transhuman

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Kick-Ass Hologram Plays Sold Out Live Concert

I just saw this clip from a live concert that recently took place.  The lead singer is a 15' tall hologram named Hatsune Miku.  I gotta tell ya - this is badass!  I can totally see enjoying a show like this.

World is Mine Live in HD

...and there was even a duet or two!

Butterfly on Your Right Shoulder Live in HD

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Call for Papers - NAHM VII: Culture - Nature Revisited

Culture - nature revisited

NAHM VII
June 8-11, 2011

The 7th Conference in Nordic Anthropology of Health and Medicine will be held June 8-11, 2011 in Grenå, Denmark, under the auspices of the University of Copenhagen and University of Aarhus. The conference is organized by: Department of Anthropology and Ethnography, Aarhus University; Department of Anthropology, Copenhagen University and VIA University College.

The opposition or dichotomy between culture and nature has been central through much of the history of anthropology, especially in defining what anthropology is about and defining cultural versus natural phenomena in specific cultures, not to speak of the interaction between the two. With Latour in mind it is now, however difficult to maintain a distinction that may belong only to an outdated vision of modernity that we have never reached.

As with many other fields in anthropology, the culture-nature distinction has now entered a more complex state where it is worth a closer inspection. This is especially the case for medical anthropology where new research fields in medicine, biochemistry, biotechnology, genetics, etc. with the use of e.g. animal spare parts in human bodies or the invention of cyborg-technology, makes it obvious that the borderlines between nature and culture are apt to rethinking in anthropological terms. Another development going on is an expanding physiologization of processes until now thought of as primarily or exclusively social, cultural or psychological. These developments are very visible e.g. within the field of psychiatry where the brain and neuro-chemical processes are given priority to the psyche and psychological mal-adaptation. In these research fields, as well as in others, the distinction is constantly challenged, directly or indirectly, and the possible changes, socially and culturally, contain a huge potential for critical thinking and analysis by medical anthropology. Some rethinking already takes place – the concept of ‘local biology’ has for instance been suggested by Margaret Lock to encompass the biological body, social reality and cultural discourse to overcome both the arbitrariness of the material, biological body and the cultural body. But also concepts such as cyborgs, bio-sociality etc. point in new directions for the relationship between nature and culture.

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The Singularity and the Methuselarity: Similarities and Difference

Biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey, CSO of the SENS Foundation, on the similarities and differences between the Singularity and the concept of longevity escape velocity.



Aubrey de Grey at Singularity Summit 2009 -- The Singularity and the Methuselarity: Similarities and Differences from Singularity Institute on Vimeo.

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The Internet of Living Things

Andrew Hessel reasons that Synthetic Biology will be the next big IT industry. 

In his remarkable talk Andrew talks about the parallels between IT and biology.  Andrew lectures Synthetic Biology at the Singularity University (SU), an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to prepare leaders for accelerating technological change.  He is a co-founder of the Pink Army Cooperative - open-source biotechnology addressing cancer.

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Call for Papers: ECAP 2010

8th European conference on Computing And Philosophy — ECAP 2010
Technische Universität München
4–6 October 2010

Important dates:

* Submission (extended abstracts): 7 May 2010
* Notification: 9 May 2010
* ECAP Conference: 4–6 October 2010

Submission form

Theme

Historical analysis of a broad range of paradigm shifts in science, biology, history, technology, and in particular in computing technology, suggests an accelerating rate of evolution, however measured.

John von Neumann projected that the consequence of this trend may be an “essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs as we know them could not continue”.  This notion of singularity coincides in time and nature with Alan Turing (1950) and Stephen Hawking’s (1998) expectation of machines to exhibit intelligence on a par with to the average human no later than 2050.  Irving John Good (1965) and Vernor Vinge (1993) expect the singularity to take the form of an ‘intelligence explosion’, a process in which intelligent machines design ever more intelligent machines.  Transhumanists suggest a parallel or alternative, explosive process of improvements in human intelligence. And Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave (1980) forecasts “a collision point in human destiny” the scale of which, in the course of history, is on the par only with the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution.

We invite submissions describing systematic attempts at understanding the likelihood and nature of these projections.  In particular, we welcome papers critically analyzing the following issues from a philosophical, computational, mathematical, scientific and ethical standpoints:

* Claims and evidence to acceleration
* Technological predictions (critical analysis of past and future)
* The nature of an intelligence explosion and its possible outcomes
* The nature of the Technological Singularity and its outcome
* Safe and unsafe artificial general intelligence and preventative measures
* Technological forecasts of computing phenomena and their projected impact
* Beyond the ‘event horizon’ of the Technological Singularity
* The prospects of transhuman breakthroughs and likely timeframes

Amnon H. Eden, School of Computer Science & Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, UK and Center For Inquiry, Amherst NY

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Scientists plan human genes for cows, goats

By Eloise Gibson

A proposal to put human genes into goats, sheep and cows to try to get the animals to make human proteins in their milk will be in the public spotlight next week.

Submitters will have Monday and Tuesday to tell the Environmental Risk Management Authority what they think of plans by AgResearch to breed and keep genetically modified animals at its Ruakura research facility, near Hamilton.

AgResearch says that if the experiment works, proteins from the animals could be used to make cheaper "biopharmaceuticals" to treat human diseases.

The company has already been breeding transgenic cows. Now it wants approval to continue working with the cows, and add sheep and goats to the trial.

The breast cancer drug Herceptin was developed using genetic modification and AgResearch says such treatments have "huge" marketvalue.

But opponents say it has exaggerated the possible benefits of the trial, and given authorities far too little information about what it plans to do with the proteins if it can makethem.

More than 90 per cent of the 1545 people who made written submissions opposed the plan - most using a pre-prepared form. Four submissions supported it and six did not say.

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To age or not to age

In this panel discussion moderated by Robert Kane Pappas, director of To Age or Not to Age, distinguished panelists debate the future of anti-aging research.

Panelists include: Dr. Robert Butler, Gerontologist, Psychiatrist & Pulitzer-Prize Winner, President and CEO of the International Longevity Center; Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Biomedical Gerontologist, Chief Science Officer, SENS Foundation; and Dr. Leonard P. Guarente, Novartis Professor of Biology, MIT, Director, Paul F. Glenn Lab for Science of Aging.

(h/t aubrey de grey)

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Young Delhi women donating their eggs for quick bucks

By Richa Sharma [South Asia Mail]

New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) In a trend that seems to be catching on, many Delhi college girls and single-working women are coming forward to donate their eggs at fertility clinics in order to make a quick buck even as they help childless couples in the process.

Fertility specialists here are regularly getting requests for egg donation from girls studying in renowned Delhi colleges. About 10 to 12 eggs are extracted from each girl and they are paid somewhere between Rs.20,000 and Rs.50,000 for it.

"This is a new trend and more and more young girls are coming to us for egg donation," Shivani Sachdeva Gour, consultant fertility specialist and gynaecologist with Pheonix Hospital in Greater Kailash I, told IANS.

"In the first week of January, we got four girls from a college on South Campus. Most of them stay in hostels and need money to maintain their expensive lifestyles," she said.

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To Age or Not to Age?

Aubrey de Grey will be speaking at the nationwide premiere of TO AGE OR NOT TO AGE Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 in New York City.

More information - More screenings

The New York City screening will be followed by a live panel discussion which will be simulcast to venues screening the film nationwide and will stream live online.

Panelists include:

Dr. Robert Butler, Gerontologist, Psychiatrist & Pulitzer-Prize Winner; President and CEO of the International Longevity Center

Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Biomedical Gerontologist; Chief Science Officer, SENS Foundation

Dr. Leonard P. Guarente, Novartis Professor of Biology, MIT; Director, Paul F. Glenn Lab for Science of Aging

Dr. Gordon Lithgow, Biomolecular Geneticist; Head of the Lithgow Lab, Buck Institute on Aging

Moderated by Robert Kane Pappas, director of TO AGE OR NOT TO AGE

The scientists featured in TO AGE OR NOT TO AGE have found the means to postpone and possibly mitigate diseases tied to aging, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and diabetes. Genes that control aging, among them SIRT2/SIRT1 genes, when altered, may, as a side effect, increase our lifespans.

(h/t IEET)

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Building a Hologram for Sex

This continues a series of posts from events and explorations conducted at Burning Man 2009.

Lucille. Photo by Eric.

Over the next few days in a series of conversations with Bill, Lucille and two others who had worked at Pueblo, I filled a notebook. As I assembled the facts and opinions from many small bits and long sagas, I started to get a basic idea of what was created and what had happened; though the elements of the story didn’t fit together neatly. The human side was more interesting than the technical side, though one is necessary as a frame of reference for the other: so let’s start with the technology. That was the setting, and in many ways it defined the mindset. Everything that happened was documented. And, by mutual agreement, everyone saw everyone else’s playbacks.

In 1995, Pueblo Systems set up a new company in Berkeley called Vector Technologies. Vector was funded with the lavish profits from Pueblo’s extremely popular photo software, and its first program was marketed five years later as the first commercial holographic imaging software. There was always a public face of the company, and a vast dimension behind the veil. Products being sold in schools and being used to put out The Wall Street Journal were being funneled into Vector, whose initial mission was to create erotic holography: highly responsive three-dimensional porn, where the viewer was a participant.

Pueblo’s owners knew that this was the future of erotica: something that people could participate in directly, rather than just being a remote spectator. They were correct in predicting this trend. At the time, pornography was a total abstraction of relationships: one would watch the sex rather than experiencing it directly, and rather than doing anything relational with the actors. Indeed, in conventional porn, the actors might occasionally look into the camera, but never talk to the viewer, much less respond. This inverted that concept completely: in holoporn, the viewer was in the scene and the scene was in the viewer’s home.

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