I am posting this discussion to find out how you would answer the following question

Transhumanism what do you think
1) Great idea were do I sign up!
2) Interesting idea don't think its for me though.
3) Why would anyone want to do that to themselves?

Personally I choose answer 1 because I think we as humans should do everything we can to improve our species. The question is what do you think and why?

EDIT: While it is true that there are many ethical issues involved in transhumanism the question is not "What do you think of the ethic involved?", but "Assuming the transhuman technology were available, and affordable, would you take advantage of it or not?" And yes I am aware that the ethical issues will influence some peoples answers however I would appreciate it if you actually answered the question at hand before commenting on the ethics of transhumanism. I don't mind the ethical debates but the purpose of the discussion was to find out what you would do if transhumanism were available. In light of this discussing weather or not we will ever be able to do this is beyond the scope of the discussion. Of course I have no control over what you do all I ask is that you at least try to stay close to the topic.

Thanks

Tags: Science, Technology, Transhumanism

Views: 47

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Freely available life extension would be the greatest economic and environmental disaster. Ever.
Fortunately, we won't have freely available life extension. Not to give in too much to doom and gloom, my pessimism about the planet's inhabitable ecosystem seems to grow worse, year by year. Exactly how are we going to maintain all of these demented, beautiful methuselahs when there wont be food or clean water as it is? I worry that a series of major catastrophes will leave us with a significantly impoverished world. Survival, not life extension, will be the concerns.

If were are not talking about downloading consciousness, but regenerating replacement parts, hearts, lungs, kidneys, livers, immune systems, skin... still, we are our brains. Our brains deteriorate as we age, just as much as the skin thins and wrinkles and grows lesions, the arteries fill with crud, interwoven into their linings, and the joints wear out and crumble. What happens in the brain, is the tissue hardens, the connections start to disintegrate, holes form, scars grow, and the brain also develops lesions and tumors. The arteries within the brain scar up and calcify. An old brain is esily recognized on CT or MRI - it has holes in it, it's shrunken, and it contains scars. Aging isn't just this organ or that organ - its every organ, every tissue, and every cell. The cells themselves lose the ability to reproduce themselves and regenerate, and repair their damaged DNA.

Im curious about the age range of responders vs. which choice they make. My WAG is that younger = more likely to be into the transhumanist concept, and older = more likely to accept mortality.

Somewhere in here I get the idea that some writers imagine transplanting their consciousness into a new or mechanical being. Our consciousness is our brain. Dead brain = dead. The rest is X-files.

Sorry to sound so grouchy. I still prefer to think about leaving a better world for future generations, as opposed to thinking about how to live a few extra years.
Personally when it comes to human/technology hybrid we have had it as long as we have been putting pace-makers, artificial bones, joints and all sorts of things into or on people, we are a transhumanist society already.

Transhumanism has been around forever in various disguises, technology is our bootstrap. We are a species that engineers, not the only one but probably the best one we know. Technology has always been used to improve humanity if you stretch the definition far enough.

I agree with JohnD, it will probably not happen, not in the way we think. The computer microchip thing has pretty much peeked as far as I am concerned, it has hit appliance level, which tends to be where we park most innovations. We are up against a battery power consumption issue as long as we have to recharge and plug into a grid we are a tethered society. Until we solve energy as a society we are stuck where we are at.

Technology plateaus, and we eventually progress with them at a steady rate, improving them along side what we have already mastered. We remember the great leaps, no one really remembers the thousands of idea's and innovations that vied alongside them. The best options don't always win, and lately as a species it seems to me we have had a lot of failures of expectations. We get really good at thinking that something around the corner is going to change everything. Something might... but I wouldn't count on it. If it does come I wouldn't even count on it being anything we are aware of right now.
I agree with the first two paragraphs completely.

As to microchips they have not peeked as far as I can tell based admittedly on somewhat limited knowledge though computers have interested my for several years, I had planed to go into programing for several years before I switched to archaeology. During that time I did a lot of research into computer hardware and the future of such. While silicon may indeed be nearing its upper limit, though I'm not sure it has the main limit to the capabilities of silicon based chips is how close you can place the components and for awhile that had seemed to have stalled but recently researchers have developed a process which may lead to placements of as much as 4 times closer, not exactly sure on this figure but the right figure is relatively close, then current techniques.

I admit that as a culture we have a tendency to make rather poor predictions about the future of our technology, however this has been due mostly to the fact that it progresses faster than we can predict not always but generally. Though I do agree that transhumanism, which I think will come, will be radically different from what we are predicting. Part of the reason that transhumanism will be different then our predictions is that at some point our technology will improve our cognitive capabilities so rapidly that advances will come lightning fast, from our perspective at least, that we are unable to imagine what life will be like so predicting what will happen after the singularity is reached is rather futile, do to the fact that one cannot properly imagine an intelligence greater then ones own which is what post singularity life will be,though it is fun to try anyway.
Silicon maybe hitting its limit but diamond is being looked upon as alternative, well at least man-made diamonds.
Actually I think it isn't a processing issue but as I said an energy one. For electronics to make a serious leap forward we need to free them from the plug for serious lengths of time, weeks or more. As long as we have to plug into a grid or recharge them, electronics are tethered, they might get smaller but batteries are always required.

We have come a long way, and while there are a lot of great potential replacements, the promise of electron free computing is still years if not decades away. It always comes down to cost, someone somewhere has to make it cost effective and give us some real reason why it is better.
Well actually there has been major progress in this area check out this video

http://www.thehiddenatheist.com/2009/08/derren-brown-documentary-me...
You are right, there are many ways that we are hybridized with technology. It's fun to look at n Xray and see the artificial joints, the cardiac ipod (pacemaker), the staples, manufactured valves, and other hardware.

Plus, of course, organs from helmetless motorcyclists, bone marrow transplants, stem cell transplants, and even vaccines and artificial hormones.

Now if we could just somehow transplant critical thinking....
First of all, check this out.

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While I do suspect to see some pretty cool new tech in the near future, I am still skeptical as to its ability to fundamentally change the human condition. Kurtzweil argues that most of the Post-Singularity inventions will not come from humans but AI's. If this is true then what incentive do these AI's have (assuming that this is even possible) to improve the lot of humans and not themselves? I do not see how a Transhuman future is possible without leaving the impoverished majority of the world behind.
I agree that if I were to allow my mind to be downloaded into a robot body I would need to be able to control when my existence ends, by erasing my mind from all computers then doing the same for the robot. But I would prefer to only download my mind at or near the point of death so as to have only one of me in existence at a time.

I have no reason to believe that my mind in a robot or computer would be likely to be giving orders and as such would not give bad orders, but if I were giving orders the robot me would be much better equipped to make reasoned decisions.
well, first off, I think the idea of the singularity is either bullshit (at a certain point you always have to deal with fundamental physical constraints), or already long here (advances in computer hardware make developing computer hardware faster). And I am extremely skeptical of the idea of extreme life extension. That said, I'm all for improving ourselves with technology. I want to be a cyborg :) But this won't be new either, I mean what's the difference between that and the lasic surgery I've had? Both improve my capabilities though technology.
True but transhumanism is generally used to refer to significant improvements. Furthering the lasic example the transhuman version would not only improve sight in the visible spectrum but could add abilities such as sight in the infrared part of the spectrum or recording what you saw.

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