Rational Lies: A Theater For Heroism
Civilization & Culture = Live Action Role-Playing Theater
The Denial of Death Chapters 1&2 source: Arete Foundation
Civilization: An Elaborate Belief Based Defense System
"The basic premise of The Denial of Death is that human civilization is ultimately an elaborate, symbolic defense mechanism against the knowledge of our mortality, which in turn acts as the emotional and intellectual response to our basic survival mechanism. Becker argues that a basic duality in human life exists between the physical world of objects and a symbolic world of human meaning. Thus, since humanity has a dualistic nature consisting of a physical self and a symbolic self, we are able to transcend the dilemma of mortality through heroism, by focusing our attention mainly on our symbolic selves. This symbolic self-focus takes the form of an individual's "immortality project" (or "causa sui project"), which is essentially a symbolic belief-system that ensures oneself is believed superior to physical reality. By successfully living under the terms of the immortality project, people feel they can become heroic and, henceforth, part of something eternal; something that will never die as compared to their physical body. This, in turn, gives people the feeling that their lives have meaning, a purpose, and are significant in the grand scheme of things.
Becker argues that the arbitrariness of human-invented immortality projects makes them naturally prone to conflict. When one immortality project conflicts with another, it is essentially an accusation of 'wrongness of life', and so sets the context for both aggressive and defensive behavior. Each party will want to prove its belief system is superior, a better way of life. Thus these immortality projects are considered a fundamental driver of human conflict, such as in wars, bigotry, genocide, and racism.
Another theme running throughout the book is that humanity's traditional "hero-systems", such as religion, are no longer convincing in the age of reason. Science attempts to serve as an immortality project, something that Becker believes it can never do, because it is unable to provide agreeable, absolute meanings to human life. The book states that we need new convincing "illusions" that enable us to feel heroic in ways that are agreeable. Becker, however, does not provide any definitive answer, mainly because he believes that there is no perfect solution. Instead, he hopes that gradual realization of humanity's innate motivations, namely death, can help to bring about a better world."
"Mental illness: From this premise, mental illness is described as opposite, dysfunctional extremes in one's relationship with their own immortality project."
"Depression: At one extreme, people experiencing depression have the sense that their immortality project is failing. They either begin to think the immortality project is false, or feel unable to successfully be a hero in terms of that immortality project. As a result, they are consistently reminded of their mortality, biological body, and feelings of worthlessness.
Schizophrenia: At the other extreme, Becker describes schizophrenia as being when someone becomes so obsessed with their personal immortality project that they altogether deny the nature of all other realities. The schizophrenic creates their own internal, mental reality in which they define and control all purposes, truths, and meanings. This makes them pure heroes, living in a mental reality that is taken as superior to both physical and cultural realities.
Creativity: Like the schizophrenic, creative and artistic individuals deny both physical reality and culturally-endorsed immortality projects, expressing a need to create their own reality. The primary difference is that creative individuals have talents that allow them to create and express a reality that others may appreciate, rather than simply constructing an internal, mental reality."
The Role of The Artist As Myth Maker & Cultural Curator
"We instinctively know this. Imagine society without the civilising influence of the arts and you'll have to strip out what is most pleasurable in life – and much that is educationally vital. Take the collective memory from our museums; remove the bands from our schools and choirs from our communities; lose the empathetic plays and dance from our theatres or the books from our libraries; expunge our festivals, literature and painting, and you're left with a society bereft of a national conversation … about its identity or anything else."
Capital Domes Inspire Spires
"Have you ever wondered why architecture is so important for the society we live in? Architecture is the art that provide us the physical environment we live in. It is a deep expression of human civilization in a particular era and it will endure and outlive us in forms of monuments that future generations will study and strive to understand. All architects represent a great force in our society because architecture is as well an expression of the strengths of the society as well as their technological progress. Architecture is a form of visual art that creates irrevocable works. Human value this art so much because it’s a permanent expression of the society values, desires, ways of thinking and ideals, ideology and many other things in a fixed point in time. It is like a reflection in the mirror, a way society sees itself as well as how it sees the environment, nature and finally, this world."
"Symbolically, spires have two functions. Traditionally, one has been to proclaim a martial power of religion. A spire, with its reminiscence of the spear point, gives the impression of strength. The second is to reach up toward the skies. The celestial and hopeful gesture of the spire is one reason for its association with religious buildings. A spire on a church or cathedral is not just a symbol of piety, but is often seen as a symbol of the wealth and prestige of the order, or patron who commissioned the building."
The 21st Century Brave New World: A Spectrum of Social Media Enhanced Identity Products Are Offered To All
You Can Virtually Assume Whatever Social Role You Desire
In our artificially constructed world of augmented mentality, peer reviewed products trump true demonstrable natural principle after all.
1 + 1 = 45 & Mother Nature Can Be Ignored
Your body itself is now a work of art and commercial product of sorts.
Liberty is Slavery and Slavery is Freedom!
We are naturally born into a world of binary gender. In order to alter this fundamental fact we would need to rely on technology and in doing so we become slaves to a very artificially contrived system. Hormonal therapy and numerous operations are examples of this kind of unnatural dependance that results from attempting to reimagine natural reality in favor of some kind of strange political vision of a genderless future for humanity.
"Postgenderism is a social, political and cultural movement which arose from the eroding of the cultural, biological, psychological and social role of gender, and an argument for why the erosion of binary gender will be liberatory.
Postgenderists argue that gender is an arbitrary and unnecessary limitation on human potential, and foresee the elimination of involuntary biological and psychological gendering in the human species as a result of social and cultural evolution and through the application of neurotechnology, biotechnologyand assistive reproductive technologies.
Advocates of postgenderism argue that the presence of gender roles, social stratification, and cogno-physical disparities and differences are generally to the detriment of individuals and society. Given the radical potential for advanced assistive reproductive options, postgenderists believe that sex for reproductive purposes will either become obsolete, or that all post-gendered humans will have the ability, if they so choose, to both carry a pregnancy to term and 'father' a child, which, postgenderists believe, would have the effect of eliminating the need for definite genders in such a society."
The 911 on Terror: Why The News Pushes Fear Porn & Transgender Memes
"In social psychology, terror management theory (TMT) proposes a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live, but realizing that death is inevitable. This conflict produces terror, and this terror is then managed by embracing cultural values, or symbolic systems that act to provide life with meaning and value."
"Many people are more motivated by social pressures, rather than health risks. Specifically for younger people, mortality salience is stronger in eliciting changes of one's behavior when it brings awareness to the immediate loss of social status or position, rather than a loss, such as death that one can not imagine and feels far off. However, there are many different factors to take into consideration, such as how strongly an individual feels toward a decision, their level of self-esteem, and the situation around them. Particularly with people's smoking behaviors, self-esteem and mortality salience have different effects on individuals' decisions. In terms of the longevity of their smoking decisions, it has been seen that individuals' smoking habits are affected, in the short-term sense, when they are exposed to mortality salience that interrelates with their own self-esteem. Moreover, people who viewed social exclusion prompts were more likely to quit smoking in the long run than those who were simply shown health-effects of smoking More specifically, it was demonstrated that when individuals had high levels of self-esteem they were more likely to quit smoking following the social pressure messages, rather than the health risk messages In this specific instance, terror management, and specifically mortality salience is showing how people are more motivated by the social pressures and consequences in their environment, rather than consequences relating to their health. This is mostly seen in young adult smokers with higher smoking-based self-esteems who are not thinking of their future health and the less-immediate affects of smoking on their health."
The Rise of Terror Drive In Dream Theater
"What sort of society embraces a program of corporate-financed mutilation and drug dependency posing as spiritual emancipation and individual empowerment? One that is made up of traumatized and fragmented individuals who can’t tell the difference between wholeness and fragmentation, and who prefer to get behind technology that allows for the effective suppression of all fragments that interfere with the will of the fragment most driven–or socially empowered–to create its own reality. The fragment that chooses to reign in hell, rather than serve in heaven."
MILES & MILES OF MINDLESS BEINGS
"Living To Die"
A MINDLESS CULTURE ~ ALAN WATTS source: Wiara
The Destruction of Life
"Crowd psychology, also known as mob psychology, is a branch of social psychology. Social psychologists have developed several theories for explaining the ways in which the psychology of a crowd differs from and interacts with that of the individuals within it. Major theorists in crowd psychology include Gustave Le Bon, Gabriel Tarde, Sigmund Freud, and Steve Reicher. This field relates to the behaviors and thought processes of both the individual crowd members and the crowd as an entity. Crowd behavior is heavily influenced by the loss of responsibility of the individual and the impression of universality of behavior, both of which increase with the size of the crowd."
Welcome To The Post Logic Age: Nature is Unnatural Now
"In the 1970 book The Dialectic of Sex, radical feminist Shulamith Firestone wrote that differences in biological reproductive roles are a source of gender inequality. Firestone singled out pregnancy and childbirth, making the argument that an artificial womb would free "women from the tyranny of their reproductive biology".
The False Dialectic of Postgenderism
"Postgenderism as a cultural phenomenon has roots in feminism, masculism, along with the androgyny, metrosexual/technosexual and transgender movements. However, it has been through the application of transhumanistphilosophy that postgenderists have conceived the potential for actual morphological changes to the members of the human species and how future humans in a postgender society will reproduce. In this sense, it is an offshoot of transhumanism, post humanism, and futurism.
One of the earliest expressions of postgenderism was Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex. It argues,
[The] end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. (A reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality Freud's 'polymorphous perversity'—would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.) The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would born to both sexes equally, or independently of. either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally. "
"Another important and influential work in this regard was socialist feminist Donna Haraway's essay, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century", in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991), pp. 149–181. In this work, Haraway is interpreted as arguing that women would only be freed from their biological restraints when their reproductive obligations were dispensed with. This may be viewed as Haraway expressing belief that women will only achieve true liberation once they become postbiological organisms, or postgendered. However, Haraway has publicly stated that their use of the word "post-gender" has been grossly misinterpreted."
"Postgenderists are not exclusively advocates of androgyny, although most believe that a "mixing" of both masculine and feminine traits is desirable—essentially the creation of androgynous individuals who exhibit the best of what males and females have to offer in terms of physical and psychological abilities and proclivities. Just what these traits are exactly is a matter of great debate and conjecture.
Postgenderism is not concerned solely with the physical sex or its assumed traits. It is focused on the idea of eliminating or moving beyond gendered identities. In a traditional gender construct one is either a man or woman , but in postgenderism one is neither a man nor woman nor any other assumed gender role. Thus an individual in society is not reduced to a gender role but is simply an agent of humanity who is to be defined (if at all) by one's actions.
However, not all postgenderists are against the existence of gender roles in some form; some only argue for the deemphasization of gender roles. People in this form of postgender world would be able to identify as a gender if they decided to, but identifying as one would not be mandatory, and gender roles would have little bearing on how people actually act or are treated in society.
In regard to potential assistive reproductive technologies, it is believed that reproduction can continue to happen outside of conventional methods, namely intercourse and artificial insemination. Advances such as human cloning, parthenogenesis and artificial wombs may significantly extend the potential for human reproduction.
Many argue that posthuman space will be more virtual than real. Individuals may consist of uploaded minds living as data patterns on supercomputers or users engaged in completely immersive virtual realities. Postgenderists contend that these types of existences are not gender-specific thus allowing individuals to morph their virtual appearances and sexuality at will.
Postgenderists maintain that a genderless society does not imply the existence of a species uninterested in sex and sexuality. It is thought that sexual relations and interpersonal intimacy can and will exist in a postgendered future, but that those activities may take on different form. Postgenderism, however, is not directly concerned with the physical action of sex or with sexuality.
In the 1970 book The Dialectic of Sex, radical feminist Shulamith Firestone wrote that differences in biological reproductive roles are a source of gender inequality. Firestone singled out pregnancy and childbirth, making the argument that an artificial womb would free "women from the tyranny of their reproductive biology". "
An ironic mythology is born.
Cyborg Manifesto - AudioZine Pt 1 source: Resonance Audio
Culture vs Biology
"One major set of philosophical themes concerns competing conceptions of the self and its relation to the sexed body and to gender. (Biological sex is often distinguished from gender, taken as the cultural roles assigned on the basis of sex). Is the self prior to the institution of gender identity? Is sex the “hardware” on which the program of gender is run, or is sex itself thoroughly cultural? If the self is irrevocably immersed in cultural gender, how is resistance to gender oppression possible at all? Moreover, how should answers to these questions inform feminist politics and theory? How should they inform trans politics and theory?"
"In the early first part of the twentieth century, European scientists began to experiment with “sex-change” (Meyerowitz 2002, 16–21). By 1953, media sensation Christine Jorgensen had become the first “celebrity” MTF transsexual in the United States and scientific controversy heated over whether transsexuality was a psychological or physical condition (Meyerowitz 2002). While the former position (then dominant in the U.S.) held that trans phenomena were purely psychological in nature and ought to be treated psychotherapeutically to “cure the mental illness”, the latter (European model) held a “bisexuality theory” which maintained that there was a physical blend of male and female in all human beings and that special cases yielded a “mixed-sex” condition which in some cases justified surgical intervention (Meyerowitz 2002, 98–129)
Work by John Money, Joan Hampson, and John Hampson on intersexuality (the state of having both female and male biological characteristics) led to the introduction of the technical term gender (1955). They purported to evade the debate between psychology and biology, arguing that while the capacity to learn a gender role and orientation (like a language) was biologically grounded, the specific native role and orientation learned (like language) was contingent upon social environment which became “locked down” at a very early age (1957). Subsequently, the expression gender identity was coined by Robert Stoller and Ralph Greenson in 1964, which helped terminologically separate the notion of social role from psychological sense-of-self. It was ultimately taken up by the likes of Money and Harry Benjamin (Meyerowitz 2002, 117–9), and while debate over etiology continued, views allowing for both biology and social environment in determining gender identity gained somewhat greater prominence (Meyerowitz 2002, 119). Notably, in these views, gender identity is a biological demand to the extent that the capacity for gender identity (as the capacity for language) is viewed as innate. Such a view would seem to suggest that gender, like language, is integral to the human self.
In 1966, Benjamin published the landmark The Transsexual Phenomenon and that same year saw the opening of the Johns Hopkins University program for sex-reassignment surgery, ushering in a period of large university-based gender-identity clinics which lasted until the end of the seventies. By the closing of Johns Hopkins in 1979, the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association (since renamed The World Health Professional Association for Transgender Health or WPATH) had been formed and had approved standardized criteria for the treatment of transsexuals. A year later, transsexualism was added to the DSM.
Notably, until the early nineties, the vehicle by which transsexuals wrote about their own experiences was largely autobiography. Some examples of these include Canary Conn's The Story of a Transsexual (1977), Mario Mario's Emergence: A Transsexual Autobiography(1977), and Jan Morris' Conundrum: An Extraordinary Narrative of Transsexualism (1986)"
"Many of the earliest non-trans feminist perspectives on transsexuals were marked by hostility. One of the first examples of non-trans feminist reactions to trans women was the expulsion of Beth Elliott from the Daughters of Bilitis and the subsequent controversy over her participation in 1973 in the West Coast Lesbian Conference in Los Angeles (Stryker 2008). At the conference, Robin Morgan charged Elliot, “as an opportunist, an infiltrator, and a destroyer—with the mentality of a rapist” (Morgan 1978, 181). This theme of “violation” can also be found in Mary Daly's Gyn/Ecology (1978, 71). It is more thoroughly elaborated in Janice Raymond's The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male (1979) where she writes :
All transsexuals rape women's bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves. However, the transsexually constructed lesbian-feminist violates women's sexuality and spirit, as well. Rape, although it is usually done by force, can also be accomplished by deception.
The thesis that MTF transsexuals are rapists because they appropriate women's bodies to themselves or through deception is difficult to assess since no arguments seem to have been given in its defense. However it will be worth trying to push such extreme representations to the side in order to isolate the core assumptions which ground Raymond's position as well as to appreciate her feminist critique of transsexuality as a medical phenomenon."
Feminist Posthumanist Theory
"A Cyborg Manifesto is an essay written by Donna Haraway and published in 1984. In it, the concept of the cyborg is a rejection of rigid boundaries, notably those separating "human" from "animal" and "human" from "machine." She writes: "The cyborg does not dream of community on the model of the organic family, this time without the oedipal project. The cyborg would not recognize the Garden of Eden; it is not made of mud and cannot dream of returning to dust."
The Manifesto criticizes traditional notions of feminism, particularly feminist focuses on identity politics, and encouraging instead coalition through affinity. She uses the metaphor of a cyborg to urge feminists to move beyond the limitations of traditional gender, feminism, and politics; consequently, the "Manifesto" is considered one of the milestones in the development of feminist posthumanist theory."
"Haraway begins the Manifesto by explaining three boundary breakdowns since the 20th Century that have allowed for her hybrid, cyborg myth: the breakdown of boundaries between human and animal, animal-human and machine, and physical and non-physical. Evolution has blurred the lines between human and animal; 20th Century machines have made ambiguous the lines between natural and artificial; and microelectronics and the political invisibility of cyborgs have confused the lines of physicality."
"Haraway's cyborg theory rejects the notions of essentialism, proposing instead a chimeric, monstrous world of fusions between animal and machine. Cyborg theory relies on writing as "the technology of cyborgs," and asserts that "cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly, the central dogma of phallogocentrism." Instead, Haraway’s cyborg calls for a non-essentialized, material-semiotic metaphor capable of uniting diffuse political coalitions along the lines of affinity rather than identity. Following Lacanian feminists such as Luce Irigaray, Haraway’s work addresses the chasm between feminist discourses and the dominant language of Western patriarchy. As Haraway explains, “grammar is politics by other means,” and effective politics require speaking in the language of domination.
As she details in a chart of the paradigmatic shifts from modern to postmodern epistemology within the Manifesto, the unified human subject of identity has shifted to the hybridized posthuman of technoscience, from “representation” to “simulation,” “bourgeois novel” to “science fiction,” “reproduction” to “replication,” and “white capitalist patriarchy” to “informatics of domination.” While Haraway’s “ironic dream of a common language” is inspired by Irigaray’s argument for a discourse other than patriarchy, she rejects Irigaray’s essentializing construction of woman-as-not-male to argue for a linguistic community of situated, partial knowledges in which no one is innocent."
"Haraway calls for a revision of the concept of gender, moving away from Western patriarchal essentialism and toward "the utopian dream of the hope for a monstrous world without gender," stating that "Cyborgs might consider more seriously the partial, fluid, sometimes aspect of sex and sexual embodiment. Gender might not be global identity after all, even if it has profound historical breadth and depth."
"Haraway also calls for a reconstruction of identity, no longer dictated by naturalism and taxonomy but instead by affinity, wherein individuals can construct their own groups by choice. In this way, groups may construct a "post-modernist identity out of otherness, difference, and specificity" as a way to counter Western traditions of exclusive identification."
A Possible Cyber Future For All
Humanity would seem to be heading towards a very inhuman mechanized destiny.
True humanity might be replaced by systematized, programmed, manufactured, zombie minds. Will humanity become even more dependent on computer based systems?
How much of the technology we hear about is just fiction and how much of it is actual fact?
Artificial Intelligence(AI):Blurring Lines Between Humans and Machines source: Artificial Intelligence A.I.
"Published on Jul 5, 2017
For decades, futurists and science fiction writers predicted that smart machines would someday rival the intelligence of humans. Now, their forecasts seem to be coming true. Artificial intelligence, or AI, already exceeds human capability in certain fields. Machines can send and receive signals and analyze vast quantities of data faster than humans. They have learned to drive cars, manage stock portfolios and, through personal assistants such as Siri and Alexa, talk to us. In the not-so-distant future, AI may even augment our own brain functions. But as with all revolutions, the potential of AI raises concerns. Among the biggest: Some worry that that its growing capability may trigger the largest labor displacement since the Great Depression. This panel will explore the many ways artificial intelligence will shape our workforce, culture and institutions in the years to come."
Artificial Intel: Science or Fantasy?
We already live under a system of robotic thinking. Will actual computer technology merge with our physiologies? Will humanity truly merge with the machine?
"Debunking the biggest myths about artificial intelligence"
"From killer robots, to runaway sentience, there's a lot of FUD that needs clearing up."
"The concept of inhuman intelligence goes back to the deep prehistory of mankind. At first the province of gods, demons, and spirits, it transferred seamlessly into the interlinked worlds of magic and technology. Ancient Greek myths had numerous robots, made variously by gods or human inventors, while extant artefacts like the Antikythera calendrical computer show that even in 200 BCE we could build machinery that usefully mimicked human intellectual abilities.
There has been no age or civilisation without a popular concept of artificial intelligence (AI). Ours, however, is the first where the genuine article—machinery that comfortably exceeds our own thinking skills—is not only possible but achievable. It should not be a surprise, then, that our ideas of what that actually means and what will actually happen are hopelessly coloured by cultural assumptions ancient and modern.
We rarely get it right: Kubrick’s 2001 saw HAL 9000 out-thinking highly trained astronauts to murderous effect; Bill Gates’ 2001 gave us Clippy, which was more easily dealt with.
Now, with AI a multi-billion dollar industry seeping into our phones, businesses, cars, and homes, it’s time to bust some of the most important AI myths and dip into some reality."
"Ironically, many failed AI projects—machine translation in the early 1960s, initial neural networks in the later 1960s, speech recognition in the 1970s, “expert systems” that codified business knowledge in the 1980s—have become realities through the development of cloud computing that couples very large amounts of computation with very large data sets. This commercially driven infrastructure, built for prosaic business reasons rather than ostensible advancement of AI, argues for gradual development in sync with utility."
Imagine a world where Google-Glass™ is built in to your "DNA"!
The real world could then become one huge virtual reality game for all.
Will humanity become further enslaved to inhuman systems?
The Rise of The Machine Hive Mind
"Of course, there is still the possibility that gender confusion, as a more flamboyant and lurid expression of neurodiversity in general, is something other than, or as well as, a pathological response to a fractured culture and is really a spiritual-alchemical solution to it. But if so, then we might well ask why it is currently feeding into the very same economic and political social engineering programs that most benefit from perpetuating the fragmentation? We might also ask, what is the evolutionary gain of individuals born into the wrong gender body who must then have surgery to fix the mistake? The only systems this seems to benefit are corporate systems of control such as the medical, governmental, and media industry. It’s certainly feasible–likely even–that such anomalies might have something to bring to the species in terms of an experience of dual-sex consciousness inside a single-sex body. Some people have claimed this in relation to Native American beliefs, suggesting a correlation between transsexual types and shaman types. But those early forerunners–if they existed–didn’t have surgery to switch sexes, and surely the point of such an anomalous experience of consciousness is not to switch from one sex to the other, but to find a way to reconcile that tension and allow for the harmonization of masculine and feminine principles within the body? (And anyway, wouldn’t it make more sense for these two-spirit people to be surgically transformed into hermaphrodites?) If we are to believe that Nature/consciousness is attempting to mutate and evolve in some way via this gender confusion, then how exactly is it a good thing for human ingenuity to intervene and “correct” Nature’s experiment by surgically altering the bodies involved? Is it all about proving once again how necessary humans are to get Nature back on track–back towards capitalist expansion, space travel, chemical dependency, and total disembodiment?"
"Transhumanism, little and large, does away with all these annoying questions by bringing it down to a viewpoint in which the body is simply a machine that can be tinkered with however necessary or possible, in order to better suit the needs of its “driver.” But in the absence of a soul-psyche or unconscious self (or Self), who or what is this driver? The answer, once again, is the constructed identity or socialized alter-self. But if this constructed social identity is a fragment of the greater psyche, then on its own terms (as an autonomous, independent self), it’s not even real because it’s only an unconscious vehicle for the greater drives of psyche and body. While it remains unconscious and under the delusion of a separate autonomous existence, its wants and needs cannot be healthy or constructive wants and needs. They are drives rooted in trauma, a fight-or-flight reaction that was so severely and repeatedly triggered in early childhood that it got stuck at the “on” position, until the body armor became the wo/man, the fragment the whole."
"Elon Musk: Humans must merge with machines or become irrelevant in AI age"
"Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence," Musk told an audience at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he also launched Tesla in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)."
"It's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output."
"The technologists proposal would see a new layer of a brain able to access information quickly and tap into artificial intelligence. It's not the first time Musk has spoken about the need for humans to evolve, but it's a constant theme of his talks on how society can deal with the disruptive threat of AI."
Technology To Change The Way We Make Decisions
"Improbable just became the UK's latest $1billion tech startup. The inside story of its insanely ambitious plan to built virtual worlds, change the way we make decisions, and maybe one day build the Matrix."
"On a bright, clear morning in February 2017, a motley group of high-powered individuals from the entertainment, policy and security industries gathered on the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, California. In the middle of the 25-hectare plot, surrounded by large warehouse sets, lies a ghost town: broad streets and pavements, a library, a bank, salon, shopfronts. The buildings are sets for Hollywood films (most recently, 2017’s La La Land). It’s New York, at some point in the recent past, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The subway stairs descend into nothing.
The group – which included the president of a major animation studio, the director of a world-famous superhero franchise, British MPs and senior military staff from both the US and UK – had gathered for a two-day private event held by British startup Improbable. The set was a nod to the theme, “Virtual Worlds” – not virtual reality, with its cumbersome headsets, but rather alternate realities: simulations.
Inside one artificial edifice, Herman Narula, Improbable’s co-founder and CEO, addressed the group. “We’re in a place today where it is actually possible to create artificial realities,” he said. “Not in some abstract sense, but genuine, living, breathing recreations of this one, powered by technology, that allow people to have totally new experiences.” Narula has a boyish face, scruffily cropped hair and stubble; he has the energy levels of a small nuclear reactor, and speaks faster than most people think.
“AI gets all the press,” he said, but, “this idea of recreating reality is going to become something in the public consciousness that’s as important, as significant, as artificial intelligence.”
"AI gets all the press," he said, but "This idea is going to be as important, as significant, as artificial intelligence"
Improbable has yet to reach the profile of British startups like the AI company DeepMind (now a division of Google), but its ambitions are just as lofty. It has raised more than $540 million (£421m) in funding from venture-capital firms including SoftBank, Horizons Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. It has partnered with Google worldwide, and counts the UK and US defence departments among its clients. In May 2017, the company joined the select few British tech startups valued at over $1billion."
"They hired Sam Kalnins, who had developed Hangouts at Google, and Eric Molitor, now Improbable’s VP of engineering, from Amazon. They moved into the London office and funding soon followed: first, from a group of influential British tech investors [Disclaimer: including WIRED editor-at-large David Rowan, who was not involved with this story]. Then, in March 2015, it secured a $20 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz, only its second European investment. “When I first met them, it was a clear that they had something special,” says Vijay Pande, a former Stanford professor who worked on computational biology and distributed simulations prior to joining Andreessen.
“[Herman] is a force of nature,” says Chris Dixon, the managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz who led the investment. “The first time I met him I was like, ‘Woah – what just happened?’ And Rob is brilliant, too.”
'The first time I met Herman I was like, ‘Woah – what just happened?’
With investment secured, Improbable began rapidly expanding. In March 2016, it debuted a working simulation of the internet’s entire underlying infrastructure. The simulation, built with an unnamed department of the UK government, was designed to test what would happen if the web’s routing infrastructure was attacked.
At Google’s Cloud Next conference in March 2017, Narula unveiled an even bigger project: a working mock-up of the city of Cambridge, with 130,000 virtual inhabitants. It included simulations of the traffic and public-transport networks, utilities, power lines and mobile-phone and internet systems. Narula claims the Cambridge simulation is “the largest of its kind ever created”.
“They solved a really difficult technical problem,” says Nan Boden, head of global partnerships at Google Cloud. “The first time I saw it, I said, ‘Wow, that’s some really nice computer science work there.’”
In May 2017, as WIRED went to press, the company announced it had raised $502million in funding from Softbank, valuing it at over a billion dollars."
“Transhumanism and Transgenderism enjoy a close relationship due to mutual interest in enhancement technology.”
–Hank Pellissier, “Transhumanism and Transgenderism”
“Transhumanism and Transgenderism”
"The overlap between transgenderism and transhumanism is fundamental, and because of that it seems to be invisible to many people. I think this overlap between the rejection of gender and the rejection of the body (and therefore of humanness) shows an underlying fabric to modern ideology. This is probably why so many intelligent people support the “trans” movement without really understanding it. With transhumanism, the message is writ large enough that no one can miss it."
The Power of Myth & The Power of The Natural World
Childbirth is the primary rite of passage we all experience. We are part of Nature itself. Social constructed identities filter natural experience.
Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth — The Hero's Adventure source: Eduardo Filipe Freitas