"'Transhumanists' are planning to upload your mind to a memory stick…"-- London Telegraph

I'll leave you to the full article (link is below), but here are a couple of excerpts to give the flavor of the Transhumanist concept:

 "As the name implies, Transhumanists are people who want us to become "beyond human". It’s an umbrella term for a broad family of ideas united by the vision that technology now, or at least soon will, allow us to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.  That means everything from bionic limbs to uploading our entire brains on to memory sticks and carrying them around with us as back-up."

 Well, while there are times I'd like to have my, uh--what's the word? Ah, memories!-- on a stick, the reality is I'd probably forget where I put it.

Here's another excerpt, this looking at some of the down-sides:

"The whole project throws up very difficult ethical and philosophical challenges. Is an uploaded mind still human? Should we give "human rights" to an artificial intelligence with a superior intellect to a human? Then there’s the bread-and-butter social problems. Presumably, human enhancement technologies would be disproportionately available to those with greater financial resources, creating a genetic divide. And if you lived forever, are you taking up the place of another generation? What about the more mundane things: what would be a fair prison sentence for murder if we could all live for 200 years? Or the right retirement age. I’m guessing it won’t be 70 if we can all make thirty score and ten. Above all: are we happy about all of this, and can we stop it?"

Here's the link to the Telegraph article.   It's by Jamie Bartlett, Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos.


A Remedy for Death and "Billionaires as patrons of science"-- New York Times

"Billionaires with big ideas are privatizing American science" -- the headline of an article in the New York Times

Well, billionaires with VERY big ideas along with  a sense of elitist entitlement, and a drive for life extension (for themselves and themselves only) ,are subsidizing the fictional Hauenfelder Clinic in my technothriller,   A REMEDY FOR DEATH

Not to spoil the plot, just to say that it's about a bunch of rich old guys (yeah, just guys) who're funding a kind of Jurassic Park for  "select" humans--themselves and other elitists.  It gets into bio-tech, bio-artificial organs, organ harvesting and regeneration, regenerative medicine, and, ultimatelym,into the quest for eternal youth and immortality.

Here are some sample chapters. Hope you're intrigued!


"The Race for Immortality"-- article in Slate

I came on still another article about the new drive on anti-aging and the quest for human immortality funded and directed by some of the rich guys at Google. Slate terms it "the race for immortality."  Subtitle: "Ray Kurzweil thinks we can stay one step ahead of death."   Link to the Slate article

The article in Slate is by Will Oremus, and joins other articles we've referenced here, which I'll link to below.

My context for interest in articles on the quest for immortality flows from my techno-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH.  The book is done and out in the world, but I'm still keeping up with the literature.

In a nutshell, A REMEDY FOR DEATH is about a kind of Jurassic Park for rich old guys . . . and about the unforeseen consquences that flow.  (More info on A REMEDY FOR DEATH.)

One key difference between my approach in A REMEDY FOR DEATH and the main trend covered in these articles: Ray Kurzweil's approach is directed to staying alive long enough to be around for what he terms "the singularity," when we have computers and other devices smart enough to in effect download "us" to the cloud.

Without spoiling the plot, in REMEDY the characters take a more bio-tech approach, including printing out replacement organs (which is actually under way right now in labs around the world); other bioartificial organs and organ fabrication; the use of stem  cells; tissue engineering; and the use of human-animal chimeras.

In both REMEDY and the proposed Kurzweil approach arises the small matter of how do you move "consciousness," or "the soul," or whatever you term it across to the new?

Here are my links and comments on some other recent articles on that theme of a Jurassic Park for rich old guys  (and not so old yet). Topics include anti-aging, reversing aging, human immortality, fear of aging and death, regenerative medicine, eternal youth, eternal life, and the regenerative medicine industry:

Business Insider article, "These Tech Billionaires Are Determined to Buy Their Way Out of Death"

See my previous post "New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH!"   That will link you to the TIME cover story on Calico, a new division or subsidiary, of Google. Calico is exploring much the same issues as in my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH.

 See also Adam Gollner's article in the Daily Bookbeast, "The Immortality Financiers: The Billionaires Who Want to Live Forever"


"Death on agenda at coffee klatches"-- Associated Press article

"Death on agenda at coffee klatches", an article by Jim Fitzgerald, is not the usual fare here on the blog for my science techo-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH.  But it reminds of some things to ponder, alone or with others:

The gatherings, known as Death Cafes, provide places where death can be discussed comfortably, without fear of violating taboos or being mocked for bringing up the subject.

Organizers say there's no agenda other than getting a conversation started — and that talking about death can help people become more comfortable with it and thereby enrich their lives.

"Most people walking down the street, they're terrified of death," said Jane Hughes Gignoux, 83, an author who leads Death Cafe gatherings at her Manhattan apartment. "But if you think of death as part of life and let go of the fear, you think more about living your life well."


"Meet the Google executive who plans to cheat death: Ray Kurzweil"-- article in London DAILY MAIL

TIME Magazine ran a cover story a few weeks ago , which we covered here in the post: New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH!

Now London's DAILY MAIL  has an article on one of those Google executives, futurist Ray Kurzweil, who joined Google a few months.  His aim, it seems,  is to hold his existing body together long enough for robots and computers to be developed to provide a surrogate kind of life.

From the DAILY MAIL article by a writer named "Daily Mail Reporter." (Guess his folks gave him a really unique name, or he's one of the robots Kurzweil is thinking of!)  Anyway:

"Kurzweil says he hopes the supplements will keep him healthy enough to reach the 'nanotech revolution'.

"'I can never say, “I’ve done it, I’ve lived forever,” because it’s never forever,' he said.

"'We’re really talking about being on a path that will get us to the next point."

 For more on the same topic. see my post here, "Tech billionaires determined to buy their way out of death"

See also  my post here, "Google and a brief history of immortality", which links to a video by TIME Magazine