Sunday, February 21, 2016

The (New) Transhumanist Declaration

In February, 2013, TJL-2080 drafted a rewrite of the famous Transhumanist Declaration.  Now, three years later, it is reprinted here as a sort of mission statement for Future/Culture Magazine.™

The Transhumanist Declaration

Preamble: We, the sentient beings of the Planet Earth, in order to form a more perfect society, enhance the human condition, build toward a rational future, and plan for any eventualities, do hereby adopt and abide by this Declaration of Transhumanist Principles.

1 The Twentieth Century was a time of amazing growth and technological advancement. The Twenty-First Century will see these technologies burst forth in an unprecedented fashion. Humanity must adapt to the coming changes or become obsolete. We seek to fulfill our potential by not giving in to our biological limitations. We will use new technologies to enhance our lives, live longer, be smarter, healthier and more compassionate to all beings.

2 All progress is change, but not all change is progress. Humanity has great potential for good, but has sadly shown that it lacks the wisdom to be responsible with new technologies. The right technology in the wrong hands could lead to the loss of everything we hold valuable. We acknowledge these risks and pledge to be wise and responsible with our discoveries.

3 Research into new technologies that could enhance our lives should be carefully deliberated and transparent to all outsiders. The adoption of these new technologies should be universal and fair. We must always be aware of reducing existential risks and promoting beneficial applications of new discoveries. The continued existence of our species, in whatever form it takes, should be our top priority, and all research into these fields should be heavily funded.

4 Our greatest responsibility is not to ourselves, but to our descendants. All social policies, politics, economics, technologies, education, and other important fields must be guided by responsible persons who have shown themselves to have the wisdom to lead in the best interests of the majority of the people. No other considerations shall interfere with this most important belief.

5 We advocate the well-being of all sentient minds. Whether human, non-human, post-human, animal, or artificial, now and hereafter, the sentient mind is the most sacred thing in this vast universe. No sentient mind should ever be subject to pain, despair, prejudice or unwanted attack. Individuals must be allowed personal choice to live their lives as they see fit while not infringing upon the rights of others to do likewise. We favor the ability of a sentient being  to enhance their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves in any way, including life extension therapies, reproductive choice, gender reassignment, body modification, mind-duplication, the right to choose the way in which they die, and any or all other decisions that no other being should be allowed to make for them.

6 This Declaration is not rigid. It will evolve and adapt along with us.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ingress: Augmented Reality For All

By TJL-2080™

Much has already been written about Ingress, the augmented reality "game" from Niantic Labs, formerly a division of Google, that pits "Agents" around the world against each other in a massive game of Capture the Flag. Although it has been around for over three years, and I have been playing for two, I haven't written much about it.

The basic structure of Ingress is that real life points of interest are portals of energy, "Exotic Matter" that seeps into our world from... somewhere, sent by... someone. Aliens? The government? Nobody knows, but the Exotic Matter does things to people. It is somewhat like the pills in "Limitless." People exposed to Exotic Matter become smarter, more creative, and sometimes insane.

Agents choose to play for a team. The Resistance (Blue) feel that Exotic Matter is mind control and a conspiracy. The Enlightened (Green) believe that the Shapers have sent Exotic Matter to enhance humanity and usher in a new era. Whichever faction you choose is your faction for good. It can't be changed. I play for the Enlightened, obviously.

There is a lot of back story and weekly videos are sent to the players to keep them informed of the twists and turns. But the player does not need to be aware of any of this to play Ingress.

The best part is that Ingress can not be played from your couch. Agents need to physically move about in the real world, go to a point of interest and capture it for their team. The app keeps track of kilometers walked and other details and rewards the player with medals and other goodies.

We at Future/Culture love Ingress and the idea that augmented reality is able to bring entire communities of people from around the globe together for a pretty fun game.

Below is a video that describes the game better.

Oh, and choose Enlightened!

TJL-2080™ on Robot Overlordz Podcast

Future/Culture Magazine™ founder TJL-2080™ appeared for the second time on the Robot Overlordz podcast to discuss his ongoing cyborgification and to make a couple of predictions. There was also a discussion of the future of food and even vegan ribs.

Click on this link to download the half-hour show and find other great episodes.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Rebekah Marine - The "Bionic Model"

There has been some buzz lately regarding Rebekah Marine, a model on the runway at NYFW who is turning heads for all the right reasons.  Rebekah was born without the lower part of her right arm.  Outfitted with the latest technology, she has achieved her dreams of modeling and raising public perception of people born with physical disabilities. 

We at Future/Culture have had our eye on Miss Marine for some time and are attempting to get an interview with her.  If and when that happens, we will have it here first.

Until then, you can get to know her a little bit here...

video courtesy of Marine