Wed, 5 March 2008
Michael Anissimov, the well known futurist, blogger and transhumanism activist is today's featured guest.
Michael talks about many future-oriented topics such as: transhumanism and the singularity; cryonics and Paris Hilton; solar power verses nuclear power; synthetic biology and Craig Ventor's new artificial organism; and his own involvement with the founding of the Immortality Institute.
The Immortality Institute is a life extension activist organization that today includes hundreds of paying members and an active online community. Michael was one of its co-founders though he was still in High School at the time.
Currently Michael is the Lifeboat Foundation's fundraising Director for North America; He is very much involved with the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology; and was recently voted to join the board of the World Transhumanist Association.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the March 5, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 71 minutes]
In this interview Michael expresses his enthusiasm about the ongoing revitalization of the World Transhumanist Association, which includes the new webzine being put together by R. U. Serious.
He also discuses two technologies he feels could have a radical destabilizing effect on the world once they reach a certain threshold--which they may do within 20 years. These technologies are molecular nanotechnology (MNT) and Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). While their potential benefits are great, if not handled with extreme caution, he feels these technologies could cause disaster.
He also describes the trends he sees going on within the transhumanist movement today, and how he expects these trends to play out during the next few years. For example, he sees that the general public is beginning to warm up to transhumanist ideas thanks to movies and TV; but that there is still a lot of fear of transhumanism among the religious right. He agrees that there are a lot of closet transhumanists who haven't come out yet. But he also says the new transhumanists seem to be of all ages, not just young people. He sees the next few years as a time of much greater acceptance of the transhumanist ideas and idealism.
Michael is a science and technology writer and consultant based in San Francisco. He has given talks on futurist issues at seminars and conferences in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and at Yale University. His blog (acceleratingfuture.com) has become one of the primary focal points within the futurist community, including the communities of transhumanists and singularitarians. His blog features his own writings, the writings of others, as well as many important links to other sources of information about the future.