I haven’t been long in the vicinity of high tech’s ground zero, but here it is: my occasional work on transhumanism is getting a new spin. It appears I’m scheduled to speak at a transhumanist conference in the East Bay – with such profiles as Max More and Natasha Vita-More giving keynotes. The headline teaser promises a spectacular circus of speakers:
BRAIN-HACKING CHEMIST / POWERLIFTING CRYONICIST / PSYCHEDELIC PHILOSOPHER / IMMORTAL CARTOONIST / SINGULARITY PROPHET / POLYGAMIST / MORMON / AI REVOLUTIONARY / TRANSCENDENCE HYPOTHESIZER / SCANDINAVIAN OCCULTIST/ + Much Much More
Guess which one is me.
Transhuman Visions 2.0 is organized by Hank Pellissier, who runs the Brighter Brains Institute, and seems to take a fairly ecumenical approach to transhumanism (Mormons, singularitarians, atheists, psychedelic activists…). In this context it makes sense for me to give a talk about transhumanism and the problems of religion/spirituality. This is a topic that deserves a lot more attention from scholars, in my opinion. It is also a discussion that transhumanists are having already, but that could benefit from input from the scientific study of religion. (Then there is also the question of the religious reactions to transhumanism, which are predictably starting to become more noticeable. I got inadvertently dragged into someone’s personal doomsday speculations as well as some Christian sensationalism myself recently).
In addition to featuring a transhumanist super-couple as keynotes, alongside futuristic Mormons and your favourite Scandinavian occultist, the event also has best-selling sci-fi author Zoltan Istvan and lots of other interesting names on the list of speakers. There will also be ““Smart Drugs” + Uruguayan Grass-Fed Beef from Estancia + Caesar Salad + brain-healthy “ketogenic” food like avocados, hardboiled eggs, walnuts, olives, coconut” – so don’t worry about wasting precious hours of your life, it seems you’ll get them back through life extension and brain optimization.
Transhuman Visions 2.0 is created as a follow-up to the sold out 1.0 show in San Francisco, which will take place on February 1. If you want to check this one out, tickets are still available at Eventbrite. Venue is Piedmont Veteran’s Hall, 401 Highland Avenue, in Piedmon. I’m curious.