Author Archives: Thomas Seubert

Posts by Thomas Seubert

Transhumanism and Procreation

Some scientists say that transhumanism’s ultimate goal of escaping mortality will be feasible within this century. In his article, Zoltan Istvan, keeps this thought in mind when he poses this question, “Should transhumanists have children?”

Illustrating several viewpoints that address this inquiry, Istvan half-heartedly says that biologic life will become obsolete. From Istvan’s perspective, having children doesn’t make sense, because, by his understanding of transhumanism, humans will be able to upload their brains into computers, will take on virtual lives, and will adapt to this new virtual world. How and why would anyone raise a child?

This article, though  thought-provoking, produces no concrete answer to the question, “Should transhumanists have children?” Valid points about transhumanism are made throughout, but the author, who appears to be on the cusp of totally agreeing that procreation will become pointless, recoils by stating that he looks forward to the birth of his daughter–a real “cop out.”

Keeping to the scope of Istvan’s idea of transhumanism and posthumanism, I, personally, don’t take any of these arguments seriously, because I don’t see transhumanism and posthumanism as viable means of immortality. Living in a virtual world is not really “living.” In order to be living, one must be experiencing life–not existing in a sterile, unfeeling virtual world. As for raising kids, that’s really a personal preference that transhumanism need not address.

Group One’s Midterm Abstract: What will the “Futuristic New York City” look like?

Group 1- Rebecca, Michelle, Zara, Luke, Sifan, Tom

Midterm Report Abstract

Global trends as well as local efforts prove that sustainability will be key in the future. After conducting interviews, doing research, and roving the field of New York City, we have come to the conclusion that sustainability and architecture, coupled together, will play a prominent role in the New York City’s future development. Our group’s goal is to produce an educational video discussing aspects of green architecture and sustainability. Our video will focus on LEED certifications, Hearst Tower, green roofs, and hopefully an architectural firm, as points of discussion with the common idea of “green architecture” always at heart. So far, we have completed our research, conducted public opinion interviews, and have received consent for an interview with a high-ranking member of Hearst Tower’s crisis management team. By Spring Break we will have completed any final interviews and will begin the video producing process.

Steamed Duck

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My drawing involves a device that makes walking and driving superfluous. A hydro-combustion chamber, attached to the bottom of the standing carriage, super heats water in an uber-efficient manner production pressurized steam. This steam allows the lightweight duck feather carriage to levitate with zero carbon emissions. The duck feathers water proof the carriage. One might ask, how one welds duck feathers? Or how steam can make humans fly? Well, that’s up to the future to figure out.

New York City and Venice

New York City’s Panel on Climate Change produced a report claiming that by the 2050s the mean temperature of “typical” year in NYC will “bear similarities” to current Norfolk, Virginia; moreover, the report indicates that precipitation will increase, sea levels will rise, and 100 and 500-year floodwater heights will also increase. These statistics invoke some concerns for the future of New York City, and make it sound like New York is headed down the path of a city like Venice.

Is New York City the next Venice?


Green Architecture and the Future of New York City

Our final project will explore paragons of green architecture in New York City and will examine the role and impact the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization has on developing eco-friendly structures, working in public and professional opinions on these topics.

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Comments by Thomas Seubert

"There is definitely "greenwashing" going on here. Less emissions means that gases are still being released into the environment. Though these technologies seem to be a way to lessen the blow our gas driven lives have on the environment. To say this is all about money making is fair, but that statement shouldn't be tweaked with a condescending tone. The U.S. employs a free market economy. Without monetary motivation, there won't be innovation."
--( posted on Mar 2, 2014, commenting on the post To burn or not to burn? )
"In regards to Sant'Elias' complaints about architecture, I think there is something to be said about designs being unoriginal and boring. Buildings are designed with "straight lines" and then architects add some sort of historically influenced flare. But is this really a bad thing? A giant metallic and futuristic structure built in the heart of a major city, like New York, would only standout and serve as an eyesore. Maybe, minor steps towards practical architectural designs with futuristic planning in mind (say, green buildings) are a more reasonable approach. This transition won't happen without some sort of struggle, the idea that Marinetti highlights. Simply put, most things are dichotomous. Happiness would not be known without the contrast of sadness. What would New York be without the Mets and the Yankees? When it comes to architectural planning, struggle may only make things uglier. There will be to many people trying to influence designs, creating giant spaghetti monster structures all over the planned world. But when it comes to art in general, there must be struggle. Creation mandates struggle. There will inevitable be a change in the way buildings are designed"
--( posted on Mar 2, 2014, commenting on the post A Call for Futurism )