Nerdism is Easy, and Fun!!!
- Slashdot | Requiem for the Once-Imagined Future: Speak of the devil, huh? The first-post jerk brings up Transhumanism - a philosophy I'm personally a fan of. Allow me to take this opportunity to rant about it.
Transhumanism asserts that the human condition is improved by technology, and that technological advancement will inevitably lead to an improvement in the human condition. However, the philosophy has in recent years fallen into the hands of crazy futurists who argue that transhumans are, by definition, on their way to being "posthumans" (immortal cyborgs). Initially, it was defined as "man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature".
I'd argue that we're already transhumans. We might not live forever, but we certainly rely on technology just to survive, and it clearly makes our lives better. If you disagree, go outside during the winter with no clothes or shelter, or try hunting moose with your bare hands. To some degree, we have become weaker because of technology - myopia isn't selected against any more, yada yada yada, I'm nearly blind. But I think that technology is advancing us faster than evolution ever has, and soon enough technology may even help with our biological evolution, rather than hinder it (see Gattaca).
None of this is proof against the immortal cyborg theories, but it's difficult to predict where progress will take us. There's no universal desire amongst humans to travel into space. Yes, it's cool, but I'd rather be assured I'll always have enough food and medicine than sink cash into that SpaceShipOne ticket. I may personally hope that the food and medicine comes by way of a shiny cyborg body, but I can't be sure - all I know is that other people will want these problems solved too, one way or another.