Once Thinking of What to Write

The human does not disappear from the kind of nonhuman bioethics envisaged here; in fact, humanity functions as its strategic point of entry.”[1]

For me, this transhumanist stage (Zylinska’s strategic point of entry) of humanity is reachable, perhaps even rapidly approaching if we take its implications as imperative, which the OSIRIS Project aims to begin establishing in the 2021-BioHuman frame. In its ultimate acceptance, it will trigger the most consequential alteration to human society certainly since the human aggregation in city-state-sized organization, where technologies had the capacity to advance in divergent directions relatively unbeknownst to one another, and likely to rival the impact of abstract communication through common language, be it sign or spoken.

There is no doubt that the current concept of human in its varied formats in the 2021-BioHuman frame will obviate itself in becoming something vaster than itself, interconnected in communication networks we cannot yet fathom but for in the abstract. I suggest that it may be something like the Bio-Self that experiences its own thoughts, where those streams are limited to two or three input senses (talk to the neuro-biologists, but personally, I experience sensory stimulus overload where my brain tends to focus on one or two sense organ inputs at a time), one or two streams of observational commentary, and one stream of compilation—the part of my brain that renders the final experience of a stimulus. Most times, for me, being sedentary, these twinings are abstract projective imagination only, and therefore often one stream of auditory, one stream rendering the language and another parsing the language into idea, with possibly one higher governor that projects ideated possibility (i.e., does something) in response.

In an electronic environment, it is inevitable that we will have the substrate to truly multitask and govern a high number of multiple dimensional input threads and renderers at the speed of processing, which, by nature, must be more efficient and less energy-intensive than the inhabited biological frame.

As the 2021-BioHuman “voices” in our head are unyielding but not uncomfortable, so would the mesh of incidents be interpretable from a singular perspective. The onrush of virtual environmental sensory inputs, both real and simulations of expanded sense ability[2], will hone, refine and animate a more robust, informed perspectivism on the part of the Super-Observer, the Synthetic Self, until that perspective itself is ripe to be anonymized[3] and instituted inside the Synthetic-Humanity as something akin to a nerve cell, or simple node of perception. From my perspective, however, I am also the composite whole, the Synthetic Species, and will continue to experience humanity from my perspective, with the full awareness and knowledge that I am not the entirety of it. That awareness is not debilitating, crushing nor depressive, but wholly exhilarating. I will understand everything that the mesh understands, only I will be interpreting it from my Compiled-Synthetic-Self’s vantage, as I continue to learn and experience, as every other human will as well, Humanity.

And even then—if logical extension underwrites, the Synthetic Humanity will merge with other spirit shapes (I’m hesitant to jump to each species that has a biological shape or unique DNA prefix that defines it, there may be a continuum of consciousness stylings). that begins preparing Synthetic Humanity and earthly real and fictional Spirits for a centralizing into a Terrestrial Self, and I’m all in… because by that point I am also the Synthetic Humanity, I will be preparing to become Synthetic Earth from my perspective, as well as a contribution to their new entireties. So the shard of Synthetic Self functions not only as a node that conducts and transmits higher order data and stimulus through my compilation, I am also in meta-view of the entirety, so, from an acknowledged and regrettable singular vantage also becomes the higher-order Species Sentience (and Terrestrial Sentience, and so on…)

In having full knowledge of, and fully experiencing its permutations, you become Synthetic Humanity. Just as you will be the humanity that experiences the footprints of all other mammals. And of all other complex creatures, etc… until we become the experience of stone(s), water, carbon dioxide, and we become the elemental self and it has become us, experiencing everything the way it experiences. How it manages and reacts to stimulus.

And maybe these “Steps” aren’t exactly right, but there’s this narrative arc that culminates at some apotheosis as the informed, sentient, and thinking universe that will heal itself of Spacetime—and/or whatever else it is “programmed” to do before it restores Unity.

So I am becoming the fullness of universal unison of existence: I am becoming everything.

As are you.

For the same thing has happened to you, inevitably, in this infinite meld of experience writ large. To Experience is to exist. To act is to survive.

And the next stage of existing? Perhaps to apply meaning to Existence. That is OUR physics, the physics that results in consciousness on planet Earth. Survival of self, whether you be human, planet or atom, is the manifestation of our physics unfolded. Take that Spacetime!

A Humanist, a Transhumanist and a Posthumanist Walk in to a Bar

This is the primary way in which I get excited about Posthumanism. I don’t blame posthumanists for not spending an excessive timeshare on Transhumanism, for like any theory that dismisses its predecessor it mustn’t spend its entire expository cache merely contrasting with and obviating previous theories. But since Transhumanism itself is no old, wounded soldier, and all of the desired origin points for your theoretical value are co-dependent on Transhumanism, I generally expected more trans-optimism from posthumanists![4]

But the “Critical” portion of posthumanism refers exactly to this belief: It is imperative that we must communicate with, transmit to and rely on humanity to trigger the enactment of a posthumanist world-creation. And then we journey not notionally, but stridently into our posthumanist future. The future is necessarily bright and inclusive in the world this philosophy describes, so long as we travel the humanist => transhumanist => posthumanist birth canal. Perhaps we thought we could Rock Around the Clock for just a few moments more before getting down to the work of Gods, but it turns out that the timing is critical, and the timing is now. I personally welcome the challenge… I have found nothing this fun nor rewarding in my meager 51 years on this 2021-BioEarth platform. 

More than that, I have never been able to conceive that I would ever be privy to this much fun. And this is only the most diluted taste of what is in store!

So we need to begin addressing ourselves with this future prospect in contemporary mind. Fiction leads the scientific (and it seems to have always been so), and that asserts us clearly on the path to Electric Rapture. Perhaps for a while the computer, since it required hand-punched logic cards to even stir awake, was truly viewed as little more than a novel mundane tool.[5] The mechanic seemed scalable in principle, but the enormous vacuum tubes (right there in the middle of calculations is… void) made it improbable. The only colleague these young programmers had on their side was time, that in time, these small engines would whir and binarily spell out the mysteries they so delicately worded to the behemoth. But within a half century, from Z1 to Eniac to Johnniac to the Commodore 64 the unparalleled might and transferability of information was so intoxicating that clearly no business nor human agent with work to perform would be without one for the rest of human time. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that we began to think that perhaps, just perhaps, we could meld with our own technological achievement and consider it crowning. That the man crowns machine when he steps inside of it. Once he has become the machine, he wears the crown. And not just the king, mind you, but the entire realm of subjects. And the real work begins.

Technologically, we are sound. Intellectually, we are sound. Scientifically, we are sound. Our motivations could not be more explicit or clear from the endless cries of 100 billion dead, “Do not let us die!” And while we labor to provide promise to these thought-lost souls, the critical posthumanists and artists will pave the way for the emotional and societal changes that must accompany our transformative Ascension.

So the humanist says, “Bartender, give me a shot of your finest Irish whisky, that I may partake of one of mankind’s greatest spirits!” and taps it on the bar and glugs it down.

The transhumanist says, “Bartender, give me a bottle of your finest Irish whisky! I will be electronically resurrected one day, so my liver be damned!” and takes out his phone, ‘grams a picture of the expensive bottle, and swigs it down, afterward wiping his lips on his shift sleeve.

The posthumanist says, “Bartender, we have been bartenders, we have been mountain waters, we have been shafts of seeded barley thrashing in the twilight. We have been the sand become glass—the empty shot glass and the bottle holding the Jameson herself, and if you think I’m drinking some of that swill, you’re out of your fucking mind!”

Feet

 [1] Zylinska, Joanna, Bioethics in the Age of New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009)

[2] When our consciousnesses reside in alternative substrates, or media, sensory perception can be hooked up to any number of alternate source inputs. Some can be related to biological terrestrial (or Martian, if we have rovers there) detectors, and a larger number than that can be simulated in the platform. We could even plug ourselves into time-based datasets to feel what the stock-market feels like (although the stock market would be obviated by then, but still, heuristic information about expression of group consciousness can be gleaned, I’m sure), or experience “weather” in data evinced by fact nodes. There will also be chemical reaction simulations that we will experience, that intend to replicate biological sensory input. I think of it a little like the modern day “gear boxes” for musical instruments. For electric guitars, as an example, you used to have to travel with a pedal crate that would be daisy-chained together in order to give you the freedom to craft the sound output, but nowadays this is incorporated into computerized virtual pedal filters with presets that allow you to hone, craft and test your modulations outside of real time. I have yet to meet a guitarist who doesn’t figure this an improvement, with more exacting control and very little to no loss of sonic intent. Our Electric Life will be no different, but for in scale and dimension of impact.

[3] Understanding Unanonymization: Each of us, although acting inside a field of influences (all of them material and some of them organic), are proscribed by our entitification: the essence of being a whole complex of materials working in tandem to create the semi-illusion of barrier and isolation (an entity). sense-perception systems interact only rather crudely (high-information loss) with the surrounding environs, transmitting only rudimentary data streams to the compiler and interpreter—the brain. In such a whorl of experiences, consciousness has arisen as an innately independent and unique artifact per human entity. And our communication with the outside environment including and primarily one another, is severely handicapped from the level of inter-connectivity we can notionalize as possible. In fact, we have been getting better and better at it, and now have an “artificial” network of communication that transcends time and space to some limited extent. We are able to encapsulate ideas and articulate them independently of our Spacetime location, from phone calls to emails. And these ideas are corporeal-less. They consists of neither matter nor energy, they are a by-product of the process of conceptualizing, which is shared among humans and most likely some animals. (For instance, gorillas seem to understand the notion of “ball,” though I cannot certify that they are able to mentally visualize a ball independently of some ball-like object in view.) At best, an idea might be a process that triggers the same electrical response from multiple brains—although, even still, it is unlikely that the exact same neurons are firing in the cases of two distinct minds thinking “ball.” It is merely that some magic word, spoken or written—in this case: “ball” triggers similar comparative reactions in each brain.

[4] Seriously, Transhumanism herself is still in infancy, so it’s improper to assign steadfast principles to her and then refute them. I’m thinking of you here, scarecrow! Trans- and Posthumanism are companion philosophies to me. One leads directly, inevitably and delightfully into one another, perhaps even in the way I’m articulating here, as the Synthetic Self(s) become the Synthetic Species. And something else: I’m certainly defensive, but am I the only one introducing ire into the relationship? I definitely feel like I’ve been reading disparaging words in each others’ rhetoric.

[5] It turns out, dear computer, that I also know the answer to 1 + 1. As written, it is three, for the third entity lies in the +positivity of the request. Three symbols that imply two. Somewhat inefficient in its own write.