Interview with Natasha Vita More
by Jonathan Despres. Go to the Interviews.
Tell us about yourself. What is your background, and what current projects are you involved in?
My background is in media arts and science and my research concerns human enhancement and radical life extension. Practice-based works are located in the visual media arts and theoretical work focuses on what I call the transitional human. Currently I am writing the PhD dissertation.
What are your goals for the next decade?
Keep learning! Knowledge continues to becomes more symbiotic and culture continues to become more syncretic, so, in short, I would like to build media projects which link H+ ideas with narratives in novel ways.
When do you think will we achieve real life extension?
The accomplishments of biotechnology have set the stage. NBIC's potential to offer many new collaborations will certainly break through death's taught tether on our biology and psychology. It is quite difficult to forecast a specific time when we will be able to enjoy a radically extended life, but cryonics will be realized as a one very pivotal means.
Your vision of the future?
One which diversity is appreciated and the human mind is far more invested in creative ideation than destructive anger. This cognitive shift could bring about social change which would enormously affect just about every aspect of life. Before technologies' emancipation of all possible future worlds, it is human behavior which must evolve.
Do you believe in Cryonics and when will it succeed?
I signed up for cryonic suspension in early 1991. It's level of success depends on so many variables. Rather than selecting one scenario, I have to look at it many different potential successes. In the large picture, a few suggestions are that it will technically succeed when a person is suspended for any length of time and successfully reanimated; it will socially succeed when cryonics becomes instrumental to health insurance and when there are cryonics facilities in hospitals throughout the world.
What kind of jobs you did when you were younger and what is the important things you learned about it?
- I was a model and learned about photography as an artistic means of viewing the world and presenting this image-value interpretation for the public's emotional reaction.
- I was in the Merchant Marines and sailed on vessels performing oil rig operations. My job was chief cook and I survived numerous obstacles, including a hurricane in the gulf of Mexico.
- I owned a commercial design firm. I learned that it is great fun to have lots of clients and not so much fun getting them to pay their bill.
- I was a performer. I learned how to be on stage and deliver a line.
Why isn't the science of cryonics progressing at a rate commensurate to other sciences?
Because it is not a "hot topic" or a business.
Do you believe in a God?
That depends on what you mean by God. In the strictest sense of religious interpretations of the universe, life and evolution, no.
What extropian values do you prefer the most and why?
I value the philosophy of Extropy's value of critical thinking, the process of questioning all beliefs, including one's own, the idea of working toward positive outcomes of technology.
What do you think we should do to advance the quality of life of everybody?
Yes, but not coercively.
Do you see a future for biology? (considering bionics, ai, mind uploading, robotics)
Yes, biology will continue to evolve. Will it still be biology - a bit of a hybrid. Regarding the man or the woman. Yes, in many ways it is a model because I am biological and have a biological physiology and psychology. My psychology is filled with all sorts of historical mythic lore. However, because I am transhumanist I have learned to erase some of the sink holes and to develop new myths, new concepts concerning man and woman. While I am human, I am enjoying my womanhood.
The stuff you are proud in your life?
Other than my Zen rose garden, I suppose that I find great reward from the friendships I have nurtured throughout my life. On a professional level, that as an artist, I saw early on a gap in culture - that of a transhumanist worldview regarding radical life extension - and that this gap needed to be filled and that by trespassing from the artworld into the world of science and biotechnologies, including nano, I have been able to do a little something to close the gap.
The stuff you are not proud in your life?
Wasting time. Being hurtful to anyone.
What would you love to accomplish before you die?
What are the languages of the universe for you?
The language I have the strongest affinity to is "design". Next, it is certain types of music that makes me move rhythmically, the smell of fresh mountain air after a snow, engaging in laughter with friends and the enormous feeling of love.
Is competition good in cryonics?
Imagine yourself as a space navigator and you discover a smaller, less advanced civilization on a planet, what would you do with them?
I would learn about there system - beliefs, etc., before I intruded into their culture.
What do you think biological simulations will do to cryonics, aging or nanotechnology?
Provide possibilities and opportunities.
What kind of mathematics is used in aging, cryonics & nanomedicine?
I am not a mathematician.
What will be the best (central), most important tool in molecular manufacturing? And why ?
Assembler processing for producing tools, materials for people in need, especially in developing countries and areas where water is scarce, food is decays, housing is unavailable, etc.
Which path should we take for immortalism, nanomedicine or biogerontology or something else?
What first attracted you to the idea of physical immortality?
A deep sadness at the onslaught of death and the emotional devastation it leaves behind.
What a company can do to become sucessful in the life extension business?
Learn how to market radical life extension through design methodologies.
How handy would an indefinite lifespan would be?
It would be a marvelous means to keep on living ... :-)
What would be the jobs of the future?
Space-related and consciousness-related.
What do you think of the Paradise Engineering idea?
I'm not terribly invested in overt Utopian visions. I am too pragmatic. Also, I am not entirely convinced that our current human consciousness is capable of determining what is or is not suffering for or to all other life forms. First, let's see what happens when humans evolve.
What do you think about the singularity, when will it happen?
I think it has become a belief rather than an field of investigation. My assumption is that it will happen incrementally.
What's the future of "information technology" for you?
What would be the great inventions/ideas of the future?
Too many to state.
What should we do to improve/clean our ecology?
Stop being so wasteful and accumulating so many toys. Other than that, nanotechnology has great promise.
Do you think molecular manufacturing (or anything else) could clean up pollution on earth and in space? If so, when and how?
Your best movie ever is?
Pride and Prejudice, 1990s version.
Your religion is?
The Zen of peace and kindness.
Your political view?
Whatever means gets the job done in the most efficient/effective way with the least amount of discomfort to anyone.
Your web page is?
Your contact information?
Your favorite song, and your favorite style of music are ?
"Can't Get No Sleep" by Insomniac. Favorite styles of music are Mo-Town, Violin Concertos, Tiesto DJ sounds.