If we want to know the current mindset of the transhumanist crowd, then there is no better place to go than Zoltan Istvan who was the Presidential Candidate for the Transhumanist Party in the US elections of 2016. I met him once in Seoul and found him to be a very friendly and enthusiastic person and father. But I do find some of his views somewhat horrifying at times! Nonetheless, I highly recommending reading.
“The history of transhumanism mirrors the history of the microprocessor. Quietly, behind the daily noise of Trumpian politics, bickering world religions and dark environmental warnings, an unquestionable civilization-changing phenomenon is occurring: The 50-year old microprocessor continues to evolve, exponentially. While the human brain approximately doubled in size over the last 200,000 to 800,000years, the microprocessor doubles its speed every 18-24 months. Some experts think in just 15 years time, our smartphones will be more intelligent than we are. In three decades, they will almost certainly be hundreds of times smarter than we are.”
He then goes on to:
“Transhumanists hope to merge themselves—both brains and bodies—with these super smart machines to both survive indefinitely and to thrive in the future world. In fact, if people don’t merge with computers, humans may soon become an unintelligent species compared to the machine intelligence that will exist. But humans will directly merge with technology; already, hundred-million-dollar companies in California are working on neural prosthetics designed to connect our thoughts to computers. Various universities are working on robotic eyes to give us Superman vision that will also stream Netflix directly, and social media into our optic nerve. Others, like myself, already have implants that can start cars, open doors and pay for things. Some biohackers even want to cut off their limbs and replace them with robotic ones—synthetic body parts which in a decade’s time may be better than our own biology. I believe the future is already set. Many humans will electively put significant tech in their bodies that make them more productive while also increasing their survivability.”
And here is the killer paragraph:
“For the last 10 years, I have considered stopping aging and overcoming death as the world’s most humanitarian aim—because if we can stop aging and death by the year 2030 versus 2050, we will save 1 billion lives from perishing. But now I realize a greater goal is possible: perfecting quantum archaeology. Why only save those that are here living on Earth? Why not save those who have already died, especially those who died prematurely or in tragedy?
As a result of this idea, some transhumanists and longevity groups—on humanitarian grounds—now support bringing back every living person that has ever lived.”
Lets a lot of ethical issues to unpack and address here. But I think its good to be aware of how quickly the science is advancing as well as the dreams of those leading the movement. Like all of these exponential technologies, the time to address the deeper issues is now!
Don’t have an account? Sign up