The transhumanist and bio-hacking movements are certainly strange and their implications are often frightening, but it is still all extremely fascinating.
From an evolutionary perspective, this is the beginnings of mankind merging itself with its own creations in new ways. This is a realm that science fiction has often explored to dystopian ends, but can there really be a new future like the one Ray Kurzweil imagines? One where humans can live forever by merging with machine? This sounds like stuff out of comic books, and maybe even more so, Biblical prophecy.
Ware uses a brain wave headset made by NeuroSky Inc. of San Jose. The gadget is roughly the same weight and shape as a headset that someone might use to make a phone call. Except instead of a microphone, a curved plastic arm rests lightly on a person’s forehead to measure brain wave activity.
” If my brain waves can be fed into a computer so I can learn to manipulate them, what else could I do”
Lat Ware, Game Developer
“Not many people go for a walk in the supermarket for fun, but I do. I have an electronic eye that converts light into sound to enable me to “hear” colour – so the cleaning product aisle is very exciting. The rows of rainbow-coloured bottles sound like a symphony to me.”!
Neil Harbisson (born 27 July 1982) is a Catalan-raised, British-born contemporary artist and cyborg activist based in New York. He was born with extreme colour blindness and has always seen in grayscale. He is best known for being the first person in the world with an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognised as a cyborg by a government.
Harbisson’s antenna, which has been permanently attached to his head since 2004, is osseointegrated inside his skull and sprouts from within his occipital bone. This antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colours such as infrareds and ultraviolets via audible vibrations in his skull as well as receive images, videos, music or phone calls directly into his head. Wifi enabled, the antenna also allows him to receive colours from satellites and hear extraterrestrial colours from space.
Portraits of people that Harbisson creates by listening to the colours of faces. Each face creates a different micro tone chord depending on its colours. To create a sound portrait he stands in front of the person and points his antenna at different parts of the face, he then writes down the different notes he hears on a piece of paper from which he later creates a sound file. Since 2004, he has created live sound portraits of, among others, Prince Charles, Woody Allen, Antoni Tàpies, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dame Judi Dench, Moby and James Cameron.
The Human Colour Wheel
A color wheel based on the hue and light that Harbisson detected on human skins from 2004 to 2009. Harbisson states that humans are not black or white, humans are orange. Human skins range from very light to very dark shades of orange-red to orange-yellow.
In 2010, he co-founded the Cyborg Foundation, an international organisation that helps humans become cyborgs and promotes cyborgism as an art movement.
I want to recommend this article in USA Today profiling Martine Rothblatt, PhD’s keynote at South by Southwest. Her talk featured a roundup of concepts about the future of the human brain and the potential for people to interact through virtual avatars and recreations of an individual. Click here
This is a totally new field of study for me, and the evidence that I have read to date is alarming, although slightly hidden from us.
Transhumanism is rapidly growing internationally. The movement taims to use radical science and technology to significantly improve the human being and this has many fascinating fields of study.
One area of this, briefly mentioned in The real cyborgs, Part 1 was Biohacking. Biohacking has many definitions, viewing these different definitions pulled from dictionaries, wikis, and community websites gives hints about biohacking history and speaks volumes about the current state of biohacking, and the transitioning attitudes people have toward it.
Here are some current definitions:
1) Biohacking is the intentional manipulation of a living system to accomplish a desired result.
2) Biohacking is the practice of engaging biology with the hacker ethic
3) To use systems thinking, science, biology, and self-experimentation to take control of and upgrade your body, your mind, and your life.
4) The creation of genetically-engineered organisms in makeshift gene laboratories.
5) A biohacker is anyone who dabbles in the field of GMOs and genetic-cloning without proper authority or a real humanistic vision.
6) The activity of exploiting genetic material experimentally without regard to accepted ethical standards, or for criminal purposes.
The first three definitions come from within the biohacking community, and the last three are what we shall term civilian definitions (you and me)
Basically when we add all the above definitions together, what do we get ?
ENHANCING OR AUGMENTING THE HUMAN FORM WITH TECHNOLOGY TO OVERCOME THE GENETIC LIMITATIONS IMPOSED BY FLESH
The Brains behind this is Battelle. Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. (U.S. Government) Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries.
“. . . for the purpose of education in connection with and the encouragement of creative and research work in the making of discoveries and inventions . . . to do the greatest good for humanity . . .” Gordon Batelles – last will and testament.
There is even a world-wide movement. Zoltan Istvan apparently is voice of reason, giving transhumanism WAY MORE publicity. If you are fan of living forever, you can support the Transhumanism Party which is an American political organisation dedicated to putting science, health, and technology at the forefront of United States politics. They aim to uphold the energy and political might of millions of transhumanist advocates out there who desire to use science and technology to significantly improve their lives. The Transhumanist Party is politically-centric and aims to support its candidates and voters with future-inspired policies that will enrich America and the world. We believe science and technology can solve most of the world’s problems. Many of the party’s core ideas and goals can be found in the Transhumanist Declaration and in the founding party article in The Huffington Post.
It is apparent that Robotics won’t ever have emotions and curiosity and concern, unless we program in analogs for them.
My fear is Soon we will not be programing the computers or even designing them. They will shortly be programing and designing themselves.
And shortly after that the complexity of the design and programing will be to complex for human beings with our current state of intelligence to understand.
I really think that is not science fiction as much a fact now.