Friday, November 18, 2011

The future direction of the human race

There is a double-headed pun here. Saying double-headed is a redundancy, but a pun may involve a three-way or n-way ambiguity of reference. So, saying double-headed means it is a two-way pun.

  • First, it reflects the socio-politic and economic race between humans.
  • Second, it means humans as a species.

The race among the human species will define the future of the human race.

The future of the human race is both bright and bleak. We are running out of resources. We are suffering under the effects of global warming exacerbated by human economic activities. Millions of born and unborn babies die from the effects of human triggered global warming. It is sad that those who most profess to protect the lives of unborn children are also the ones who most defend the need to suffer the effects of  increased global warming through increased human economic activity. It is devastating that social-conservatives promote a two-headed conflicted doctrine.

But there is encouraging news. The encouraging news is that the future of the human race is the android human. The future of the human race lies in genetically manipulated agriculture - which is good news to me.

Within the next 100 years
Babies will be given bio-genetic inoculation as soon as they are born, treatments which will continue throughout their lifetime. These would involve nano-bio-robotic structures (let's call it nbrs for the time being to reduce my need for typing) injected into the human body. They will receive these inoculations just as we receive our vaccinations today.

The structures will be programmed to diagnose and treat illnesses, diseases and disorders. When the human matures into an adult, they will have the capacity to decide to receive nbrs to enhance their physiological capacities. Human adults would choose to have regular dialysis for such treatments, just as we would go to the hairdresser.

Initially, the dialysis machines will be huge and located in clinics. But within 20 years of their general availability to the public, those machines would be transformed into netbook-sized devices. Such dialysis would not involve puncturing of tissues or blood vessels. The mode of permeation would be through minimal dermal-abrasion transfer - where nbrs would migrate through the skin. Nbrs will be programmed or configured to perform specialised functions. They may be programmed to embed themselves into the cellular structure of the body or programmed for gradual termination and destruction.

Nbrs is the ultimate answer to the cure for cancer. And for devastating conditions like AIDs and HIV infection. Nbrs will be deployed to facilitate tissue and organ rejuvenation and repair, or even replacement.

One issue that would escape biological technologists for the next 500 years will be taming the cellular reproduction counter. There is a counting mechanism that precludes cells from multiplying perpetually. In our current primitive state of technology, cells that lose that counting mechanism are cancerous. Currently, we have not much of a choice - to live healthily, we must die. Live free and die.

Therefore, between a hundred years from now till the next 400 years, a human person could choose to  gradually transform into a human android. And most people would do that, if given the opportunity. Cellular rejuvenation, cloning and replacing would at the most extend human life by another fifty years. As aging cells get progressively replaced by nbrs, including brain cells, a person would ultimately become an android.

This would percolate multitude of social, legal and ethical issues.

There is no escape from that technology being deployed. Governments may legislate, and private organisations may voluntarily institute moratoria against the technology. However, such moratoria would not hold well, like a dam against huge deluge of rushing water. The dams would crumble within 50 years of their institution.

When would a person become a total android - when a person's mental capacity is no longer supported by human cells. What would society do with these grafted androids? They think like the original person and have the memories of the original person. The android would be much more intelligent than a non-supplemented human and more resilient. In the beginning, such androids would be persona non grata. They would be issued a death certificate and be required to carry that certificate at all times as personal ID. Of course, the death certificate is in the form of a unique token. Not a piece of paper.

But within 200 years later, there will be a movement of android emancipation. Much like our gay emancipation movements today. Social Conservatives of those days will comprise of gays and straights who oppose the rights of androids. But more and more people will grow old, and more and more of us would gradually slide into becoming android. It is an easy decision to make a living will and choose to pass away abruptly, but it will be difficult for a person who is gradually transforming into an android to choose to terminate oneself because the android believes that he/she/it is the original person.

There would not be a chance of war between humans and androids because most humans would ultimately become androids anyway. Predicting a war between humans and androids would be like predicting a war between young people and the members of AARP.

The androids would be more resilient to super-luminal and extended galactic travel. In their socio-political distress they will guild themselves together and their social and economic structure will be far superior to that of humans, because their motivation would no longer be capitalistic but humanistic - the motivation not for the useless and non-utilitarian accumulation of wealth but the motivations towards rights of survival and achieving the technological ability to achieve that survival on another planet. Or under the surface of the oceans. The androids would also feel the obligation to leave this planet so that their descendants would have the resources to live on it.

Ultimately, android and human culture would merge again, as the technology of human-life extension progresses and as technology-induced biological evolution would draw a very blur line between being human and being android.

There should not be a case for dramatic worries. The sci-fi dramatization of humans self-evolving ourselves till we lose our ability to reproduce will never occur. Reproductive capabilities would be enhanced and there would sooner be a genderless society or a multi-gender society - and then a continuum of genders. Like the rainbow. The rainbow does not have seven colours - it has a continuum of colours.

These potential developments in the history of the human species probably sound frightening to most people of the present age. Many of us today would want to believe a messiah would come and whisk us away from living in such an age. But we are our own messiahs, and we are the chosen race - the human race.

It is in our responsibility to play-god. The Torah that I read mandates us to play-god. And not playing-god would be shirking our responsibility.

The words natural and organic have been having too much abuse. What is natural? The only meaning for organic I know is Organic Chemistry, which often involves chemical compounds that organicists consider as non-organic. Yeah, organic chemicals are mostly non-organic.

The resistance to genetically manipulated agriculture is ridiculous. My only reason to oppose GM agriculture is that corporations like Monsanto are bullying farmers and turning our society back into feudalism. The basic currency of the world, after all, is food. To control the world, it is not the stock market, not the financial streams and repositories, not the politics, but the ability to dictate how and what and when food is cultivated. And that is what Monsanto, et al, is capable of achieving. Our opposition to GM agriculture is playing into the hands of such corporations.

Embrace agro-GM to help ourselves to form large consumer and democratic pressure to prevent agro-GM from having the freehand they now have in enforcing unreasonable contracts on farmers. Under our current political climate, they are even able to enforce an involuntary contract on a farmer if they accidentally spill GM seeds onto the farmer's property.

Realistically, there is no other avenue to reduce global warming and yet have sufficient food and water for the world's burgeoning population, except in our embracing agro-GM to chart its development in a disciplined manner. Even if a complete convergence towards non-combustible power sources is successful. Especially with the emergence of an android class of persons.

We have the responsibility not only to conserve life but to create it. And to preserve what human life that would come into existence.

Resistance is futile - you will be assimilated.

n. A male bee, especially a honeybee, that is characteristically stingless, performs no work, and produces no honey. Its only function is to mate with the queen bee.

A juggernaut in colloquial English usage is a literal or metaphorical force regarded as mercilessly destructive and unstoppable. The word is derived from the Sanskrit Jagannātha

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