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Next week's Salon kicks off a cycle of several months of absolutely fascinating guests.  On Saturday, March 15, from 1-3pm at the Central Nexus in Extropia Core, our Salon Spotlight Guest will be Soren Ferlinghetti (Robert M Geraci). 

Robert M. Geraci is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College in New York City
. He studies the interactions of religion, science and technology with particular emphasis upon robotics, artificial intelligence and (more recently) online gaming. he has conducted fieldwork at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute and in Second Life through discussions and interviews. In addition to publishing a number of essays on religion and robotics, he has just finished a book on the subject (tentatively titled _Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality_) and is planning a new book about religion and online games.

Soren and I have spoken occasionally over many months about spirituality and identity in the digital world.  We have profoundly different perspectives, and attitudes towards technology in general, but I've always found him curious, open-minded, warm-hearted and fascinating.

Soren's work was recently covered in New World Notes:

The Soul Of Second Life: In SL Spirituality Survey, 48% Open To Mind Upload, 62% To New SL-Based Religions

Thanks to Hamlet Au, we not only got Soren's remarkable conclusions (more people go to church in SL than have sex, what?!), but the raw data supporting them.

At the Salon we'll discuss Soren's research, the interplay between spirituality and identity in the digital world, the evolution of religion, and many more fascinating topics sparked by his work.  This one's a must-see!



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 11th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
This is really a cannot miss event. You know I have problems staying awake for Saturday Salons, but I will suck hot espresso coffee from a baby bottle the whole day to be there.
The article of Au is so interesting, I will think about it and write about it.
Of course the SL tech of today could not receive or run a mind upload, but who knows what SL may become in a timescale relevant to mind upload (I would say, 30 to 100 years).
OK let's plan and schedule the launch of the First Gaian Church of Our Cosmic Avatar.
Mar. 11th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
Re: WOW!

I was hoping we might get you on a stimulant mix for that one!
Mar. 13th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
One would hope I'd be enough stimulant for Giulio to last him a lifetime, but he's a spoiled one.
Mar. 16th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
Thank You for Arranging Today's Talk.
It doubtless took more work than I suspect. learned a good deal about recent Catholic history and religion in Second Life.

Jay "William Hauptmann" Dugger
Mar. 16th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank You for Arranging Today's Talk.
Aha! I hadn't connected you and your AV! I'm glad you could make it, and I greatly enjoyed your comments.

I think you'll like next week's Salon as well - hope to see you there!
Mar. 16th, 2008 11:18 am (UTC)
My report

It was really a great event. I will contact Soren to continue the discussion, there are several things I wish to discuss with him. At the end of the month, SL-Transhumanists will organize a religion-related seminar of the Mormon Transhumanist Association (!!! - don't think what you may be thinking and come listen to Lincoln, you will be surprised)
Mar. 16th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
Re: My report
Giulio, I'm so glad you could make it! Between you and Michel Manen, bringing so many of the SL-Transhumanists and the Andalusians added to the diversity and richness of the discussion.

I've been talking with Michel about a cross-community conference on the future of religion: the three of us should sit down soon and do some planning!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Sophrosyne Stenvaag
Extropia Core

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