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Cloning, Transhumanism, Nanotech, and Other Disturbing Futurisitic Issues


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Since February 22, 2017 is the 20th anniversary of the birth of Dolly, the clone sheep and first completely cloned mammal, I thought I'd bring this up. As we (perhaps foolishly and recklessly, in some cases) spiral as a species into a far faster technological advancement curve then ever before in history by far, some disturbing technologies thought just to be in the realm of science fiction a few decades may become electoral issues in near-future elections as to their handling (certainly, the capabilities for mischief made possible by the Internet caught US and international law and law-enforcement flat-footed and behind the curve for several years). Here are some frighteningly real and possible near-future issues if anyone has any comment on how they foresee that they MIGHT pan out in an electoral/governmental forum:

-Cloning

-Transhumanism (a very ill-defined but prevalent term)

-Pre-Sentient AI's

-True Nanotech

-Martian Colonies

-Underwater and Lunar Settlements (by nature, much more dependent on their founding nation/corporation/organization than a Martian Colony)

-Cold Fusion Power

-Virtual Democracy (the notion that, with the Internet being in place, the ideal of the old Greek polis could be restored in that every citizen could vote directly on every governmental issue of interest to them and that the need for "elected representatives" would only be, by many proponents of this vision, a "self-serving vestige").

-The strange dichotomy of ever-advancing medical science countered by environmental pollutants and common foods and drinks on the markets of sub-nutritional value and even containing long-term poisons.

-Many, many scary and frightening military innovations on the drawing board.

There are other things, but that's a good list to start.

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I see most of these as being good things. I don't fear technology, I fear only the people that might control it for power or profit. You should also ad cyborgs--humans that are part machine. If given the option, I'd definitely enhance myself with whatever technology is available, even if I'm 75% machine. 

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2 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I see most of these as being good things. I don't fear technology, I fear only the people that might control it for power or profit. You should also ad cyborgs--humans that are part machine. If given the option, I'd definitely enhance myself with whatever technology is available, even if I'm 75% machine. 

"He is more machine now than man, twisted and evil," Obi-Wan Kenobi in reference to Dark Vader in SW:EpIV - A New Hope.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. :P And the only things on that list I, myself, find inherently and intrinsically disturbing are some of the proposed and upcoming military innovations that are just downright overkill. I was mostly trying to spark a debate, and my adjectives were mostly hyperbole.

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So i'm thinking of this in terms of building, say, a 2040 scenario for PI...

I like all of those origially mentioned, but maybe throw in:

-- Robot rights -- A big one in science-fiction (see Blade Runner or Spielberg's A.I. if you must) that goes into questions of philosophy and ethics. When you have intelligent or near-intelligent machines, are they individuals with Constitutional (!) rights?

-- faster space travel technology (whatever it may be) -- The truth is that rocket technology hasn't changed since Godard; it just gets better. An entirely new technology will need to be built, preferably before Mars colonization. Maybe call the issue "Space Race II"?

-- Finally, though not tehcnology per se, i'd include "Religion" as an issue. What will the (presumably waning) faithful population make of these cloned/cyborg/GMoed abominations unto God...?

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I think cyborging will also be medical related. Most people seem to think of it as a military enhancement, a la Terminator or something. Imagine having the entire encyclopedia and dictionary, etc. already programs into your human brain? As long as I still have my individual consciousness, I'd allow myself to be mostly cyborg. 

About the space race II. Currently we could fly about 1/10th the speed of light. Which, barring curvature in space, would mean we could shoot a rocket to the next closest star in 40 years (4 light years). That new planet they found with the 7 possible habitable planets would take about 400 years with our current technology. However, at 1/10th the speed of light, a sizeable piece of space dust could obliterate the rocket. So it would have to include something that cleared the path or was less destructible. 

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2 hours ago, CalebsParadox said:

Cloning: Against. 

Transhumanism: For. 

Pre-Sentient AI's: For. 

True Nanotech: For. 

Martian Colonies: For. 

Underwater and Lunar Settlements: Very heavily for. 

Cold Fusion Power: For. 

Cyborgs: Very heavily for. 

I'm for cloning as long as it doesn't get out of hand. For instance, we don't need any more humans. But I'm okay with cloning endangered species. If cloning had more precision, I might favor it for humans. For instance, if a new Isaac Newton or William Shakespeare came along--one of those once in a thousand years type of geniuses--then I'd want that person cloned, if the technology also could guarantee a high probability of cloning the intellect of the person. Imagine having 15 Newtons working on the next step for space travel at the same time? 

I would consider myself an extreme progressive in the sense that I think civilization and government should aim for the future at all times. Whatever party endorses these sorts of technology should be in power, and any party opposed to these should just get out of the way and join a historical reenacting troupe or something. If the end goal of human civilization or any civilization is to enhance itself, then any party or people opposed to the enhancing are actually a cancer to our evolution as a civilization. 

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3 hours ago, vcczar said:

I'm for cloning as long as it doesn't get out of hand. For instance, we don't need any more humans. But I'm okay with cloning endangered species. If cloning had more precision, I might favor it for humans. For instance, if a new Isaac Newton or William Shakespeare came along--one of those once in a thousand years type of geniuses--then I'd want that person cloned, if the technology also could guarantee a high probability of cloning the intellect of the person. Imagine having 15 Newtons working on the next step for space travel at the same time? 

I would consider myself an extreme progressive in the sense that I think civilization and government should aim for the future at all times. Whatever party endorses these sorts of technology should be in power, and any party opposed to these should just get out of the way and join a historical reenacting troupe or something. If the end goal of human civilization or any civilization is to enhance itself, then any party or people opposed to the enhancing are actually a cancer to our evolution as a civilization. 

"Back in the day, I'd always heard the adage, time and again, there were just some things man was not meant to know. But I always disagreed. I felt wisdom was the key." - Isaac Asimov.

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