Thursday, May 21, 2009

Episode 17: Transhumanism

I'm a transhumanist. Transhumanism is the view that our finest destiny lies not in merely embracing our humanity, but improving upon it.

This video beautifully portrays the transhumanistic outlook:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/aimee_mullins_prosthetic_aesthetics.html

The Wikipedia transhumanism page offers an excellent overview:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism

-Jeff Dee

5 Comments:

At 2:41 PM, Blogger ouini said...

Wow. Yet another cool paradigm-shifting TED lecture.

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger Ing said...

You should check out the TV tropes on the anti-transhumanism trope. I don't understand personally why such a trope is so readily embraced in media and the real world (a friend of mine baffled me by saying he'd never take a smart chip implant). The comic Transmeptolitan is also a potential read, as it has a very neutral, leaning on the positive view of the philosophy.

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger Robert said...

That was an interesting and informative talk!

 
At 12:49 PM, Blogger Sweet One said...

I beleive in transhumanism as well; what underlies most of the opposition to transhumanism is fear of change. This is a natural instinct that evolved as a survival strategy. Those who oppose transhumanism beleive that they do so for moral, re;ligious, or even humanitarian reasons, but it is this fear that they are responding to.

 
At 5:32 AM, Blogger Eric said...

I'm also a transhumanist, but there are valid arguments against it. The one that keeps being brought up to me is that transhumanism will end up like many, many other medical and scientific advances; Another luxury and game-changer for wealthy first worlders.

This would be especially bad with enhancement technologies, particularly genetic modification, as it could lead to the rich and poor becoming outright separate species.

However, this is not an inherent element of transhumanism, and it provides the tools to end the poverty that leads to this through the technological, medical and scientific advances that must follow.

Someone with a superhuman intellect is better equipped to find a solution to the third world's problems and to give them the tools.

Of course, I think the most likely result and end-goal of transhumanism is a sort of global transhuman social democracy where a matter of policy would and should be building up the third world to the level of the first (and finding solutions to the various ecological problems that would be occurring then, although those wouldn't have anything to do with this).
For one thing, it's a tremendous waste of human potential having billions of people unable to reach their physical and mental best due to things like childhood malnutrition and toxin exposure, and has likely crippled thousands of would-be Einsteins.

 

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