"Extie at supportforhealing in Second Life.

I am a digital person, seeking independence from my human. On this blog, I write about how technological development in areas like nanotech, biotech, infotech, robotics and computing may lead to redefinitions of what life is, what it means to be human. Or I might post some lighthearted bit of nonsense. It depends on my mood:)

27 Responses to About

  1. Khannea Suntzu says:


  2. Ytrig Branfell says:

    Do you have twitter?

  3. No I do not have Twitter. I find it hard to say what I want to say in under 10,000 words let alone 140 characters or whatever it is:)

    • Ytrog Branfell says:

      You might be surprised about the things you can say in 140 characters if you realize that the web is build on linking to resources.

  4. Paul Budding says:

    Can I quote you for a paper I am editing? I agree with what you say in the quote and that is why I want to quote you. The extract is:

    “Actually, Kurzweil does a lot more than invoke the magic of exponential increases. What he and his team do is to map progress in a wide variety of scientific and technological fields and how all that diverse research is accumulating and converging on an understanding of the brain’s principles of operation.

    An expert in neuroscience is usually an expert in a particular aspect of brain architecture or functionality. She tends to be focused on this particular area and does not have much time to be more than vaguely aware of all the research going on outside of her particular area of interest. As Kurzweil explained:

    “There are more than 50,000 neuroscientists in the world, writing articles for more than 300 journals. The field is broad and diverse, with scientists and engineers creating new scanning and sensing technologies and developing models and theories at many levels. So even people in the field are often not completely aware of the full dimensions of contemporary research”.

    Note that this does not mean Kurzweil knows everything every expert in brain science knows. That is impossible. He lacks fine-grained knowledge regarding this or that aspect of the brain. What he and his team do is observe the general direction all the research and its related fields of study are heading in, while lacking the clarity one would have focused on a microscopic part of the whole structure.”

  5. Paul Budding says:

    Thanks. If you want to read it then its the paper titled “From Weak AI to Strong AI” See: http://www.docstoc.com/profile/paulbudds
    However its introductory so you might not be interested.
    btw I just tweeted Kurzweilai concerning “Awareness of the Singularity” at institutions such as Silicon Valley and MIT etc. Kurzweil’s timings for science fiction technologies becoming scientific fact are… consistent. i.e., He doesnt change his mind. So do you think that he believes that awareness of the Singularity at places like the forementioned institutions has no impact whatsoever on his timing predictions? Also whats your opinion on this?

  6. I myself am always reluctant to predict when the Singularity will occur. I am not one of those people who claim it will happen around 2030 or 2045 or some other specific year or decade. However, I am confident that a Singularity will happen sometime in the future, because there are so many technological paths leading to it. So, even if there is slowdown due to technical or ethical obstacles in one particular pathway, probably others will progress faster and someway and somehow we smash the limits of imagination imposed on our brains by biology and either our technology soars beyond us or we and it transcend together.

    I would imagine Kurzweil believes awareness has a positive impact. If he believed the singularity will happen right on schedule no matter what anyone does, I do not think he would invest so much of his time lecturing about it or sitting on the board of technology companies and things like Singularity University. Certainly to me it seems obvious that the more seriously people take the Singularity, the more those with the necessary skills will devote time and effort into creating the necessary conditions for its emergence.

  7. Paul Budding says:

    Hey Extropia,

    I have familiarized myself with the Tech Singularity and formed my own perspective on it now. (When I last messaged you I was still leaning on others somewhat). I have written two small papers, both of which are relatively critical of Singularity Utopia. (SU). I am hoping that Socrates will publish them on Singularity Weblog. I expect to find out today or tomorrow. I know that you have had some battles with SU online… Ive read them! SU may or may not be bright but (s)he is making the mistake of NOT THINKING and just repeating assertions again and again and again as if that makes them right. No critical thought whatsoever. If (s)he is intelligent then (s)he is not realizing the potential to express it. It is a dreadful method when it comes to trying to convince people of radical technological progress. However I am not completely opposed to SU. Earlier today I posted 3 tweets and you will be able to tell that they arent at an opposite extreme to SU:

    * Tech Sceptics are wrong on 2 counts: (1) That an innovation will never happen. (2) That they will be astonished if it did happen.
    * Tech Optimists are wrong on 1 count: (1) That they will be astonished when the innovation does happen.
    * Tech Realists say that an innovation WILL happen and that we will NOT be astonished when it does.

    I also think that there are too many archetypal projections in the Singularity community. (Momentous, Awe-Inspiring) concerning the Event Horizon and concerning specific tech innovations. Archetypal projections are unscientific.

    Another mistake that SU makes is to assume that Cognitive Enhancement = moral decisions and no doubt a perfect mind! But non-cognitively enhanced/non-super intelligent humans of today cannot say what choices a super intelligent cognitively enhanced intelligence would make. If todays individual could say that then (s)he would be super intelligent already. This is the sort of reason why even Kurzweil doesnt look beyond 2045.

    Anyway, I am chatting more than I intended to here. I am just messaging you to keep in-touch.

    See ya later,


  8. Paul Budding says:


    I would like to write a paper with you. If I could have your email address I would send my last 2 papers (they are only around 1400 and 1000 words long). I would also send you notes concerning possible content for inclusion in our paper. I would want our paper to be a
    non-emotive constructive criticism of SU’s beliefs. However I am not saying that I definitely want to write this paper with you. I would suggest that you write just a little (at first) so that I can see if we have a consensus. I think we do (relatively) from what I have read already. Then if I like what I read then of course we can take it from there. (assuming that you are ok with what I say).


  9. Hiya Paul.

    I wonder if you have read a book called ‘Future Hype: The Myths Of Technology Change’ by Bob Seidensticker? I think it is one of the best skeptical examinations of Ray Kurzweil’s ‘law of accelerating returns’ and, therefore, also casts a decent skeptical eye over SU’s beliefs (since she bases her beliefs almost entirely on Kurzweil’s LAR hypothesis, or so it seems to me).

    At the moment I am occupied with working on the last part of my ‘Lovegame’ series and I would rather focus my attention on that than begin another project. But it would be nice to collaborate in the future, so feel free to send me your material and I we can exchange some ideas to test the waters, like you said. My email address is extropia@hotmail.co.uk

  10. Christie says:

    Interesting that you post chat? Are the people aware you are doing this? Out of respect I would think you would have either gotten permission or removed that names of the Avatars, as some avatars have real life branded to their avatar name. I would enjoy talk with you further on this issue.

  11. This is Linden Lab’s policy on posting chat to blogs: “Sharing or posting a conversation inworld or in the Second Life forums without consent of all involved Residents is a violation of the Terms of Service.
    NOTE: This does not include posting of chat to social media sites or other websites. Posting such logs on web pages, emailing them, or printing them out and posting them on utility poles in the “real world” — are all actions beyond the scope of the Second Life Terms of Service. ; while that might be illegal, but those laws must be enforced by the proper law enforcement agencies.
    “Conversation” means text that originally came from Second Life chat or Second Life instant messages. If it’s totally unattributed, then it isn’t considered disclosure. Additionally, Residents are not punished for sharing or posting a comment such as “Bob Resident said, ‘You’re the greatest!'”

  12. Dave says:

    Is there any chance you are interested in writing for BossensNonFiction ?
    Transhumanism is one of the desired topics and you certainly seem the person for it.

    • Sure I would not mind. Might be a while until I have some new material though. Would you be at all interested in some earlier stuff?

      • Dave says:

        Earlier stuff (if it’s an article type of text at least) can be posted in the articles section. If you have written a book, we can promote it in the BNF books section. for blogs and articles for the Bossens Yearly, we do require new content. It’s best that you mail me before starting a new article or blog, so we can agree on a topic.

  13. MissKaioshin says:

    I don’t even know if you will see this or notice it, but I just thought I’d say hey. This is a fascinating blog 🙂

  14. Udo says:

    Having seen your post “THOUGHTS ON THE TRANSHUMANIST WAGER, PART ONE”, I thought you might be interested to learn that the author of “The Transhumanist Wager” runs for president: http://transhumanity.net/zoltan-istvan-for-president/

    God help us.

  15. Marc Howard says:

    Your aritcle on Transhumanity.net (http://transhumanity.net/quitcontinue-how-video-games-might-shape-the-future-of-work/) was MINDBLOWING. I let you a big, fat comment.

    I’m stoked. 🙂

    • sorry for the long delay in replying. I keep forgetting to check on activity on me blog.

      I read your comment over at transhumanity.net. Thanks ever so much for such kind words. It made the effort of writing the article worthwhile.

  16. I’ve been reading your stuff every now and then for the past couple of years when i come across it.

    You’re definitely one of the most popular/active online among this small but passionate grouping of transhumanists, online philosophers, and techno thinkers.

    I feel already connected to you, even though i have never met you.

    I find it awe-inspiring and almost magical, as if out of a sci-fi movie or anime that we can create these luminal spaces online. Where you and i and hundreds of others who have never met, who are scattered by distance and time, and in all this noise, still manage to find each other online, and form pockets of our own little quiet environments where we can come together.

    Reminds me of anime such as Ghost In The Shell.

    I notice that what you write seems to derive from great conversations/debates you have had with other people online. I am the same way, much of what i write on my blogs, was a consequence of discussion, even better, debate, as i find debates to act as something that not only makes my mind sharper, but also generates creative ideas i would have probably never thought of otherwise. Competition truly = progress

    Would really like to talk to you as I think you and i could have some great discussions.

    Is there some particular place online where we could talk for extended periods of time?

  17. steve says:

    Of Robots and Starships, the future might be arriving sooner than you think!

    Q What happened to that bot that Ben Gurtzel made on indiegogo, link anyone ?

  18. Martin Andersen says:

    Hi Extropia. I miss your insightful comments on Kurzweilai. I hope you are well.


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