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Bruno Lederer: Introduction

Dear Fractal Future Forum Members,

My name is Bruno Lederer and I am at the age of 16, which means I am currently at the 10th grade.
I aim to achieve my higher education entrance qualification in the year of 2018 and to study molecular genetics and/or biomedical engineering in order to found a company specialized in human enhancement later on.
I’ve been interested in scientific topics since I was a child, which, in the end, led me into questioning the logic behind religion. Since I didn’t believe in higher powers anymore, I realized the problem of mortality, which I think isn’t inevitable. One of the biggest problems in our current civilization, in my opinion, is the infatuation of those people who believe death is inevitable, or, in fact, their unwillingness to tinker themselves with the scientific aspects and causes of death (which indeed could be treated with future technologies), which could lead them into drawing the same conclusions, I, and many other scientists have achieved.
That leads to the problem, that those people prevent the political system from seeing the necessity to advance the scientific efforts in that field. The same goes with our economy, which is forced into acting inhuman, in order to preserve their profit focused interests. Since this altogether interferes the overall progress in healthcare and life-extension, there seems to be a certain necessity to inform people and to get them involved themselves, for example by providing open access to academically insights, as well as creating a both social and progress oriented economic system.
My interest in transhumanism and related topics evolved probably around two years ago and was inspired by the Deus ex series, which led me to conceive the idea of modifying and upgrading healthy humans (human enhancement) for the first time.
By doing so and using genetic analysis, one could drastically decrease its lethality, which seems to be pretty desirable to me. Still there are a lot of problems to solve before starting to do so, even if overlooking the progress and development of the technologies itself. For example regarding the security in the case of cybercriminals achieving access to one’s personal system and being able to “remotely control” any individual which is vulnerable to a zero-day exploit for example. Those occur in our days at probably any operating system and even the prestigious companies can’t prevent those from doing so. Even if those are only temporarily dangerous, the consequences could be fatal and the concept of remotely controlling vehicles to ambush the drivers has already been used in reality.
Also the acceptance of those who are augmented, or, in a posterior phase of those who aren’t, confronts the government and the society with new challenges, since in no case the hostilities between different social classes should be enhanced as well. Still naturally they would, because with our momentarily healthcare system only the rich could afford their augmentations which would make them even “superior” to the other parts of the society. In order to prevent that from happening, it is necessary to make augmentations affordable to everyone by adapting the healthcare system and boosting the research by subsidizing it from governmental side.

At a certain point I started to realize, that the progress being achieved sooner or later in any way, can only be in the interest of mankind if a responsible government takes care of the challenges coming with it. Considering that, I decided to participate in the founding of a transhumanist party in Germany, where I live.

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Welcome to the Fractal Future Forum, Bruno! :smile:

It’s very inspiring to read that you already plan founding a company providing human enhancement services, even though you are still visiting school. Such ambitions are very commendable!

Well done! Questioning the logic of religion is a harder path than accepting it. It’s still too convenient to blindly buy into religious reasoning, due to social norms.

Mortality is certainly a complex problem, which has many different layers to it. One could start with arguing about what it actually means to be alive, but that would probably lead us to a tangent that won’t help us much.

There are of course different causes of death. There are ageing, diseases, accidents, violence, suicide, or even the end of the universe if nothing else goes wrong. I guess you are focusing on ageing, because that seems to be the cause of death that looks very inevitable to most people. But even if we “fixed” ageing, the other causes of death would still be a big issue. So, I find it problematic to find the right words to talk about this. “Fixing death” sounds inappropriate. “Fixing ageing” is something that’s more realistic, but it treated with general suspicion. There are of course reasons for why people aren’t comfortable with the idea of fixing ageing, so I think it’s very important to address them openly and comprehensively.

Indeed. Politics is usually not being done by the most forward looking individuals.

True. Especially in the health industries there are a lot of perverse incentives at work:

Patients produce most profits when they are sick, but buy treatments that fix their symptoms. Completely healthy people, especially those who don’t age are the nightmare of the health industry. So, curing people, and doing preventive and regenerative treatments is something that big pharma is incentivized to prevent. This is stuff that happens, though the actual mechanisms can be very subtle at times.

Great! You have come to the same conclusions as I have! Open DIY science, open knowledge, and a better economic system are very necessary to reach the dream of human enhancement any time soon, and in a way that is actually in the best interest of most people. My approach is to develop a digital abundance economy and to support the basic income movement. That should make citizen science much easier and more effective.

It’s really interesting that this really great computer game series has such an effect on people. When I was about your age I have played the first Deus Ex game, but I didn’t know that there was an active transhumanist community out there. I only found it years later via an indirect route over the humanist movement here in Germany.

Yes, the future holds very scary security problems for us. If this topic interests you a lot, you might want to read the book “Future Crimes” by Marc Goodman. I haven’t read it myself, yet, but I listened to the Singularity 1on1 interview with the author and it sounded extremely fascinating:

What you write is in perfect alignment with the political direction called Technoprogressivism and which is promoted by the IEET. Of course, we should make medical advances, especially when they concern general longevity, as available as possible! It’s not only the morally right thing to do, it would also save health cost further down the line, because people’s health would deteriorate much less with old age. This is sometimes referred to as “longevity dividend”.

Well, that’s very rational and forward looking of you. It’s certainly alienating to notice that people of your age (or any age) are occupied by very different things. We futurists need to stick together and support one another. Otherwise things will stay the same, which would be quite a shame. :unamused: And a big disappointment for everyone.

Thank you very much for your introduction! It’s very encouraging, and shows that we have a lot in common. :smiley:

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hi bruno, nice to have you here.

you talk about serious topics. at the moment i work on an essay to analyse the fatal profit- motivated -dynamic of our economy. till now the only true vision to change that profoundly is in my opinion the basic income. and what is most important for that: that it has to be unconditional. we have to enable people to choose for what and whom they want to work and to give them the choice to reject a job that is only profit-oriented and immoral.
concerning healthcare i sometimes have the impression we live in the middle ages…granted, we live longer and i exaggerate a little bit, but we haven´t achieved the possible optimum. partly because of what you said: profit- orientation; partly because of old fashioned mems in medical science. one example is, that we consider aging as natural and therefore many deseases like typical aging-diseases we have to accept as natural as well. i think that this mentality is unscientific, because we already know examples of people who are very old ( over hundred) and healthy. so there is proof of a “natural” optimum which is far away from the average. and instead of thinking “there are some special exceptions who maybe do something magical right” i think that the majority does something very wrong when they are not able to live 120 years and stay well and fit for most of the time.
science should get rid of lobbyism. it is nor scientific neither beneficial for humanity to sponsor science for military and economic purposes and abandon all other efforts in research.

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It’s nice to see someone younger than me around here. Welcome to Fractal Future Forum Bruno!

My name is João Luz. I’m 18 years old and I’ve just started studying biochemistry at the university of Lisbon.

Like you, I am interested in transhumanism and life-extension, and I agree with all the points you make in this post.

I think you’ll find out that one can have lots of fun discussing this sort of things with the guys in this forum. They are all nice and open-minded people who are interested in the same things that you are.

I hope you stay with us for a very long time.

PS: I see your username is Hiro_Protagonist, you’re a Snow Crash fan, right? I’m a devout science-fiction fan andt I think Neal Stephenson is a brilliant writer.

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Welcome, Bruno!

Politics and Economics are my fields of interest in the Transhumanist movement, especially in conjunction with the opportunities offered by the advances in Virtual Space and Augmented Reality.

The Transhumanist Party Virtual is active on Facebook. TPV also sponsors topic discussion here on F3.

I look forward to your participation.

Mark Larkento
Chair, TPV

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