Posts Tagged ‘immortal’

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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With technology, humans will become more than human. But what about those skeptics out there who believe that robots will eventually take over the world and kill off humans? Could they be right?

I’m not sure, but I’d rather become half-robot than dead-human!

To transhumanists, technology will be the key to the survival of human existence and ultimately our immortality. But technology is also which caused today’s current epidemics in the world. Technology spurred overpopulation, if you follow the chain, and caused disease and greed and wealthy economies and poor economies and wealthy families and poor families and more!

Without technology, however, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with you via this blog post. I wouldn’t even exist in your memory. Maybe I’m blabbering, but the future of technology can only go in one direction, and that is UP!

Transhumanists need a way of relaying information to skeptics as to inform them of its benefits. Many of these skeptics believe we shouldn’t mess around with God’s plan for us to die eventually. But many transhumanists are also atheists or agnostics (not all). Transhumanists take their fate into their own hands and make a choice on whether to utilize the technology at their disposal for the good or bad of humankind.

Many technologies transhumanists look forward to can be used in evil ways. Nano-bots are looking to be used to cure cancer by inserting them into the body. These nano-bots would be programmed to “search-and-destroy” all cancerous cells. But….nano-bots could also be programmed by terrorists to spy on governments. Even worse, mass quantities could be programmed to wipe out a country’s entire ecosystem by destroying agriculture, poisoning water supplies, and even infecting specific populations with diseases.

This causes a major problem with speaking about the ethics of transhumanist thought.

With that being said, transhumanism needs help when it comes to the perception of its intentions. How can we make this experience better for the world to understand?

For those Ray Kurzweil’s, Aubrey de Grey’s, and David Pearce’s of the world, I would recommend aiming to change the perception of what transhumanist life could be like. You’ve already got some of us hooked, but let’s go for the skeptics.

First, those pushing a transhumanist agenda need to reach those skeptics by finding them. To do this, research needs to be conducted. Push surveys on websites with transhumanist, biotechnology, or subjects alike. Record demographics, record their views on humanity, record their views on transhumanism. And then find the groups of people based on that data that are skeptical of the intentions of transhumanists.

Second, start reaching out to those people that belong to the demographic you’re targeting as “non-transhumanist” and ask them why they don’t believe transhumanism to be a “good” thing. Ask open-ended questions to receive real responses. Find out their past experiences to understand why that aging and death should not be tampered with, or why humans should not have super-intelligence. Are they afraid that these abilities will get into the wrong hands?

Finally, analyze the data and figure out a way to address the concerns of these skeptics of transhumanism. Companies with technologies of a transhumanist stature should establish programs and processes not just for ethical reasons but because the concerns of skeptics are real and true concerns. We don’t want terrorists to have super-intelligence or access to world-destroying technology. Once there is a plan in place, stress and publicize this plan to those skeptics and the rest of the world on why we can still utilize the power of transhumanist tendencies and still be moral human beings.

Since technological advancement is inevitable (minus the world reaching the apocalypse), these are ethical dilemmas that governments should begin dealing with. But governments do already deal with technology and ethics, correct?

Take for instance the nuclear bomb. We have international governments that routinely make sure that countries with bad intentions do not acquire this technology. We have technology in place to protect our electrical grids from cyber attacks.

All of this is possible with any new technology that is born. The future is scary, but if you won’t have a future and decide to waive your immortality, then should you care about the future of those that do?