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article imageFuturists leave humanity behind, focus on transhuman future

By Paul Wallis     Feb 18, 2014 in Lifestyle
Sydney - In case you were wondering what happened to the future, it’s been moved elsewhere. Futurists now believe in a departure from the human form to a cyber version of humanity. There are a few bugs in this vision.
The current mess is apparently to be solved by a tradeoff: Let the world fall to bits now for a quantum leap to a plugin/mobile in the future.
Huff Post is running an interesting article called “Some Futurists Aren't Worried About Global Warming or Overpopulation” by a guy called Zoltan Istvan.
...a growing number of futurists, many who are transhumanists -- people who aim to move beyond the human being using science and technology -- aren't worried. While New York City, Boston and Miami may be partially underwater by 2100, many futurists don't plan to be around in the flesh by then. And if they are, they'll have the technology to walk on water. In fact, many futurists believe that before the end of this century, they will become cyborgs, sentient robots, virtual avatars living inside computers, or space travelers journeying on starships in far-off solar systems.
What many environmentalists, journalists and politicians fail to consider when assessing the future is how quickly technological innovation is growing. The future is coming much faster than people realize.
Well, no, most people don’t realize. The science only comes out after it’s been processed through the bizarre corporate world, public relations and other totally untrustworthy, and totally untrusted, sources. What most futurists, apparently, don’t realize is that these visions of a vicarious, cyber-driven future leave quite a lot to be desired. That the same people who routinely produce apps that don’t work and online games that do more lag than running are shaping the future of humanity isn’t exactly reassuring.
Being a virtual avatar may not be some people’s idea of a great outcome. Being a clickable part of the future… So what? Being some presumably custom made form of C3PO…Yecch. Voyaging to the stars… I assume this means if anyone can be bothered to actually solve the problems? Nobody’s done a damn thing on faster space travel for a very long time. Rockets won’t get to the stars, generational cattle class or otherwise.
Visions of the future are full of hope. It’s the visions of the past and present upon which this hope is based that are so unbelievable:
Until then, the real dangers of human civilization lurk in those who want to hinder or over-regulate progress. Science and technology have brought us a far better world, scoring numerous victories for humanity. Globally, democracy is more widespread than ever, poverty is declining, and the species is healthier and living longer according to various recent reports by the United Nations.
Huh? US life expectancy may be one thing, quality of life is another. The middle class didn’t even get a chance to become an endangered species status before being largely destroyed in 2008-9. Democracy barely gets a mention in a Congress which has achieved almost nothing, and very little of it good, in the last 15 years. Poverty is endemic, more a matter of degree than anything else. People may be more or less poor, but the number of wealthy is vanishingly small.
A few flaws, perhaps, in the visions of the future?
The theory seems to be that the people who’ve been mismanaging the past and catastrophizing the present will naturally provide a fabulous future. They’ll understand the need for transhuman technology, and do everything possible to promote it. Sorry, don’t buy it.
The disorganized, ignorant mess calling itself humanity would be lucky to organize a raffle, let alone a whole-of-species upgrade. Not much has ever been done systematically and nothing done well, if at all, about the human condition, since the beginning of recorded history.
Imagine trying to get a transhuman package:
“Which package would you like?”
“Teleportation built in, instant upgrades, pan-galactic Skype, spam blocker and antivirus, automatic orgasms, high speed pleasure downloads, all channels TV, universal gaming hookup, and automatic molecular breath fresheners.”
“Certainly. That will come to $14,235,963.67. That’s without health insurance, warranty and a head, of course. Heads are sold separately.”
(Whimpers) “I can only afford a few million…”
“For that, you can get half a TV guide and pay a few people to throw rocks at you.”
“Oh, gee, thanks!”
(Orchestra plays “You’ll Never Walk Alone- Or at all, without the right software”. Audience bursts into tears of joy.)
By the time “market farces” have finished with transhuman, it’ll be a hobbyist thing for the very rich and/or the very gullible.
The future is coming. It’s just taking longer than usual to get here and featherbrained human thinking is one of the reasons.
More about Zoltan Istvan, Huffington Post, futurism, transhuman technology
 
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