I'm a big fan of science and technology as well as humans. I like the transhumanist movement and was just wondering what your thoughts and feelings are about it?
Please stay on topic and don't obsessively talk about how religion is mostly anti-human etc. I already know that. :P
I'm more interested in how humanity can be better, have more enjoyable lives and evolve in positive ways. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism
Thanks and I look forward to your ideas and perspectives. :)
It depends on the form. Technology has been used to compensate for disabilities in some very interesting ways, and I support that. Mechanical implants can restore the function of lost limbs, regulate brain activity, facilitate hearing and even restore eyesight to some degree (amongst other things). I think some of transhumanism stems from this. If we can compensate for deficiencies, why can't we also enhance normal characteristics?
On a personal level, when it comes to technological enhancements of most varieties, I don't think it is for me. I am roughly thirty years old. throughout the course of my life, there have been several technologies which have been introduced and are now not only common, but borderline necessities for inclusion in modern life. Many of these items have new versions annually, with previous versions becoming obsolete and scarcely supported within a half decade to a decade. It bothers me that I am dependent on computers for work, and that I must constantly upgrade just to keep relevant in my field. I have, to some extent, made myself a slave to companies such as Apple and Nikon (while there are other options available, they typically aren't much better imo).
So do I really want to embed that same situation into my body? No.
When it comes to things like genetic modification, I don't think humans have the competence to deal with the unintended consequences, and I'm not sure that we will any time soon.
In terms of the basic concept, I don't have a real issue. I am not a purist about the human body or 'spirit'. I mean, I'm all for artistic body modification. In practical terms, however, I think many of humanity's problems stem from our inability to be reserved. My suspicion is that the relevant technologies, once applied, will bring out the worst in humanity as opposed to steering us toward the best.
Sorry if I'm not all that cogent. I have a cold which is f'n with my head at the moment.
I understand your points and you are cogent enough. I tend to be an optimist and have enjoyed the newer versions of computers etc. I see things moving in a positive direction with science and technology in spite of the minority of humans that seem to like fighting in a perpetual cycle.
Hopefully science will find a way to tame the beast inside of us so people will stop wanting to kill other people. I may be horribly wrong and we are all headed for immediate destruction but my experience so far has not lead me to think that is the most likely outcome even if it is a possibility.
As an AAS user, I can surely say that I'm very interested in body modification. It sounds like something I'd be interested, just to see how I'm affected and in what ways. I also have a psychological dependency on feeling wanted, which is never satisfied - by being able to live for a longer time, I feel like I could attempt to accomplish more.
How does that effect you in the long term? I'm curious if you use it for medical reasons or simply for keeping your body in better shape.
I've been interested in the thought since I first played Deus Ex. I think what we will see eventually is not the replacement of limbs and body parts by anything mechanical, (it takes some serious commitment to lop off a hand or a leg not to mention being a huge gamble for many of the reasons Kris pointed out) but I think we will see additional capability added to our body through through both hardware and software and greater innovations in biotechnology. It won't be too long until we have tailor-made body parts and organs for replacement in case of an accident or illness, lab-grown skin for skin graphs, and effective treatments for genetically inherited diseases like Alzheimer's.
Our lives will eventually fuse more with technology until it is within us constantly monitoring our physical health and even aiding us in day to day life. I hope I live long enough to see the revolution of what it means to be human. I am concerned though, that these technologies will only be available for an elite few who can pay outrageous prices for them. After all, we are talking about the pathway to clinical immortality and essentially super-human knowledge and abilities. It may end up turning into something akin to an arms race. On the flip side, my hope is that we will one day be able to share our memories with each other. Can you imagine the social implications? You can for moments at a time actually live part of another person's life. What will that do to our own identities when we experience another? If that happens, I can't see any future except one of peace among us all.
But mechanical limbs and cyborg bodies? There is a serious issue with power as well as people being willing to give up their own bodies. I doubt our society will embrace the idea of voluntary, physical replacement.
Speaking of the subject, I read a book this summer that dealt with come of the research going on in this area and where the people making these advances see that we are going. It was called Physics of the Future.
Plastic surgery was probably the toe in the door when it comes to high tech voluntary body modifications. Low tech? How about attoos, scarrification, and hair and makeup styling. That sort of thing.
I'm sure there will be individuals (like yourself) who will find some replacement to be a great benefit, but for the majority of people who have working body parts that don't give them pain, I think that's doubtful.
What if doctors and health professionals could simply repair or reverse the damage? You wouldn't need a replacement. I think that's the more likely scenario.
I'm sure humans will continue to push the boundaries of reparative/ regenerative techniques, but work on integrating the nervous system and mechanical prosthetics has been underway for quite some time now. That trend will almost certainly continue as there are numerous cases where reparation is not an option.
I recall talking to a guy years ago who had a mechanical arm which he could control with surprising dexterity. Sure, it was no comparison to the arm he lost, but there are some practical implementations already, and new developments are quickly opening up new potentials:
Sadly, I can't do this now. Breaking a finger nail and dropping it into a flower pot could be very scary! LOL
So, if I were to puree a starfish in a blender, I could make bazillions of starfish(?).