Monday, May 24, 2010

Transhumanism Redux Notes

  • Transhumanism is about morphological freedom, where morphology is taken in its most general sense.
  • I've been interested in and self identifying as a transhumanist since the late '90s, particularly involved via interaction with the extropians
  • I've never been very interested in physical improvement (stronger, faster, more beautiful, etc). I care about being minimally healthy, being long lived (indefinite if I could get it), and being mentally enhanced
  • I think all the important big stuff of humanity is happening in the mental & social realms from here on out
  • I've always been part of the cheer squad of transhumanism, never really doing anything towards any of the goals I support. I've never really known how a mere code guy could really make any progress.
  • I've noticed over the last decade the continuing rise of the internet+ . Megaolympics of the mind. I've written about it before in my blog.
  • Transhumanism has been using the tools of the new millenium to talk, but just as a consumer. The actual concerns of transhumanists still look like golden age sci-fi, very long in the tooth. It's like the movement hasn't noticed the really weird stuff happening right now.
  • Doug Rushkoff talks about information revolutions, and how people are always one category behind. Now that we can code, we are all simply writing.
  • It's finally clicked for me that this new internet, the cloud and the incredibly large group of humans linked together by it, is created and shaped by programmers, of which I am one.
  • Moreover, individuals can really innovate, due to low cost and free resources for programmers online, particularly from Google.
  • My transhumanist goals of mental improvement are actually now achievable with modest means via the cloud and mobile devices
  • Mobile devices that talk to the cloud and have very little friction with the user are now cheap and available
  • Also, as a  programmer, I can make my own stuff. I shouldn't be behaving like a consumer. I can make bespoke solutions for my transhumanist problems.
  • The upshot of all this is that it is time for me to really begin pushing toward my transhumanist goals and ideals. Think of the mental enhancements I want, the social enhancements I want, and make them.  Then use and incorporate them. Live it.
  • The tech only gets better from here. So, push the envelope, don't mind the rough edges.
  • Also, just because an average person wouldn't accept my solution to problem X (too finicky/raw/rough) doesn't mean I can't make use of it. Each piece doesn't have to work for everyone, it just has to work for me.
  • Start with the lowest hanging fruit, and proceed iteratively. If I can make myself functionally smarter, I'll come up with better ideas and solutions. It's all about closing the feedback loop.

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