Very interesting people
Well, I didn't get any lunch because -- as is so often true at conferences like this -- there are just too many interesting people here. And several of these interesting people wanted to chat with me (mostly to say very kind things) about my talk about nano-politics. I won't even try to reconstruct the discussions and arguments we had, but I will mention two other people who have made appearances at this conference.
One is Lev Navrozov (homepage here), who writes about nanotechnology for several Web sites. The other is James Hughes, the executive director of the World Transhumanist Association and a writer for Betterhumans.com. Interesting individuals, both.
Cryonics: "We don't believe nanotechnology is magic"
There has been very little talk at this conference about transhumanism and cryonics, two fields intimately connected to nanotechnology. I'll spare you my own rather skeptical feelings on these subjects, and will instead let a cryonics true-believer explain his interest in his own words.
This morning, Howard Lovy (the kindly and award-winning blogger mentioned below) sat in front of me in the conference hall, and during the breaks between presentations, a few people stopped by and talked with us. One of these was Mr. Brett P. Bellmore, a Michigander who signed up early (in the mid-1980s) for cryonic suspension. (He's on the just-freeze-the-head plan, not the full-body.) I wanted to get Mr. Bellmore on camera talking about the merits of cryonics, so Howard asked him a few questions and the footage is here. You'll hear Howard's voice off-camera, and also my voice at the end, asking about the necklace Mr. Bellmore is wearing. (It's a special cryonics-related necklace, as you'll see.) You'll have to watch the video all the way through to hear his answer to Howard's final question: "What do you think the odds are that you're going to be revived? Give me your realistic assessment."
The video is in streaming Windows media. Please try to ignore the annoying text that keeps flashing up across Mr. Bellmore's chest. (Turns out that I was too stupid to remember to record the interview in landscape instead of portrait, and I'm too cheap to plunk down the thirty bucks for a registered version of the software I used to rotate the video.) [UPDATE: It's just been pointed out to me that the software I've been using all along to edit the video clips posted on this blog can actually rotate the picture, so I needn't have bothered with finding another program. I'll probably re-encode and re-upload the video tomorrow, without the flashing words.] [UPDATE: Okay, it's been re-posted without the annoying flashing words.]
By the way, I'm hoping that we might get an article on cryonics out of Howard Lovy in a future New Atlantis issue.
Nice Blogger Goes Far
This'll be my last post for the night, although I've made a few other updates further down the site, including the addition of some new pictures and video.
I'll say a little more about tonight's banquet during the day tomorrow, time permitting. Meanwhile, though, I wanted to congratulate Howard Lovy for winning the Foresight Prize in Communication. Howard is a writer. He has a nanotech blog (NanoBot), and until recently worked at Small Times covering the nano-beat. Hopefully he'll be a New Atlantis contributor someday, too. You can read Howard's remarks upon accepting the award here. And at left, you can see Howard beaming. (Click to enlarge.)
I'll have more on the other prize winners tomorrow, along with some interesting news about changes in the way Foresight is planning on operating its prizes. (Think X Prize.) For now, good night.