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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.

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The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Cultist Advantage -- Plan, Soc

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Dr. Win Wenger responded to one comment in my earlier article Gene Therapy vs. the Genetic Superbaby. I had written "I feel the related problem with mind-enhancing tech could be relieved if the most powerful techniques that are also extremely easy to use are made widely available to the public. That won't prevent the brilliant, the disciplined or the obsessed from magnifying their relative mental advantages, but will allow for a wide-enough distribution of effective resources to prevent that gap from growing too wide, while also giving a gentle and rewarding-enough introduction to general society to encourage many people to explore their minds' potential further."

Dr. Wenger replied, "The temptation has always been with such tools as we have, especially in today's national and world conditions, to form some sort of semi-secretive order and exploit matters from there. I think we have to be as open as possible, as accessible with these tools as possible, (make) it a matter of record every minute so to speak that people who are not yet enjoying the benefits of these tools are that way by their own or someone else's choice and not ours, and that they can in the first minutes of becoming aware of these tools take personal and immediate advantage of them. Anything less than that, tempts fate to say the least."

And so I felt compelled to answer, "I think this policy of openness is definitely the way to go. There is one problem, however -- people often seem to do a better job of exploiting resources for their own personal gain, and sometimes being part of a small, self-interested group, motivates them more effectively. Whether that group is a small business, a research lab, a social clique or some kind of esoteric cabal (conspirators, martial artists, criminals, religious devotees, revolutionaries, mystic practitioners or secretive would-be orders devoted to the long term manipulation or dominance of mankind =) ).

"I think we need to harness that impulse in a positive way, or someone else will tap into it, for good or evil.

"It's rather like nuclear weapons, you see. For over half a century, we've had these weapons, and very few dangerous people have had access to them. And those that did were mainly interested in the status quo. But that situation is changing, and instead of whining about how dangerous things have become, we should be thankful that it's taken this long for the bad guys to get ahold of what is, after all, 1940s technology.

"Are we still going to be sitting on our duffs when bad folks realize they can self-train to become de facto superhumans? Not necessarily just terrorists, but ruthless corporate leaders, unscrupulous politicians, relentless generals, secret police, incautious scientists and inventors and so on and so forth? There are plenty of "honest jobs" that could be dangerous in the hands of someone with limited morals or restraint who could draw upon limitless intelligence (and possibly money, talent, people, political power and/or military force). Are you concerned by what these kinds of people could do if there were no one there to stop them? Then it's probably time to act. Unlike nuclear proliferation, we are unlikely to get such a lengthy "breather", if only because there are folks already working hard on human enhancement methods like nootropics and genetic modification. The "supermen" are coming. It's only a question of when and on what terms.

"I think we'd better shape those terms for the better."

Another poster commented, "There was a guy named Silva, who gave his carefully researched system of mind control/mental discipline to the US government (Truman's time I think). Who did nothing. Finally he took it back, put a high price tag on it and sold it to the public. Look how large the organization 'silva mind control method' has become (search on google for evidence))."

And while I could not speak to the historical veracity of this anecdote, I noted, "One point this story brings up is that Silva's organization now generates profits that enable it to attract more users. I think we may need to use this strategy in a distributed fashion -- small clubs, businesses, etc -- each working independently for their own benefit/goals. We sometimes forget that many dedicated, selfless volunteers actually see local benefits to the work they do -- safer or more tolerant communities for their kids, a healthier city environment, cleaner drinking water, fewer street people, etc -- in addition to whatever feelings of personal satisfaction may come from helping others.

"Harnessing people's energies so that improving human beings isn't a mere hobby or indulgence but a vital part of their lives, as a business, profession or development project will magnify the impact of this field. Once again, we come back to the simple fact that almost no one uses the vast riches available for their transformation. Getting people to do so seems to be the most critical overall goal before us. Well, getting people of at least reasonable morals to do so, anyway."

The lesson I draw from observations such as these is that fanatics, cultists and many other extremists will have an enormous advantage over most casual individual hobbyists, warm and fluffy self-development clubs or online discussion groups. Why? Because crazed fanatics can throw all their energies into a particular method or methods and work at them as if their lives depended on it. While ordinary dabblers tend to get distracted -- walking the dog, going to work, watching American Idol or Survivor... whatever.

Aside from disciplined military and paramilitary forces (which obviously do not always serve just and righteous governments) normal society has very few places where people will work on an arbitrary task with the kind of energy and willpower found in a group of zealots who have just been given an order by their Supreme Leader.

One reason I like to encourage people to employ accelerated learning and creativity enhancing methods in their work and businesses is because self-interested groups (such as a board of directors, or the R&D team at a large corporation) can form their own band of "extremists." Though in this case, motivated by extreme success, as witnessed by their own eyes, not ideology.

Future Imperative

8 Comments:

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January 28, 2006 9:56 AM  
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April 21, 2006 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Six Steps to Success
Throughout the centuries history tells of men and women with the midas touch, who achieved greatness against what seemed insurmountable odds. To some their successes appeared to be the result of blind luck, to others the reward for hard work, but the truth about the successes of men such as Andrew Carnagie and Henry Ford is much more interesting.
Success is a state of mind to which all people should aspire. Like many others you can unlock te gate to achievement and the fulfilment of yor personal desires. With the six steps outlined below anyone can arrive at a set destination, with the added advantage of renewed self-confidence and secure in the knowledge that every goal is attainable.
Step 1. Desire
The key factor involved in the process of achieving any desire lies in the response of one's mind to the objective. If a complacent attitude is apparent then there will be a lack of enthusiasm leading to failure or only half-success.
If a goal is to be reached determination is needed to carry set plans through to a successful conclusion. This determination must have enough mental 'weight' behind it to propel you forward onto the road of achievement. This mental state can only be instilled by one thing - desire!
As can be easily seen, when we look around us, it is this desire-force that has launched mankind on his frenzied zest for ever-new knowledge and has enabled him to push back the boundaries of science to never dreamed of achievement.
It is this same desire-force that must be used in our business and personal affairs if the success we seek is to materialize. It is not very hard to develop this kind of desire for all you have to do is go after what you really want - its that simple. With this desire you will have all the persistence you need to accomplish your goal. There is a great saying "you never fail until you give up"!
Take heed of what Napoleon Bonaparte said "What we ardently and constantly desire, we always get".
Step 2. Goals
If success is to come your must realise what is expected to materialize. This statement may seem obvious at first but if careful thought is given its meaning takes on deeper significance.
Many people fail to gain satisfactory results from their endeavours because they did not know what they wanted to accomplish in the first place. Your objective must not be hazy or incomplete. Before you reach your goal you must be able to identify how your life will be different when you achieve it. You must know exactly what it is that you want to achieve. How will your life be better/different? How will you feel? What way will you look? What situations will you find yourself in? Will other people in your life be effected and if so how will they react? You need a clear definite picture in your mind of what the attainment of your goal will mean to you.
Step 3. Belief
Belief is the back-up system of desire. It keep the fires of enthusiasm burning and makes us continually strive to get nearer the goal attainment. Faith can truly move mountains; the mountains of fear, inferiority, worry and low self esteem - 'the success killers'!
Once a goal is firmly fixed in mind and our desire-force is hurtling us toward seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the firm belief that we can gain a favourable outcome can spur us on to victory. When the mind has been manipulated to reflect this state, wonderful physical results can ensue, producing symptoms of success in our lives in every area imaginable.
Although many can attest to the power of belief and to the wondrous accomplishments that were achieved through nothing else except faith, it still remains that many individuals find it hard to believe that a positive outcome will be forthcoming when they are faced with momentous opposition. Whether the opposition is mental or physical the fact that nothing seems to be going right and everything seems to be wrong is enough for even the strongest of us to 'throw in the towel'. But it is in these very situations that faith can conquer all. Faith in yourself, what you are doing and belief that that your objective will be reached.
There are some who bemoan "easier said than done". This is exactly the kind of mental attitude that sustains the problems that they are trying to eradicate. If your belief power is not apparent, take hope for it can be acquired.
Each morning and night recite your intentions from a written list of your goals. Voice your belief in your own abilities. Tell yourself that in due course you will be successful. As you go about your daily affairs reflect as often as possible on your goals and affirm that they are yours now. Fool your mind into believing it and you will see your world reflect it!
Step 4. Plan
Having decided upon your goal and being determined to build your faith you need to give your desire-force a 'vehicle' through which it may materialize. This 'vehicle' will take the form of a definite plan of action.
Do you need to acquire certain skills? Do you need to know certain people or be in certain places to help you achieve your goal? Make a plan that will help you get closer to your end objective. Research your desires and get clear on what you need to do. Then do it!
Ensure that your plan is workable and realistic for you. Although your plan should remain flexible so that changes can be made when appropriate only make changes after careful consideration. Trial and error will eventually show the way to a good plan although you should be open to intuition also.
However, I should point out that, it is very likely your goal will materialize in a most unexpected way. The fact that you have set a plan for its accomplishment tends to set things in motion and like a chain reaction (or the butterfly effect) subtle changes made by you may cause dramatic changes elsewhere and your goal may come before your plan is completed.
Step 5. Visualization
Visualization is the art of creating mental movies of your completed goal. This has many beneficial effects upon your consciousness. Without going into the deeper esoteric benefits of using this art let me just say that you are truly designing your life when you use it. It has one other major benefit - it strengthens your desire and persistence because you momentarily experience the thrill of having achieved your goal!
Just form a mental picture of having achieved your goal. See what you will see. Feel how wonderful it will be. See how it effects everyone around you. Hear people congratulate you. When this state is experienced nothing will stop you in your quest for your objective and thus your belief-power will also be reinforced.
Step 6. The Subconscious Mind
It is within the subconscious part of your mind that you hold all th positive and negative beliefs about yourself - your self-image. These beliefs are reflected back to you in the form of attitudes. Therefore it is from the subconscious mind that the thought of failure or success comes.
Attitudes are just mental programs and so is your self-image. They can easily be changed (yes I said 'easily'). Any attitude or belief can be changed by using the formula outlined in this article - by combining affirmations with visualization. Henry Ford used it, as did Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Arnold Swatzeneger. It is reported in some circles that a similar technique was employed by Bill Gates to build his global empire. Andrew Carnegie used it exactly as described to attain and give away multi-millions even though he was an unschooled manual worker when he started it. Carnegie's legacy can still be seen today when you freely borrow a book from any Carnegie library of which there are thousands.
If you use these six steps there is nothing you cannot achieve. Luckily we have the advantage of living in the Twentieth Century with all its new technology and innovations such as hypnosis and subliminal programming. Use these steps in conjunction with your favourite personal development system and you are assured success. self-hypnosis

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