Monday, October 4, 2010

TechnoCalyps The Movie Part 1/3...

This will be the first part of a three part series on the very frontiers of Technology.  You will have to keep an open mind and be willing to accept the hardest thing people can accept - CHANGE!  The movie is all the way at the end of the article.
TechnoCalyps was a film directed and written by Frank Theys in 2006.  This Film is in three parts.  Part one is called Transhuman.  Part  two and three are named Preparing for Singularity and The Metaphysics of Technology consecutively.

These are not crazy crackpots mentioned in this film.  They are leaders in their research areas and highly respected scientists.  We shall review some of the people mentioned in part one of the documentary. 

Robert J. White, Neurosurgeon, passed away just about two weeks ago at 85.   In 2006, he lectured at Lakeland Community College and this short blurb was release about him:
Dr. White is Professor of Neurological Surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWRU) and formerly Co-Chairman of Neurosurgery at CWRU School of Medicine. Until recently, he was Director of the Division of Neurosurgery and the Brain Research Laboratories at MetroHealth Medical Center. He is internationally known for his experience in clinical brain surgery and for his contributions to our basic understanding of the central nervous system. As a result of his laboratory investigations, a number of special techniques for operative neurosurgery have been developed and introduced, including those utilizing low temperature states. These have found worldwide application in treating acute cerebral and spinal cord injury and protecting the brain during intracranial surgery.  
Sergei Bryukhonenko
White's research was not done in a vacuum.  There were experiments done in the 1940s in the Soviet Union by Sergei Bryukhonenko where he successfully severed a dog's head and kept it alive for at least a day.  This is a short video from a documentary that was made.  For the full film titled, Experiments in the Revival of Dead Organisms you can go here.  One commentator in wikipedia made this statement about this scene as staged.  
The procedure with severed head only mentioned oxygenated blood being fed back into the severed head. Neural cells require other components besides just oxygen to survive and function properly for anything but the briefest time. Also, the head jerks and moves at some moments, which would be impossible without the neck muscles attached to the torso and spinal bones. It seems likely that while experiments were really carried out, the operation depicted in the video was staged for the purpose of producing this science film.

Vladimir Demikhov

Some of the experiments would be considered gruesome today.  One Soviet doctor named Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov, in 1959, transplanted the head of one dog into
 another dog's body resulting in a two headed dog.

It was the experiments of these two Soviet era doctors that Dr. White continued to explore in America.  This is a two part documentary of Dr. White done by  We include the first part.  You may follow the link for part two.

Gregory Stock Ph.D., Director, UCLA Program on MEdicine, Technology and Society.

This was a lecture given in 2008, titled: Aging: The Disease, The Cure, The Implications at UCLA.

Gregory Stock - Aging: The Disease, The Cure, The Implications from Jeriaska on Vimeo.

Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., Director Human Genomoe Research Institute

Jean-Jacques Cassim,  Division Head of the Centre for Human Genetics at the Catholic University of Leuven

Max More, Ph.D., Philosopher, Founder of the Extropy Institute
"We have achieved two of the three alchemists' dreams: We have transmuted the elements and learned to fly. Immortality is next." — Max More, On becoming posthuman.

Natasha Vita More, Founder of the Transhumanist Arts and Culture World Center, President of the Extropy Institute. 
"Since the 1980s, I have focused on human-technology integration and the relationship between arts/design and science. My theoretical activity is concerned with human enhancement and the methods for extending and expanding human capabilities through the media of nano-bio-info-cogno techno-sciences and within the artistic practices of visual, narrative, and biological arts and toward the emergence of new NBIC+ media."

Natasha Vita-More: "Transhumanist Aesthetics: A Theoretical Approach to Enhanced Existence" from Metanexus Institute on Vimeo.

Hans Moravec, Ph.D., Stanford University, currently at Robotics Institute, Carnegie-Mellon University. 
You can read an interview with him here and another one here.

Mark W. Tilden, Robotics Physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  You can read an interview with him on here.

Joseph M. Rosen, M.D., Professor of Surgery at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.  You can read an abstract on transhumanism here
"In a similar way the rapid progress in science and technology today have resulted in a new tear in the fabric of society. The revolution that we are experiencing began in middle of the last century and will proceed through 2050 and beyond. It will result in a new definition of what it is to be human. Humans will be defined by scientific discoveries in the fields on biology, information and robotics. The distinction between humans and machines will be blurred. Humans will phenotypically be integrated with both robotic machines and with virtual machines through both physical and cyber interfaces. Our capacities will be enhanced, resulting in new human interactions that will impact how society will function."
Jeff Lichtman, PhD., Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University.

Thomas B. DeMarse, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida.
Here is an article on him from 2004.

Theodore W. Berger Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California.
So the stated goal of Berger's project is to create an implantable biomimetic model device which mimics the signal processing functions of CA3. In human patients, this would mostly be useful for treating anterograde amnesia, most popularized in the film Memento.**

Michel Baudry, PhD., Professor of Biological Sciences, Neurology and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California.
Here is one of the many articles written about his research, concerning the brain and memory.

Ralph C. Merkle,  Distinguished Professor of Computing at Georgia Tech.  He is also Director of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Here is a list of some of his publications.  Here is an interview with him on Nanotechnology. He is also very involved in Cryonics. You can watch this fascinating video on the subject.

Carlo D. Montemagno, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio 
In living systems, molecules perform repetitive functions the way machines do", Carlo explains. "Some molecules take matter or information and move it from one location to another, while others filter and pump. I look at how to take pieces of these molecular machines and engineer them into hybrid devices. That means devices that are living and nonliving; they incorporate all the functionality you find in living systems but are artificial and engineered." ***

Here is the film TechnoCalyps part one: Transhumanism