Wed, 14 December 2011
Natasha Vita-More (life extension and transhumanism pioneer, designer, spokesperson, writer and activist) is our featured guest.
Topics: Life Extension and Human Augmentation.
Natasha Vita-More is a Ph.D. researcher at the Centre for Media, Art and Design at the University of Plymouth. She is Chair of Humanity+, and may be best known for designing Primo Posthuman a future human prototype. She is the co-editor of the 2012 book The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology and Philosophy of the Human Future. She has appeared in more than twenty-four televised documentaries on culture and the future; been featured on NPR Radio; and in Flaunt, LA Weekly, Village Voice, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, U.S. News & World Report, and Teleopolis. She is currently producing and hosting Minds Matter a discussion and debate series. The New York Times called her "the first female philosopher of transhumanism" in 2008, and Wired featured her as the "spokesperson for superlongevity" in 2000.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 14, 2011 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 45 minutes]. This is the first third of an interview recorded by Skype on December 10, 2011.
This is the six year anniversary episode of The Future And You. Six years ago (on December 15, 2005) the very first episode of The Future And You became globally available for public enjoyment. Back then it was in a magazine format with many guests which made the show very long. Too long some listeners said, which is why I changed it to the current shorter format. Sound quality back then was also less than it is today, since I was doing phone interviews through a traditional land line telephone instead of Skype or Google Talk.
Despite their age, I am pleased to say that my decision to keep all past episodes up and available indefinitely has proven to be a good one. All the past episodes, even the very earliest ones, continue to be downloaded at a rate that I find both surprising and pleasing. I'm also pleased at the global nature of the show's popularity. While the USA makes up about 60 percent of the audience, I have listeners in over 130 nations around the world. China tops the foreign countries, followed by all the English speaking nations (in order of population), then the developed countries in Europe and Asia and the Americas, followed finally by what seem to be all the nations that have access to the Internet.
One nice thing about doing this show is that it gets my name in front of people I could never reach otherwise. For example: The largest English-Language Technology magazine in the nation of India emailed me unexpectedly and asked me to write a feature article for their tenth anniversary issue. Digit Magazine is a slick glossy technology monthly with a circulation of 250,000. Yeah, a quarter of a million people read this magazine. The June 2011 issue contains my article entitled "When Diamonds are no longer Precious." The editors were kind enough to include (on the same page as the article) a three inch tall color photo of me. That was nice of them.
Another example: This year I was asked to contribute one of my articles to a college text book. The text book called About Philosophy (eleventh edition) by Robert Paul Wolff has just come out and contains my article "Real Discrimination against Digital People." The article could be classified as investigative journalism since I interviewed a dozen or more people to find incidents of discrimination inside virtual worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft. The article was originally published in H+ Magazine and can still be read online.
I'd like to thank everyone who has helped to make this show a success: both those who listen and those who have let me interview them. The desire to hear and the desire to share ideas and opinion about the future is what keeps this show going. Thank you all, I appreciate your help.