Well there's more in the alchemical transhumanism scrapbook this week, as there always is, and it concerns, once again, that step on the alchemical ladder having to do with what Dr. de Hart and I called "alchemo-mineral" man in Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas. Just as a refresher, those steps in the declension of mankind were as follows:
- Alchemo-sexual, or "androgynous" man;
- Alchemo-mineral man;
- Alchem-vegetable man;
- Alchemo-animal man.
Why the prefix alchemo? Just to serve as a constant reminder that each stage back up the ladder, from step 4 to 3, to 2 and back to 1, is meant as a transformative, and therefore alchemical, process within humanity. In our book we gave some examples of each step, of chimerical fusions of man and animal - "manimals" or "humanzees" (fusions of chimpanzees and humans), but if you'll notice, much of the transhumanist scrapbook that we've been reporting on lately concerns the fusion of man and mineral, or if one prefer, of man and the mechanical, the inert, the "lifeless."
In that regard, consider this development that I have reported on before:
with this development:
Harvard's Wyss Institute and Sony DADC Announce Collaboration on Organs-on-Chips(Thanks to Ms P.H. for bringing this to my attention)
and this development:
Genetic Origami: DNA Bent Into Strange Shapes(Thanks to Mr. C.D.H. for bringing this to my attention).
The transhumanist lives in a world of apocalyptic hope and speculative prediction of the future, so let's play the same game, and imagine what the technological implications and extensions of each of these technologies would be, and then combine those implications, for that is half the art of the transhumanist game: combining technologies, and that principle of fusion is evident in each of the alchemical steps outlined above.
With respect to the artificial retina, no one, I would imagine, would view a partial or complete restoration of sight to the blind as a bad thing. But imagine - as we have done previously with respect to this technology - an extension of the principle, an enhancement of normal human capabitilies: the ability to see with nightvision without nightvision equipment, but with an enhanced retina. The ability to see beyond the optical spectrum into infrared and microwave, or ultraviolet frequencies, with appropriate enhancements of the brain itself to translate those into "colors".
Then imagine the second technology - organs on chips - in its next development: not so much a tool for the observation of the growth patterns of organs, but for the reprogramming of those patterns.... enter the third technology above: the folding of DNA into various shapes as the first necessary step for creating DNA-based living nanomachines, able to observe, and reprogram, growth, to grow those enhanced retinas and neuroreceptors, and so on.
And ultimately, of course, that implies the ability to tamper with the individual's mind and emotions in the ultimate Ewan Cameron-MKULTRA nightmare.
What emerges, from this, I believe, is a world in which technology - a neutral thing - will enhance an individual's proclivity toward good, or evil. It will be, so to speak, a world of super-villains, and super-heros.
See you on the flip side.