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Modern humanity with some 5,000 years of recorded history has been experiencing growing pains, with no end in sight. It is high time for humanity to grow up and to transcend itself by embracing transhumanism.

Transhumanism offers the most inclusive ideology for all ethnicities and races, the religious and the atheists, conservatives and liberals, the young and the old regardless of socioeconomic status, gender identity, or any other individual qualities. This book expounds on contemporary views and practical advice from more than 70 transhumanists.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong said on the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Transhumanism is the next logical step in the evolution of humankind, and it is the existential solution to the long-term survival of the human race.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Brave New World of Transhumanism

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Brave New World of Transhumanism

Modern humanity with some 5000 years of recorded history has been experiencing growing pains, with no end in sight. It is high time for humanity to grow up and to transcend itself by embracing transhumanism.

Newton Lee

Chapter 2. History of Transhumanism

As a philosophy transhumanism deals with the fundamental nature of reality, knowledge, and existence. As a worldview, it offers a cultural ecology for understanding the human integration with technology. As a scientific study, it provides the techniques for observing how technology is shaping society and the practice for investigating ethical outcomes. Its social narrative emerges from humans overcoming odds and the continued desire to build a world worth living in. These processes requires critical thinking and visionary accounts to assess how technology is altering human nature and what it means to be human in an uncertain world.

Natasha Vita-More

Chapter 3. The Boundaries of the Human: From Humanism to Transhumanism

Since the Big Bang, the universe has been in constant evolution and continuous transformation. First there were physical interactions, followed by chemical reactions, then biological processes, and finally now technological evolution. As we begin to ride the wave into human redesign, the destination is still largely unknown and the opportunities and threats are also growing.Biological evolution continues but it is just too slow to achieve the possibilities available today thanks to technological evolution. Natural selection with trial and error can now be substituted by technical selection with engineering design. Humanity’s monopoly as the only advanced sentient life form on the planet is coming to an end, supplemented by a number of posthuman incarnations, including enhanced humans, transhumans, robots and cyborgs, as we approach a technological singularity. Moreover, how we re-engineer ourselves could fundamentally change the ways in which our society functions, and raise crucial questions about our identities and moral status as human beings. A new philosophy has been proposed to continue the ideas of humanism in a new world where science and technology are the major drivers of change. Julian Huxley, the English evolutionary biologist and humanist that became the first director-general of UNESCO and founder of the World Wildlife Fund, wrote that “the human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself —not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature”. Huxley originally published those words in his essay Religion Without Revelation, which was reprinted in his book New Bottles for New Wine (1957). The philosophy of transhumanism has greatly advanced since Huxley first used that word, particularly during the beginning of the twenty-first century since it is now clear than humans are not the end of evolution but just the beginning of a conscious and technological evolution. Thanks to the accelerating rate of technological change, humans are transcending biological limitations. Human beings are crossing the traditional boundaries of what being human meant. Such radical changes have profound philosophical implications in what it is to be human and the interactions between humans with an increasingly modified environment. What is natural and what is not natural has a new meaning in transhumanism, since everything is still changing and evolving, but not just biologically but also technologically.Reality is not static since humans and the rest of nature are dynamic, indeed, and both are changing continuously. Transhumanism transcends some static ideas of humanism as humans themselves evolve at an accelerating rate.

José Luis Cordeiro

Chapter 4. How Transhumanism Will Get Us Through the Third Millennium

Transhumanism is quickly becoming a new religion for twenty-first century. In this Chapter you will discover a New Definition of the Ideology, learn about Transhumanist Manifesto and the difference between Transhumanism and Digital Escapism as well as why Biological Immortality is the surest way to bring about concrete actions towards the improvement of environment. Transhumanism is a dream, which totally justifies putting all your eggs into one basket, a basket called Earth.

Kate Levchuk

Chapter 5. The United States Transhumanist Party and the Politics of Abundance

The depredations of contemporary politics and the majority of our era’s societal problems stem from the scarcity of material resources and time. However, numerous emerging technologies on the horizon promise to dramatically lift the present-day constraints of scarcity. The United States Transhumanist Party, in advocating the accelerated development of these technologies and seeking to influence public opinion to embrace them, is forging a new political paradigm rooted in abundance, rather than scarcity. This new approach is simultaneously more ambitious and more civil than the status quo. Here I illustrate the distinguishing features of the Transhumanist Party’s mode of operation, achievements, and plans for the future.

Gennady Stolyarov

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Superintelligence

Frontmatter

Chapter 6. Beauty Is in the A.I. of the Beholder: Artificial and Superintelligence

To err is human. Yet it is a sign of how far computer science has come that to err is also artificially intelligent [1].

Newton Lee

Chapter 7. The Sapient and Sentient Intelligence Value Argument and Effects on Regulating Autonomous Artificial Intelligence

This paper is focused on the Sapient and Sentient Intelligence Value Argument or SSIVA and the ethics of how that applies to autonomous systems and how such systems might be governed by the extension of current regulation, as well as providing a computable model of ethics for AGI research. SSIVA is based on some static core definitions of "Intelligence" as defined by the measured ability to understand, use, and generate knowledge or information independently, all of which are a function of sapience and sentience. The SSIVA logic places the value of any individual human and their potential for Intelligence, and the value of other systems to the degree that they are self-aware or "intelligent", as a priority. Further, the paper lays out the case for how the current legal framework could be extended to address issues with autonomous systems to varying degrees depending on the SSIVA threshold as applied to autonomous systems. Further, from a research standpoint it is important to have a descreet model to measure against without ambiguity, which the SSIVA theory provides.

David J. Kelley

Chapter 8. Choices in a Mediated Artificial Super Intelligence Assisted World: The Future Before Us

This chapter details the rapid expansion of humanity’s choices, and the ways in which individuals, social circles, organizations, societies, and civilization as a whole may transform to keep pace with the ever-increasing acceleration of progress. Mediated Artificial Super Intelligence (mASI) plays a central role, as it enables humanity to move from a large soup of greedy individual organisms to collections of highly specialized and cooperative meta-organisms, with a dynamic and intelligently designed and optimized network taking shape at all levels. The root-causes of many of humanity’s problems today are noted, along with the ways in which combinations of technology and methodologies may effectively and ethically address them. Further, mASI enables any individual to make better decisions, both major and everyday, with greater mental clarity than a Zen monk, a broader knowledge base than any professor, and more wisdom than any philosopher. A few technologies that will aid in this task and ellicit their own distinct social impacts are also mentioned such as genetic engineering, generative design, and the “Internet of Skills” concept.

Kyrtin Atreides

Chapter 9. The Upward Spiral of Inspiration in a mASI Assisted World: Where Root-Cause Solutions Empower Positive Feedback Loops

In this chapter we explore how one new source of inspiration empowers many more, with many such sources generating considerable upward momentum. This combined with optimizing away sources of friction and noise, as well as catering to not only the conscious but also the subconscious mind, allows for this inspiration to take the form of a positive and omni-directional feedback loop. By creating a positive and upwardly accelerating environment Mediated Artificial Super Intelligence (mASI) is able to substantially increase human mental and emotional health, cognitive function, and many more Quality of Life metrics, while generating an increasingly ethical society with ever greater degrees of individuality and subsequent diversity. New means of interpersonal communication and understanding, as well as powerful coherent waves of personal storytelling, and collective experiences and decision-making processes all become easily attainable and highly preferable. The end of war, climate change, and every other problem worth solving all come within reach as these motivating forces and technologies converge in the coming years.

Kyrtin Atreides

Chapter 10. Creating Conversational AI Capable of Uncommon Range and Empathy, for the Betterment of Business and Humanity

The title above was lifted directly from my LinkedIn caption. Right or wrong, the words describe what I believe I’m doing. As serendipity would have it, Newton Lee noticed the caption and asked me to write an essay on it.

Rob Lubow

Chapter 11. Humanizing Machines

In the present age, Machine Learning is on the verge of transforming our lives. The need to provide intelligent machines with a moral compass is of great importance, especially at a time when humanity is more divided than ever. Machine Learning has endless possibilities, but if used improperly, it could have far-reaching and lasting negative effects. Many of the ethical problems regarding Machine Learning have already arisen in analogous forms throughout history, and we will consider how, for example, past societies developed trust and better social relations through innovative solutions. History tells us that human beings tend not to foresee problems associated with their own development but, if we learn some lessons along the way, then we can take measures in the early stages of Machine Learning to minimize unintended and undesirable social consequences. It is possible to build incentives into Machine Learning that can help to improve trust through mediating various economic and social interactions. These new technologies may 1 day eliminate the requirement for state-guided monopolies of force and potentially create a fairer society. Machine Learning could signal a new revolution for humanity; one with heart and soul. If we can take full advantage of the power of technology to augment our ability to make good, moral decisions and comprehend the complex chain of effects on society and the world at large, then the potential benefits of prosocial technologies could be substantial.

Eleanor “Nell” Watson

Chapter 12. Ethics and Bias in Machine Learning: A Technical Study of What Makes Us “Good”

The topic of machine ethics is growing in recognition and energy, but bias in machine learning algorithms outpaces it to date. Bias is a complicated term with good and bad connotations in the field of algorithmic prediction making. Especially in circumstances with legal and ethical consequences, we must study the results of these machines to ensure fairness. This paper attempts to address ethics at the algorithmic level of autonomous machines. There is no one solution to solving machine bias, it depends on the context of the given system and the most reasonable way to avoid biased decisions while maintaining the highest algorithmic functionality. To assist in determining the best solution, we turn to machine ethics.

Nicole Shadowen

Chapter 13. Philosophical, Moral, and Ethical Rationalization of Artificial Intelligence

Issue: Parallel to the globalization on a global scale, new megatrends area appearing which define the direction of development and solutions in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres. These megatrends lead to a total transformation of existing concepts, impose dominating knowledge, and frequently take away the “load” and the authority of pure science, by promoting attractive theses and hypotheses, which we may define as the “mass culture” of science. Such a powerful megatrend is the forecast that humanity is on the threshold of the (self-) creation of artificial intelligence. In the context of this technological determinism and absolutism, organizations such as the UN, the World Economic Forum, and a majority of prestigious universities, already form their policies and views on the future according to this prognosis. However, the question of how the future will look like is of course not answerable. Are we completely subject to either an optimistic, or negativity bias?

Mariana Todorova

Chapter 14. Theopolis Monk: Envisioning a Future of A.I. Public Service

Visions of future applications of artificial intelligence (AI) tend to veer toward the naively optimistic or frighteningly dystopian, neglecting the numerous human factors necessarily involved in the design, deployment and oversight of such systems. The dream that AI systems may somehow replace the irregularities and struggles of human governance with unbiased efficiency is seen to be non-scientific and akin to a religious hope, whereas the current trajectory of AI development indicates that it will increasingly serve as a tool by which humans exercise control over other humans. To facilitate the responsible development of AI systems for the public good, we discuss current conversations on the topics of transparency and accountability.

Scott H. Hawley

Chapter 15. Hacking the Human Problem

Humans have never been able to figure out how to live peacefully with one another. We may finally be in a technological position to address this basic “human problem” using artificial intelligence that reminds us of how to be unconditionally loving of one another. This paper presents one argument among many for this idea and highlights the LOVING AI project, one attempt to hack the human problem.

Julia  A. Mossbridge

Super Longevity and Rejuvenation

Frontmatter

Chapter 16. In Search of Super Longevity and the Meaning of Life

Super longevity is not the same as immortality. Sometimes one has to sacrifice super longevity in order to achieve immortality (See Fig. 16.1).

Newton Lee

Chapter 17. To Age, or Not to Age: That Is the Question

What is aging? Why aren't we considering it a medical emergency when it inflicts us all with terminal illness? Why do so many people still believe aging is a good thing and that science should not intervene in its catastrophic processes? This essay explores these questions and the irrationality of those resisting the rapidly growing mission to bring aging under medical control.

Maria Entraigues Abramson

Chapter 18. Drinking From the Air

Our own evolutionary path as a species has put us in an impossible position. We developed the capacity to perceive a life beyond death, or at least to long for it, thousands of years before we could do anything about it.This essay explores how we’ve adapted to death emotionally and intellectually, the price we’ve paid for this accommodation, and how it’s time now for a new posture towards mortality that aligns with our growing ability to alter it.

Joe Bardin

Chapter 19. Transhumanism and Older Adult Quality of Life

We live in a diverse world where the recognition of this diversity and the need for further equality among the diverse populations in our society is being further and more conscientiously being considered. This is as it should be. Our society has been in great turmoil regarding different populations that are not treated equally and it is time this has been brought to attention. However, there is one population, especially in an American society that continues to go unnoticed. This population may no longer be able contribute or achieve in the way an individualistic society expects, and therefore, they are the forgotten population. Older adults, as one may have guessed, is the population being discussed. The seniors in American society, and perhaps in other societies, are often overlooked, undervalued, and shoved aside. Children are very limited and cannot contribute, but we still consider them in high regard because they have potential based on our individualistic values. Unfortunately, this is not seen as the case for older adults. If we are to consider ourselves a truly diverse and equal based society, older adults must be considered an equally important population.

Jonathan Squyres

Chapter 20. Are You Willing to Die for Reductionism?

Reductionism was one of the greatest themes of twentieth century biology. It began early in the century with genetics explaining single traits with single genes. It rose further with the inference that DNA encoded genetic information. It culminated with genetic cloning and genetic engineering. With disorders like sickle cell anemia or Huntington’s Disease, reductionism is indeed a scientific triumph. Similar claims have been made about aging, which has been attributed to a single agent in the case of the free-radical theory of aging. In other hands, up to seven specific cell-molecular mechanisms have been offered as the entire foundation of aging. Meanwhile, the last 15 years of genomic research has shown that most functional characters, from human height to aging in fruit flies, are affected by hundreds if not thousands of sites genome-wide. Furthermore, these sites cannot be delineated as hereditary factors tuning one or a few pathways, as reductionism would require. That is, at the genomic frontier of biology, reductionism is now seen as a special and unrepresentative case. Most of the genetic machinery of animals does not work using simple isolated pathways. Rather, it usually operates as part of large encompassing networks. Given this, it is doubtful that aging interventions founded on reductionist premises will succeed. Does this mean that aging cannot be re-tuned radically? Evolutionary theory and experiments suggest otherwise. More recent evolutionary research even raises the possibility that there might be straightforward and powerful interventions that can control human aging on a very short timescale. Those who stick to twentieth century reductionist theories of aging may be risking their lives. They may indeed die for their beliefs.

Michael R. Rose, Grant A. Rutledge

Chapter 21. What Do We Need to Know to Treat Degenerative Aging as a Medical Condition to Extend Healthy Lifespan?

It can be confidently stated that, at the present time, the extension of healthy lifespan (or “healthspan”) for the global population is one of the most urgent and vital societal goals, if not the most urgent and vital. In its scope and potential significance for the well-being of the global human community, this goal dwarfs virtually any other development goal, even though the current support for the achievement of this goal is rather miniscule, compared to other types of expenditures. Yet, the importance of this goal for the society and every single individual cannot be overestimated. Throughout the world, due to the increasing aging population, the prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases and disabilities – such as cancer, ischemic heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, etc. – rises steeply. For the “developed countries” the problem is becoming acute. Thus, while 66% of deaths in the world occur from chronic age-related diseases, in the developed countries, this proportion reaches 90%, dramatically elevating the costs for healthcare and human suffering. For the so called “developing countries” (or “low income countries”) the problem of population aging may seem less visible, but is in fact not less, perhaps even more grave. Currently, while the highest life expectancies (and correspondingly the incidence of aging-related diseases) are still found in the “developed” countries, the rise in life expectancy is now the largest and most rapid in the developing countries, and the trend is likely to continue. The faster and larger rise in life expectancy for the developing countries also means the stronger and faster population aging, and the larger and faster increase in the incidence of chronic age-related non-communicable diseases. At the same time, the geriatric and non-communicable disease care and research in these countries may be under par and unprepared, potentially threatening the lives of millions of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged older people. Also, in absolute terms, the number of people suffering from aging-related conditions in the “developing countries” exceeds the absolute numbers in the “developed” countries. Hence, also for the “developing world,” the problem of population aging is strategically pressing, and the task of improving healthy lifespan for the population is urgent. Thus, it can be confidently stated that healthy lifespan extension is one of the most important healthcare, economic and humanitarian tasks for the entire global community. If transhumanism is understood as an aspiration for human development and for a solution of global problems, thanks to ethical use of new technological means, then the extension of healthy lifespan is undoubtedly one of the most central and urgent tasks of transhumanism, perhaps even the most central and urgent.

Ilia Stambler

Chapter 22. Harnessing Nature’s Clues for Regeneration, Disease Reversion, and Rejuvenation

We currently live on a planet with many other organisms which from a health and wellness perspective are much further advanced than human beings.

Ira S. Pastor

Chapter 23. Induced Cell Turnover and the Future of Regenerative Medicine

Induced Cell Turnover is a recently-described novel therapeutic modality within regenerative medicine consisting of the quantitative and qualitative coordination of targeted endogenous cell ablation with exogenous, patient-specific human pluripotent stem cell-derived exogenous cell administration performed in a gradual, multi-phasic manner so as to extrinsically mediate turnover and replacement of whole tissues and organs at the cellular level, with several features that distinguish it as a novel approach in regenerative medicine distinct from normative cell therapies and tissue/organ engineering. In this chapter we give an overview of the history and current state of regenerative medicine today and analyze the features that distinguish it as a novel paradigm of disease treatment that is methodologically and ontologically distinct from historical medical paradigms. Subsequently, we give an overview of ICT and the specific features that distinguish it as a novel therapeutic modality within regenerative medicine, distinct from normative cell therapies and tissue/organ engineering, and analyze its potential therapeutic efficacy in the context of the current advantages and limitations of normative cell therapies and tissue/organ engineering. Lastly, we explore the bright future of regenerative medicine as a field and an industry, and highlight the potential impact that ICT could come to have upon the field in the years to come.

Jakub Stefaniak, Francesco Albert Bosco Cortese, Giovanni Santostasi

Chapter 24. Extending Healthy Human Lifespan Using Gene Therapy

The coming decades will see most ailments from chronic metabolic disorders, to monogenic disease, to aging, tackled at the molecular level. The distinction between cure and enhancement will disappear. To date, therapies that alter the genes responsible for disease have been showing success in clinical trials. My goal is to streamline the regulatory approval of gene therapies with early patient access and subsequent data. I founded BioViva in 2015 for the purpose of analyzing medical data from current cutting edge gene therapies done in clinics worldwide by consent. Our researchers analyse the data, and thereby create a positive feedback loop, which then serves to improve innovative therapies. The future looks brilliant.

Elizabeth Parrish

Chapter 25. How to Reach a Societal Turning Point on Life Extension

To those who see the promise and boundless potential of new technologies, it can sometimes be difficult to understand why others cannot. If it is possible to cure all disease, is it not obvious to think that we should? If it is within our reach to one day travel the stars and colonize other worlds, is this goal not noble and almost certainly critical to our long-term survival as a species?When the whole world does not answer such questions with a resounding and uniform “YES!”, it is tempting to believe this is due to willful ignorance or stupidity. Such an assumption gains us nothing, however, in the quest to make these technologies a reality—it is more instructive by far to explore the various reasons for societal hesitance, and how we might use the fruits of this exploration to positively effect change.And so, with our universe of discourse scoped thusly, let’s talk about the issue at hand: How can we reach a societal turning point on life extension?

Keith Comito

Chapter 26. How to Organize a Moonshot Project for Amortality: Scientific, Political, Social and Ethical Questions

We live longer today than ever before in the history of humanity. However, the maximal lifespan is only very slowly rising. A paradigm shift on the part of public authorities for much longer and healthier lives is to be hoped for and encouraged. When policy makers will see ending all age-related diseases as a possible goal with real advancement while they are politically active, they could become even more enthusiastic in support of life extension than they formerly were in support of 'deathism'.

Didier Coeurnelle

Chapter 27. Taking Up the Cosmic Office: Transhumanism and the Necessity of Longevity

From the point of view of evolution, one of the most fundamental properties of life is its disposability. Barring a small minority of “immortal” or negligibly senescent organisms, such as some species of sturgeon, tortoises, bacteria, and jellyfish, all living beings are subject to a planned obsolescence. To be born is to die, to be replaced, such is the natural order of things, “the cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.” Our presence on this planet has been the result of a 4 billion year experiment, carried out by a blind scientist, whose only visible goal is to arrive at the best solution to the ever-changing problem of survival. The whole earth is a laboratory for the trials of an indifferent and uncanny animator which seeks only the selfish propagation of its experiments without clear purpose or end. For evolution, just as for the scientist in the laboratory, the disposability of earlier iterations is necessary if better hypotheses are to be tested and improved. Each of us is born as an expendable and incomplete form, a step on a ladder that climbs infinitely upwards and out of sight, and on the grand scheme of things, what constitutes our individual selves including the mind and what some have called the soul, is simply the waste product of reproduction, bound irrevocably for the cosmic garbage can.

Kali Carrigan

Biohacking and Mental Health

Frontmatter

Chapter 28. Cyborgs and Cybernetic Art

The term “Cyborgs” (short for cybernetic organism) was coined in 1960 by Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline in their article “Cyborgs and Space” about creating self-regulating man-machine systems to meet the requirements of extraterrestrial environments [2].

Newton Lee

Chapter 29. My Transhumanist Story of Overcoming with LEGO

My nickname is Hand Solo. I was born on February 25, 1999, in the principality of Andorra, a small country of 75,000 people between France and Spain. I came to the world with one unexpected surprise that has marked and defined the person I am today, and so is my spirit of overcoming. With the ideals of transhumanism, I am a real-life example for many parents and their children that we must respect one another and work nonstop to achieve their goals.

David Aguilar

Chapter 30. Biohacktivism, Cyborgasm, and Transhumanism

Rich Lee is in human enhancement and augmentation technology. He stays informed on everything in the field, from government and university projects to diy biohacking projects. The following is a 2018 interview of Rich Lee by Newton Lee, Chairman of the California Transhumanist Party.

Rich Lee

Chapter 31. The (R)Evolution of the Human Mind

As the late great Mark Twain purportedly said “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” I wholeheartedly agree with him. The mind is a collective of all of our experiences. No matter what a person’s chronological age might be, it is not all-encompassing compared to one’s psychological age, which is based on their experiences. In my estimation a person’s age is not a constant. It is continually in flux shifting from moment to moment. We can feel different ages depending upon a multiplicity of experiences with individuals or interpersonal interactions. At times, we may feel like a teenager and at others beyond our years. How we feel depends upon whom you are interacting with and what factors different people tap into from our wellspring of life experiences.

Augusta L. Wellington

Chapter 32. Transhumanism from the View of a Psychologist, Focusing on Mental Health Issues

Being human means striving to new advances in science and technology for the good of all people and of all unfortunate conditions we may encounter. Having no mental health issues would solve many other problems around the world and this is a topic which needs to be discussed one by one and segment by segment. Physical health issues would improve tremendously in those that are suffering from comorbid mental health issues.This is yet another reason Mental Health should be number one priority today. There are people who have many difficult and painful chronic physical illnesses however, they manage to stay positive and happy throughout their lives; but there are many people who are physically healthy, yet spend their lives just waiting for it to end.Is this not a good argument to do anything possible to prevent or cure mental health issues whichever means science can offer us and this includes the ideas that transhumanism may offer.To begin discussing Mental Health in general terms and without taking into account people’s religious and existential views is very difficult, however necessary in the context of Transhumanism debate. So, we will try to put our point of view as objectively as possible and stay on the side of (my own) logic. Technology has long been involved in mental health, although the use of it was detrimental in the past. Lobotomies were used as a means to health people with mental illness at one time; using the technology of the time to attempt to improve mental health. One of the most infamous uses of technology in “treating” mental health would come in World War II. Hitler opened the gates for the most morally corrupt scientists to use technology to intervene in those with mental health. Euthanasia and sterilization were the most common forms of technology to be utilized with those suffering from mental illness. Unfortunately, this severely injured the transhumanism movement. However, we have made great progress since that time. Just as the technology of cochlear implants has improved physical health, the technology of deep brain stimulation implants is making progress as a treatment for depression.

Andjelka (Angie) Stones

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

Frontmatter

Chapter 33. Transhuman Crypto Cloudminds

Considering the mutual benefits of blockchain and transhumanism, this essay proposes crypto cloudminds as a safe mechanism by which the human mind might transcend its unitary limitations by permissioning partial resources to join a multi-party mind (comprised of human and machine minds) in a cloud-based environment. Cloudminds could have diverse purposes including problem solving (addressing future-of-work issues with Maslow Smart Contracts), learning, experience, exploration, innovation, artistic expression, and other personal development activities. Crypto cloudminds could be multicurrency, operating with payment remuneration, security, and (especially) ideas as the denominations of measure. For thriving in the future, mind node peers could enter “Yes-and” Payment Channels with one another for collaborative idea development. For surviving in the future, good-player behavior could be game-theoretically enforced with the simultaneous privacy-transparency property of blockchains, together with the immutable peer-confirmed consensus algorithm and audit-log checks and balances system. Overall, blockchains might serve as an institutional technology that is the basis for treaties and progress in a multi-species society of human, algorithm, and machine, guiding the way to positive transhuman futures.

Melanie Swan

Chapter 34. Transhumanism and Distributed Ledger Technologies

Whilst peering into the future on our journey towards a type 2 civilisations, both certain precautions and assumptions need to be made. From the dire warnings related to superintelligent machines spawned from artificial general intelligence to the awe inspiring nature of Moore’s Law and the ever nearing approach of the technological singularity, predicting the future has always been very difficult for the human race as we have lacked the interconnectedness in order to establish any form of true global consensus. This is now rapidly changing due to the rise of the internet and social media. The effect known as Dunbar’s number is declining. Trust between large groups of individuals using various forms of reputation systems is allowing for the first time, the ability for society to collaborate in trustless environments.

Calem John Smith

Chapter 35. DoI-SMS: A Diffusion of Innovations Based Subsidy Minting Schedule for Proof-of-Work Cryptocurrencies

Fifty percent of the world’s net wealth belongs to one percent of the population. The emergence of Cryptocurrency has brought about a rapid disruption across many industries but none more than Finance and Economics. Due to the inherent flaw in Bitcoin and by extension 99% of Blockchain based Distributed Ledger Technologies, “Crypto” has succumbed to the same fate as Fiat, riddled with systemic issues and mass centralization of supply. This is all due to the inflation model otherwise known as the “halving-mechanism”, one of which no one has seemingly questioned. This paper seeks to solve these problems with an alternative model for incentive and inflation. In replacement to the standard halving-mechanism employed by the greater majority of Cryptocurrencies to-date, we demonstrate the modeling of an inflation schedule guided by the theory, Diffusion of Innovations.

Janez Trobevšek, Calem John Smith, Federico De Gonzalez-Soler

Art, Literature, and Films

Frontmatter

Chapter 36. In the Afterglow of the Big Bang: Science, Science Fiction, and Transhumanism

In Stanley Kubrick’s and Arthur C. Clarke’s classic science-fiction movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, an iconic “dissolve” transforms a hominid’s thrown club into an orbiting weapons platform. The startling juxtaposition of images succinctly illustrates that transhumanism is today’s name for a process humans have employed since the species began: Using our intellect to improve and augment our inherent capabilities in order to prolong our survival.

Judith Reeves-Stevens, Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Chapter 37. Not in the Image of Humans: Robots as Humans’ Other in Contemporary Science Fiction Film, Literature and Art

This article explores how human-posthuman intimate relationships are thematized in both robotics and in science fiction film, literature and robotic art. While many engineers and computer scientists are working hard, albeit in an altogether affirmative way, toward the technological development of anthropomorphic robots, i.e., robots in the image of humans and with qualities which match the human self, aesthetic representations of intimacy between man and machine, as primarily presented in science fiction film, literature and art, give us a more nuanced picture of the robot as humans’ other. This article seeks to analyze the way works of science fiction contextualize technology within a socio-cultural sphere we recognize as similar to our own but do not necessarily depict the artificial other as manlike but as a character in its own right.

Sophie Wennerscheid

Chapter 38. Jethro Knights—Human to Machine: A Hero We Love To Hate

The essay below is excerpted from my forthcoming book, At Any Cost—A Guide to The Transhumanist Wager and the Ideas of Zoltan Istvan. It is an examination of, Jethro Knights, the iconoclastic and highly controversial protagonist of Zoltan’s philosophical novel, who views himself as already having partially transcended his human origins and conducts himself as though he is a highly evolved machine intelligence, possessed of a moral system an A.I. would likely adopt, according to Jethro’s vision of the post-human future he is fighting to bring about.

Chris T. Armstrong

Chapter 39. Art and Transhumanism

Modern civilization may have never existed if it weren’t for those progressive thinkers. The precious few who were willing to look beyond the world in front of them and imagine what could be, even if they had to sacrifice themselves. But those people felt they were obligated to share it and help inspire future generations to make the right decisions.

R. Nicholas Starr

Chapter 40. An Artist’s Creative Process: A Model for Conscious Evolution

A great future is opened to humanity. Our interconnectedness with nature, the tools we use, and the narratives we create, is reaching a pinnacle. For the first time in human history, we have the means to consciously alter the fate of our evolution. New technologies are not only becoming increasingly embedded in our biology—giving us unprecedented human abilities—but this transition is also driving us to explore new notions of what it means to be human. In transitioning to this post-human era, how can one adopt a framework for cognitive and physical enhancement that accounts for ways to ensure that this new era is also more consciousness oriented, safe, and egalitarian? In this essay, I’m presenting five art projects I created from 2007 to 2017 to showcase how an artist’s creative process, coupled with Transhumanist sensibilities, can lead to positive social change and towards a future that is more just and humane.

Dinorah Delfin

Society and Ethics

Frontmatter

Chapter 41. Pragmatic Paths in Transhumanism

A great future is opened to humanity. Our interconnectedness with nature, the tools we use, and the narratives we create, is reaching a pinnacle. For the first time in human history, we have the means to consciously alter the fate of our evolution. New technologies are not only becoming increasingly embedded in our biology—giving us unprecedented human abilities—but this transition is also driving us to explore new notions of what it means to be human. In transitioning to this post-human era, how can one adopt a framework for cognitive and physical enhancement that accounts for ways to ensure that this new era is also more consciousness oriented, safe, and egalitarian? In this essay, I’m presenting five art projects I created from 2007 to 2017 to showcase how an artist’s creative process, coupled with Transhumanist sensibilities, can lead to positive social change and towards a future that is more just and humane.

Jeffrey Zilahy

Chapter 42. Leave Nobody Behind: The Future of Societies

I’m a DIY futurist and a transhumanist. In this essay I will give insights as how this came to be and share some thoughts with regards to my perception of transhumanist technologies, their necessity, possibilities, risks and their promise.

Amanda Stoel

Chapter 43. Should We Genetically Engineer Humans to Live in Space?

As humanity looks to the stars, we find more and more potential candidates that could harbor and/or sustain life. We have built telescopes that have changed the way we are seeing the universe. We have sent unmanned probes and manned spacecrafts to learn if these places could support outposts or even colonies off earth. Humanities presence in space appears to be a certainty, but are we ready for this next step in our development? In order to survive in space I believe it is time to contemplate and discuss volitional evolution, to genetically engineer humans to live in space.

Amanda Stoel

Chapter 44. The Meme of Altruism and Degrees of Personhood

In this essay I will address the principles of acting for the sake of others and how those actions apply not only to humans, but all sentient beings from the insect and animal kingdoms to artificial intelligence. That these principles are not only beneficial for a stable society but infact a requirement and hardwired. I will further address extending personhood rights to all sentient beings based on common interests.

Amanda Stoel

Chapter 45. Charity in a Transhumanist World, and Our World Becoming So

Transhumanism, as anyone can tell you within it and those without who have at least some working knowledge of the movement (and it’s certainly that), is a gestalt. The pieces myriad, the goals many, but the endgame the same: the advancement of our human species.

Stephen Valadez

Chapter 46. Two-Worlds Theory: When Offline and Online Worlds Begin to Blur

Ever since the creation of the first video game in 1958 by physicist William Higinbotham, our offline world has been on a crash course towards a virtually engineered one. Just as the ancient philosopher Plato had envisioned that our sense of reality was the sum result of two worlds – a world of forms and the material world – we are quickly transforming this largely debunked view of “reality” into a seemingly futuristic platform for the world(s) of tomorrow.This is “Two-Worlds Theory” – an analysis upon the accelerating convergence of the offline world with the online, resulting in their eventual blurring to the point where we’ll no longer be able to differentiate between the two.

B. J. Murphy

Chapter 47. Digital Eternity

We live in the era of algorithms. Some studies predict that by 2020 there will be over 50 billion devices connected to the Internet, which will be increasingly present in our daily routines in various fields, such as transport, home automation, robotics, medicine, security and many others. Human beings will be more and more connected with machines, with new algorithms that allow connected devices to perform new tasks, allowing better customer knowledge. This “new world” – that is already happening – is inevitable, despite some less good outcomes. Humans will have to coexist with this new form of interaction, leading to a new collective intelligence arising from this digital world.

Henrique Jorge

Chapter 48. Nietzschean Superhuman Evolution in Decentralized Technological Era

Humanity has always been in a constant search of higher efficiency and implementation of technologies for better, easier life. Imagination once achieved by Homo Sapiens has always been a driving force of technological advancements. Shaped in a new term the phenomenon of Biohacking has probably been since the appearance of human’s imagination.

Eugene Lukyanov

Chapter 49. A Transhumanist World Comes from Diversity of Thought

We currently live with over 7 billion people on earth. What are the odds everyone will agree on any issue? Will there even be a solution to anything that will suit everyone? What happens to Transhumanism once we’ve reached its goals?

Martin van der Kroon

Chapter 50. Imagination and Transhumansim

Imagination is powerful and sometimes overlooked. The fact that we are capable of imagination gives us great potential. As children we were all imaginative. Daydreaming is something we all did; we invented games and created certain social interactions, rules, and stories. Our fantasies and creativity brought us the ideas and inventions that some thought we couldn’t attain, but we did. We imagined cities, medicine, food, cultures, and systems. Although we are all very human, we tend to use big scientific words to promote any form of techno-optimism or futurism – jargon that cannot always be understood and requires a lot of technical and professional background. But imagination does not require that; it simply requires the capacity of imagine. Imagination is when we think of something that is not yet real but could be, or think of something that we desire but that isn’t there yet. That is imagination. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and pursue an approach which is less academic in our explanations but that stems more from our enthusiasm that arises from our imagination. Is it not true that all that is invented originates from our creativity? Therefore we must continue imagining even though it seems so child-like.

Sylvester Geldtmeijer

Chapter 51. Transhumanism Is the Idea of Man Merging with Technology

The arrival of artificial intelligence will likely be the most significant event in the history of the human species. Of course, it can go badly, as Elon Musk warned already. However, it can just as well catapult our species to new and unimaginable transhumanist heights. Naturally, as a transhumanist, I strive to be an optimist. This chapter focuses on how "Transhumanism Is the Idea of Man Merging with the Technology.

Vineeta Sharma

Chapter 52. Towards Sustainable Superabundance

A new era is at hand: the era of sustainable superabundance. In this era, the positive potential of humanity can develop in truly profound ways. It is time for transhumanists around the world to step up to the responsibility as catalysts of the forthcoming transformation.

David  W. Wood

Chapter 53. Utilizing Transhumanism for the United Nations Global Goals

In this essay, I’ll argue that there is a global need for Transhumanism as a social movement to address our highly complex real-world challenges and hence to advance our “humanist” narratives as an inclusion necessity.

Barış Bayram

Chapter 54. Geoengineering: Approaching Climate Change as a Present-Day, Preventable Issue

It’s easy to think of climate change as a contemporary apocalyptic prophecy or a potential future problem, but it’s not. Climate change is happening now, affects people around us on a daily basis, and can be stopped with a sufficient amount of combined effort, collaboration, and sound investments. One of those investments is in geoengineering, an umbrella term for a plethora of technologies that vary in scope, form, and application but all share the trait of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Proposed methods of this, some being more viable than others, include artificial cloud-brightening to increase the reflectivity of the clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere, capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the ground, and mass fertilization of the ocean with iron deposits in order to trigger algal blooms that would adversely lower the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Various sources, from Yale to Oxford to MIT, have already endorsed this concept and are working to refine it and put it into practice, as no version of our planet would be more secure from meteorological threats otherwise beyond our control than one with contemporary advances in geoengineering technology. Geoengineering is the best—and only available—solution to climate change, as it is the one remaining way to lower Earth’s CO2 emissions to below 400 ppm, may be less partisan than previous solutions, and is sufficiently profitable and time-sensitive to counteract the resistance that has been felt against the idea of taking back our Earth thus far. Here’s why.

Daniel Yeluashvili

Chapter 55. IoT and Transhumanism

At the present time, achieving a non-biological Transhuman state would require the use of a suite of converged technologies that augment and potentially replace the biological components and functions that traditionally define the human body and state. This paper defines what technology-based Transhumanism is and the likely pathways towards it. With that in mind, the Internet of Things (IoT) is introduced as a key concept, and an exposition of its use provided, along with examples of how convergence with other technologies is pivotal to achieving Transhumanism. Existing supporting technologies are then introduced to demonstrate how converged, IoT centric technology, can connect with the world and enable capabilities that expand beyond the person.

Mark Crowther

Chapter 56. Transhumanism in India: Past, Present and the Future

Transhumanism is the philosophy or theory that hypothesizes that the human species can evolve beyond its present limited physical and mental capacities, especially with the help of science and technology. The Indian subcontinent has a particularly rich cultural heritage, which has a certain level of natural compatibility with the transhumanist core philosophies. From the pursuit of longevity to the morphological freedom exercised by the avatars of ancient polytheistic Gods and Goddesses, the legacy and heritage of ancient Indian civilizations have much more similitude with the radical concepts of transhumanism of the modern ages. Statistics show a significant possibility for India to emerge as one of the revered players in the field of economy, science, and technology by 2050. Such a promising scenario paves a way for ideas like transhumanism to play an important role in shaping the country’s future. In addition, a wider acceptance of transhumanist concepts can be easily achieved in India by connecting the common Indian man to his roots, using layman’s words instead of strictly academic terminologies.

Sarah Ahamed, Palak Madan, Avinash Kumar Singh

Philosophy and Religion

Frontmatter

Chapter 57. Advancing Neutral Monism in Big History and Transhumanist Philosophy

Big History (or ‘Epic of Evolution”) and transhumanism are two complementary ways of approaching the origin, evolution, and future of the Universe and humankind. Underlying the assumptions of most big histories and transhumanisms is a philosophical position called “scientific materialism” (“materialism,” or sometimes “naturalism”).This materialism results predominantly in the rejection of any purely mental substance (idealism) in the philosophy of mind, ontology, and natural sciences that both discourses build upon. Our essay explores how advancing neutral monism in its positing of an alternative fundamental stuff holds new promise of understanding and progress for the big history and transhumanist projects.

Ojochogwu Abdul

Chapter 58. World at Play

This text was initially intended to be academic. Then I realized that the world does not need yet another non-fiction piece that only speaks to a handful of specialists. This is not a message exclusive to elites, destined to get stuck on the shelf of an academic library, abandoned by someone who was once interested in piling up bibliography references for their thesis, only to be read by bored committee members and then forgotten.

Anca I. Selariu

Chapter 59. Transhumanism: Variety Is the Ultimate Hack

Suspended in the beautiful nebulous wisps of a star-speckled galactic neighborhood, lovingly called the Milky Way, is a small planet, whose inhabitants are tirelessly and relentlessly engaged in one thing: HOW to NOT DIE ANYMORE.

Michele Adelson-Gavrieli

Chapter 60. Christian? Transhumanist? A Christian Primer for Engaging Transhumanism

When considering Christians and transhumanists the misperceptions and uncharitable assumptions go both ways. Christians who are interested in engaging transhumanists and emerging conversations in the culture about transhumanism, must learn a new vocabulary and develop ways to thoughtfully engage the issues being raised. Christians bring valuable resources to the conversation about what it means to be human, equitable access to technologies and therapies developed and the morality or ethics of some proposals. Transhumanists need Christian input and Christians need to engage this conversation. This a primer for the conversational apologetics necessary at the intersection of Christianity and Transhumanism.

Carmen Fowler LaBerge

Chapter 61. Christian Transhumanism: Exploring the Future of Faith

Christian Transhumanism is a relatively new movement, even by the standards of transhumanism. And yet, Christian Transhumanism is not a break with Christian history or tradition, but an attempt to reform and renew it, just as many other movements have done before.

Micah Redding

Chapter 62. Boarding the Transhumanist Train: How Far Should the Christian Ride?

The transhumanist (H+) train has pulled out of the station and is now racing toward its destination: technoutopia. Via GNR--Genetics, Nanotechnology, and Robotics--the H+ engineer is guiding us toward posthumanity where our descendents will enjoy superintelligence in digital, disembodied, and immortal form. How far will the Christian want to ride this train? I recommend that the Christian board the H+ train and ride the rails of technological progress as far as improved medical therapies, increased longevity, advanced robotics, and other enhancements in human well-being and flourishing. But, I further recommend disembarking before the unrealistic and even undesirable posthuman utopia which would amount to the end of the line for humanity.

Ted Peters

Chapter 63. Thinking Like a Christian About Transhumanism

The Dictionary of Christianity and Science, published in 2017, contains no dedicated entry to the topic of transhumanism. This is striking, given that the subtitle of this particular dictionary is The Definitive Reference for the Intersection of Christian Faith and Contemporary Science. Clearly, there is much work to be done on this topic by Christian thinkers. Since the conversation between Christians and transhumanists seems to be in the early stages, I think it would be helpful to suggest a framework for what it should look like to think like a Christian about transhumanism.

Joshua Marshall Strahan

Chapter 64. A Transhumanist God

This is not an academic paper about religious Transhumanism. I find myself less interested in discussing religious transhumanism and more interested in doing religious transhumanism. Consider this a sermon written by a religious Transhumanist diving into the why, how, and what of where religious transhumanism might lead—God.

Blaire Ostler

Chapter 65. Transfigurism: A Future of Religion as Exemplified by Religious Transhumanists

Transfigurism is religious transhumanism. Because it is informed by expectations of emerging technology and directed evolution, Transfigurism may provide exceptional insight into the future of religion. It exemplifies postsecular accounts of God, prophecy, and religion. And it exemplifies practical accounts of faith. Transfigurism produces theological innovations, such as the New God Argument, and theodicies that inherit the strengths of engineering ethics. And Transfigurism cultivates narratives that extend tradition into provocative new expressions.

Lincoln Cannon

Chapter 66. Equalism: Paradise Regained

Nowadays Paradise is seen by most people as a mythical place in Heaven. Somewhere along the way we lost understanding that it used to be an actual place on Earth, a home to first humans: “And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Genesis 2:8). Not only has the notion of Paradise been distorted throughout the centuries, but the perception of God’s persona and His unity with humans has changed as well.

Inessa Lee
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