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London Futurists Message Board Events/Meetups › New Meetup: Cryonics UK, One Year On - An update from David Styles

New Meetup: Cryonics UK, One Year On - An update from David Styles

Jonathan
Im-not-a-number
London, GB
Post #: 116
Freezing aside, I was thinking that if one could control Calcium build-up in cells, it may extend the period that Doctors have to try to resuscitate someone that had suffered a heart attack or stroke, since as it stands, I'm guessing it'd take doctors a good few minutes to diagnose brain stem death, so you may well be beyond hope by the time you've reached 63K.

If Mr Styles and his team had overcome that first hurdle, I'd be saying that it was something useful that the transhumans had produced, rather than the usual stream of hot air and pleas for money.

Dirk B.
user 9941666
London, GB
Post #: 122
I think you misunderstand what H+ is about.
While various members of H+ might be involved in developing H+ related scitech, most are not.
On one hand it is a focused scitech fanclub. On another it is a political organization whose aim is to make H+ potentials both more widely known and acceptable to the general public. Within various H+ orgs there are widely differing conventional political allegiances.
Jonathan
Im-not-a-number
London, GB
Post #: 118
I think we must be reading different information; since I have the impression that Transhumanism is a lot of hot air and not much result - but the supporters expect to get paid for their efforts. Thus, what I glean from glancing at Wikipaedia - which I admit is frequently wrong - but handy for a quick overview of obscure topics, is that it consists of:

Abolitionism, an ethical ideology based upon a perceived obligation to use technology to eliminate involuntary suffering in all sentient life.
I doubt many people would disagree with this

Democratic transhumanism, a political ideology synthesizing liberal democracy, social democracy, radical democracy and transhumanism.
You said there was a political wing...

Extropianism, an early school of transhumanist thought characterized by a set of principles advocating a proactive approach to human evolution.
A bit controversial, but understandable

Immortalism, a moral ideology based upon the belief that technological immortality is possible and desirable, and advocating research and development to ensure its realization.
Give us money...

Libertarian transhumanism, a political ideology synthesizing libertarianism and transhumanism.
Starting to get pretty silly

Postgenderism, a social philosophy which seeks the voluntary elimination of gender in the human species through the application of advanced biotechnology and assisted reproductive technologies.
Getting really silly now - I hope my Tax isn't being wasted on rubbish like this

Singularitarianism, a moral ideology based upon the belief that a technological singularity is possible, and advocating deliberate action to effect it and ensure its safety.
Completely ridiculous, and seemingly another call for cash!

Technogaianism, an ecological ideology based upon the belief that emerging technologies can help restore Earth's environment, and that developing safe, clean, alternative technology should therefore be an important goal of environmentalists.
To hijack current environmental concerns - and extract more money from the Government

Dirk B.
user 9941666
London, GB
Post #: 123
As far as I am aware, not a single penny of any government's money has ever gone to any H+ organization.
And also as far as I am aware, there is only one fulltime paid H+ person - the head of HumanityPlus (formerly World Transhumanist Association).

As you can see for yourself, H+ is not a monolithic org or ideology and even within single orgs there are a wide diversity of viewpoints on *all* topics.

So rest easy - it's people like me paying a (voluntary) membership fee to UKTA who are supporting your entertainment free of charge. BTW, come along to one of our monthly meetings. Free to you, and paid for by someone else out of no tax revenue whatsoever.
Jonathan
Im-not-a-number
London, GB
Post #: 119
Perhaps the information on the Internet needs updating, since a lot of it (ignoring the paranoiac eugenics and new world order sites) gives me the feeling that Transhumanism is very similar to Mormonism (Outwardly respectable, but batshit crazy once you look at the different layers).

Anyway, the reason I originally joined this group was I saw the Aubrey de Grey talk listed in Meetup's weekly "What's happening" guide. So I can claim to have been to one of your meetings - I liked the idea, and he gives a good presentation, but having never heard of Transhumans before (though their seems slight similarities with some of Timothy Leary's later ideas) my opinion is still that it's disappointing that so much talk has produced so few real results.
Dirk B.
user 9941666
London, GB
Post #: 124
So what do you expect H+ orgs to actually do?
We would like to know, since it's a question that is always raised periodically.
Apart from that, on the technological front almost everything is proceeding as how we would like it. Admittedly, some AI research could be better funded but as I don't expect real AI to be available before we have Human level processing power to run it on, I'm in no big hurry on that front since that is at least 10-15 years away.

The only area that could do with serious money right now is Aubrey's work. That is the number one concern for most H+ people that's because we want to live long enough to get to the really good bits, not because it is intrinsically H+. After all, it is merely getting ordinary people to live longer and healthier.
Jonathan
Im-not-a-number
London, GB
Post #: 121
I have this crazy idea that if people spend time talking about a plan, then afterwards, they should go out and do it... Plenty of niche internet discussion board participants collaborate together to design and build new electronic projects, write software, invent new recipes, create art, solve Mathematical problems or study Astronomy etc. Thus, with so many self-proclaimed Transhumans, you guys should be blazing a trail.

Instead, my perception of Transhumans is they sit about saying in N years time, someone else will make X, Y & Z happen, now we need some money.

So, certainly, Dr de Gray has some nice ideas, and seems like a saner side of your ideology - as you say it's "merely getting ordinary people to live longer and healthier", but in typical transhuman fashion, I don't see him doing very much apart from trying to cadge money off people.

As to what can you do, in part, you are your own worst enemies (that's why I can't take the New world order criticism seriously); because I'd surmise that anyone giving serious consideration to sending Dr de Gray money would look at your Postgenderism, Technogaianism, and Singularitarianism ideas and have second thoughts.

Seriously, if someone were interested in donating to Cancer or Heart disease research, they'd be pretty freaked out if they found the project was backed by Scientologists or people who believed the moon was made of cheese - regardless of what level of genius the people actually doing the work had.

David W.
dw2cco
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 49
So, certainly, Dr de Gray has some nice ideas, and seems like a saner side of your ideology - as you say it's "merely getting ordinary people to live longer and healthier", but in typical transhuman fashion, I don't see him doing very much apart from trying to cadge money off people.

One important thing de Grey does is to organise the very useful SENS conferences, where lots of cutting edge research is reported and discussed. See eg here.

anyone giving serious consideration to sending Dr de Gray money would look at your Postgenderism, Technogaianism, and Singularitarianism ideas and have second thoughts

As the Wikipedia article notes, "There is a variety of opinion within transhumanist thought". If you like the research project that de Grey spells out at considerable length in his book "Ending Aging", and want to support it, you can contribute money directly to his SENS foundation.

But since you've gone out on a limb to denigrate Technogiainism, let me ask which part of the following description of Technogaianism do you find objectionable: "a stance of active support for the research, development and use of emerging and future technologies to help restore Earth's environment. Technogaians argue that developing safe, clean, alternative technology should be an important goal of environmentalists"?

I have this crazy idea that if people spend time talking about a plan, then afterwards, they should go out and do it... Plenty of niche internet discussion board participants collaborate together to design and build new electronic projects, write software, invent new recipes, create art, solve Mathematical problems or study Astronomy etc. Thus, with so many self-proclaimed Transhumans, you guys should be blazing a trail.

Instead, my perception of Transhumans is they sit about saying in N years time, someone else will make X, Y & Z happen, now we need some money.

A significiant proportion of the speakers at the forthcoming Humanity+ Summit in Harvard (June 12-13) are active researchers and developers, who will be talking about their own work. See eg here.
Jonathan
Im-not-a-number
London, GB
Post #: 124
Apart from the fact that I object to being told by Hippy types that I killed the planet because I left a telly on standby once; my objection to Technogaianism is not the technology, but the Gaianism. I've criticised Transhumanism for being teleological elsewhere, and Gaianism is a valid target for the same line of criticism.

I'll go on to add that the fact that Wikipaedia (and the pro-transhuman sites) make Transhumanism sound like a sort of mad religion. So, whilst Dirk and yourself may claim that a convert can pick and choose which bits they want to believe in, and thus make it seem outwardly more palatable, I'm still left with the same sort of feelings that I have about Scientology.

So, I can only stand by my original criticisms, and agree with the European Parliament Science and Technology Options Assessment study, which said that Transhumanism is fringe scientists attempting to draw public dialogue and research funding away from more urgent issues.

Looking at the link for the Humanity+ (I think Jobcentreplus every time I see that word) Summit, seems to confirm this, since a lot of the talks are, to put it politely, a bit oddball:

  • Computation of Things
  • What Geeks Can Learn From Gurus
  • How WE create I: Post-Human Identity, Privacy and Self-Value
  • Composing in N-Dimensions
  • The Problems of Transhumanism are Problems of the Enlightenment
  • Building a Services Market for the Transhuman Era
  • The Future History of Artificial General Intelligence
  • The Future of Pets
  • The Democratic Threat to Transhumanism

Okay, to be fair, I can understand that much of the agenda consists of internal topics - solely of interest to Transhumans - since the conference is clearly aimed at that type of believer, rather than the general public.

As for the rest of the topics, I propose that if you will agree to keep the group appraised of developments that follow on - in the months post summit, there will very few real life tangible results (if anything) that you will be able to draw our attention to, as a consequence of these talks.


Dirk B.
user 9941666
London, GB
Post #: 127
Well, I suppose that illustrates the general worthlessness of philosophy and thinking about the future before it arrives. Feel free to add to that list every future oriented topic on this list, from space elevators to the future of economics. All hot air until someone makes it happen.
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