issue six : the shape of things to come
A 'STUDY' OF THE CHANGING SHAPES OF the HUMAN form, TO ACCOmMODATE THE FUTURE.
An exploration into the concept of Transhumanism using biodegradable ingredients and recycling.
Transhumanism is a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values.2
– Max More (1990)
1. Mirzaie, A., Mehrabadi, J.F., Amirmozafari, N. et al. Microbiology (2015) 84: 449.
2. Bostrom, Nick (2002–2005). "The Transhumanist FAQ" (PDF). World Transhumanist Association.
To endure space travel we need to facilitate synthetic biological processes that might one day allow humans to survive on other planets.1
Our species fragile constitution is woefully unprepared for long duration journeys into space. Ageing, bone decay and UV radiation are just a few factors to overcome.2
Transhumanis is primarily a philosophical exploration of what it means to be human as well as our inability as a species to accept the concept of being static.
Our insistence that we can somehow overcome, or transcend, our limitations as human beings, and become something above and beyond our physical selves.1
1. The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth - Michio Kaku
2. Lisa Nip - TEDxBeaconStreet - How humans could evolve to survive in space
Transhumanism crosses disciplines from philosophy, mythology, and psychology to explain concepts such as ageing, death, and technology. But is there something deeper at the core of human existence, other than just random material matter? What about consciousness?
According to David Hume's Bundle theory, an object consists only of a collection (bundle) of properties and nothing more; Thinking of a ‘human being’ as a thing compels one to think of its colour, its shape, the fact that it is a kind of primate, its posture, its gender, or at least one other of its properties.1
“What would be subtracted if we subtracted consciousness but left everything else the same?” We cannot leave everything else the same because consciousness is necessary for higher functions of human and animal life.2
1. David Hume (1738), A Treatise of Human Nature, Book I, Part IV, Section VI
2. Theory of mind and Darwin's legacy. Searly JR. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 18
1 Humanity stands to be profoundly affected by science and technology in the future. We envision the possibility of broadening human potential by overcoming ageing, cognitive shortcomings, involuntary suffering, and our confinement to planet Earth.
2 We believe that humanity's potential is still mostly unrealised. There are possible scenarios that lead to wonderful and exceedingly worthwhile enhanced human conditions.
3 We recognise that humanity faces serious risks, especially from the misuse of new technologies. There are possible realistic scenarios that lead to the loss of most, or even all, of what we hold valuable. Some of these scenarios are drastic, others are subtle. Although all progress is change, not all change is progress.
4 Research effort needs to be invested into understanding these prospects. We need to carefully deliberate how best to reduce risks and expedite beneficial applications. We also need forums where people can constructively discuss what should be done, and a social order where responsible decisions can be implemented.
5 Reduction of existential risks, and development of means for the preservation of life and health, the alleviation of grave suffering, and the improvement of human foresight and wisdom should be pursued as urgent priorities, and heavily funded.
6 Policy making ought to be guided by responsible and inclusive moral vision, taking seriously both opportunities and risks, respecting autonomy and individual rights, and showing solidarity with and concern for the interests and dignity of all people around the globe. We must also consider our moral responsibilities towards generations that will exist in the future.
7 We advocate the well-being of all sentience, including humans, non-human animals, and any future artificial intellects, modified life forms, or other intelligences to which technological and scientific advance may give rise.
8 We favour allowing individuals wide personal choice over how they enable their lives. This includes use of techniques that may be developed to assist memory, concentration, and mental energy; life extension therapies; reproductive choice technologies; cryonics procedures; and many other possible human modification and enhancement technologies.