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Friday, March 5, 2010

Humanity Enhanced: Robotics, Cybernetics, and Nanomachines.

According to a German study, about 1/4 of respondents said they would be willing to have a chip implanted beneath their skin if it offered some concrete benefit. An interesting study to be sure, but one that leaves one burning question: What the fuck is wrong with the other 75%?

To try to answer this question, I studied a Buzz thread discussing the topic, and asked a few people I know informally. The only reasons anyone gave for saying no were paranoia and religion.

First off, if you really think the government is after you and that not getting a chip will keep you safe, you have serious problems indeed. Wired magazine held a manhunt of sorts, in which an editor attempted to disappear. A bounty of $5,000 was offered to the public. Evan Ratliff never made it a month. Now please explain this to me: if an average, law-abiding citizen with time to prepare and motivation to hide was unable to remain hidden FROM OTHER CITIZENS for a mere month, what makes you think that the United States government wouldn't be able to find you, with all your credit cards and cellphones and all the resources in the world at their disposal? At this point, a goddamn gps tag on your forehead wouldn't make you any more trackable. Take off the tin-foil hat and grow up.

Then there's religion. Christians who believe in a literal interpretation of the bible have decided that microchip implants are the mythical "Mark of the Beast." I mean really, this is the same group that claimed Galileo was doing the Devil's work by spreading the heresy that our Earth revolved around the Sun. Until they realized he was right. Oh, and that astrophysicists should stay away from the origin of the universe. Until they spun it to imply that the Big Bang proves the existence of God. I could go on forever... but I won't.

While not on the level of an electronic chip implant, we do have some preliminary advancements in the field enriching lives around the world as we speak. Among the most common are cochlear implants, enabling the hearing impaired to live much more productive and satisfying lives. Prosthetics are everywhere, and advancing by the day into true cybernetics. A team of scientists at my job has improved upon a type of nanomachine that could be used to regulate insulin in diabetics. The future of humanity is scientific and technological enhancement. Why fight it?

Resistance is futile.

1 comment:

  1. "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. (by the wise jeff Goldblum)

    "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates Man. Man destroys God. Man creates Dinosaurs"