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Humanity 2.0

In this series of videos Steve Fuller explores the ideas from his new book Humanity 2.0 on a chapter by chapter basis. The first chapter is below, for the rest see here.

Filmed by Luke Robert Mason and hosted on the Virtual Futures Vimeo pages. Luke also kindly helped us film an interview with Steve at the same time about social media & academic publishing – coming soon

Steve Fuller on Humanity 2.0

A video from TED Warwick where Steve Fuller talks about the problem of defining humanity. He has a new book out on this subject – Humanity 2.0: What it Means to be Human Past, Present and Future.

Humanity 2.0

In this series of videos Steve Fuller explores the ideas from his new book Humanity 2.0 on a chapter by chapter basis. The first chapter is below, for the rest see here.

Filmed by Luke Robert Mason and hosted on the Virtual Futures Vimeo pages.

Steve Fuller – The Posthuman Challenge to Ecological Correctness

This is Part One of an unscripted talk presented by Steve Fuller (in his office at the University of Warwick, UK, in September 2011) as a ‘Festvideo’ (cf. Festschrift) in honour of Eugene Rosa of Washington State University, one of America’s foremost sociologists of the environment. The video appears in two parts, and centres on Rosa’s long-standing appeal to the ‘I=PAT’ formula for environmental impact. The formula is explained in this part of the talk. Many of Rosa’s papers may be found here:

This is Part Two of Fuller’s talk (see Part One for more details). This part gets more fully into the ‘posthuman challenge’, including the proposal that people may wish to ‘live fast, die young’ in the future. Thanks to Mark Carrigan for astutely observing that people may wish to achieve this state by drugs rather than fast food….

Steve Fuller interviewed about Transhumanism

An interesting interview with Steve Fuller in h+, a magazine exploring the ramifications of technology for human nature:

Fuller’s research documents historical events in the advancement of scientific and social studies. He is very much aware that political enthusiasm for certain movements which predate the transhumanist agenda (such as, to be blunt, eugenics) frequently became associated with diabolical and destructive ideologies and regimes. It is partly because of that, Fuller argues, that present day politicians are very wary of getting involved with the transhumanist debate. They are seemingly uncomfortable with wading into a discussion whose ramifications and frontiers remain unclear, and whose most visible proponents or detractors can sometimes be unsavoury (the orthodox religious critics of transhumanist ‘tampering’ with nature versus the right-wing libertarian strain who fail to present cogent, moderate arguments in socially democratic contexts). Fuller is adamant that mainstream understanding of the transhumanist agenda is essential in order for lasting impact and awareness to become established.

“Nobody wants to initiate this kind of discussion,” claims Fuller, “but if you don’t, then it’s all going to be left to the free market. People who can afford it will do it, those who can’t won’t – everybody ends up fending for themselves.”

In giving an example of how ethical and practical problems can arise out of such scenarios, Fuller cites contemporary concerns over cosmetic surgery. The perceived exploitation of female bodies in the light of male anatomical standards, the continuing anxiety regarding certain unregulated procedures and the only partly understood psychological implications of plastic surgery all contribute to a sense of the practice as unfortunately positioned in an image-obsessed culture. Could the same thing happen with cosmetic neurology? Fuller pointed me in the direction of an article by neurologist Anjan Chatterjee, “Cosmetic Neurology and Cosmetic Surgery: Parallels, Predictions and Challenges”, in which he recounts how bioethicists were worryingly slow to take cosmetic surgeons to task over certain methods and applications of their work. In a world where ‘synapse tuning’ becomes readily available and human culture begins to demand neurological ‘re-wiring’ for new tasks, occupations and experiences, brain augmentation (as well as creating chasms in a neurologically stratified society) could severely damage the integrity of practitioners:


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