Transhumanist

ANOTHER ONE FOR THE TRANSHUMANISM SCRAPBOOK: A BIONIC MAN?

These were all sent to me by "Jonah" and I thought they merited passing along to you, and some commentary. The story? A team of robotics engineers, prosthetics specialists, and medical experts have built a functioning "bionic man" or rather, "bionic robot" called Rex, which stands, somewhat misappropriately, for Robotic Exoskeleton.  But Rex is anything but an exoskeleton. It is, so to speak, an entirely artificial "duplicate" of a human being, complete with artificial "organs", some of which have already been used in transplants in human beings:

'Bionic man' goes on show at UK museum Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/bionic-man-goes-on-show-at-uk-museum-20130206-2dxmi.html#ixzz2KXWFWyoX

How To Build A Real $1 Million Bionic Man

Meet Rex, the real bionic man (and he didn't cost $6million!): Scientists create body using artificial limbs and organs

What I want to draw your attention to is a statement in the second article, one which implicitly conveys the transhumanist theme:

One of the most amazing aspects of Rex is the robot's legs. Rex uses a modified version of an exoskeleton created by New Zealand's Rex Bionics that literally lets the disabled walk. The Rex exoskeleton is a pair of robot legs that a user climbs into that then allow them to walk without the aid of a cane, walker, or wheelchair.

Rex's robotic legs are attached to iWalk Biom mechanical feet, produced in Massachusetts by a spinoff of the MIT Media Lab. Creator Hugh Kerr was featured in Fast Company in 2010 for building superhuman prosthetics. After losing his legs below the knee in a climbing accident when 17, Kerr successfully set off to build robotic parts better than the original ones humans come equipped with. “It's actually unfair […] As tech advancements in prosthetics come along, amputees can exploit those improvements. They can get upgrades. A person with a natural body can't,” Herr said. (Neal Ungerleider, "How To Build A Real $1 Million Bionic Man", Fast Company, http://www.fastcompany.com/3005299/how-build-real-1-million-bionic-man, emphasis added)

Admittedly, the prosthetic hand used by Bertolt Meyer, mentioned in the first article, is a good thing, a far cry and a great improvement over the metal claws and wooden pegs of only a few decades ago.

But there is an implicit assumption behind the statement that the new prosthetics constitute an "upgrade," an improvement, the assumption being that all of this is somehow "better" than version 1.0.  Maybe, maybe not, for one of the questions that this emerging technological capability is going to pose, as it has never been posed before, is the relationship of the soul and the body.

Materialists argue, of course, that the idea of an immaterial or incorporeal "substance" or thing called the soul, or, to be more accurate, consciousness, the person, is merely an emergent construct of the complex processes of the human brain and neurophysiology. Others argue, in a variant, that it emerges from the the totality of physiological functions, the neural being the chief.  So inevitably the question will emerge: how much of an individual's body can be replaced before the individuality disappears? Or... will we discover that no matter how much is done, there remains a unique ethereal "something," a person, that will always be associated with an individual's body, and no amount of artificial technology will reproduce or contain it?  And along the way, what are the psychological and sociological effects of this?

On the other side, there has always been, as it were, an "idealist" stream in human thought(for want of a better word), and one can encounter it in the philosophies of the East, to the dialogues of Plato and his disciples and followers, that there is always an elusive "something beyond" the material existence of this world that marks us as who and what we are.

The questions are racing toward us, and doing so in a qualitatively different way than perhaps ever before.

It was, in fact, a question posed even in George Lucas' Star Wars movies... the burned and quadruple amputee Anaken Skywalker is given a host of artificial technologies and replacement limbs, and must live the rest of his life in a kind of biocontainment suit with a respirator. And then the comment: "He is more machine than a man." The technologies are going to confront us with the interrogative version: "Is he more machine than man?" Or, to put that question more precisely, what, exactly, is human nature? Transhumanism would have us believe it is a thing to be upgraded.

But no upgrades can disguise the questions that remain.

See you on the flip side.

16 thoughts on “ANOTHER ONE FOR THE TRANSHUMANISM SCRAPBOOK: A BIONIC MAN?”

    1. Robert Barricklow

      Listened to this and other interviews with Jim Fetzer. Quite a character. Wild! Also read his book “New Zealand, A Blackmailer’s Guide”. Also had some intersting things to say about ex-prez puppet Bill Clinton.
      How much to believe?
      Great shows!

  1. Gee remember the movie “Aliens” with Segourney Weaver. They had this cool looking single yellow material moving device inside a large space like cargo hold! Came to my mind when I first saw something about this new exo-skelton which is as well quite amazing! You don’t need to be super human just the average “Jane or Joe” but you can carry a lot more weight run or walk longer jump higher I suppose! But along the same lines as a personal MHE equipment like in the movie Aliens! Only this is much smaller and lighter in weight! Could be good for a lot of things in the military for gurilla warefare toteing large backpacks ammo and or crew serve weaponry like morturs and or heavy 50 cal machine guns or 20 mm cannons! Just my 2cents

    1. Robert Barricklow

      It would have been “neat” IF
      the script showed the Weaver crew being financed by the galaxy universal financail cartel AND which were also financing the Aliens(experiment successful/ with a terminating technology embedded in the Aliens). A huge intergalatic money maker. Plus, don’t forget the “insiders”, making bets(knowing the outcomes), in the elitist galatic virtual casinos.

    2. then consider the computer HAL in Kubrick’s 60’s film “2001”- didn’t need legs to jump or fly but was a robot aware of itself (waaay beyond the concept of a bionic man) that managed to send the astronaut into death in space (was he portrayed by Keir Dulleya?- I forget- or did Dulleya portray someone else in the film?- ohh, forget it- unimportant- in any case Hollywood “forgot” Dulleya the minute he met death in outer space)- in any case I think IF the biotic man is a future ‘possiblity’ (as has often been stated: the minute a future technology is announced it’s already been there for decades) it doesn’t need appendages

  2. The Ghost in the Shell Motoko Kusananagi or Malfina the biologic android from Outlaw Star anyone or let settle for the Cylons of Battlestar Gallactiga. We are dealing with Elites that hate all biological life and fear death.

    1. Ever feel like we are in a fishbowl in a Feeding frenzy like a battle of a 1000 cuts! I saw a Kati Couric news thing on youtube about an ivisibility cloak some time in the future say 10-15 years! Then a video of some sort of tank or convoy like in Iraq and this tank hit a road side mine or something.and the Abrams tank turned sideways on the middle of a dusty road and stopped! and troops were moving around investigating. And then out of now where a guy just suddenly appeared like out of thin air ( like Star Trek) runs over to the tank climbs up the side and opens the hatch on the gun torret and jumps inside! No hat or helmet and or possibly no weapon! One of the things that should hit you is by the time you get wind of it in the media it is already 10-20 years old! So anti gravity flying disks or various ships is it theirs or ours? GMO’s all these wars are all just testing grounds for new exotic weaponry! Project paper clip you think them Nazi’s went away they just changed partners and kept right on going. Check out John Kettler examin his material with an open mind to crazy or far fetched. Or ancient Aliens need to stretch your mind possibilities or beliefs? Not so far fetched anymore is it?

    2. It’s not so much they fear death, which they do, at a very mundane level, but that they lack a healthy perception of & capacity for life. Because they are self-serving they are small, largely ineffectual & fearful of anything or anyone beyond their control. If it’s not under their control, it’s deemed to be “OUT-OF-CONTROL & they call out the “swat teem” accordingly.

      Irish born Author Thomas Sheriden writes in “Puzzling People: Labyrinth of The Psychopath,” approximately 5% of the human population are non-redeemable psychopaths, and that they tend to agglomerate in chokepoints of control & authority — controlling positions in media, education, military, policing, government & especially Corporations due to the self-serving psychopathology of the Corporate PERSON, thus providing them a disproportionate degree of top down influence & control.

      For interviews with Sheriden see…
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cfun8NzCzC4
      The system is designed to select & reward psychopaths who are advanced into positions of influence, authority & power.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMh1dMIxL_I

      By-en-large, psychopaths have no life of their own. They are energy parasites & vampires. Also see, Corporate Vampires by Rich Zubaty at… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdGqbtoXKFY

      As a metaphor for all of the above, see also “Lincoln: Vampire Slayer.” Fundamentally, psychopaths & energy vampires fear, light, life & truth. The Luciferic Principle, i.e., the craft or art of concealing darkness & death in vessels or an appearance of light, is their preferred modus operandi. War is peace etc. This causes a people operating in a single or mundane dimension of perception to embrace their own destroyer(s).

        1. This also seems somewhat apropo to the topic…
          Thomas Sheridan, Breaking the Babylon Mind interview.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCc82i-vuCE

          Is trans”humanism” grounded in left brain? Is the left brain “wired” more for feminine empirical, or a masculine abstract principle? How does an undermining, perversion or muzzling of the masculine abstract principle affect human civilization? Is not the outcome expressed in the title of Alan Bloom’s 1987 book, The Closing of The American Mind? And is not “mind” associated with the creative & unlimited potential of abstraction?

          Further, the left-handed path, against which Dion Fortune cautions, is both empirical & reductionist. Does a left-handed path give rise to the technocratic authoritarian, or fear laden & reactionary pathocratic brain? Is “Big Brother actually an emasculating, intrusive & manipulative Big Mother? Indeed, one could also argue, both the closed allopathic, palliative systems of Big Agra & Big Pharma are platforms for limited left-brain reductionism & manipulation, as opposed to an open-ended & unlimited potential of right brain creative abstractions.

          In any case, the interview with Sheridan is en-light-ening. Filled with light & right-brain understanding.

          1. Frankie Calcutta

            Possibly exposing children to televised violence is enough to cause the psychic trauma which inhibits and dismantles the right hemisphere.

            “In Robert Ornstein’s THE NATURE OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS, Michael Gazzaniga comments on the appearance of this left brain dominance at an early age:
            ” In the young child, each hemisphere of the brain is about equally developed with respect to language and speech function. We are, thus, faced with the interesting question of why the right hemisphere at an early age and state of development possesses substantial language capacity whereas , at a more adult age it possesses a rather poor capacity. The implication is that during maturation, the processes and systems active in making this capacity manifest are somehow inhibited and dismantled in the right hemisphere and allowed to reside only in the left hemisphere. “

            http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/02/12/miracle-of-heart-centered-counseling-is-self-healing/

          2. Yes, Hebrew is read right to left, rather than left to right, which tends by cause/effect to define whether the left or right brain is dominant. The Roman day, midnight to midnight, is also discordant with the created or Genesis day, which is sundown to sundown. The Roman week is most obviously out-of-alignment with the Gensis week, which is altered to position Monday as the first day of the week, rather than Sunday, which is the first day of the Genesis week. Neither the Roman week nor day are Biblically based. The structure & flow have been altered, so as to also alter perception & diminish spiritual depth & perception.

            Read from left to right = Left brain impirical dominant. Read from right to left = right brain ascendence. One’s world view is totally affected. Whereas left brain dominance inculcates a mundane, reactionary & reductionist disposition, right brain dominance nurtures higher faculty, abstract thought & vision. Right brain is pro-creative, whereas left brain is left-wing reductionist. This is why fascism is most often a left-wing regressive phenomena, & also why left-handedness was traditionally frowned upon.

      1. Robert Barricklow

        I like this point of view.

        Still…
        I think there is a “center”, that is even more sinister…
        “in nature”(for lack of a better description).

    3. Ha ha, yes!! Ghost in the Shell is a fabulous movie. It hits Transhumanism at so many levels. Dr Farrell, you should take the night off and check this anime out. The author of the original series, Shiro Masamune, is an interesting (and highly reclusive) character started asking these deep questions (via anime) back in 1995. Of course, we can all tip our hats to Philip K. Dick, who had some scary prescience into the future. I’d recommend story The Second Variant.

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