Transhumanism is knocking at the door. Dubbed as Humanity+ or H+, the idea to radically revolutionize humanity has emerged in the last decades as a global intellectual movement. With a slogan of melding humans with the machine, it aims to radically alter human nature by means of technological advancement.
What is missing from this piece is the fact that the core problem is humanity’s EVOLUTION AWAY FROM HUMANITY. By that I mean on a FEELING level; the place where caring, sharing, and loving exist…or, at least, used to before GREED entered the equation like poison into an aquifer. Without a number one priority of LOVE, I see nothing positive occurring whether we are eventually ruled by Sociopaths in skin or robots made of metal.
The “Tin Man” got his heart but tin-hearted people will never truly touch their own.
Great article! Succinct warning! Probably where all that “Pentagon” money is going–to create the future transhuman soldiers. Corporations will have the perfect worker–no benefits or even pay needed! It makes me wonder what these elites (whoever they may be) think of our poor, stinking, biological bodies?! Machines are so much neater, right? No sick days. No complaints. I fear for the human race!
In the end, in more ways than one with our current environmental crisis, Nature will prevail.
She always has, and always will.
I’m sure you’ve heard George Carlin speaking of that so I won’t link it.
You are both correct in that the Earth is NEVER WRONG!!!
How can the human mind ever control a Universal Mind that is millions of times smarter?
“With the initiative of universal basic income (UBI), wealthy and elite technologists advocate for the creation of a robot economy where labor is replaced by automation.”
Nothing wrong with that. On the contrary.
Yes—but it seems this author, along with the “transhumanists” she decries—has left one critical element out of her analysis of what makes us different than machines.
The body. The messy, vulnerable, mortal physical body.
The body is the part of us that most faithfully reflects our commonality—not only with one another, but with all life here.
The body is the root of our capacity for empathy.
The body is the guardian of our Love for real life, real Earth. Of our capacity to differentiate these from our narcissistic “virtual realities.”
But as the apparent author of our weakness, fragility, and mortality, the body (along with Nature itself) is seen as the problem to be overcome by those addicted to domination, to violence, to top-down control.
The body is nothing but an object or an obstacle to mental supremacists.
Such folks have long been waging a war against body and Nature. (As well as against women, children, and people of color/indigenous people, all of whom are generally perceived as being “closer to Nature” than other people, and thus relentlessly targeted for violence within the mental supremacists’ regime.) The cyborg fantasies of today are not really new…
To move beyond modernity into something other than degenerative apocalypse, humans will need to humbly accept the wisdom of the physical body. We’ll need to allow that wisdom to guide, even dictate, the organization of daily life, and our relations with other species.
Many people who are revolted by the latest developments in anti-humanism are hardly any more willing to move in this direction than are those they perceive as enemies. Many unconsciously harbor similar
fantasies of going beyond our species’ current physical limitations—without paying the necessary price for ecological development of Self-Knowledge and Self-mastery.
Who will speak for the body?
Superb. Thanks for contributing.
A verse of a song i wrote:
There’s a fire that burns in every creature
Words can’t say what it means
We must let that spirit be our teacher
Or forever be enslaved to our machines
Everyone knows life expectancy globally is not only rising but rising at a rate unprecedented in human history. It is one of humanity’s great success stories, albeit one that seems to be curiously under-appreciated by the population at large. We should, of course, be celebrating the dramatic rises in longevity already seen. Yet there are many Cassandras who say over-population is a dooming us.
A report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch “The Silver Economy — Global Ageing Primer”, came up with the startling suggestion that “life expectancies of 300-400 years or even an infinite extension of life expectancy may be within reach in our lifetimes”.
In North America, at least, a one-year increase in longevity “could more than double the amount of aggregate pension underfunding”. Given that the deficit in US public pension funds alone has been estimated at $3.4bn by the Hoover Institution, a think-tank at Stanford University, that could get a little messy. BofA estimates that, worldwide, annuity and pension-related longevity risk exposure is already a “worrying” $15tn-$25tn, about three months’ worth of global gross domestic product.
“Here the radical vision of humanity 2.0 arises. The coming of a post-human era promises to alleviate suffering, make us stronger, more intelligent and godlike.”
And here is a short story about how capitalism cannot permit a universal ending of disease.
if this crappy political economy remains in place, it’ll essentially usher in an era where engineered slavery and servitude become the norm. this has long been a concern for serious science fiction writers–a species that engineers its own destruction.
with a class-based, highly stratified technological inequality, those born to the manor high will be engineered to immortality, while those of us low born engineered to be nothing but talking pack mules. This has to be resisted and overcome at any and all cost(s).
The capitalist obsession with efficiency is what’s driving this ethos. I can’t imagine this technology being in worse hands.
Had “we” the collective will necessary to do so, our lifeways could be structured much more fairly, comfortably, and sustainably without all the fancy gizmos. Like a kid with a big motorcycle, excitement captures our imagination while disaster follows close behind. Not everyone manages to grow up. That might be humanity’s fate as well.
The “economy”, based on “externalizations” is “modern” slavery. Another externalization is the digitalization of human opinion (as opposed to thought). The ‘super computer’ that parses words, terms and phrases chosen by someone whose conceptual orientation is to shape advantage (market premises and practices of predatory capitalism) out of fear. The fear, generated by mind/body intuition that something(s) important are missing, is a solipsism that ironically preserves the process of body but not the content, which is triggered into perpetual loop redundancy. I would submit not necessarily a feed-back loop because of the absence (externalization) of key elements of the content.
Surrealist painter Renee Magritte noted something similar when captioning the painting of a pipe with “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”.
" The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed by paralanguage. Compare with Korzybski’s “The word is not the thing” and “The map is not the territory”.
Transhumanism is not life.
It’s strongly implied, but Hayase is too polite and circumspect to really hammer the point home: you there, fellow human, you’re not absolutely required to buy into the technological bondage. All the fake-cultural constraints are there to make life inconvenient and frustrating for those who don’t submit to voluntary servitude. But there’s always the option to tune in, turn on, and drop out, as they used to say. (Seriously: that doesn’t have to mean in the Cheech & Chong sense of the phrase, it can be taken as an anarchist revolutionary call.)
Trade in your smart phone for a dumb phone. Turn off the TV. Tune in to what it’s like to defy your exile from Life on Earth. Reclaim yourself, if it’s worth it to you. Show the people you love that it’s possible, even under the extreme duress of today.