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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.


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.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Poll (Humor): How to Spend $5 Million to Become Superhuman -- Part IV -- Body, Easy, Hum, Mind, Plan, Psych, Self, $$$

For those just joining this thread, I've asked the question "If you had (an extra) $5 million to spend to make yourself into a superhuman being, what kind of plan would you come up with? What would you do to transform yourself, and how would you like to be transformed?" (That's the essence of the question, anyway.)

The sad thing about this question is that most people would never consider becoming superhuman (in any respect -- spiritually, mentally, physically, "skillfully," etc) to be an option in the first place. Even if they had a spare $5 million and a couple years to spend on the project. I'm asking in part because looking at this as a likely reality -- something that could be potentially, and maybe even realistically achieved using any one of dozen plans -- is a very big difference from seeing it as an impossible dream. In the one case you'll have your eyes open to the options in front of you. In the other, you'll be closing them to ideas that are somehow always impractical, frivolous or mad.

So here I'm listing some options for your consideration. Please note that I don't claim to be an expert in every field that might be relevant to this question. I simply dredged up options that most people would never consider -- that most people wouldn't even realize were on the table.

Today, we're looking at technologies designed to directly enhance the mind. If any of this sparks some ideas about how you could improve your own life (maybe even before you get your $5 million), well then, so be it.


Acquire brain boosting devices and use them, including...
...floatation tanks. http://www.cyberfloat.clara.net/1.html The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea by Michael Hutchison

...biofeedback devices. http://www.toolsforwellness.com/biofeedback-machines.html
...meditation states induced by audio tracks that drive brainwave patterns (through binaural beats, etc). https://www.centerpointe.com
...brainwave driving devices such as Cranial Electro-Stimulation (CES)). http://www.toolsforwellness.com/ces.html
...brainwave driving devices using photic and auditory stimulation. http://www.toolsforwellness.com/light-sound-machines.html
...ganzfelds. http://brain.web-us.com/ganzfeld.htm
...neurophones. http://www.toolsforwellness.com/neurophone.html
...blasting my brain with powerful electromagnetic fields, hoping to temporarily knock out parts of it and thus develop savant-like abilities. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/22/magazine/22SAVANT.html?ex=1097640000&en=72c5f06f8e0d7d37&ei=5070
...Not to mention all those varieties of self-hypnosis out there... http://www.wendi.com (For example...)
...use self-hypnosis to help me build up my muscles. http://www.wendi.com/html/body_building.html
...use self-hypnosis to help me lose weight. http://www.wendi.com/thin/html/appetite_zapper.html http://www.wendi.com/thin/
...use self-hypnosis to help me stop drinking (alcohol). http://www.wendi.com/html/alcohol_freedom.html
...use self-hypnosis to help me stop smoking. http://www.wendi.com/html/quit_smoking.html
...use self-hypnosis to become a dedicated, enthusiastic exerciser. https://secure5.nexternal.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=wendi&BusType=BtoC&Count1=249981105&Count2=167121529&Target=products%2Easp&ProductID=417
...use self-hypnosis to help me kick addictive habits. https://secure9.nexternal.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=wendi&BusType=BtoC&Count1=791729152&Count2=708869576&Target=products%2Easp&ProductID=451
...use self-hypnosis to help me beat depression. https://secure5.nexternal.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=wendi&BusType=BtoC&Count1=261303126&Count2=178443551&Target=products%2Easp&ProductID=457
...use self-hypnosis to help me become more musically talented. https://secure1.nexternal.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=wendi&BusType=BtoC&Count1=576793849&Count2=493934273&Target=products%2Easp&ProductID=497
...use self-hypnosis to help me grow taller. http://www.wendi.com/html/height_increase.html
...use self-hypnosis to help me enhance my intelligence and sharpen my memory. http://www.wendi.com/html/memory_magic.html
...use self-hypnosis to help me improve my eyesight. http://www.wendi.com/html/eyesight_.html

Future Imperative

Friday, March 25, 2005

Image Streaming -- A Technique Review -- AL, CPS, Easy, Psych, Review, Self

A classic method for increasing your basic intelligence -- defined as the level of resources you can muster in order to deal with the problems in front of you -- Image Streaming is a powerful technique. I personally have found that engaging in about ten minutes of this exercise a day leaves me feeling much sharper and more effective. Doing ten minutes a day for several days seems to have an even more pronounced effect -- I find my senses sharpened in a very peculiar fashion, particularly my sense of sight. I don't so much experience a dramatic improvement in the physical sense as I do in my awareness of what is in front of me. I am so utterly aware of objects in front of me that I am actually aware of them moving independently... in different positions at different speeds in the overall scene as I move, even slightly, and my point of view shifts.

Imagine taking in such details automatically, with no particular effort or added attentiveness. Imagine just making yourself that much smarter, on a number of levels, with a very small expenditure of your time. What is particularly scary is that I haven't actually tried one of Dr. Wenger's more advanced applications of basic Image Streaming -- Beachhead, his method for developing inventions. Nevertheless, I've found myself becoming increasingly more inventive as I have used his basic tools like Image Streaming and Freenoting, and have reached levels in the past where I was essentially inventing new designs and new innovations spontaneously. I believe Image Streaming is a powerful technique for enhancing fundamental human intelligence and creativity. And the whole technique is given away free right here: http://www.winwenger.com/imstream.htm

In a nutshell, without the various backup procedures and optional applications discussed on the site, Image Streaming can be summed up (by Dr. Wenger in The Einstein Factor) like this:

"The procedure of Image Streaming is deceptively simple. You sit back in a comfortable chair, close your eyes, and describe aloud the flow of mental images through your mind. Three factors are absolutely crucial. I call them the Three Commandments of Image Streaming:

"1. You must describe the images aloud, either to another person or to a tape recorder. Describing them silently will defeat the purpose of the exercise.

"2. You must use all five senses in your descriptions. If you see a snow-covered mountain, for example, don't just describe how it looks. Desribe its taste, its texture, its smell, and the sound of wind howling across its peak.

"3. Phrase all your descriptions in the present tense."

The technique requires nothing more than either a tape recorder or a live partner to listen to your descriptions (the preferred option). Dr. Wenger suggests a simple "Ten/Ten Test." If, after Image Streaming for ten minutes a day for ten days, "you don't find your life positively and miraculously transformed, then ignore everything we've said and do something else instead. But if you do find Socratic and other miracles happening in your life, please do continue the practice of Image-Streaming: no matter how good things become, they can become even better for you! — Fair test?"
While Dr. Wenger has several more advanced versions of this technique (for solving intractable problems, developing inventions, acquiring the skills of a genius, etc), he gives away all of the major, widely known variants on his website at: http://www.winwenger.com/
And in particular, at:
While perhaps not the wisest commercial move for someone whose books tend to focus on these core methods, Dr. Wenger, in my experience (and I do know this gentleman) is motivated by a sincere desire to get valuable resources out to the public where they can do immediate good in helping people's lives. So, please, take this chance to improve your own. The technique takes very little time to "learn" -- it involves little besides closing your eyes, and describing as directed to a recorder or live listener. Most of us can handle ten minutes of such vigorous "exercise." Especially if we make a point of keeping it up for that ten-day test.
Dr. Wenger's best known book on Image Streaming is probably The Einstein Factor. He also has an audio release by the same name, in which he guides you through Image Streaming, including problem-solving, inventing, developing genius skills, etc.

Future Imperative

Poll (Humor): How to Spend $5 Million to Become Superhuman -- Part III -- AL, CPS, Easy, Hum, MA, Plan, Self, $$$

So how are you going to call yourself a superguy/gal (in the classic sense) if you can't hop from building to building, whip up implausible supertech from scratch (or scrap) and become an unparalleled expert on dozens of obscure subjects ( "Iocane powder. I'd know it anywhere!"). In order to pull off feats like these, you're going to need an edge. Actually, several.

So let's do what we have to, my fellow not-quite-superbeings... and "cheat." =)

Your choices are...

Practice superskills like...

...freerunning. So I can get around the city’s obstacles and rooftops like Batman. Hopefully. (“Aaaahhhh!!!!” )

...superinvention. To invent all that supertech that superheroes have access to.

...superfast learning. Including...



...amazing speed reading. To keep up with all that information superguys/gals are supposed to stay on top of.

...amazing PhotoReading (more controversial).

...borrowing the skills of a genius in order to learn them, through Borrowed Genius.

...creating even better accelerated learning tools than have ever been devised, using Toolbuilder.

...lots of creativity boosting/problem solving tricks. Including...


...tapping my unnoticed “sidebands of perception.”

...using Lateral Thinking to break out of my mental ruts.
Lateral Thinking : Creativity Step by Step by Edward de Bono

Future Imperative

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Poll (Humor): How to Spend $5 Million to Become Superhuman -- Part II -- Bio, Body, Dark, Easy, Hum, MA, Noo, Plan, Self, Soc, $$$

Practice my own radical fitness routine, including...

...um, normal weightlifting.

...err, eat right, I guess.

...maybe jog?

...take lots of vitamins, supplements, etc.

...consume lots of protein drinks and stuff. If they taste good. (See EAS’s strawberry “Myoplex” shake. And not much else.)

...take so many steroids my granddaughters will have muscles!

...the Body-for-Life plan (weights/resistance, cardio and diet).

...Static Contraction training (weightlifting method).

...the fill-in-your-diet-here plan.

...the fill-in-your-exercise-regimen-here plan.

...the figure-it-out-as-I-go-along plan.

...also see self-hypnosis, later in this series...

Use nootropics (brain-enhancing substances) by...

...just taking a few vitamins believed to be helpful to the brain.

…taking nootropic nutrients and vitamins only.

…taking nootropic nutrients and drugs.

…taking any and every drug or nutrient I think might help me. (“Why is the room swimming?” =) )

Study the martial arts and...

...learn how to more effectively harness the resources of my body and mind.

...learn to defend myself effectively.

...learn to pound my enemies into the dirt. I have issues.

...earn a black belt in something intimidating.

...earn several black belts in something intimidating.

...earn several black belts in each of several different martial arts.