Dr Natasha Vita-More’s CV reads like a transhumanist historical timeline, stretching back to writing The Transhumanist Manifesto in 1983.
A prominent transhumanist voice since then, she’s still leading the pursuit of a future in which transhumanism affords us a longer, healthier life free from human limits and human suffering.
Natasha is an extraordinary guest for me to have hosted on The Future of You and we discuss perceptions of time, AI augmentation for our senses and emotional responses, practical developments in transhumanism, and what it’s like to be a pioneering woman in the transhumanist space.
This episode of The Future of You covers:
- Longevity, and the prospect of radical life extension
- The binary thinking that sometimes limits our vision and potential
- Importance of continuity of the person for identity
- Whether we can live over different platforms
- The growth of AI and how it might enhance our perceptions and senses
- Life as a pioneering woman in transhumanism
Links & references
The Future of You by Tracey Follows on Amazon:
Dr Natasha Vita-More
“Transhumanism is really a type of rational, sensible, critical thinking and creative, visionary thinking philosophy. It became a movement in the 1990s and a worldview that has spread throughout the planet, and is still esteemed as a fundamental philosophy about the future and advances in technology in science.” - 4:35 - Dr Natasha Vita-More
“The term immortality does have a heck of a lot of baggage. Immortality is a pipe dream. Nothing in the universe is immortal, so to aim for immortality would be a little bit foolish for a focused sensibility. Longevity, on the other hand, offers all sorts of possibilities.” - 7:15 - Dr Natasha Vita-More
“Age is a number that holds significant social prestige. A person conjures up all sorts of views, opinions, beliefs, and prejudice based on age. We consider the older person, the senior person, signifies knowledge and wisdom, and the younger person signifies youth and foolishness. That, again, is binary thinking, which is not always accurate. In fact, the converse is often true.” - 14:00 - Dr Natasha Vita-More
“There's been a lot of work, writing and research on what humans will be like as far as identity in the future, when we can coexist in these multiple environments, and how we keep this continuity of ourselves intact without having fractured identity that could cause chaos mentally. So these are all things that are really important, that tie in to longevity and ageing.” - 21:10 - Dr Natasha Vita-More
“I think that our senses will advance largely through devices and enhancement. I think that the question becomes why? Why would we need to do this? I think the answer is because we want to communicate, and it all boils down to our need and desire to communicate, to find likeness, to expose differences, to try to share love to experience. Without love, kindness and sharing, what's the point?” - 30:25 - Dr Natasha Vita-More
“This AGI assist would give you feedback and a reflection analysis to help you better weigh your responses to situations in life through a stronger mindfulness, to better steer us to be clearer thinkers and more agile, and to be more compassionate. Rather than retreat with a defensive statement or an offensive attack, to weigh the conversation carefully & respond in ways that would advance thinking and emotional input & output.” - 35:50 - Dr Natasha Vita-More
“Working with hundreds of these C. Elegans Nematodes, my lab and I proved that long term memory was intact after bringing simple animals out of cryonics.” - 46:55 - Dr Natasha Vita-More
“I don't want to push a product. I intentionally did not because I wanted the science and my own work as a visionary and futurist to speak louder. I think a lot of it is binary thinking. You wonder why someone is said as the hero of longevity and it's a guy, then you look at what scientific research has that person done and there isn't anything, he's just good at speaking at conferences.” - 54:40 - Dr Natasha Vita-More
“My action plan for identity would be a more humane humanity, which is inclusive of allowing people just to be who they are, recognising others’ work, building off of it, and embracing a level of kindness.” - 1:00:00 - Dr Natasha Vita-More