I believe, that is strongly believe that the present wiki definition is correct as possible and I intend to preserve it here before it gets modified too much again, possible in negative ways. So this is the definition of Transhuman and movement of the moment of this posting Dec. 2011. "Fair use" because this website has been in existence for some time now and taken directly from Wikipedia without modification and noted as such. I'm not affiliated in any way wikipedia or any individual or organization mentioned in the definition below. The living definition can be found here. I would have loved to have meet FM-2030 and I still might. Vitrification.
Transhumanism, often abbreviated as H+ or h+, is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as study the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies. They predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label "posthuman". Transhumanism is therefore viewed as a subset of philosophical "posthumanism".
The contemporary meaning of the term "transhumanism" was foreshadowed by one of the first professors of futurology, FM-2030, who taught "new concepts of the Human" at The New School of New York City in the 1960s, when he began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and world views transitional to "posthumanity" as "transhuman". This hypothesis would lay the intellectual groundwork for British philosopher Max More to begin articulating the principles of transhumanism as a futurist philosophy in 1990, and organizing in California an intelligentsia that has since grown into the worldwide transhumanist movement.
Influenced by many seminal works of science fiction, the transhumanist vision of a transformed future humanity has attracted many supporters and detractors from a wide range of perspectives. Transhumanism has been condemned by one critic, Francis Fukuyama, as the world's most dangerous idea, while one proponent, Ronald Bailey, counters that it is the "movement that epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative, and idealistic aspirations of humanity".
============ Same goes for the living definition of Technological Singularity
Technological singularity refers to the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human intelligence through technological means, very likely resulting in explosive superintelligence. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which the future becomes difficult to understand or predict. Proponents of the singularity typically state an "intelligence explosion" is a key factor of the Singularity where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds.
The term was coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity. The concept is popularized by futurists like Ray Kurzweil and it is expected by proponents to occur sometime in the 21st century, although estimates do vary.
This blog represents 5 years of thinking, 30,000+ words, opinions, research, sci-fi short stories, and associated websites by Michael Blade. Its not perfect, but then again I don't claim to be either. Using this background material I could create a kick-ass science fiction novel. I began working on it originally as a book after my father's death and it became a blog, usually it's the other way around. Now I would like to finally dedicate it to his memory. Thanks Dad, I love you and I know you're still out there somewhere or some when. I'd like to imagine you're reading this and proud of me.
Dear Mr. L,
I really appreciate hearing from someone who likes my work. Thank You.
I don't get that much as I choose not to allow comments on most of my
blogs, the science fiction one and the virtual world stuff. The
reason for this being not that I don't think there are very highly
intelligent people out there who can contribute their insight, such as
yourself. Or that there are monumentally stupid idiots out there who
have a "non-informed authority opinion on everything", and don't mind
voicing it, but that I want to stay focused on a certain path and
vision I am currently formulating and researching and informing about
simultaneously. I will take your suggestion about writing further
articles and was wondering what themed virtual spaces you would like
to create yourself?
The website idea you are talking about, as sort of an anchor (for lack
of a better analogy) for the virtual world component and a new layer
for the Internet was something that came up naturally to me as a
given. Let me explain, an avatar in my opinion is sort of a virtual
cursor for your presence in the virtual space/world. Until we can
develop non-invasive faster and more direct connections to the
cortex-meat-brain parts we will still need to continue relying on
visual and mechanical interfaces such as
screens/goggles/keyboard/mouse/gloves/bodysuits and other such
external devices. But when we can achieve direct input and output
from the hearing, sight, touch, temperature, pressure, smell, and
things such as body presence and orientation directly from the brain,
then the avatar becomes us, as you noted in the Matrix movies.
But imaging the interface is not at different points on the body, but
internally at the neuronal interface level and wireless to outside the
skull. I have an image that is really more concept than science here
in my writings using injectable individually addressable nanobots,
that can be locational scanned and flushed from the body if the
connection they make is not correct or no longer desired.
Now that I think about it further it could be even internal to the
neuron itself, such as in a genetic transmission package delivered
through an engineered virus. Everyone catches a cold and suddenly
with a little cell phone infrastructure they are technologically
telepathic, WOW!!! What a scary but interesting concept! I've got to
watch out here. . because I get hits from Hollywood regularly and
maybe others, but I wouldn't really know because I'm not into spending
so much time tracking who reads my ideas, unless they address me
directly as you have. I'm really too busy formulating them.
Now about a future in which those who want to be telepathic and can
truly qualify as Transhuman. Imagine controlling machines and things
with your mind alone, or controlling the shape of perceived reality
itself? Could there be a more powerful techno drug? Ways to Teach
and Communicate? Entertain? Diagnose mental and other illnesses and
heal?, or simply be able to understand each other better by
understanding what reality each of us experiences in the closed off
worlds of our own individual minds, feelings, hopes and dreams.
Powerfully good and potentially dangerous, analogous in some ways to
our understanding of the atom, maybe even much more so...
If the Global Mind concept is technologically evolving into an
interface similar to the one in AVATAR, but decidedly more computer
technological and embedded, it might be a solution to the Fermi
Digital Immortality? Resurrection of Digital Facsimiles of
both loved ones and important human persons? Reverse time travel
through historical information simulation? And an aggregate
human-machine mind of ultra-super intelligence and capability. Even
climate change and a planet earth with 10 billion+ people? Of course
putting in safe guards for keeping our individuality is very important
to avoid the BORG problem! Space and Star travel will ultimately be
possible through redundant digital transmission alone and
microstarshps. Instantiating on the other side in robot or biological
I believe with good reason and solid analysis that once our physical
substrate is no longer a limitation and technological evolution has
completely replaced natural evolution we will be at the next step in
an endless human journey.
My Very Best Regards,
Michael Blade, Copyright Dec. 5th 2011.
Come On Down! How rare is intelligent life in the universe? Just what is intelligence anyway? Don't answer that.
Or maybe the question should be: how rare is intelligent life in this universe which is at the same time sufficiently advanced to communicate; actually willing to take a chance on communicating; close enough to communicate; using the same form of communication; and is stable enough to stick around long enough for the others to evolve to that same communication point; to actually send an answer back? And suppose your civilization was long lived, what would you say to each other?
Would you have anything in common? I am here, how are you? What's on TV? Did you see that cool new sci-fi series on cable? Can I come over and watch it? I'm sorry you didn't get our sense of humor, they all die in the end, but can you believe that's considered polite on our planet?!
I imagine a situation in which intelligent civilizations are sitting around wondering who will say something first? Others might say, I don't care, anyone who I talk to will be more advanced than me, therefore so I just won't talk! Too much risk... I'm over-ruled by all the security minded mistrusts -hence, we have the Fermi Paradox.
So let's get back into our time dilated virtual reality digital existence crystal storage shells, at least until another signal comes in . . . then bio-tech instantiate and assimilate the hell out of them all, and their resources too. I really don't think so.
Those stupid aliens can't even spell our language correctly... let alone appreciate our evolved sensibilities and young vital civilization. Obviously, what they have to say is much less important than how they say it. Or is it? Any civilization that advanced could manage its own resources, but then look at us now . . . how are we doing? If it wasn't so funny I would just cry alien tears.
If any aliens come across this post, someone beam me up, it doesn't even have to be Scotty! Primitive evolved intelligence available for study, suitable environment and timely response required. Sorry about the facetious sarcasm, I'll behave, really I will, I promise.
This is my response to a post on Daily Galaxy. My response was too long to post there, so I did it here, it will make more sense after you read this and all the comments to date, long live the species! ==> http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/11/stephen-hawkings-wager-we-have-been-overlooked-by-advanced-et-civilizations.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheDailyGalaxyNewsFromPlanetEarthBeyond+%28The+Daily+Galaxy%3A+News+from+Planet+Earth+%26+Beyond%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo
-Special thanks to Donato Giancola for use of this © 1998 image. You can visit his art website here.
A little background first. I wrote a poem back in 2010 that only represents one possible extreme, or glimpse, for a Posthuman. A facet of human technological evolution traveling at the speed of light, as actual light among the stars. This image doesn't exactly represent that vision, but rather inspires the poem. Imagine instantiation in another state of being, body, or virtual medium, from star-to-star and all the implications of that!
Posthuman by Michael Blade © 2010
I am Human becoming
A Transhuman to be
My existence transforms itself through multiple substrates
I am flesh of evolved genetics
Technology cyborg robotic
Digital virtual and neural simulation
Networked information itself
Yet I retain sentience through all my transformations
I travel among the stars at the speed of light and now faster still
I am now immortal but not eternal
Not all powerful for I still make mistakes, always learning, always exploring
Time is only a measurement to me, I control my rate of consciousness
I allow myself to feel happiness, sorrow and compassion
Respect for my origins, my emotions, so human basic they are
But I have become so much more now, my mind merges with others like myself
On multiple levels of being we are
On the verge of becoming we are
Making love with thought . . . Posthuman I have become
Seven billion and counting, that's the number of human beings living on the planet Earth as of this writing. That's a lot of creatures consuming the resources of the planet and not always in a way that is replenishing and sustainable to the current healthy ecological state of the said shared biosphere!
What can be done? Well we could eat each other, as in Soylent Green. Become even more efficient at killing each other, for whatever stupid sub-human behavior, probably oil or some other dwindling resource, as we constantly seem to be doing.
Or maybe, just maybe we could evolve . . . I mean technologically evolve. Enhance ourselves to become more than just physically human. Human + (plus) technology. Am I talking evil Nazi Eugenics? NO. Am I talking smart phone ---> Star Trek Borg implants, Matrix simulated realities, AI controlled cultures like The Forbin Project? Space expansion through human technological evolution? SMILE? Honestly, I don't know. But certainly something we can't imagine yet.
Or maybe you would prefer a more bleak future? One in which 90% or more of the population has be wiped clean by a natural or artificial contagion? Maybe a global nuclear war? I'm saying the time to choose is now.
Through your daily actions, you, myself, all of us are selecting a common future moment-by-moment. Let's make it the best one it can possibly be, for the most human acting people possible.
For just a few moments a day, I appeal to you're higher evolved survival instincts, or rather those of common sense. Let's put aside our greed, jealousy, prejudice and fear and rise to the best we humans can be, intelligent, creative, compassionate, cooperative, communicating, altuistic beings worthy of this biosphere and it's diversity.
Worthy to survive as a continually evolving species on this planet and later expansion out in the universe. There to eventually meet others who have survived as well.
Or not. The choice is individual, but the effect is truly cumulative. Seven billion futures, which one will it be? Which one do
you we want it to be?
"We believe that one day this steady increase in complexity will end?the brain is, after all, a finite set of neurons and operates according to physical principles. But for the foreseeable future, it is the complexity brake and arrival of powerful new theories, rather than the Law of Accelerating Returns, that will govern the pace of scientific progress required to achieve the singularity.", PAUL G. ALLEN AND MARK GREAVES 10/12/2011
Paul Allen says the Singularity isn't Near. Something had to kick me into writing again. My last post was months ago, I can't even remember when? My life has been a bit of a "total complexity confusion" recently, or that's my major excuse for not posting.
Been working on introducing a new iPad App called Touch Voice which helps people who have speech-impairment mostly due to medical conditions.
The real story goes like this . . . a very good friend of mine, we'll call him Mr. C suffered a Pulmonary Embolism after leg surgery which caused serious complications leading to a subsequent and temporary loss of his voice.
Sitting in the hospital room visiting Mr. C over a year ago, I thought maybe an iPad could be programmed to speak for him and that's just what I did. Mr. C has since recovered his voice. So now the app can help others and improvements will follow. More work taking away from my writing!
My virtual world hasn't been well kept since my job recently moved to another city, so that's another excuse. I may have to shut it down. So I can really understand that a complexity brake can really slow down the best laid plans of an progress. Of course this is not the same complexity brake they are talking bout in the article and quote.
Suppose Kurzweil is right for a moment. Is this a good thing? Can people accept that amount of change in their life leading up to the singularity? Can I? Can the planet?
I know some would argue the advances in technology could mitigate or solve this problem and I do agree, however the problem still presently exists, the planetary biosphere is degrading... and the problem still persists. What are we humans doing about That? Denial is not the answer . . . How does that fit in with the Singularity? A complex question with many complex answers, I'm sure.
I want to get back to writing sci-fi short stories and posts, so stay tuned, this space is going to get busy again! I promise.
To be fair to all the other science fiction blogs out there here is a list of links, all science fiction blogs just as good as mine, maybe even much better! You decide. . .
by Michael Blade
The idea that consciousness can be understood, decanted and simulated, is key to the idea of a living thinking feeling mind consciously believing itself to be alive within a computer system, capable of just such a feat.
For if it is impossible to upload a mind and have ?it think therefore it is?, then the future of Transhumanism, as well as that of AI's with consciousness capable of exhibiting sentience, may be in jeopardy.
However the essence called consciousness is elusive, difficult to define and isolate, basically a mystery at this juncture in time. Consciousness is closely tied to perception, the senses through which a mind perceives another elusive concept, which we term reality.
Reality is nearly just as tricky when you throw in the observer, quantum theory, time and parallel universes. How you effect others who are conscious as well in, a possible shared reality, is unknown to me. Not only that, but what about the ideas of free will and determinism?
For a lay person like myself, it is hard to follow these theories, but I will push on through --getting back to my original point, reversing the logical premiss; If it ?is possible? to encapsulate consciousness within a machine, a mechanism designed and built by humans, then all sorts of things may become possible as a result.
I personally lean toward believing anything is feasibly or possible anyway, given some framework of structure in which to work and with some constraints.
Imagine if you will, the ability to upload with super high fidelity neuronal cognitive pathways and memories. Now ask yourself, what travels as fast as light? The simple answer to this is of course Light! So it would seem that if you become light itself, you can transmit to other stars at the very speed of light. Now the distance traveled is just a moment of conscious gap, like going to sleep on a train of light and waking up having arrived at your destination.
Your upload could be transmitted serially and redundantly to the stars to account for any errors in transmission . . . and then you could be instantiated inside a ?body", I use the term loosely, robot, simulation, vat grown biological clone, etc. Your consciousness will all your previous memories and it doesn't matter to you that another copy of you exists entirely in a different space and time. You are simply not the original you! Could you accept that?
So how do we get the receiving stations for you to transmission to out among the stars? Well, we send out "MicroStarships", light-sails attached to small self replicating nano-machines. When they get to the destination star systems, they build out receiver and replication-simulation facilities for your consciousness.
These nano-machine Microstarships would then spread out to other systems and eventually build a transportation network across the stars, then the whole galaxy. Time is not a problem, since we are digital humans now with completely control our consciousness, on-off, rate and fine grain precision. Since we are ageless as an upload, it takes a moment for the next star station to come online in our perception, sleeping thousands of light years in the naps between.
Million year projects are now possible and Posthumanity can never truly go extinct! However on an individual level, there is always a choice. Will we meet aliens among the stars? and Will they be digital like us? Would it be possible for us to mix our consciousness together with theirs? What would be the results? Interesting, I suspect.
It would also be possible to merge our ?human? minds together as well, thinking like collective group minds or even to augment our minds with artificial intelligence (probably something which we will do early on), generated artificial feelings, composites and adaptations of whole new constructed emotions . . . absurd you say, and why forever not? We would rise above the capabilities of limited or basic humans. Is this the god-like future of transhumanity? I would argue it is for some, if it can be imagined, it can eventually be accomplished.
I would argue that transhumanism is the beginnings of just such a journey in the technological self altering evolution of human kind. I believe that the ?how? of Transhumanism will happen in many different ways, resulting in many forms, and that the diversity of humanity is just about ready to happen. Transhumanity will explode outward to the stars, achieving our dreams of star travel and exploration of alien worlds. Consciousness is one of the keys to this technological-trend-and-movement and the sooner we understand it, the sooner more radical forms of Transhumanism can be pursued or at least thought about.
In my opinion Transhumanism will occur, like it or not, good or bad, so decide whether you want that first upgrade now. Some think there will be a war, which I'm hoping we will be able to avoid. It's been termed the "Artillect" war when AI's surpass natural human abilities in intelligence. But what happens if transhumans embrace intellectual-enhancement-augmentation first? Or at the same time? Will the war be averted? Or simply nullified?? And what happens to those who refuse their Transhuman upgrades? Will this improve things or make them much worse? Some how I think maybe both, as in the discovery of nuclear energy.
Can we even imagine what an advanced human life form would be like, biologic, cybernetic, purely digital, existing on multiple levels of being in multiple substrates? Or a global consciousness, a constructed mind for the planet, composed of technology and humans so interconnected, augmented with AI, that "it" achieves a new level of being, bodies cloned and when used up, discarded, grown again, modified, living forever. Reduced violence, shared goals, but at the cost of lost individuality?
Their are many present negatives which need correcting . . . War seems to be in our nature. We are unable to distribute the resources of the planet fairly. We have a population of 6.7 billion people, hopefully it will tapper off sooner rather than later. We have religions that distort minds for their own agendas. We have corporations which rape the planet and wage advertisement campaigns, greedy profit is their only goal. This is not good.
There is massive global climate change and some of us are still in denial of it. Our youth are not educated well, and not taught simply to respect others as in "The Golden Rule" in our schools.
We can destroy ourselves a number of various ways, pollution, plague, atomic war . . . I have to believe humanity is better than this!
Of course these are all negative aspects and there is a beauty to humans as well. I'm aware that we don't want to loose the good things about ourselves, empathy, compassion, fairness, altruism, curiosity, imagination, creativity, humor, to name a few.
You get the point, how do we keep the good, and potentially lesson, not eliminate, the darker sides of humanity. That is not to say I believe that anger, greed, selfishness have no value, but let us just say those qualities of ourselves can be destructive for the large good of all.
You might argue that we should not even try to improve humanity with technology, that is a mistake, leave it alone, you risk messing it up badly. Well yes there is a risk, there was a risk when we came out of the ocean unto land and developed lungs to breath and legs to walk. There was a risk when we came out of the trees into the grassy plains and developed tools to hunt and survive. This is part of our physical genetic, societal and technological evolution.
We must be careful not to loose our humanity in the process, but must also not be to fearful to take the chances, for that is part of what being human means as well.
The links below do not support my opinions above, but do lead to important other links on the concepts discussed, in no particular order.
and one fun video added in...