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Set in an adrenalized future of espionage, assassins, and out of control super science, PostHuman follows a genius hacker and his dog as they help an enigmatic young woman to free the remaining test subject of a black ops ESP test lab.

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Energy Addicts by Naomi Kizhner

An invasive jewellery collection that converts kinetic energy from the body’s involuntary movements into electricity.

How can we as human bodies become a natural resource?

From Dezeen:

Naomi Kizhner designed the Energy Addicts accessories in response to the world’s impending energy crisis, looking for an existing energy source that is yet to be tapped in to.

“It interested me to imagine what would the world be like once it has experienced a steep decline in energy resources and how we will feed our energy addiction,” Kizhner told Dezeen. “There are lots of developments of renewable energy resources, but the human body is a natural resource for energy that is constantly renewed, as long as we are alive.”

“I wanted to explore the post-humanistic approach that sees the human body as a resource,” she added.

The pieces would be embedded into the surface of the skin to capture the energy of subconscious movements, such as the flow of blood through the veins and blinking, transforming it into a useable energy resource.

Read more at Dezeen
Artist’s website: NaomiKizhiner.com (video, but text in Hebrew)

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..Algaculture suggests a future where humans would be enhanced with algae living inside bodily organs, making humans plant-like by gaining food from the light. The team claims that this semi-photosynthesis, the symbiotic relationship with the algae, is appropriate for the short-term future, whereas in the longer term, the need to find better ways to nourish ourselves will result in new bodily organs. 22

Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

Historical Roots

Transhumanism may seem like some sci-fi fantasy dreamt up by too-optimistic post-Y2K nerds, but not only do the roots of transhumanism extend beyond this generation, the possibilities of transhumanist thought improving on our standards of living are immense. Transhumanist thought is said to have primarily originated in 1923, when British geneticist J. B. S. Haldane wrote his essay Daedalus: Science and the FutureHowever, modern transhumanism differs greatly from the ideals and advancements proposed in Haldane’s essay, opposing some more harmful suggestions on eugenics, capitalism, nationalism, among others. While Haldane may have believed “Capitalism, though it may not always give the scientific worker a living wage, will always protect him”, today’s transhumanism often goes hand in hand with a more critical view of society’s social and economic bases. 

Modern Focus

Transhumanist thought projects its broader hopes for a revolutionized humanity through a few specific avenues:

  • studying the benefits and dangers of emerging technologies
  • promoting research towards technologies that overcome fundamental human limitations (physical and mental)
  • Ensuring that this technology is widely accessible to people of all backgrounds, neutralizing the possibility that future technological improvements will belong only to a specific group (class, race, gender, etc.)
  • Improve the human body on a general level - reducing poverty, disease, disability, and malnutrition around the globe - as well as on the particular level
  • To view technological aid/improvement of the human species less as property and more as a legally-protected right

Transhumanist focuses on technology are not limited to mechanical extensions of the human body. While the particular level of human improvement might involve e.g. integrated gadgets to improve memory or reflexes, the general level of human improvement focuses on our environment. Transhumanism can and often does take on a strong environmental agenda, despite being a different approach from other environmentalists who make ample use of the naturalistic fallacy in their approach for how humans should live according to nature / the environment. The current within transhumanism that focuses most on the environment is called Technogaianism.

There are also many other currents within transhumanism addressing specific issues. Postgenderism, for example, is a kind of feminist transhumanist philosophy which seeks the voluntary elimination of gender in the human species through the application of advanced biotechnology and assisted reproductive technologies. There are currents aligned with particular political views as well, such as democratic transhumanism. And, of course, there’s good old Immortalism, advocating for the benefits of the extension of human life with the eventual goal of immortality or near-immortality.

Concerns

There are plenty of concerns brought up against the transhumanist movement and mindset: one example of early concerns in human adaptation and advancement that is rather popular in philosophy is how steroids (and similar enhancements) fundamentally affect sports entertainment. First, there is the question of unfair advantage: Does the player using enhancements have an unfair advantage compared to those who have not used enhancements? But if such enhancements were legal in sports (made available to all players), how would this affect them? Would athletes any longer have a choice to become enhanced, or would they be forced to in order to keep up with the competition? Would we still value sports and similar competitions of human strength, speed, durability, etc., and why do we value these competitions in the first place? Would a baseball game composed of artificially perfected human beings be as exciting to watch, or would we grow bored of its predictability?

I use this example because it brings up more interesting questions (in my opinion) than the objections based on religious grounds, such as claiming that human enhancement and augmentation is an affront to nature or a vile treachery against God.

There are more immediate concerns with transhumanism outside the realm of philosophy and in transhumanist art and fiction, such as how artistic depictions of humans utilizing technological enhancements frequently include white, upper-middle class people of a certain physical make-up; or how arguments in fiction for transhumanist thought sometimes offer offensive misrepresentations of other cultures and attitudes towards humanity and nature. Modern transhumanist fiction has come from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds, with video games, novels, short films and more featuring female lead protagonists, non-Western cultures, accompanied by varied interpersonal, social, economic, and political themes.

DAPRA binoculars take advantage of the brains processing power to spot threats.

DARPA have been field testing a system called the Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System since 2007, and have recently announced a 91 percent success rate in detecting threats. Using conventional binoculars, soldiers currently miss around 47 percent of threats.

The system works by feeding video from a high powered camera into a computer system which picks out around 10 key images per second. While that’s far too many to process unaided, the system uses an EEG cap worn by the user which can analyse brainwave data in real time. When a users brain detects a threat it triggers the P-300 brainwave, which is “thought to be involved in stimulus evaluation or categorization”. Even though the user may not have been directly aware of the threat, the system is able to harness the brain’s own processing power to alert the user to double check an image.

In other words, CT2WS harnesses that capacity for detection, without relying on conscious input from the wearer. And, at least according to these field tests, it seems to work extremely well when combined with human input. When tested without someone wearing an EEG cap, the system produced 810 false alarms every hour. Add a soldier decked out in EEG sensors to the mix, and that figure dropped to five false positives.

If my nightmare is a culture inhabited by posthumans who regard their bodies as fashion accessories rather than the ground of being, my dream is a version of the posthuman that embraces the possibilities of information technologies without being seduced by fantasies of unlimited power and disembodied immortality, that recognizes and celebrates finitude as a condition of human being, and that understands human life is embedded in a material world of great complexity, one on which we depend for our continued survival.

In 2NITE’s episode, The Real Housewives of New York visit VECTOR Gallery (in its Art Basel Miami incarnation) and greet Vectorian Minister of Gender Josh Kil

“Say Three Cheers For The Immutable, Inviolable Notion of MANKIND” said the nice little Samaritan WAIF at the Wishing Well.