If it is truly our destiny to go to the stars, it can't be in these bodies. They are too fragile, and wear out too fast, and have too many needs. We will need better ones. At the moment this is beyond our reach, but not far beyond. Already we have mapped the human genome. Soon we will map the human brain, and eventually we will learn how to hack into the human operating system. Only when we can download ourselves into bodies that can withstand a little radiation and several centuries of journey time will we even begin to be ready.
But will we still be human? We spend more than 70% of our time catering to our body's needs, feeding, cleaning, sleeping, surfing on the highs it can produce. A being shorn of all that might achieve much, but would surely soon see things differently to an ape that wants to eat, drink, sleep and have sex, pretty much all of the time.
It won't be easy, but if we manage not to kill ourselves off in the next century or so, someone will become post-human. Just because they can. After that, things get very weird. For example, a human downloaded into better hardware could become almost infinitely intelligent, just keep adding more processing. Who can predict where that might lead? They might even figure out what it's all for, if it's for anything.
We are all programs we didn't write, running on hardware we don't understand. When we learn to decompile it all, examine the code, and make edits, we will have one of the keys to Godhead. And perhaps cease to be human. When we can rewrite our own programming, who can predict what we may become?
Right now we haven't figured out how to recognise the code, never mind download it for study - but we're working on it...
As a boy, I knew that we were doomed from a fairly early age. The world would end in a massive, worldwide nuclear war in my lifetime. That's what pretty much everyone expected. It was the Cold War, and not many believed that humanity would emerge from it. But surprise surprise, we did, and the prospect of nuclear armageddon has receded. Someone probably will blow up a city or two with nuclear weapons again at some point, but a massive nuclear exchange is now very unlikely, thank goodness.
Conventional wisdom now has it that we will kill ourselves off by destroying the climate. Perhaps we will : certainly it seems to be changing, and we are the most likely culprit. But our efforts to do something about climate change to date have been about like trying to stop a hurricane by Liking a status on Facebook. If and when it does get serious, millions-of-people-dying serious, spend-real-money serious, even concentrate-like-you-would-in-a-war serious, there are all kinds of technological things we can try. We were clever enough to overheat the planet with our machines and our cookfires, we are probably clever enough to fix it, if we get desperate enough to actually devote some resources to it.
Welcome to Thoughts. It's about all kinds of things. We hope to get you thinking, maybe about things that don't usually cross your mind. Have a look around, and see what we are thinking about at the moment.
Out there, there should be entities so much more advanced than us that we would have to call them gods. We can't be the only thinking entities in a billion billion galaxies, after billions of years. Yet we can't see or hear them. Could they be hiding from us? It seems unlikely. Why would they?
Perhaps it really is all about an afterlife, after all, and we're going down the wrong track. But I don't see how we can find out until we get a lot further down it, and either meet gods, or become them.
A giant stumbles - again
Microsoft finally noticed that tablets and phones are taking over the world, so they decided to make Windows 8 the grand operating system for everything. The trouble is, it is full of features that make sense on a tablet or a phone, but not on a desktop, and nearly all their existing customers are desktop users. Oops. Once again, they are belatedly trying to move into a new market that they don't understand and bumbling around, just like when they suddenly noticed the internet, and tried to replace it with The Microsoft Network.
You can tell that it's going really well by the fact that they fired the guy who designed Windows 8 two weeks after they launched it.
Just a thought...
If guns make people safer, why do so many people get shot in America? So many children?
That tyrant the American Right claims to be guarding against must be a real badass, to be worth so many lives.
Agree? Disagree? Send your thoughts to thoughts at jonstorm.com.
Copyright © Jon Storm 2005-2012.