TRANSHUMANISM: BRAIN INTERFACES, ROBOTS, AND ANDROIDSDecember 2, 2012
This one was sent to me by a facebook friend, Ms. P.H., and it illustrates another example of what my co-author Scott de Hart and I called "alchemomineral man", the "androgynous" fusion of humanity and mineral in the form of machines, in our book Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas.
We can see all sorts of applications of this technology: direct brain-robot interfaces with drones, new vistas in remote control for all sorts of applications, by extending through robots the presence of human intelligence in environments currently hostile to human biology: deep oceans, space, and so on.
But I have written here previously about yet another kind of thing this type of interface promotes, and Scott and I wrote of this in the book as well. Some transhumanists view these types of possibilities as eventually being able download and upload the personality, even the consciousness, of the individual. Some of these technologies have been dubbed "soulcatcher", and already in the book and on this website we have cited examples of one rat - trained to run through a maze - having its memory of how to do so caught on a computer chip. When implanted into another rat, that other rat, which has never learned the maze, "remembers" how to do it perfectly.
This leads to what I propose here to call "emulational" technologies, or one might even call them "anamnetic technologies," after Plato's doctrine of anamnesis, which held that mankind could account for feelings of higher dimensions, past lives, and so on, because one indeed was remembering them (from the Greek word anamnesis). Such emulational or anamnetic technologies, combined with increasing advances in prosthetics which are increasingly able to mimic lifelike human movement, hold the prospect for downloading a consciousness into, well, an android, a robot. One thinks here of Star Trek The Next Generation's Mr. Data, always seeking recognition as a human, which, in one episode, is finally granted legally. Data emulates or "remembers" actions and behaviors that mimic human, and thus, is indistinguishable from the real thing by law.
Well and good, but let's open the doors to other speculative possibilities. For Plato, anamnesis or remembrance literally put one into contact with one's true, universal Self; it provided an access to the realms of higher beings, the gods, the universals. Now suppose, for a moment, that this is a hidden goal of some within the movement: to construct a technology to identify and "download" such a "higher consciousness", say, the Archons from the famous Gnostic text, The Hypostasis of the Archons.
Such a technology then would become a portal, a door, a gateway, between worlds... not a wormhole, not a stargate, but a means for the "incarnation" within this world of information from another, or, vice versa. If this sounds strange, it really isn't, for such technological transhumanist agendas were in early evidence with Thomas Edison, who was attempting to contact "the other world" through technological means. What is new is the technological ability to transfer memories from one individual organism to the other. What we have added here are the anamnetic possibilities... and if a hack from South Dakota can think of it, you can bet that the boys at DARPA have too...
See you on the flip side.