The other day I heard an interview with David Pearce, who’s got to be my favourite Transhumanist philosopher. Pearce offered this short definition of transhumanism: >Technical solutions to ethical problems<
Although this definition is reflected in the name of what is probably the leading transhumanist think-tank, The Institue for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, I find it somewhat misleading and / or too narrow. Transhumanism to me, is all about existential problems, e.g. Life sucks.., and then you die.., and ethics, although not to be ignored, is “only”, let’s say, a subcategory… - Death, for instance, is very much an existential problem, but hardly an ethical problem.., and death, I believe, is the quint-essential transhumanist problem to be solved, reflected in the labelling of transhumanists as the people who don’t want to die..
As for “technical” solutions, I’d again prefer the broader term scientific, e.g. technical, biological, genetic, even psychological..
Transhumanism, then, is >Scientific solutions to existential problems<
As for Life sucks.., – well, actually it doesn’t Not for me personally, anyway. Don’t get me wrong, – I have plenty to complain about, probably more than you care to hear about, but perhaps you’ve heard that Danes are the happiest people on this planet.., – and yes, you can count me within those ranks
No, I ain’t smart.. enough.., – I don’t understand, for instance, how Time may be an emergent function of quantum entanglement, or an illusion altogether..
I ain’t pretty, prosperous, and energetic enough, and I ain’t as young as I used to be, but I’m happily married to a.. foxy lady.., with whom I have two wonderful children, a boy and a girl who are both doing great. I live in a peaceful town in a nice house, – nothing fancy, but spacious, quiet and cozy. I’m in perfect health, – (well.. maybe not perfect..), - take no pills of any kind, am allergic to nothing, save lousy music and obnoxious characters perhaps.., – and believe it or not: Not once was I in need of antibiotic agents, e.g. penicillin. I do suffer an occasional outbreak of cold-sores, but that is as bad as it gets, and all in all I am actually one lucky son of a..
Yet, – and you do want to hear about my complaints you say.., – I am not really content, and.., let’s face it.. life does suck..
About three years ago, I wrote:
I intend(ed) this blog to be a tool for exploring “the ontological status of the mind / Self“, - Existence as such“, – the “Ding an-sich“, – the “ghost-in-the-machine /beyond the machine“..
Intended.. - Well, – that is still my intention, my objective, but.. I don’t seem to ever really getting down to it. I did write a couple of good articles, the best probably being Did the Universe evolve the “Blue Brain Project” to become aware of itself ?, but.. illusion or not.., – time flies, and then there’s this most annoying inner voice that keeps whispering: “Joern, you just don’t have sufficient brain-power, and have insufficient knowledge to grasp the deepest (meta)physical questions, – only the very brightest with the best (natural sciences) educations from the best universities have a chance to move beyond mere speculation..”
Granted, not even the brightest physicists have “concocted” a plausible Theory-of Everything, or found decisive answers to existential problems, but I thought a little humbleness on my part was in order.., which is not to say I intend to quit speculating ! – I hope to “escape” contemplation mode.. soon, and hopefully post some.. if not outright mind-blowing stuff.., – then at least something worth reading..
To finish this on a light note, – and apropos “solutions” to existential problems.., – here’s what a friend posted on Facebook the other day. I thought it was hilarious, and I laughed my a.. off.