Rick Amandan

Rick Amandan is a Neopagan scientist who holds degrees in physics and computer science. He spent his life primarily as an engineering physicist and programmer designing, constructing, and testing state-of-the-art experimental systems and apparatus used for nuclear and high-energy physics research. As his work demanded a jack-of-all-trades sort of knowledge he became an expert on a wide range of diverse technologies as well as an expert on the history, evolution, and development of technology from the mid-19th century forward.

Rick retired following decades of work on several top-priority national research projects. He died of blocked arteries to the heart a few weeks after attending Starwood 2007. Following his reboot from a flat EEG, he continues to cope with widespread chronic pain, peripheral neuropathy, autoimmune illness, and the residual effects of multiple fractures, heavy metal toxicity, radiation exposure, and long-term chemotherapy. His current passion for the technology which has kept him alive has driven him to research and explore the potential futures which that very same technology may create for us all. He now works to increase awareness of the approaching Singularity; the moment when humanity takes the next step in its evolution and becomes one with its technology. (In the age after the Singularity he plans to explore the universe in a new body free of pain and equipped with a faster-than-light drive.)

The War on the Elderly, Sick, and Disabled

Do you ever wonder why you no longer hear about drug-related shoot-outs in the streets of America (neglecting the occasionally spillover of cartel violence across the Mexican border)? What happened to all the bloody scenes that we used to see regularly on the evening news? This presentation is a frank discussion of how your grandma and her sewing circle have replaced lunatics with automatic weapons as the collateral damage of the drug war. It's about how their doctors (and yours) are being intimidated, harassed, and victimized for their efforts to ease human suffering. It's about why the pharmaceutical industry adds poison to prescription pain medications at the insistence of the government. And it's about the pain, distress, and humiliation you will face when you become injured, sick, elderly, or disabled in present-day America.

Who Wants To Live Forever?

The science and technology available to humanity is developing at an accelerating rate. It has advanced more in the past ten years than in the previous ten thousand. If the trend continues then within the next twenty to fifty years it will become possible for us to physically and biologically merge with our machines. Sickness and disease will be eliminated by nano-engineering. And when we sail over this technological horizon to a new world where real, physical, immortality is possible, we are going to be faced with many important choices as individuals and as a species. Who will have access to the technology that offers immortality? Who will control it? Will we still need or want children? Will births continue to be allowed in a world of finite resources and a population of immortals? Will work be necessary or meaningful? Will consciousness become transferable, shareable, or copyable? What becomes of religion? And what role is left for God(s) when we become like Gods ourselves?

















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