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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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Short on Ideas -- Bio, Soc

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An article in the times discusses a study undermining the idea that unusually short people are somehow disadvantaged in other people's perceptions or in ordinary social interactions. The reason this study is so critical is that particularly short children who do not have growth hormone deficiency are nonetheless given growth hormone to stimulate their growth by "an inch or two."

Oddly enough, whatever the outcome of this particular debate, it foreshadows the discussions people in advanced nations will soon be having with regards to other basic, enhanceable characteristics. You can debate whether or not height is that critical of an attribute for a normal or exceptional life, but how about intelligence? A strong immune system? Exceptional muscular strength or cardiovascular health? The capacity to regenerate from virtually any wound?

Which of these is truly critical to living the best of all possible lives (assuming that is even our goal)? Which components of each of these (such as memory or creativity for intelligence) are definitely necessary and which are extraneous or just "nice to have?" These are questions worth mulling over. What is surprising is how quickly the mainstream press is beginning to wrestle with issues that were once barely even worth a moment's consideration.


Future Imperative

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