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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, October 29, 2007

Time Is Short -- In More Ways than One

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The following came out of a conversation I was contributing to on the World Transhumanist Association listserv regarding accelerating rates of change...

The real problem is that so many things are rushing to a climax at breathtaking speed. On global warming, so many of the so-called pessimists are still talking about major changes happening in a century, or half a century, or in a decade or two, and meanwhile dozens of U.S. cities have less than a hundred days of water of left in their reserves and methane (22.6 times as powerful a greenhouse gas as CO2) is bubbling out of Russian, Canadian and Alaskan lakes, one of several accelerating factors threatening a runaway global meltdown. Agriculture has been taking massive hits, worldwide, though commentators like to blame some of the shortages on ethanol production rather than intense, multi-year droughts such as the one expanding from its base in America's Southeast and Southwest (one reason for the water shortages in New Jersey) and also assailing agricultural exporters like Australia, even as massive flooding hits other regions.

On the other hand, something as prosaic as a last-gasp attack on Iran could close the Strait of Hormuz (see supersonic Sunburn missles), collapse world oil supplies, and bring on an energy crisis for which we are all-but-unprepared.

With regards to intelligence augmentation, our main question, barring colossal disaster (see above) is which field or combination of fields will make dramatic breakthroughs first, and how soon. Because of the very real threats now breathing down our necks, a race is on, and it doesn't require any rogue nanotechnology or AIs to pose a grave or even existential threat to our survival. Fortunately, the weather and, even more obviously, the availability of clean water for drinking, cleaning, cooking and other uses are such overwhelming issues when they come to a head that many people are starting to focus on them as real concerns that can't just be put aside for 'more important things.' We have to settle at least the most dramatic threats, or die.

Unless of course you have uploaded, and can survive without drinking water or the grid. In which case, good for you. =)

Future Imperative

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