Saturday, March 31, 2012

Call for Presentations: Envisioning Transhumanity

Envisioning Transhumanity

TEDx Del Mar
A Transhuman Studies Conference on the Future of Minds, Bodies and Societies
April 29th, 2012 at the Price Center Theater, University of California, San Diego
All Welcome (parking free)

Call for Presentations:
Abstracts due April 8th, Confirmation of Acceptance before April 11th.
We will discuss the promise and consequences of technologies which will augment and radically transform our minds, bodies, and cultures. These technologies range from visor cellphones, through more intimate cyborg interfaces, across biotech, and to in-silico life. Many see these transformations as inevitable outcomes of accelerating technological development and global market conditions. This conference aims to go deeper than the shiny veneer of hype, to investigate the scientific states-of-art, ethical and existential ramifications, and socio-economic consequences of human enhancement technologies. We are interested in both local short-term effects and broad, longer term questions.

Confirmed speakers include:
David Brin, PhD--Award winning science fiction author &
David Pearce--Philosopher and co-founder of Humanity+

We have many submissions, but are seeking more, and are taking suggestions for a panel discussion. Editors welcome all relevant submissions. If in doubt, submit. We are, however, especially interested in presentations on the following topics:
--Economics of human-enhancement: E.g. How will increases in productivity, new artificial variation in intelligence, new management techniques, the widespread use of avatars, and the distribution of enhancement technologies affect current and future financial markets and the world socio-economic condition?
--Bio-conservative arguments: E.g. What are the strongest arguments against human augmentation? Are there practical programs to prevent it? Are there risks overlooked?
--Guidance and activism: E.g. To what degree do the market forces driving transhuman change diverge from the ends we ought to desire? What are transhuman goals? How can we guide these transformations to optimize well-being and freedom?
--The near and current cyborg world: E.g. How effective is life-logging? How good are the best happiness, intelligence and fitness improvement apps? What is the current state and what are the prospects for physical and mental health enhancement technologies? What are the short term prospects for developing human potential and improving quality of life in San Diego for all groups, especially the worst-off?
--New technologies: E.g. What's next? What will be the order of development of human enhancement technologies, for much depends on this? What are the technical limits of augmentation? What are the limits and prospects for cognitive, emotive, and empathetic augmentation?
--Ethics and safety of particular technologies: E.g. What kinds of privacy rules should govern cellphone visors, can there be limits preventing users from transforming the appearance of others, how are children to be safely hybridized with cyborg technologies, what risks or better forms of life arise if individuality blurs when populations of cyborgs interconnect?
--Aging as pathology: E.g. To what degree is it appropriate to treat aging as a single pathology? What are the prospects for life-extension, the costs, the availability, the state of the science of gene-therapy and pre-natal anti-aging interventions?
Send abstracts for 20-25 minute talks and CV or bio-sketch to
John Jacobson, Chair, PhD Candidate in Philosophy at UCSD and Collaborator at Salk Institute
Jamie Dunbaugh, Organizer, Founder of San Diego Transhumanists

Friday, March 30, 2012

CFP: Distributed cognition and memory research

CFP: Distributed cognition and memory research: How do distributed memory
systems work?

Special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology

Guest editors: Kourken Michaelian and John Sutton

Call for Papers

Deadline for submissions: July 15, 2012

According to the extended mind hypothesis in philosophy of cognitive
science and the related distributed cognition hypothesis in cognitive
anthropology, remembering does not always occur entirely inside the
brain, but can also be distributed across heterogeneous systems
combining neural, bodily, social, and technological resources. Much of
the critical debate on these ideas in philosophy has so far remained
at some distance from relevant empirical studies. But claims about
extended mind and distributed cognition, if they are to deserve wider
acceptance, must both make sense of and, in turn, inform work in the
cognitive and social sciences. Is the notion of extended or
distributed remembering consistent with the findings of empirical
memory research? Can such a view of memory usefully inform empirical
work, suggesting further areas of productive enquiry or helping to
make sense of existing findings?

This special issue will bring together supporters and critics of
extended and distributed cognition, to consider memory as a test case
for evaluating and further developing these hypotheses. Submitted
papers should thus address both memory and distributed cognition/
extended mind: ideally, papers should aim simultaneously to make
contributions to relevant debates in both philosophy and psychology or
other relevant empirical fields. While primarily theoretical papers
are welcome, they should make direct contact with empirical findings.
Similarly, while empirically-oriented papers might draw on evidence
from a range of areas, including the cognitive psychology of
transactive memory and collaborative recall, cognitive anthropology
and cognitive ethnography, science studies and the philosophy of
science, the history of memory practices, and the cognitive
archaeology of material culture, they should seek to advance the
theoretical debate over extended mind and distributed cognition,
rather than simply presenting findings from these fields.

Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

Relations between biological memory and external memory

How do forms of representation and storage in neural and external
memory differ, and why do such differences matter? Can theories of
distributed cognition deal with the existence of multiple memory
systems? For example, does the expert deployment of exograms in
certain external symbol systems affect working memory? How might the
development and operation of distributed memory systems affect neural
memory processes? Is evidence for neuroplasticity relevant for
assessing claims about distributed remembering? Given plausible links
between memory and self, what might distributed memory systems imply
about identity and agency? What happens when distributed memory
systems fail or break down?

How do distributed memory systems work?

What is socially distributed remembering, and does it offer any
support to revived ideas about group cognition, or to a naturalized
understanding of collective memory? Can theories of extended or
distributed cognition encompass socially distributed remembering in
addition to artifacts and other forms of memory scaffolding? What are
the implications of experimental studies of collaborative recall and
transactive memory for theories of distributed cognition? How do such
theories deal with memory practices and rituals, and with the roles of
the non-symbolic material environment?

Distributed memory and embodied cognition

How central in theories of extended or distributed memory should be
the study of skill acquisition and of expertise in the deployment of
external resources? What accounts of embodied skills, procedural
memory, and smooth or absorbed coping are required to support such
theories? How do distributed memory systems work in specific contexts
of embodied interaction, from conversation to music, dance,
performance, and sport?

Guest authors

The issue will include invited articles authored by:

Robert Rupert, University of Colorado (Boulder)
Deborah Tollefsen, University of Memphis, and Rick Dale, University of
California (Merced)
Mike Wheeler, University of Stirling

Important dates

Submission deadline: July 15, 2012

Target publication date: December 15, 2012

How to submit

Prospective authors should register at:
to obtain a login and select Distributed cognition and memory research
as an article type. Manuscripts should be approximately 6,000 words.
Submissions should follow the author guidelines available on the
journal's website.

About the journal

The Review of Philosophy and Psychology (ISSN: 1878-5158; eISSN:
1878-5166) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by Springer
and focusing on philosophical and foundational issues in cognitive
science. The aim of the journal is to provide a forum for discussion
on topics of mutual interest to philosophers and psychologists and to
foster interdisciplinary research at the crossroads of philosophy and
the sciences of the mind, including the neural, behavioural and social
sciences. The journal publishes theoretical works grounded in
empirical research as well as empirical articles on issues of
philosophical relevance. It includes thematic issues featuring invited
contributions from leading authors together with articles answering a
call for paper.

For any queries, please email the guest editors:,

Monday, March 19, 2012

new iPhone and iPad art

More of the following available here: [link]. IMG_1249 Untitled #19

Friday, March 16, 2012

2012 Program for the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology

Paula Deen's Donut Burger, Savannah GA
What's up? The program for the 104th annual meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology is up! [link]. I put together the philosophy side of the program, and am looking forward to seein' all y'all in Savannah, GA next week.


Invited Speakers

David Rosenthal, CUNY Graduate Center
"Two Concepts of Mental Quality"

William Bechtel, UC San Diego
“Deciphering the Neural Code: The Tale of Place Cells”

Jesse Prinz, CUNY Graduate Center
“Consciousness is Attention”

Invited Symposia

Cognition and the Social
Carrie Figdor, Bryce Huebner, Anthony Chemero

Perplexities of Perception
Brian Keeley, Robert Briscoe, Berit Brogaard

Fictionalism, Falsehood, and the Value of Truth
Anthony Dardis, Chase Wrenn, Tad Zawdizki

Explaining Consciousness
Richard Brown, Josh Weisberg, Kenneth Williford