"No longer human . . ."

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Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
"No longer human . . ."

I've heard this phrase tossed around in some science fiction when concerning transhumanism. The Omar from Deus Ex: Invisible War and the Jove of EVE Online just to name two. Even the Exhuman and Posthuman factions in Eclipse Phase count.

Almost all of these portrayals show almost morphological backlash and are not very positive in their viewing's on the subject. This leads me to ask, if or when such technology becomes available to us, should we strive to retain the rough basics of human shape and behavioral modes?

Is our basic cooperation, communication, and coexistence part of what allows us to become more; or are they just another set of evolution's shackles to keep or throw off as we see fit?

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Steel Accord wrote:This leads

Steel Accord wrote:
This leads me to ask, if or when such technology becomes available to us, should we strive to retain the rough basics of human shape and behavioral modes?

Is our basic cooperation, communication, and coexistence part of what allows us to become more; or are they just another set of evolution's shackles to keep or throw off as we see fit?

I think it is pretty obvious that cooperation, communication and forming working societies is essential for human enhancement, simply because we need division of labour, group problem solving and so on. Being unable to do it would make an individual very weak.

In order to cooperate we have various tricks like common behavioural modes, which make cooperation work even when people cannot solve iterated prisoners' dilemmas in their heads or hash out ironclad contracts. So I would predict enhancements that impaired these tricks would weaken the individual: it would have a harder time benefiting from human society, outside of very formal situations where the other methods for establishing cooperation works.

Human shape might be far less important: if you can project a smile in AR although you are in a spider body it might work. But you need to convey a gratitude signal in order to be part of the cooperative framework.

Extropian

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Interesting point

You're right in that not being able to deal and trade with others would weaken the individual.

But is a human mind the only one capable of cooperation? On a basic level, of course not. Many animals cooperate with each other all the time. But obviously you meant on a more sophisticated level.

Perhaps that's why the Exhumans are so disparate and are more of a categorization than an organization. Their minds have been so removed from even the basics of inter-individual interaction that they can't so much as form an appropriate threat.

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Yes, exhumans likely ditch a

Yes, exhumans likely ditch a lot of "useless" baggage, accidentally or deliberately losing social connection. There are people like that. But today, they usually cannot go very far from humanity. Exhumans on the other hand may change themselves enough that the change is more or less irreversible (sure, physically it might be possible to undo, but once you have rewritten your social modules you no longer see a good reason to do it).

Extropian