Tag Archives: Transhumanism

Rome was not Built in a Day… Nor Extropia in a Semester

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Over the past semester, I have created a personal blog (3ratna3kaya), contributed a couple posts here at Dharma Dialogue (Skid Row Reflection & Project Proposal), and started a Pinterest Page (Building Extropia Together). I have enjoyed fumbling around with social media, but I am quite aware that I am not particularly good at it just yet. To drive this point home with numbers, my personal blog, for example, has received 124 views to date. The highest number of views generated in a single day was 18. I tried to generate some internal traffic via word of mouth and Facebook, but that of course had a pretty limited effect.

When your mother tells you she likes your blog, it feels nice of course, but it also sounds hauntingly similar to high school years when she assured you that she could barely see your pimples and that you looked handsome in your rented prom tuxedo. Anyhow… thank you, mom, and happy Mothers’ Day.

In a nutshell, that was pretty much my experience with social media. I received some nice encouragement from friends, family, professors, and classmates. Some of my content was even “liked” by a small handful of fellow netizens I have never met in person. Disappointing, however, was the lack of comments on my posts and content. Here at Dharma Dialogue, two comments were made on my initial two posts. One comment was from the always incredible editor and contributor, “Buddhakaruna.” The other comment left for me was attributed to “anonymous,” but seemed likely to be internal traffic, as well (still very appreciated of course).

Most interesting or encouraging were the “likes” and “follows” from random netizens. I could rattle off some statistics related to these “likes” and “follows,” but none are especially impressive or revealing. Later looking into the blogs of these individuals, I found that most had either an interest in Buddhism, technology, or both.

The title of this post is, of course, facetious. I did not expect to gather up a group of netizens and build an Extropic world. There is a great deal of momentum at play and Extropia strikes me, admittedly an optimist at heart, as a likely outcome whether additional people get involved or not.

In the time-span of less than a month, from my project proposal to this project reflection, technology has continued its brisk sprint into the future. Some major advancements that have made the news in that time include bone tissue substitutes made from stem cells, “buckyball” non-toxic drug deliver via nano-tech, an injectable nano-network aimed at treating diabetes, neural development studied using brain cells created from stem cells, a quantum internet has secretly been in use for over two years, a working 3-D printed gun was made available for download, and then quickly ordered to be removed by the State Department.

There is little doubt in my mind that the future is upon us. I believe it would be a mistake to not consider how our own personal theologies (Buddhist, Dharmic, Taoic, Abrahamic, or otherwise) respond to highly-potential future developments such as radical life extension, mind-uploading, geoengineering, terraforming, etc, etc.

Ummm… I guess this is the part where I beg you all to comment on this post and visit my blog and Pinterest page.

Thank you for reading.

Palms together,

3ratna3kaya

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Building Extropia Together

How to Help1

In my previous posts at 3Ratna3Kaya and Dharma Dialogue, I have written a little bit about the concept of Extropia. Extropia, a non-Utopian/non-Dystopian future characterized by continual successful efforts to meet societal stretch-goals, probably sounds like a distant ideal. In actuality, I have a strong conviction that Extropia is not only our future, it is also being built brick by brick at this very moment.

Decade after decade, the technologies that enable the achievement of societal-stretch goals are developing at an accelerating rate. Consider for example, the ninety years that passed between the invention of the Light Bulb and the Moon Landing vs the mere nine years that passed between the invention of the World Wide Web and the Sequencing of the Human Genome. The best news about this current stage of progress is that we can all play a meaningful role in it.

When people think about most forms of charity, various obstacles arise: “I hardly have two nickels to rub together. How am I supposed to make a difference?” “I’d volunteer my time and labor, but I am swamped with academic and professional obligations.”

Luckily, there is a new way to practice philanthropy and help build a better future. The method I am speaking of is the relatively new phenomena known as “Online Crowdsourcing.” Within Online Crowdsourcing, there is a movement of “Citizen Scientists” that I find particularly impressive.

The advantages of online philanthropy is that you can help without “opening your wallet.” In terms of labor, you do not even leave your home, and  with regards to time investment, as little as five minutes can still produce valuable data for researchers.

Unfortunately, not nearly enough people know about Citizen Science, its successes, its value, and ease of participation. For this reason, I have decided to start a project to promote Citizen Science websites that collect data for bio-medical, psychological, and other scientific research.

My project is mainly built around my Pinterest Page: 3Ratna3Kaya. However, I will also try to garner interest by featuring teaser pins on my more established Word Press Blog: 3Ratna3Kaya and a couple relevant Facebook pages of which I am a member. For a full look at the content I have created for this project though, people will still have to access my Pinterest page.

My page features three boards and 12 total pins currently. These boards are as follows:

“Building Extropia Together” – The pins on this board are advertisements I have made to get viewers interested in current Citizen Science projects and the websites that host these projects.

“Call to Action”- This board looks at Transhumanist thinkers and frames their ideas through a Buddhist lens.

“Inspirational Case Studies”- The pins on this board highlight Buddhist spiritual leaders’ ideas on science and technology. Most of these pins feature quotes from those leaders.

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