If you’re in Trondheim next week, I am giving a public lecture on some aspects of the transhumanist movement. It’s organized by the excellent club- and lecture initiative Forum Nidarosiae. The lecture will be in Norwegian, but I attach an English translation of title and blurb below:
2045: Rapture of the Nerds!
On the Transhuman Apocalypse and the New New Age.
What does nanorobots, artificial intelligence and space colonization got to do with the New Age? Increasingly more, according to Egil Asprem. That human beings possess the ability to transform their own nature to something higher, better, and more perfect has been a central conception in western esoteric religion. That such a transformation can be achieved through purely technological means has been a favourite topic for science fiction, and an expressed goal for self-professed transhumanists. What happens when esoterically oriented spirituality blends and mixes with a technologically oriented transhumanism?
This evening we will look closer at the emergence of a transhuman spirituality with apocalyptic and esoteric features. The list of contributors to this development includes a broad variety of people, from Silicon Valley technologists to well-known New Age prophets, a Russian billionaire, and a group of technophile Mormons. Central is the notion of a coming apocalyptic event, expected around the year 2045: The Singularity. But will we be transformed to godlike cyborg angels, or swallowed by grey goo?
There’s only one way to find out.
The lecture is based on material I presented as a conference paper at ESSWE4 earlier this year (you may find the draft ms here).
The evening is arranged by Forum Nidarosiae, and will take place in the basement of Tulla Fischer. Doors open at 19.00, and cc is 50,00 NOK. Check the event page on Facebook.