Friday, November 27, 2015
This subject is so huge that all I can do here is give you a very scant idea of it. Most importantly: don't think for a moment that it's impossible...or hundreds of years off in the future. It's maybe only one to three decades away. Michio Kaku, a somewhat well-known String Field Theory physicist, is one of its primary proponents. [His book, HyperSpace, was fantastic; I haven't read his Future of the Mind.]
We're talking about the worldwide movement known as Transhumanism. The advocates of this philosophy, most all of whom seem to be rational human beings, are bent on developing a Posthuman (or Post-Human). The roots of this go all the way back to Julian Huxley (the biologist and philosopher) in the 1950's. Back then, the whole thing essentially was science fiction. It's not entirely that anymore. Advances in genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology have brought the idea to within a hair's breadth of scientific reality.
As with most central planning ideas, the intentions of Transhumanists appear to be good. They propose to mitigate or even eliminate physical and mental disabilities. Some even think we can eliminate many or most social problems, poverty, war, etc. by creating Posthumans. [From what I can gather, Posthumans first will be Cyborgs---part human & part machine---and then super-intelligent robots.] Those may be a long way off, but steps prior to them are fairly close at hand...as follows.
One of the plans is to use the techniques & data from the mapping of every neural connection in the human brain; see the Human Connectome Project, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). [I'm not suggesting that NIH personnel are Transhumanists.] The mapping of rodent brains, similar to those of humans but simpler, has been underway for years. The idea of the Transhumanists is to figure out how to modify human behavior.
Some proponents of the Posthuman predict that by 2045, you will be able to upload your mind to a computer (in a robot, perhaps?)...supposedly then becoming "digitally immortal".
Some of them propose connecting (remotely, I presume) our brains to a central supercomputer so that we may all be part of a "hive mind"...which supposedly will make us all more cooperative and peaceful. These people are serious about this...it's one of their projects.
Most Transhumanists appear to believe that both the Mind and the Body must be "enhanced" (one of their favorite words) and transformed... for the "good" of Humanity. They tout it as the next step in human evolution.
The statement has been made that the rights of those who wish to remain "Humanish" should be respected. [Well, Human Rights often are not respected even now.]
Francis Fukuyama, a fierce critic of Transhumanism, has called it "the most dangerous idea of the century". I couldn't possibly agree more. Despite any good intentions, central planning ideas such as this practically always result in much more harm than good. The harm in this one should be self-evident. [I'm reminded of Surrogates, the fictional movie with Bruce Willis.]
Keep in mind that the advocates of the Posthuman strongly believe in the concept, are working hard to implement it, and are very smooth salesmen. Michio Kaku, for example, is all over YouTube & elsewhere...and he makes it all sound so wonderful...with extraordinary benefits to Humankind. Beware. Finally, again, this is not way off in the future; it is relatively close at hand.
Not only my opinion. Be Well...and be human. :)