.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

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.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Jolting Your Neurons to Life: What We Can Learn from the Frankenstein Tradition...

Here's a response to my last post on stimulating (and thus enhancing) the brain using electrical currents, and my reply. My commentator -- we'll call him "Mason" -- remarked:
Recall always takes a back seat to understanding.

I say we focus on untapping our natural resources before we start wasting goolas of money on some elaborate contraption. The reason for this is that once we are able to unlock our own potential, we will be able to make much more advaced technology than what can be found in less advanced technology.

I answered...
Here's an alternative way of looking at the situation, Mason. Based upon the articles already out there, and the devices already being sold as consumer electronics, this research is already being done, and effective mind-enhancing technology already exists. And if we expand our awareness to include resources other than brain-stimulating electrical currents and pulsed magnetic fields, we find many other promising technologies, ranging from bio-feedback to "light and sound machines" to sensory deprivation tanks to even more exotic, non-invasive technologies.

And if you look at more invasive tools, there's more besides. Did you realize that a substantial percentage of today's college students use nootropic drugs to enhance their academic performance? Very crude nootropic drugs with serious side effects and limited benefits -- the kind of drugs most nootropic enthusiasts would never use, such as Ritalin?

I would suggest that if we're researching and developing the technology anyway, we should use it for ourselves, when and where practical. And thereby enhance our use of techniques such as Image Streaming, Borrowed Genius, Freenoting, Beachhead, Toolbuilder, Improvitaping, etc. If you're already using and have long since mastered those methods, then I salute you. But why not further leverage your gains? Why not then turn to Toolbuilder to develop more powerful resources?

That opportunity has been sitting here in front of all of us. Nothing prevents us from doing so, and those Project Renaissance protocols which aren't given away free online are easily available in Dr. Wenger's older books. (And most of the core techniques are included in his website's substantial "freebies.") So why wait?

And if you don't want to invest hundreds of dollars and any time whatsoever in checking out the very promising field of mindtech, but instead choose to do all the above "barebrained," then I salute you again. =)

Action, I believe, is the one factor missing from so much of the human enhancement field. We all seem to know "what must be done," or at least a very helpful sliver of what we should be doing, the first few steps on a very long journey, but somehow we never take those steps. Or else we take the first half-step, or shift our weight to take it... and then pause for years to congratulate ourselves on our great "progress" and never go any further.

How much debate is there over the benefits of healthful diet and better exercise? How much is there over the value of reading substantive and mind-expanding articles and books? How many "disciplines" do you know whose value is hardly up for debate, or whose effects could be tested in a matter of minutes? How much dispute is there, really, over the value of ceasing to endlessly ponder and talk about what we're planning to one day accomplish, and actually going out and accomplishing it?

I suggest, Mason, that it's you're expressed desire to do something that is most important here. I would encourage you to use the best tools you find readily at hand, but it's the decision to act, and act now, that is most critical. I suggest you give your own words weight, and do exactly what you say.

Time to blaze some trails. Good luck.

Mason asks:
Who is with me?

Whatever you may think of this reply, I am most definitely with you.
Yay or Nay!?

It may not be an either/or decision. =)

Bio, Mind, Noo, Soc
Future Imperative