On Transhumanism

Oh Lord, please let this post be short, as I need to read those Constrained Delaunay Tetrahedralisation papers…


Kevin Warwick

A revolutionary figure

So here it goes. Years ago I watched a documentary on TV, featuring Kevin Warwick. A professor in Reading University and a leading researcher in the field of cybernetics, he “upgraded” himself by implanting an electronic device to his arm, to connect his nervous system to the internet so that he could control a robot in Reading University, UK from Columbia University, NY, USA. This is pretty much a pioneering step towards what we call transhumanism. I am not keen of covering the concept here, so interested readers are referred to this Wikipedia article. The idea is to extend the physical capabilities of human, while eradicating its negative traits.

I myself have been fascinated in futurism in general since I was a kid. My parents would buy me Doraemon comics, from which I also grew some interest towards robotics and Jejepangan. ( 😆 )

Doraemon, vol 1

Yes yes, it started from here.

Now. As perfect as what religions tell how humans are, I have a kind of differing view. It is that not all human traits are worth pertained. And from this view, we can also use technology in electronics, biology and chemistry not only to help disabled people, but also to enhance our bodies in general. And based on the idea of materialism, everything in the world is composed of matters (at least matters are what we have in this world; whether the 3D body is a mere avatar of our higher-dimensional existence is beyond context), so by conducting a thorough study, we can also modify our natural characteristics. Imagine seeing a tireless person who can run 100 m in 8.72 s on a daily basis, and also a society with no sign of procrastination and laziness, thus achieving a super efficient bureaucracy. Are you not fascinated with this kind of idea?

Motoko Kusanagi

On the optimistic side, a voluptuous 200lbs lady you absolutely don't wanna mess with *nosebleed*

I don’t know what this might bring though. The view I mentioned is more on the optimistic side. Among the many criticisms, I foresee the gruesome experience of seeing inhumane successors might be disturbing and unethical.

The Young Family, by Patricia Piccinini

On the pessimistic side, well...

So how? I myself, as a self-proclaimed futurist, would like to see our body enhanced through the means of technology, so that we could do more things than what we can do now, but the modification might be somewhat guided. Regulating human modification institutions, maybe?

And one question remains. Are you willing to sacrifice what we currently call components of humanity, of course including ineffectiveness, “only” to attain an effective society?




Picture of Motoko Kusanagi is from http://www.comicbookmovie.com/

Side quest: there is an easter egg here. :mrgreen:


8 Responses to “On Transhumanism”

  1. 1 itikkecil 09/07/2010 at 10:44 AM

    i choose to become a human with my ineffectiveness…

  2. 2 Ceritaeka 09/07/2010 at 12:25 PM

    Same with mbak Ira 😀

  3. 3 Eon Strife 09/07/2010 at 2:18 PM


  4. 4 jensen99 09/07/2010 at 4:55 PM

    What’s this? Do you wanna be modified into Inspector Gadget or Robocop? :mrgreen:

    Well, I think every nation could have an effective society without the-must-be-expensive transhumanism. Of course you need a regime first. 😆
    OTOH, if I can see my body enhanced through the means of technology, I prefer.. hmm… Wolverine’s adamantium claw! That would be soooo useful! 😆

  5. 5 安藤君 09/07/2010 at 5:54 PM

    I’ve told you. Stop yelling “HENSHIN”. you won’t transform to be a kamen rider.

    ~because the spell is mine~ 😈

  6. 6 Gentole 09/07/2010 at 8:23 PM

    why worry about inhumanity? it’s a vague idea. and ethics? what has it to do with morality/judgment? every generation has to deal with their own madness and absurdity. galileo was killed; and darwin was demonized; but science and technology move on; whether we like it or not. the crucial question that needs to be answered is whether we’re going to be as we are today when there’s no us but our “minds”; whether the “i” that wishes; dreams; cries; loves; longs and thinks will prevail. by the time we turn into arnold in terminator, there would be no “us”. nobody cries for their loved ones anymore; poetry is syntax error; gibberish. in other words, we’re already dead by then.

  7. 7 Pak Guru 11/07/2010 at 4:14 PM

    “Humanity” is an idea, a vision, a trend. Even if one day what we would call “humans” are less “human” than us, it would be no more relevant than old-timers complaining that “today’s rock ‘n’ roll ain’t what it used to be.”

    Where do we draw the line? We now enjoy body-altering medications, immunisations, implanted metals from surgeries, artificial limbs, even spectacles, how are these any different?

    Progress like this is inevitable lah. Perhaps should just go with the taboo to tinker with the minds and cognitive processes.

    But let’s start with the basics, like increasing the maximum life span to 150 years a la Mass Effect.

  8. 8 Annasophia 24/07/2010 at 9:54 PM

    If that tech can help us understand each other through telepathy (or anything comparable with) I will stand on the line :mrgreen: *bah*

    And based on the idea of materialism, everything in the world is composed of matters…

    This. Interests me…or not that interesting. But simply said, it’s a simple though. And with the same basis I also support the idea. Not to mention all this transhumanism idea is an interesting subject for story-telling.

    @Pak Guru:

    But let’s start with the basics, like increasing the maximum life span to 150 years a la Mass Effect.


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