Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's Wrong with Transhumanism? Massimo Pigliucci vs. Mike Treder

Saturday, May 8 at 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Centre for Inquiry Ontario, 216 Beverley St., Toronto ON (just south of College St. at St. George St.)

What's Wrong with Transhumanism? Massimo Pigliucci vs. Mike Treder

We haven't had a meetup in quite some time, so here's the plan for May 8, 5:00 - 7:00pm EST

We'll watch this video together and then have our own discussion:

Science Saturday: What’s Wrong With Transhumanism?
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/26683

It focuses on the following topics:

Is transhumanism fatally optimistic? (06:10)
Massimo’s ethical qualms with life extension (12:21)
The dangers of rapid technological advance (03:21)
Massimo vs. Mike on whether it’s possible to upload your mind (10:44)
Is the Turing Test a behaviorist blunder? (15:44)
Pesky limitations imposed by human biology (07:15)

The debaters are the following
Mike Treder, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Massimo Pigliucci, City University of NY–Lehman College, Rationally Speaking

I thought this was appropriate as its billed as "Science Saturday" which fits in with our Toronto Transhumanist Meetups, part of Science and Skepticism Saturdays at the Centre for Inquiry.

Hope to see you all there!
Justin

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Noosphere - The Future is Open: Intro to a New Project by TTA Members + Discussion on the Internet and the Emerging Global Superorganism

Saturday, June 13 at 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Centre for Inquiry Ontario, 216 Beverley St., Toronto ON (just south of College St. at St. George St.)

TTA members will share a new project they are working on, and then lead a discussion on its implications.

"Noosphere’s aim is to accelerate an integrated worldview towards critical mass by opening a medium where people can see what happens when they are empowered by each other."

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We all want to live in a better world, and many among us are working to make that world a possibility. Improvement is achieved through ideation, innovation, cultivation and application of solutions to problems. However, due to the blindingly complex nature of the problems we currently face, equally sophisticated solutions are required. These solutions are beyond the realm of any one person or small group of people. It is the globe that faces these problems and thus it is the global mind that must develop matching solutions.

There are now more links between locations on the internet than there are synapses in a single human brain. The internet has reached into every facet of human life,
and as a result is now steering the course of history. Over a billion and a half individuals have access to the internet with user growth skyrocketing in the developing world. The internet represents the pinnacle of thousands of years of technological development, and as such, it the most capable and sophisticated tool ever developed by humankind.

As the internet accelerates ever faster into development, it seems to affirm rather than conflict with human identity. It connects us in very real and personal ways to other human beings. With the internet’s higher potential now truly beginning to reveal itself, an opportunity is presented to forge a network which interconnects those who improve our world. We now have the means and the wisdom to implement a system that fosters world-changing collaboration amongst the people of this planet. Noosphere will be that system.

We are, without question, living in the most exciting time in human history. At no point since the dawn of language has this great adventure we call the human condition
ever been so electric. Human potential continues to expand as technology continues to bring awareness to the great diversity of our knowledge and understanding, the peoples of earth are beginning to awaken, en masse, to our true inner nature and our integrated relationship with the world around us.

Yet as the world wakes up to its inseparable oneness, we still see an escalating chaos. Fears of terrorism and governmental paranoia run high, global economic collapse looms eerily on the horizon, and of course the earth herself is exhibiting the symptoms of ailing health. If we were to put these events in the context of a history book, one might argue that the world in 2009 resembles a lead up to global catastrophe.

We are now at a crossroads. Despite all the endless information at our fingertips, we are unable to predict the future. There comes a point when every new and competing idea is put to a test. If that idea is to be successful it must reach a critical mass.

Noosphere’s aim is to accelerate an integrated worldview towards critical mass by opening a medium where people can see what happens when they are empowered by each other.

We believe our work has direct implications for the transhumanist movement and expect our topic will spark discussion about an emerging global superorganism.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Upcoming TTA Event - Survivability and the Fermi Paradox

SURVIVABILITY AND THE FERMI PARADOX

Saturday, May 9th at 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Centre for Inquiry Ontario, 216 Beverley St., Toronto ON (just south of College St. at St. George St.)

Why haven't we heard from extraterrestrial intelligence...and what does that silence say about our prospects for survival?

The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations. (wikipedia)

Join us for a discussion on possible solutions to the Fermi paradox and how searches for extraterrestrial intelligence may help us ponder questions about our own long term existence.

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Meetups are hosted by the Toronto Transhumanist Association (http://toronto.transhumanism.com/). They take place the second Saturday of each month, 5-7pm. They alternate between presentations and interactive discussions. Those interested are invited - though not obliged - to join the Facebook and/or Meetup groups

At the Toronto Transhumanist Association, we aim to get more people thinking about the future, inspire people into assuming a proactive and participatory role in its creation and build, lead and support an informed movement for positive change. Discussions will revolve around transhumanism-related topics like nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, life extension, and the emerging global superorganism. You do not have to be a self-proclaimed transhumanist to join our meetups.

Meetups will take place at the Centre for Inquiry Ontario (http://www.cfiontario.org), the first venue in Canada dedicated to promoting reason, science and free inquiry in all areas of human endeavour.

The purpose of these meetup is:

1. To spark discussion on transhumanism-related topics for anyone interested in topics like nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, life extension, and the emerging global superorganism.

2. To serve as a social milieu for those calling themselves transhumanists

3. To drum up leadership for renewing the Toronto Transhumanist Association

All those interested in transhumanism, not just self proclaimed transhumanists are invited to our events.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Upcoming TTA Event - Philosophy & Science of the Matrix: Part 2 on Science

PHILOSOPHY & SCIENCE OF THE MATRIX: PART 2 ON SCIENCE

Saturday, February 14th at 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Centre for Inquiry Ontario, 216 Beverley St., Toronto ON (just south of College St. at St. George St.)

Two Toronto Transhumanist Association Meetups will discuss the philosophy and science behind the popular Matrix trilogy. All Transhumanist meetups are public events.

On Saturday, January 10, 2009 we will screen "Return to Source: The Philosophy of The Matrix" which is an hour long discussion on the philosophical elements of the movie. We will then hold a round table discussion.

On Saturday, February 14, 2009, we will screen "The Hard Problem: the Science Behind the Fiction", which is an hour long discussion of the science of the films and its possibilities for a real life Matrix. We will then hold a round table discussion.

Both these films are from Disc 8 of The Ultimate Matrix Collection (The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions/ The Animatrix) (2003) called "The Roots of the Matrix." They are both stand alone events.

Whether you're a fan of the films or just interested in the implications of the possibility of simulating a virtual reality universe, you won't want to miss these events.

***********************************************************************

Meetups are hosted by the Toronto Transhumanist Association (http://toronto.transhumanism.com/). They take place the second Saturday of each month, 5-7pm. They alternate between presentations and interactive discussions. Those interested are invited - though not obliged - to join the Facebook and/or Meetup groups

At the Toronto Transhumanist Association, we aim to get more people thinking about the future, inspire people into assuming a proactive and participatory role in its creation and build, lead and support an informed movement for positive change. Discussions will revolve around transhumanism-related topics like nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, life extension, and the emerging global superorganism. You do not have to be a self-proclaimed transhumanist to join our meetups.

Meetups will take place at the Centre for Inquiry Ontario (http://www.cfiontario.org), the first venue in Canada dedicated to promoting reason, science and free inquiry in all areas of human endeavour.

The purpose of these meetup is:

1. To spark discussion on transhumanism-related topics for anyone interested in topics like nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, life extension, and the emerging global superorganism.

2. To serve as a social milieu for those calling themselves transhumanists

3. To drum up leadership for renewing the Toronto Transhumanist Association

All those interested in transhumanism, not just self proclaimed transhumanists are invited to our events.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Upcoming TTA Event - Philosophy & Science of the Matrix: Part 1 on Philosophy

PHILOSOPHY & SCIENCE OF THE MATRIX: PART 1 ON PHILOSOPHY

Saturday, January 10th at 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Centre for Inquiry Ontario, 216 Beverley St., Toronto, ON (just south of College St. at St. George St.)

Two Toronto Transhumanist Association Meetups will discuss the philosophy and science behind the popular Matrix trilogy. All Transhumanist meetups are public events.

On Saturday, January 10, 2009 we will screen "Return to Source: The Philosophy of The Matrix" which is an hour long discussion on the philosophical elements of the movie. We will then hold a round table discussion.

On Saturday, February 14, 2009, we will screen "The Hard Problem: the Science Behind the Fiction", which is an hour long discussion of the science of the films and its possibilities for a real life Matrix. We will then hold a round table discussion.

Both these films are from Disc 8 of The Ultimate Matrix Collection (The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions/ The Animatrix) (2003) called "The Roots of the Matrix."

Whether you're a fan of the films or just interested in the implications of the possibility of simulating a virtual reality universe, you won't want to miss these events.

***********************************************************************

Meetups are hosted by the Toronto Transhumanist Association (http://toronto.transhumanism.com/). They take place the second Saturday of each month, 5-7pm. They alternate between presentations and interactive discussions. Those interested are invited - though not obliged - to join the Facebook and/or Meetup groups

Meetups will revolve around the resources provided on www.betterhumans.com. Betterhumans is an online community of forward thinkers dedicated to discussing, celebrating and creating the future. Through the facilitation and aggregation of informative and provocative content and the creation and application of enabling communications technology, we aim to get more people thinking about the future, inspire people into assuming a proactive and participatory role in its creation and build, lead and support an informed movement for positive change. The Editor-in-Chief is Toronto-based George Dvorsky who will be a frequent contributor to our meetups. Discussions will revolve around transhumanism-related topics like nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, life extension, and the emerging global superorganism. you do not have to be a self-proclaimed transhumanist to join our meetups. We will view a video or read an article based on http://www.betterhumans.com and engage in a topical discussion. In regular attendance will be George Dvorsky, President of the Toronto Transhumanist Association and Editor-in-Chief of www.betterhumans.com

Meetups will take place at the Centre for Inquiry Ontario (http://www.cfiontario.org), the first venue in Canada dedicated to promoting reason, science and free inquiry in all areas of human endeavour.

The purpose of these meetup is:

1. To spark discussion on transhumanism-related topics for anyone interested in topics like nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, life extension, and the emerging global superorganism.

2. To serve as a social milieu for those calling themselves transhumanists

3. To drum up leadership for renewing the Toronto Transhumanist Association

All those interested in transhumanism, not just self proclaimed transhumanists are invited to our events.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Transhumanist Meetup - Democracy in danger: Catastrophic threats and the rise of political extremism

Transhumanist Meetup - Democracy in danger: Catastrophic threats and the rise of political extremism

Saturday, December 13th at 5:00 pm
Location: Centre for Inquiry Ontario, 216 Beverley St, Toronto ON (just south of College St. at St. George St.)

A free public 30-minute presentation by George Dvorsky, followed by a Q & A and discussion.

Summary: An examination of the role that existential and catastrophic risks will have in influencing the rise of political extremism and the potential for extremism to:

* emerge and play a pivotal role in future geopolitics and human organization
* erode democratic institutions and ideals
* facilitate or instigate catastrophes (either through influence, action or inaction)
* prevent catastrophes and help with disaster recovery
* represent existential risks unto themselves

Note: George performed this talk at the recent symposium put on by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies called: Global Catastrophic Risks: Building a Resilient Civilization. The event was held on Nov. 14 in Sunnyvale, California at the Computer History Museum.

Stick around for the Centre for Inquiry's Science Fiction Film Screening evening, featuring "Kin-dza-dza"
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/ontario/events/science_fiction_movie_night_kin_dza_dza/

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No TTA meeting this coming Saturday Oct. 11

There will be no TTA meeting this coming Saturday Oct. 11. Instead, we are planning a group outing to see the Bill Maher film, Religious. Stay tuned for more details in the coming days.