Hangout On Air: Transhumanists discuss Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’

‘Inferno’ is the latest of a series of page-turning novels by best-selling author Dan Brown.

Without revealing any spoilers, it can be said that characters in Inferno discuss themes that are of deep concern to many futurists. These include the drawbacks of exponential growth, environmental stress, the potential emergence of post-humans, and the philosophy of transhumanism.

Previous books by Dan Brown have drawn sharp criticism from people in organisations such as the Catholic Church and the Freemasons, who have asserted that he rides roughshod over historical fact.

Should supporters of transhumanism be worried about the treatment of this philosophy in his new book? The question is especially pertinent, since ‘Inferno’ is likely to provide many millions of readers with their first exposure to transhumanism.

This “London Futurist Hangout on Air” will feature a live discussion between several leading writers about transhumanism, who have read ‘Inferno’ and who have interesting opinions about the book. The discussion will be broadcast live on YouTube, as a Google Hangout combination of different video feeds. Selected comments posted on the YouTube channel will be answered in real time.

This discussion will provide viewers with many talking points they may want to introduce in their own discussions with friends and acquaintances, whenever the topic of ‘Inferno’ is raised.

About the participants:

Giulio Prisco is a writer, technology expert, futurist, cosmist, and transhumanist. A former manager in European science and technology centers, he writes and speaks on a wide range of topics, including science, information technology, emerging technologies, virtual worlds, space exploration and future studies. He is especially interested in the convergence of science, religion, technology, and spirituality. Giulio will be participating in the Hangout from Budapest.

For more details of Giulio’s ideas and projects, see http://turingchurch.com/giulio-prisco/.

Peter Rothman is the editor of the H+ Magazine, http://hplusmagazine.com/, which describes itself as “covering technological, scientific, and cultural trends that are changing – and will change – human beings in fundamental ways”. Peter will be participating in the Hangout from California.

Peter is an engineer and software developer with over two decades of experience. He was an early developer of virtual reality and simulation technology, streaming media, data visualization, and other systems and won an award for his research for the US Army. He currently develops machine learning, text analysis, and data visualization software. He uses a prototype code base called CLIO to find articles for H+. His best known recent project was the award winning iPad app StockTouch on which he consulted during the initial product development.

Previously Peter was CTO of streaming radio provider Live365.com and director of R&D at MetaTools a well known graphics software developer in the 1990s. He developed software currently operational in two military aircraft, designed an early neural computer for DARPA, and more.

David Orban is an entrepreneur and visionary, and is the CEO ofDotsub, the leading technology and services provider powering videoviewing via captions and translations as subtitles in any language toincrease access, engagement and global reach, based in New York City.

David is also a member of the Faculty of, and Advisor to the Singularity University, an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to assemble, educate and inspire leaders who strive to understand andfacilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies inorder to address humanity’s grand challenges.

For more details of David’s ideas and projects, seehttp://www.davidorban.com/about/.

The meeting will be chaired by David Wood, who has 25 years of experience in the mobile computing and smartphone industries. David has been organising meetings in London since March 2008, covering futurist, technoprogressive, transhumanist, and singularitarian themes. David will be participating in the Hangout from London.

Other participants may be announced nearer the time.

Event logistics:

This event will take place between 8pm and 9pm UK time on Sunday 30th June.  Check this Meetup.com location at the time the event is due to start, to find the URL of the YouTube stream that will be carrying the conversation.

There is no charge to participate in this discussion.

Note: there is no physical location for this meetup (despite the address given above – in compliance with something that the Meetup software seems to insist upon).

No Spoilers please – until the Hangout starts:

To avoid spoiling the reading pleasure of people who would like to read ‘Inferno’ for themselves, please do NOT post any comments in advance of the Hangout that reveal any further details of the plot.

However, anyone who attends the Hangout should be aware that all aspects of the plot are open for discussion at that time.

See http://www.meetup.com/London-Futurists/events/124503062/?a=me1_grp&rv=me1&_af_eid=124503062&_af=event

London Futurists
Sunday, June 30, 2013
8:00 PM
Google Hangout
Software From, 76 Buckingham Palace Rd, London, Greater London
SW1W 9TQ

2 Comments

  1. Great project David! I can’t wait to view the discussion at YouTube.

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