May 9, 2004

Michael Anissimov reports in from AHA2004

Michael Anissimov, the director of the Immortality Institute, is currently at AHA2004, the annual American Humanist Association's conference in Las Vegas. Michael writes in from the conference with a report (btw, one of the articles he's referring to in the Humanist is my "Better Living Through Transhumanism" article. We've also got a 1/2 page Betterhumans ad in that edition):
Hey everyone, just letting you all know that I'm in Las Vegas for AHA2004 and doing well. I only have 5 minutes of internet time remaining so I will be brief. First of all, I was somewhat astonished to see that 90% or more of conference attendees were seniors. So I knew the argument "this could happen within your lifetime..." wouldn't necessarily have much of an effect. Attendees did seem to be interested in passing on transhumanist ideas to their children, however. On the plus side, a copy of "The Humanist" was in everyone's conference packet, along with two articles on transhumanism! That set the stage nicely for the talk I was going to give. There were only about 30 attendees at my talk; it was held at the same time as "A Humanist Sex Writer Tells All" and some talk that seemed to be focused on bashing Bush and the conservatives. (A whole lot of that seems to be going on at this conference, at the exclusion of all else.) Daniel Dennett is flying in today and hopefully I will have the good fortune to talk to him in person this evening. This conference is quite different than the transhumanist conferences I've been to in the past... there seem to be many atheist factions involved in political infighting. It serves as a warning for the constant risk that transhumanism will fall to the same fate. The moral of the story is... do whatever you can to hold the transhumanist community together, as a strong group, despite all of our different ideas. Anyhoo, one minute left, so I'm out. Feel free to pass this along to wta-talk, big thanks to George D. btw!!

Michael Anissimov