The HETHR of Forever
To a large extent, I have no idea what just happened this weekend. I mean, I was there, for sure, but WOW. I’m speechless. Thank evolutionary goodness that Nydra has done such a maginificent job of reporting. Meeting her was just one of the marvelous GIFTS bestowed upon those who attended. Nydra, I certainly hope that we get to yammer much more in the future.
In part, the HETHR experience instilled a lingering daydream of a metaphorical, metaphysical, analogical, metamorphical opening of the sky through which eternity streamed in at HETHR. We were even visited by Valis System A through which we received an inspirational message from the ineffable Richard Doyle. Dr. Nick Bostrom would clearly caution that the premise that we might be Living in A Simulation is only a Philosophical Thought Experiment, but when attending events like HETHR, it’s comparatively easy to engage in moments of self-indulgent reverie, wherein we can pretend that the lines between experimental and experiential realities might sometimes blur. Of course, after hearing and briefly meeting the incomparable C. W. Francis Everitt at the recent Gravity Probe-B update a couple of weeks ago, and while we anxiously await the scientific findings of GP-B, it only adds to the fun of thinking about the possible maleability of space-time and the implications for the future of humanity.
So, it could take weeks, months, or even years to recover from this past weekend, to unpack and contextualize the information and implications that flooded the room, the courtyards, and rippled out into and over the horizon from what could well end up as Posthuman-Transhuman Ground Zero: HETHR 2006.
At HETHR, I either met with the largest gathering, to date, of intellectually vigilant and scientifically rigorous thinking human beings who share a data-derived, yet visceral and visionary sense of the coming decades similar to what I have lived with for the past several years, in relative isolation; OR, we all just self-identified as the craziest nut-cases on the planet. Of course, it would be my preference to believe the former and I will present a list of URL’s to point the reader toward supportive documentation, below.
Rightly so, HETHR did come with several HOWEVERs; for the future itself, like genomic engineering and nano-assembly, is not like plugging together Legos (thank you, Dr. William Hurlbut). It’s COMPLICATED and FROUGHT WITH POTENTIAL INTERDEPENDENT EXTERNALITIES. However counterintuitive it may seem, we must do our best to extend deep gratitude and appreciation to the loyal cautionary voices as well as appreciating the invigorating voices of our hopeful and hardworking prophets; for it is the cautionary frequencies that ultimately attenuate our otherwise unbounded zeal and in the end, help to ensure our ultimate, collective success.
The H+ However is, however, that if we proceed with mutual respect, heightened awareness, vigilant attention to details, courageous peer-to-peer accountability, and perhaps above all HUMAN HUMILITY (and Beman Bemodesty?); I, for one, like to believe that “we” are fully capable of building the world of wonder and possibility that “we” co-imagineered on that magnificent spring weekend on Leland’s old farm.
What I will most remember are the sensations of the jasmine in full bloom, it’s unmistakeable fragrance wafting upon the breezy currents of free-flowing imagination, all set aglow by the intelligence and warmth of interaction, firmly rooted and grounded in the fertile soil of rigorous scientific inquiry, and uplifted by the kaliedoscopic diversity of possibilities that blossomed forth in the form of the highest of human hopes and ideals at HETHR of 2006.
http://ieet.org/HETHR/ http://cognitiveliberty.org/ http://www.law.stanford.edu/programs/academic/lst/bioscience/ http://www.extralife.org.uk/ http://www.geneforum.org/ http://singinst.org/ http://sss.stanford.edu/ http://transhumanism.org/ http://accelerating.org/ http://cirge.stanford.edu/ http://einstein.stanford.edu/ http://amormundi.blogspot.com/ http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/ http://www.music-versus-guns.org/ http://imminst.org/ http://sens.org/
Be sure to incorporate Ron Bailey’s take on HETHR, too.
“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.” – Willy Wonka
“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible.” – Bertrand Russell, in “Marriage and Morals”, 1929
“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” – Albert Einstein
“Law is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Legislate a machine-human civilization, i.e., transbemanism, and we will get a joyful world; Legislate an apartheid of substrate, i.e., DNAist laws, and we will get an angry world.” – Martine Rothblatt