Transvision 2014

My talk from TransVision 2014 is now up:

Indeed, all of the talks are there – thanks!

Some talks of note: Gabriel Dorthe’s talk introduced a nice taxonomy/map of transhumanism along the axes argumentation/fantasy and experimentation/speculation. It goes well together with James Hughes’ talk (not up when I write this) where he mapped out the various transhumanisms. David Wood gave a talk where he clearly mapped out concerns about inequality; not sure I agree with all parts, but it was a good overall structure for thinking.

Laurent Alexandre made a great talk where among other things he pointed out how medical ethics may be dead (in the Nietzschean ‘God is dead’ sense) and being replaced by code. Francesco Paolo Adorno argued that immortality and politics are opposed; I disagreed rather profoundly, but it is a good talk to start a conversation from. Marina Maestrutti gave a talk about the shift in transhumanism from a happy cyborg to pessimistic virtue-culturing: she has a good point, and I share some of the misgivings about the moral enhancement project, yet I do think the “xrisk is paramount” argument does hold water and might force us to be a bit less happy-go-lucky about emerging tech. Vincent Billard gave a talk about why to become posthuman; I think he is short-selling the arguments in the transhumanist literature and overstating how good anti-enhancement arguments are, but his use of David Benatars arguments that it may have been better to never have been born to (through an act of philosophical jiu-jitsu) argue in favor of posthumanity made me cheer!

Maël le Mées demonstration of the comfort organs from the Benway Institute was hilarious.

We have gone a long way with the conference from 20 guys in a hotel cellar in Weesp.