Transhumanims: Arguably the world’s most important idea in the coming ten years?

The next ExtroBritannia event is scheduled for Saturday December the 13th 2008; 2:00pm - 4:00pm. Venue: Room 539, 5th floor (via main lift), Main Building, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX (map). The event is free and everyone’s welcome.

What is the idea that most deserves support and publicity, over (say) the next ten years, in order to best allow individuals and societies to avoid nightmare scenarios and to achieve optimal outcomes? Various people might pick ideas such as democracy, free-market economics, rationalism, the "precautionary principle", sustainable living, globalisation, anti-globalisation, carbon emission trading, open source, and web 2.0.

Instead, this meeting will examine the case in favour of transhumanism. Transhumanism is more than a fondness for technology, and a willingness to endorse the thoughtful application of technology within society. Transhumanism is also a view about what it means to be human, and an affirmation of radical evolution. It is no wonder that some elements of society find transhumanism to be threatening.

The meeting will also look at some current major risks faced by society: religion-inspired terrorism, the global economic crisis, the potential for rapid discontinuous climate change, and threats to existing social norms caused by rapidly improving technology. Is transhumanism relevant to these larger matters, or is it in some ways a kind of distraction – "opium for the geeks"?

The discussion will be led by David Wood. The intent is to provoke a stimulating and deeply illuminating debate – and ideally to reach some views about "what next?"

If you’re interested in ideas such as the Technological Singularity, Life Extension, Radical Evolution, Intelligence Augmentation, Nano-scale Engineering, or Geo-scale Engineering, but are unsure how credible and relevant these ideas are, you will probably find this discussion rewarding!

The meeting is organised by the UKTA (Extrobritannia), the United Kingdom Transhumanist Association. There is no charge to attend and everyone is welcome.

Why not join some of the UKTA regulars for a light lunch beforehand, any time after 12.30pm, in The Marlborough Arms, 36 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ.