Symbol-laden Launch of the Transhumanist Network in Norway
Every year on 10 December Norway is in the eyes of the world, when the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony is held. But on 21 May the country witnessed another groundbreaking event.
In the inconspicuous tapas restaurant La Vida in the city of Drammen, a group of inspired individuals got together to sign the first transhumanist declaration in Norwegian. The idea with the meeting was to add some ceremony to the formal launch of a transhumanist network in Norway.
The meeting began with an overview of the transhumanist ideaspace by the person presently known as Rethink Everything, followed by an engaged discussion on how and why a transhumanist network in Norway should best be organised. Then, the Declaration was read aloud by one of the meeting organisers, Arild Balog. The participants of the meeting then proceeded to both sign and fingerprint the Declaration with some ceremony.
Perhaps not unintentionally, the event took place almost to the day two hundred years after the first constitution of independent Norway was signed. Possibly of even greater symbolical importance, the actual translation of the Declaration was a joint effort of Artificial Intelligence (google translate) and standard-issue human wetware.
The signatories, many of whom had never met before in the meatspace, displayed an impressive breadth of professional, academic and personal backgrounds. The group included persons presently and formerly active in business, politics, social work, academia, biomedicine, philosophy, professional armwrestling, antique studies, live roleplaying and various other endeavours. In terms of age, ranging from late teens to where it’s rude to ask.
Arild Balog, a subcultural activist who was one of the organisers of the event, commented: «What a great crowd! I am so happy to be part of the launch of this network – including all from one who studied at Singularity University to a another who just started talking to me on the bus the other day.“
Ole Martin Moen, who holds a PhD in philosophy and works as a postdoc at University of Oslo, will work together with several other attendees to coordinate further events in Norway.
«We plan to both improve our online presence and arrange monthly meetups going forward, with the ambition to expand the network and to become a relevant and much-needed voice in the Norwegian public debate.» said Moen.
Written by Hannes Sjoblad who witnessed the event. Sjoblad is the Chairman of Manniska+, a transhumanist organisation in Sweden affiliated with Humanity+.