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October 23, 2012

BIL2012 Talk: Peak Humanity

BIL has finally posted the talk I gave earlier this year:

The crux of the talk is an elaboration on the "second uncanny valley" idea I wrote about some time ago. I've come to realize that it this was too simplistic, and suspect that what we'll end up with is a much more convoluted result:

Angels and Devils

The idea here is that, with very advanced posthuman forms, the body types and behaviors will have the potential to trigger unconscious reactions in the "normal" human brain. Some forms could be seen as better than human, unimaginably beautiful, almost angelic; others could awaken deep-seated fears, resulting in bodies that are beyond horrific, utterly wrong in profound ways. [Reading back to the comments on the my original "second uncanny valley" post, and it looks like none other than Bruce Sterling planted the seed for this idea in my head. Thanks, @bruces!]

The video runs about 20 minutes. The lighting and format are a bit off, and there's one point towards the end when the picture (but not the sound) briefly shifts to someplace else at the conference, but it's still listenable (and the slide images are generally understandable). Enjoy.

October 8, 2012

Writing the Future

On December 2, I will be speaking at the 2012 humanity+ conference in San Francisco.

Given my frequent dubious reactions to transhumanism as a broad concept (remember, humanity+ is the reimagined World Transhumanist Association), you might wonder why I'm speaking at this event.

The answer is in the title of this post -- and the theme of this conference. "Writing the Future" is at the core of what I do, of who I am, and I've long believed in the importance of crafting novel, provocative, and useful articulations of what our futures could hold. This conference will allow me to stand up and speak specifically on this topic, to an audience that will be able to appreciate what I have to say. The other speakers will be covering a fairly broad array of interpretations of the idea of "writing the future," and I can say from experience that many of them are very good presenters, and well worth your time to listen to.

I hope that folks in the SF area can check out the conference; it's not free, but the tickets are reasonable for this sort of thing, and the student rate (before Nov 11) is quite good.

Jamais Cascio

Contact Jamais  ÃƒÂƒÃ‚ƒÃ‚ƒÃ‚ƒÃ‚¢Ã‚€Â¢  Bio

Co-Founder, WorldChanging.com

Director of Impacts Analysis, Center for Responsible Nanotechnology

Fellow, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Affiliate, Institute for the Future


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