Transhumanism as a movement is interested in enhancing the human condition and the lives of humans with man-made technologies. In previous posts, I discussed some radical examples.LED lights under the skin, RFID chips – one artist even had a camera attached to his head to turn colours into sounds.Technologies like these make transhumanism seem scary and confronting to others.
But transhumanism covers so much more than just implanted cameras and creepy glasses. That cup of coffee or can of energy drink you grab in the morning, the prescription medication you take with breakfast, even the clothes on your back are all examples of man-made technologies that improve human life and allow us to operate on a higher level, live longer than imagined by societies of the past.
In my last blog, I said I wanted to understand the day-to-day of transhumanism. It was this article that made me realise I am living the experience every day, alongside most of the women I know. A while ago, I was implanted with a tiny piece of technology that allows me to control my biological functions to improve my life – an IUD. Whether it’s the pill, the Implanon or an IUD, most girls I know have been hacking their bodies since their teens. My brother, who has a Ritalin prescription for ADHD, has been hacking his body since he was a child.
Transhumanism aims to improve the human condition through “genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, anti-aging therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information management tools, memory enhancing drugs, wearable computers, and cognitive techniques” (Bostrom, 2003, 2)
Most people are already living the H+ lifestyle. In fact, we couldn’t imagine our lives without some technologies. The idea of creating solutions to the inefficiencies of the human experience is as old as the wheel, and transhumanism is here. The future approaches, and the biggest decision we have to make is how much we want to freak out about it.
Bostrom, N. 2003. The Transhumanist FAQ, v. 2.1. Oxford: World Transhumanist Association
By User:Ash (Own work) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Gene therapy image