Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Closer to transhumanism

While 2016 was pretty much a dumpster fire, it did bring us closer to a posthuman future.

An article from Gizmodo (link at end of this post) lists out a few developments to support that argument. For your convenience, I've picked at a few points that I found to be of most interest:

-Implant connects humans to the earth's electromagnetic field. Big deal, you might say. While admittedly the practical  applications of such a cybernetic interface are not yet readily apparent, it does give the host an additional sense. Who knows what we might one day be able to do with it? I mean, you'd always know when you're facing north.

- The artificial pancreas. If you or someone you love is afflicted with diabetes, then this is a big deal. It's a wireless external device that monitors blood sugar level and regulates insulin. 

-Brain implant allows paralyzed man to feel again. More than that, the sensation came through a cybernetic arm, an arm controlled by a different implant in the man's mind. This new implant that allows touch replicates the sensory feedback loop.

I'm going to let something drop here. I'm working on a very short book of essays that should be out by mid-May. These essays are about how science fiction and the real world intersect and how we engage new developments with science fiction understanding. For example, I'm finding more and more people coming to an understanding of transhumanism in this manner. "Oh, like Terminator and Robocop" they say to me. I always caution that it's a gentler and more nuanced reality, but in essence the concept is correct.

Cyberhumans are only going to become more common and I think people are starting to wake up to it.  Devices like the ones in the article are no longer mere handsels. They're delivering the goods. My hope is that we can move beyond just repairing what has gone wrong to improving what we already have.

Or replace it altogether.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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