When trying to keep the momentum alive for the transhumanist movement that many fear could mean despair, it is important to know what to measure when figuring out the ideas, emotions, and behaviors of both sides of the field.

What kinds of people don’t believe in your movement? Who does believe in your movement? What’s their age, race, level of education? What’s their level of income? Profession?

All of this information is needed when determining or pinpointing the reason for someone’s belief or non-belief in your movement. But this is just the start. There’s a lot that goes into why or why not someone is or isn’t a transhumanist.

One aspect to analyze is education. Not just formal schooling…but how much does this segmented group of people actually know about transhumanism? Do they fear or not believe because of ignorance to what the movement entails? This makes me think of Will Smith in I, Robot, where his reoccurring dream is due to a robot saving him, and not a drowning girl, ONLY because he had a better chance of surviving. Of course, in the movie, the robots were programmed to kill eventually. But there was one good robot that made a human connection with the audience….another subject!

Is someone a follower of transhumanist thought because they’ve already been affected by the movement? Some people in the world are already benefiting from transhuman technology, such as Lisa Kulik, who went blind slowly over 15 years. When opthamologist Mark Humayun created Argus, Lisa’s world became bright again.

Getting a sense of why someone thinks of transhumanism the way they do is what will help form a strategy on convincing people that transhumanism is the future. Unless the world is destroyed by humans, asteroids, aliens, or whatever, technology will take over the world and be integrated within human biology. Technology already controls us and is a apart of us on the outside. But at the rate we are going technology will be within us, and not just in our hands. Persuading the world that this can be used for good is hard, so here are some things to ask when researching public perception of transhumanism. Using a Likert scale, ask the respondents their agree-ability with the following intial statements:

  • Future technology will create 100% clean energy
  • Humans will one day be super-intelligent
  • Technology will speed the evolution of human beings
  • Technology will be used against humans to control populations
  • Nanotechnology will one day cure cancer
  • Nanotechnology will one day be used to assassinate public figures
  • Humans will need future technology to survive

The above questions offer good and bad sides of technology transhumanists believe the world will experience. This initial set of questions focuses on the beliefs of what technology will do, and not necessarily the opinions of why or why not transhumanistic thought is bad or good. This gives the researcher insight into what people think technology will offer in the future. Follow-up or additional questions may be presented in the future, either on the same survey, or on a follow-up survey (again, a Likert scale) to find opinions on those initial questions:

  • Biotechnology should be controlled by the government
  • Humans should be super-intelligent
  • Private companies should be in control of nanotechnology patents
  • Humans should be able to live forever
  • Parents should be able to choose the traits of their children
  • The most important part of future technology is ethics

Using the answers to the initial questions and follow-up questions, running tests on what types of people (demographics) consistently answer similarly will offer insight into how the leaders of transhumanism can cater to the needs of believers and non-believers. Most people who fear future technology, may fear it because of that technology getting into the hands of evil humans, which is generally a well-accepted concern. Saddam Hussein started wars due to the use of chemical weapons on his own people. Prevention is key, so being proactive is a major part of the transhumanist movement as it becomes larger.

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Comments
  1. reallyleila says:

    Excellent post! You have a great writing style!

    Like

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