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Jun 7, 2013

Methuselah Foundation Just Donated $5,000 to L. Stephen Coles Fundraiser — Please Support This Campaign To Save A Life

Posted by in category: life extension

UPDATE: A generous contribution of $5,000 from the Methuselah Foundation has been received! This will put the fundraiser over the top of the cost and pay for the advanced Champions Oncology treatment described below.

However, Dr. Coles still has other medical expenses outstanding, and more will be coming in.

To cover these as well as Dr. Coles’s many other personal expenses, the fundraiser will now have an extended timeframe and the limit has been raised to $20,000.

We are currently at $13,385 of our 20,000 goal! Help us make it all the way!

Continue reading “Methuselah Foundation Just Donated $5,000 to L. Stephen Coles Fundraiser — Please Support This Campaign To Save A Life” »

Jun 5, 2013

The Impending Crisis of Data: Do We Need a Constitution of Information?

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, information science, media & arts

The recent scandal involving the surveillance of the Associated Press and Fox News by the United States Justice Department has focused attention on the erosion of privacy and freedom of speech in recent years. But before we simply attribute these events to the ethical failings of Attorney General Eric Holder and his staff, we also should consider the technological revolution powering this incident, and thousands like it. It would appear that bureaucrats simply are seduced by the ease with which information can be gathered and manipulated. At the rate that technologies for the collection and fabrication of information are evolving, what is now available to law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the United States, and around the world, will soon be available to individuals and small groups.

We must come to terms with the current information revolution and take the first steps to form global institutions that will assure that our society, and our governments, can continue to function through this chaotic and disconcerting period. The exponential increase in the power of computers will mean that changes the go far beyond the limits of slow-moving human government. We will need to build new institutions to the crisis that are substantial and long-term. It will not be a matter that can be solved by adding a new division to Homeland Security or Google.

We do not have any choice. To make light of the crisis means allowing shadowy organizations to usurp for themselves immense power through the collection and distortion of information. Failure to keep up with technological change in an institutional sense will mean that in the future government will be at best a symbolic façade of authority with little authority or capacity to respond to the threats of information manipulation. In the worst case scenario, corporations and government agencies could degenerate into warring factions, a new form of feudalism in which invisible forces use their control of information to wage murky wars for global domination.

No degree of moral propriety among public servants, or corporate leaders, can stop the explosion of spying and the propagation of false information that we will witness over the next decade. The most significant factor behind this development will be Moore’s Law which stipulates that the number of microprocessors that can be placed economically on a chip will double every 18 months (and the cost of storage has halved every 14 months) — and not the moral decline of citizens. This exponential increase in our capability to gather, store, share, alter and fabricate information of every form will offer tremendous opportunities for the development of new technologies. But the rate of change of computational power is so much faster than the rate at which human institutions can adapt — let alone the rate at which the human species evolves — that we will face devastating existential challenges to human civilization.

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Jun 4, 2013

Recreating Heaven and Earth…in real-time.

Posted by in categories: evolution, futurism, habitats, media & arts, singularity

Prologue:

‘Let there be light,’ said the Cgi-God, and there was light…and God Rays.

We were out in the desert; barren land, and our wish was that it be transformed into a green oasis; a tropical paradise.

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Jun 3, 2013

Stephen L. Coles is DYING and NEEDS your Help!

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, life extension

*** PLEASE alert your friends—Our own continued health and longevity may depend on Steve continuing his work.***

This call for support was also posted by Ilia Stambler on the Longevity Alliance Website, and organized on YouCaring.com by John M. Adams. Eric Schulke has also helped tremendously in spreading the word about the Fundraiser.

Since founding the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group in 1990, Dr. L. Stephen Coles M.D., Ph.D., has worked tirelessly to develop new ways to slow and ultimately reverse human aging.

Everyone active in the LA-GRG or the Worldwide GRG Discussion Group have benefited from his expertise. His continual reporting of news about the latest developments to the List and his work in areas such as gathering blood samples for a complete genome analysis of the oldest people in the world (supercentenarians, aged 110+) is ground breaking and far ahead of anything that has ever been accomplished before. Publication of this work is expected in collaboration with Stanford University before the end of the year. Other accomplishments are equally notable

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Jun 3, 2013

Lust for life: breaking the 120-year barrier in human ageing

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

By Avi Roy, University of Buckingham

In rich countries, more than 80% of the population today will survive past the age of 70. About 150 years ago, only 20% did. In all this while, though, only one person lived beyond the age of 120. This has led experts to believe that there may be a limit to how long humans can live.

Animals display an astounding variety of maximum lifespan ranging from mayflies and gastrotrichs, which live for 2 to 3 days, to giant tortoises and bowhead whales, which can live to 200 years. The record for the longest living animal belongs to the quahog clam, which can live for more than 400 years.

If we look beyond the animal kingdom, among plants the giant sequoia lives past 3000 years, and bristlecone pines reach 5000 years. The record for the longest living plant belongs to the Mediterranean tapeweed, which has been found in a flourishing colony estimated at 100,000 years old.

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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

There is no war other than the one we are fighting with ourselves

Posted by in categories: economics, education, human trajectories, open source, sustainability

Just five years ago, anybody who spoke of technological unemployment was labeled a luddite, a techno-utopian, or just simply someone who doesn’t understand economics. Today things are very different – anybody from New York Times columnist Tom Friedman to CBS are jumping on the bandwagon.

Robots-Will-Steal-Your-Job-front

Those of us who have been speaking about the tremendous impact of automation in the workforce know very well that this isn’t a fad about to pass, but that it’s a problem that will only exacerbate in the future. Most of us agree on what the problem is (exponential growth of high-tech replacing humans faster and faster), and we agree that education will play a crucial role (and not coincidentally I started a companyEsplori – precisely to address this problem); but very few seem to suggest that we should use this opportunity to re-think our entire economic system and what the purpose of society should be. I am convinced this is exactly what we need to do. Published in 2012, my book, Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK: How to Survive the Economic Collapse and Be Happy – which you can also read online for free shows we might go about building a better tomorrow.

We have come to believe that we are dependent on governments and corporations for everything, and now that technology is ever more pervasive, our dependence on them is even stronger. And of course we don’t question the cycle of labor-for-income, income-for-survival and the conspicuous consumption model that has become dominant in virtually every country – and that not only is ecologically unsustainable, but it also generates immense income inequality.

Well, I do. I challenge the assumption that we should live to work, and even that we should work to live, for that matter. In an age where we already produce more than enough food, energy, and drinkable water for 7 billion people with little to no human labour, while 780 million lack access to clean water and 860 million are suffering from chronic hunger, it follows that the system we have in place isn’t allocating resources efficiently. And rather than going back to outdated ideologies (i.e. socialism), we can try new forms of societal structure; starting with open source philosophy, shared knowledge, self-reliance, and sustainable communities.

Continue reading “There is no war other than the one we are fighting with ourselves” »

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 30, 2013

Digitizing Emotions — Longevity and the Transhuman

Posted by in categories: ethics, evolution, fun, futurism, life extension, media & arts

Dirrogate_fundawear_memories_with_maya

Emotions and Longevity:

If the picture header above influenced you to click to read more of this article, then it establishes at least part of my hypothesis: Visual stimuli that trigger our primal urges, supersede all our senses, even over-riding intellect. By that I mean, irrespective of IQ level, the visual alone and not the title of the essay will have prompted a click through –Classic advertising tactic: Sex sells.

Yet, could there be a clue in this behavior to study further, in our quest for Longevity? Before Transhumanism life extension technology such as nano-tech and bio-tech go mainstream… we need to keep our un-amped bodies in a state of constant excitement, using visual triggers that generate positive emotions, thereby hopefully, keeping us around long enough to take advantage of these bio-hacks when they become available.

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