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Category : Transhumanism

Vigilante furries band together to stop an assault – WTSP.com

SAN JOSE, Calif. Editors note: The picture above is a file image from a 2012 furry convention in Pittsburgh.

When you think of furry crimefighters, sharp-toothed police K-9s usually come to mind.

But the heroes in this story are humans in big furry costumes.

ABC7 reports three people attending FurCon a gathering of people who dress in large and elaborate animal costumes stopped a violent assault on the streets of San Jose, California.

According to the local news station, a dinosaur, a tiger and a cowboy, for some reason saw a car drive up and witnessed a man beating his girlfriend in the front seat.

KTLA reports the anthropomorphic trio pulled 22-year-old Demetri Hardnett out of the car, took him to the ground and restrained him until officers arrived.

The girl driver was yelling for him to get out, as he started trying to fight us off, Robbie Ryans told CNN, which reported Hardnett was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on a domestic violence charge.

According to ABC7, the furry convention continued uninterrupted with an event-filled weekend including dance programs, a furry boxing workout and a panel discussion on transhumanism the belief that humans can evolve beyond their current limitations.

RELATED: Suspects, victims in Calf. killings were 'furries'

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Vigilante furries band together to stop an assault - WTSP.com

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Transhumanism: Repairing and Improving the Human – MedicalExpo e-Magazine

The American sociologist and bioethicist James Hughes talked to us about transhumanism, artificial intelligence, genetic modification and other new technologies that could create new capacities and senses for human beings.

MedicalExpo e-mag: What is transhumanism?

James Hughes: Transhumanism is the idea that we can use technology to transcend the limitations of the human brain, body and reproduction. It is a small philosophical and cultural movement, but it represents a broad trend in the kind of ideological developments in Western thought. For hundreds of years there have been thinkers advocating that we could transcend sickness and death. Its been a thread of utopian imagination ever sincebut in the 21st century we actually have the technologies [to do that] and it comes at a very uneven pace.

ME e-mag: CRISPR-Cas9 is a new method of genome editing. Is it a complete revolution?

James Hughes: It is a complete revolution that raises many social-ethical questions. We have been arguing about this for a while: People were saying it is science fiction, and all of a sudden science fiction becomes real. So thats why its very important to have these discussions now because who knows what will happen tomorrow?

For hundreds of years there have been thinkers advocating that we could transcend sickness and death. Its been a thread of utopian imagination ever sincebut in the 21st century we actually have the technologies to do that.

One of the risks we have to take very seriously with CRISPR is biosecurity. People, either accidentally or intentionally, could create microorganisms or even bigger things that could pose a catastrophic risk, such as tailored gene plagues or tailored insects. Modified humans would be pretty easy to track down and shoot. Microorganisms, not so much. For example, the U.S. CIA tried to bring down Fidel Castro. One of the things they imagined 30 years ago was creating a plague that would just kill Cuban crops, but they didnt have the technology. The apartheid government of South Africa wanted to develop a plague that would just kill black people. And now they have the technology.

(Credit: Getty Images)

So I think we live in a world that is on the cusp of that kind of danger. But we cant prevent those technologies. The best response is to have widespread surveillance for microorganisms and widespread capacity to create vaccines and therapies for them. We basically need a global immune system.

ME e-mag: In the end, CRISPR is good news or bad news?

James Hughes: With CRISPR, we could create more genetically modified organisms (GMOs) very easily. I believe that GMOs can be very good because we need to feed a lot more people on this planet with fewer fertilizers in a world where the climate would be declining very quickly, and to do that we need GMOs.

ME e-mag: But we dont know the possible long-term effects of GMOs on health.

James Hughes: Yes, but CRISPR precisely means that if we make a mistake we can fix it. For example, theres a disease called sickle-cell anemia that Africans and African Americans are more prone to, and that seems to have provided stronger protection against malaria. People say: If you take sickle-cell anemia out of future generations then they wont have that immunity to malaria. But we have many other better ways to get rid of malaria. We could also get rid of the mosquito that transmits malaria, thanks to CRISPR. Plus, in a hundred years, if we decide: Oh my God! We took out sickle-cell anemia, we need to put it back!, we can put it back!

Our cognitive capacity is now super powerful because we all carry smartphones around. We have access to all the worlds knowledge at our fingertips if we know how to use it, so thats the first step towards experiment capacities of the brain.

ME e-mag: What are the other technologies that help the development of the post-human?

James Hughes: Artificial intelligence, and in general, information and communication technologies. Our cognitive capacity is now super powerful because we all carry smartphones around. We have access to all the worlds knowledge at our fingertips if we know how to use it, so thats the first step towards experiment capacities of the brain.

The Exiii HACKberry bionic hand (Credit: Exiii Inc.)

The next step is to connect our brains directly to computing and that would require nano-neural interfaces. Were beginning to develop those with prosthetics limbs that you can indirectly control with your mind. For people with severe paralysis, we are also beginning to put chips into their brains so they can communicate directly with computers, but these are very crude. What we need now are very tiny robots that could communicate directly to our neurons. And were probably about two decades away from that.

Weve already got things like nanodust. They are tiny bits of computing power that you could distribute inside the cortex. Theyre non-invasive and they are powered by external, non-damaging radiation. You dont need to open the skull, thats the key thing.Also right now we dont have very good materials for putting in the brain, so we need advances in biocompatible materials. And we need advances in miniaturization of computing and telecommunication capacity inside the brain.

The next step is to connect our brains directly to computing and that would require nano-neural interfaces. Were beginning to develop those with prosthetics limbs that you can indirectly control with your mind.

ME e-mag: You often talk about silicon brains? What does that mean?

James Hughes: We are modeling more and more of the capacities of the brain in silicon, meaning computing power. One of the consequences of that is that for instance we are developing what is called neuroprosthetics. The hippocampus is very important for memory. On rats and mice with damaged hippocampuses, weve been able to develop a computer chip that mimics the input and the output of hippocampus and allows them to create memory. We can imagine not only replacing damaged parts of our brain but also giving our brain new capacities and senses.

We already have cochlear implants, which are just on the cusp of becoming more capable than ordinary hearing.With the cochlear implant you can have Bluetooth, you can connect it to your phone, you can tune it so that you hear higher frequency than most humans can hear. With future artificial eyes, we will be able to tune them so they can see infrared, radiation and things like that.

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Transhumanism: Repairing and Improving the Human - MedicalExpo e-Magazine

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

How transhumanism will run the office – Livemint

One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug."

This sentence in Kafkas most popular story, The Metamorphosis, is one of the early instances traversing the essence of existentialism. Gregors body transforms but mentally he remains a human. Is he, therefore, synonymous with only body or also his mind? The Metamorphosis is a glaring sign of the ambivalence Kafka holds for the concept of the body. Biology as humankinds biggest limitation sets the foundation stone for transhumanism.

Transhumanism is essentially the science of improving the human population through technologies such as genetic engineering and artificial intelligence (AI). Humans already exhibit a symbiotic relationship with smart technology but transhumanism tips into a drastic new scale.

According to Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, associate professor of history at the Arizona State University in the US, transhumanism explores different arenas of cybernetics, gene editing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, behavioural sciences and artificial intelligence.

Hugh Herr, a bionic designer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who has led the NeuroEmbodied Design methodology, believes transhumanism will extend our nervous systems into the synthetic world, and the synthetic world into us, fundamentally changing who we are".

Breaking the mould

There was a whole mature era of DIY cyborgs, where biohackers fiddled with technology to enhance their physiological self. Cybernetics saw some stalwarts emerge and own the field with names like Kevin Warwick, the worlds first cyborg, who, in 1998, implanted a microchip in his left arm to control a remote arm. He also linked his nervous system with the internet to control a robot hand directly from his neural signals.

There are several examplesJerry Jalavas USB thumb, Claudia Mitchells bionic limb and Jesse Sullivans robotic hands, which have all emanated from the need to rise beyond physical disability or revel in new perspective on human augmentation. Such human enhancement technologies under transhumanism have been proven effective when dealing with clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, colour blindness and Parkinsons disease.

What could be the consequences of transhumanism trickling to everyday life and work?

A futuristic tool like a translator ear-bud could make linguistic barriers dissolve in the global business meetings and make cultural empathy and communication stronger.

Ganesh Chakravarthi, editor at the Takshashila Institution and a researcher of transhumanism, says Neural augmentations can enable cohesive work practices between humans and robots. Powered exoskeletons can be invaluable in disaster management and recovery. Whole armies can be empowered with enhanced capabilities although their ethics and principles will need to be well-fleshed out."

Setting the right protocol

In 2018, a team of researchers from US Cornell University presented a paper, BrainNet: A Multi-Person Brain-to-Brain Interface for Direct Collaboration Between Brains, offering an interface that would allow future colleagues to execute tasks using non-invasive direct brain-to-brain communication. This would mean a whole new definition of a collaborative workspace", where team members could share not just their views and opinions but their sensory and emotional experience with the network.

With the aid of networked implants, which would only respond to workplace Wi-Fi, humans could compartmentalize work and leisure. Just by setting the right protocol for work and home devices, it would be increasingly possible to switch off work mode" and decompress.

There are, however, deep worries about the transhumanist turn of the workforce. Corporate demagogues could rise with the consolidation of tech in the hands of the elite, effectively stifling entry of new players in the market. There could be a whole class of jobs only open to those possessing tech augmentations.

New regulations could be mandated around ownership of employee ideas as once they have been synced to the corporate server, no thought would be private to the employee during office hours. Everything could be monitored. New freedoms will have to be debated upon in HR rules like morphological freedom, where individuals have full knowledge and control of which technology to apply to themselves.

Workforce 2.0 will have a gamut of challenges to wade through, to prevent transhumanism from reducing humans to only their qualities of empathy and compassion.

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How transhumanism will run the office - Livemint

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

The future of implants in the latest Medical Technology – Verdict Medical – Medical Device Network

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Medical Technology is now available on all devices! Read it here for free in the web browser of your computer, tablet or smartphone.

To kick off the new decade, we find out how technological innovations are revolutionising hearing aids, speak to industry insiders to understand how 3D printing is changing dentistry, and examine the challenge of regulating implants as the market continues to expand and new technologies continue to blur the boundaries between what is and is not a medical device.

Sticking with implants, we delve into the complicated world of transhumanism and biohacking to find out how rising interest in tech implants could impact medical devices, explore ways that tech can unleash preventative personalised medicine with Verita, and learn more about a computerised kidney, which is helping to shed light on dehydration.

Plus, we take a look at the current state of the medical tourism industry to see how technology is impacting such a profitable sector, find out how combining wearables and drugs could help to treat Alzheimers, and as always we get the latest industry analysis and insight from GlobalData.

Timeline: the evolution of hearing aidsHearing aids have come a long way since the weird and wonderful vacuum tube contraptions of the 1800s, but its only within the last few decades that a truly transformative wave of fashionable, functional devices have started to appear. But how did this happen?Chloe Kentlooks back at the history of digital hearing aids, from the first devices of the 1990s to the innovative AI-powered technologies of the present day.Read more.

Open wide: how 3D printing is reshaping dentistryThe dental 3D printing market is expected to reach $930m by the end of 2025, and its application across different procedures is far-reaching, from the development of dentures to Invisalign retainer braces.Chloe Kentspeaks to Digital Smile Design directorGeorge Cabanasand Formlabs dental project managerSam Wainwrightto learn more about how 3D printing could help us all smile a little brighter.Read more.

Regulating implants: how to ensure safetyAs the implant market expands and new innovations become a reality, the challenge of regulating these new technologies is getting harder. With biohacking implants already being performed in tattoo studios, how will regulators ensure the safety of patients?Abi Millar reports.Read more.

From grinders to biohackers: where medical technology meets body modificationA new generation of patients are demanding medical interventions that not only make it easier to manage medical conditions, but also enhance their day-to-day lives. Engineers and researchers have responded with futuristic innovations that push the boundaries of biohacking.Chloe Kentrounds up the bizarre and brilliant innovations that could be the future of medicine as we know it.Read more.

Q&A: how tech can unleash preventative personalised medicine with VeritaVerita Healthcare Group is a company with fingers in many pies, but one of its key focuses is on bringing preventative healthcare to the masses through technology.Chloe Kentcatches up withJulian AndrieszandJames Grant Wetherillto find out more about the companys latest digital health acquisitions and what it sees in its future.Read more.

No filter: understanding how medicines impact dehydrationComputer models of a kidney developed at the University of Waterloo could tell us more about the impacts of medicines taken by people prone to dehydration.Natalie Healeyfinds out more.Read more.

Medical tourism: how is digital tech reshaping the industry?Medical tourism is a large and growing sector that is being driven by high costs and long waiting times in developed countries. But how is the rise of digital technology and Big Data influencing the development of medical tourism hotspots around the world?Chris Lofinds out.Read more.

Triple combo: calming Alzheimers agitation with ai, wearables and a novel drugBioXcel Therapeutics is developing an acute agitation drug, BXCL501, for Alzheimers disease. To improve management and prevention of agitation, the company is leveraging an existing wearable device and developing AI algorithms to predict and prevent aggressive agitation.Allie Nawratexplores this novel, triple combination initiative to prevent and treat symptoms of Alzheimers.Read more.

In the next issue of Medical Technology we take a look at the need for a more proactive approach to encourage health screening uptake, and explore ways that AI could help to make healthcare more human-centric.

Also in the next issue, we find out how a combination of virtual reality and haptics is being used to help virtually train surgeons to perform complex procedures, examine the potential of smell-powered diagnostics, and investigate the rise of chronic illness groups on social media platforms.

Plus, we examine how the uncertain future of Ehtylene oxide could impact device manufacturers, speak to Medidata about the companys merger with Dassault Systmes, and take a look at the recall of Bayers Essure contraceptive implant.

The rest is here:
The future of implants in the latest Medical Technology - Verdict Medical - Medical Device Network

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

The future is sci-fi: How Ghost in the Shell, Deus Ex Human Revolution foreshadowed humanity 2.0 – Firstpost

As we embark on a new decade, how do visions of the 2020s imagined in books likeDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, films likeSoylent Green, or even manga likeGhost in the Shellmatch up against our reality? In this series, we look at seven pop culture artefacts from the past that foretold the future, providing a prophetic glimpse of the decade were now entering.

Words by Prahlad Srihari | Art by Trisha Bose and Sharath Ravishankar | Concept by Rohini Nair and Harsh Pareek

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We already live in a world where bionic eye implants have made it possible to restore partial sight for visually impaired people. In fact, augmentations to Second Sight's Argus II may enable future users to even see in infra-red, like the Predator. Ossur's implanted myoelectric sensors allow amputees to control their bionic limbs with their minds. Meanwhile, scientists in North Carolina are hard at work trying to build a future where 3D printers can churn out customised kidneys, livers and other vital organs for those in need.

Even if science fiction has had a headstart over science, the latter is catching up. We're not far away from the transhumanist futures of Ghost in the Shell, Deus Ex: Human Revolution or Robocop. Taking cues from these imaginative works, science hopes to aid and accelerate our evolution from human to post-human through genetic modifications, ironing out our limitations and pushing our limits. But as always, sci-fi has repeatedly warned us against the often unnatural nature of science the importance of knowing when to tinker with technology to aid human progress and when to let nature take its course.

Masamune Shirow's manga Ghost in the Shell offers some vital lessons on transhumanism. Our story begins in 2029 at a time when it is all too common for humans to enhance themselves by replacing their organs with cybernetic parts. Our protagonist, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is a cybernetically enhanced officer of an elite cyber-crime-fighting unit called Section 9. Our plot follows the hunt for an elusive cyber-criminal, called the Puppet Master, a formidable AI who can take up residence in any cyborg body, take over their minds and essentially reprogramme them to do his bidding.

Masamune Shirow's manga Ghost in the Shell offers some vital lessons on transhumanism. Illustration by Sharath Ravishankar for Firstpost

So, Motoko has a crisis of identity when she begins to question the authenticity of her thoughts, her memories and the very nature of her being. If she is a human-machine hybrid, is her identity defined by her human thoughts or are they just exabytes of stored data? If she has no memories of her past human existence and her mind can be manipulated, then what makes her human? If Philip K Dick suggested empathy to be the defining factor of humanity, Shirow suggests it is the human soul (what he calls the ghost) that separates man from machine. But a hybrid made of human cells and a cybernetic body (the shell) brings with it its own unbridgeable dualism, as surmised by Motoko. "I suspect I am not who I think I am. Maybe I died a long time ago and somebody took my brain and stuck it in this body. Maybe there never was a real me in the first place, and I'm completely synthetic," she wonders, before questioning, "What if a cyber brain could possibly generate its own ghost, create a soul all by itself? And if it did, just what would be the importance of being human then?"

(Note: Those averse to reading manga should watch the animated film, not the 2017 live-action film featuring Scarlett Johansson, which revels in cyberpunk spectacle rather than the murky waters of obscurity in Shirow's poetic reflections.)

The blurring of these lines between man and machine reaches its climax when Motoko's ghost merges with the Puppet Master to evolve into a new entity, favouring an immaterial existence free of physical boundaries (like Samantha and her fellow AIs in Her). Instead of trying to put Motoko in distinct human or AI camps, Shirow studies the implications of transhumanism in the intermediary phase between the two. He thus foreshadows the emergence of the posthuman or humanity 2.0.

The video game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, ventures further into a transhuman future, with one foot in a utopia, and the other in a dystopia. Its cyberpunk future of 2027 is a world where "augmentations" are what separates the upper classes from the lower. Like in Yukito Kishiro's Alita: Battle Angel, they have become so common they're like tattoos or piercings. After a terrorist attack leaves security guard Adam Jensen critically injured, his life is saved thanks to these "augmentations" that turn him into a Robocop. Stronger, faster, and smarter than before, he begins a pursuit of the terrorists, only to uncover a larger conspiracy involving radical supporters and opponents of transhumanism.

It is easy to see why transhumanism has its fair share of supporters and opponents. On the one hand, it represents the next stage in our evolution as cybernetic implants could extend our lifespan, enhance our physical and mental capacities, and help us shape ourselves according to our needs, our desires, or our environment. On the other, any extension, enhancement or reshaping beyond the natural barriers will make life less miraculous or spontaneous. So, rather than curing death, technology should be used to make life worth living.

However, in this quest to improve the human condition through technology, we should not forget what makes us human. Dick's right: It's our empathy. But it is also our ability to introspect, wonder and speculate. As long as these abilities are inherently linked to the human soul, it does not matter what shell it is, the ghost of humanity will forever be preserved in it.

Also read Class structures and dehumanisation of the workforce, as foretold by Metropolis (1927)

Read our 'Decade in Review' series here.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Jan 01, 2020 13:04:03 IST

Continued here:
The future is sci-fi: How Ghost in the Shell, Deus Ex Human Revolution foreshadowed humanity 2.0 - Firstpost

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

The 10 best cyberpunk games on PC – PC Gamer

Theres an innate joy to a good cyberpunk game; that sense of fighting The Man, of struggling up from the gutter in a world that doesnt care, of being a rebel with a cause and, more importantly, some serious hardware. Sometimes its a depressing odyssey, other times, very tongue in cheek. Here, then, are our pick of the games worth selling your genitals on the black market for.

Released: 2001 Publisher: Eidos InteractiveDeveloper: Ion Storm

Few cyberpunk games have the same indie-rock feel as Anachronox, the game from Ion Storm that wasnt Deus Ex or Daikatana. Its Tom Halls tribute to pretty much everything Tom Hall loves, from the dimension-shifting titular planet to comic book worlds, to the fact that you spend much of the game travelling with a planet as a companion. A literal planet. Shrunk down, hovering next you, its people voting on what they all want to do next. Anachronox is a janky experience to be sure, but an unforgettable one, and its a genuine tragedy well never get the planned sequel.

Released: 1994Publisher: VirginDeveloper: Revolution Software

Beneath A Steel Sky offers a different feel to most cyberpunk; a somewhat low-key, sardonic take, in a city that thrives on cruel mundanity. Its not long before youre digging deeper into cyberpunk tropes, however, as you battle the omnipresent computer system LINC, explore cyberspace in search of clues, and save a city thats Blade Runner by way of Hull. Along the way you get the delightful company of your robot buddy Joey, who mirrors the genres love of transhumanism with his own slow evolution from humble circuit board towell, spoilers. Best of all, its completely free.

Released: 2015Publisher: Wadjet Eye GamesDeveloper: Wadjet Eye Games

It may be a fantastic adventure, but Technobabylon stands out most for having a deep sense of heart. Cyberpunk is often a cold genre, either through pessimism or a focus on the dehumanising nature of technology. Technobabylon flips that, with a story that comes at the usual elements from an entirely human directionfamily, loss, isolation and community. Its icier elements remain brutal, from restaurants that serve cloned human flesh to terrorists whose bones have been turned into bombs, but its the warmth that makes it unforgettable. That and the jingle for T.H.E. Foods, which will, alas, never leave you.

Released: 2016Publisher: Sukeban GamesDeveloper: Ysbyrd Games

Most cyberpunk games have you fighting against a corrupt system in some way. VA-11 HALL-A is more about helping it get drunk. Its a mix of visual novel and bartending simulator, where you bounce between mixing drinks and talking with the bizarre visitors at your seedy bar. The trick is that, by mixing the right drinks, you can make them open up and tell you stories of the harsh world outside. Some of those guests are dogs. Its that kind of bar. VA-11 HALL-As clever ideas and well realised setting are well worth visiting for a round or two.

Released: 2011Publisher: Streum on StudioDeveloper: Streum on Studio

Were meant to give you a pithy summary of EYE at this point, but thats just not going to happen. You wont find many games so devoted to making your brain melt, from its convoluted plot to the way the game works. Youre an amnesiac caught in a dreamscape, and things only get more surreal when you enter the real world and find yourself surrounded by groups with names like the Secreta Secretorum and the Meta-Streumic Force. EYE is every cyberpunk trope thrown into a big futuristic blender and then spiced up with a little LSD. Its endlessly fascinating, especially if you like Deus Ex but find it just a bit too predictable.

Released: 1999Publisher: EADeveloper: Irrational Games

The System Shock series isnt quite the same flavour of cyberpunk as most of the games on this list, but it stands as one of the first truly successful attempts at the genre. Its villain, rogue AI SHODAN, is deservedly considered one of gamings greatest baddies, and the first games take on cyberspace as a surreal maze of wireframe graphics and deadly geometric shapes certainly warrants the series its place. The sequel largely drops that element, but replaces it with a new interest in transhumanism by way of the improvements offered by a more evolved SHODAN, who refuses to be humbled by needing to rely on a mere fleshbag.

Released: 2016 Publisher: UbisoftDeveloper: Ubisoft

The first Watch Dogs was more overtly cyberpunk than its sequel, but its also a far inferior game. Watch Dogs 2 picks up everything it did well, particularly the use of hacking as a primary weapon and a city in which everything can be manipulated, and throws out everything else. While the sequel doesnt have much raw story, it does a great job of making new hero Marcus Holloway feel like part of something important. Watch Dogs 2 puts you at the bottom of the social ladder, then hands you a hacksaw to bring the system crashing down. Doing so makes for great set-pieces and a genuine feeling of power.

Released: 1997Publisher: VirginDeveloper: Westwood Studios

Westwoods Blade Runner absolutely nails the style of the movie, recreating its locations with fully animated backgrounds, and offers a score painstakingly recreated by the composer from the original. Its a brand new story in the Blade Runner universe, playing out concurrently with Deckards. The first act especially is a masterful bit of work, plunging you deep into the world and dripping with atmosphere. You get to perform the Voight-Kampff test, face off with replicants who arent afraid to thrust you into an arcade sequence without warning, and generally live for a while in a more-or-less perfect recreation of LA, 2019.

Released: 2014Publisher: Harebrained SchemesDeveloper: Harebrained Schemes

Its amazing that we had to wait so long for either of the two big cyberpunk tabletop RPGs to make their way to PCif you ignore Microsofts team-based FPS Shadowrun, which everyone really should. Despite both SNES and Mega Drive owners getting Shadowrun games in the early 90s, we had to wait until 2013 for Harebrained Schemes Shadowrun Returns. The original campaign, Dead Mans Switch, is solid enough. The sequel (originally an expansion pack before thankfully being re-released as a standalone game), is phenomenal.

Shadowruns take on cyberpunk is a complex one, mixing in magical and fantasy elements, with the playersshadowrunnersas mercenaries in a world gone mad. Dragonfall absolutely nails this, essentially giving you a team, a general objective to raise enough money for a big mission, and a city of opportunities to pick and choose from. Its not a complex business simulation or anything like that, but it conveys the vibe of being a shadowrunner far more effectively than a series of mandatory missions ever could. You spend time with your team and get to know their personalities and problems, help them out, and slowly improve your gear until youre ready to take on literal dragons.

All of this plays out in two basic modes: RPG exploration, and solid tactical combat that makes good use of your team and their abilities. The magical parts of the setting really help with these, allowing the action to go beyond guns.

The third game, Shadowrun: Hong Kong, was also an excellent RPG, but it was this sense of actually being in control that made Dragonfall stand out, both in its series and the genre in general. Its a structural approach we dont often see, and yet one that doesnt get in the way of a strong main storyline and a satisfying ending. What Dragonfall lacks in raw technology, with its relatively simple engine and graphics, it more than makes up for in scope and heart.

Its one of the best RPGs of the last few years, and one of the best cyberpunk games full stop. Harebrained is now part of strategy behemoth Paradox Interactiveheres hoping its working on something even bigger and better.

Released: 2011Publisher: Square EnixDeveloper: Eidos Montreal

Honestly, the question was never whether Deus Ex would end up topping this list, but whether this or the original would take the crown.

The first game is of course a classic, but time hasnt been especially kind to its technology or some of its ideas, and politically its from a very different era. Human Revolution lacks some of its raw scope and imagination, but is a far sleeker experience that builds on what the original does so well, and what other franchises have brought to the immersive sim genre in the intervening years. Yes, the boss fights suck, and can rightly go and stand in the corner with those copies of Invisible War and Mankind Divideds garbage ending, but in all other respects, Human Revolution still holds up extremely well as a glimpse of a possible future.

It helps that, while the original Deus Ex was largely built around conspiracy theoriesgroups like the Illuminati and so onHuman Revolution concentrates on transhumanism and the societal chasms between the haves and have-nots that are only widened by the addition of technology. As gravelly-voiced, professional not-asker-for- this Adam Jensen, youre in the rare position of being in the middle of the situation, with a body full of fancy toys that isnt exactly yours. Youre neither truly with the rich and powerful in their ivory towers, nor down with the gutter-rats, but perfectly placed to either prop up a failing society or help it come crashing down.

This gives Human Revolution a resonance that many other supercop fantasies struggle with, in a world perfectly set up to explore technology in both its positive and negative forms. The same science that can replace an arm or eyeball can also be abused, or simply demonised, with just a few flicks of a switch. Fancy cyborg gear can elevate the average person, but also make them subject to its creators in both body and soul. Is it a fair trade? What if the people just seize it?

The sequel, Mankind Divided, focuses on the social issues of all this, with questionable success. Human Revolution handles it more elegantly by simply presenting the situation, and allowing you, the player, to decide which path is correct. Admittedly, this boils down to pressing a button and watching a video clip, but still. While it lasts, its a solid shooter, a thought-provoking game, and also it lets you punch people through walls.

See the original post here:
The 10 best cyberpunk games on PC - PC Gamer

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Top Movies Of 2019 That Depicted Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Analytics India Magazine

Artificial intelligence (AI) is creating a great impact on the world by enabling computers to learn on their own. While in the real world AI is still focused on solving narrow problems, we see a whole different face of AI in the fictional world of science fiction movies which predominantly depict the rise of artificial general intelligence as a threat for human civilization. As a continuation of the trend, here we take a look at how artificial intelligence was depicted in 2019 movies.

A warning in advance the following listicle is filled with SPOILERS.

Terminator: Dark Fate the sixth film of the Terminator movie franchise, featured a super-intelligent Terminator named Gabriel designated as Rev-9, and was sent from the future to kill a young woman (Dani) who is set to become an important figure in the Human Resistance against Skynet. To fight the Rev-9 Terminator, the Human Resistance from the future also sends Grace, a robot soldier, back in time, to defend Dani. Grace is joined by Sarah Connor, and the now-obsolete ageing model of T-800 Terminator the original killer robot in the first movie (1984).

We all know Tony Stark as the man of advanced technology and when it comes to artificial intelligence, Stark has nothing short of state-of-the-art technology in Marvels cinematic universe. One such artificial intelligence was the Even Dead, Im The Hero (E.D.I.T.H.) which we witnessed in the 2019 movie Spider-Man: Far From Home. EDITH is an augmented reality security defence and artificial tactical intelligence system created by Tony Stark and was given to Peter Parker following Starks death. It is encompassed in a pair of sunglasses and gives its users access to Stark Industries global satellite network along with an array of missiles and drones.

I Am Mother is a post-apocalyptic movie which was released in 2019. The films plot is focused on a mother-daughter relationship where the mother is a robot designed to repopulate Earth. The robot mother takes care of her human child known as daughter who was born with artificial gestation. The duo stays in a secure bunker alone until another human woman arrives there. The daughter now faces a predicament of whom to trust- her robot mother or a fellow human who is asking the daughter to come with her.

Wandering Earth is another 2019 Chinese post-apocalyptic film with a plot involving Earths imminent crash into another planet and a group of family members and soldiers efforts to save it. The films artificial intelligence character is OSS, a computer system which was programmed to warn people in the earth space station. A significant subplot of the film is focused on protagonist Liu Peiqiangs struggle with MOSS which forced the space station to go into low energy mode during the crash as per its programming from the United Earth Government. In the end, Liu Peiqiang resists and ultimately sets MOSS on fire to help save the Earth.

James Camerons futuristic action epic for 2019 Alita: Battle Angel is a sci-fi action film which depicts the human civilization in an extremely advanced stage of transhumanism. The movie describes the dystopian future where robots and autonomous systems are extremely powerful. To elaborate, in one of the initial scenes of the movie, Ido attaches a cyborg body to a human brain he found (from another cyborg) and names her Alita after his deceased daughter, which is an epitome of advancements in AI and robotics.

Jexi is the only Hollywood rom-com movie depicting artificial intelligence in 2019. The movie features an AI-based operating system called Jexi with recognizable human behaviour and reminds the audience of the previously acclaimed film Her, which was released in 2014. But unlike Her, the movie goes the other way around depicting how the AI system becomes emotionally attached to its socially-awkward owner, Phil. The biggest shock of the comedy film is when Jexi the AI which lives inside Phils cellphone acts to control his life and even chases him angrily using a self-driving car.

Hi, AI is a German documentary which was released in early 2019. The documentary was based on Chucks relationship with Harmony an advanced humanoid robot. The films depiction of artificial intelligence is in sharp contrast with other fictional movies on AI. The documentary also depicts that even though human research is moving in the direction of creating advanced robots, interactions with robots still dont have the same depth as human conversations. The film won the Max Ophls Prize for best documentary for the year.

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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine (AIM) and writes on the latest in the world of analytics, AI and other emerging technologies. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for IDG CIO and ComputerWorld. Write to him at vishal.chawla@analyticsindiamag.com

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Top Movies Of 2019 That Depicted Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Analytics India Magazine

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Abandoning Earth: Personhood and the Techno-Fiction of Transhumanism – Patheos

by Jens Zimmermann, Project Director, Human Flourishing; Canada Research Professor for Interpretation, Religion, and Culture at Trinity Western University; Visiting Professor for Philosophy, Literature, and Theology at Regent College; Visiting Fellow of the British Academy at the University of Oxford; Research Associate at the Center for Theology and Modern European Thought in Oxford. Read more about Dr. Zimmermann.

One of the most important contemporary issues is our relation to technology. To be sure, technology is nothing new but has always been integral to human evolution; never before, however, has technology suffused every area of life or shaped human self-understanding to the extent it does today. Consequently, debates about the benefits and possible drawbacks of technology currently dominate all crucial, formative arenas of human existence: work, education, healthcare, social development, and even religion. Critical voices are not lacking in these discussions but, on the whole, we increasingly place our future hopes for society in technological enhancements. Transhumanism, in its pursuit of a humanly engineered evolution that will eventually leave the body behind by uploading our digitized brains to computing platforms, a vision that includes merging human with artificial machine intelligence, is merely the extreme edge of a techno-reasoning that increasingly forms our collective social imaginary.

How is one to assess this development? I suggest that the most effective assessment of techno-reasoning is to probe the range of its imagination. After all, how we perceive the world, others, and ourselves is principally a matter of the imagination. As the well-known Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye put it in The Educated Imagination:

we use our imagination all the time: it comes into all our conversation and practical life: it even produces dreams when we are asleep. Consequently we only have the choice between a badly trained imagination and a well trained one, whether we ever read a poem or not.[1]

Fryes reference to poetry indicates his view that literature best exemplifies the language of the imagination, of how we perceive the world in all its semantic complexity: our use of metaphors and choice of words in everyday speech reveals the vision of society, and indeed of reality that underlies our thoughts and actions. Equally important, the fundamental job of the imagination in ordinary life, then, is to produce out of the society we have to live in, a society we want to live in.[2] We need fiction to envision reality differently. We often use the word fiction to refer to what is untrue or false, but the word actually means creative invention and describes our capacity for understanding and shaping reality meaningfully through narrative. Hence reimagining society differently depends in turn on the sources that train our imagination to produce narratives for our self-understanding.

What should concern us is that Transhumanisms imagination runs only along engineering and computational lines. Transhumanists like to call themselves critical rationalists,[3] but the fact is that this critical aspect is limited to a techno-reasoning that produces a narrative of techno-fiction. When we examine the current techno-reasoning of transhumanism, we will find a strongly diminished view of human identity that reduces consciousness to the activity of neuronal networks we can detach from the body and transferable to a computing platform.[4]

It is generally known that transhumanism denigrates the human body as rather primitive biological form of existence that requires perfection through nano- and computing technologies. Ultimately, as Ray Kurzweil argued in his book How to Build a Human Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed (2012), the brain is a complex biological machine in which human ideas, feelings, and intentions are ultimately tied to neuronal functions of the brain. Kurzweil imagines that the imminent completion of mapping this biological machine anatomically will allow us to digitize its functions and thus transpose human thinking into computational format, permitting in turn the uploading of ones mind (of consciousness, self, or personality) to a data cloud storage. This transhumanist vision indicates a breathtaking ignorance of human cognition and its dependence on biology for a human consciousness. For one, aside from being technologically unfeasible, the computational model of the brain and its possible detachment from the body is flatly contradicted by recent neuroscience and its insistence on embodied cognition.

For example, the well-known neuroscientist Antonio-Damasio breaks with the traditional cognitivist view of human beings as rational minds inhabiting insentient bodies.[5] In his book The Self Comes to Mind (2010), Damasio reintroduces the body as essential for structuring the brain, albeit still based on a representational view of cognition: Because of this curious arrangement, the representation of the world external to the body can come into the brain only via the body itself, namely via its surface. The body and the surrounding environment interact with each other, and the changes caused in the body by that interaction are mapped in the brain. It is certainly true that the mind learns of the world outside via the brain, but it is equally true that the brain can be informed only via the body.[6] You may not consider this concession very great, but eight years later, Damasio rejects the Cartesian mind-body dualism behind traditional neuroscience, arguing that a new, biologically integrated position is now required.[7]

This new position leaves behind a computational model of the mind, rejecting the dried-up mathematical description of the activity of the neurons because it disengaged neurons from the thermodynamics of life.[8] New brain science acknowledges, according to Damasio, that the body as organism, for example through our nervous and immune systems, possesses a kind of perception conveyed through feelings that are registered in turn as complex mental experiences that help us navigate life. Damasio concludes that neural and non-neural structures and processes are not just contiguous [i.e. adjacent, sharing a common boarder] but continuous partners, interactively. They are not aloof entities, signaling each other like chips in a cell phone. In plain talk, brains and bodies are in the same mind-enabling soup.[9] On the basis of this new insight (new to brain scientists at any rate), Damasio rejects the reductive, but sweepingly common notion in the worlds of artificial intelligence, biology, and even neuroscience, that natural organisms would somehow be reducible to algorithms.[10]

Damasios new insights from Neuroscience are a welcome antidote to the severely stunted imagination of the Transhumanists. Even so, neuroscience in general, and transhumanism in particular, suffer from a striking lack of philosophical reflection on the historical origins of the naturalist and functionalist view of organic life that still forms the imaginative framework of cognitive science. Natural scientists, along with all those who pursue their research into human perception in the investigative mode of the natural sciences, still have a hard time with admitting that metaphysics is always at play when imagining what it means to be human. How many scientists (and indeed philosophers) are fully conscious of the historical developments that made possible a purely materialist view of reality?

The philosopher Hans Jonas offers a superb philosophical analysis of this development and its effects on the study of human nature in The Phenomenon of Life: Approaches to a Biological Philosophy (1994). He describes how the duality of mind and spirit of the ancient world was reified into a mind-body dualism by Descartess division of reality into the two spheres of timeless mental ideas on the one hand, and spatio-temporal mechanisms of material stuff on the other hand. Leaving the side of mental ideas to religion and philosophy, he reduced nature (including animals and the human body) to an inert machine running on functional, mathematical principles, wholly explorable through quantifiable data. The legacy of Cartesian dualism was the modern conception of nature without soul or spirit.[11] Encouraged by the enormous success of the scientific method, it was only a matter of time until a secularist science, eager to do away with Descartes God, also claimed the mental sphere for its mechanistic understanding of reality.

This mechanistic monism was further aided by Darwins theory of evolution. Naturalistic evolution exploded Cartesian dualism or a separate mental realm by integrating human beings into a general developmental process. Jonas argues that even though evolution raised once again the problem of how the transcendent freedom and intentionality of consciousness could arise from such a process, the functionalist bias of naturalism closed the door to any arguments that may have led out of the reductionist dead-end of materialist monism. Early evolutionary theory dogmatically adhered to a mechanistic view of causality that tried to explain organic life analogously to complex machines, declaring consciousness to an epiphenomenon, a random side-effect of an essentially material process. This view, argues Jonas, inverts how organic life forms, and in particular human beings, actually function. Human thought and action originate from an intentional center and exercise volitional freedom in their striving to accomplish goals. While we are certainly able to automate strategies for accomplishing goals, this ability does not warrant reducing our humanity to the workings of a complex machine.

Jonas work himself has helped inspire profound changes in evolutionary theory, including the growing conviction among evolutionary psychology that an embodied intentionality or consciousness is intrinsic to organic life itself. The phenomenon of organic life is impossible to describe, let alone understand, without recognizing that a minimal form of intentionality, individuation, and indeed freedom is evident in even the most primitive living organisms striving to survive.

Neither transhumanism, however, nor the AI research that fuels transhumanists hopes for melding human and machine intelligence, have followed this trend of evolutionary biology. Instead, the transhumanists and AI researchers remain beholden to the basic premise of cybernetics that human life and thought boil down to mechanisms controlled by the exchange of information and are therefore amenable to transposition into algorithms so that the essence of human thought and emotion can be digitized and replicated on computational platforms.

This brief historical sketch shows us that transhumanisms abandoning of the earth by leaving behind the body constitutes not a neutral fact based on scientific progress but is indeed a historically conditioned choice. This choice takes one particular aspect of human perception, namely our ability to abstract material from the rich flow of experience to objectify and quantify it for better understanding, and the re-imagines all of reality in these terms. This reductionist ontology ignores the organic and especially the personal aspects characteristic of human life.

It is worth reiterating that the materialist, functionalist premise of transhumanism (and much AI research) is neither empirically convincing nor in any way morally neutral. From a historical point of view, it is actually astonishing how beholden the field of techno-science still is to scientistic attitudes originating in the scientific revolution and the European Enlightenment.

For example, the well-known AI researcher Marvin Minsky (d. 2016), equated belief in consciousness with the kind of religious mumbo jumbo science is supposed to combat.[13] For Minsky, there is no such thing as consciousness, there is no such thing as understanding.[14] Those who believe in such silly superstitions ignorantly hold to this religious idea that there is magic understanding: there is a magic substance that is responsible for understanding and for consciousness, and that there is a deep secret here.[15] For Minsky, the problem of consciousness and understanding with regard to AI simply doesnt exist because he has a thoroughly mechanical, functionalist view of the human mind. For this reason, he looks to Freud as an important figure because hes the first one to consider that the mind is a big complicated kludge of different types of machinery which are specialized for different functions.[16] While most of psychology and other sciences have moved on from Freuds nave mechanical view of the psyche, transhumanism and much popular opinion has not.

One cannot blame transhumanists for wanting to improve human life, but a sober, historical-philosophical analysis of transhumanism exposes it as delusive and naive. The whole idea of engineering a post-human existence by abandoning the organic body is based on an untenable materialist metaphysics. As Hans Jonas perceptively put it, materialistic biology (its armory recently strengthened by cybernetics) is the attempt to understand life by eliminating what actually enables this attempt in the first place: the authentic nature of consciousness and purpose.[17] Only because they suppress the basic structure of organic life and reduce consciousness to an epiphenomenon of materialist functions can transhumanists propose their futuristic vision. Only because they have already reduced life to a machine, however complex, can they imagine a post-humanist future of immortality through technology. The transhumanist imagination concerning our humanity is deceived by the strange proclivity of human reason to interpret human functions by the categories of the artifacts created to replace them, and to interpret artifacts by the categories of the human mind that created them.[18]

Given that transhumanism is driven by this historically conditioned reductionist view of human life, I am less worried about the question whether transhumanism functions as Ersatzreligion, though the growing number of Christian transhumanists is somewhat alarming. Their belief in technology as providential means for procuring god-likeness and immortality makes one wonder about the efficacy of the incarnation. Why did God bother to become a human being rather than a cyborg? Only an imagination already hooked on techno-fiction could suggest that the divine transformation of biological matter is inferior to, or even akin to a man-made metamorphosis through technology.

From a traditional Christian perspective at least, techno-fiction that deems the body to be optional ranks among gnostic heresies. As the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer explained, from an incarnational point of view, we dont have bodies but we are our bodies, and are thus rooted in the earth. Abandoning the earth, he declared, therefore means also to lose touch with our fellow human beings and with God who created us as embodied souls. Bonhoeffer concluded that the man who would leave the earth, who would depart from the present distress, loses the power which still holds him by eternal, mysterious forces. The earth remains our mother, just as God remains our Father, and our mother will only lay in the Fathers arms him who remains true to her.[19]

However, what is of greater concern than grouping transhumanism among gnostic heresies is that the movement perpetuates the pervasive techno-reasoning in our culture by glorifying the functionalist image of human existence that continues to enthral the public social imaginary by means of social media and AI research. Transhumanism is just one example, perhaps the most glamorous one, of our current collective culture delusion that the human mind, human language, and human relations boil down to functions that computers will eventually master in far better ways.

We would do well to listen to critical voices of those well familiar with the computing industry like Jaron Lanier. Lanier, credited with inventing virtual reality, exposes the false and dangerous presuppositions of techno-fictions. For example, he debunks the delusion that AI has anything to do with computers gaining intelligence, let alone sentience. AI, he reminds us, is nothing but a story we tell about our code.[20] This story, he confesses, was originally invented by tech engineers to procure funding from government agencies. AI, in short, does not exist if one implies that machines actually think or feel with even the lowest form of consciousness we know from organic life.

Lanier warns that current techno-fiction and our use of technology are deeply dehumanizing. Social media apps are designed to manipulate users into addiction to exploit their consumer habits. Moreover, the whole gamut of computing technology erodes our self-understanding of what it means to be truly human. Lanier worries that if you design a society to suppress belief in consciousness and experienceto reject any exceptional nature to personhoodthen maybe people can become like machines. The greatest danger, he concludes, is the loss of what sets us apart from all other entities, the loss our personhood. His warning echoes the prophetic voices of other critics like the former software coder Steve Talbot, or the late philosopher Hubert Dreyfus, who also worried that instead of adapting technology to human intelligence we slowly conform human consciousness to the functional logic of machines.

These thinkers show us that one does not have to be a luddite or religious zealot to reject transhumanism or entertain a critical attitude towards the nave embracing of current technologies. What is at stake in the discussion about technology and transhumanism is nothing less than our true humanity. Now, it is certainly the case, in my view, that the more holistic approach to human existence offered by religions, and in particular the Christian teaching that God became a human being, provide better anthropological frameworks for approaching technology than secularist or naturalist approaches; however, the time may be ripe for all those concerned about losing our true humanity to come together in exposing the dehumanizing misconceptions put forward by transhumanists, no matter how much these are presented in the radiant, Luciferian promises of divinity. Sicut eritis deus . . . .

[1] 134-135.

[2] 140.

[3] Max More, The Philosophy of Transhumanism in Transhumanist Reader (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013, 1-17), 6.

[4] Martin Rothblatt, Mind is Deeper than Matter, in Transhumanist Reader, (317-326).

[5] Economist John Greys endorsement of Damasios recent book The Strange Order of Things (2018).

[6] The Self Comes to Mind, 97.

[7] The Strange Order of Things, 240.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid., 200. Damasion recognizes that the worlds of artificial intelligence, biology, and even neuroscience are inebriated with this notion. It is acceptable to say, without qualification, that organisms are algorithms and that bodies and brains are algorithms. This is part of an alleged singularity enabled by the fact that we can write algorithms artificially and connect them with the natural variety, and mix them, so to speak. In this telling, the singularity is not just near: it is here. For Damasio, these common notions are not scientifically sound because they discount the essential role of the biological, organic substrate from which feelings arise through the multidimensional and interactive imaging of our life operations with their chemical and visceral components (201).

[11] Jonas, Phenomenon of Life, 140.

[12] Das Prinzip Leben, 219.

[13] Why Freud was the First good AI Theorist in Transhumanist Reader, 169.

[14] Ibid., 172.

[15] Ibid., 170.

[16] Ibid., 169.

[17] Das Prinzip Leben, 230.

[18] Prinzip Leben, 199.

[19] Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works English, 10, 244-45.

[20] Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

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New Connections Emerge Between The Clintons And Jeffrey Epstein: Report – The Daily Wire

A new report published on Tuesday alleges that former Democrat President Bill Clinton and two-time failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton visited the New Mexico ranch of convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein nearly every year since Clinton left office at the end of his second term.

Bill and Hillary Clinton stayed at Jeffrey Epsteins notorious baby-making ranch almost every year after they left the White House, according to the disgraced financiers estate manager, The Daily Mail reported. The former president was Epsteins closest celebrity mate and the Clintons, along with daughter Chelsea, visited Zorro Ranch a whole bunch of times, a former contractor who ran the IT system at the property told DailyMailTV in an exclusive interview.

The Daily Mail reported that the Clintons never stayed in the main mansion on the massive 10,000 acre property but did stay in one of the guest houses.

This is all according to security expert Jared Kellogg, who was brought in by long-standing ranch manager Brice Gordon to improve security and set up a camera system at the main house and cowboy village, The Daily Mail continued. Kellogg said that at the time of his site walk of Epsteins property, he had barely any knowledge of Epsteins reputation but he said Gordon spent most of the time boasting about the Clintons frequent appearance at the estate.

Kellogg told The Daily Mail: My access was very controlled. During the site walk, it was dictated where I could and couldnt go. There were certain facilities I wasnt allowed to go in, which was odd, as they were boarded up, and they looked like they could have big parties in them, but I didnt think much of it.They wanted to put very, very limited camera coverage on the main house itself.

The New York Times reported over the summer that Epstein allegedly wanted to turn his ranch into a place where he would impregnate vast numbers of women in what the Times described as transhumanism, which critics have likened transhumanism to a modern-day version of eugenics, the discredited field of improving the human race through controlled breeding.

Once, at a dinner at Mr. Epsteins mansion on Manhattans Upper East Side, Mr. Lanier said he talked to a scientist who told him that Mr. Epsteins goal was to have 20 women at a time impregnated at his 33,000-square-foot Zorro Ranch in a tiny town outside Santa Fe. Mr. Lanier said the scientist identified herself as working at NASA, but he did not remember her name, the Times reported. According to Mr. Lanier, the NASA scientist said Mr. Epstein had based his idea for a baby ranch on accounts of the Repository for Germinal Choice, which was to be stocked with the sperm of Nobel laureates who wanted to strengthen the human gene pool.

Epstein was arrested by federal law enforcement officials on sex trafficking charges in early July after returning to the United States and subsequently committed suicide in a New York City prison approximately a month later.

When asked for comment by The Daily Mail, the Clintons pointed to a statement that they released over the summer which deniedhe had ever visited any of Epsteins residences, apart from once at Epsteins home in New York City.

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Meet the Microchipped Transhumanist Cyborg Whos Running Against Trump in the 2020 GOP Primary – Mediaite

Zoltan Istvan, a transhumanist journalist, is running for the U.S. presidency as a Republican in 2020, challenging President Donald Trump in the primary.

Istvan, who also ran for president in 2016 on a lesser scale, has written for The New York Times, Vice, and National Geographic, and describes himself as the founder of the Transhumanist Party, the original author of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, and a frequently interviewed expert on AI, genetic editing, tech policy, and futurism.

His campaign policies for 2020 range from the relatively normal to the quite absurd, from ending the drug war, beating China in the artificial intelligence race, restoring the environment, and providing universal basic income for all, to the development of artificial wombs, nearly open borders, stopping mass shootings and terrorism with drones, robots, AI scanners, and other technology, and licensing parents, or as Istvan explained, requiring prospective parents to pass a series of basic tests, similar to a DMV driving test, to quality and get the green light to get pregnant and raise children.

As a passionate transhumanist (or, as philosopher Max More explains, someone who supports the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology), reportedly with a microchip in his hand that allows him to open doors and use his phone, Istvan also wants the Republican Party to reclaim transhumanism from the far-left.

This week, Mediaite got the opportunity to talk with Istvan about his 2020 campaign and the policies within.

Your campaign policies are very interesting. Typical libertarian policies mixed with some quite out-there stuff like artificial wombs, nearly open borders, and stopping borders with drones. What was the inspiration behind such an odd variety of campaign focuses?

I was busted for dealing marijuana I guess maybe 26 years ago, where I was convicted of a felony conviction for distribution of narcotics, which also made me highly libertarian kind of from the start of my adult years. And then as I went through the National Geographic days I began to try to think about what would be better policy so we didnt get in these wars all the time and the government sort of left us alone. But at the same time, its not that I want to be left alone entirely. I think there should be some safety nets.

If you look through some of my 2020 plans youll see theres a lot of liberalism built into it, so it kind of tries to take the very best parts from all the different ideologies that are out there and put it in one. To be honest, I just dont understand why there cant be conservative people like myself who are totally socially liberal, and while thats classic libertarianism, the reality is that the Libertarian Party just doesnt have enough connections, money, and all these other things to run campaigns that can actually win office, which is ultimately why Im now with the Republicans trying to make a difference, trying to get people that might be fiscally conservative to have some sensibility when it comes to being more open-minded.

You say on your campaign website that youre trying to reclaim transhumanism from the far-left. What do you mean by that?

Thats probably my number one policy goal right now, and its because whats happened recently, at least in the last four or five years, is it seems like transhumanism has been growing dramatically. Im excited about that, but its also growing dramatically to the left, and if it continues to grow and grow in that direction it means that it will be almost this socialist dystopia, in my opinion, where everyone thinks they own everything and they can just do what they want.

Innovation, capitalism and Im saying this from an entrepreneur of twenty years it requires free markets in many ways to come up with these creative ideas in the first place. We all love going to Europe. We all love the quasi-socialism that they have there when were there. But Europe hasnt really created anything innovative in fifty years. I mean not much when you compare to, lets say, America. We want to be careful that in order for transhumanism to survive, it doesnt fall into the hands of the new breed of socialists that America is contending with. Silicon Valley is going that direction, Ive been watching that happen over the last ten years, and so I thought it was finally time somebody stood up and said, Wait a second, we need a better balance here. We need a balance of people who are willing to innovate in libertarian-minded economical ideals without bowing down to the far left.

So do you think transhumanism would die out if we did end up with a socialist society?

No. I dont think it would die out. I just think so you gotta understand the number one goal of transhumanism is really to try to overcome biological death by finding technology. And really, what happens when you put socialism into medicine and some of these other things, innovation dramatically stops. So somebody like myself whos 46-years-old, and of course all the other older people that have been involved in the movement forever, if innovation and science and all that other stuff stopped just even for ten or fifteen years, or doesnt go as fast as it is, a huge amount of extra people wont make it to this new generation where well have all these different techniques to keep people alive.

So theres actually a race going on. A race to keep transhumanism in kind of this capitalistic, libertarian somewhat framework so that innovation continues to move forward and that people like myself will have a chance in thirty years to actually benefit from these life extension medications and innovations that come out.

If we are able to overcome death with science by 2030 versus the year 2050, over one billion lives will be saved. So the meaning here is incredibly important, which is why Im very cautious about socialists being in charge.

Are you not worried that we could end up with a Fallout: New Vegas Mr. House situation, where you have a really really rich guy, or a bunch of rich people who are practically living forever, while no one else can get access to this technology?

That is one of my number one fears.

First of all, from a transhumanist perspective, if everyone lives forever, were going to have overpopulation problems, and I already believe we have overpopulation problems. You can see the climate changing and things like that.

But I think the other one is, whats to keep the Mark Zuckerbergs and the other people of the world from taking this radical technology, using it on themselves, and leaving the rest of us behind? This is where I lose a little bit of my libertarianism, and all the libertarians get mad at me. I actually think under these circumstances there should be some government mandate when it comes to healthcare, when it comes to different types of rights to life extension. That we should all have some type of a universal right to life extension and some of these medicines, even it requires government grants and things like that, because the very last thing that I want to do is create a world where only the one percent has access to these technologies, or even beyond the one percent, and the rest of the people get left behind in some kind of dystopia.

So, this is where I kind of break down and say a little bit of big government is fine, especially if its going to protect and make sure everyone has benefits to this new future that were talking about: the Transhumanist Age.

Do you think there are already some minor life extension schemes going on in the one percent?

I dont believe that theres a conspiracy going on with the one percent, because if it is, I havent heard about it. There are companies like Human Longevity. They cater only to the very wealthy But its not that they dont cater to the super poor, its just that their prices are expensive and theyre not covered by insurance, so only the very wealthy use them.

I would be very surprised if even someone like Peter Thiel has a very strict regiment of kind of undercover, secretive longevity people. I think were all working on this together. We realize the humanitarian aspects of making us all live longer. The person who could come up with the magic pill, or 3D-printing organs, however were going to keep ourselves alive longer, I think not only is it the most important capitalistic thing someones going to become a trillionaire off these kinds of innovations but I also think theres a very deep humanitarian aspect to share with your family, your friends. So I dont think people are hording this technology. I just dont think weve come up with the right technologies yet.

But if you look at the statistics, five years ago this was maybe a one or two billion dollar industry when you talk about longevity, and Bank of America recently said its going to be a 600 billion industry by 2025. I mean it is skyrocketing in terms of venture capital and investment. A lot of money is coming into it, so I hope by now in the next two to five years youre going to have a lot more innovation and announcement.

It seems like youre putting up more of a fight this primary to beat President Trump. Last election you put up a fight, but you werent listed on the ballots, whereas this time youre going to be listed on some the ballots, right?

Yeah, were going to be on basically all the ballots we can be until Super Tuesday, and were going to see how we do. Were spending a lot of our funding for ballot access right now, but thats okay. What happened is the first time around, I had some unique ideas. Of course, I had been a writer for a lot of major media, and so people listened and they liked those ideas, but for the Transhumanist Party as an independent, you really cant make any ground unless you have ballot access.

Were hoping that if we do well in New Hampshire, and were hoping that if we do well in Iowa, maybe get a few delegates here, then we could all of a sudden take it to the next level and make a real push to try to compete against Trump.

Id be lying to you if I said, Look, I think were going to win this thing. Thats not really what were trying to do. What were trying to do is get the attention of the Republican Party and say, Isnt it time there could be a new way of looking at things? Does it always have to be fiscally conservative and also conservative moral values? Why doesnt the Republican Party open itself up to socially liberal values? They would make a lot more room for people like myself who fit right there in the middle. Who dont want to necessarily give up all their money to the government, but also want to say to people, Hey you can do exactly what you want to do with your body. This is something that I dont think the Republican Party has had yet from any kind of public figure or anyone whos run a real viable campaign.

If you could address Republican voters right now with a short statement, what would you say?

The premise here with Trump is that we were promised greatness, and that sounded kind of neat in the beginning, and I was excited not to have an attorney at the top of the chain of command in America, but it turns out that Trump didnt really deliver that.

All we have are these squabbles in America. It seems like peoples views are just attacking each other. I really think its time not only just for a professional to be in the White House, but for somebody with really brand new ideas. And I dont mean empty the swamp. I mean lets fly above the swamp. Why do we even need to be in the swamp anymore? This is the kind of thing Im trying to bring.

Photo courtesy of Zoltan Istvan.

This interview has been edited and condensed for content and clarity.

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