Transhumanism is the next step in human evolution, and it is already being taken. Humans are merging and will continue to merge with technology. It is no longer science fiction, but science fact. In 20 to 30 years, humans will be a very different species. What does this mean for you, a lowly service-ape? The answer will disgust you.
This blog entry is an introduction to what I hope will become a series of posts examining the physical, psychological, spiritual, ethical, and philosophical implications of the impending jump in human evolution known as transhumanism. What is transhumanism, exactly? You can learn all about it here. But if you are like me, and already have dozens of tabs open on your browser and are loathe to open yet another, then read on.
Let me begin with an example. Do you own a toaster? The first commercial toaster was introduced by General Electric in 1909, model D-12.
Since then, toasters have become a counter-top staple in most American homes and, indeed, European homes. You probably have a toaster sitting in your general vicinity right now. Now, what if you could surgically implant that toaster into your torso? You could have toast anywhere, at any time. With new technological advances, we could make a toaster that is 1/1000000 the size of your current toaster, and inject it directly into your stomach, where it could produce microscopic bits of toast. This nano–toaster could produce toast on demand, and you could make that demand just by thinking about how good a bit of toast would be right now. Thus, with the merging of our organic body with the technology of the toaster, the toaster-human hybrid is created. This is transhumanism.
The possibilities go far beyond that, however. Technology evolves a lot faster than humans do. Just look at how much telephones have changed in the last 40 years. They went from big, plastic-encased clunky things that hung on the wall and couldn’t even download pornography, to a small, hand-held device that has more computing power than the computers NASA used to send the first men to the moon. In fact, they have more computing power than the most advanced computers of 1995. Scientists have a word for this: Exponential evolution. This means that rather than following a standard progression of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… an exponential progression doubles, then triples, then quadruples, like this: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64… and on and on until you wake up one morning and you an an immortal being with super-powers.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s look at the current state of transhumanism.
Scientists say that we are already technically cybernetic organisms, or “cyborgs”, as so many of us walk around with our smart phones held inches from our faces. Many modern people say that they could not function at full-capacity in their day to day lives without this hand-held augmentation. We use them to communicate, to access information, to watch videos and to play little bowling games that distract us from the fact that the resulting field of microwaves we are living in is giving us all cancer. We have no need to worry, however, as transhumanism will soon equip us all with nanobots — tiny, microscopic robots — that will travel through our bloodstreams and destroy any cancer cells that develop before they become a nuisance. So fear not, proto-transhuman, your children will be fine! You, on the other hand, are already as good as dead. Although the technology is evolving faster and faster, it will still be a good twenty to thirty years before we are a go for nanobots (although “smart-pills” already have FDA approval).
Indeed, we as a species are on the precipice of a giant step forward in our own evolution, and this means taking control of our own evolution. As you know, anything that is made available to the public represents technologies as far as twenty years further on that already exist but are still in the research and development stage. What wonders does transhumanism hold? How about contact lenses that can take pictures or record video? So your girlfriend won’t let you record a sex tape? Well, then, tell her that twinkle in your eye is your undying love and not a live-stream to your xxx website. Earbuds will be able to translate any language for you, just like Douglas Adams’s Babel Fish.
RFID chips are already being used by soulless corporations like Google and, I wanna say, DARPA (?). These Radio Frequency IDentification chips are injected into the subcutaneous tissue just between the index finger and thumb, and will open locked doors within the company headquarters (literally and figuratively). They will also serve as your payment in the company cafeteria, at vending machines, and allow you access to the company computer network. As we move into a cashless society (did I mention that? Because we are.), these implants will allow you to buy food, water, and drugs with the swipe of your hand. In the very near future, food and water will be scarce, so you will definitely need an implant to survive. Nestle sure as shit won’t sell you any of their water without a chip, and they intend to own ALL the potable water.
I can already hear some of you religious types muttering “Mark of the Beast!” As it so sayeth in the Holy Book of Random Crap Collected Over Centuries and Heavily Edited and Mistranslated:
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. – Revelations 13:6 – 7
Well, rest assured, that is precisely what we are talking about. But transhumanism does not end there. Transhumanism can (and eventually will) bring about the merging of man and computer. Microchips can be hard-wired into the brain to give you the ability to instantly “learn” anything. Can’t speak French? Chip! Maintenant tu peux, toi magnifique bâtard! Supposed to play Schumann’s Toccata in C Major at the Coffee House tonight, but forgot to take piano lessons? Chip! You’ll knock ’em dead! You want to learn how to calculate advanced physics but can’t afford the exorbitant price of tuition at an accredited university? Chip! I am only kidding about that last one, however. If you cannot afford tuition, you certainly won’t be able to afford the chip. However, this raises the questions: 1. How can anyone be special if EVERYone is “special”? And 2. What of those that cannot afford these new enhancements? Will they be left behind to devolve? Will the human species split into two new species — the Enhanced and the Unenhanced?
The simple answer: Yes, we will.
Enhanced people will even be able to upload their “mind” into a computer, or better yet, an android that looks just like them.
But what will become of the Unehnanced? Will they be enslaved? Hunted for sport? Herded and used like pack animals? Taken by Morlocks into subterranean caves to be devoured at leisure? Who the hell cares? We certainly don’t seem to give a tin shit about the “lesser creatures” currently sharing our world. What’s one more?
Transhumanism represents a coming jump for the human species (well, some of us, anyway). From genetically modified “designer babies” and CRISPR technology that allows us to edit our very genomic code, to added enhancements such as night- or infra-red vision, eidetic and photographic memory, and even WiFi-like mind-to-mind telepathy, the human race is about to become … something else. And it is going to happen a LOT sooner than you may realize. Those contact lenses I mentioned should be on the market by 2025. By 2030, earbud translators and night-vision. By 2040, mind-to-mind telepathy and Elon Musks’ Neuro-Lace enhanced brain functions. As soon as 2050, we will have split into those two subspecies.
And I am not joking about this. It has already started, and you will most likely see exponential development in your lifetime. Young children are already adapted to a world where things that cannot be downloaded, clicked, or swiped seem unnatural. Unborn children will be born into a world where they will already be enhanced — if they are in the right economic class. If not… have you read my earlier post, entitled Shut Up And Die ? You see, the Elite that are already dabbling in transhumanism, and who have already fully accepted that this is the inevitable future of the human species, are very concerned about population numbers. Not everyone will have a place in this Brave New World, and they are already culling the herd.
Here is just one example of how they are accomplishing this:
This jump into evolutionary hyper-space will leave many behind, but for those that make the jump, transhumanism will take them even farther. From enhanced physical and mental abilities too numerous to mention here, to virtually stopping the aging process. Remember those nanobots? Imagine nanobots that will draw enough energy from your body to run perpetually (just like a watch that is powered solely by your heartbeat), have the ability to replicate themselves, and their only purpose is to travel around your body and repair degrading cells. If you are thinking that immortality could become a reality, you are on the right track.
Star Trek had it wrong. Unless Kirk or Piccard were cyborgs, then…. oh. Wait. No, they may have hit the nail on the head.
Transhumanism could — and most likely will — lead to a “hive mind” among the enhanced transhumans. Right now, we are seeing the implementation of an “internet of things,” where everything in your house can ‘talk’ to other things in your house, and you can boss them all around from your cell phone. Imagine what that concept would mean for an internet of the mind. You developed as a child by going through an educational system. It took you years to learn language skills, math skills, and any other skills you use to survive. Your children may have no need for that. Chip! Perhaps this is why our educational system is being allowed to shrivel up and die? They know it will be obsolete anyway.
This is happening. Make no mistake. Our future, and ourselves, will be unrecognizable. And it will happen in YOUR lifetime.
Next up: Aliens in the Garden of Eden. (You knew this post was coming. Again.) Remember that “serpent” in Genesis who told early humans they could “become like God”? You know how ever since, religions have promised “eternal life”? These so-called “Gods” had already merged with their own technology, and by creating us in their image, set us on the same evolutionary path. And now we will see it come to fruition.
The funny thing is, all of this technology that led us to transhumanism really started to develop back in 1947. 1947… why does that date sound familiar…? Ah, yes. 1947.