- March 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm #17719AnonymousInactive
This document outlines some suggestions about a project named “H+U”.
I invite people to read the whole document, but to get started, I append a copy of the text from the first page.
(For a version with better formatting, and with the clickable URLs preserved, see the earlier link.)
I welcome comments. What I’ll welcome even more is offers of support to help make H+U happen 🙂
About this document
The purpose of this document is to highlight initial ideas about a possible “H+ University”.
The document is work-in-progress and is available for collaborative editing.
Note: the name “H+ University” is provisional, and is subject to change.
The shorthand term “H+U” is being used, for the time being, for the project to consider and potentially create H+ University.
(If you are reading a PDF version of this document, note that the live master version is here. You can ask David Wood for access to the live version.)
The core ideas of H+U
The core idea of H+U is to provide free, universally accessible, authoritative, substantive, widely respected, online educational materials about transhumanism. The materials will also address topics that are closely related to transhumanism, such as futurism, techno-progessivism, cognitive biases, blockages to progress, existential risks, and the intelligence explosion.
The material will be organised into courses. There will be online tests whereby users of the material can determine whether they have learnt the material in course units.
H+U will avoid material that is tied to promoting particular commercial initiatives.
H+U will avoid hype and sensational material. The material in H+U courses will be recognised as fair and objective by independent observers, regardless of whether these observers count themselves as transhumanists, critics of transhumanists, or as disinterested.
Important ideas where transhumanists disagree among themselves will be included in the syllabus, along with the details of key disagreements.
In some ways, H+U material will be similar in tone to that of Wikipedia, with its “neutral point of view”. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view for an explanation.) However, in contrast to Wikipedia, the material in H+U will be
*) Testable – via multiple choice questions or similar mechanisms
*) Structured into courses (with dependencies between some of the courses)
*) Focused on matters linked to transhumanism.
The timing of H+U
Frameworks for free, online educational courses are making fast progress at this time. Now is a good opportunity for the H+ movement to take advantage of this technology trend to elevate public understanding of transhumanism.
Another reason why this is a good time to create H+U is that the recently published book “The Transhumanist Reader” provides a wealth of valuable material which can expedite the development of suitable courses.
The motivation behind H+U
The rationale for creating H+U is that the world needs an objective, reliable source of core information about transhumanism. Interest in transhumanism is growing.
More broadly, there is a growing interest in evaluating radical future scenarios, and in the potential for technology to improve both the individual condition and the nature of society. People can see that “super longevity”, “super AI”, and “super experience” are potentially within grasp.
A great deal of good information already exists, in books, online articles, and in existing courses. However, this information is widely distributed, and is often mixed in with other material that is less objective or less structured. People often find it difficult to find or navigate this material, or to know what to study next.
H+U is intended, not to replace existing material, but:
*) To provide a trustworthy entry point and guide to that material
*) To make this material universally accessible
*) To build a community of people who are jointly studying and improving this material.
[ SNIP ]
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