Thanks, as always, to everyone who drops by to contribute to these weekly (or mostly weekly!) discussions. So, this week - transhumanism. There are different points of view as to what transhumanism actually is, but most of them - at least that I am aware of - are interested in enhancing our biology so that we can stay younger longer, die later - or not at all - and avoid the degenerative effects of aging.
There are numerous examples of this in SFF - so what are your favourites? Have you written about this in any of your stories? What's your feeling about this in general?
An idea I've toyed with but thus far have had limited success using is the idea of homo superior (I struggle to with an appropriate latin word to use in lieu of "superior"). I can imagine a story that takes place with us poor homo sapiens strugglign to coexist with those that have become our biological superior. I've thought that their superiority would involve the use of cutting edge information technology but maybe it doesn't have to. Inadvertently I took an entirely different approach in "Catching a Ride to Lovecraft" - the fountain of youth features in as does vampirism to accomplish the endess life aspect. I'm left thinking there is probably a really interesting and unique way to explore transhumanism and I look forward to reading it (maybe even writing it) someday.
Lets consider the question as it is presented and conduct a mind game. Suppose that we can move to become a transhuman species. At the same time let's assume that for whatever reason star based space flight is forbidden. Then you have forever and eventually the sun will swallow the planet.
Does forever mean no death even for outside reasons, and if not, then what?
I'd like to live forever, just so I can tutt and shake my head when mankind finally goes belly-up as a viable species!
I wrote my 'Relict' story to scratch an itch as regards transhumanism through genetics. I wasn't interested in the process, just the potential use. Within the story the humans are modified to survive better in a low-gravity environment. The direction of the story makes it clear that these modified humans aren't intended to have a long and happy life - they are designed as tools, with a very specific function.
I have another transhuman idea I'm working on, but this follows the 'upload' route.
Whatever method we choose, the fact that we are human will still carry the potential for all the usual human problems, fear, greed, anger, leaving the toilet seat up.
I've read too much SFF that prognosticates doom and gloom. Call me crazy but I imagine the people who dig that stuff would want to shorten their lifespan, not extend it.
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