Friday, June 22, 2012

Hannibal Lecter: Transhumanist Icon

This is one of my favorite things ever. It's Hannibal Lecter: Transhumanist Icon @, written by Roger Williams, author of The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect.

In certain circles you hear the word Transhumanism a lot lately. This is the idea that new technologies will make people so intelligent, powerful, healthy, and long-lived that we will not be merely human any more; we will transcend what is commonly called the "human condition" and become something more like gods.Of course it's very difficult to imagine what it would be like to become something so much better and different than ourselves. But it's also an old dream of ours, and some of our brightest thinkers have tried to imagine it for us. Come with me on a slightly different reading of a character you've probably already met: One of the most well known and yet clearly transhuman characters in modern literature is Hannibal Lecter, the serial killer who has now appeared in three novels by Thomas Harris.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

1974 film about super hive intelligence, Phase IV

The film, Phase IV, on youtube.

From wikipedia:
Due to some unknown cosmic event, listed in "phases", ants have undergone rapid evolution and developed a hive mind. A scientific team begins investigating strange towers and geometrically perfect designs that the ants have started building in the desert. The ant colony and the scientific team, along with a rural family, make war with each other, with the ants being the more effective aggressors. The narrative uses the scientific team as the mainprotagonists, but also has an ant "heroine" going about her duties in the colony. The film concludes with the last of the cosmic "phases," Phase IV, which promises a new future for all life on Earth.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Tadeusz Wieslaw Zawidzki (2012). Trans-Human Cognitive Enhancement, Phenomenal Consciousness and the Extended Mind. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 4 (01):215-.
Drawing on Charles Stross's recent trans-humanist, science fiction novel, Accelerando, I argue that phenomenology can play an important supplementary role in arguments for the hypothesis of extended cognition — the view that the mind might sometimes extend beyond the skull. In their initial arguments for this hypothesis Clark and Chalmers [Clark, A. and Chalmers, D. [1998] "The extended mind," Analysis 58(1), 7–19], deliberately downplay the role of phenomenology, emphasizing third person, functionalist reasons for it. However, passages from Stross's novel suggest that feasible, extra-cranial cognitive technology will have dramatic effects on phenomenology. Such "trans-human" phenomenology will likely eliminate intuitive resistance to the hypothesis of extended cognition, thereby supporting functionalist arguments for it. Although this is not sufficient to establish that consciousness itself might extend beyond the skull, I also argue that any view on which consciousness supervenes on the functional properties of the nervous system, like Chalmers, D. [1996] The Conscious Mind (Oxford University Press, New York) and Baars, B. [1988] A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK); Baars, B. [1997]In the Theatre of Consciousness (Oxford University Press, New York); Baars, B. [2002] The conscious access hypothesis: Origins and recent evidence, Trends in Cognitive Science 6, 47–52; Baars, B. [2003] How brain reveals mind: Neuroimaging supports the central role of conscious experience, Journal of Consciousness Studies 10, 100–114, must accept this possibility.


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