Empathetic technologies and the great transhumanization

Light synopsis:

What kinds of empathetic technologies can we create that would increase our individual and collective understanding of ourselves and the world? This is in the interest of increasing our mental interconnectivity and awareness, as well as our value to one another while decreasing alienation in a rapidly changing world.


Heavy synopsis:

Transhumanists all agree that humans are going to "transform" or "transcend" into some post-human state of being. They often argue over whether or not "transcend" is the appropriate word, as well as whether or not teleological interpretations have any legitimacy.

Transhumanists have a big problem with having an effect on social development, most likely because we lack of a prescriptive vision to unite around. People like Kurzweil make descriptive predictions about what's going to happen, but they rarely, if ever, prescribe to us what we should do to transform.

It should be obvious that if this accelerating intelligence explosion (the singularity) is going to happen, it's going to be an act of the people's volition. Most transhumanists describe the future in such a manner while ignoring the necesary changes in society and consciousness. These descriptive predictions necessarily imply a social revolution, a change in individual and collective consciousness, and a transformation of value.

Here I suggest some prescriptions, as follows:

1) A complete understanding of identity, solving the continuation problem, understanding how our minds and volitions are truly connected as well as their consequences.

2) Knowledge of how we can come to know each other's needs and fortunes (how to increase the density of empathy or collective consciousness in civilization)

3) Knowledge of how we can better fulfill each other's needs and increase our value to one another.

4) A shared understanding by everyone, in that "I know that you know that I know" how to create the greatest possible good, so that people can be liberated from alienation and our moral economy can have a basis for understanding moral transactions.

These prescriptions should be the basis behind the development of empathetic technologies, in order to help us know ourselves and the world better, bringing us into a state of greater harmony with our inner selves and the outer environment.

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  • Andrae Watson

    Unfortunately I couldn't attend but am curious how the conversation went.

    July 28

    • Jamie Dunbaugh

      Hi Andrae,
      It was great hearing from you. I really liked your points about opposition to transhumanism. We should do a meetup on the topic after next weekend (busy till then). Feel free to schedule it and I'll approve it if I can make your suggested time.
      -Jamie

      July 28

  • Big Al

    Hey there, I cannot make the event, celebrating my birthday with a house party in BayHo, only 10 minutes from La Jolla. You are invited to come over, we can discuss the topic here with other friends. The party starts at 2 PM and goes all night. If you are interested, call me at 858.six three three. 7658 Leave a message and I will text you the address. All The Best.

    July 13, 2013

    • Marielle Acac

      Thanks again for having us! I had a great time. Some of your friends seemed interested in the group, hopefully they can be a part of future gatherings :)

      1 · July 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was great, but part of it has to do with being at Big Al's place

    1 · July 20, 2013

  • Ron Stadsklev

    I wish I could be at your meeting. But my driver's license says no driving after sunset.
    I agree with ideas that you express. But I am always at a lose when I think of the masses of human being in our world that could not even begin to understand what you are talking about. I have never heard one person even acknowledge this problem, let alone present a solution.

    July 18, 2013

  • Jamie Dunbaugh

    Identity is central to empathy. One reason we do not have empathy for each other is because our current model of identity is flawed. As culture comes to learn more about identity, true understanding of another's inner life, and the appropriate response will be increasingly actualized.

    Here are some interesting topics related to identity:

    1) The continuity problem, as in substance dependence (uploading, cryonics, am I the same self I was? Are you and I really difference "beings" while superficially being different "people"?

    2) The relation of conscious "moments" with spacetime. (What is the fundamental difference between my past self and another person nearby in spacetime?)

    3) Two separate brains can be causally interconnected more than the brain is with itself (Marvin Minsky)

    4) The Strange Loop theory of consciousness (Hofstadter)

    5) Open Individualism, vs, Closed or Empty Individualism. (Is there one being, many beings, or no beings?)

    July 15, 2013

  • Jamie Dunbaugh

    Empathetic technologies are those that externalize our inner lives, forcing us to contend with each other's thoughts and feelings. Types of empathetic technologies that come to mind:

    1) The media; the flow of memes and essentially collective consciousness.

    2) Social networking technologies like facebook, linkedIn, twitter, etc. that offer new ways of interacting and sharing information. 2) The spring of quantified self technologies that may offer new ways of seeing inside each other, changing communication and relationships (cortisol levels, other neural functions, etc.)

    3) Neuroprosthetics or advanced wearable EEG devices that reveal mind states to others.

    July 13, 2013

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