Friday, October 28, 2011

transhumans and biology

People are organic. We are the product of biology. Transhumans might have the option of not being so. They might be able to decide how much human would remain in the trans-human mix.

If you were in the position to decide, how much humanity would you keep? Would you elect to sleep? Eat? Excrete?

And what of sex? It is pure pleasure, but it is also the most biological of all biological functions. 

Would you keep it?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Alas, the futurists.

Poor futurists. So few ways to be right. So many ways to be dead wrong.

I don't envy them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween, the Masque, and the Transhuman

The great joy of holidays like Halloween and celebrations like the Carnival is that we can put on masks and experiment with being someone else. We play at taking on an alternative identity.

The transhuman, however, will actually have the option of being someone else; taking on a different body, a different personality, even different memories.

What would that mean for us? As individuals and a civilization?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

bodily functions...

Suppose you could live without eating, or sleeping, or breathing, or, indeed of any biological functions.

Would you still keep them just for the pleasure of having them? Would you, for example, continue to eat so that you remain a cook and a gourmet?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

is there such a thing as transhumanist fiction

I write stories in which transhumanism plays an important role. But, I wonder, are transhumanists too busy creating transhumanism to read stories about it?

I find that an amusing thought.

Monday, October 17, 2011 could be superhuman. Would you do it?

Suppose you could become transhuman/superhuman with some simple act. Maybe all you had to do was drink a mug full of nanobot tea and you would be instantly transformed. It would be simple, painless, and easy...

But, you'd never be the same again. Everything...everything!...about your life would change.

Would you do it?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

competing editions of Marx

Read a posting on whether it might soon be possible to resurrect the dead by "Quantum Archaeology" (see the link below). The idea is that we could use various techniques to figure out what a certain person was like in the past and then use new technologies to rebuild that individual.

Which made me wonder...

Could there be competing attempts to recreate the past? Suppose two groups each want to bring back a specific person...Marx, for example, whose legacy is fought over by many different organizations. Now, if both groups succeed in producing a Marx, which is the "real" Marx?

Further, would these groups not be tempted to "improve" the Marx so that he would more closely reflect the viewpoint of the organization? So there would be a Trotsky-Marx, as Stalinist Marx, a Mao-Marx, and so on?

Just thinking out loud.

on Quantum Archaeology:

on the current wave of protests...from Cairo to Wall Streets

One of the most interesting characteristics of the current wave of social unrest is that it would be much more difficult if it weren't for modern technology. Protestors use everything from facebook to twitter to cell phones to co-ordinate their actions and share wisdom.

That being the case, I wonder if you couldn't argue that we are seeing here the first stirrings of transhuman politics -- the merger of human and artificial intelligence in a social setting.

Friday, October 14, 2011

to steal a line

I've discovered that it is wisest never to discuss the Tea Party, libertarianism, or the Great Pumpkin...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Singularity OR Transhumanity?

When people talk about the coming social and technical revolution that is sometimes called the Singularity, they often do so with the assumption that a super-intelligent AI has to be constructed first.

But what if that's untrue? What if the artificial amplification of human intelligence is the really important factor?

Monday, October 10, 2011

from Jellies...

From Jellies...

It took shape. He could see it now. A floating thing. Floating in the air. Weightless. A great bell-shaped body. Long tentacles. Longer than he was tall.

It moved toward him.

He found his courage again and spoke to it. "Bonnocja." Then he added in English, "Good evening."

It stopped.

He continued, desperately wishing that he had his dictionaries with him. "You …under…stand English. I speak it. A little-little."

The thing remained silent and motionless

"I have hoping," he continued, racking his brains for the right words, "that you are …conscious…or that you take message to something who is."
He looked at it. Did it have eyes? How was it sensing him? He continued speaking to it. "You are machine," he said. He remembered Nathun's term. A synthetic organism, modeled after a living being.

Why did its builders select the jellyfish as a template? He would never know...


are they the same?

Are transhuman, posthuman, and superintelligence all the same thing?

Obviously they needn't be. But isn't that how we consciously or unconsciously think of them? As all equating the other?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

 We Americans have more or less gotten used to the idea that China will overtake us technologically. Wonder, though, what China thinks about India.

victor s.

some questions

Would an immortal transhuman have a concept of "history." If it is memory, is it history?

Would a transhuman have a concept of sin?

Would a transhuman feel guilt or shame?

Friday, October 7, 2011

more from Peter T. Sheeple...

I had a dreadful hangover…

And found myself confronting a short furry thing with big claws and purple tentacles around its nose. "'Morning," it said.

"Blaga," I said.

"Sorry about ringing the bell, but I wanted to get you walking around a bit. Sober you up. And besides, it makes for verisimilitude."

"Erfulga," I said.

"Shall we go into the kitchen?" it said, and glided off like whats-his-name's ghost in that play by ole Billy-Bob Shakespeare where Lady Mac ventilates people with sharp objects a lot.

I paused. Clearly, this was not going to be one of my better days. When the hallucinations start getting that elaborate, well, red sky at morning and batten the hatches and all hands on deck. We're in for a touch of the nasty.

Still, at least this one was polite. Not like that snotty pink elephant that keeps making those crushing remarks about my stamp collection.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And the cover "The Pride and the Glory of Peter T. Sheeple"

The cover of "The Pride and the Glory of Peter T. Sheeple"

The Pride and the Glory of Peter T. Sheeple

From "The Pride and the Glory of Peter T. Sheeple"

Now, I say, this is going to be just a wee bit complicated, what with me almost marrying Senator Cyanide Cindy and Julie the Giantess at the same time, plus there was that riot at the guesthouse in the Peace Garden, and Uncle Sidney with the rocket launcher, and Cave Man Carl with his pants off, and there was me in the French Maid outfit …and, of course, my meeting Multi the supercomputer mole who got me out of it all even if it meant skipping planet for a couple of months until the heat was off. But the Lunar Alps are lovely this time of year. So, as they say in Paris, pas de problemos.

But, like I say, complificated, and you may want to take notes and work it all out later...

 More here: The Pride and the Glory of Peter T. Sheeple

from "The Pride and the Glory of Peter T. Sheeple"

She was shaking my hand and saying, "Oh, you wouldn't remember me, but, I knew you when you were just a slip of a lad."

"You did?" I said, watching her pump my hand some more.

"Oh, yes, when we visited your mother and father. I bounced you on my knee."

"Really?" I added, trying to extract my hand and not succeeding particularly.

"You were a darling child," she continued. "Many was the time you sat on my lap while I read you fairy tales before bedtime."

"Fairy tales," I concurred, still not getting the hand loose.

"Yes, in my lap. You were so cozy and warm. You'd cuddle up and put your sweet little head right…there." And she pulled my hand to where there was. As a gentleman, I shall not specify. Suffice to say that on the general map of things it was a location south of the chin and north of the sternum and that a great deal of mountainous geography was involved.

and an attempt at transhumanist humor

And I've just put a new piece on Amazon. This one is an attempt at linking transhumanism to humor...the result of a challenge I got from the folks at B&B...

It's here: The Pride And the Glory of Peter T. Sheeple....

Monday, October 3, 2011

new effort coming soon

I'll shortly be putting something new. I've tried to combine humor, science fiction, and transhumanism.

more to come soon