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Merging with technology?

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memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 34 weeks 13 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12

There are people, like Ray Kurzweil, who believe that it will be inevitable for humans to start merging with our own technology in order to improve our capabilities. Ever since humans existed we created tools, even before we started calling these tools "technology", and it was always essentially an extension of ourselves which allows us to do more with less therefore growing our capabilities.

So in one sense, transhumanism is about just making that a little more literal. We grow our capabilities by putting technology into our bodies and operating them, ideally, as if they were a native part of our body.

There are a few issues that arise here:

  • Health concerns: Is it safe to put it into our bodies? I suppose the advancement stage and proficiency of a given technology should answer that. I believe nanotech, when used right, might be the safest as you can literally design it to fit right into your system in a very smooth way. Just drink or eat nanbots with your normal food and they start doing the job that they're supposed to do in your system, like waiting for you to get wounded only to magically and almost instantaneously regenerate the damage. Eye
  • Access concerns: This may be even worse than health concerns. If one group of people has access to transhumanist technologies yet another does not then the first group can be considered to have a severe advantage over the second one. They can grow their capabilities, therefore their power, competitiveness, efficiency or just extend their life while the rest remain without even a chance to catch up. This is a worst nightmare of some conspiracy theorists who believe the "elite" is going to use these technologies to augment themselves to a point at which they, the rulers, will be a super race whereas the rest would be, comparable, like the race of sheep, unable to oppose them because they're just that.. I guess.. invincible.

Those are some scary thoughts. Can you think of any other concerns?

In the end, as should be a recurring theme with any other technology, the key is in universal and non-discriminatory availability and access. But some might argue for banning or choosing not to develop such technologies at all. I'd like to hear arguments for both points, or any other you may want to make.

Thank you.

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health
libervisco wrote:

Health concerns: Is it safe to put it into our bodies? I suppose the advancement stage and proficiency of a given technology should answer that. I believe nanotech, when used right, might be the safest as you can literally design it to fit right into your system in a very smooth way. Just drink or eat nanbots with your normal food and they start doing the job that they're supposed to do in your system, like waiting for you to get wounded only to magically and almost instantaneously regenerate the damage.

That example sounds like a great plan for cancer.

A similar technology could have a limited, careful use in medicine though. I could see it someday eventually replacing surgery.

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memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 34 weeks 13 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Indeed. Something like

Indeed. Smiling Something like this: nanobots (works with swfdec, here's a direct download). Positive uses are endless, but like with any technology that powerful, somehow the possibilities are just as endless for negative uses.

And like in all such cases the big question is what those negative uses are, how to prevent it from being used in that way etc. Personally, I'm in favor of creating market incentives which would discourage negative uses and encourage positive uses.

Of course, if that was the only answer we can live with this whole site wouldn't have a point. The meat of the matter will always be in questions like how do you define positive uses and negative uses (different people may have different opinions), how exactly do you cause these incentives and before you can even begin talking about it, what exactly are the possibilities such technology allows...

So to get myself back on the topic at hand, is there anyone who believes humans shouldn't merge with technology? Or is there a certain threshold to which you'd allow it, but not more? Why? Let's ask some tickling questions, you never know what conclusions we might come to. Smiling

Thanks

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Daniel Memenode signature

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Joined: 2010-11-27
Re: Merging with technology?

IMO the new technology itself needs to be built with the protection inside it to prevent the technology being used for anything bad.

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