I’ve… seen things… you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate… All those… moments… will be lost, in time, like tears… in… rain.”
– Roy Batty (Blade Runner)
“I’ve walked across the sun. I’ve seen events so tiny and so fast they hardly can be said to have occurred at all, but you… you are a man. And this world’s smartest man means no more to me than does its smartest termite.” – Dr. Manhattan (Watchmen)
The world is changed; we burned it,
Stone becomes steel; mind becomes energy,
We are running out of time,
The stars called and we answered
The concept of trying to analyse or discuss the notion of a posthuman mind is absurd.
I cannot fathom the mind of the organism that my genes will become.
Time, space, matter, psychology, society, morality, movement, culture, energy, individuality, perspective, gender, personality, relationships, communication, and scale. These concepts that define the boundaries of our existence may either be warped beyond our definition, changed to represent the worst or best of us, or become totally, and completely, irrelevant.
“…represents the death of the humanist subject: the qualities that make up that subject depend on a privileged position as a special, stand-alone entity that possesses unique characteristics that make it exceptional in the universe—characteristics such as unique and superior intellect to all other creatures, or a natural right to freedoms that do not accrue similarly to other animals. If the focus is on information as the essence of all intelligent systems, and materials and bodies are merely substrates that carry the all-important information of life, then there is no meaningful difference between humans and intelligent machines—or any other kind of intelligent system, such as animals. Or aliens. Or a collection of substances that form an (arguably) intelligent entity, such as a colony of bees, the ecosphere of a planet, a group of algorithms, a group of cellular automata (which a number of thinkers, believe constitute our universe), or a colony of cells (which is, after all, what a human body is). In other words, human exceptionalism is dead. And we face an era in which we have to come to terms with recognising ourselves as merely systems integrated with other systems.”
A posthuman is what can be defined as the next part of ourselves. One might assume this means a significant difference, and considerable evolutionary change, between them and us. A Posthumanist would disagree. The posthuman has removed the boundary conditions that are critical to the subsistence of the human psyche. Through merging, or becoming, technological intellects, or super intellects, this being would not exist as we do. A body would be merely fashion, distinctions of one person or another would be less tangible, or valid. The discrete and distinct difference between an organic mind and an artificial mind would be difficult if not impossible to determine. Humanism as a relevant philosophy would be completely redundant.
I go to sleep when it is dark because of an evolved response to hormonal triggers. This is absurd.
I go to work to earn money to pay for my house, my food, and my expenses.
This is absurd.
I use a clock to gauge the passage of time and make a reckoning of myself within that passage of time and measure against a task or event.
This is absurd.
I choose to become intimate with a man or a woman based on pre-determined sexual selection criteria. Criteria based on finding a fit mate and breeding.
This is absurd
I feel the ground is solid
I see the sky is blue
I feel sugar tastes sweet
I know what time it is
I use a toilet
I need protein in my diet
I use harmonic resonance against a substrate to produce sound for limited meaning based linguistic communication (I flap my meat to talk)
This is absurd.
This, in some specific ways, is terrifying. We have the power to adjust ourselves, we have the power to change ourselves. Soon we may develop quantum computing, soon we may see a technological singularity. The generation of a strong AI (simply), and the inevitable merging of that with human minds. The spike happens, and in a generation we pass into memory, c’mon nobody feels sorry about the neanderthal. The physical extinction of our species in the not to distant future is a real possibility.
Keep in mind I said Physical…
The universe does not care if you walk, skip or jump, annihilate the other tribe, drill for oil, cheat on your wife. The cells in your body don’t care if you don’t like opera, or prefer felt tip pens to ballpoint ones. The stars in the sky can’t read your thoughts, can’t know your name. Individual freedoms, free will, choice, materialism, spirituality, or politic ideation are concepts that exist in the framework of being human. Being human is all we know, all we can perceive, all we can detect. It colours everything, and the psychology of our evolved traits is omnipresent within us. The human condition, vulnerable and scared, lonely in the universe, noble and heroic in our plans and endeavors, cruel and irrational in our paths. If I said the sky isn’t blue, you would think me mad, but what would the universe be like if the sky not being blue was irrelevant to sky being every conceivable colour. I cannot imagine the way the post-technological singularity being will think, it is largely impossible. I am after all, only human
What if you weren’t anymore?
What if you could fly?
What if you aren’t a you anymore?