Monday, 28 February 2011

Malcolm MacIver on creating digital selves, the Singularity, and the first transhumanist opera

Just a few quick updates today:

Caprica City tweets that the German Amazon has a release date for the Caprica 1.5 DVD in Europe: April 15. still hasn't provided a release date.

Caprica and BSG's science advisor Malcolm MacIver has a new blog post up at Discover Magazine and it's another must-read. You can check it out here: Transhumanism: A Secular Sandbox for Exploring the Afterlife?

A couple of snippets:

The latest panel to be added to my list is a discussion about the first transhumanist opera, Tod Machover’s "Death and the Powers." The opera is about an inventor and businessman, Simon Powers, who is approaching the end of his life. He decides to create a device (called The System) that he can upload himself into (hmm I wonder who this might be based on?). After Act 2, the entire set, including a host of OperaBots and a musical chandelier (created at the MIT Media Lab), become the physical manifestation of the now incorporeal Simon Powers, who’s singing we still hear but who has disappeared from the stage. Much of the opera is exploring how his relationships with his daughter and mother change post-uploading. (...)

Exponential growth lies at the heart of the arguments for the nearness of the Singularity. Given Kording’s result, however, how long do you think it will be before we can record from every neuron in the brain at once? You might be surprised: even with this incredible exponential growth, it will take 220 years. If we suppose that uploading our consciousness will at a minimum entail recording the pattern of activity of the entire brain (why not–it’s no less plausible than every other argument out there), then we can’t even get cracking until 2211.

Other fronts:

Judas Kiss, with Richard Harmon and Genevieve Buechner, will be screened at the Phoenix Film Festival on April 1. More details at the film's official blog.

On TV tonight:

The Cape, still scored by Bear McCreary, airs at 9 pm on NBC. With the show's episode order reduced from 13 to 10, this is the second to last episode, with no air date set for the series finale yet. (The Event returns in its time slot next week.)

Patton Oswalt is scheduled to appear on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

And here is a new featurette for The Killing, which includes a brief interview with Michelle Forbes and a glimpse or two of Kacey Rohl:

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