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The Augmented Human of the Future - The Atlantic
What Will Our Lives Be Like as Cyborgs?

A case for embracing the “augmentation” of human minds and bodies
cyborgs  transhumanism  augmentation  atlantic 
14 days ago by jorgebarba
I WANT WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“We’re quick to associate body modification with primitive cultures—the stereotypical savage with the bone in his nose—but that’s a self-flattering fancy, a way to feel enlightened and civilized at the expense of others. When it comes to fiddling with the human body, we make even the most brutish of our ancestors look like amateurs. We go under the blade for nose jobs, tummy tucks, breast augmentations, hair transplants, face lifts, butt lifts, liposuctions, and myriad other cosmetic surgeries. We smooth our skin with dermabrasion brushes or chemical peels, conceal wrinkles with injections of botulinum toxin or hyaluronic filler. We brighten our smiles with whiteners and veneers, implants and orthodontia. We tattoo, pierce, and scarify our flesh. We swallow drugs and other potions to fine-tune our moods, sharpen our thinking, bulk up our musculature, control our fertility, and heighten our sexual prowess and pleasure. If to be transhuman is to use technology to change one’s body from its natural state, for ornamental or functional purposes, then we are all already transhuman.”

“Transhumanists are technology enthusiasts, and technology enthusiasts are not the most trustworthy guides to the future.”

“The perception of gender as a matter of inclination rather than biology, as a spectrum of possibilities rather than an innate binary divide, remains culturally and scientifically contentious. But its growing acceptance, particularly among the young, reveals how eager we are, whenever science grants us new powers over our bodies’ appearance and workings, to redefine human nature as malleable, as a socially and personally defined construct rather than an expression of biological imperatives.”

“Other transhumanists take a subtly different tack in portraying their beliefs as part of the humanistic tradition. They suggest that the greatest benefit of radical enhancement is not that it allows us to transcend our deepest nature but rather to fulfill it. “Self-reconstruction” is “a distinctively human activity, something that helps define us,” writes Duke University bioethicist Allen Buchanan in his book Better Than Human. “We repeatedly alter our environment to suit our needs and preferences. In doing this we inevitably alter ourselves as well. The new environments we create alter our social practices, our cultures, our biology, and even our identity.” The only difference now, he says, “is that for the first time we can deliberately, and in a scientifically informed way, change our selves.” We can extend the Enlightenment into our cells.”
5 weeks ago by crbassett
John Gray: Dear Google, please solve death
Meet the transhumanists who believe that the brain can outlive the body.
article  technology  transhumanism  google  editorial  effectivealtruism 
10 weeks ago by dwight
Your Brain is Your Phone – How We Get To Next
Smartphones are changing how we think—because they’re a part of how we think
brain  mobile  cyborgs  transhumanism  augmentation 
11 weeks ago by jorgebarba
rhetoric in the late age of the internet – digital digs
As much as the needed response is not a technological fix, it also is not not a technological fix. We simply need, for one thing, a better understanding of our digital media-ecological rhetorical situation. That’s something rhetoricians can provide, and while I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest piece of the puzzle, there’s still plenty of work to do. The question the late age of the internet poses is what will follow. That is, what follows on the social media communities and digital marketplaces that typify our daily engagement with the web and represent the globe’s most visited websites? The web began in the nineties as a fantasy about escaping the real world, as a place where we would have separate second lives and form parallel virtual communities. And the social web that followed in the next decade largely built on that fantasy by making it more accessible. But we can’t really think about the web that way. The digital world is not a separate world, as if it ever really was. We need a new web, one that supplants the social web as the social web supplanted web 1.0, one that recognizes the rhetorical-material stakes differently.

The question I have, even as I agree with this in the main, is: how? It's one thing to say we need this. It's another to figure out how to not only build it but actually have the users come. It seems to me that will require some changes at a level deeper than merely what we do with the internet; at a minimum our current configuration of capitalism has made this outcome all but inevitable. That's not to say the problem is markets, but to emphasize that they have a current configuration in our society, and that configuration is deeply, deeply bad.
medium  internet  transhumanism  via:ayjay 
11 weeks ago by chriskrycho

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