[ExI] Natasha's brand new doctorate

natasha at natasha.cc natasha at natasha.cc
Fri Jul 13 01:33:52 UTC 2012

The "official" department paperwork is being processed ... but it is  
in the School of Media Arts and Design(which includes consciousness  

Quoting Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com>:

> Congrats!
> What field is the PhD officially in?
> On Jul 12, 2012 4:19 PM, "Max More" <max at maxmore.com> wrote:
>> Hello all.
>> I want to make sure that all (especially you old-timers) here know that
>> one of the longest-term subscribers (who also happens to be my wife) is a
>> newly-minted PhD.
>> Despite full-time work and numerous other activities, Natasha pushed on
>> and completed her doctoral work, capped off with a dissertation:
>> "Life Expansion: Toward an Artistic, Design-Based Theory of the Transhuman
>> / Posthuman"
>> Natasha flew to England to defend her dissertation last week. Her defense
>> on July 5 was a thorough success!
>> She is now the very well-deserved possessor of a doctorate from Great
>> Britain's University of Plymouth's Science, Technology Research Centre,
>> School of Media Arts and Design.
>> Here's the abstract:
>> Abstract:
>> The thesis' study of life expansion proposes a framework for artistic,
>> design-based approaches concerned with prolonging human life and sustaining
>> personal identity. To delineate the topic: life expansion means increasing
>> the length of time a person is alive and diversifying the matter in which a
>> person exists. For human life, the length of time is bounded by a single
>> century and its matter is tied to biology. Life expansion is located in the
>> domain of human enhancement, distinctly linked to technological interfaces
>> with biology.
>>         The thesis identifies human-computer interaction and the potential
>> of emerging and speculative technologies as seeding the promulgation of
>> human enhancement that approach life expansion. In doing so, the thesis
>> constructs an inquiry into historical and current attempts to append human
>> physiology and intervene with its mortality. By encountering emerging and
>> speculative technologies for prolonging life and sustaining personal
>> identity as possible media for artistic, design-based approaches to human
>> enhancement, a new axis is sought that identifies the transhuman and
>> posthuman as conceptual paradigms for life expansion.
>>         The thesis asks: What are the required conditions that enable
>> artistic, design-based approaches to human enhancement that explicitly
>> pursue extending human life? This question centers on the potential of the
>> study's proposed enhancement technologies in their relationship to life,
>> death, and the human condition. Notably, the thesis investigates artistic
>> approaches, as distinct from those of the natural sciences, and the borders
>> that need to be mediated between them.
>>         The study navigates between the domains of life extension, art and
>> design, technology, and philosophy in forming the framework for a theory of
>> life expansion. The critical approach seeks to uncover invisible borders
>> between these interconnecting forces by bringing to light issues of
>> sustaining life and personal identity, ethical concerns, including
>> morphological freedom and extinction risk. Such issues relate to the
>> thesis' interest in life expansion and the use emerging and speculative
>> technologies.
>>         The study takes on a triad approach in its investigation:
>> qualitative interviews with experts of the emerging and speculative
>> technologies; field studies encountering research centers of such
>> technologies; and an artistic, autopoietic process that explores the
>> heuristics of life expansion. This investigation forms an integrative view
>> of the human use of technology and its melioristic aim. The outcome of the
>> research is a theoretical framework for further research in artistic
>> approaches to life expansion.
>> I'm very proud of what Natasha has accomplished. This was a highly unusual
>> topic that had to overcome some significant academic barriers.
>> Onward!
>> --Max
>> --
>> Max More, PhD
>> Strategic Philosopher
>> Co-editor, *The Transhumanist Reader*
>> CEO, Alcor Life Extension Foundation
>> 7895 E. Acoma Dr # 110
>> Scottsdale, AZ 85260
>> 480/905-1906 ext 113
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