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    advocating the use of biotechnology to abolish suffering throughout the living world. At that time, Nick was a philosophy postgrad in London. He read the manifesto and fired off several incisive questions. Later we met up. I harangued Nick into getting a website. Nick then sounded me out about setting up a kind of umbrella organization for transhumanists - and overcame my doubts about whether overcoming suffering is really at the heart of a transhumanist agenda
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    Does introspection grant us privileged insight into the intrinsic nature of the stuff of the world? Michael Lockwood 's startling answer is yes. Quantum mechanics may indeed supply a complete formal description of the universe. Yet what "breathes fire into" the quantum-theoretic equations, it transpires, isn't physical in the traditional sense at all
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    ANDRÉS LOMEÑA: Transhumanism, or human enhancement, suggests the use of new technologies to improve mental and physical abilities, discarding some aspects as stupidity, suffering and so forth. You have been described as technoutopian by critics who write on “Future hypes”. In my opinion, there is something pretty much worse than optimism: radical technopessimism, managed by Paul Virilio, deceased Baudrillard and other thinkers. Why is there a strong strain between the optimistic and pessimistic …Read more
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    "Over the past half billion years, life on Earth has been governed by the pleasure pain axis. Nature is typically "red in tooth and claw". Consequently, life has typically been "nasty, brutish and short". However, a major evolutionary transition lies ahead. Natural selection has evolved organic robots with the capacity to rewrite their own source code. Humans will shortly be able to redesign our own reward circuitry, decommission natural selection, design compassionate ecosystems, and abolish su…Read more
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    D.P. It will technically be possible to get rid of all suffering within a century or two. Its abolition would be practical only if it were agreed in the sense of something like the moon program or the human genome project – if there was a degree of social consensus. There are certainly technological obstacles, but they are dwarfed by the ethical-ideological ones. Many people’s negative reaction to the idea of a world without suffering comes from a fear that someone is going to be manipulating an…Read more
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    Stepping on a strongly electrified grid is highly aversive. A desperately hungry rat - even a rat who hasn't eaten for 10 days - won't run across an electrified cage-floor to reach a food-source: the shocks are too painful. But a rat with electrodes implanted in its neural reward circuitry will cross the grid, repeatedly, to gain the chance to self-stimulate its pleasure centres. Direct electrical stimulation of the mesolimbic dopamine system is so overpoweringly delightful that the anticipated …Read more