I have quite a few reasons for trying to stay fit. I’d like to stay alive long enough and be healthy long enough to see, be a good candidate for and participate in the advent of transhumanity / posthumanity. Of course, just being around is no guarantee that I’ll be able to start getting parts replace willy nilly as they wear out. This is, after all, America, so the issue of money is always there. But I digress.
So yes, since I have no idea how quickly these bio-engineering advances will become widely available and accessible, I try to keep myself what I consider reasonably fit.
Then there is the area of bodily aesthetics. Somehow, I escaped the aesthetic tyranny of Michelangelo’s “David” as the zenith of the male human form. I never wanted to look like that. Instead, somewhere along the line, I imagined that as I got older, it would be nice to strive (asymptotically) towards the Farnese Hercules as a goal. No, the beard is probably not going to happen. It is just not in my genes, for the moment I have to admit.
I was never really that organized in this pursuit, though. Probably the closest I ever got was when I was playing rugby for months straight before Bingham 2012. Performance, not aesthetics drove my exercise program.
I’ve come across a way of adding this aesthetic component in a way that appeals to my geeky little mind. I wasn’t aware that there were methods of taking your existing measurements and generating measurements for an “ideal” (yes, I know, I know) proportionality. But there are. I’ll focus on an ancient one and one much more recent. For both, I’ll fill in my current measurements over the next day or so.
Male “Grecian Ideal” Method
Through much analysis and determining of what constituted ideal physical measurements – the basis of any balanced physique – a “Grecian Ideal” calculator was formulated for self-assessment based on wrist size, to determine the individual body part circumference goals one should aspire to in order to develop the perfect physique. Eugene Sandow in his prime was close to the Grecian Ideal.
I entered an average of the circumferences of my wrists, 6.75″, and got the following:
Steve Reeves’ (yes, that Steve Reeves) Method
Then there’s the method invented by Steve Reeves. Why Mr. Reeves? Duh – because he’s Steve Reeves. At the time (1940s-1950s) his body represented what a bodybuilding physique should look like – flawless and beautiful. His measurements (18.5-inch arms, calves and neck) were regarded as a benchmark for symmetry and proportion, and his philosophy was to keep the body balanced through the adherence to a couple of methods: Maintaining a specified weight for your height to prevent distorting your natural body symmetry and striving for specific bone to muscle ratios.
|Steve Reeves Ultra-Symmetrical Physique Ratios|
|Arm size = 252% of Wrist size|
|Calf size = 192% of Ankle size|
|Neck Size = 79% of Head size|
|Chest Size = 148% of Pelvis size|
|Waist size = 86% of Pelvis size|
|Thigh size = 175% of Knee size|
Over the next couple of days I’ll enter my existing measurements and compute the variances, so I have an idea of how far I have to go. OK, it seems a little excessive. Perhaps even a bit like that movie Looker.
We’ll see how this works. I’m giving it a year, perhaps 18 months.
If you’ve been following the h+ summit, or even if you haven’t been, perhaps you have questions regarding transhumansim, human augmentation, radical life extension, germ line genetic engineering, etc, etc. I know I do.
So, I’ll be headed down to Sprout for the h+ beer meetup sponsored by DIYBio.
When? 6pm until 8ish.
Follow #bostonchi on Twitter or me (http://www.twitter.com/zentinal) for live tweeting from Candy Sidner’s (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) presentation on The Recognition of Engagement in Human-Robot Dialogs.
Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war – http://tinyurl.com/6kh62b
Pass it on.
Happy New Year!
I’ve always been one to avoid New Year’s resolutions. They always struck me as being somewhat unhelpful, more an exercise in frustration than anything else.
I’d much rather focus on continuous improvement, than a yearly revised set of goals.
That being said, there are some things I should attend to sooner rather than later…
- The living room and parlor must be finished.
- My membership in the World Transhumanist Association – http://www.transhumanism.org/ – needs renewing, plus, they’re in the midst of a fundraising campaign.
- The time has come to look seriously at cryonics. It won’t be as inexpensive as it would have been had I signed up at 30, but I should be able to do so now.
- Fantastic Dimensions goes onto a regular publishing schedule. Next one due on or before Jan 31, 2008. Let’s see if I can keep up a monthly schedule.
- Sigh. Nope, didn’t do it.
- This coming April is Script Frenzy – http://www.scriptfrenzy.org/. Will that mess up the April edition of Fantastic Dimensions?
Hi 2008. Glad to be here.
“We’re living on the Planet of the Apes. Is that funny or serious?” – Robert Anton Wilson
Robert Anton Wilson left his body @4:50 AM on binary date 01/11.
All Hail Eris!
At one of the lowest points in my life, at a time when I had lost nearly all confidence in myself, I came across the books of Robert Anton Wilson.
They saved my life. Really.
Through them I came to allow myself to become more self confident, to recognize my own intelligence, to flip my point of view from misanthropy to philanthropy, to see the walls of my own reality tunnel and the courage to keep poking holes in it and make it broader.
The Illuminatus Trilogy. The Schroedinger’s Cat Trilogy. Prometheus Rising. Masks of the Illuminati. Cosmic Trigger I, II and III. Right Where You are Sitting Right Now. Coincidance. I ate up his books. They nourished me and I thrived. I changed the direction in my life, just by knowing I could do so.
Thanks RAW for feeding my head.
That Tarot card entry was crap. Tarot cards? Pleeeeease.
Ron & I are the proud owners of a brand new Roomba. We have a robot! It’s one of those things I feel I was promised by the culture as a kid. I don’t have a flying car. I don’t think I’ll ever get a jet pack. I’ll have to live a very long time (not to say I’m not trying) to vacation on the moon.
But, we have a robot to clean the floor. Right now, the Roomba is confined to the kitchen, although I have carried it upstairs to do the hallways. After this weekend, with the dining room cleaned out, I’ll let it wander into there.
Honestly, the kitchen hasn’t been consistently this crumb free in a long, long while.
“Polonium (IPA: /pə(ʊ)ˈləʊniəm/) is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Po and atomic number 84. A rare radioactive metalloid, polonium is chemically similar to tellurium and bismuth and occurs in uranium ores. Polonium has been studied for possible use in heating spacecraft. It exists as a number of isotopes.
Polonium is a highly radioactive and toxic element and is very difficult to handle. Even in milligram or microgram amounts, handling 210Po is extremely dangerous, requiring specialized equipment and strict handling procedures. Alpha particles emitted by polonium will damage organic tissue easily if polonium is ingested, inhaled, or absorbed (though they do not penetrate the epidermis and hence are not hazardous if the polonium is outside the body).”
This whole Litvinenko Affair (sounds oh, so, James Bondish, doesn’t it) is truly bizarre. I wonder. Have the operatives who killed him been rewarded for being inventive, or reprimanded for using a method so baroque, that its detection was guaranteed?
|Paolo Soleri||Jacque Fresco||R. Buckminster Fuller|
While working on Friday I was listening to a podcast called Changesurfer Radio, by my friend James Hughes. In the most recent episode, he interviews Jacque Fresco, a visionary, utopian, architect who is the subject of a new documentary called, “Future by Design”, a film I’d really like to see.
In listening to the interview, I was reminded other Utopians like Paolo Soleri and R. Buckminster Fuller, a personal hero of mine. All three despaired at the inefficiencies of the city, and re-imagined it, and all of its components, in their own inimitable ways.
Unlike Soleri’s faceted but organic Arcologies, or Fuller’s seemingly geometrically rigid tensegrity structures, Fresco’s structures, megastructures, planes, ships and cars are unrelentingly smooth, egglike and aero/hydrodynamic. Everything he designs looks like it should fly or swim.
Funny thing is, at their root, all three approaches are rigorously mathematic and all three approaches are beautiful.
Unlike Soleri and Fuller, Fresco envisions that the only way his world can come about is through the complete collapse of the current world order, something like a worldwide Great Depression. He also (and correctly I believe) predicts that his fabulously expensive buildings can only work in a nano-assembler rich world, where scarcity has been banished.
Hopefully, his world wouldn’t suffer the same fate as Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasilia, whose success or failure as a city is still being debated. A Fresco city with a ring of slums would be a horrible thing.
This past weekend I attended Boskone, the annual science fiction & fantasy convention hosted by NESFA, the New England Science Fiction Assocation.
As per usual, I had a great time. Boskone isn’t nearly as frenetic as Arisia, not as academic as Readercon. It occupies a middle ground, a nether space, a neither here nor thereness that might seem untenable, but in actuality is exceptionally comfortable. As a result, I am tired, but not exhausted, and my mind if filled with all manner of thoughts, and I have enough energy to blog before I go to bed.
If my Boskone experience this year could be said to have a theme, then one of those themes would be Cory Doctorow. Well, yes, he was one of the guests-of-honor at the convention, and as such, he was dutifully being worked to well-respected pulp by the concom, but it seemed to me that most of the thoughts I remember having throughout the convention were Doctrorow inspired thougts. The man must be shedding memetic viri. I’ve long been told that I should be reading this man’s works. I’ve started, of course with “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom”.
The man must have an obscenely huge amount of whuffie, and I’m adding to it. More on Cory soon.
The other near constant in this most recent Boskone was Dr. James Hughes. Dr. J, of the World Tranhumanist Association, Changesurfer radio (one of my weekly online listens (I’ve heard them all)) and more recently, of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. I’ve said before that I find the ideas that make up the memetic constellation called transhumanism extremely compelling.
The funny thing is this. While chatting with him and his son Tristan, I found that our random walk of a conversation had made its way into the realm of virtual communities, and their intersection with the real world, one of my favorite topics from my limited (stillborn?) academic career as a communications theorist. You see, Dr. J. has begun setting up a transhumanist friendly space in Second Life and I was able to offer some of my experiences while a participant in Cybertown (nee Colony City). I hear that some of the same sort of tensions extant in Cybertown are rearing their heads in Second Life, in particular conflict between public and private space, or to put it another way, the conflict between the participants as consumers, and the participants as citizens. You see, whether it is Cybertown, or Second Life, or World of Warcraft, or Ultima Online, or City of Heroes, these virtual spaces are private property, even more so than the downtown mall. Whatever their protestations, the owners of these private space are primarily interested in customers. The last thing on their minds is democracy, except as a threat to their control over their property.
When will we see a truly open source, fully distributed, platform independent, virtual space?
Time for bed. Time enough, though, for one last thought.
I really must find suss out a way to make attending S&SF conventions pay for itself or at least a bit less of a financial drain. I’ve been mulling over ways to merge my vocations and avocations as a means of injecting more joy into my working life. When I witnessed the exuberence with which Cory went about his business this weekend, I came away with an increased longing for some of that. How can I make doing what I love to do, into what I do for a living, without ruining what I love about it?
I received an email today from Andy (a co-worker) that the trailer for X-Men III has been released.
It should be interesting. Beast (my favorite X-Man), Angel, Colossus, The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and, of course, Phoenix.
I haven’t searched seriously, but has X-Men been recognised as a major force in spreading pro-transhumanist, pro-posthumanist ideas?
It is official (but it is not up on the web site yet (hurry up guys!)). Stanford University’s Stanley has been declared the winner of the 2 million dollar prize. From the Stanford Racing Team’s website:
October 9, 2005
Today Stanley and the Stanford Racing Team were awarded 2 million dollars for being the first team to complete the 132 mile DARPA Grand Challenge course. Stanley finished in just under 6 hours 54 minutes and averaged over 19 miles per hours on the course.
Way to go, Cardinal.
Ron & I just got back from California, visiting my parents and seeing my friends from my USC/So Cal Fandom days.
While there, we made a side trip to Sequoia National Park to see some of the hugest and longest lived organisms on the Earth, Sequoia Gigantea.
While reading slashdot, I came across a reference to this article by Dr. Aubrey de Grey.
Ahhh, to live to be over 1000 years old.