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Transhumanism: How do we know?
(12-07-2014, 05:05 PM)Steel Accord Wrote: I mean, how many other times have people looked into the future and predicted wild technological innovation, only for reality to slap them in the face and had them an iphone?

How do we know our vision of transhuman tech isn't anymore quaint than the fifties thinking the seventies would have flying cars?

Three things here:

First, Transhumanism is actually more of a philosophical or social movement/mindset then an attempt to accurately predict exactly how the future will turn out. There are certain techs that current transhumanist thinking is widely associated with and interested in, but that's not the same as saying: This is exactly what will happen. For more on this see HERE.

Second, virtually every discussion about the development of possible future technologies (and I've been reading them since I was in HS, and like to think I've had a pretty broad exposure to the subject) speaks in terms of what WILL happen and/or paints verbal pictures of what a world employing that particular tech would look like. I would suggest that this has less to do with the authors seriously thinking that this is how the future will actually turn out and more to do with:

a) making the subject interesting to the reader (who is typically a layman). Humans respond better to narratives than to dry technical treatise.

b) building enthusiasm for the idea so that people will actually want it to happen and will perhaps work toward/support work toward the sort of world depicted (which is generally described as being rather more pleasant in various ways than the 'current' world.

I actually find it somewhat bizarre that anyone could seriously think that a book talking about the future was actually aiming to make 100% accurate predictions.

Finally, why do you think that an iphone isn't an astounding piece of futuristic technology? As an interesting exercise, I would suggest that anyone who thinks that our current world is disappointingly mundane in the technology department take some time to find out what the world was like only 100 years ago. 100 years is a trivial amount of time even by human historical standards and falls (increasingly) within the scope of a single human lifetime, at least in the advanced Western countries.

In 1915, much of the technology we take for granted (and most especially things like iphones, their supporting infrastructure, and the related technologies) didn't even exist. Often it didn't even have a theoretical basis yet. From the plastics and alloys that make up the case to the computer circuitry, to the very concept of cell towers and satellite communications, most of what goes into an iphone would range from being beyond the comprehension of the best engineers of the day to seeming downright magical.

Consider that accurate weather prediction and all the other things we get from satellites didn't exist. That spaceflight was a wild eyed gleam in the eye of authors like Jules Verne. That the internet wasn't even a concept. That while anesthesia and antisepsis were known, and X-ray machines were cutting edge tech, things like organ transplants, MRIs, and much of the rest of our medical science didn't exist even as concepts yet.

And travel around the planet was vastly slower and less comfortable. TV didn't exist yet. etc.

We are discovering planets around other stars, routinely cross entire oceans in less than a day, have magic windows that let us view things happening thousands of km away and things that have happened in the past, and think nothing of drawing on vast stores of information from little boxes that we carry in a pocket (literally days of music at the touch of a finger). And yet we complain that our world is just so mundane and not at all futuristic.

Humans have a way of adapting to things and also new discoveries are often less exciting when you live though tthem.

Somthing to think about.


Messages In This Thread
Transhumanism: How do we know? - by Steel Accord - 12-07-2014, 05:05 PM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by Rynn - 12-07-2014, 09:17 PM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by Drashner1 - 12-08-2014, 01:46 AM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by Drashner1 - 12-12-2014, 01:23 PM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by rom65536 - 12-09-2014, 06:43 PM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by Drashner1 - 12-10-2014, 01:05 PM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by Drashner1 - 12-12-2014, 10:10 PM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by Dalex - 12-12-2014, 10:36 PM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by Drashner1 - 12-14-2014, 12:38 AM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by Drashner1 - 12-15-2014, 01:26 AM
RE: Transhumanism: How do we know? - by xsampa - 01-02-2015, 02:35 AM

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