Transhumanism and Human Destiny
I’ve been watching some videos on transhumanism – see, for example, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnQMHl8P5jA, but they all make more or less the same points – and it honest-to-god does seem true that humanity is hell-bent on either creating our own god-like replacements, or making ourselves extinct trying. I would bet most people are individually frightened by what that could mean, but in the aggregate we seem systemically unable to do anything else. Our destiny as a species seems to be defined by the fact that we are bright and competitive and chafe at our mortality, so it becomes a race for a finish line (the “singularity”) that we don’t understand and probably will not survive, at least not in recognizable form. And to think that the transition to post-humanism may occur in my lifetime, but probably without me. Weird weird stuff.
As just one small example, consider this: Robotic suits have been developed, in Japan, that read brain signals and helps people with mobility problems, and will be available to rent in Japan for US$2,200 a month for both legs, and $1,500 for a one leg:
For now, it’s an invention that mainly impacts the disabled and elderly (and their caretakers). But how long before people simply jettison even healthy legs in favor of superior mechanical replacements? And what will it do to us? Will we become even more lost to ourselves as a result?