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João Luz: An Introduction

Hello everyone.
I’ve just joined this forum a few days ago and didn’t know what would be the best way of introducing myself to the community, so I decided to write this post.

My name João Luz and live in Lisbon (Portugal), same place where I was born. I’m 17 years old (I’ll be 18 in August) so I guess I’m probably the youngest guy arround here.
If everything goes according to planned I’ll start college in september, where I intend to study biochemistry. It’s important for me to get a scientific formation but what I really want to be is a science-fiction writer (which is going to be tuff since that genre of fiction practically doens’t exist in my country).

Having been a sci-fi fan all my life I quickly stumbled upon transhumanist themes, which I found inspiring and thought provoking. My interest in transhumanism ultimately lead me here.

I decided to join social future forum because I was looking for a space where I could discuss my ideas about the future of mankind with people who actually took them seriously. Most people just call me crazy everytime I start talking about stuff like cyborgs and life extension (I know those things aren’t real yet but they will probably be in the near future and no one seems to get that).

I read some of the discussions that you guys have been having and I fould them very interesting. I hope to contribute with some insights and ideas of my own from now on.

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Welcome to the Social Future Forum, Joao. :smile:

It’s great to see that young people are interested in transhumanism, too. It took me quite a while to find out that there is something like an actual transhumanism movement and that it’s actually called that way.

And it’s fascinating that your want to become a science-fiction writer, too. I have had this ambition for a very long time, but haven’t put enough time and energy into that activity to produce anything really serious, so far. Though I have dug quite deeply into philosophy and have a large amount of ideas for multiple science fiction universes.

Please share your ideas in this forum. I’m eager to read about them, and I think many other users will feel the same way. :smile:

Thanks Radivis!

I’ve been reading some of your posts in this forum as well as your blog and I found them very interesting.

I particulary like your idea of a Quantified Prestige system, I think it would be a viable arternative to intelectual property and it’s important to come up with stuff like that since it has become pretty clear that governments can’t handle the informatic piracy issue.

I also loved that post in which you talkaed about that crazy dream you had with uplits, posthumans and AIs. It reminded me of Charles Stross’ Accelarando, which is awesome.

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Thank you for your enthusiastic feedback, Joao. :smile:

It’s nice to read that you think Quantified Prestige would be a viable system. My idea has often been met with quite a lot of skepticism, but that’s to be expected for rather radical ideas. Today I got some new and interesting ideas about Quantified Prestige and I want to focus on developing that system further. There’s still a lot to do before it can turn into a real platform that can have a positive impact on the world. And I definitely need all kinds of help to get it so far.

Well Charles Stross has probably been an inspiration for that dream. I’ve read Accelerando and also his earlier book Singularity Sky, which has slightly more similarity to the contents of my dream than Accelerando. It’s interesting, but now that you mention my dream again, I can see how it made me think about certain topics again, especially what I might call “posthuman ethics” (also related to what’s called “friendly AI”).

Greetings Joao, and by the words of the show Futurama…

Biochemistry is an important area in the age of biotech. I am fond of biology myself which decided to study after learning how promising science can be. You can talk anything you like about biochem here, be as a hobby or academic. I even participate in my spare time on online courses that are done in http://coursera.org/ and http://edx.org/ because they give such fantastic classes, and for free.

Yes, many, me included, are really hardcore into science, but we also like to talk (and write) about science fiction. And like you I think is important to have a scientific base, and would like to be a writer too. With figures as Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan we know how fascinating is to live and dream by science.

I got a surprise for you Joao. While much is still theoretical, many things are already happening, and you need nothing but the most prestigious scientific publishers like Nature magazine to tell you that.

Brain-computer interfaces, artificial organs, even human genetic engineering has been done in trials. I could point you to real scientific studies on the case, but, for your surprise, there is a “biohacking” subculture of people already doing real experimentation in their garages. We even have the “grinders” who implant under their skins prototype sensors. I am more conservative myself but is always good to know and welcome these.

There are many videos you can see on the topic. Look at these (despite the thumbnail, the first is a mini-documentary:

And the next is a conference:

Hi Maximo.

Thanks for the links and the videos. I’ve just watched the mini-documentary and found it very interesting (we truly are in an age of accelarating tchnological progress). I’ll make sure to watch the conference when I have the time. And I may also explore the online courses website, I’m sure they must have some interesting things teach me.

I had actually already heard of the biohacking movement. I thinks it’s awesome that people are trying to do science by their own hands instead off continuing dependent of governments and corporations, although I must confess that I’m a little afraid someone creates a biological weapon in a garage. Unfortunately, at the moment, biohackers don’t have the means to do something truly radical and innovative (although I’ve seen this video about a college student who engineered milks bacteria to produce prozac, that sounds original), but I’m sure we will get there. A few years from now everyone will be able to aquire a personal biotech kitt. That may be great for humanity, since we will have millions of amateur biologists comtributing for the advancement of science and technology like, but it may also bring us some pretty bad problems to solve.

Anyway, I’m allways for progress. If we were not willing to take somes risks we would have never left the dark ages.

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Welcome from the oldest sapient-sentient here. :slight_smile:

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