Category Archives: Society / Culture

The fusion of East and West: Video Q/A with Robert Geraci

Yesterday I hosted an online video chat with Robert Geraci, the author of “Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality” (Oxford 2010) and “Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life” (Oxford 2014). We discussed Robert’s exploration of religion, science, and technology in contemporary India, and the prospect of “Akashic Engineering” as a fusion of East and West, science and religion. Full video and slides below.

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The prospect of Akashic Engineering: preliminary thoughts on a fusion of East and West, science and religion

Early next week I will host an online video chat with Robert Geraci, the author of “Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality” (Oxford 2010) and “Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life” (Oxford 2014). We will discuss Robert’s exploration of religion, science, and technology in contemporary India, and the prospect of “Akashic Engineering” as a fusion of East and West, science and religion.

Continue reading The prospect of Akashic Engineering: preliminary thoughts on a fusion of East and West, science and religion

Templeton-funded essay competition on ‘The Dialogue Between Science & Religion’

Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology will award two prizes to original essays on the compatibility of science and religion – a best essay prize of $10,000, and a $5,000 runner-up prize – and up to five honorable mentions, each with a $500 prize.

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Video – Robin Hanson in Second Life on ‘The Age of Em’

Robin Hanson presented his new book “The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth” at the Turing Church meeting in Second Life on Sunday, June 26. The presentation was followed by a discussion.  Watch the full video of the talk and the discussion.

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The Age of Em – Robin Hanson in Second Life, Sunday June 26

Robin Hanson will present his new book “The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth” at the next Turing Church meeting in Second Life on Sunday, June 26. The presentation will be followed by a discussion, and everyone will be able to ask questions.

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Paradiso and Inferno in Robin Hanson’s ‘The Age of Em’

Robin Hanson’s future scenario in “The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth” reminds me of Dante. On the one hand, many people will transcend (current concepts of) humanity and “transhumanize” – a word invented by Dante in Paradiso, Canto 1 – to become uploaded souls running on high performance computing circuitry. On the other hand, they will live in red-hot metal cities that create strong hot winds to disperse the excess heat generated by billions of uploads computing their way to continued existence. The infernal city of Dis, described by Dante in Inferno, Canto 8, comes to mind.

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The Diamond Lady of Decentralized Leadership 2.0

After interviewing my friend Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, founder of Bitnation, for my recent Bitcoin Magazine article titled “Bitnation Launches World’s First Blockchain-Based Virtual Nation Constitution,” I am thinking of the parallels between Susanne’s vision of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) “Governance 2.0” and my vision of DIY “Religion 2.0.”

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Review of ‘Against Transhumanism’ by Richard Jones

Physicist Richard Jones, author of the (highly recommended) nanotechnology book “Soft Machines: nanotechnology and life” and editor of the Soft Machines blog, has written a short book provocatively titled “Against Transhumanism – The delusion of technological transcendence.” The book, an edited compilation of essays previously published on Soft Machines and IEEE Spectrum, is free to download.

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VIDEO – William Sims Bainbridge on spaceflight and cosmic religions – Second Life, January 10

William Sims Bainbridge – the renowned sociologist and author of seminal papers on space colonization, virtual worlds, and new cosmic religions – gave a talk at the Turing Church meeting in Second Life on Sunday, January 10, 2016, followed by a Q/A session. I recorded a video via Facebook live streaming.

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William Sims Bainbridge on spaceflight and cosmic religions – Second Life, January 10

The next Turing Church meeting in Second Life on Sunday, January 10, will feature a short talk by William Sims Bainbridge – the renowned sociologist and author of seminal papers on space colonization, virtual worlds, and new cosmic religions – followed by a Q/A session.

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Transhumanists as ‘Overlords’

Editor’s note: This essay by Khannea Suntzu is inspired by the TV adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction masterpiece “Childhood’s End.” See also “How ‘Childhood’s End’ Finally Made It to TV” on Rolling Stone. I haven’t started watching the miniseries but I’ll be sure to post a review in a few days. I hope they haven’t departed from the book too much, and at least respected Clarke’s spirit and atmosphere. “Childhood’s End” is one of my favorite science fiction novels – see my mini review here. See also some absurdly idiotic comments by the usual suspects.

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