Steve Wozniak a Singularitarian?

Wozinak:

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has seen so much stunning technological advances that he believes a day will come when computers and humans become virtually equal but with machines having a slight advantage on intelligence.

Speaking at a business summit held at the Gold Coast on Friday, the once co-equal of Steve Jobs in Apple Computers told his Australian audience that the world is nearing the likelihood that computer brains will equal the cerebral prowess of humans.

When that time comes, Wozniak said that humans will generally withdraw into a life where they will be pampered into a system almost perfected by machines, serving their whims and effectively reducing the average men and women into human pets.

Widely regarded as one of the innovators of personal computing with his works on putting together the initial hardware offerings of Apple, Wozniak declared to his audience that “we’re already creating the superior beings, I think we lost the battle to the machines long ago.”

I always think of this guy when I go by Woz Way in San Jose.

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Collaborative Map of Transhumanists Worldwide

Updating this map is a little tricky, you have to be invited as a collaborator by someone who already is one. If you know someone already on the map you can ask them for an invite, otherwise you have to fill in your email address in form below. Then you can also invite anyone else to collaborate, you just need their email address. I promise I won’t sell it to spammers, this list is only for adding people to the map.

Name:

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View Transhumanists Worldwide in a larger map

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How Can I Incorporate Transhumanism Into My Daily Life?

Transhumanism has been defined as the use of science and technology to improve the human condition, and the aspiration to go beyond what is traditionally defined as human, but it can be something broader: rational self-improvement while ignoring the boundaries set as typical. There’s a lot of “self-improvement” out there, and a fair deal of promoting rationalism in debate and analysis, but these don’t always come together. For instance, a highly rational individual might spend their entire day in front of a computer, neglecting exercise, and failing to take opportunity of a huge category of potential self-improvement. Conversely, someone preoccupied with “self-improvement” might believe in trendy nonsensical ideas about self-improvement that don’t actually work.

People usually start off in life with a certain set of aptitudes, such as brains, social skills, strength, or looks. A fun way of embracing life is to try to maximize these qualities no matter where you start out on them. Even though I tend to fall on the “nature” side of the nature-nurture debate, I still think there is a tremendous amount that …

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Security is Paramount

For billions of years on this planet, there were no rules. In many places there still are not. A wolf can dine on the entrails of a living doe he has brought down, and no one can stop him. In some species, rape is a more common variety of impregnation than consensual sex. Nature is fucked up, and anyone who argues otherwise has not actually seen nature in action.

This modern era, with its relative orderliness and safety, at least in the West, is an aberration. A bizarre phenomenon, rarely before witnessed in our solar system since its creation. Planetwide coordination is something that just didn’t happen until the invention of the telegraph and radio made it possible.

America and Western Europe are full of the most security-deluded people of all. The most recent generations, growing up without any major global conflict — Generation X and Y — are practically as ignorant as you can get. Thousands of generations of tough-as-nails people underwent every manner of horrors to incrementally build the orderly and safe society many of us have …

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Transhumanists of the 2010s — “a Hardier Bunch”

R.U. Sirius writes:

Today, I think there are many more self-defined transhumanists. There is more willingness, particularly perhaps with post-Gen X young people, to define themselves — to stand up and say, without reflexive irony, “I’m a transhumanist!” or “I’m an atheist!” or “T’m a socialist” or “I’m a libertarian!” whereas it would have seemed almost gauche in the 90s.

Yes! More socially aware and technologically connected than people of the “Me Decade” and the decade right after it, the leaders of the 10s recognize the importance of groups and movements beyond the individual. This is the age of Facebook and Causes. People realize that intellectual movements, like atheism and transhumanism, need their support and identification to exist. Someone who is too self-centered to join any club that will have them is someone who will sit on the sidelines of history.

When I say “I’m an atheist”, it makes it slightly more acceptable to be an atheist, because I’m another person “putting my name on the line”. The point is that it shouldn’t be questioned or considered at …

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Phil Bowermaster on the Singularity

Over at the Speculist, Phil Bowermaster understands the points I made in “Yes, the Singularity is the biggest threat to humanity”, which, by the way, was recently linked by Instapundit, who unfortunately probably doesn’t get the point I’m trying to make. Anyway, Phil said:

Greater than human intelligences might wipe us out in pursuit of their own goals as casually as we add chlorine to a swimming pool, and with as little regard as we have for the billions of resulting deaths. Both the Terminator scenario, wherein they hate us and fight a prolonged war with us, and the Matrix scenario, wherein they keep us around essentially as cattle, are a bit too optimistic. It’s highly unlikely that they would have any use for us or that we could resist such a force even for a brief period of time — just as we have no need for the bacteria in the swimming pool and they wouldn’t have much of a shot against our chlorine assault.

“How would the superintelligence be able to wipe …

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Singularity Summit 2009 Featured in Carl Zimmer Article in Scientific American

Carl Zimmer wrote this: “Can You Live Forever? Maybe Not — But You Can Have Fun Trying“. This is a very positive, yet slightly skeptical look at the Singularity movement. This article is a follow-up to Zimmer’s earlier article in Playboy, which came out this January. This year, there have been articles on the Singularity Summit and Singularity Institute in Playboy, GQ, the UK Independent, and Scientific American. Here’s a funny bit from the current article:

After the meeting I decided to visit to researchers working on the type of technology that people such as Kurzweil consider the steppingstones to the Singularity. Not one of them takes Kurzweil’s own vision of the future seriously. We will not have some sort of cybernetic immortality in the next few decades. The human brain is far too mysterious and computers far too crude for such a union anytime soon, if ever. In fact some scientists regard all this talk of the Singularity as a reckless promise of false hope to the afflicted.

But when I asked these skeptics about …

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Obama’s Bioethics Panel and the Transitory Nature of Presidential Bioethics Panels

I’ve been reading some of the public material on the new President’s Council on Bioethics, because I can’t for the life of me figure out what they do. I do know that they’re called the “Presidential Council for the Study of Bioethical Issues” now. Same domain name, different panel. It seems as if Obama was so against the old commission that he had to destroy it and create a new one from scratch, which highlights the transitory and low-power nature of the body.

Checking out the background materials section of their website, I was compelled to click on the first presentation at meeting two, “Oversight of Emerging Technologies”. It outlines important overall characteristics of this panel. Their mission is as follows:

1. To monitor scientific/medical developments (“advances”) and identify the issues they will raise for society 2. To bridge divide between science and society 3. To articulate the range of views on controversial subjects, To inform the political process & policymaking 4. To provide guidance to individuals & healthcare professionals 5. To provide recommendations to …

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David Pearce: Top Five Reasons Transhumanism Can Eliminate Suffering

A new article by David Pearce is up at H+ magazine. As a transhumanist staunchly in favor of the Hedonistic Imperative, I welcome this. Here are the reasons:

1) We Shall Soon Be Able To Choose Our Own Level Of Pain-Sensitivity 2) We Can Soon Choose How Rewarding We Want Our Daily Life To Be 3) Steak Lovers and Vegans Alike Can Soon Eat Cruelty-Free Diets 4) Carnivorous Nonhuman Predators Can Be Phased Out Too 5) We May Be On The Eve Of An “Intelligence Explosion”

1-2 are “old” transhumanist ideas, 3 is in vitro meat (new-ish), 4 is David’s recent idea, and 5 is an idea more than a century old, but only given real attention since the founding of MIRI in 2000.

What good is transhumanism if it can’t eliminate suffering?

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Humanity+ @ Caltech to be Held at Beckman Institute in Los Angeles, December 4-5

Here’s the website. Humanity+ @ CalTech is hosted by the California Institute of Technology and ab|inventio, the invention factory behind QLess, Whozat, SocialDiligence and MyNew.TV.

The speakers list is a mix of the usual suspects and some new names. The usual suspects include Randal Koene, Suzanne Gildert, Michael Vassar, Max More, Nastasha Vita-More, Bryan Bishop, Patri Friedman, Ben Goertzel, and Gregory Benford. If you were following my tweets from this weekend you’ll recall that Benford announced StemCell100(tm) at the Life Extension Conference in Burlingame, which is a product of LifeCode, a spinoff company of Genescient.

The conference is partially being organized by my friend Tom McCabe, who was recently voted on to the Board of Directors of Humanity+. Please let Tom know (his email is at his website) if you want to help sponsor the event!

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