Monthly Archives: August 2004

TV2004 Wrapup

Had a great time at TV2004 today, super speakers on today's roster. Afterwards Phil and I did a nice long video interview with Stelarc… Both of those articles I should have for you later in the week. In the interim, here are some photos from today (you can wait for the article for details or google their names). Finally, a big thank you to George and Simon from BetterHumans for inviting me.

Shannon Bell (left), Jose Luis Cordeiro (om shirt), Stelarc (middle), me, and some people I don't know yet.

Aubrey de Grey speaking on removing toxic aggregates that our cells can't break down.

Rafal Smigrodski and I.

Rafal Smigrodski talking on mitochondrial DNA replacement therapy.

Anders Sandberg and I.

Aubrey de Grey and I.

Torsten Nahm talking on aging from the perspective of information theory.

Ben Hyink speaking about his ideas on non-fatal uploading.

Nick Bostrom giving the closing talk on “why”.

Rudi Hoffman and I.

George Dvorsky and I.

Allen Randall talking on quantum miracles and immortality.

I really want to emphasize that when events like this come to your area, you really should consider going. Not only will it open your mind in new ways, but it's an amazing opportunity to get first hand time with world class scientists, philosophers, writers, and artists. Next year it's in Caracas, Venezuela!


You'd think after having this system for so long I'd have figured out Avid by now, but I have to admit that I really find it incredibly counterintuitive. Anyway, with any luck I'll have this thing done and rendered for either later tonight or in the morning… so much to do, so little time!

Editing video today…

Wonder why McCain defends Kerry? This article alleges that McCain is a treasonous coward and that Kerry sold out the POW-MIA crowd for money… This is still going to get a lot dirtier.

Heading off

Back to TV04 shortly…   I'm going to check out Trans-Spirit (“Religion, spirituality, and transhumanism”), Big Theory (“The Conscious Clock” and “The Theory of Statistical Metaphysics”), and Human Enhancement (“A Critical Look at Leon Kass and Transhumanist Ageless Bodies: Enhancement and Degreadation of the Human Person”, “Posthuman Prototypes Debate Their Own Design”, and “Genetic Virtue”). I'd hoped to be able to see Stelarc's “Avatar and Machine Intelligence” this morning, but scheduling unfortunately precluded it. I am however going to his Alternate Anatomical Architectures presentation tonight — which I really recommend you check out as well… Like I said, it's $12.50 at the door (directions in the entry below this one).

I got the above tattooing done yesterday as well. It's a little bit out of context because the constellation lines and stars aren't colored yet, and the background isn't either. But if you've got a good mind's eye, you'll understand that the background to the tattoo is a starry sky full of Woodring constellations.

Headed off again

I haven't been entirely thrilled with some of the presentations (wait for the article) — while there have been some really amazing people there talking, a lot of the folks don't seem even vaguely qualified to be speaking and are downright stupidiotic. One person had a bunch of “interviews with posthumans” which was her “interviewing” fictional and non-fictional robots and computer personalities (like Agent Smith, the Honda Robot, etc.). The ones that were real she misrepresented to the point where it was clear she had no comprehension of what they were or how they worked, and the fictional ones were at best shallow interpretations of the movie reviews. Her own “posthuman body design” included things like “turbocharged suspension” and other nonsensical technobabble.

Before her was a Christian geneticist talking about how we can use genetic engineering to make “virtuous” people who don't lie (by damaging their frontal lobe in effect). When people raised the objection that he was proposing genetic oppression, he made the statement that “even perfect pitch is oppressive because then you can't play punk music”… Yeah, and really strong people can't pick up light objects. Give me a break. I stood up at the end and told him that he was just talking about breeding a bunch of well-behaved losers and that humanity has never been driven forward by “virtuous” people — only by the selfish, self-obsessed, narcissistic, and agressive people.

On the interesting side though, I happened to sit next to the insurance salesman for Alcor, the cryogenics company, who was boisterously entusiastic about mods, and terribly thrilled about meeting Lukas Zpira who made it just in time for Stelarc's presentation. Anyway, I'm off now to catch a couple more presentations and then do a couple interviews.

Oh, and Phil, Derek, Ryan (check his page for cool job offers in Toronto), and I ate at Lucky Dragon afterwards which was a total fiasco. Almost nothing that we ordered came as we ordered it, and some of the dishes never showed at all, and mystery dishes were added. One of the vegan dishes that we ordered appeared to have pork in it.

Phil: What is in this dish?
Waiter: It's bean curd.
Phil: That really looks like pork.
Waiter: Yes, pork.
Phil: Didn't you just say “bean curd”?
Waiter: Yes, we ran out. Substitution. It's bean curd dish.
Phil: I can't eat it if it's pork. I'm a vegetarian.
Waiter: No, it's bean curd. We substitute pork.
Phil: I can't eat it if it's pork. I'm a vegetarian.
Waiter: It's ok, you eat it.
Phil: I. Can't. Eat. It. I. Am. A. Vegetarian.
Waiter: We are out of bean curd.
Phil: Just take it back and take it off the bill please.
Waiter: No, you eat half of it.
Phil: No, I can't eat it. I am a vegetarian. This has pork in it.
Waiter: It's OK, just eat half.

The waiter then left, leaving the dish with us.

Eventually we just paid our bill (having no idea what we actually got charged with) and left. Luckily Chinatown is pretty damn cheap either way, so even if we were overbilled it's still a cheaper meal than we would have had elsewhere.