FTP007: Transhumanism and Technological Evolution, with Jesse Lawler

As humans, we have been modifying our environment, the organisms in it, and ourselves for millennia. Transhumanism, although a relatively new concept, has existed as a practice for thousands of years. It’s the idea of modifying ourselves beyond what nature gave us, and becoming more than human.

Transhumanism: Becoming More Than Human

Transhumanism is often associated with body modification, such as hi-tech implants or altering brain chemistry. But there is more to it than just transforming humans into cyborgs. Transhumanism is about becoming “more than human”, or “Human +”, in all aspects of our lives – body, mind, and spirit.

Yet it’s interesting how even in today’s modern world of rapid technological progress, there are still people who view the modification of organisms as barbaric or immoral. Someone who has elective surgery and gets hi-tech implants installed is considered crazy, and we’re all familiar with the multitude of campaigns against the genetic engineering of plants. Then these same people who protest these things go to the dentist (artificially modifying their body) or don’t think twice about eating a sweet juicy apple (which don’t exist in the wild – they were artificially bred that way).

So far, what these modifications have resulted in is significantly increased life spans and a drastic improvement in the quality of life.

When it comes to wild concepts like transhumanism, it’s important to be aware of the our past. Humans have resisted almost every paradigm shift in our history (from railroads to zippers to cell phones). Most of us are afraid of new things and uncharted territory. It’s always the minority that explores what is beyond the norm and then brings it to the wider population.

In this episode, Mike and I are joined by Jesse Lawler from the Smart Drugs Smarts podcast. We dive into a deeper discussion of transhumanism, how it will affect our society in the future, and what impact it will have on biological evolution.

We also talk about the possibility of the the human race no longer being the dominant species on our planet in the near future. We discuss collective consciousness, the nature of reality, as well as sexuality and privacy in the digital age.

In this episode of the Future Thinkers Podcast:

  • Transhumanism and nootropics or smart drugs
  • Biological evolution versus technological evolution
  • How the human race and society will change through transhumanism
  • Will privacy still be important to future generations?
  • Human life as a virtual or augmented reality
  • What will happen to the people not willing to embrace the technological singularity
  • Uploading your brain or consciousness into the network and how it will affect individuality

Mentions & Resources:

Question of the day:

If given the chance, what would be the first thing you would want replaced or added to your body? What kinds of technology do you think would make your body and your life better? Let us know in the comments below.

Mentioned & Recommended Books:

More by Future Thinkers:

 

10 Comments
  1. Steven 3 years ago

    Regarding the evolution of dogs, thought you guys would enjoy this. The silver fox experiment.
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b30_1372049732

    • Euvie Ivanova 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the link, this is really cool! Amazing how many changes we see after only a few generations of selective breeding.

  2. Jason 3 years ago

    Given that I am relatively young and healthy, I wouldnt prioritize any augmentation of my body just yet. I would go with brain augmentation. There are vast areas for improvement there and the enhanced cognition would only aid in coming up with better solutions down the road.

    • Euvie Ivanova 3 years ago

      Yeah, I totally agree with you on that one. I’d love to be able to process more information, and do it in parallel. Being able to read multiple books at the same time, or have several conversations.

  3. FarewellVHS 3 years ago

    First of all, I wouldn’t modify my limbs, hands, etc until the augmentation could do all the things the natural part includes and more. This includes the ability to heal or regenerate quickly if cut or broken, operated on secure, open source software so it couldn’t (is this even possible?) be hacked, at least remotely or over the air and could be modified through exercise or pure will.

    Next, the first part of my body I’d like the modify would be nose, ears and legs, possibly hands too. I would actually remove the organic parts and put on sockets, so that I could have a set of ears noses and legs for different applications. I wouldn’t care if I lost my legs, even if I lost the ability to be tickled or feel a warm bath, because I’ve always had foot problems and needed custom orthotics, so I’m sure anything would be better.

    This sounds pretty weak, but I could pre-pierce ears and nose and get them plugged into the socket. So like putting on 20 rings or getting elf ears wouldn’t require tons of pain, swelling or surgery on the extreme. Then for ears, it would actually change audio “texture” and quality by changing textures and material of the ear.

    Ultimately, I could see extracting my brain into a robot body so I could take any form. Then, the final step might be digitization or something :P

    Nice to have other crazies around :P The best thing about the future, at least before the bores take over, is more like minded humans! :D

    Cheers :)

    • Euvie Ivanova 3 years ago

      Haha yes – putting the beacon out to attract fellow futurist weirdos was why we started this podcast :)

      Yeah, I agree on waiting to replace limbs until the technology becomes superior to our current bodies. I’m more interested in neural enhancements at this point – improving brain processing, reaction time etc. Can you imagine being able to process information thousand of times faster than you do now?

  4. Mental Redux 3 years ago

    I found your podcast through reddit and really enjoy the subject matter. Here is my response to your question of the day- http://mentalredux.com/two-future-technologies-related-to-transhumanism-and-evolution/.

    • Euvie Ivanova 3 years ago

      That’s an interesting answer, thanks for the link! Do you think you would ever want to re-wire your brain instead (with neural implants for example) – improve the hardware rather than the software?

  5. […] perusing reddit.com, I came across a link to an episode of a podcast called “Future Thinkers”. And I noticed something interesting called “Question of the Day”. Their question in this case […]

  6. Looshin 3 years ago

    I’d probably keep my normal body healthy for as long as possible then let everyone else test out bugs before using artificial life extension even though I’d probably be somewhat tempted to take the pill, or chip, eventually. In the long run, I just hope this technology remains open source rather than in the hands of a minority of powerful, greedy, people like one of the earlier commentators said. I also, personally, think that if many closed sourced types of trans-human technologies begin propagating from the Monsanto owned Military Industrial Complex more than open-sourced ones, future generations would desire organic deaths again as much as they want organic foods back now. It would also be interesting if smart robots begin wanting organic bodies kind of like in the Bicentennial Man movie.

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