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Author Topic: A discussion on Transhumanism  (Read 1168 times)

Offline WPaladin

A discussion on Transhumanism
« on: July 15, 2016, 04:45:38 PM »
So, I will admit I am a major fan of science fiction I love space opera and cyberpunk genres and with the discussion being pushed mostly for promotional purposes of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided coming out I decided now would be a good time to discuss the concept of transhumanism.

Transhumanism is in its most basic format the concept of transforming the human condition by developing and creating widely available sophisticated technologies that greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities ie. Biotechnology and Cybertechnology that remove/reduce the limits of the human condition.  This concept is pretty prevalent in cyberpunk and some other science fiction genres.

So, my questions are what are your feelings on transhumanism?

What do you see are the benefits and weaknesses of it?

How do you think it can be best applied to your literary pursuits?

Anything else that falls under the subject.

Offline JMack

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Re: A discussion on Transhumanism
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2016, 12:25:39 PM »
Hi, @WPaladin. Very interesting OP. Below is a bit of a stream-of-writing response on one possible transhuman technology.

Direct-to-Mind Messaging

I may be taking this in an odd direction, but I've been thinking about the ability of individuals to wreak havoc on large numbers of other people through low tech means. I.e., trucks, planes, guns, etc. Plus the ability of governments to wreak havoc without needing many people to do it at all. I.e., robots and drones. I feel as though the world is increasingly. Plus the balance between the privacy rights of individuals as supported by unbreakable encryption vs. the need for people through governments to protect citizens against networks of people bent on destruction.

Yikes, what a mouthful.

So, take direct mind-messaging. There would need to be a receiver and a transmitter in the brain, or on the body, connected to tiny nodes in the brain. (I assume for now that some electro-mechanical connection is needed.) You could see how unbreakable encryption is an absolute requirement. But would this make terrorist networks even more capable? On another front, the hacking possibilities.

For fiction, taking an idea such as this requires working through every possible aspect the author can imagine. Then you have to pair things down to just enough to drive your story. Maybe you hint at the many other considerations without getting into them in any detail.

Here's where my thoughts take me: While most DTM goes through cell/satellite networks, hackers have invented a way to use peer-to-peer hijacking so that a message can travel secretly without ever touching the centralized (and centrally monitored) networks. By the time the signal reaches its final destination, it's like a digital whisper... Which sounds cool, but is probably meaningless, since this is digital, not analog.  ::)

I'd have to collaborate with Tebakutis, or M3mnoch, or someone else who can understand the techno side.

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Offline WPaladin

Re: A discussion on Transhumanism
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2016, 11:09:47 PM »
See your ideas are a direction I hadn't truly considered for transhumanism,  I had thought of the everyone plugged into a network and giving up physical form but, instantaneous communication without words while still walking around is a fun concept as well.  Will need to think on it some.  Thank you.

Offline Deads

Re: A discussion on Transhumanism
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 06:11:53 PM »
Definitely an interesting subject...

What popped into my mind first was the idea that without any augmentation, some humans are always going to be more capable than others, so perhaps a central theme to examine might be using augmentation technologies to make everyone "Equal".  Then, I got totally derailed as I remembered a Kurt Vonnegut short story I read as a kid where talented people were handicapped so that everyone would be equal. (Can't remember the title off the top of my head, sorry.)

However, the theme of equality was the bell that rang in my head, because of some political discussions I've been having lately.  I doubt it's a good idea to expound on that, so I'll leave it at the idea of:  What kind of discussion and discourse might be available if everyone had the opportunity to be equally intelligent as everyone else?

Like:  Starting from zero, we all have the same intelligence and communication comprehension skill set... What might be possible?  How might we then resolve conflicts, or arguments?  How would a war look if everyone had the same tactical ability? 

Sorry if that doesn't quite click with the OP. Just what I got out of reading it.

Offline Raptori

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Re: A discussion on Transhumanism
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 07:41:31 PM »
Totally relevant:

I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.