January 2010 Humanity+ Board Elections

Humanity+ Board members set policy goals and oversee their implementation, contributing with their experience and expertise to the WTA's work.

Five Humanity+ Board members' terms expire in January, and one additional member is stepping down. So there will be six seats open in January.

Its time to think about whether you want to run for the Board. Running for a board post, as well as voting in the election, is open to all dues-paying ("supporting" or "sustaining") members of the association.

All voting members in good standing as of Monday January 11th, 2010 are eligible to run in and vote in the Board election. Board members must be and remain voting members in good standing in order to run and serve. Please contact Assistant Director Marcelo Rinesi <marcelorinesi@gmail.com> to determine if you will be a voting member in good standing through Monday January 11, 2010.

The Board meets and votes virtually 24/7/365, so no travel is required, although daily Internet access is essential.

The term of service is two years, for these five open positions Jan 18, 2010 - Jan 15, 2012.

The period for self-nominations closes Saturday January 9th at noon EST. Voting will be conducted Monday January 11th to Thursday January 14th.

Please send your candidate statements to Humanity+ Secretary J. Hughes at secretary@transhumanism.org.

Previous examples of candidate statements are here:

http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/more/vote2006/

http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/more/vote2007/

http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/more/vote2008/

h+ Winter Edition is here!

WINTER 2009

The Winter 2009 Issue of h+ Magazine features The Ray Kurzweil Interview, CAPRICA: Birth of the Cylons, DIY Transhumanism, The Chinese Singularity, and more.

It's here:  http://hplusmagazine.com/magazine

Spread the word!

Webcasts of Humanity+ Summit and IEET Seminar

This coming Saturday and Sunday Humanity+ will be hosting two full days of talks in Irvine California on topics of central interest to transhumanists. For those of you who can't attend there will be a live webcast available from this page:

http://www.techzulu.com/live.html

The IEET "Biopolitics of Popular Culture" seminar this coming Friday will also be available through the TechZulu website.

The Humanity+ Summit agenda is available here:

http://hplus.eventbrite.com/

Proceedings will be broadcast from 9am-5:30pm PST Saturday, December 5, and 9am-6pm Sunday, December 6, 2009.

The IEET Seminar agenda is here:

http://ieet.org/bpcs09

Proceedings will be broadcast 8:30am to 5:30pm PST Friday December 4, 2009.

Ecology and Reverence from an LDS Perspective

1 November 2009, 6pm at the Sunstone House (343 N 300 W, SLC UT)
Steve Pack, BYU biology professor, on the relationship between Mormonism and environmental stewardship.

Dec 5-6, 2009: Humanity+ Summit


Speakers (information) include:

- Aubrey de Grey on life extension
- Ben Goertzel and Peter Voss on artificial intelligence
- Ramez Naam on advanced search
- RU Sirius on h+ Magazine
- Patri Friedman on seasteading
- Todd Huffman, Randal Koene, and Ken Hayworth on Whole Brain Emulation
- Edward Miller and Joseph P Jackson on the open science movement and post-scarcity
- Alex Lightman and Parijata Mackey on open source medicine
- James Hughes and Sonia Arrison on building transhumanism and life extension as a political movement
- Tyson Anderson and Andrew Hessel on DIYbiology
- Bryan Bishop and Ben Lipkowitz on frabratories

Venue: Eon Reality, Irvine, California

First 50 tickets are $150, but they get more expensive after that so register early:

Dec 4, 2009: IEET Seminar on Biopolitics of Popular Culture

During this day long seminar we will engage with culture critics, artists, writers, and filmmakers to explore the biopolitics that are implicit in depictions of the future, emerging technology and enhanced humanity in literature, film and television.

Speakers (in formation) include SF critic Annalee Newitz (io9.com), futurist and SF writer Jamais Cascio, director Matthew Patrick, TV writer PJ Manney, comics expert Jess Nevins, and transhumanist artist Natasha Vita-More.

Registration before November 15: $99 (After Nov 15: $150)

Venue: Eon Reality, Irvine, California

For more information: http://ieet.org/bpcs09

BYU professor emeritus William Bradshaw on Mormonism and Science

"Each in Its Own Sphere in Which God Has Placed It: Are Science and Religious Faith Compatible for Latter-day Saints?" Lecture and discussion with BYU professor emeritus William Bradshaw. 6pm on 10 October at Sunstone office, 343 N. Third West, Salt Lake City.

2009 LDSTech Awards

The winners of the 2009 LDSTech Awards that were awarded during the LDSTech Talk were:

Helping Hand Award: Alan Brown
Alan Brown has been a long-time member of our online LDSTech community and has spent countless hours moderating the LDSTech forums, answering questions other users have asked, and offering advice.  He has been instrumental in organizing, administrating, and contributing to the LDSTech Clerks Wiki.  His deep knowledge of many of the subjects on both the forums and wiki has blessed countless individuals in search of technical help. We are grateful to have Alan as an administrator, moderator, and member within the LDSTech community.

Coding Guru Award: Bill Wilcox 
The Local Unit Web Site Project is a community project to replace the existing Local Unit Web Site. Bill Wilcox has contributed many hours of work to the project on a volunteer basis. He has been an integral and innovative part of the team, and without him, could not have progressed as far as it has. Many will be happy to hear that the ward calendar will have the ability to sync automatically with Microsoft Outlook and Apple iCal thanks to Bill's contributions.

Top Tester Award: Pete Arnett
Pete has been a great asset to the testing efforts of the Local Unit Calendaring (a sub-project of the Local Unit Web Site Project). He is consistent in his work and stays on top of the defects that he logs as well as user stories that need to be closed.  Pete's hard work will be a valuable aid in releasing a high quality application that our wards and stakes can use reliably. His great attitude and willingness to help exemplifies the community collaboration mentality.  

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lynn Rosenvall and David Rosenvall
Before many of the resources we need became available on the Internet, Lynn Rosenvall and his son David wanted to make the scriptures available electronically. When David returned from his mission in 1987, they began to work on the task for their own use. They continued to work on the project throughout the years, eventually making the scriptures available on the Internet in 2000. They donated the entire project to the Church and we now know this project as the Online Scriptures available at scriptures.lds.org. David continues to work on the project as a volunteer. The online scriptures are now available in 14 languages to date, and the Online Scriptures Resource Committee is continually working on more. We would like to thank Lynn and David for their work and generosity in helping to make the scriptures available online for us all to benefit from.

h+ Magazine on a Newsstand Near You

Hi Fellow Transhumanists,

I just wanted to let you know that the Fall issue of h+ Magazine is appearing on newsstands now.  Its official release date is the 28th, but I was just at a Barnes & Noble in Palisades, NY and Paramus, NJ and they had it out already!  All 720 Barnes & Noble stores, as well as many Borders, Books-A-Million and about 550 college bookstores will carry it.

It's crucial that the few copies which each store is carrying sells out so that they agree to carry this permanently.  Please buy one if you can, and Tweet your friends to buy them in obscure locations too!

Thanks so much for helping us spread the word and carrying the h+ meme into homes and dorms around the country!  If we do well in the U.S., we should be able to get a foreign distributor to carry us in Europe too.

Best regards,

James

James Clement
Publisher, h+ Magazine

Singularity Summit 2009

The Singularity Institute is pleased to host the Singularity Summit 2009, a rare gathering of thinkers to explore the rising impact of science and technology on society. The summit has been organized to further the understanding of a controversial idea -- the singularity scenario. The summit will take place 3-4 October 2009 in New York City. You may register online.

Second Annual LDS Tech Talk

The second annual LDSTech Talk will be held on 17 September at 6pm MDT. The LDSTech Talk is a streamed event that will update you on what the Church is doing with technology. Register today and mark your calendar. Joel Dehlin, managing director of ICS and CIO of the Church, will host the event. The winners of the 2009 LDSTech Awards will be announced. If you have a question you would like answered during the event, submit it beforehand by using the LDSTech Talk Question form. The latest information about the event will be posted on the 2009 LDSTech Talk page. If you're unable to watch live, we will post it on the site within two weeks after the event. Also you can download the 2008 LDSTech Talk to see how it went last year.

h+ Magazine Fall 2009 Issue

The Fall 2009 Issue of h+ Magazine features Erik Davis on Dollhouse, Tweaking Your Neurons, The Psychedelic Transhumanists, Sex and the Singularity, Jonathan Coulton's Inner Squid, and more.

New MTA Feed . . . without Comments

The Mormon Transhumanist Association provides several news and blog feeds, available for your review and selection on the Content Feeds page. The main feed, "Mormon Transhumanist Association Feeds", aggregates all of the other feeds in order to facilitate the subscription process for those who would like to see everything coming from all MTA feeds. Today, we've added a second main feed, "Mormon Transhumanist Association Feeds without Comments". This new feed aggregates all of the other feeds except the comment feeds, for those who prefer not to see comments directly in the feed stream.

Here are the feeds currently included in Mormon Transhumanist Association Feeds:


Here are the feeds currently included in Mormon Transhumanist Association Feeds without Comments:

Alex Lightman Appointed Executive Director of Humanity+

Mr. Lightman is an author, serial entrepreneur, and futurist, who has made significant contributions to the adoption of IPv6, written and spoken on the future of technology since 1985 and has authored numerous articles and a book on technology and society. He is the author of the first book on 4G wireless broadband, Brave New Unwired World: The Digital Big Bang and the Infinite Internet (John Wiley, 2002), which made predictions about the future of computers and communications that are consistent with the actual growth of Internet and mobile technologies. He has published over 130 articles, including six articles in H+ magazine in 2009, has spoken in over 40 countries, including at the United Nations space conference, at US embassies in Europe and Asia, and at hundreds of conferences.

He is currently CTO of FutureMax Group and CTO of the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization. His company, Charmed Technology, was a pioneer of wearable computers, and he holds patents in the fields of wearable/mobile/pervasive computing and related communications and software. He has sold wearable computers to military, industrial and academic users, deployed "Charmed Badges" at locations as diverse as a Navy ship and a CEO conference, and developed the first augmented reality for a live performance, with the UK tour of Duran Duran in 2001. He was the producer of Charmed Technology's "Brave New Unwired World" wireless technology fashion show, which has been performed over 100 times at venues in fifteen countries, including the US, Europe, Asia, Israel, and Australia. Mr. Lightman is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ('83), and attended graduate school at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

About Humanity+

Humanity+ is an international nonprofit membership organization which advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities. We support the development of and access to new technologies that enable everyone to enjoy sharper minds, healthier bodies, greater freedoms, and better lives. In other words, we want people to be better than well. Our website is: http://humanityplus.org/

Humanity+ is affiliated with the Mormon Transhumist Association.

Review of Financial Transactions

As required by the Constitution in Article IX, section 7, I have reviewed the financial transactions and processes of the Association and have determined that:
a) compensation and benefits are reasonable in that no compensation or financial benefits have been made
b) all partnerships, joint ventures, and arrangements with management organizations do conform to the Association's written policies, are propertly recorded, do reflect reasonable investment or payments for goods and services, do further charitable purposes and do not result in inurement, impermissible private benefit or in an excess benefit transaction.

Follow the Mormon Transhumanist Association on Twitter

The Mormon Transhumanist Association is now tweeting news and blog headlines. This is the latest of many communications channels that the association has established to collaborate among members and communicate with others. You can find the Mormon Transhumanist Association on Facebook, Google, Vimeo, Scribd, Picasa, Second Life, Meetup, and Rosetta@Home. You can also keep up with the latest information from and about the association, as well as information on the intersection of religion, science, spirituality and technology, by subscribing to our feeds. We invite you to help us identify other ways of advocating the purpose of the association. As always, you may contact association leadership at admin@transfigurism.org.

h+ Magazine Summer Edition

The summer edition of h+ Magazine is now live!

Cover Stories:

  • Designer Baby Controversy
  • From X Prize to Singularity U
  • Biohacking Arrives
  • Legalize Sports Doping?
  • Was That a Bot of a Human?
  • Chris Conte's Microbotic Art
Features:

  • Here Come the Neurobots
  • Real Discrimination Against Virtual People
  • The Man Behind Biosphere 2
  • Everything of the Dead: The Future of Humanity is Zombie
  • Life On Mars with Pete Worden

New Web Site

The Mormon Transhumanist Association is pleased to announce the release of a new web site. In our 2008 member survey, members indicated that the most important offering of the association is its web site. The new site provides several improvements:

1) Member blogs and discussions are aggregated to the home page. This gives additional exposure to our members' individual perspectives. Member blogs also include blogs hosted at other sites, such as blogspot and wordpress. Now members have the flexibility to blog wherever they're most comfortable, and still contribute content to the association. See the list of contributors by clicking on the "Blogs" button.

2) Our news sites, "Mormon Science and Technology News" and "Transhumanist Religion and Spirituality News", are now incorporated directly into the main site, along with association news. To view the headlines, click on the "News" button.

3) The entire site is based on RSS feeds, which enable you to access the same content directly through the web site, through your favorite feed reader (like Google Reader), or even via email. A list of RSS feeds is available via the "About" button.

4) The site is integrated with several Internet services to improve management of and access to content. Documents are managed through Scribd, photos and other images through Picasa, and videos through Vimeo. Click on the "Library" button to browse the content. The site is also integrated with Paypal for donations, Amazon for book sales, and Google Groups and Apps (including a wiki) to support collaboration among our members.

5) The search feature in the upper right corner will help you find content not only on the MTA site, but also across all member sites and at Mormon and Transhumanist sites related to the intersection of religion, science, spirituality and technology.

We invite your feedback and recommendations. Please contact us at admin@transfigurism.org. Thank you!

Job Opening: Executive Director, Humanity+

Humanity+ (formerly known as the World Transhumanist Association) is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for managing the affairs of H+ under the Direction of the Board of Directors, including:

  • directing the work of the Assistant Director
  • maintaining the website
  • fundraising
  • managing mailing lists, a newsletter, and member communications
  • maintaining contact with chapters and organizing committees, and facilitating chapter growth
  • maintaining contact with affiliates around the programmatic agenda outlined by the Board
  • representing H+ and transhumanism in the media and other outlets (such as seminars and conferences)
The position will require a commitment of approximately 15 hours per week. Candidates must have experience with organizational management, fundraising and administration. They must be self-starters with keen entrepreneurial sense. Applicants must also display a working understanding of and commitment to transhumanism, and an acceptance of the various perspectives grouped under the transhumanist umbrella. Candidates must also be prepared to sometimes navigate among diverse opinions within the Board of Directors. The Executive Director will be frequently called upon to act as a mediator and facilitator in the efforts of moving things forward.

Preference will be given to prospects with strong written and verbal communication skills and for those who are experienced and capable public speakers. Fluency in English is essential, with other world languages a plus. Candidates must be prepared to be the “public face” of Humanity+.

Location is irrelevant as the candidate will be expected to telecommute. The position is currently voluntary. However, there are prospects that fundraising will enable some level of compensation in the coming year (part of the responsibilities of the Executive Director will be to make this happen).

It is also expected that the Executive Director will attend conferences, seminars and other networking opportunities. The ED will be reimbursed for these expenses.

Applications will be accepted until May 15, 2009.
A final decision will be made by May 25, 2009, and the position will begin June 1, 2009.

Please send resumes to: hplusdirector@gmail.com

Videos of Parallels and Convergences: Mormon Thought and Engineering Vision

We are pleased to announce that Confreaks has released video recordings of the presentations and panel discussions from the Claremont Graduate University conference on Parallels and Convergences: Mormon Thought and Engineering Vision. The Mormon Transhumanist Association thanks Confreaks for their generous contribution toward furthering Mormon understanding and advocacy of scientific and technological world views.

Parallels and Convergences: Mormon Thought and Engineering Vision (6-7 March)

The Claremont School of Religion, The LDS Council on Mormon Studies and the Mormon Scholars Foundation are pleased to present:


Parallels and Convergences: Mormon Thought and Engineering Vision


A conference featuring keynote speaker Terryl Givens and a panel of LDS engineers


The conference seeks to expand the discussion of Latter-day Saint perspectives on the attributes of God and the potential of man by examining the possible resonance between Mormon and engineering thought. In Mormon thought, God is the architect of the Creation and the engineer of our bodies and spirits. Man, on the other hand, is believed to be capable of growing to become like God. The conference's governing question is: Where does engineering fit in the convergence of these two realms?


A panel of LDS engineers will discuss topics that include materialism, free will, models of spirit matter, quantified morality, spiritual underpinnings for a space program, the New God Argument, God as a perfect engineer, technical interpretation of Mormon physiology, transhumanism, Gaia and the paradisiacal Earth, and technical advancement leading into the millennium.


Keynote Lecture:
Friday, 6 March 2009 at 8pm


Conference:
Saturday, 7 March 2009 10am-5pm


10:00 Welcome - Richard Bushman


10:10 - 11:50


"God, The Perfect Engineer"
Allen W. Leigh, Electrical / Software Engineer & Adjunct Instructor, retired


"Models of Spirit Matter"
Adam N. Davis, Assistant Professor of Physics, Wayne State College


"A Technical Interpretation of Mormon Physics and Physiology"
Lincoln Cannon (with Scott Howe), President, Mormon Transhumanist Association


"Materialism, Free Will, and Mormonism"
Adam N. Davis, Assistant Professor of Physics, Wayne State College


11:50 - 1:00 Lunch


1:00 - 2:50


"Theological Implications of The New God Argument"
Joseph West (with Lincoln Cannon), Founding Member, Director and Secretary, Mormon Transhumanist Association


"Quantified Morality"
A. Scott Howe, PhD, Senior Systems Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


"Transfiguration: Parallels and Complements Between Mormonism and Transhumanism"
Carl Youngblood, Chief Software Architect, Surgeworks, Inc.


"Gaia, Mormonism, and Paradisiacal Earth"
Roger D. Hansen, PhD, Technology Specialist, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation


2:50 - 3:10 Break


3:10 - 4:00


"Spiritual Underpinnings for a Space Program"
William R. Pickett (with Scott Howe), Senior Hardware Engineer, Antenna Range Master, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


"Welcome to the 21st Century: The Uncharted Future Ahead"
David H. Bailey, Chief Technologist, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory


4:00 - 5:00 Panel Discussion


Lecture and Conference Location:
Albrecht Auditorium in Stauffer Hall, Claremont Graduate University, 925 North Dartmouth Avenue, Claremont


The conference is free and open to the public.


The official site for the conference is available here: http://mormonism-engineering.org

Call for Papers from American Academy of Religion Transhumanism and Religion Consultation

2009 Call for Papers (open to non-American Academy of Religion members) - Deadline March 2, 2009


Transhumanism and Religion Consultation--American Academy of Religion--November 7-10, 2009 annual meeting in Montreal


This Consultation welcomes papers on any aspect of transhumanism and religion. We particularly welcome papers that identify and critically evaluate the implicit religious beliefs underlying key transhumanist claims and assumptions. For example, what are the operative notions of anthropology, soteriology, and eschatology that are at play in the transhumanist quest for enhancement, including extreme longevity? We welcome more overtly philosophical critiques of posthuman discourse, especially in respect to the employment of and reliance placed in technology. We encourage proposals about all religious traditions. Also, rather than depending on biotechnology, some transhumanists place greater confidence in nanotechnology, robotics, and information technology to achieve virtual immortality and create a superior posthuman species. We welcome critical and constructive assessments of this envisioned future. For more information, contact Calvin Mercer (mercerc@ecu.edu).

TO SUBMIT PROPOSAL ONLINE AS A NON-MEMBER


--go to www.aarweb.org
--on the right side, click on "online paper and panel proposal (OP3) system now open"
--scroll down and click on "Submit a Proposal as a Non-Member" and follow instructions
--the proposal is for the "Religion and Transhumanism" consultation

If your proposal is accepted, then you will need to become an AAR member and be registered for the annual meeting in (Montreal November 7-10) before June 15 to remain on the program. Deadline for submission of a proposal is March 2, 2009.

DESCRIPTION OF TRANSHUMANISM


"Transhumanism" or "human enhancement" refers to an intellectual and cultural movement that advocates the use of a variety of emerging technologies. The convergence of these technologies may make it possible to take control of human evolution, providing for the enhancement of human mental and physical abilities and the amelioration of aspects of the human condition regarded as undesirable. If these enhancements become widely available, it would arguably have a more radical impact than any other development in human history - one need only reflect briefly on the economic, political, and social implications of some of the extreme enhancement possibilities. The implications for religion and the religious dimensions of human enhancement technologies are enormous and are addressed in our consultation.

Charles Darwin Bicentennial Week at BYU, Feb. 9-13, 2009

1809 - 1859 - 2009




  1. Monday, 6 p.m., 455 MARB
    How Darwin's Big Idea Has Improved the Human Condition: Three Vignettes for Discussion
    Evolution and Modern Medicine - Keith Crandall, Department of Biology
    Evolution in Forensics, Food, & Conservation - Byron Adams, Department of Biology
    Evolution and Behavior - Jerry Johnson, Department of Biology



  2. Tuesday, Noon, 321 Maeser Building Auditorium
    The Many Faces of Charles Darwin
    Daniel Fairbanks, Professor and Associate Dean of Science and Health, Utah Valley University



  3. Wednesday, 3 p.m., 455 MARB
    An Approach to Understanding the Creation
    Terry Ball, Dean of Religious Education, Department of Ancient Scripture, Brigham Young University



  4. Wednesday, 7 p.m., 445 MARB
    On Knowing: The Times and Seasons of Joseph Smith, Abraham Lincoln, and Charles Darwin
    Riley Nelson, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Brigham Young University



  5. Thursday Feb. 12 - 7 p.m. - 3220 Wilkinson Student Center
    The Legacy of Charles Darwin: Seeking Grandeur in the View of Life
    Michael Whiting, Professor, Department of Biology, Brigham Young University
    Birthday cake will be served following the lecture.




  6. Thursday, 6:30 p.m. reception, 7p.m. lecture, 377 Clyde Building
    The Evolution of Charles Darwin: A Bicentennial Celebration
    Scott Ritter, Professor & Chair, Department of Geology, Brigham Young University



  7. Friday, 3 p.m., 445 MARB
    Darwin and the Human Fossil Record
    Duane Jeffery, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, Brigham Young University

For more information, please see the press release.

Congratulations to the New Humanity+ Board

The Mormon Transhumanist Association congratulates and expresses support for the new directors of our affiliate, Humanity+. The following five candidates have been elected to the five 2009-2010 board seats:


Sonia Arrison
George Dvorsky
Ben Goertzel
Todd Huffman
Mike LaTorra


These three board members will serve 2009 terms:


Patri Friedman
Jonas Lamis
Mike Treder


All voting members of the Mormon Transhumanist Association are voting members of Humanity+, and were eligible to participate in the election of these new directors.

Richard Leis Appointed Humanity+ Executive Director

The board of directors of our affiliate, Humanity+ (formerly the World Transhumanist Association), has announced that Richard Leis has accepted appointment as the Executive Director of Humanity+.


Richard Leis Jr is Operations Specialist for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) at the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona. He is co-founder of two transhumanist clubs in Arizona and founded an affiliation of transhumanist and related local clubs. He founded and writes for the Frontier Channel, and hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast.


The Mormon Transhumanist Association congratulates and expresses support for Richard.

News

Subscribe Subscribe to News