THE TRANSHUMANIST SCRAPBOOK: DNA AND THE INTERNETNovember 15, 2013
When Dr. Scott D de Hart and I were researching Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas, one problem that we encountered, and which I have often commented about here, is that we could barely keep up with the pace of innovation and more importantly, with the types of speculations that various scientists and engineers were themselves making and hypothesizing about future developments, developments that would vastly change human culture and interaction, developments that would challenge the most basic assumptions we make about what it is to be human, and to transact with each other. Our very systems of value - morality - will be impacted, and with that impact, everything that symbolizes value will be changed in profound and fundamental ways (think money here folks, just for starters).
This important article was shared with me by a regular reader here, Ms. K.N. share it here, with some high octane comments below:
One need not be surprised that it is the ever-imaginative Dr Craig Venter making these prognostications. The problem is, Dr. Venter's prognostications have, more often than not, come to pass. As I noted in Genes, Giants, Monsters and Men, Dr. Venter led the private component of the race to map the entire human genome, and has led the pack in applying the rules of patent law to genetically modified or created organisms. Indeed, Dr. Venter recently was able to synthesize an entirely new type of life form using genetic engineering techniques.
Now we come to the transhumanism part. It has long been known to cryptanalysists, geneticists, and even computer programmers, that the human genetic code is a code, it's a programming language, and it can even encode basic "text messages". Now Dr. Venter is taking the next obvious step, and stating publicly what was already privately being voiced: any genome of any species can be reduced to a computer program.
Add a 3d printer of extraaordinary sophistication(which don't yet exist in this sophistication, or, so we're told), and the requisite DNA material, and one could literally bring a new precision to genetic engineering by programming the code of the organism on wished to create. Other adaptations would be to step into a "medi-box" and have one's DNA scanned, coded, and "reprinted" sans the tumor or bald head, or even the sex, one didn't want. One could, similarly, create a "clone at a distance" on another continent, or planet, simply by having the code, and the DNA.... "Beam me up Scotty" is a long way off... but consider. Back in the 1960s when Star Trek first appeared, the whole concept seemed so futuristic that Roddenberry himself had to set it two to three centuries in the future.
Now, mere decades later, the basic steps in the technology tree are already here. And if they're not here, as Dr. Venter evidences, they are certainly being thought about. And when people like Venter think about it, that usually means they intend to do it.
See you on the flip side.