MTA financial report is available to the public


The Mormon Transhumanist Association continually seeks input from all interested parties for improving our operations and goals.  As part of this effort, we have made the Association's financial reports available to the public.  You can find them at http://transfigurism.org/pages/about/finances/.  If you are interested in understanding more about what decisions drive our spending or have input regarding those decisions, please contact us at admin@transfigurism.org.

Karl Hale
Treasurer

Association receives Google Grant!

On December 11, 2011, the Mormon Transhumanist Association received an email from Google for Nonprofits: "Grants Enrollment has been approved!"

What are Google Grants?  "The Google Grants program empowers non-profit organizations to achieve their goals by helping them promote their websites via advertising on Google. Google AdWords ads appear when users search on Google and when you click on one of the ads, you are brought to the website being advertised."

The association's application for free advertising of up to $10,000 per month is now approved. Thanks, Google!

Volunteer to manage an Association project!

The list of projects on the transhumanism.org community page has been updated to reflect the many projects the Mormon Transhumanist Association is doing, such as Rosetta@home and the Transfigurist Quarterly.  However, there are several more exciting projects in need of a project manager to help move them along!  Check them out in detail here; a brief list follows.  See a project you like?  Volunteer to lead it today!

Bookstore (in need of a Project Manager)
Clothing store (in need of a Project Manager)
Annual Association Awards (in need of a Project Manager)
Monthly video discussion group on google+ (in need of a Project Manager)
Association Journal (in need of a Project Manager)
Mormon.org transhumanism-themed profiles 
(in need of a Project Manager)
Rosetta@Home
Transfigurism Quarterly

Turing Church Online Workshop 2


The Turing Church Online Workshop 2 will be held on Sunday 11 December, 2011. The Workshop will explore transhumanist spirituality and "Religion 2.0" as a summit of persons, groups and organizations active in this area, including members of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. Fully interactive participation will be free, invitation-only. If you wish to participate and for more information, visit the Turing Church web site.

Lincoln Cannon Interview on Mormonism and Politics with IEET

Lincoln Cannon, president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, interviewed with Hank Pellissier of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology on the subject of Mormonism and politics. Two Mormons, Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney, are campaigning for President of the United States, with Romney currently favored for the nomination. In recent days their faith has been derided by some as a "cult". Although Mormonism began in America, and has over 14 million followers internationally, the average American knows little about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). In this interview, Lincoln and Hank discuss socio-political positions of the Utah-based religion. The Mormon Transhumanist Association does not endorse any political candidate or party.

Giulio Prisco on Transhumanism and Religion at Manhattan College on 13 October 2011

On 13 October 2011 at 4pm eastern, Giulio Prisco will speak on Transhumanism and Religion at Manhattan College in the Rodriguez Room (Miguel 311). Robert Geraci organized the speaking engagement. Giulio's speech will be a revised and expanded version of the talk he gave on "The Cosmic Visions of the Turing Church" at the Transhumanism and Spirituality Conference 2010. More information is available on Giulio's blog.

Marcus Flinders Appointed General Counsel of the Mormon Transhumanist Association

The Mormon Transhumanist Association has appointed Marcus Flinders to the office of general counsel. Marcus is the Founding Attorney of Marcus Flinders Law Firm and specializes in corporate and business law as well as tax planning and litigation. He also has over fifteen years of experience as an entrepreneur and businessman. Marcus holds a BS in Philosophy from Utah Valley University, a JD from Valparaiso University, and an LL.M in Taxation from the University of Denver. Marcus served a mission to Cote d’Ivoire for the LDS Church, is married and has three children. For more information about the Mormon Transhumanist Association, visit transfigurism.org.

Mormon Transhumanist Association Conference 6 April 2012

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will hold its next conference in Salt Lake City on 6 April 2012. In past years, the association has sponsored the Mormonism Engineering Conference 2009 and the Transhumanism Spirituality Conference 2010. The Mormon Transhumanist Association Conference 2012 will be the first conference focused explicitly on both Mormonism and Transhumanism. Speakers will include Lincoln Cannon, President, and Chris Bradford, Vice President. Other members of the association and invited speakers will also present. Membership in the association is not required to attend. Additional details will be provided later. Mark you calendar, and plan to join us as we engineer meaning together.

Meet the Mormon Transhumanist Association Bloggers

The Mormon Transhumanist Association has added several member blogs to those aggregated on our web site home page and blog page, as well as to our feeds and social network broadcasts.

Here are the newest additions:

Doe Daughtrey's "New Age Mormon Pagans: Mormonism and the New Spirituality"

James Carroll's "Amateur Scriptorians" and self-named blog

Micah Redding's "Eminent Human" and "American Bedouin: King of the Anarchists"

Noah Heninger's "Finding Mormonism"

Here are the oldies but goodies:

Allen Leigh's "Convergence of Science and Religion"

Brad Carmack's "Thoughtproduct in the life of . . ."

Bryant Smith's "Words from the B Side"

Carl Youngblood's "Real Presences"

Chris Bradford's "Let Us Reason"

Daniel Durrant's self-named blog

Dave Sonntag's "Asian Life Sciences"

David Foster's "Stranger than Fiction"

Giulio Prisco's self-named blog

Leonard Reil's "Ramblings of an Ignorant Sage"

Lincoln Cannon's self-named blog

Mark Swint's "Science and Religion"

Michael Ferguson's "Positive Neuro"

Roger Hansen's "Tired Road Warrior"

If you are a member of the association and would like your blog to be included in the aggregation, please contact admin@transfigurism.org. Enjoy!

Transcendent Man Live with Ray Kurzweil — a special one-night movie event

Transcendent Man: A Conversation about the Future with Ray Kurzweil, produced by NCM Fathom, Ptolemaic Productions, and Therapy Studios, will be simulcast to select movie theaters nationwide from Lincoln Center in New York City on August 3rd, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 6:00 p.m. Mountain, and 8:00 p.m. Pacific (tape-delayed).

To buy tickets to a screening near you, watch the trailer, or get more information, please visit NCM Fathom here.

Based on the critically acclaimed film documentary Transcendent Man — which explores the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil — the live event will feature exclusive, extended excerpts from the film and a celebrity discussion panel.

Ray Kurzweil will give a special presentation on accelerating technology and its impact on civilization, followed by an all-star panel discussing the future of humanity, the merger of man and machine, and the imminent end of aging and disease, ushering in an era of extreme longevity and human potential.

The event will feature Deepak Chopra (live via Teleportec), filmmaker Barry Ptolemy, Apple Inc. cofounder Steve Wozniak, physicist Michio Kaku, technology entrepreneur Tan Le, and inventor Dean Kamen. With pre-recorded remarks from former Vice President Al Gore, Suzanne Somers, Quincy Jones, Bill Maher, Elon Musk and others.

Viewers are invited to submit a question in advance (to be answered by participants on event night) on the Transcendent Man Facebook page or Twitter (hashtag: #tmlive).

“Ray Kurzweil’s theory that human life will be interconnected with machines and computers within the next several decades is fascinating people worldwide,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of Fathom. “This special live event will give audiences a chance to hear directly from the celebrated inventor and a world renowned panel about the theory of immortality and the progress being made in that regard right now.”

Members of the Mormon Transhumanist Association that will be in the Salt Lake City area are invited to purchase tickets through Fandango to attend this event at the following location:

Transcendent Man: Live with Ray Kurzweil (NR)
Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011
Showtime: 6:00 pm
Cinemark Draper and XD
12129 South State Street
Behind Draper Peaks
Draper, UT 84020
(801) 619-6494
Auditorium 6

Turing Church Online Workshop 2

The Turing Church Online Workshop 2 will be scheduled in November or December 2011, date TBD, with a format similar to the Turing Church Online Workshop 1 on November 20, 2010.

As last year, the Workshop will explore transhumanist spirituality and “Religion 2.0″ as a summit of persons, groups and organizations active in this area. 

We hope to see all the panelists and participants in last year's workshop, and also many more new faces. Fully interactive participation will be free, invitation-only. If you wish to participate, please request to join our mailing list and/or our Facebook group.

Call for papers: Please submit proposals for talks relevant to transhumanist spirituality and “Religion 2.0″, the converge of science and religion, highly imaginative future science and technologies for resurrection, emerging technologies for immortality such as brain preservation and mindfiles, social and memetic engineering to inspire hope, happiness, sense of wonder and sense of meaning.

As last year, the technical implementation of the Workshop will be managed by teleXLR8 using the OpenQwaq VR technology. teleXLR8, a telepresence community for cultural acceleration, produces online events, featuring first class content and speakers, using the open source OpenQwaq, the best technology for e-learning and collaboration in an online 3D environment. We are also investigating parallel webcast options with limited interactivity and the possibility to show webcasts in Second Life.

Appropriate training in the telepresence technology used for the Workshop will be provided to all speakers, and also to the attendees who will request it. Take a look at the full video coverage of the 2010 Workshop to see the telepresence technology in action.

Singularity Institute Salt Lake Summit

Salt Lake City is a new addition to the Singularity Institute's Summit locations. In March of 2011, with the support and encouragement of Rob and Oksana Brazell, the Singularity Institute held a small event at the Salt Lake Country Club for members of the Young Presidents' Organization and World Presidents' Organization, focusing on advanced and highly beneficial medical technologies that seem rarely used or little known. The high quality of the audience and their enthusiastic reaction encouraged organizers so much that the Singularity Summit SLC was born.

The Summit will begin with Michael Vassar discussing the strange time-lag between technological invention and mainstream adoption. Deepa Kulkarni will share her story of the doctors who told her that her lost fingertip couldn't be regained, and how she researched a known but little-used procedure for tissue regeneration. Jaan Tallinn, a founding engineer of Skype, will Skype in to speak on the lessons of his career. Dr. Zheng Cui will present his discovery of a white blood cell transfusion with a 100% success rate for cancer treatment in mice; and his collaborator Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj will talk about the clinical trial of this and other transfusion therapy at his Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Treatment Facility. After lunch, Ray Kurzweil will join us via telepresence to share his vision of the future of artificial intelligence and of mankind's fusion with machines. Paypal Co-Founder and Founder's Fund Partner Luke Nosek will discuss genomics investing and Halcyon Molecular's vision of DNA sequencing. Khan Academy President Shantanu Sinha will explain how his nonprofit is using technology to revolutionize the education system. And finally Aubrey de Grey, the Chief Science Officer at the SENS Foundation, will conclude with his view of how technology can and should cure aging.

Date: June 4th, 2011 10:00am - 5:00pm
Location: The Grand America Hotel
Contact: amywilley@gmail.com
Phone: 586.381.1801
Singularity Institute
Registration $100

Visit the Singularity Institute Salt Lake Summit web site for more information and to register.

Brad Carmack Appointed Secretary of the Mormon Transhumanist Association

The Mormon Transhumanist Association has appointed Brad Carmack to the office of secretary. He was also recently elected to the association's board of directors.

Brad graduated from the JD/MPA program at BYU in April 2011. He majored in Biology, performed clerk assignments for Justice Joel Horton of the Idaho Supreme Court, and worked as a teacher’s assistant for human resources law, biodiversity, management ethics, and bioethics. Brad is author of "Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective", available on YouTube and in PDF at bradcarmack.blogspot.com.

For more information about the Mormon Transhumanist Association, visit transfigurism.org.

H+ Magazine Publishes Second Interview with Lincoln Cannon on Mormon Transhumanism

H+ Magazine today published a second interview with Lincoln Cannon, president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. In this second interview, Lincoln explains why he considers Mormonism to be the most Transhumanist among major world religions. He also addresses questions about scriptural interpretation, parallels with other religions, and the problem of evil.

In the first interview, Lincoln shared thoughts on parallels between Mormonism and Transhumanism, including Mormon views of the afterlife, immortality and contemporary ethical issues raised by emerging technology. He also discussed Mormons in science and technology, passages of the Book of Mormon with Transhumanist themes, and hopes related to a Mormon futuristic transhuman utopia.

Brad Carmack, Chris Bradford and Nathan Hadfield Elected to Mormon Transhumanist Association Board of Directors

The Mormon Transhumanist Association is pleased to announce the results of the 2011 director election. Each year, terms expire for three of the nine seats on the board of directors. This year, the seats occupied by Chris Bradford, Cory Funk and Joseph West expired. The association thanks Chris, Cory and Joseph for the leadership and service they've provided. Voting members of the association have elected the following three persons to serve as directors for the 2011 to 2014 term:

Brad Carmack
Chris Bradford
Nathan Hadfield

The association congratulates Brad, Chris and Nathan, and thanks them for their willingness to contribute. Below is additional information about these directors. Information about all directors and officers of the association is available here:

http://transfigurism.org/pages/about/directors-and-officers/


Brad Carmack

Brad graduated from the JD/MPA program at BYU in April 2011. He majored in Biology, performed clerk assignments for Justice Joel Horton of the Idaho Supreme Court, and worked as a teacher’s assistant for Human Resources Law, Biodiversity, Management Ethics, and Bioethics. Brad risked his degrees by writing “Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective,” available on YouTube and in pdf at bradcarmack.blogspot.com.


Chris Bradford

Chris was born in Utah, but soon moved to Washington DC and then overseas for his father's employment. He has lived in Egypt, Germany, Jordan, Pakistan and Italy, where he served an LDS mission. A self-taught programmer, he manages social & mobile development at Ancestry.com. He has a degree from Brigham Young University in linguistics. Chris and wife Lucy have five sons and three daughters. Chris is passionate about science, technology, religion, philosophy, and the performing arts.


Nathan Hadfield

Nathan is a founding partner at MacsDesign Studio, a software company specializing in service management solutions. After receiving a bachelors degree in Computer Science from Brigham Young University in 1999, he worked as a software engineer at Motorola and as a technical instructor and curriculum developer at BroadVision. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Los Angeles. Nathan and wife Molly have two energetic little boys, and he currently serves as scoutmaster for his ward in Provo, Utah.

Mormon Transhumanist Association Member Survey Results 2010

The Mormon Transhumanist Association has released results of the 2010 member survey.

At the end of 2010, the Mormon Transhumanist Association consisted of 120 members, with approximately 40% living in Utah and 87% living in the United States. According to the survey, 77% of our members are also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the largest Mormon denomination) and 77% identified as theists. On cultural politics, 51% identified as progressive, 28% as moderate and 7% as conservative. On economic politics, 35% identified as conservative, 33% as moderate and 21% as progressive. All members of the association support the Transhumanist Declaration and the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation.

For more information about the Mormon Transhumanist Association, please visit transfigurism.org or contact admin@transfigurism.org.

MTA Board of Director Elections

On 1 April, the Mormon Transhumanist Association will begin its annual board of director elections. Each year, terms expire for three of the nine seats on the board of directors. This year, the seats currently occupied by Chris Bradford, Cory Funk and Joseph West expire. The association thanks Chris, Cory and Joseph for the leadership and service they've provided.

Here is the timeline for the election:

Nominations 1-7 April: Any voting member of the association may nominate herself or any other voting member of the association to serve as a director for three years. Nominations should be directed to and accepted on the public MTA mail list at transfigurism@googlegroups.com.

Discussion 8-21 April: All members of the MTA are invited to review and discuss nominees, either on the public MTA mail list or elsewhere.

Voting 22-28 April: Voting members of the association may each vote up to once for each nominee. The three nominees with the most votes will be elected as directors of the association for the next three years.

If you would like to become a voting member of the association and participate in the election, you may do so in the "Voting Membership" section of the "Join" page on the MTA web site at http://transfigurism.org/pages/join/.

If you have any questions about the elections, please contact admin@transfigurism.org.

Public Member Listing

The Mormon Transhumanist Association announces availability of a public member list. The list includes the current total count of association members, as well as names and locations of members that elect to make their membership public. If you would like to contact a member on the list, submit a request to admin@transfigurism.org, and an association officer will forward your request to the member.

Transhumanism and religion call for papers

CALL FOR PAPERS—deadline 11:59 pm, March 8, 2011 (current membership in the AAR not required to submit a proposal)

 

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion will be November 18-21, 2011 in San Francisco.  Here below is the call for papers for the "Transhumanism and Religion" consultation.

 

CALL FOR PAPERS: This Consultation welcomes papers on any aspect of transhumanism and religion and seeks perspectives from a variety of religious traditions. Papers may identify and critically evaluate any implicit religious beliefs that might underlie key transhumanist claims and assumptions. For example, are there operative notions of anthropology, soteriology, and eschatology at play in transhumanist quests? Papers might consider how transhumanism challenges religions to develop their own ideas of the human future; in particular, the prospect of human transformation, whether by technological or other means. Papers may provide critical and constructive assessments of an envisioned future that place greater confidence in nanotechnology, robotics, and information technology to achieve virtual immortality and create a superior posthuman species. We welcome feminist analyses and more overtly philosophical critiques of posthuman discourse.

 

FOR NON-AAR MEMBERS

If you have never been an AAR member and do not have an AAR member ID, then log in at http://op3.aarweb.org.  You can create a temporary account that will allow you to submit a proposal.  If you have technical difficulty submitting your proposal, you can contact the AAR office (404 727 3049).  If you have questions about the call or the consultation, you can contact me (mercer@ecu.edu).

 

For those not familiar with the AAR "Transhumanism and Religion" consultation, here is the mission:

 

MISSION OF THE CONSULTATION: "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 deemed desirable and the amelioration of aspects of the human condition regarded as undesirable. These enhancements include the radical extension of healthy human life. 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. We are interested in encouraging and providing a forum for a broad array of input from scholars, including Asian and feminist. For more information, or to be placed on a very occasional mailing list, contact Calvin Mercer at mercerc@ecu.edu.

 

Calvin Mercer, Ph.D.

Professor of Religion

Director, Multidisciplinary Studies Program

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC  27858  USA

252 328 4310 (off & vm)

252 328 6301 (fax)

mercerc@ecu.edu

www.ecu.edu/religionprogram/mercer

Online Discussion: Disruptive Technology and the Nature of the Singularity

New series of discussions on topics related to Mormonism and Transhumanism

Join the discussion of the intersection of Religion and Technology.

This month: Disruptive Technology and the Nature of the Singularity 

Date: Jan 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm MST.
Location: SecondLife, an online environment, http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Los%20Pinos/123/7/29

The Mormon Transhumanist Association is hosting a series of open discussions on various topics relating to the intersection of Mormonism and Transhumanism. This month, the discussions will investigate the rise of disruptive technologies and the nature of the Singularity - how all of these things will affect us. 

Everyone interested is eagerly invited to attend. Bring your ideas or questions to discuss, or just bring yourself and listen. After a brief introduction of the topic we will have a discussion where everyone is free to participate, share their perspectives and ask questions.

The discussion will be hosted in the online environment Second Life. An internet-connected computer with speakers and a microphone -- as either a headset or with echo cancellation -- are prerequisites, while the SecondLife software may be freely downloaded from the internet. If you do not yet have the software, download it ahead of time from www.secondlife.com.

Hosted by David Foster, MTA Director

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