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Transhumanism and Space Exploration

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Transhumanism – international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as study the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies. They predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label "posthuman". Transhumanism is often abbreviated as H+ or h+ ("humanism plus").

In this track we'll be exploring how humanity will need to change in order to explore and live on other planets and in space.




Our confirmed speakers include:



Natasha Vita-More

Dr. Natasha Vita-More, Track Host

Natasha Vita-More, PhD is a theorist and designer whose research concerns human enhancement and radical life extension. Dr. Vita-More designed the pioneering “Primo Posthuman” prototype and its spin-off, "Platform Diverse Body". She is co-editor and contributing author of The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Future Human. Her writings have been published in numerous books and academic journals such as Technoetic Arts, Evolution haute couture, Metaverse Creativity, New Realities: Being Syncretic, Beyond Darwin, and D'ARS.

Wired called Vita-More an "early adopter of revolutionary changes" and Village Voice claimed she is "a role model for superlongevity". Featured in LAWeekly, The New York Times, and U.S. News & World Report , Vita-More has appeared in numerous televised documentaries on the future. She received Special Recognition at Women in Video and has exhibited at the London Contemporary Art Museum, Niet Normaal, and the Moscow Film Festival. Dr. Vita-More is a university lecturer and currently adjunct professor at the University of Advancing Technology.




Howard Bloom

Howard Bloom

In 1968 Bloom turned down four fellowships in psychology and neurobiology and set off on a science project in a field he knew nothing about: popular culture. Bloom used simple correlational techniques plus what he calls “tuned empathy” and “saturated intuition” to help build or sustain the careers of figures like Prince, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Billy Idol, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, John Mellencamp, Queen, Kiss, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Run DMC, and roughly 100 others. In the process, he generated $28 billion in revenues (more than the gross domestic product of Oman or Luxembourg) for companies like Sony, Disney, Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, and Warner Brothers.

Bloom also helped launch Farm Aid and Amnesty International’s American presence. He worked with the United Negro College Fund,the National Black United Fund, and the NAACP, and he put together the first public service radio campaign for solar power (1981).




Dr. David Brin

Dr. David Brin

David Brin is a scientist, speaker, technical consultant and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. Brin's scientific work covers an eclectic range of topics, from astronautics, astronomy, and optics to alternative dispute resolution and the role of neoteny in human evolution. His Ph.D in Physics from UCSD - the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) - followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Space Institute and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

His patents directly confront some of the faults of old-fashioned screen-based interaction, aiming to improve the way human beings converse online. As a speaker and on television, David Brin shares unique insights -- serious and humorous -- about ways that changing technology may affect our future lives.

Brin lives in San Diego County with his wife, three children, and a hundred very demanding trees.

1950: Born - Glendale, California.
1973: Bachelor of Science - Caltech (astrophysics).
1973-1977: Research Engineer - Hughes Aircraft Research Labs (semiconductors/CCDs).
1975-1977: Masters in Electrical Engineering from UCSD (optics).
1980-1981: Managing editor - Journal of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition (UCSD)
1981: Doctor of Philosophy, University of California - San Diego - UCSD (space physics).
1982-1985: Teaching Physics & Writing @ San Diego State University. Technical consulting.
1982-1985: Associate/Post-Doctoral Fellow - California Space Institute, UCSD, La Jolla, CA.
1988-1990: Visiting Scholar: Center for Study of Evolution of Life, Jet Propulsion Lab, NASA NSCORT for Exobiology.
1990-: Keynote speaker and consultant for more than 100 government and corporate groups. Member, board of advisors of several corporations and nonprofit institutions. Cast member, writer, participant in popular science television and radio shows. Author of fiction and nonfiction books, translated into more than 20 languages.

You can read more about David Brin at his website.




David Orban

David Orban

David Orban is a Hungarian entrepreneur, visionary, and analyst of the global high technology landscape. He was born in Budapest in 1965. Currently, Orban is Chief Executive Officer of dotSUB, a US-based technology platform and services company that powers captions and translations as subtitles in any language in online videos to remove barriers to multi-cultural communications. Orban was a founder and previously Chief Evangelist of WideTag, Inc., the OpenSpime technology company, providing the infrastructure for an open Internet of Things. Active in virtual worlds as well, he was the founder of Vulcano, one of the first and most active Italian communities in Second Life. Together with Tim O'Reilly, Lawrence Lessig, and others, Orban is one of the founders of the Open Government Working Group, which developed a set of principles of open government data in December 2007. Orban spoke at the Italian Parliament about open government data policies in December 2008, calling for a wider adoption of transparent policies, and accountability, criticizing current legislation about freedom of information. He is also an Advisor and member of the Faculty of the Singularity University




Speaker

Vernor Vinge

Science fiction author Vernor Vinge has won Hugo awards for his novels A Fire Upon the Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1996) and Rainbows End (2006).

A published story writer since the 1960s, Vinge is known in the sci-fi world as the author most closely associated with the theme of "technological singularity." It's the idea that an event or sequence of events (the "singularity") will occur when technology surpasses human intelligence and society ceases to be recognizable to today's humans. Vinge began using the terminology in the 1980s, and in the 1990s went so far as to say he expected such an event to occur between 2005 and 2030. A computer scientist and mathematician, he was a teacher at San Diego State University in California (1972-2000) before becoming a full-time writer of the "hard" science fiction novels that made him famous. He has also won Hugo awards for his novellas "Fast Times at Fairmont High" (2002) and "The Cookie Monster" (2003).




Preliminary Agenda and Scheduled Speakers

Specific room locations will be published when they become available. Speaker, presentation title, date and time are subject to change.

Saturday: Room: Delphi (2nd Floor)
Time: 10 am - 10:10 am
Presentation Title: To Be Announced
NASA/NSS Student Space Settlement Contest Presentation
Time: 10:10 am - 11 am
Presentation Title: "Are space travel and transhumanism compatible? Is it one or the other? All or nothing? The star-lanes appear to be more empty than expected. Does that represent opportunity for Earthclan? Or danger?"
David Brin (Bio)
Scientist, Futurist, Science Fiction Author
Time: 11:05 am - 12 pm
Presentation Title: Innovations of Life Expansion: seizing the biotech moment and making it last-indefinitely!
Dr. Natasha Vita-More (Bio)
Chairman of Humanity+. Advocate of Human Enhancement and Radical Life Extension
Time: 2 pm - 2:10 pm
Presentation Title: To Be Announced
NASA/NSS Student Space Settlement Contest Presentation
Time: 2:10 pm - 3 pm
Panel Discussion: Impending Narratives from Cybernetics to Transhuman Ethics: What are We? Where are we Headed? Who is in Control?
Dr. Natasha Vita-More (Bio)
Professor, University of Advancing Technology; Chairman, Humanity+; and Co-Editor and Author: The Transhumanist Reader
David Brin (Bio)
Scientist, Futurist, Science Fiction Author
David Orban (Bio)
Entrepreneur, Visionary, Co-Founders of the Open Government Working Group
Vernor Vinge (Bio)
Science Fiction Author
Time: 3:05 pm - 4 pm
Presentation Title: What Can Maori Culture Teach to a Future Starfaring Civilization? The careful design of appropriate memetic components can maximize the fitness of cultural units in long term isolation.
David Orban (Bio)
Entrepreneur, Visionary, Co-Founders of the Open Government Working Group
Time: 4:05 pm - 5 pm
Presentation Title: Gardening Space: Retooling Mind, Rewiring Reality
Howard Bloom (Bio)
Author and Scientific Thinker. NSS Board of Governors. Former Publicist in the 1970/80s for Prince, Billy Joel, and Styx
Time: 5 pm - 6 pm
Open Discussion






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