May 27, 2007
My Longevity Symposium and TransVision 2007 presentations
This coming July I will be giving presentations at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies' Longevity Symposium and the World Transhumanist Association's TransVision 2007 conference.
For the Longevity Symposium, an event titled "Securing the Longevity Dividend: Building the Campaign for Anti-Aging Science," I will be addressing and reconciling the most popular arguments both for and against radical life extension. Other speakers at this event will include S. Jay Olshansky, David O. Meltzer, Aubrey de Grey, James Hughes, Nick Bostrom, Ronald Bailey, and Anders Sandberg.
For TransVision 2007 I will making the case for postgenderism -- the idea that gender should be eliminated in the next iteration of the human species. My presentation is tentatively titled, "The Best of Both Worlds," and I will argue that posthumans should not abandon all gendered traits, but integrate the best that males and females have to offer. This will be my first opportunity to present these ideas in public and I'm very much looking forward to it.
Other speakers at TV07 will include Ray Kurzweil, William Shatner, and Max More.
Register now for TV07 and look for me there.
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"the case for postgenderism -- the idea that gender should be eliminated in the next iteration of the human species."
That sounds very interesting. I've thought about this myself to some extent, and I think that traditional gender roles are a bit of a drag, if only for their monotony. I ask myself what an interesting alternative for people to choose might be. One obvious idea is that we could retain female/male bodies, but change what goes on in the mind to equalize sexuality - that is make the male mind more like the female mind and the female mind more like the male mind until they "meet in the middle", as it were. Would it be interesting to increase sexual monogamy (for example so that you fix on one person and find them, and only them, attractive) or to decrease it by getting rid of sexual jealousy? Maybe the best solution is to allow different communities to try both alternatives. These are interesting questions, an I think that experimenting with the possibilities is a great thing. Unfortunately I won't be at TransVision, but I wish you success there!
I know that contemporary fiction isn't often the first place to look for futurist/transhumanist ideas, but have any of read Michel Houellebecq's "Elementary Particles" (a.k.a. "Atomized")?
It's full of his typical tropes -- sexual addiction, misanthropy, 21st-century existential malaise -- but with a decidedly transhumanist bent. And gender identity plays a major part in the book's conclusion... Not to spoil anything.
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