Positing a Posthuman Evolutionary Path
On a less serious note than the previous post, I haven’t really kept up with all the reading that I should have on this topic; however, I have tried to listen; all the while formulating what seem to me to be my own ideas (or novel synthetics, at least); though such are surely constructed of a Pollock smattering of conscious, subconscious, unconscious, and various memory-impaired excerpts of papers, blogs, and impromptu conference side-bar conversations.
This makes things somewhat more interesting, to the extent that I might be able to find out if the possible path below synchronizes with independent works that I have yet to discover. Of course, herein lies a conundrum. Nobody can ever prove that they DIDN’T read a particular book, paper, blog, or listen to that podcast while falling asleep or stitch together a splashcast of videos on the theme in question. This is by definition where the line is crossed in scientific observation.
Well, not until we can transparent proxy all the data streaming in on the I/O ports, anyway … optic nerve packet capture, cochlear wiretap, tactile Braille-stroke logger … so far, taste and smell can’t transmit thoughts the way the other three senses can, so we can let them pass … for now. So there may actually be a future desirable scientific use for such Total Brain Input Surveillance. We wouldn’t need Total Brain Surveillance … just Input Confirmation … to test independent brains capacities or tendencies to reach similar conclusions; or in this case, propose similar EXTRAPOLATIONS, based upon mutually exclusive observations of a given complex, shared environment.
Why would we even care about discovering such possibilities? Good question, I just now thought to ask it myself. Apart from the usual, “well, if it’s a component of the way things work that we haven’t figured out yet, it’s worth figuring out,” I don’t have a good answer. Let’s give it some thought.
In the mean time, annoyingly, I find myself too often speculating that if something like Cognitive Stigmergy is inherent to, or emergent among some deeply data-networked humans, we may be moving into territory where the uncomfortable analog to independently reproducible lab results may be independently derived perspectives, or independently synchronized forward-looking storyboards or scenarios. Extrapolations.
It seems reasonable to speculate that learning to act and interact beyond the sphere of our familiar embodied senses is not at all going to seem natural to most humans, much less comfortable, or even logical. How the hell do we even go about such an amorphously articulated exercise? See previous paragraph; but only ONCE, or you’ll be stuck in a loop, right?
Besides, I’m only experimenting with words in what appears to be a novel manner, in order to see what happens. Maybe nothing happens. Maybe we have to add pill number 262 to the daily regimen and just be patient.
One possible posthuman evolutionary path might go something like this:
<ol><li>Empathy (Seeing the World Through Others’ Eyes). This could actually take much longer than we realize and may be the actual present bottleneck to progress.
</li><li>Augmented Social Cognition. Overlaps with previous item, could help to drive down costs and accelerate mass production and distribution of fundamental commodity #1.
</li><li>Ending Aging. Losing entire congressional libraries worth of not just information, but KNOWLEDGE with every death, is not helping out.
</li><li>Adaptive Posthuman Psychologies. This may actually take longer than the next item; hence it’s relative ranking.
</li><li>Adaptive Economies of Abundance. Post the engineered-scarcity farce; pre effective substrate-independence.
</li><li>Selective Integral Consciousness. This, during the era of increasingly universal wireless implants,
coexisting uploads, etc. Sorry, but yes, there will be an unpopular
Darwinian Selective Weeding Out, here; though hopefully (and I think probably) self-selecting.
</li><li>Dawning of the Posthuman Age. A new evolutionary tree branch sprouts.
</li><li>Substrate Independence (first halting and foibled; volatile; even disastrous; then sustainable and scalable).
</li><li>Newly Emergent Specieswide Stigmergic Synchronization (as above, so below, vice-versa).
</li><li>Meta-Sentience of the post Posthuman Beman. I may be taking undue liberties with the terminology, but from what I’ve read and heard, beman seems to be post posthuman; way more trans-epi-meta. :-)
</li><li>Exploration of Infinity, Simulated Infinities, Designed Infinities?
</li><li>Oops! Was it all Intelligent Design after all? Just because there was never any superstitious singular deity to pin it on, doesn’t mean that something that acts-like or is in essence sub-nano Embedded Intelligence doesn’t exert the Designing Influence we witness flying in the face of base case Entropy!
</li><li>Something more that I can’t presently conceive of, though I’d be
happy to hear your perspectives. Perhaps we do meet our Intelligent
Designers and discover that they were us, all along.</li><li>On to the next question.</li></ol>Okay, yeah, I trailed off into the histrionic sticks a bit, but perhaps it conveys the general idea. :-)