Silicon Valley’s Transhumanist Movement Uncovered

Fellowship of the Minds

David Gelles from The Futurist has written a very detailed piecethat describes Silicon Valley as the epicenter of a worldwide transhumanist movement.  Gelles’ article is neither pro nor anti transhumanist, but instead is focused on telling us about the history and the players that have shaped this movement from past to present.  The article is a crash course for anyone interested in learning what the transhumanist movement is and who is involved.
At a whopping 20 pages, you really have to be interested in transhumanism to sludge through this article.  For those who don’t want to read the whole thing, here is my take on a short summary:
With an ample supply of wealthy people equipped with strong technical backgrounds and an open mind to new ideas, the transhumanist movement has naturally found its home in Silicon Valley.  Recent advances in technology have taken transhumanist ideas such as radical life extension, immortality, brain uploading and copying, and biological or machine based body enhancement from the realm of crazy to the realm of possible.
Large numbers of smart, successful silicon valley players are joining a transhumanist movement that holds both great promise and great peril for mankind.  Some see transhumanists as forward thinkers at the forefront of change, while others see them as borderline religious fanatics attached to ideas that are dangerous and/or ridiculous.
Major players in the movement are mentioned, including:
Peter Thiel – co-founder and former CEO of PayPal, multi-million dollar donor to transhumanist causes
Robert Ettinger – “The Father of Cryonics”, founder of the Cryonics Institute, Author of famous Immortality Books
Aubrey De Grey – Founder of Methuselah Foundation, pioneer in the science of fighting aging
Ralph Merkle – pioneer in cryptography, researcher and speaker on nanotechnology and cryonics
James Clement – Executive Director of the World Transhumanist Association
Organizations are covered, including the World Transhumanist Association, Alcor Foundation, Foresight Nanotech Institute, Extropy Institute, Methuselah Foundation, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
“Singularity” and “sustainability,” are both terms to be identified with the NWO.  We can expect the forces of darkness to grow even bolder.  Do not be surprised to hear more and more about alien sightings and  abductions.  Be alert for themes in TV, movies and books about human beings interbreeding with aliens, or a movie such as Limitless, which allowed a man to become
“fully evolved” through a designer drug.  The alien / human interbreeding story is included in all science fiction TV series, including Star Trek and XFiles.  Interbreeding with supernatural entities was the theme of Bewitched , I Dream of Genie, all current witchcraft,  occult,  and science fiction series and movies.  

Robots as Prison Guards – Next Step in Transhumanism

The news is sounding more and more like a science fiction novel or movie title.
The South Korean Ministry of Justice announced that they would be adding three new security guards to a prison in Pohang. Normally that wouldn’t be news worthy, but these three particular guards happen to be robots. Developed by ETRI and Kyonggi University, the five foot tall four wheeled guards will patrol at night looking for suspicious activity in cells, and monitor prisoner health. Any situation that develops will be relayed to human guards rather than dealt with by the robots directly. The project cost 1 billion won (~$886,000 USD) and will begin with a month long trial in March of next year. If successful it will continue on at Ponhang and possibly the rest of the country. The inclusion of prison patrolling robots is just the latest example of how South Korea is looking to increase the reputation and range of its robotics industry, with new machines appearing everywhere from classrooms to battlefields.
While most of its physical systems are ready, the robots are reportedly undergoing improvements to make them more friendly and appealing to humans. That seems strange for prison guards but it fits with some of South Korea’s previous projects in robotics. Almost exactly one year earlier than this recent announcement, the South Korean Ministry of Education announced that they would place a robot in every kindergarten classroom by 2013. Many of those education bots allow for remote communication (telepresence) and are designed to serve as surrogate tutors to the young children as well as teaching aids. On the other side of the spectrum, South Korea has also developed automated gun turrets for its demilitarized zone with North Korea. Those turrets can detect soldiers and vehicles up to three kilometers away. The prison robots represent a sort of middle ground. Smart enough to detect movement, injury, or hostility from inmates but friendly enough to ensure their endless night patrols don’t overly provoke the prisoners. With South Korea’s dedication to finding new applications for its growing robotics industry it may only be a matter of time before similar machines are introduced into new fields.
Aaron Saenz (singularityhub.com)
Please notice that this article is being reported by singularityhub.com.  What is singularity? 
Technological singularity refers to the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human intelligence through technological means, very probably resulting in explosive superintelligence.  Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which the future becomes difficult to understand or predict. Proponents of the singularity typically state an “intelligence explosion” is a key factor of the Singularity where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds.
The term was coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity. The concept is popularized by futurists like Ray Kurzweil and it is expected by proponents to occur sometime in the 21st century, although estimates do vary. (wiki)

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