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The technologies and epistemic progress of today will undoubtedly shape the future of tomorrow. There discovers on the horizon that leave no question as to whether humanity will need to deeply consider the implications of using such technologies.

Even today, technologies such as stem cells, atom bombs, and biological weapons cause us to question the terrible nature of the progress of knowledge in those directions.

Consider now, what will happen when the next waves of technologies come to pass:

  • Cogno-technology: The ability to augment our brains with computer chips and other devices, infinitely expanding our processing abilities and information grasping capabilities as humans.
  • Genetic modification: The ability to alter our own genes and design our bodies and minds, not to mention the bodies and minds of the life around us
  • Artificial intelligence: The ability to create intelligent, possibly sentient beings ourselves, and in infinite number, to be used in any way we so choose
  • Immortality: The ability to extend our lifespans indefinitely, by the regeneration of cells and healing of the body. Or by the transfer of consciousness into new bodies, whether they be artificial or biological.

These are only the obvious ones, fairly theorically easily doable based on extrapolation of current technology.  There are more outlandish technologies possible as well:

  • Time Travel: The implications of time travel are too immense to be explored here, but would, without any doubt, cause a complete change in the prospects and god-like abilities of humanity. To shape our environment is one thing, to shape our history and future is another.
  • Matrixes: When simulations become strong enough to make us unable to tell the difference of reality and illusion, our lives will become infinitely more complex. Unknowing when we are within false realities will force us to deal with the intricate details of meaningful life. Perhaps, even now, we are plugged into simulations unbeknownst to us, from a world we know nothing about.
  • Prediction machines: Machines that understand the physical nature of reality so well and with such computational power and precise models of universe as to allow them to predict massively complicated courses of events. Including the future of humanity itself.
  • Meeting Alien Life: How will we fare meeting alien life for the first time. What paradigm shattering technologies, ideologies and methods will they have? And of course, how would we like humanity to be presented?

When considering a question such as meeting Alien life, and the question of how we would like to look as a species to them, one has to wonder what they’d expect out of us?

Certainly, with our wars, misunderstandings of the nature of reality, poverty, sickness, disease, and all sorts of other ailments, we are nowhere near close to advanced enough to be considered a worthy species of intergalactic value or prestige. Our overall virtue as a species is low. We are arrogant, destructive, viral, petty, and unwilling to examine and change ourselves from within. We expect our environments to conform to us, and are unwilling to let go of our evolutionary imperatives such as greed and dominance. Why? Because we are still afraid of each other. We refuse to be compassionate, to look out for society and humanity as a whole, rather choosing to stick to caring for only our own selves, or just close families and friends. Due to this insecurity, we have been stifling our expansion as a race. We spend too much time seeking justice, material gain, and illusionary societal achievement rather than seeking peace, solidarity, and improvement of our moral selves.

We also stifle ourselves with our comfort in being ‘naturally human’. When such technologies come into being that start to make us question our humanity, we will likely resist taking them up, fearing that we are losing some part of ourselves. Inevitably, however, we will come to integrate all these technologies, just as societies of the past eventually accepted the theories of science, such as the earth revolving around the sun, even if they did so very reluctantly. In the same way that the universe does not revolve around us, WE do not revolve around us. Humanity is malleable, and when the technologies become available to truly shape ourselves: Genetically, artificially, and beyond, we will eventually be forced to ask some truly tough questions.

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