Transhumanist

THE TRANSHUMANIST SCRAPBOOK: THE BIONIC MAN COMING TO LIFE: FIRSTS IN ...

Some of us are old enough to remember the sci-fi television series called The Six Million Dollar Man, starring actor Lee Majors. Majors played astronaut Steve Austin, who was severely injured in an accident. In the opening sequence of each episode, the audience is assured that Austin can be "rebuilt" and be "even better than before," because we now have the technology to do so. In its own right, The Six Million Dollar Man was one of the earliest and most successful cultural airings of the types of alchemical memes in the transhumanist  movement that my co-author Dr Scott deHart and I wrote about in our book Transhumanism A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas.

In the process of rebuilding Austin, the series' scriptwriters give him a "bionic eye" with a "zoom lens" and nightvision, "bionic legs" that allow him to run as fast as an average car cruising comfortably along down the autobahn, and a bionic arm with great strength and various sensing capabilities.

When the series came out, of course, all of these things were far in the future(and still are in some cases), but not that far. Already technicians and engineers have designed artificial retinas, and it takes no great leap of television imagination to envision technological enhancements to allow humans to see much better in the dark, ala Majors' "bionic eye" with its night vision.

But surely one of the more significant things that the transhumanist movement has envisioned is a whole new era of prosthetics, of replacement limbs that can actually feel in a way approximating nature feel and touch.

Wait no more, the first generation of such prosthetics is already here:

Man Gets First Bionic Hand that Feels

The key to the success of the hand is the feedback principle, for rather than trying to mimic the behavior of nerves and sensations, the new prosthetic relies upon an interaction between its wearer and the sensors in the prosthetic:

 "In a month-long clinical trial, Sørensen tested the hand, sometimes wearing a blindfold and earplugs so he could rely only on his sense of touch when using the hand. Sørensen was able to control how forcefully he grasped objects, and feel their shape and stiffness. He could tell the differences among hard, medium and soft objects, and identify the shapes of specific objects such as a cylindrical bottle or round baseball. [Images: Bionic Hand That Can Feel]

"Sørensen told researchers that the artificial sense of touch was similar to the natural feeling he experienced in his other hand.

"In contrast with previous approaches to replace a lost sense of touch by, for example, vibrating the skin, the new approach provides "anatomically appropriate feedback," researchers said.

"'By directly stimulating the nerves, it's possible that you can appropriately restore that sensory feedback,' said Levi Hargrove, an electrical engineer at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, who was not involved in the research."

It's still a long way off from the type of prosthetic envision in the series, for the sensors are still external to the prosthetic itself. It is nonetheless a milestone, for it is now in the open literature that a sensation of touch has been restored via a prosthetic limb.

One wonders, then, what medical wonders lie buried in the world of black projects and breakaway civilizations? Perhaps that was what the real point of The Six Million Dollar Man was... the only thing that has probably changed is the price tag.

IN any case, however, this story is a reminder that not everything going on in the world is bad. There is good news. It is what we do with this news, that in the final analysis makes it good or bad.

See you on the flip side...

12 thoughts on “ THE TRANSHUMANIST SCRAPBOOK: THE BIONIC MAN COMING TO LIFE: FIRSTS IN ...”

  1. These bionic arms, legs etc will be a wonderful gift to those who need them.
    But I guess Frankenstein is the other end of the pendulum.

    1. Contents that trigger emotions or emotions that push contents. Here’s another experience with ‘augmented stories’ … “neurofiction” … where the narrative is guided by the reader’s emotions. The path a story takes from multiple story lines is determined by the reader’s brain activity. Don’t like the ending? You can change your mind! neurofiction dot net

  2. Robert Barricklow

    Well you’ve got to hand it to them.

    If you look at the internet’s teenage years, you see that porn was not only a huge driver, it was THE DRIVER. So, in a tit for tat way, will these bionic sensations soon be getting some Good Vibration? In others words, will sex soon be in the driver’s seat?

    1. problems with genetics…sodom and gonnarah..have a look around at the world, it is pretty corrupt to say the least.

      if you dont know god….everything is A O K

      1. Robert Barricklow

        Corruption Is Way Past Beyond Industrial Strength.
        It is the “new” norm. There are fighters for “Truth & Justice”, just look at the number of suicide-EDS. There is a tipping point; and they don’t want the world set straight. They prefer the topsy-turvy inequality; to the level playing field for all.

  3. Within the general population ESP is developing at a rate commensurate with technological invasion and will be an antidote to its nastier forms. A surveillance based elite will be usurped by an ESP based hoi polloi. Not only will we have no secrets anymore – they won’t either.

  4. As the Ben Rich rule who knows how far ahead DARPA is ahead in prosthetics they are. By the way are you Joseph familiar with the Dr. Jammerson science fiction series that came out in the 1930’s. In the series first book his conscience was transferred to a robot body that transhumanism for you. By the way I never read the series I just saw the books in the science fiction section during the days of brick and mortar stories.

  5. have a look a prosthetic patents from 120 years ago, these machines are superior to what is available too John Q Public.

    Nothing new under the sun…..there is a commercial online about a fellow who lost his arm due too a motorcycle accident, and being a gifted engineer recreated one for himself.

    1. and then there are the ancient texts, about the machine men….and then the Champion spark-plug found inside a 50,000 year old rock.

      Lets do the time warp again…

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