Author Topic: The concepts of Transhuman, Posthuman etc.  (Read 361 times)

Offline Hydra009

Re: The concepts of Transhuman, Posthuman etc.
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2018, 12:39:18 AM »
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I would argue that today it is only the rich who have access to electricity, and only the ultra-rich who have access to computers and the world of information.
That's kinda the point though.  I'll concede that both of us are rich in the global sense, yet we're certainly a far cry from the US's upper crust.  Yet access to these technologies have filtered down to us, when previously they were exclusively available to the elite of the elite.  The most pessimistic prediction - that elites would hoard this technology and block access to it by everyone else - has not come to pass.  Quite the opposite.

Re: The concepts of Transhuman, Posthuman etc.
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2018, 01:39:47 AM »
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Have you heard of the Netflix series, "Altered Carbon"? I just started it this morning, and within the first 30 minutes has already really hooked me on dealing with the fears I had above.

People are able to be "reborn" in new bodies thanks to, it seems, consciousness being stored in disks along the spine; so long as the brain remains intact (i'm guessing a bullet to the brain would corrupt the "data") and the disk remains intact, humans can be reborn into a new "sleeve".

Without going into much detail, the main character is reborn in the body of a prisoner, property of an ultra-wealthy man who has lived for over 300 years through this process. At the birthing site, he meets a middle aged white woman... except as they are reuniting her with her family, it turns out she was a 7-year old asian girl who was murdered. She was given the body by the state for free, and the body she inhabits was that of a prisoner. If the family wanted something more appropriate or to their liking, they should have paid like everyone else.

That, to me, is exactly the future of transhumanism if humanity does not shift away from unregulated capitalism... if you are rich, you can have what you like... and if you are poor, you get whatever scraps those in power are willing to throw you.

There is nothing exciting about that world, only horrifying and barbaric.

Would transferring data from one brain to another really be extending that life to begin with? If you die, and your memories are put in another person's body, does that person really become you or just another person with your traits? I don't think it really extends a person's life, but just creates the illusion of extended life.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Online Shiranu

Re: The concepts of Transhuman, Posthuman etc.
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2018, 03:41:09 AM »
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That's kinda the point though.  I'll concede that both of us are rich in the global sense, yet we're certainly a far cry from the US's upper crust.  Yet access to these technologies have filtered down to us, when previously they were exclusively available to the elite of the elite.  The most pessimistic prediction - that elites would hoard this technology and block access to it by everyone else - has not come to pass.  Quite the opposite.

Electricity is far more easy to spread to the masses than advanced medical technology.

As for super computers... most people go into debt to buy a smartphone, we don't just pay for it out of pocket. And then we pay a large chunk of our monthly paycheck to continue service with it. And then we have to upgrade it quite regularly and continue the process of being in debt.

Cars are another great example; unless you buy a beater, a car is a massive debt-hole we sink ourselves into. An "average" car is around $23,000... that is more than a years worth of work to pay for one "necessary" item. Yes, we can buy them... but it will cost us an arm and a leg. The fact that everyone is in debt to own one does not prove they have become accessible for the masses, it just means the masses have accepted being in massive debt to own one. True access would not require selling your life away for said item.

To go back to medical... if you or me get sick, it is a big deal; we have to go months, sometimes years into debt over simple treatments because corporations are worried about making a profit instead of actually healing you. This is growing worse and worse with each year.

Even something as simple as housing has actually become, and is becoming, less and less accessible than it was for our parents and their parents before them. Why? Because there is money to be made.

We are given access to these wonderful things, but it always comes at a cost... and the cost is growing higher and higher. Education, technology, transportation, medical care... all of it is becoming more and more expensive. Shit, even food is prone to spike it prices. We are given the illusion of having things, but all we have is indebted to people with more power than us... and at a whim, they can take it back as they please.

And I completely disagree the elite don't horde technology... corporations and states have infinitely more powerful technology at their disposal than we can ever dream of  having in our lifetime.
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Online Shiranu

Re: The concepts of Transhuman, Posthuman etc.
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2018, 03:46:55 AM »
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Would transferring data from one brain to another really be extending that life to begin with? If you die, and your memories are put in another person's body, does that person really become you or just another person with your traits? I don't think it really extends a person's life, but just creates the illusion of extended life.

I would agree with that.

It's one problem I have had with teleporters in Star Trek... the concept, to me, of having all the matter demateralized, stored in a computer, then having the matter remateralized at another location sounds awfully alot like killing someone then recreating them somewhere else. But why would that new copy of you be "you"?

I have to admit though, I don't know quite how the process works in Altered Carbon... if the computer is where all brain activity is being routed through, then perhaps it becomes the "real" brain and thus the "real" person. If someone was to progressively replace pieces of their brain with computer technology, at what point would "they" cease to exist and a computer come to exist? Is there a specific section of the brain that contains the "soul" for a lack of a better word? If consciousness is dependent on this computer disk, then perhaps that is the true "soul".


Perhaps the original copy (brain based) dies, but every copy after that (being located in the computer chip) really does get reborn. But that doesn't really do much good for us organic souls who want to achieve immortality, does it? And given the soul becomes dependent on a computer chip... does that mean the reborn are even human, or just computers imitating humanity?

This shit right here is why I love sci-fi, and particularly cyberpunk, so damn much.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 03:49:33 AM by Shiranu »
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Online Shiranu

Re: The concepts of Transhuman, Posthuman etc.
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2018, 03:52:45 AM »
Also, I'm sorry I'm not better at expressing these things in shorter posts.
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Offline Baruch

Re: The concepts of Transhuman, Posthuman etc.
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2018, 04:18:09 AM »
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Also, I'm sorry I'm not better at expressing these things in shorter posts.

"Trump, Xi Jingping, Saudi Princes, Russian oligarchs, corporate CEOs... these are the class of people who will always hold the power. We are just here to serve them and to live and die at their whim."

This is a hard concept.  Tied in with Philosophical Zombies.  At what point does a beach cease to be a beach, if you remove one grain of sand at a time.  That is with something inanimate.  A living being is much more mysterious.  But then scientism says ... we understand that.

On inequality ... this is 5000 years old.  In Sumerian mythology, the humans were created because the lesser gods (middle class) didn't want to work they fields for the higher gods (upper class).  And fickle psychopaths too, the Flood happened because people slaving away at night kept the gods from getting a good night's sleep.  All societies are based on slavery (chattel, debt, wage) of some sort.  There is no free lunch, so work has to be done.  Neo-Liberals believe that thru financial magic a free lunch is possible.  Marx thought that steam power meant that eventually (as in robotics in our time) that human sweat labor would become unnecessary.  That was because in the 19th century carbon power seemed like a free lunch.  And in many ways it was.  Cheap concentrated energy.  We are moving into a time of expensive dispersed energy.  Humanity will survive, but not in a form we are familiar with.  And not a utopia, a dystopia.  Utopias are never real (see Christian notion of heaven).  Dystopias are all too real.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 04:25:08 AM by Baruch »
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