Exploring transhuman and posthuman realms

The 4th week of #edcmooc is the greatest adventure, looking to the future and its new possibilities. We aren’t even human but try to understand something about trans-humanist values.

At this week instead explore how ‘the human’ is a flexible category, one we can change and re- make in the interests of, for example, a fairer society, a better life, a richer culture, or perhaps merely personal gain. We are looking here at perspectives which focus on how technology works to re-define what constitutes ‘the human’ – for better or worse – and what that might mean for education.

I have been sick and I have experienced how vulnerable my body is. It would be great to be in trans-human state without illnesses 🙂

Boström gives me the theory of transhumanism :

Transhumanists in general see ‘human values’ as a good, though incomplete, project. For them, ‘humanity’ is a temporary, flawed condition: the future of human evolution is in the direction of a post-human future state in which technological progress has freed us from the inconveniences of limited lifespan, sickness, misery and intellectual limitation. Transhumanism, in summary, is to a large extent based on the extension of the humanistic principles of rationality, scientific progress and individual freedom that critical posthumanists would question. Transhumanism has roots in secular humanist thinking, yet is more radical in that it promotes not only traditional means of improving human nature, such as education and cultural refinement, but also direct application of medicine and technology to overcome some of our basic biological limits.

Mood, energy, and self-control. Despite our best efforts, we often fail to feel as happy as we would like. Our chronic levels of subjective well-being seem to be largely genetically determined. Life-events have little long-term impact; the crests and troughs of fortune push us up and bring us down, but there is little long-term effect on self-reported well-being. Lasting joy remains elusive except for those of us who are lucky enough to have been born with a temperament that plays in a major key.

In addition to being at the mercy of a genetically determined setpoint for our levels of well-being, we are limited in regard to energy, will-power, and ability to shape our own character in accordance with our ideals. Even such “simple” goals as losing weight or quitting smoking prove unattainable to many. – So, what could be better?

What are the values of transhumanism? The core is in the blog  heading: Having the opportunity to explore the transhuman and posthuman realms.

Basic Conditions are:  Global security +Technological progress  + Wide access

and still some Derivative Values:

Nothing wrong about “tampering with nature”; the idea of hubris rejected

Individual choice in use of enhancement technologies; morphological freedom

Peace, international cooperation, anti-proliferation of WMDs

Improving understanding (encouraging research and public debate; critical thinking; open-mindedness, scientific inquiry; open discussion of the future)

Getting smarter (individually; collectively; and develop machine intelligence)

Philosophical fallibilism; willingness to reexamine assumptions as we go along

Pragmatism; engineering- and entrepreneur-spirit; science

Diversity (species, races, religious creeds, sexual orientations, life styles, etc.)

Caring about the well-being of all sentience

Saving lives (life-extension, anti-aging research )

I have to confess that I cannot follow what I wrote, Boström knows. But I have got the feeling that new world is opening for us and I want to be part of it. I knew the critics of Nicholas Carr already, I have his book translated in Finnish. It is good to ask what is happening to our attention span and thinking. These are not at all simple themes.

This is a wise way to end our studies and turn to final assignments, to be creative. I have already seen many excellent artefacts. Five days for creating mine!