Post Humanism – New Things With Brains

NedNotes - Post-Humanism -- Things with BrainsPost-Humanism — I am fascinated by thinking about what will create the next generation of things with brains.

Recent Blog Posts on this topic: 

 

God and the Robots

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in posthuman, technology, theology | 0 comments

I am writing a non-fiction book called God and the Robots. Here’s a first look at my early book proposal.  ——————————————– In the summer of 2015, two stories were on the front page of the New York Times. The stories did not appear to be related. The first was an announcement that a group of technical luminaries – including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking – had signed a statement calling for governments to outlaw the building of autonomous killing...

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Post-Humanity and Terminator

Posted by on May 17, 2012 in posthuman, tech | 0 comments

I’ve had some fun recently watching and reading about the Terminator series. It’s not a bad attempt to bring a large SF franchise into the more constrained world of TV, and there’sconsiderable fan momentum If you were creating an artificial lifeform from the ground-up, what kinds of elements would you use? First, in any kind of hostile environment, it would be wise to create an internal skeleton made of a matrix of some sort of highly flexible yet very strong metal. A network that would carry materials to re-build and...

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Recent Research: Symbolic Machines

Posted by on Jul 2, 2009 in ethics, posthuman, theology | 0 comments

The assumption that ‘raw’ matter such as silicon, metals, and ceramics can be organized in such a manner that they can give rise to a mental state that we can recognize as consciousness, is a fundamental underpinning of the effort to create artificial intelligence. As philosopher of mind Nick Bostrom points out: Substrate-independence is a common assumption in the philosophy of mind. The idea is that mental states can supervene on any of a broad class of physical substrates. Provided a system implements the right sort of computational...

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A Cyborg Eschatology: A.N. Whitehead and Post-Humanism (COMPLETE)

Posted by on Sep 20, 2008 in ethics, posthuman, theology | 0 comments

A Cyborg Eschatology: A.N. Whitehead and Post-Humanism (COMPLETE)

Cyborg Eschatology: A Process Perspective on Post-Organic Embodiment   i. Environment and Actuality In Western thought, one person’s ego is often considered primary: the individual “I” is the focus of many historical Western Christian conceptions of salvation and sin. In contrast, Eastern philosophy has often emphasized a “flux” of existences which co-exist in community. As Christian influence has waned in Western philosophy, contemporary cultural thinkers like Heidegger and Derrida have spoken out of a so-called post-modern and...

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Cyborg Eschatology: Whitehead and the Posthuman (Part V)

Posted by on Sep 9, 2008 in ethics, posthuman | 0 comments

vi. Evolution & Transcendence Whitehead does not write directly of the possibility of God’s relationship with beings that human beings substantially create, but he does write of the difference in God’s creative relationship with every actuality. From this discussion, Whitehead describes God’s operations within and upon the metaphysical universe as the ongoing act of “enabling finite beings themselves by their own activity to transcend themselves.” In fact, it seems clear that the spiritual soul may in fact, arise out of such divine...

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Cyborg Eschatology: Whitehead and the Posthuman (Part IV)

Posted by on Sep 9, 2008 in ethics, posthuman, theology | 0 comments

iv. Machine Organization and Actualization The assumption that ‘raw’ matter such as silicon, metals, and ceramics can be organized in such a manner that they can give rise to a mental state that we can recognize as consciousness, is a fundamental underpinning of the effort to create artificial intelligence. As philosopher of mind Nick Bostrom points out: Substrate-independence is a common assumption in the philosophy of mind. The idea is that mental states can supervene on any of a broad class of physical substrates. Provided a system...

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Cyborg Eschatology: Whitehead and the Posthuman (Part III)

Posted by on Sep 9, 2008 in ethics, posthuman, theology | 0 comments

iii. Self-Realizing Material As any programmer who studies philosophy immediately notes, current software programming models act out to some degree the ideas of Plato and Thomas Aquinas. In the programming world, the pervasive emphasis on Object-oriented programming has given rise to the somewhat common analogy that “Platonic forms are classes and instances are [software] objects.” Given this fundamental understanding of their work as the ‘instantiation’ of an overarching class or Form, programmers thus work to define hierarchies of symbolic...

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Cyborg Eschatology: Whitehead and the Posthuman (Part II)

Posted by on Sep 9, 2008 in ethics, posthuman, theology | 0 comments

ii. A Model for Post-Organic Actualization The central question we will soon contend with is this: Are beings who are other than organically human to be defined as “persons” or “humans” just as readily as we define any “person” who “extends themselves” into the world through merely their organic body? One day soon, there may be a ‘being’ who extends themselves into the world through merely a computer interface. On the screen in front of us, we may see a line of text which – in that moment of time – is the only extension of a being’s body into...

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Cyborg Eschatology: Whitehead and Post-Humanity (Part I)

Posted by on Sep 9, 2008 in ethics, posthuman, theology | 0 comments

i. Environment and Actuality In Western thought, one person’s ego is often considered primary: the individual “I” is the focus of many historical Western Christian conceptions of salvation and sin. In contrast, Eastern philosophy has often emphasized a “flux” of existences which co-exist in community. As Christian influence has waned in Western philosophy, contemporary cultural thinkers like Heidegger and Derrida have spoken out of a so-called post-modern and post-sacred ethos. Yet despite the “death of God” drama, within Heidegger’s Dasein...

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New Weird Fiction, OntoTheology & Cultural Memes: PhD Dissertation Proposal

Posted by on May 2, 2008 in ethics, posthuman, theology | 0 comments

New Weird Fiction, OntoTheology & Cultural Memes — My PhD Dissertation Proposal   (In 2008, I proposed doing a PhD in theology and approaches to post-humanism. Accepted into a PhD program on this topic, but then I went to a full-time day job again.) “We are a [species] whose little children demand wearily at the end of each day, ‘Momma, tell me a story’,” novelist and theologian Andrew Greeley once observed. In fact, human beings do not merely ask for stories to explain experience, but also use the act of story-telling to structure...

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