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:
- Jesse Lawler, Smart Drug Smarts podcast
- Modafinil / Provigil
- HER movie trailer
- Chinese man divorces and sues wife over plastic surgery (turns out this was a hoax)
- Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Episode 2
- Oculus Rift, an immersive virtual reality headset
- Google Glass
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, infamously known for substance abuse and use of prostitutes
- Simulated Reality Hypothesis
- The equation for intelligence
- How different cultures see color differently
- Star Trek Teleporter problem
- HER Movie and Artificial Intelligence (FTP004)
- Virtual Reality and Minecraft (FTP005)
- Individuality and The BORG (FTP006)
- Zoltan Istvan on Transhumanism (FTP015)
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:
- Vinay Gupta series of interviews on anything from techno social systems and space exploration to enlightenment and transhumanism (FTP018, FTP019, FTP026, FTP027, FTP028)
- Cyborg Buddha – Transhuman Enlightenment with James Hughes (FTP025)
- Building Future Societies with Transparency and Freedom with David Brin (FTP024)
- Global Phase Shift with Daniel Schmachtenberger (FTP036)