Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What is this thing H+?

Transhumanism seems to be on the cusp of a leap in relevance and importance in a variety of scientific academic and social discourses. With the exponential increase in technological innovation powered by computing, and an ever more subtle knowledge of the human organism, the stage is set for what was once the domain of Sci-Fi writers like Asimov, to become a far more legitimate field of inquiry.
Transhumanism in a word is concerned with synthesis. Synthesis of biology and technology, the material and the virtual, the large and the microscopically small. Transhumanism (often symbolised H+) concerns itself with questions of what it is to be human, the impact of increasingly important virtual worlds which operate alongside our material ones, scientific advance, identity and the merging of technology and the human body. Transhumanism as a multidisciplinary field takes on thinkers from a range of perspectives and backgrounds like an English poor house takes in orphans- sociology, technology studies, psychology, philosophy...and proceeds to explore what it is to be human, and to imagine what humanity could be.
In common with thought movements like futurism (from which Transhumanism can trace some of its intellectual lineage) the polarities in the literature ranges from what could charitably be described as Star Trek through to discussions on here-and-now technologies such as bionic ears.
This Blog will explore those polarities and everything in between, and I hope in the process provide a smidgen of insight into this thing called H+.

1 comment:

  1. I think most science fiction writers, especially Asimov, fail to discern the ways in which new technologies change people's behaviors, perspectives, and cultural mores.