London Futurists Message Board Events/Meetups › New Meetup: Humanity+, UK 2011: Making a human difference

New Meetup: Humanity+, UK 2011: Making a human difference

David W.
dw2cco
Group Organizer
London, GB
Announcing a new Meetup for London Futurists!

What: Humanity+, UK 2011: Making a human difference

When: Saturday, January 29, 2011 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM

Where: Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square WC1R 4LR
London
0207 242 8032

The Humanity+ UK 2011 conference is an opportunity to meet some of the most interesting futurist thinkers in the UK - to listen to their ideas, hear about the progress of their projects, ask them questions, and debate with them.

The principal theme of the conference is “Making a human difference”.

Speakers so far announced are (in alphabetical order by first name):


  • Ajit Jaokar – Meditation as a transhumanist technology;
  • Dr Anders Sandberg – The future of ideas on machine intelligence;
  • Dr Aubrey de Grey – Approaching the human longevity escape velocity;
  • David Pearce – topic to be confirmed;
  • David Wood – Five key questions for futurists;
  • Dean Bubley – Session chairman;
  • Professor Kevin Warwick – Human Enhancement: A Practical Guide;
  • Luke Robert Mason – Traversing the Transhuman: Bridging the Gap Between Biology and Technology Through Art;
  • Dr Marios Kyriazis – Achieving human biological immortality;
  • Michael A. Woodley – The prospects for the technological singularity in the context of declining human potential;
  • Rachel Armstrong – Living megacities: the forthcoming habitat of synthetic biologies;
  • Richard Osborne – The next steps to the solar system;
  • Tom Michael – Evidence based cognitive enhancement: a neuropsychological perspective.


See here­ for more details of the speakers, and here­ for the agenda for the day.

Because of the (not insignificant) costs of hiring the main rooms in Conway Hall for an entire day, there will be a small entry fee for attendees. This is described here­ – which links in turn to an EventBrite page. (Sorry, an RSVP on this Meetup page is, by itself, NOT sufficient to gain entry to this event.)

Note that the ticket prices increase at 10pm on 3rd January, so there’s an advantage in registering early. (And prices will increase again on the day of the event itself.)

Examples of the kinds of questions that will be explored during the day:

  • Setting aside hype, what are the realistic scenarios for progress with emerging technologies that have the potential to make us all smarter, stronger, healthier, longer-lived, kinder, more fulfilled, and more sociable?
  • What are the most serious risks (“existential risks”) facing humanity over the next few decades, and what is the role of technology in addressing these risks?
  • What are the implications of rapidly changing technology for what it means to be human?
  • What are the pros and cons of aspiring to a “Humanity+” phase of evolution, with powers and experiences as far above those of present humans as human experience exceeds that of pre-human apes?
  • If people want to become involved in activism supporting Humanity+, what are the best steps they can take?


RSVP to this Meetup:
http://www.meetup.com...­
pleasuremodel
user 11185745
London, GB
Post #: 43
not bad for the red haired phone salesman - You on the old Grecian 2000??

NO cryonics just longevity escape velocity - eggs at ready

shame u didn want "tostalgia" might of provided comic relief!

Luke P.
user 12604681
Salem, OR
Post #: 39
not bad for the red haired phone salesman - You on the old Grecian 2000??

NO cryonics just longevity escape velocity - eggs at ready

shame u didn want "tostalgia" might of provided comic relief!


Go away troll.
Jonathan
Im-not-a-number
London, GB
Post #: 279
Whilst Richie's comment can only really be described as unnecessarily rude; I fear that amongst all the ensuing hubbub, there's a chance that people will lose sight of an important fact, when David poses bullet questions such as:
What are the pros and cons of aspiring to a “Humanity+” phase of evolution, with powers and experiences as far above those of present humans as human experience exceeds that of pre-human apes?

Looking at the list of speakers, it would seem that with all of them (to the best of my knowledge) being from the vehemently pro- camp; none of the speakers are really in a position to put forward a con- argument.

Therefore, I don’t see that this style of question is likely to find an answer at that sort of conference.

David W.
dw2cco
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 64
David poses bullet questions such as:
What are the pros and cons of aspiring to a “Humanity+” phase of evolution, with powers and experiences as far above those of present humans as human experience exceeds that of pre-human apes?

Looking at the list of speakers, it would seem that with all of them (to the best of my knowledge) being from the vehemently pro- camp; none of the speakers are really in a position to put forward a con- argument.

Therefore, I don’t see that this style of question is likely to find an answer at that sort of conference.


It's fair to say that the speakers tend to be favourably inclined towards Humanity+ ideas. But I'd disagree with saying they are "vehemently pro". Rather, I believe they are generally thoughtful people, who are well aware of problems and issues within the H+ idea complex. I expect many will be raising questions and objections about particular H+ ideas - but they'll probably also be proposing new solutions.

For example, one bugbear of my own is any idea of inevitability of progress - this is the fatalist flaw that seems to underpin (but also undermine) some H+ thinking.

Another issue that concerns me is the difference between the capabilities of raw science (where lots of progress does take place) and the generally slower, messier progress of actual products based on that science. Yes, there's been great progress in decoding the human genome, but the expected benefits have been slower to realise than expected - because of the humongous complexity in the relationship between the genome and the phenome.
pleasuremodel
user 11185745
London, GB
Post #: 44
David knows I hate him! - Hes big enough to ignore my BS he knows any publicity for his weirdo extropian cause is good. He knows theres grudging respect from my side - He is actually a REAL futurist. Our thing is monkey politics pure and simple - I think even Wood has grudging respect for me too even though im a foul mouthed troll fembot these days. I told him in a "hate-mail" that my goal of as a future futurist is to rubbish the extropian/transhumanist thing and eventually come up with my own predictions so the next generation can call me that fat old balding cXnt who promotes space elevators.

LOL - :)

I known him for a little while and if his new profile pic is anything to go by, he is certainly looking a bit "grecian 2000" - I think hes been getting secret experimental "life extension" treatments in the USA from his Silly Cone Valley Pals.

BTW Happy xmas David Wood - the guy I love to hate - :)
#And i will be booking a ticket so i can sit and figet and get all angry - you guys put on a great show last year.


And as J said - wheres the critical view point?

You should of got someone like Jaron Lanier, David Willets or Bob Seidensticker - instead of just your extropian/transhumanist buddies.

Love FEST

PS -
You flying from OREGON USA Parrish you cryotroll extrodinaire (we can have that pickled egg eating contest) - talk about the kettle calling the pot black - i started this forum you cheeky bastard - its actually my brain that glowing picture if you actually read the threads that don't relate to Cryonics.

oh and Dirk as well - dont forget Dirk (WE MISS YOU!)
David W.
dw2cco
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 65
who promotes space elevators...

Hopefully you'll enjoy the talk from Richard Osborne - who's a real rocket scientist. It's entitled "The next steps to the solar system"

I known him for a little while and if his new profile pic is anything to go by, he is certainly looking a bit "grecian 2000" - I think hes been getting secret experimental "life extension" treatments in the USA from his Silly Cone Valley Pals.

The main difference in my new profile picture is the lack of glasses. This change was courtesy of a technological enhancement (albeit an imperfect one) from closer to home than Silicon Valley. One pleasant side effect of this enhancement is the number of people who tell me that I look younger as a result. Weird!

BTW Happy xmas David

Yes, happy xmas Richie - here's hoping that 2011 brings lots of honest enlightenment and truly useful technological progress

wheres the critical view point?

If this conference has a decent turnout, I'll be inclined to organise another one later in the year, and for that subsequent conference, I will hope to have the time to arrange for a wider spectrum of speakers.
pleasuremodel
user 11185745
London, GB
Post #: 46
See what I mean - Cool as a Cucumber!

Not only that he baits into attending the H+ Love Fest with vauge promises of tickling our skeptical tummies in the "future".

I am also looking forward to Kevin "cyborg" Warwick - I have always enjoyed his stuff, hes a pretty good speaker too and uses lots of humour and laymans terms. So theres at least 2 worth my money this year at any rate.

@ David
Even though I hate to admit it it you do look great - and I enjoyed your interesting insight into how the laser surgery works.

And i will be reading this one on your reccomend - Nonsense on stilts: how to tell science from bunk – by Massimo Pigliucci

I also heard something which is going to garuntee the singularity will definitly not happen in 2025 - Glaxo Smithkline Beecham is doing a worldwide SAP rollout which is going to take 7 years, the London based head IT guy (who just happens to drink in my pub)reckons he will be configuring it for individual users for at least 10 years after that (2027). He is not joking either apperently hes still ironing out problems with the old 1995 SAP system. Interestingly the SAP software is already out of date as it was sold in 2005 and laid "in the box" for 3 years as SB wasn't ready to install yet as they were still upgrading the network for wireless devices! If a massive Pharmacutical company can't do A SAP rollout in 7 years with a 100 Million IT budget what hope is there of the kurzwellian singularity?

Apparently its quite common even in what you might consider high tech companies - as SAP has to be installed on each machine seperatly and then talk to the network SAP and so on - Anyways my guy reckons if the average transhumanist came and worked in his IT dept they would soon become dissillusioned with the idea of exponential change - his feel is that if anything IT tech will probably slow this year as users (business and personal) are going for "good enough" technology and energy efficiant rather than super fast. He thinks that the PC has almost come to the end of its current "spotlight" and that the future is going to be more robust hardware and he hopes software too - his belief is that the PC has matured and any more advances are unneccesary except to the hardcore gamers!





Jonathan
Im-not-a-number
London, GB
Post #: 281
"Nonsense on stilts"
One of the favourite sayings of Jeremy Bentham - who is presumably the model for modern day Cryonicists

I will hope to have the time to arrange for a wider spectrum of speakers.
So, we could be treated to more Vampire Transhumanists, or if we're really really lucky "tostalgia".

David W.
dw2cco
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 66
I also heard something which is going to garuntee the singularity will definitly not happen in 2025 - Glaxo Smithkline Beecham is doing a worldwide SAP rollout which is going to take 7 years, the London based head IT guy (who just happens to drink in my pub)reckons he will be configuring it for individual users for at least 10 years after that (2027). He is not joking either apperently hes still ironing out problems with the old 1995 SAP system. Interestingly the SAP software is already out of date as it was sold in 2005 and laid "in the box" for 3 years as SB wasn't ready to install yet as they were still upgrading the network for wireless devices! If a massive Pharmacutical company can't do A SAP rollout in 7 years with a 100 Million IT budget what hope is there of the kurzwellian singularity?

Apparently its quite common even in what you might consider high tech companies - as SAP has to be installed on each machine seperately and then talk to the network SAP and so on - Anyways my guy reckons if the average transhumanist came and worked in his IT dept they would soon become dissillusioned with the idea of exponential change...

Agreed, this is a common pattern - but it's only half of the story

Companies start off nimble and expand rapidly. They enjoy great success but gradually become stultified, with new releases taking longer and longer. But then ... new upstarts enter the industry, with disruptive innovation, and a new blast of "creative destruction" takes over. (E.g. Nokia, once the undisputed king of the mobile phone business, is being rapidly out-manoeuvred by the likes of HTC and Apple, who are moving faster and more effectively. As Kurzweil would put it - drawing on terminology originally popularised by Andy Grove of Intel - one "S curve" slows down, but is overtaken by a new one. The hard thing is for a company to successfully jump from one curve to the next. (It can be done, sometimes - and Apple itself is one example.)

- his feel is that if anything IT tech will probably slow this year as users (business and personal) are going for "good enough" technology and energy efficiant rather than super fast. He thinks that the PC has almost come to the end of its current "spotlight" and that the future is going to be more robust hardware and he hopes software too - his belief is that the PC has matured and any more advances are unneccesary except to the hardcore gamers!

People have predicting that mobile phones were "good enough" and wouldn't need any improvements, for as long as I've been watching that industry. On the contrary, there's still a whole lot more useful functionality just around the corner - with Augmented Reality, health-sensors, more effective UIs...

Having said that, I'm all in favour of the hardware and software becoming more robust!
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