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Archive for the ‘Cortese Franco’ tag

Jul 3, 2013

Human Destiny is to Eliminate Death — Essays, Rants & Arguments on Immortalism (Edited Volume)

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, education, ethics, fun, futurism, human trajectories, life extension, media & arts, neuroscience, philosophy, policy, rants

coveroriginalhankImmortal Life has complied an edited volume of essays, arguments, and debates about Immortalism titled Human Destiny is to Eliminate Death from many esteemed ImmortalLife.info Authors (a good number of whom are also Lifeboat Foundation Advisory Board members as well), such as Martine Rothblatt (Ph.D, MBA, J.D.), Marios Kyriazis (MD, MS.c, MI.Biol, C.Biol.), Maria Konovalenko (M.Sc.), Mike Perry (Ph.D), Dick Pelletier, Khannea Suntzu, David Kekich (Founder & CEO of MaxLife Foundation), Hank Pellissier (Founder of Immortal Life), Eric Schulke & Franco Cortese (the previous Managing Directors of Immortal Life), Gennady Stolyarov II, Jason Xu (Director of Longevity Party China and Longevity Party Taiwan), Teresa Belcher, Joern Pallensen and more. The anthology was edited by Immortal Life Founder & Senior Editor, Hank Pellissier.

This one-of-a-kind collection features ten debates that originated at ImmortalLife.info, plus 36 articles, essays and diatribes by many of IL’s contributors, on topics from nutrition to mind-filing, from teleomeres to “Deathism”, from libertarian life-extending suggestions to religion’s role in RLE to immortalism as a human rights issue.

The book is illustrated with famous paintings on the subject of aging and death, by artists such as Goya, Picasso, Cezanne, Dali, and numerous others.

The book was designed by Wendy Stolyarov; edited by Hank Pellissier; published by the Center for Transhumanity. This edited volume is the first in a series of quarterly anthologies planned by Immortal Life

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Jun 17, 2013

Help Conquer Death with Grants & Research Funding from LongeCity!

Posted by in categories: biological, finance, homo sapiens, life extension

LongeCity has been doing advocacy and research for indefinite life extension since 2002. With the Methuselah Foundation and the M-Prize’s rise in prominence and public popularity over the past few years, it is sometimes easy to forget the smaller-scale research initiatives implemented by other organizations.

LongeCity seeks to conquer the involuntary blight of death through advocacy and research. They award small grants to promising small-scale research initiatives focused on longevity. The time to be doing this is now, with the increasing popularity and public awareness of Citizen Science growing. The 2020 H+ Conference’s theme was The Rise of the Citizen Scientist. Open –Source and Bottom-Up organization have been hallmarks of the H+ and TechProg communities for a while now, and the rise of citizen science parallels this trend.

Anyone can have a great idea, and there are many low-hanging fruits that can provide immense value and reward to the field of life extension without necessitating large-scale research initiatives, expensive and highly-trained staff or costly laboratory equipment. These low-hanging fruit can provide just as much benefit as large scale ones – and, indeed, even have the potential to provide more benefit per unit of funding than large-scale ones. They don’t call them low-hanging fruit for nothing – they are, after all, potentially quite fruitful.


In the past LongeCity has raised funding by matching donations made by the community to fund a research project that used lasers to ablate (i.e. remove) cellular lipofuscin. LongeCity raised $8,000 dollars by the community which was then matched by up to $16,000 by SENS Founation. A video describing the process can be found here. In the end they raised over $18,000 towards this research! Recall that one of Aubrey’s strategies of SENS is to remove cellular lipofuscin via genetically engineered bacteria. Another small-scale research project funded by LongeCity involved mitochondrial uncoupling in nematodes. To see more about this research success, see here.

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Jun 10, 2013

Intimations of Imitations: Visions of Cellular Prosthesis & Functionally-Restorative Medicine

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, chemistry, engineering, futurism, life extension, nanotechnology, neuroscience

In this essay I argue that technologies and techniques used and developed in the fields of Synthetic Ion Channels and Ion Channel Reconstitution, which have emerged from the fields of supramolecular chemistry and bio-organic chemistry throughout the past 4 decades, can be applied towards the purpose of gradual cellular (and particularly neuronal) replacement to create a new interdisciplinary field that applies such techniques and technologies towards the goal of the indefinite functional restoration of cellular mechanisms and systems, as opposed to their current proposed use of aiding in the elucidation of cellular mechanisms and their underlying principles, and as biosensors.

In earlier essays (see here and here) I identified approaches to the synthesis of non-biological functional equivalents of neuronal components (i.e. ion-channels ion-pumps and membrane sections) and their sectional integration with the existing biological neuron — a sort of “physical” emulation if you will. It has only recently come to my attention that there is an existing field emerging from supramolecular and bio-organic chemistry centered around the design, synthesis, and incorporation/integration of both synthetic/artificial ion channels and artificial bilipid membranes (i.e. lipid bilayer). The potential uses for such channels commonly listed in the literature have nothing to do with life-extension however, and the field is to my knowledge yet to envision the use of replacing our existing neuronal components as they degrade (or before they are able to), rather seeing such uses as aiding in the elucidation of cellular operations and mechanisms and as biosensors. I argue here that the very technologies and techniques that constitute the field (Synthetic Ion-Channels & Ion-Channel/Membrane Reconstitution) can be used towards the purpose of the indefinite-longevity and life-extension through the iterative replacement of cellular constituents (particularly the components comprising our neurons – ion-channels, ion-pumps, sections of bi-lipid membrane, etc.) so as to negate the molecular degradation they would have otherwise eventually undergone.

While I envisioned an electro-mechanical-systems approach in my earlier essays, the field of Synthetic Ion-Channels from the start in the early 70’s applied a molecular approach to the problem of designing molecular systems that produce certain functions according to their chemical composition or structure. Note that this approach corresponds to (or can be categorized under) the passive-physicalist sub-approach of the physicalist-functionalist approach (the broad approach overlying all varieties of physically-embodied, “prosthetic” neuronal functional replication) identified in an earlier essay.

The field of synthetic ion channels is also referred to as ion-channel reconstitution, which designates “the solubilization of the membrane, the isolation of the channel protein from the other membrane constituents and the reintroduction of that protein into some form of artificial membrane system that facilitates the measurement of channel function,” and more broadly denotes “the [general] study of ion channel function and can be used to describe the incorporation of intact membrane vesicles, including the protein of interest, into artificial membrane systems that allow the properties of the channel to be investigated” [1]. The field has been active since the 1970s, with experimental successes in the incorporation of functioning synthetic ion channels into biological bilipid membranes and artificial membranes dissimilar in molecular composition and structure to biological analogues underlying supramolecular interactions, ion selectivity and permeability throughout the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s. The relevant literature suggests that their proposed use has thus far been limited to the elucidation of ion-channel function and operation, the investigation of their functional and biophysical properties, and in lesser degree for the purpose of “in-vitro sensing devices to detect the presence of physiologically-active substances including antiseptics, antibiotics, neurotransmitters, and others” through the “… transduction of bioelectrical and biochemical events into measurable electrical signals” [2].

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Jun 2, 2013

The Hubris of Neo-Luddism

Posted by in categories: human trajectories, policy

This essay was originally published by the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies

One of the most common anti-Transhumanist tropes one finds recurring throughout Transhumanist rhetoric is our supposedly rampant hubris. Hubris is an ancient Greek concept meaning excess of pride that carries connotations of reckless vanity and heedless self-absorbment, often to the point of carelessly endangering the welfare of others in the process. It paints us in a selfish and dangerous light, as though we were striving for the technological betterment of ourselves alone and the improvement of the human condition solely as it pertains to ourselves, so as to be enhanced relative to the majority of humanity.

In no way is this correct or even salient. I, and the majority of Transhumanists, Techno-Progressives and emerging-tech-enthusiasts I would claim, work toward promoting beneficial outcomes and deliberating the repercussions and most desirable embodiments of radically-transformative technologies for the betterment of all mankind first and foremost, and only secondly for ourselves if at all.

The ired irony of this situation is that the very group who most often hails the charge of Hubris against the Transhumanist community is, according to the logic of hubris, more hubristic than those they rail their charge against. Bio-Luddites, and more generally Neo-Luddites, can be clearly seen to be more self-absorbed and recklessly-selfish than the Transhumanists they are so quick to raise qualms against.

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Jun 1, 2013

Longevity’s Bottleneck May Be Funding, But Funding’s Bottleneck is Advocacy & Activism

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, human trajectories, life extension, policy

The following article was originally published by Immortal Life

When asked what the biggest bottleneck for Radical or Indefinite Longevity is, most thinkers say funding. Some say the biggest bottleneck is breakthroughs and others say it’s our way of approaching the problem (i.e. that we’re seeking healthy life extension whereas we should be seeking more comprehensive methods of indefinite life-extension), but the majority seem to feel that what is really needed is adequate funding to plug away at developing and experimentally-verifying the various, sometimes mutually-exclusive technologies and methodologies that have already been proposed. I claim that Radical Longevity’s biggest bottleneck is not funding, but advocacy.

This is because the final objective of increased funding for Radical Longevity and Life Extension research can be more effectively and efficiently achieved through public advocacy for Radical Life Extension than it can by direct funding or direct research, per unit of time or effort. Research and development obviously still need to be done, but an increase in researchers needs an increase in funding, and an increase in funding needs an increase in the public perception of RLE’s feasibility and desirability.

There is no definitive timespan that it will take to achieve indefinitely-extended life. How long it takes to achieve Radical Longevity is determined by how hard we work at it and how much effort we put into it. More effort means that it will be achieved sooner. And by and large, an increase in effort can be best achieved by an increase in funding, and an increase in funding can be best achieved by an increase in public advocacy. You will likely accelerate the development of Indefinitely-Extended Life, per unit of time or effort, by advocating the desirability, ethicacy and technical feasibility of longer life than you will by doing direct research, or by working towards the objective of directly contributing funds to RLE projects and research initiatives. (more…)

May 31, 2013

How Could WBE+AGI be Easier than AGI Alone?

Posted by in categories: complex systems, engineering, ethics, existential risks, futurism, military, neuroscience, singularity, supercomputing

This essay was also published by the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies and by Transhumanity under the title “Is Price Performance the Wrong Measure for a Coming Intelligence Explosion?”.

Introduction

Most thinkers speculating on the coming of an intelligence explosion (whether via Artificial-General-Intelligence or Whole-Brain-Emulation/uploading), such as Ray Kurzweil [1] and Hans Moravec [2], typically use computational price performance as the best measure for an impending intelligence explosion (e.g. Kurzweil’s measure is when enough processing power to satisfy his estimates for basic processing power required to simulate the human brain costs $1,000). However, I think a lurking assumption lies here: that it won’t be much of an explosion unless available to the average person. I present a scenario below that may indicate that the imminence of a coming intelligence-explosion is more impacted by basic processing speed – or instructions per second (ISP), regardless of cost or resource requirements per unit of computation, than it is by computational price performance. This scenario also yields some additional, counter-intuitive conclusions, such as that it may be easier (for a given amount of “effort” or funding) to implement WBE+AGI than it would be to implement AGI alone – or rather that using WBE as a mediator of an increase in the rate of progress in AGI may yield an AGI faster or more efficiently per unit of effort or funding than it would be to implement AGI directly.

Loaded Uploads:

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May 25, 2013

“Radical Life Extension: Are You Ready to Live 1,000 Years?” — Public Speaking Event in Washington D.C. 09/13

Posted by in categories: events, life extension

1inftri

Immortal Life is presenting a public event in Washington D.C., titled “Radical Life Extension: are you ready to live 1,000 years?”

It will take place in the historic Friends Meeting House on September 22 (Sunday). The event will be from 5:30–7:30.

We will have 10–12 speakers discussing Immortality / Life Extension from a wide variety of perspectives: scientific, political, social, poetic, religious, atheistic, economic, demographic, moral, etc.

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May 19, 2013

Electronic Music as Emerging Tech. Embryo of Art’s Entire Future — Part One

Posted by in categories: human trajectories, media & arts, neuroscience

Artifacts, Artifictions, Artifutures 0.5

It’s not a physical landscape. It’s a term reserved for the new technologies. It’s a landscape in the future. It’s as though you used technology to take you off the ground and go like Alice through the looking glass.
John Cage, in reference to his 1939 Imagined Landscape [1].

In the last installment (see here, here and here) I argued that the increasing prominence and frequency of futuristic aesthetics and themes of empowerment-through-technology in EDM-based mainstream music videos, as well as the increasing predominance of EDM foundations in mainstream music over the past 3 years, helps promote general awareness of emerging-technology-grounded and NBIC–driven concepts, causes and potential-crises while simultaneously presenting a sexy and self-empowering vision of technology and the future to mainstream audiences. The only reason this is mentionable in the first place is the fact that these are mainstream artists and labels reaching very large audiences.

In this installment, I will be analyzing a number of music videos for tracks by “real EDM” artists, released by exclusively-EDM record labels, to show that these futuristic themes aren’t just a consequence of EDM’s adoption by mainstream music over the past few years, and that there is long history of futuristic aesthetics and gestalts in electronic music, as well as recurrent themes of self-empowerment through technology.

In this part I will discuss some of these recurrent themes, which can be seen to derive from a number of aspects shared by Virtual Art (any art created without the use of physical instruments), of which contemporary electronic music is an example because it is created using software. I argue that this will become the predominant means of art production — via software — for all artistic mediums, from auditory to visual to eventual olfactory, somatosensory and proprioceptual artistic mediums. The interface between artist and art will become progressively thinner and more transparent, culminating in a time where Brain-Computer-Interface technology can sense neural operation and translate this directly into an informational form to be played by physical systems (e.g. speakers) at first, but eventually into a form that can be read by given person’s own BCI instantiated phenomenologically via high-precision technological neuromodulation (of which deep brain stimulation is an early form).

Continue reading “Electronic Music as Emerging Tech. Embryo of Art's Entire Future — Part One” »

Apr 18, 2013

Does Advanced Technology Make the 2nd Amendment Redundant?

Posted by in category: futurism

This article was originally published by Transhumanity

The 2nd amendment of the American Constitution gives U.S citizens the constitutional right to bear arms. Perhaps the most prominent justification given for the 2nd amendment is as a defense against tyrannical government, where citizens have a method of defending themselves against a corrupt government, and of taking their government back by force if needed by forming a citizen militia. While other reasons are sometimes called upon, such as regular old individual self-defense and the ability for the citizenry to act as a citizen army in the event their government goes to war despite being undertrooped, these justifications are much less prominent than the defense-against-tyrannical-government argument is.

This may have been fine when the Amendment was first conceived, but considering the changing context of culture and its artifacts, might it be time to amend it? When it was adopted in 1751, the defensive-power afforded to the citizenry by owning guns was roughly on par with the defensive-power available to government. In 1751 the most popular weapon was the musket, which was limited to 4 shots per minute, and had to be re-loaded manually. The state-of-the-art for “arms” in 1791 was roughly equal for both citizenry and military. This was before automatic weapons – never mind tanks, GPS, unmanned drones, and the like. In 1791, the only thing that distinguished the defensive or offensive capability of military from citizenry was quantity. Now it’s quality.

(more…)

Apr 12, 2013

Killing Deathist Cliches: “Death Gives Meaning to Life” is Meaningless!

Posted by in categories: ethics, life extension, philosophy

Le Petit Trépas

One common argument against Radical Life Extension is that a definitive limit to one’s life – that is, death – provides some essential baseline reference, and that it is only in contrast to this limiting factor that life has any meaning at all. In this article I refute the argument’s underlying premises, and then argue that even if such premises were taken as true, its conclusion – that eradicating death would negate the “limiting factor” that legitimizes life — is also invalid.

Death gives meaning to life? No! Death makes life meaningless!

One version of the argument, which I’ve come across in a variety of places, is given in Brian Cooney’s Posthuman, an introductory philosophical text that uses various futurist scenarios and concepts to illustrate the broad currents of Western Philosophy. Towards the end he makes his argument against immortality, claiming that if we had all the time in the universe to do what we wanted, then we wouldn’t do anything at all. Essentially, his argument boils down to ‘if there is no possibility of not being able to do something in the future, then why would we ever do it?”.

This assumes that we make actions on the basis of not being able to do them again. But people don’t make decisions this way. We didn’t go out to dinner because the restaurant was closing down… we went out for dinner because we wanted to go out for dinner… I think that Cooney’s version of the argument is naïve. We don’t make the majority of our decisions by contrasting an action to the possibility of not being able to do it in future.

His argument seems to be that if there were infinite time then we would have no way of prioritizing our actions. If we had a list of all possible actions set before us, and time were limitless, we might (according to his logic) accomplish all the small, negligible things first, because they’re easier and all the hard things can wait. If we had all the time in the world, we would have no reference point with which to judge how important a given action or objective is, which ones it is most important to get done, and which ones should get done in the place of other possibilities. If we really can do every single thing on that listless list, then why bother, if each is as important as every other? In his line-of-reasoning, importance requires scarcity. If we can do everything it were possible to do, then there is nothing that determines one thing as being more important than another. A useful analogy might be that current economic definitions of value require scarcity. If everything were as abundant as everything else, if nothing were scarce, then we would have no way of ascribing economic value to a given thing, such that one thing has more economic value than another. What we sometimes forget is that ecologies aren’t always like economies.

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