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Thread: Transhumanism

  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Transhumanism

    What do you think about themes of transhumanism in literature or film? Is it an idea which horrifies you or intrigues you or does it depend on its treatment in fiction? That's to say it could be either.

    The latest of it that I can think of was the movie Lucy, which features someone becoming transcendent following chemical alteration, although there are episodes of the Outer Limits which tried to adapt the sci fi novel Blood Music, which featured someone becoming transhuman following their smuggling of nano technology which mutates into a new form of biological lifeform.

    Then there is the "grey goo" horror story Prey in which nano tech just becomes a sort of virus and reduces everything it comes into contact with into a blob.

    In both Lucy, although its implied rather than explicitly stated as it is in Blood Music, the ultimate state of matter is what appears to be dematerialising and disappearing into a shower of sparks or something like that, in Blood Music the new life forms are intrigued with smaller and smaller scale physics, the opposite of mankind's supposed obsession with outer space and the universe "out there", they want to explore "inner space" but not in the sense of psychology and consciousness but some sort of infinitesimal physics.

    There's much, much more limited visions of transhumanism in cyberpunk and augmentation fiction, ie mechanical or cyborg transformations, the obvious evil or nasty version of this is the Borg, although its a communistic principle at work too and not simply augmented or cyborgian transhumanism.

    So is the idea horrific or do you have a different view of it? A more positive one? I've got to say I find it a little disturbing, many of the drives towards it which I see reported, like IT firms having employees implanted with beneath the skin microchips for security passes or logging on by waving their hand, the many medical machine applications (insulin pumps for instance) even freak me out, it can all only ever be a sort of necessary evil for me. I dont like Johnny numonic style cyber punk visions either.

    There are some sorts of optimistic sci fi which involve kinds of transhumanism, or at least symbionic technology called "dirt", I think it was, which was a kind of solar powered material which could operate as a star trek replicator, had no military application, was universally available, non-toxic to the environment, actually cleaned the environment through its use and was unregulated/unregulatable but the crucial aspects of fiction like that is that it is external and independent of the individual themselves and is at their service, so its not perhaps truly transhumanistic.

  2. #2
    across the universe Olm the Water King's Avatar
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    I like the idea a lot and have considered myself a transhumanist for over a decade now.

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    I've been interested in the concept of transhumanism ever since I played Deus Ex. I'm pretty optimistic, and I think it will be a gradual occurrence. Some may say that we're in the beginning stages of transhumanism and anti-transhumanism with this 'cyborg hate crime': What may be the world's first cybernetic hate crime unfolds in French McDonald's

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    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    One stupid thing we need to avoid is biometric security. Keys and passwords are separate from you and changeable for a good reason. If a key gets stolen, you change the lock and make a different key. If biometric data gets stolen, it is compromised forever. For example if your genetic code unlocks a safe, and somebody manages to get a hold of your DNA and make a key (entirely possible) then you're fucked. NEVER AGAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE can your DNA be trusted to be secure. Permanent tattoos and implanted devices are also similar.

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