 diabetes in 10 years however, seems pretty reasonable.

      I can definitely see artifacial blood cells as possible. And I know there is already a lot of work in trying to grow organs and stuff.

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      I for one am not down with it.

      I want to live and die as an organic human being.

      Call it a spiritual thing.
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      If I could live forever, I would. I am not so confident in my spirituality that I would say beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is an afterlife. And if there isn't, then the only logical thing to do is attempt to live forever.
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      http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...ver.technology

      Basically there's speculation that consciousness will be able to be stored digitally by the year 2050. With the sudden takeoff of Neuroscience and the exponentially growing flow of information in that field, I think its actually pretty feasible.
      Last edited by Speesh; 01-29-2010 at 06:02 AM.

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      Xei
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      'Conciousness stored digitally'; what does that mean? Consciousness isn't a physical thing you can put in a box.

      I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just asking for an explanation of your position.

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      The brain is merely a computer with electrons firing in ways that make consciousness what it is.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      'Conciousness stored digitally'; what does that mean? Consciousness isn't a physical thing you can put in a box.

      I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just asking for an explanation of your position.
      Ah sorry I'm probably just not wording it properly, I throw that C word around too often for my own good . What I mean is the neural 'ego' processes that make us us. The processes that if we didn't have, we'd just be ordinary human bodies. Memories, conditioning, worldview, the lot of it. All stored into binary data.

      Seems like a bit of a stretch even considering the massive rate these technologies are growing at, but if it does happen a lot of the Transhumanist potential would be realized. It doesn't mean too much to me personally, people have died naturally for well...ever. But I'll definitely use the technology if becomes available to me.

      Quote Originally Posted by Bearsy
      The brain is merely a computer with electrons firing in ways that make consciousness what it is.
      Haha yeah that's so true. The more I learn about Neuroscience and Biopsychology, the clearer it becomes too. Transistors at 0 or 1; receptors in action or resting potential. Its all the same shit when it comes down to it.
      Last edited by Speesh; 01-30-2010 at 01:16 AM.

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      I didn't read or watch any of the stuff you posted, but I almost guarantee that it states exactly what I've been thinking the past two years.

      Although, I absolutely hate the idea of downloading somebody else's experiences.

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      Xei
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      The processes that if we didn't have, we'd just be ordinary human bodies. Memories, conditioning, worldview, the lot of it. All stored into binary data.
      Sorry, I didn't make myself clear; I understand what you mean by consciousness. I don't understand what you literally mean by 'storing it digitally'.

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      I would assume it would do with recording brain-wave-function. When your brain thinks of something specific(unless you're fucked in the head) it has an identical reading every time. So I would assume they use that.
      I don't know much about neuroscience. And I don't think even the Transhumanists know how they'll do it, lol.

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      Xei
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      The sum product of your consciousness isn't a single wave.

      It emerges from the vastly intricate network of neurons and the signals sent between them.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Bearsy View Post
      I would assume it would do with recording brain-wave-function. When your brain thinks of something specific(unless you're fucked in the head) it has an identical reading every time. So I would assume they use that.
      I don't know much about neuroscience. And I don't think even the Transhumanists know how they'll do it, lol.
      Quote Originally Posted by Xei
      The sum product of your consciousness isn't a single wave.

      It emerges from the vastly intricate network of neurons and the signals sent between them.
      I'm sure they don't have a clue of how they'll do it yet, they're just beginning to believe its a real possibility with ridiculous technological achievements like BlueGene and BlueBrain. They're claiming that even such a vast and dynamic network of organic neuron/synapse action can be mapped entirely into binary data on a chip or something. Once that happens theoretically we can get it to communicate with the brain electronically for organic purposes.

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      But that wouldn't be consciousness transfer, that would be just merely making a copy of the original..
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      Obviously. But it will be so identical that they will be indistinguishable. See this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_uploading

      And once android technology is perfected(which, thanks again to Moore's Law, is coming up fast) we'll be able to live, essentially, forever.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Bearsy View Post
      Obviously. But it will be so identical that they will be indistinguishable. See this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_uploading

      And once android technology is perfected(which, thanks again to Moore's Law, is coming up fast) we'll be able to live, essentially, forever.
      I'm fairly certain that you don't mean Moore's Law, and instead you mean to use another phrase which either is or is equivalent to what Kurzweil calls the "law of accelerated/accelerating returns."

      Moore's Law only applies to transistors.

      Unless you meant that when scientists do these things we'll be using transistors to do it. In which case I completely misunderstood what you were saying.
      Last edited by Sandform; 01-31-2010 at 07:33 AM.

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      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bearsy View Post
      Obviously. But it will be so identical that they will be indistinguishable. See this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_uploading

      And once android technology is perfected(which, thanks again to Moore's Law, is coming up fast) we'll be able to live, essentially, forever.
      What if you made two copies and they then had completely different lives?
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      What if you made two copies and they then had completely different lives?
      I've wondered about this as well Xei, my opinion is that they would be the same person up until the point of change.

      For example, for a moment imagine time travel is possible. You go back in time 3 minutes. You meet yourself in the past. You've now changed your own future, so that that version of yourself can never become you, yet you still exist. This is what I would consider the difference to be. Three minutes ago you were both the same person, but after that you are not. The moment of upload you are both the same person, after that you are not.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sandform View Post
      I'm fairly certain that you don't mean Moore's Law, and instead you mean to use another phrase which either is or is equivalent to what Kurzweil calls the "law of accelerated/accelerating returns."

      Moore's Law only applies to transistors.

      Unless you meant that when scientists do these things we'll be using transistors to do it. In which case I completely misunderstood what you were saying.
      You are correct sir, I always thought Moore's Law applied to all technologies.

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      Correct me if I'm wrong, but every material of our bodies is not the original material from birth. A person at age 60 is, material-wise, not the same person as he was at age 20. Despite this, our consciousness remains consistent over this time-span. Therefore, it may be possible to transfer consciousness into an android by either slowly replacing the components of the brain with machine counterparts, or by connecting the brain to a machine replica with components that would come online as portions of the brain were shut down. This android brain would have to be made to function exactly the same way as the human brain, but with greater processing power and memory storage space.

      ...Or we could just create sentient machines to run the place for us and figure out cures to all diseases--including aging.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Black_Eagle View Post
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but every material of our bodies is not the original material from birth. A person at age 60 is, material-wise, not the same person as he was at age 20. Despite this, our consciousness remains consistent over this time-span. Therefore, it may be possible to transfer consciousness into an android by either slowly replacing the components of the brain with machine counterparts, or by connecting the brain to a machine replica with components that would come online as portions of the brain were shut down. This android brain would have to be made to function exactly the same way as the human brain, but with greater processing power and memory storage space.

      ...Or we could just create sentient machines to run the place for us and figure out cures to all diseases--including aging.

      Exactly. Kurzweil talked about this before in an article i read.

      Basically he said exactly what you said. The brain slowly replaces itself over time with new "parts", this is done naturally.

      So what Kurzweil said was that if we mimicked this process, except we replaced the architecture of the brain gradually, piece by piece, the same way nature does it, then that would be no different than the brains' natural processs. This was done to counter the assertions that any "mind upload" would just be killing the original and making a copy.
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      What would be the term for someone who believes that human government will eventually be replaced with superior machine government?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sandform View Post
      I've wondered about this as well Xei, my opinion is that they would be the same person up until the point of change.

      For example, for a moment imagine time travel is possible. You go back in time 3 minutes. You meet yourself in the past. You've now changed your own future, so that that version of yourself can never become you, yet you still exist. This is what I would consider the difference to be. Three minutes ago you were both the same person, but after that you are not. The moment of upload you are both the same person, after that you are not.
      I think that's overcomplicating things. It's simpler to say first there's one you, and after the duplication there's two you.

      It would be similar in practice to putting each hemisphere of your brain in a separate body.
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