And then there were nine… again?

Max, 2016/01/20 

21PLANET-master1050-v2

Ninth Planet May Exist in Solar System Beyond Pluto, Scientists Report

Sounds like the evidence is fairly strong. Big news, literally. 4500 times the mass of Pluto (that poser). Would be a legitimate planet.

Zapped by Lightning (and Charlotte)…

SkyHarbor, 2016/01/18 

UGH!

The First Peoples…

SkyHarbor, 2016/01/17 

MLK Day 2016…

SkyHarbor,  

Remembering Doctor Martin Luther King Jr….

Makin’ way for the Homo superior

SkyHarbor, 2016/01/16 

😉

Home sweet home

Max, 2016/01/11 

California_Antonis_960

The California Nebula

Never heard of the beast, and its a pretty close neighbor as well, at only 1,500 light years away. Let’s go surfin!

Goodbye David…

SkyHarbor,  

What a talent! David Bowie passed on Sunday 10 January from cancer. He will be sorely missed. RIP.

Heroes

Senrab,  

We can be heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

Becoming Human: Nuthin’ else to do – Adapt or Die

SkyHarbor, 2016/01/10 

Simplified Humanism

Max, 2016/01/05 

Lately I’ve become fascinated by a strain of thought labeled as Transhumanism. This is an outgrowth of some really mindblowing stuff that’s emerged in recent years, most notably with the ideas advocated by the inventor Ray Kurzweil in his 2005 book The Singularity is Near. In a nutshell, he believes that the improvements in our understanding of genetics, nanotechnology, and accelerated computational abilities will result in an unprecedented event horizon for humanity (somewhere around 2045). Beyond that time we can’t comprehend the future because the minds capable of constructing that future will be so far beyond our own – even if they are, in some sense, still our own.

Transhumanists are those who take these ideas seriously, though the timeline is controversial, and the implications range from exhilarating to terrifying. Kurzweil is on the exhilarating end, Nick Bostrom and Elon Musk seem to take the opposite viewpoint, but they certainly take it all very seriously. Orthogonal to this is what I would consider the conservative biological viewpoint. In this view, transhumanism, and singularity obsessions are all about fear of death and inability to accept the natural world we’re born into. From this perspective, transhumanism is naive and selfish at best, a real threat to the ordinary world sane humans occupy at worst.

I’ve found myself utterly fascinated by the subject of late, but still feeling a nagging feeling that the conservative biologists are right. Is this all just about not being able to deal with the dread of existential annihilation?

So it was refreshing to read this piece by a leading transhumanist by the name of Eliezer Yudkowsky, with the same title of this post. He makes a compelling claim that transhumanism is a simple and profoundly respectable ethical position. Here’s a little teaser.

So that is “transhumanism” – loving life without special exceptions and without upper bound.

It’s a fairly short essay, so I urge you to read it all.

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