Cyborgs, catastrophes and visions

Europe’s transhumanists look into the future

Only one week after the EXTRO-5 (of machine intelligence and the call for the opponents of progress), the fourth European conference for transhumanism took place as counterless on the old continent with the Transvision 2001. After the events of past years in Weesp / NL, Stockholm and London, this year was the implementation in the hands of the German DE: Trans in Berlin.

Compared to the American equivalent conference, was held in a hotel on the edge of Tegel Airport. About 35 participants were accompanied by a crowd of a dozen home and foreign journalists. The gros of the visitors came from Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Great Britain, added single scattered from other Western Europe countries.

Growing media interest

Quotely on Saturday morning Frank Prengel, chairman of DE: Trans, Knapped word the event. No retaining speech, no summonation of the community of present – Oh right, we were not in America. First program point were short reports from the countries of the various participants, where a fairly uniform picture was labeled. As a umbrella organization, the World Transhumanist Association offers a contact borea that allows to find like-minded people close to geographic.

In Europe, in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, small transhumanistic associations have established themselves, in which each have gathered about two dozen members, which are mainly organized via the Internet and mailing lists. In Sweden, a group is excited about the Oconomen Waldemar Ingdahl and founded with Eudoxa a thinking lab, which would like to combine commercial goals with an intellectual intellectual influence. Transcedo in the Netherlands is shortly before the construction of a cryogenic organization. Overall, a stylish infestation is to identify future-oriented ideas into the broad society, and television appearances in the past few months as well as the number of journalists present on the transvision were a growing media interest.

The Dutch corporate consultant Arjen Kamphuis introduced a presentation in the short run, with which he otherwise seeks to provide leadership of coarse companies and government agents a sense for the future. Often, the presentation of the opposite-feasible surprise, not to mention the extrapolation of the extrapolation of the development of the next few decades in the areas of organic, nano- and information technology. The aim of this presentation is to move his good-to-hand to think. He avoid the term transhumanism, people are the -isms excessive. His advice on companies: who does not learn to adapt rapidly, will be meaningless.

The right to changing the body

When there are someone who is the elements of transhumanistic movement such as dynamic thinking, practical optimism, the pursuit of overcoming traditional boundaries through technology and mind, and the desire for progress torching like no other, then it is different Sandberg. The Swedish Neuroforscher radiates an ever-liking, incredual friendliness and good mood and is indispensable on events such as transvision.

His lecture dedicated Sandberg of Freedom to determine their own form. Legal philosophically looked at the right to life and the right to freedom also derive the right to their own body, and then the right to threaten their own body to threaten. In society, an ever-increasing acceptance of external modifications is observed, be it freedom in the choice of dress choice, the spread of tatoves and piercings, ganghur surgery, to operational sexual conversions. Hand in hand with our habit of these things and their increasing distribution also go a discount and easier application. Gene therapy and the age of age research were opened in the near future even further possibilities of changing, and man as individualistic beings will also perceive them.

Sandberg went a step further. Morphological freedom is not only a fundamental right, but also a necessity for a rich, pluralistic society, and protection against forced changes through third parties. Sandberg pointed out that many disabled people are not as obstructed, but as spirited differently, and that the disabled movement is an excellent bonded for the freedom of their own form. Unfortunately, there is no connection to the own body at the moment.

Another aspect is the public healthcare system that finance the treatment of diseases – but what is a disease at all? It takes flexible solutions and the opposite health systems are not prepared for dealing with the extension of the human body. The patient MUSSE customer and active participants will become. Political and ethical questions torge. The often envened view, the radical change of own body drove to a loss of humanity, Sandberg gave a clear cancellation. On the contrary, the pursuit of such changing is a deeply human property. In relation to the risk of cleavage of society in privileged, which have access to such enhancements, and underprivileged, he referred to the ever-faster speed, with the new technology broad societal penetration, and the associated falling costs. At all, for example, the counter-arguments were also applicable to the telephone, which can only appear laughable today in freely.

A belfish Cyborg

Cyborgs, artworks emerged from the merger of humans and machine, are fabric of the Science Fiction. In the popular culture inevitably presented as a trickle, cold and inhumane, they are linked with horror scenarios like the Borg from Star Trek. For a year, the Engian Peter Houghton has been a Cyborg, and he came to the transvision to report by his life as such.

A flu virus had infested the heart of the former psychiatrist. After five-year heavy illness, the performance of the central organ had fallen to a tenth, liver and kidney failure threatened in a row. The doctors gave him two weeks, the undogmatic Catholic had completed with his life. But Houghton had Gluck. He became the world’s first receptionist a permanently used in the heart. Around the clock, the small turbine in the left main chamber supports the performance of his heart. A line passes through the body to a socket screwed over the left ear in the Schadelbone, over which the pump is supplied and controlled by the pump with electricity. An inconspicuous pin, which has been assigned an escape observer to a horization, disappears in a pocket with battery pack and control device. One year after surgery, the formerly dodgent, today 62-year-olds, a rusty retiree, who can also visit a conference abroad also.

Houghton has not come to Berlin as a transhumanist. Most ideas of the movement are new to him. He has thought about his condition, this unexpected additional stucco live. A central question of life deflection is the quality of the awarded time. Another of the independence, even more funded. And finally the question: WOFUR at all? Length of life must have a meaning, expanded and not extended people must respect each other. Houghton ignites the additional life, but no infinite. There must be a right to death. Houghton Weib not when death will be collected. The cable in the coraperminnern Konne failure, the bearings of the pump sluke, or blood sheathing could form around the device.

During the Ivory Teams, the bioethics commissions days, Peter Houghton lives on. As a human. And no one who has met him could understand him.

Death as a curable disease?

Who who has a decline, for which the last chance in Kryonik – comprehensive preservation is immediately after the occurrence of legal death, deep cooling with liquid nitrogen, and the hope that with the advanced technology of the future a revival in which form always possible will be. The Sudsutsche Cold Technique entrepreneur Rolf Sommer presented at the Transvision for the first time in Europe a cheap and reliable system for the storage of Kryonik patients (European cryogenic project for ‘Life deflection’ in planning.

Is death by the consequences of aging only a disease that can be cured? In his lecture, the young gerontologist Joao Pedro de Magalhaa’s facts summarized the aging. This is how our likelihood doubles from the center of life about every eight years. Senescence is by no means universal, most amphibians and reptiles, but also some fish and bird do not age. On the other hand, all the suction animals aged are invariably, with similar corpulum changes. Hypothesis: there is a central mechanism that clearly climates the varied aging symptoms. There are also traffickings that do not represent aging in the narrower sense.

Well-known candidates as a blossom of aging are accumulating DNA damage, the long limitation of telomere and free radicals. Especially the telomer was given a lot of public attention, but although they are essential for cell division, is in question with the aging of the entire organism. Various as a means against the aging propagated Praparate vitamins, antioxidants, insulin-ahnic growth factor, human growth hormone – be velvet and special ineffective. Only from the calorie restriction is a success in manship and probably because of monkeys, even though the final results are still standing for the latter. However, calorie restriction seems to slow down the outcome of the genetic program and not to prevent aging in itself. For this purpose, their effects on the quality of life are considered as considerable that calorie restriction for most people is unacceptable.

For the future of age research, stem cells have a tremendous potential. Amazingly, so Magalhaes, only very small means were invested in age research. Overall, only our ignorance and powerlessness can be stated at the present time.

Afterwards, Klaus Sames, University of Hamburg, gave a look over the aging on the basis of organ structures, holding an even more pessimistic image as Magalhaa. All systems whose cells are not steady, aging. Some cell types do not share at all, which leads to stole cell loss. A replacement by stem cells is in principle possible, but some fabric types such as cartilage or the brain allow no cell migration. But cell loss is not the only cause of mortality, there are dust collection in the lungs, enrolled blood supply of cartilage tie, scarring, irreplaceable loss of renal fine structures, etc. You have to exchange all the dead cells in the body. Ultimately, for the rejuvenation of the body millions of parallel operations on cell level were required, which could only be possible with nanotechnical agents. Biological Bezen gave Sames no chance.

Bang effects

Nick Bostrom headed the second conference date with overview of his essay to existential risks of the future. The Swedish science philosopher with distinguished British accent is now a lecturer at the Yale Universitat, like Anders Sandberg a fixed coarse on events of the transhumanistic movement and one of its thinkers. In his lecture, it does not go to the blind black beautiful, but the recognition of possible risks and their classification. All presented scenarios meanwhile was their global impact and their finality. Since an approach with attempt and error for existential risks is not applicable, and they lie outside of our experience, predictive thinking is in demand. In the following, BOSTROM led to a list of threatening hazards, divided into several classes, from the explosive destruction to the slow raffle, sorted according to the treasured probability of their occurrence, and from the all-world presentation of a nuclear holocaust to obscures physical catastrophes.

The Fermi-Paradox refers to the apparent discrepancy between the lack of any sign of extraterrestrial intelligence in the cosmos on the one hand and the big probability of their appearance on the other side. Robin Hanson has experienced in this context the concept of coarse filter, an extremely unlikely development step, which must be somewhere between earthly planet and interstellar civilization. Unfortunately, it does not say if this filter is unnoticed behind us or is still in favor. A very different stomparection pursues the coating plausible by a few considerations that we may live in a simulation, whose shutdown Bostrom had at least to the third most likely place of destruction with a bang. Against other possibilities of the (self) exclusively, he recommended a series of precautions, whose most important is to sharpen the general awareness of the possibility of existential risks. Overall, Bostrom contributed little to the new content, but besping of the academically rigorous preparation of the topic.

In the following two subsequent Torsten took, Deputy Chairman of DE: Trans, first the idea of the Memetics. The concept of the MEMS as a self-supplementing idea in human society comes from Richard Dawkins’s influential book "The egoist gene" (The Selfish Gene). Since then, there were various attempts to establish a scientific mechanism in analogy to genetics. Of the three pillars where the success of genetics rest rests – namely the immediate exercise of the evolutionary principle, the constancy of the inheritance and the prediction of the limits of possible development – is not applicable to the mechanism. Genetics live in the world of nature: physics, biochemistry and physiology; Memetics in the mind: psychology and sociology. Ultimately, meme only be a metaphor.

Close to Renaissance Humanism

A podium under the direction of Anders Sandberg and Arjen Kamphuis summarized the most important events and topics of the Extro-5. Here, in particular, significant criticism became true to the rhetoric chosen in America in the confrontation with oppositional social movements. The Fille on Militarian Metaphors is unacceptable and certainly not used for discussion in Europe.

At the conclusion of the event, Brian Delaney showed the philosophical compounds between transhumanism and classical humanism of the Renaissance. Thus, after radical self-transformation, one has strived from our own strength, though the technical means were far more modest. Also the then further lost understanding of humanity take better to transhumanism as the modern, biological definition. Especially irritated the Americans approached in Sweden that the transhumanistic movement is partly explicitly defining themselves in contrast to humanism. Here, the lecture began to deal with an open discussion in which the term humanism in modern use deviates drastically from the ideals of the Renaissance movement and with a self-identification "humanism" misleading associations in the public threaten.

Like now tradition, one concluded with the decision on the year-down event: Transvision 2002 will be aligned by the Dutch Association Transcedo, the exact venue is not fixed yet. The year-old participants were very pleased with the meeting and praised the "German efficiency" the organization.

In all procurement with progress, something surprised that no one seemed to collapse the statics of the transhumanistic movement itself. In the last three years – a small eternity already after internet or right in the supposed case into the singularity – the number of participants in the transvision has hardly grown, no new transhumanist organizations were founded in other countries and remained the main players of the movement the same. Compared to the American Extro, the largely absence of creators falls on. Were there z.B. If there are at least three active KI developers, hardly any of the speakers or visitors to the transvision itself seemed to work on future-oriented technology. Also no trace of a rotating of business relationships. The movement is observed, commented and reacted, but it does not act. But only a group of progress grupies?

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