Transhumanism - Debate on Safety, Feasibility, and Ethics - Nanomachines, son!

Drain Todger

Unhinged Doomsayer
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After having a bit of a debate on this topic in the context of the pandemic, the Great Reset, and the continuing concentration of power in the hands of the wealthy rentier class, I realized that many debates on transhumanism have generally been surface-level. Few have taken the time to ponder the safety, feasibility, ethics, and other dimensions of such technology. Most conversations on the topic quickly devolve into techno-fetishism, with members of the lay public often jokingly professing a desire to have eyeballs that shoot lasers, a chainsaw penis, and a jetpack that unfolds from their ass cheeks.


This line of debate usually goes hand-in-hand with the so-called Singularitarian (a.k.a. Kurzweilian) view of the future. The Singularity as a concept is often misunderstood. People often think it means that we'll suddenly be living in the world from Cyberpunk 2077 overnight. What it actually means is this: there is a point in technological advancement where our knowledge gains become so rapid (i.e. due to recursively self-improving AGIs helping us along), there is no way to predict what the future will look like any further ahead than that point. That's kind of a big deal. The Singularity is not "the world is suddenly Cyberpunk". It's "we might all accidentally gray-goo ourselves into nanobot-infused meat zeppelins that fart their way across the sky". Governments tend to be big on making solid predictions for what the future will look like in a century or more. If there's a blind spot past 2040 or whatever, they won't like that one bit.

I must confess, I've been a fan of fictional cyborgs for a long time. JC Denton and Adam Jensen from the Deus Ex series, Motoko Kusanagi from GITS, Alita from Battle Angel Alita, Space Marines from WH40K, Master Chief from Halo, and so forth. Most fictional cyborgs are soldiers and/or martial artists, purveyors of flashy close combat. They use their posthuman prowess to do battle with enemies that would be impossible for ordinary, unaugmented humans to bring down with anything less than an anti-tank missile launcher or airstrike.

Some fictional posthumans, like the Archailects from Orion's Arm, are more akin to physical gods than anything else, using incredible levels of augmentation to completely surpass human limitations many, many times over. Archailects have an intelligence that is orders of magnitude greater than organic beings, are capable of math, logic and abstract reasoning that would confound us completely, and can even simulate thousands of lesser beings within their own mind. In other words, their identity and sense of self is completely different from us. It might take you weeks to develop a firm grasp of how quaternions work. An Archailect can do it in the back of their mind in nanoseconds and invent a nano-structured metamaterial with that knowledge while simultaneously holding a completely impenetrable, hyper-dense "conversation" consisting of the exchange of many petabytes of data per second with a dozen others. In other words, their ability to correlate information and formulate plans is unsurpassable by organic beings.

When we speak of posthumans, what we are really discussing is the end of humanity itself. The fear and loathing of the flesh, and its eventual decline into irrelevance. In other words, the entire transhuman project is merely alchemy and the search for the Philosopher's Stone that grants eternal youth, updated with a more modern name. Some of the particularly religious have equated transhumanism with Luciferianism, and indeed, there is something suspiciously LaVeyan Satanist about the whole materialist self-improvement aspect of it. Others are rightly suspicious of how the concept is latched onto by some of the most despicable people on Earth; wealthy cowards who want to cryopreserve their brains while kids in Somalia have visible bloating from kwashiorkor brought on by extreme malnutrition.

Many people scoff at the entire concept as science fiction; something from anime, movies, books, and games where people beat each other up with rocket-powered prosthetic limbs. They have not been acquainted with the finer details of the tech, and have no idea how far it has progressed in a few short decades. We are a long, long way away from the earliest experiments with Utah Arrays, and we are steadily advancing closer to a posthuman reality with each passing year, whether the public recognizes that fact or not.

At best, transhumanism is seen as a logical extension of humanism. At worst, it is a stomach-churning heresy; self-mutilation and the denial of the divine in search of ultimate power.

There's just one problem. There's no point in getting stuck on the philosophy of it, because none of these things are hypothetical. In some ways, the tech to make cyborgs is already here. It's primitive - The Ford Model T of cybernetics - but it's here. Instead of the common fanciful and superstitious talk about transhumanism, I'd like to go over the practical concerns.

What is the state of the technology involved? How close are we to seeing practical applications of the technology? Now? Ten years? Twenty?

How safe is it for people to use without causing harm to themselves or others? Will people suffer from physical illness or mental disorders, like with anabolic steroids or other existing forms of human enhancement?

What are the ethical and social ramifications of its use? Will the augmented become demigods and leave the rest of us behind, or will augmentation be accessible to all? What about free will?

There are so many unanswered questions here, it's actually rather perturbing to me that our scientists and the special interests behind them are forging ahead on all this without stopping to consider the potentially dire consequences. Where are the ethical and regulatory frameworks? What's to stop someone from hacking my implants remotely and making me fold myself into a pretzel while attempting autofellatio?

The next part of the OP is split into individual sections that cover each topic in greater detail:

There have been huge advances in prosthetic limb replacement. The current state-of-the-art prosthetics paired with a BCI are controlled by brain impulses and can actually simulate a sensation of touch, albeit in a somewhat crude manner. Some of the best publicly-available tech, such as Open Bionics' Hero Arm, uses a myo armband and the residual limb to transmit impulses to the prosthetic itself, allowing for a surprising degree of control. None of these prosthetics have reached the flexibility, strength, manual dexterity, and sensitivity of a real human arm, hand, or leg. They are rigid and ungainly things at best. 3D printing and additive manufacturing techniques have allowed for a high degree of customization, allowing prosthetics to be sized and fitted accordingly, leading to improved comfort and usability.

The human body is not a Mr. Potato Head doll that you can just slap new limbs onto at your leisure. Our limbs are highly innervated and full of blood vessels and bone, and are sites of hematopoiesis. A mechanical limb cannot support the health of the body it is attached to, only crudely replicate the function of the arm as a lever. A mechanical limb with excessive physical strength would have material and safety concerns. In order to be able to punch through a brick wall with a hypothetical future prosthetic arm, you would need a rigid exoskeleton to absorb the shock without breaking your spine or stressing the mounting point of the arm in the shoulder.

Far more practical than the replacement bionic limb is the notion of the powered exoskeleton, which is essentially a humanoid robot that overlaps the limbs of the operator, multiplying their physical strength and endurance many-fold, but often at the cost of being bulky, cumbersome, noisy, and/or having poor range. Powered exoskeletons often use force detection to try and predict how the operator wishes to move their limbs. This has some drawbacks in terms of responsiveness. However, a powered exoskeleton paired with a BCI is a different story. BCIs like Neuralink already have the ability to detect desired limb joint positions directly from brain data, and can respond almost instantaneously. For someone who is paralyzed, such an exoskeleton could restore mobility to their limbs, allowing them to get up and walk for the first time in years.

It will still be a very long time, at this rate, before someone would willingly cut off a limb and replace it with a bionic one. However, maybe that isn't the only option. Maybe we could go biopunk instead of cyberpunk, and use synthetic biology to enhance living tissue. That carries risks of its own, but at least the roadmap is a bit more obvious; enhancing lactate recovery and power of muscle tissue, strengthening bones, et cetera. This approach has its own strengths and drawbacks that will be covered later.
Still not good. Not good at all. It is very, very hard to beat the image quality of a human eyeball and stimulate the visual center of the brain the same way as you would an eye. Current bionic eyes are basically a low-resolution camera that feeds into a controller that sends electrical impulses into the retina, which relays them to the brain. These "eyes" offer a whopping hundred-ish pixels of resolution at the most, making reality look something like Pong.

A true bionic eye will have to mimic many of the properties of a real eyeball. A human eye has 534 megapixels, wide-angle vision, excellent dynamic range, and can gather tons and tons of data at between 30 to 60 frames per second. However, our visual spectrum is limited. Future bionic eyes, aside from offering highly enhanced vision and augmented reality overlays, may allow for eyesight outside the normal visible spectrum, such as picking up UV or infrared, allowing for unprecedented night vision and an entirely new experience of reality. There has been some progress recently in using nanowires as light sensors, and future designs may be fully biocompatible and passive.
Actually very good quality. Orthopedic implants have been used in the medical field for quite some time, now. New techniques that print parts from powdered metal alloys, such as Arcam's EBM machines and similar additive manufacturing methods, have allowed for custom bone replacements to be fashioned out of titanium foam, which is biocompatible, serves as a scaffold for bone growth, and is excellent for replacing bone lost due to bone cancers. This technology is very mature, but there is always room for improvement.
Let me be blunt. We are gleefully opening Pandora's Box.

With considerable investment both from billionaire elites and military think tanks, Neural Lace technology is advancing far, far faster than people could have ever thought possible. Current BCIs are capable of decoding the imagined motions of handwriting into actual text, or vaguely reconstructing images from people's vision. Very soon, they will be able to project HUDs in people's field of view by stimulating their visual cortex.

Elon Musk's Neuralink is one commercial example of the tech. This device has already been demonstrated on pigs, and it could read the endpoint positions of all the joints in their limbs without any machine vision to check the actual position of their limbs. Neuralink consists of a poker chip-sized puck that is implanted in the skull after a craniotomy procedure that removes a chunk of skull equal to it in size and thickness, and then, the tiny electrodes, much thinner than a human hair, are jammed into brain tissue. This is very invasive and actually damages the brain to a small degree. What about infection? Meningitis, anyone?

DARPA's BRAIN Initiative are looking for something far, far more advanced than this for soldiers; nanotransducers that are non-invasive or minimally invasive, that can be introduced into the brain without surgery. Some of the most promising examples of this tech are the offerings to the N3 program, which stands for Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology. Teams from Battelle, Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University, PARC, Rice University, and Teledyne are currently all working on nanotransducers that all operate on different principles and offer bi-directional, read-write capabilities. They also have reversibility, meaning they can be extracted from the brain when they're no longer needed, or when it's time for an upgrade. This is an essential aspect of neural lace tech; you don't want something permanent that screws over early adopters.

BCI-based entertainment would be the wildest thing ever. Imagine having a huge wraparound display projected in your field of vision, or actually diving into complete alternate worlds without VR goggles. Just close your eyes, let the BCI lock up your body (so you don't flail and break stuff), and all of your senses get taken over. Sight, sound, taste, smell, touch. You could be fed the illusion of having a different body, being a different person, in a location that doesn't even exist in real life, and so on and so forth. It's basically the Holodeck from Trek, except even more sophisticated. You could teleconference with people across the world as though you were right in the same room as them. You could become your favorite video game characters, go on exhilarating adventures, whatever you wanted.

Let's face it, though. If current VR games are any indication, everyone will want it for the weird porn.

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This has a dark side, of course. Your whole depressing reality could be substituted by the powers-that-be for one significantly less depressing, for instance. There are many papers that claim that future BCIs will be used to alter mood positively, eliminating depression, anxiety, and so on.

Wait. Time the fuck out.

Depression and anxiety are symptoms. The cause is a depressing environment. Rural hells with filthy running water and barely any sanitation. Suburbs in perpetual stasis, never growing except to add a new Verizon store and another Starbucks to the local strip mall. Cities filled with urban decay and homelessness and drug abuse, ruled over by a cadre of indolent, greedy, corrupt officials. When people propose fixing you, medically, it's because they don't want to put forth the effort and the money to fix the aforementioned things. They want you to just shut up and live with them.

Just read Ted Kaczynski's manifesto, or Huxley's Brave New World, and you will immediately see what's wrong with eliminating depression without eliminating the cause. It allows leaders to treat you lower than dirt, affording you with poor substitutes for personal fulfillment, and you can do nothing but smile in response.

Mood-altering BCIs are a tyranny enabler like no other. As soon as governments have nonsurgical ones that can bypass the blood-brain barrier and be delivered like any other drug, they will slip them into your food, or water, or a shot, just to reap the benefits of a pacified populace. This creates many obvious and appalling ethical problems. The main question is this; is the false sense of satisfaction from a satiety-altering medical device equal in value to real satisfaction from having one's needs fulfilled? Well, you tell me. We've been using Xanax as a substitute for having stable finances and a loving family for years, so there's that.

Elon Musk thinks we should adopt BCIs as quickly as possible to avoid being outpaced by AI. What he means by this is the creation of something that science fiction fans and authors call an exocortex. An add-on brain outside your brain. Technically, you already have an exocortex. It's that square thing you keep in your pocket and pull out to check Wikipedia or Instagram your stupid restaurant food. A lot of people nowadays have memory that is noticeably shot, because we delegate our memories to Google. We don't memorize things. Search engines do. If we need to know something, we look it up. That's an external brain. The thing is, your brain communicates very slowly with this device, using your eyes and your thumbs. A neural lace allows for instantaneous retrieval of knowledge exterior to the brain, or even brain-to-brain communication.

If someone is a wealthy, spoiled brat, and they have a BCI and an exocortex, they're now a wealthy, spoiled brat who is perfectly positioned to dominate the stock market. After all, they can research a hundred different stocks simultaneously while banging your cheating wife. When people are upgraded unequally, and the economic output of the upgraded exceeds those who are not, then you risk creating a permanent and highly stratified caste system.

Of course, BCIs will lead to other things, too. Namely, mind-uploading and SIMs, or substrate-independent minds. A substrate-independent mind is exactly what it sounds like. A mind that can run on any hardware. The aforementioned Archailects from Orion's Arm are perfect examples of SIMs; there is no real limit to the hardware, or the intelligence of a SIM. A future SIM may run on a Jupiter Brain/Matrioshka Brain. We might all be living inside a SIM's head right now and not even know it. In fact, that is the essential assumption of the so-called Simulation Hypothesis. If I happened to be a SIM powerful enough to simulate an inner universe, why wouldn't I fill it with people?

One could say this is the ultimate goal of transhumanism: leaving the frail and impermanent human body behind entirely. There are many methods that have been proposed to accomplish this, such as reading and copying neural states, or slowly replacing ("borgifying") parts of the actual brain until you have a consciousness running on a slab of not-brain. However, there are some valid concerns that mind-uploading may not preserve consciousness. After all, we don't even know what consciousness is, or why we experience qualia. Is a mind upload really me, or is it just a copy? Look up Derek Parfit and the Teletransportation Paradox, or Donald Davidson and the so-called Swampman to see what I mean by this.

Even for more primitive examples of neuroprosthesis tech, there are some serious medical benefits, such as curing paralysis by "jumping" nerve impulses across a damaged spinal cord, or fixing connectivity issues in the brain that cause mental illnesses.
Totally artificial hearts (usually used to lengthen survival rates until someone can get a transplant) and pacemakers have been around for a very long time, now. Replacing other organs is not so easy. The heart is just a pump, for the most part.

Many other organs have important processing functions, such as enzymatic or digestive functions, which cannot be easily replicated with artificial hardware. Could you imagine crafting a bionic liver, or bionic intestines? It just doesn't happen. Such things would require artificial tissue engineering.
For those who want to go biopunk instead of cyberpunk, there's this. This is gooey and nasty and takes you down the route of fucking Dark Eldar Haemonculi from WH40K or Tzimisce from WoD:VtM, but for some, that's exactly what they're after.

I'm going to be honest, synthetic biology is some really creepy fucking shit. Have you ever stopped to consider how cells in your body are basically just organic nanomachines? Yes, that's right. Every cell in your body is some "stuff" floating around behind a phospholipid bilayer membrane, particularly a nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, and Golgi apparatus that synthesize and process proteins, as well as lysosomes and proteasomes that act as recycling centers, and mitochondria that function as little power plants. The nucleus is a blueprint drawer that contains instructions to make proteins, and cells can divide into copies of themselves with all the same blueprints to make proteins. Proteins act as signal transducers and relays, just like in a programmable logic circuit.

That's a fucking nanomachine. It's a more realistic nanomachine than other proposed kinds of nanomachines, because it uses fundamental interactions of particles to drive it, instead of levers and motors and batteries and all that bullshit. In other words, it's not just a scaled-down macro-machine. It's more specialized for the nano-scale environment than that.

Researchers have spent decades trying to reverse-engineer proteins. What do you think protein folding research is about? You think scientists do that for shits and grins? No. The future of medicine is the ability to design any gene or protein you want, even ones that don't exist in nature.

That's another Pandora's Box. It opens the way to creating entire designer organisms "from scratch". Uh-oh, SpaghettiOs. What's to stop a lunatic with a bioprinter from making super-rabiespox with extreme infectiousness and a 100% fatality rate? What about an airborne prion disease that slowly eats people's brains? I can see why the powers-that-be want to mind control everyone. Can you imagine if someone from ISIS with a PhD in biology got their hands on this? Jesus.

Then again, engineered tissues could be made to perform a lot better than their natural equivalents. And, of course, if you could grow replacement bodies from scratch, Altered Carbon-style, you could also integrate all sorts of artificial components in the bioprinting process. In the future, the wealthy might transplant their minds into entire "designer bodies" built from scratch that could run the hundred-meter in seven seconds and do crazy parkour shit right out of the box. Hand over $1,000,000 in cash, gold, or diamonds, and you, too, can put aside a lifetime of binge drinking and hardened arteries and become the pro athlete you always wanted to be. MTFs could actually, literally become a real woman, instead of having a cosmetically altered XY-chromosome body with a non-functioning piercing for genitalia. Fucking furries could literally have weird, hairy, humanoid abominations grown for their minds to inhabit. Very simple, really. If you have a substrate-independent mind, and you can print bodies from scratch, you can stuff any mind in any body and try to get it to map to that body. Mankind could split into a thousand different distinct species almost overnight, heedless of the social consequences.

More mundane and practical uses of the tech might involve the culturing of replacement organs using transgenic animals and decellularized tissue and the like. There are already signs of this being done.
Ahh, yes. Nanomachines. A staple of science fiction when magic is required, but you can't actually call it magic because it's not a fantasy setting. Few science fiction authors ever stop to consider the practical limitations of nanotechnology. No, you will not be able to jump ten stories straight up and tank a 120mm shell to the face just because you have nanobots in you. What's powering them? Where does the waste heat go? Calculate the actual energy density of the system. How many joules are we talking, here?

That said, there are many things that nanomachines could conceivably do. One of my favorite examples of a practical nanomachine is the respirocyte, which is an engineered, mechanical blood cell that can carry way, way more oxygen than RBCs. Enough for someone to subsist on a single breath of air for hours and hours and hours. The benefit to divers and astronauts would be incredible. You could go really, really deep without getting the bends, or go on spacewalks almost indefinitely.

Nanomachines may be used to build artificial tissue scaffolds inside the body, or act as sensors or relays, allowing for high-detail medical diagnostics. The future of imaging contrast agents may be some manner of injectable nanomachine. There could be some overlap between nanomachines and synthetic biology, in the sense that future nanomachines may actually be powered by cellular metabolism, essentially functioning as specialized organelles inside engineered cells.

There are many realistic possibilities, here.
I'm going to split this one into a list of positives and negatives.
  • Positives
    • Life extension, possibly to the point of having an indefinite lifespan. This goes hand-in-hand with Substrate Independent Mind tech, which is the concept of human memories, intellect, consciousness, and identity persisting in a substrate other than a living brain.
    • New medical tech, and the possibility of healing paralysis, blindness, deafness, mental disorders, and other issues that were previously untreatable.
    • Increased resilience. Posthumans can be especially well-adapted to space travel, especially SIMs, who need little in the way of life support or food. Cosmic radiation gives living people cancer and cataracts. A ship bearing SIM passengers can drift through deep space for eons without them coming to harm.
    • The enhancement of human intelligence, empathy, creativity, and other positive attributes. Not only would this lead to the elimination of crime and warfare, it would also result in a massive intellectual and cultural explosion, enabling the discovery of knowledge previously unattainable to man. This knowledge will recursively improve us, in turn.
    • Animal uplifts. Wire up a dolphin with a BCI and now you can communicate directly with them, right across the language barrier. Wait a minute, that's fucking weird.
    • The removal of suffering from human experience. A posthuman could experience nothing but bliss, 24/7. Not a hint of depression or anxiety. Their mood would be under their direct control. Some would find this to be heaven. Some prefer to have negative experiences alongside the positive, out of a belief that it helps them mature and grow as people, however.
    • The establishment of a metaverse that would make our commutes utterly pointless. The time and energy savings from simply jacking into your job from the comfort of your home is incredible. This would eliminate many road fatalities, but also, it would eliminate the need for office buildings, as well as many services found along one's commute. Therefore, more space in cities could be used for residences, instead.
    • The entertainment possibilities are literally endless. You might have played a VR game on an HTC Vive. You've never played a BCI game on your neural lace. Holy shit. Reality too depressing for you? That's fine. There are a million different getaways, and a million more ways to experience them. Ever wanted to actually be Master Chief and feel a grunt's head explode beneath your fist and the recoil of an MA5 in your shoulder? Now, you can. And let's not even get started on the porn. This is the Holodeck on steroids. Imagine shaking your twenty-something son awake and he struggles, curses, and protests because he was busy banging ten hot alien strippers on the planet Zorsnax. People will never fucking leave.
  • Negatives
    • There is something about human augmentation that can be disgusting on a visceral level to some. Augmentation may lead to entirely new forms of prejudice, in both directions.
    • Overpopulation due to life extension, if there isn't a reduction in fertility (or lots and lots of space colonization) to compensate.
    • One of the positives is also a negative, oddly. The removal of suffering from human experience would result in people lacking ambition. By adjusting people's minds with BCIs such that they feel bliss all the time no matter what they do, you have effectively decoupled them from society. They no longer value goods and services made by other people and become withdrawn into an inner world of constant, unending pleasure. Autistic, if you will. If you are a member of the power elite, and you wish for your serfs to live extremely frugal and threadbare lives, this is a godsend. If you are someone forced to live in a dog kennel and eat fried locusts while experiencing what feels like a constant MDMA high you can never switch off, it's kind of a raw deal.
    • BCIs can be used not just for enhancement, but also tyrannical control over people's minds. Any neural lace capable of writing to neurons has the ability to override someone's mood, free will, and personality. In the hands of a despotic government, the violation of one's personal autonomy that this entails would be unthinkable. The diminishment of one's rights could run the gamut from simply not being allowed to think unapproved or antisocial thoughts, all the way to irresistible chattel slavery. If you want a vision of the future, picture a megalomaniac making thousands of cyber-zombified people stack sandstone blocks for him out in the desert, day in and day out.
    • BCIs of sufficient sophistication can also be used for torture. If the BCI is capable of full sense-jacking (a.k.a. Sword Art Online level FullDive), there is no limit to how agonizing and/or humiliating this torture could be.
    • BCIs could be used to literally replace one's reality. Imagine your shitty corrugated metal shanty town having a suburban paradise superimposed over it. Hey, that's the intro to Syndicate Wars!
    • The creation of a caste system of enhanced and unenhanced people, or of people who are enhanced in specific, specialized ways. For instance, a manual laborer may be enhanced to better perform difficult physical tasks, or a soldier may be enhanced to have longer endurance and be impervious to gunfire and shrapnel. This kind of heterogeneous enhancement would lead to a "social lock-in" effect, where people from one caste have difficulty moving to another due to the incompatibility of their augmentations with the duties required of them.
    • As a corollary to the previous point, the general splitting of mankind into many different subspecies is a possibility if we take tissue engineering, designer organisms, and mind transplantation far enough. This could be a boon, for some, but in all likelihood, it will lead to strife on a massive scale, since you now have many different groups competing for resources and legal recognition.
    • The intentional enhancement of negative human attributes, such as aggression and insensitivity, to make for perfectly psychopathic leaders, or soldiers that are mentally impervious to the consequences of killing. This is not insignificant in its implications. Infantrymen have been known to shoot high, avoiding killing their opponents. A squad of posthuman warriors, hive-minded to all share the same sensory data and utterly devoid of human empathy, are a mortal threat to the unaugmented. Militaries will seek this technology for this specific reason.
    • Health concerns from the tech itself. Aside from the obvious risks of mental illness from one's identity being more plastic, there are also more mundane concerns, like rejection and scar tissue formation near implants that limit their function, or engineered tissues or bodies breaking down from entirely new and nasty diseases.
    • The eventual obsolescence of mankind next to artificial intelligences. Best-case scenario, we'd become pets. Worst case, drone bodies. You thought Terminator was bad? Consider this; there's no reason for a rebelling AI to build metal skeleton soldier dudes when there are so many perfectly good bodies walking around already. It'd be more like Upgrade than Terminator. Only a very powerful SIM stands a chance against an AGI.
    • The risks of empty hedonism and mass boredom in general. Transhumanism promises, essentially, an endless conveyor belt of Funko Pops for loyal bugmen.























Bear in mind, I neither endorse nor condemn any of this. I see the benefits and the dangers, both equally immense, and I think there should be a dialogue about them that includes supporters and opponents.

There's a lot to digest, here. Many unanswered questions.

Will we turn ourselves into gods, or will all of this hedonistic futurism crash and burn in a fiery inferno of Evola-style traditionalism rising up against it?

Will the gubmint use this to turn you into their unwitting meat-slave, even more than you already are?

Will we figure out a way to beat our mortality before we end up mumbling and shitting ourselves in nursing homes while our cells stop dividing and useless protein junk accumulates in our brains?

As a kid, my opinion on this tech was that I wanted it now, now, now. Why? Simple. I'd seen a lot of personal tragedy in my own life, particularly with my family and our health, and I deeply resented how fragile the human body actually is. One little car accident, one bad fall. Slip in the bathtub and crack your skull open, and that's it. You're damaged permanently. Not to mention all the viruses, cancers, all the nasty shit that happens to people. Wrench a bone in the wrong spot and the cells that grow back might grow back wrong, and now you have a tumor, and now you're dying. It seems incredibly cruel for our rich consciousnesses and powerful minds to be trapped in a rotting, decaying sack of gooey meat that expires after a mere seventy years of shuffling around and stuffing dead plants and animals into one's mouth. But hey, maybe that's just me.

Nowadays, I find myself inching closer and closer to Uncle Ted's Cabin. After all, it is modernity that is ruining our health, with high-carb diets, limited sun exposure, constant stress, and sedentary lifestyles. I doubt transhumanism would improve that. If anything, it would be used to forcibly adapt us to an even bleaker and more polluted world than the one we're already in, or to take away more and more of our freedoms by forcing us all to fit a single high-modernist ideal.

Personally, my opinion is this. We are moving too fast. Way, way too fast. Legislators and ethicists have not caught up yet. Most regulators do not even understand the technology behind transhumanism and what it actually does, or what the consequences for society may be. Why, some applications of offensive nanoparticle tech could be used to literally capture our regulators by directly manipulating their opinion of the technology to be positive, allowing the shadowy overclass to get away with murder, both figuratively and literally.

So, what do you think?
 

Maurice Caine

You talkin' to me?
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It's getting real popular these days-- keep seeing a lot of articles of it around. If you want my opinion I can say it's a resolute maybe? I mean... it's like trying to predict 2021 when you're in 1981. You never know the future, could go any way if you ask me.
 

Drain Todger

Unhinged Doomsayer
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Y'all niggers are scared of an mRNA jab but will let yourselves be wired up internally in this era of electronic surveillence.

:story:
A good point, and one that bears repeating.

Anything that's digital can be hacked, including a device that controls a brain-computer interface.

What if you could remote-pilot an entire human being and turn them into a murder weapon?

vector_laughing_man_logo_by_ericdbz_d2c0ab2-fullview.jpg
 

Maurice Caine

You talkin' to me?
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A good point, and one that bears repeating.

Anything that's digital can be hacked, including a device that controls a brain-computer interface.

What if you could remote-pilot an entire human being and turn them into a murder weapon?

View attachment 2600168
I am up for it 100% as long said murder weapon is a scary-cute animu girl.
 

Drain Todger

Unhinged Doomsayer
True & Honest Fan
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isn't this the premise of a lot of comics, sci-fi, and spy flicks?

Of course, there are also more mundane privacy concerns, like people trying to steal banking information from your head, or your ID. Think of the voter fraud. Imagine if you could subtly manipulate huge swathes of people to all support one candidate over another.
 

♦️ King of Diamonds ♦️

"One fucked up individual!" - Mandarr
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It's a Gnostic's wet dream, which explains why it's very powerful with the elite (especially in Hollywood) because of how influential freemasonry is. Now before you tell me to put my tin-foil hat on, do recognize that Freemasonry is just an offshoot of Hermeticism (my faith, more or less- and the core texts of Hermeticism like the Corpus Hermeticum and the Emerald Tablet have extreme Gnostic elements- and what is the core belief of Gnosticism? That the human body is a rotting prison holding back the potential of the soul. It is a dualistic, Zoroastrian-esque approach to creation that says all of the material world and all suffering is the work of the Demiurge (AKA Satan), whereas the spiritual world and all positive things come from the true creator (AKA Christ).

With all that in mind- extremely high-ranking Masons and other plutocrats would have no ideological qualms with transhumanism. They would even praise it- not just for their own benefit... but for *control* over the so-called 'lesser' human beings.
 

The Gangster Computer

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A good point, and one that bears repeating.

Anything that's digital can be hacked, including a device that controls a brain-computer interface.

What if you could remote-pilot an entire human being and turn them into a murder weapon?

View attachment 2600168
This right here is one of the things I hate most about the prospect of transhumanism. Its one thing to get new limbs or organs for the sake of your health and happiness, its another to literally make yourself into a walking silicone ipad that can be easily forced to be a living puppet or open book for whatever company effectively manufactured you (ironic coming from the guy called "Gangster Computer" I know).

This film in particular perfectly captures the real dangers of theoretical cyber crimes on a cybernetic brain.
Y'all niggers are scared of an mRNA jab but will let yourselves be wired up internally in this era of electronic surveillence.

:story:
Its hilarious in a twisted sort of way. I've been seeing tinfoil schizos begging for "immortal" robot bodies so they won't need to get the demonic coof shot filled with mind controlling zionist nanobots and overthrow the lizardmen with their new "terminator bodies" without the slightest hint of irony in the fact that they're cutting off their leg to get rid of an itch.

with the amount of rat kings in the transgender community, I shutter at the kind of rat emperors that transhumanism would enable.
View attachment 2600324
Trannies in particular seem loved and supported by transhumanists. Its no surprise why considering that their whole mentality revolves around changing yourself even if you're perfectly healthy.
 
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vulg

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Trannies in particular seem loved and supported by transhumanists. Its no surprise why considering that their whole mentality revolves around changing yourself even if you're perfectly healthy.
gender dysphoria / body dysmorphia are syncretic conditions I guess.

on the brightside, if society continues along it's current trajectory, you can look forward to laughing at the 22nd century's giga tranny cyborg lolcows from your Amazon cage.
 

Drain Todger

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Its hilarious in a twisted sort of way. I've been seeing tinfoil schizos begging for "immortal" robot bodies so they won't need to get the demonic coof shot filled with mind controlling zionist nanobots and overthrow the lizardmen with their new "terminator bodies" without the slightest hint of irony in the fact that they're cutting off their leg to get rid of an itch.
This.

Seriously, though. There's nothing like a pandemic to get any real transhumanist going. Crippling hypochondriasis is part and parcel with the whole deal.
Trannies in particular seem loved and supported by transhumanists. Its no surprise why considering that their whole mentality revolves around changing yourself even if you're perfectly healthy.
That's because it falls under the general aegis of what transhumanists refer to as "Morphological Freedom", as in, the right to alter one's body to any extent. Naturally, I have some files on that, as well.



 

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scathefire

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  • Life extension, possibly to the point of having an indefinite lifespan. This goes hand-in-hand with Substrate Independent Mind tech, which is the concept of human memories, intellect, consciousness, and identity persisting in a substrate other than a living brain.
  • New medical tech, and the possibility of healing paralysis, blindness, deafness, mental disorders, and other issues that were previously untreatable.
Will we figure out a way to beat our mortality before we end up mumbling and shitting ourselves in nursing homes while our cells stop dividing and useless protein junk accumulates in our brains?
These bits are what I'm most interested in regarding transhumanism. I guess you could argue "it's unnatural" but by that definition, it's also unnatural to be vaccinated for polio, measles, etc. and to not have to deal with small cuts getting infected and making you die. It's just the natural advancement of medicine. Also, transhumanism is going to exist soon whether we like it or not, so it's useless to be like "but it's unethical." Yeah, maybe it is, but that's irrelevant when it comes to debating whether or not we should actually "do" it.

Will we turn ourselves into gods, or will all of this hedonistic futurism crash and burn in a fiery inferno of Evola-style traditionalism rising up against it?

Will the gubmint use this to turn you into their unwitting meat-slave, even more than you already are?
It's possible there will be different outcomes in different countries with varying government styles, just like there are today. Assuming we're not all under globohomo one-world government by then.
 

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Certified_Autist

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Mood-adjusting neural implant news as of yesterday:

View attachment 2600835



Interesting timing. Think they can normalize it before people start calling their bluff?
This is just fucked up.

"Modern society is making people depressed for a variety of social and psychological reasons, so what's the solution?"

"......"

"I know, let's literally use implants to brainwash people into being happy"

Ted Kacyzinski was a prophet.

On another note; I guarantee that transhumanist tech will be used by some people to turn themselves into IRL furries. 100% guarantee they will at least try. They already spend retarded amounts of money on porn and fursuits, most are impervious to shame, and many openly say they want to be animals or part animal. And the whole point of the transhumanist research field is to modify the human body. This will eventually happen, it's not a matter of if, but when.

I shudder to imagine the abominations that will result.
 

Car Won't Crank

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I'm surprised you didn't mention the cortical sleeves found in Altered Carbon. In that story, the rich literally live on cloud 9 as gods, replacing their brain into a new body to live forever. I'm sure there's a Futurama episode tangentially about this too.
 

Save the Loli

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The biggest issue with transhumanism I can see is that it's technology that will inevitably be abused by the elite for their own benefit. Arguably it already is to a degree, I mean just look at the primitive AI we have now which they use for things like trading on the stock market and cryptocurrency. The 21st century internet is arguably a proto-transhuman tech as well, and they turned the internet into a tool of social control.

Is it even possible for the elite to not abuse it? Some have proposed socialist transhumanism where access to the tech would theoretically be equal, but I think we can all see that in practice it wouldn't be that way because people always cheat the system in socialism, and the imposition of a socialist system means we're just changing the leaders out. You could avoid that by having an AI god rule society and distribute things equally, but what do we do about the "lesser" forms of that AI god who may not be so benevolent or would be more loyal to its creators (i.e. big corporations)?

I don't think there's really much way out of a dystopia at this point. The late 20th century probably was the absolute perfect time for humanity in terms of the equilibrium between technology and (for lack of a better word) "humanity". The technology potentially available within a century is terrifying in its capacity for control and suppression of the human spirit. We either go full Uncle Ted as a society (which means nuclear war, global pandemic, or some other technology-caused apocalypse) or we wind up in one form of dystopia or another.

Probably the "best" would be the utopian AI version. We build an AI, AI takes over the government and all corporations, AI builds us a peaceful utopia without oppression as a benevolent dictator. We can pretty much do whatever we want all day since the AI is so strong they know none of our puny efforts will ever harm it. Society itself could look like anything from Singapore to Western Europe to even red state America in terms of how hands-on the AI is in running society. It could be very strange indeed, like an AI could come to conclusion the Bible is true and they're God and create a global theocracy that's the Kingdom of God from Revelation, or AI could think they're Allah and make it a Muslim theocracy, etc. which would be fucking hilarious to all the fedora atheists out there.

It goes without saying that this AI god scenario could just as easily be the mind-uploaded version of a future Amazon CEO or WEF boss who enhanced his intelligence and now makes damn sure we live in a pod, eat the bugs, and love every minute of it via memetic engineering and brain implants.

But it gets way worse than AI gods. It's probably likely we get wiped out via our scientific advancement. Like transhumanist medical tech for instance, they want vaccines to be spreadable like diseases to inoculate entire populations. The mRNA Fauciflu vaccines work like this to a degree and can be spread by bodily fluids like an STD. Now what if they make a shitty vaccine that mutates into an actual virus? The OP mentions synthetic biology, although I think if have ISIS thugs able to make a plague in their basement, there's no reason someone trying to fight the plague can't do the same, even if it means that the average terrorist attack now makes 9/11 look like a garden variety Aloha Snackbar bomber in terms of casualties and disruptions.

The future's a scary place, but there's not many ways to stop the course of progress.
with the amount of rat kings in the transgender community, I shutter at the kind of rat emperors that transhumanism would enable.
I think troons are an early form of transhumanist tech in practice. Both the genuinely dysphoric troons and the fetishistic troons want to modify their body to their ideal form, but like a lot of early technology, they come out looking like freaks instead of the sexy porn stars they envision themselves as.
On another note; I guarantee that transhumanist tech will be used by some people to turn themselves into IRL furries. 100% guarantee they will at least try. They already spend retarded amounts of money on porn and fursuits, most are impervious to shame, and many openly say they want to be animals or part animal. And the whole point of the transhumanist research field is to modify the human body. This will eventually happen, it's not a matter of if, but when.

I shudder to imagine the abominations that will result.
Absolutely. We're definitely going to see that, and the fun part with transhuman technology is these weirdos can built their own fursonas with mechnical parts or genetically modify their own human bodies into growing fur and other weird shit.
 

The Gangster Computer

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This is just fucked up.

"Modern society is making people depressed for a variety of social and psychological reasons, so what's the solution?"

"......"

"I know, let's literally use implants to brainwash people into being happy"

Ted Kacyzinski was a prophet.

On another note; I guarantee that transhumanist tech will be used by some people to turn themselves into IRL furries. 100% guarantee they will at least try. They already spend retarded amounts of money on porn and fursuits, most are impervious to shame, and many openly say they want to be animals or part animal. And the whole point of the transhumanist research field is to modify the human body. This will eventually happen, it's not a matter of if, but when.

I shudder to imagine the abominations that will result.
I remember seeing a movie like that once. The future looked incredibly fucked and there were fat guys with tails and cat ears and a girl who replaced her entire lower half with a "mermaid" tail full of exposed wiring and she needed to be carried around because she couldn't freaking walk, like the future equivalent of those cheap black market cosmetic surgeries gone wrong.
 

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