This is my first post ever. Bear with me while I literally riff and see what happens!
I’ve been questioning all my life, never finding answers but more questions. I’ve never really settled on any one perspective, viewpoint, dogma, whatever you want to call it…but some, what I’d call “fundamentals” (notice I am avoiding the “T” word) have emerged in all this questioning over the years:
- Transhumanism makes the most sense regarding who we are and where we are going: technology has and will continue to improve our world and is now entering a period where it will be used to actually improve and modify our very own nature. We should embrace this, albeit doing so with much forethought, rather than running away from it due to fear and paranoia.
- Nature wants you dead! So quit worshipping nature as if “the natural” has some inviolate, sacrosanct status. We CAN and SHOULD overcome certain aspects of nature that need to be overcome, including things such as disease, aging, and even perhaps death. This to me is one of the most important tenets of transhumanism.
- On the other hand, let’s not trash the planet. We should do everything in our power to make the world around us a better place, and one aspect of this is to stop messing up the planet. We live here…let’s take care of our home.
- Abundant examples of Peter Diamandis’ “6 Ds” are all around us now and it nothing short of fascinating to watch unfold (digitization, deception, disruption, demonetization, dematerialization, democratization). Looking here at the iPad on the desk next to me: can you imagine showing this to my 1980s counterpart? Walkman, movie player, video camcorder, audio voice records, literally 1,000s of books at my disposal on the Kindle app, etc., all of which are now dematerialized onto this one single small device. Imagine similar wondrous things that my 2030s counterpart will witness!
- I love life…because of this, I want to extend it as much as the laws of physics will allow, which is why I am a big fan and supporter of life extension projects such as the Longevity Cookbook (list a few more).
- Because I love life, I also seek to try to protect and preserve the lives of others…and yes, this extends to non-human animals as much as possible. This is why I choose to be a vegetarian, and also explains my predilection for refusing to kill spiders, ants, and other pests that may wander into our house. I always seek to put them outside where they belong.
- We are our network. There is no true self awaiting self-actualization, realization, etc. Instead we are who we interact with. One of the many things that haunted me about humans in my younger days was how quickly people changed when they changed company. In my military days I remember former friends who, once they donned Sergeant stripes, became (from my perspective) completely different individuals, and many, unfortunately, downright nasty and brutish and quite unlike they were when they were of lower ranks. Then when I went off to college, took a few psychology classes, and saw this repeated even more frighteningly in Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment. But it wasn’t until very recently, after I realized that there is no true self and that we are who we interact with, that all of this made sense. All the more reason to:
- Watch the company you keep: stick with those who motivate you to higher heights and who are inspiring and motivating and exude positivity rather than its opposite. There are just too many negative people in the world today; this needs to change!
- I seek to continually self-improve every day, both mentally, physically, and emotionally. Therefore, every day I am engaged in various forms of auto-didactic activity, diet, and exercise, from studying machine learning, Python programming, GPU programming, to doing yoga and kettlebell workouts, to meditation and nootropics. I am in a state of “permanent beta”, constantly refining myself, with my motto being: keep going, keep growing.
- We humans tend to overestimate ourselves by deluding ourselves into thinking that, because we have “consciousness”, and consciousness is some spooky, mysterious thing, that we are somehow “special.” For the most part, we ARE meat machines, and the vast majority of us pretty much might as well be robots, since most people never even reflect upon what they are doing and why they do what they do…instead they just follow along and do what others are doing and telling them to do. Self-reflection is possible, but unfortunately it tends all too often to convince us that we are anything but robotic meat machines.
- However, self-reflection IS a great gift and I marvel at how we are the one species on this planet that CAN look out there on this vast and wondrous cosmos and simply contemplate it. Imagine that the vastness of the cosmos can be contemplated by this 3 pound block of grey-goo in our skulls. That IS amazing to think about. OK, so there is one sense in which we humans really are special! However, this does not somehow negate the fact that we are still meat machines and that all that circuitry in our brains is nothing more than that.
That’s all for now….until next time!
Keep going, keep growing!