Transhumanism is a personal philosophy of personal human enhancement. This document offers applied individual effort (or hard work) as a critical missing piece of the transhumanist puzzle.
People who work on transhumanist technology projects tend to do so because they believe in directly applying existing technology towards transhumanist technology projects that are either presently possible, near-term possible or long-term possible.
Other definitions of transhumanism often leave out the dirty details of how to make technology. Generally, the future isn't going to create the technology and then send everything to you. The alternative is to focus on transhumanist engineering projects through engineering and other participation.
This document describes a general sense of transhumanism that is shared by the participants of hplusroadmap, an IRC channel that is focused on transhumanist technology engineering projects.
Transhumanism is the concept of engaging in the ongoing work and development of certain technologies that enable further development. These technologies tend to include:
genetic engineering or synthetic biology
computer architecture, wearable computers, mobile devices, supercomputing, etc.
nutrition and body building
cryonics, cryopreservation, cryoresuscitation
space colonization, habitats, mining, communication, transportation
robots, mechanical automation
Transhumanist technology tends to include devices and methods that further enable you to make modifications, augmentations and improvements. For example, a nootropic that enables someone to build a better nootropic would be considered transhumanist. This is also known as recursive self-improvement.
Transhumanists directly engage in learning and practicing:
Programming. This is the best way to experience the most immediate gains in transhumanist undertakings.
Lab protocols for molecular biology, microbiology, genetic engineering (synthetic biology), neurophysiology, computational neuroscience, bioinformatics. See diybio.
Skills involving electronics, circuit design, chip architecture, semiconductor/pcb manufacturing, and robotics.
Machining with lathes, mills, laser cutters, CNC, and operating other machine shop necessities.
Biology is technology.
Software and hardware
Type words about open source software, open source hardware, free software, technology licensing, etc.
The proactionary principle exists as a response to the precautionary principle, a rule of thumb often used when deciding whether to allow the pursuit of a technology that might have a negative consequence. In practice, the precautionary principle is strongly biased against technological progress, stating that "we should permit no new technology to be developed and no new productive activity to take place unless we can scientifically prove that no harm to health or environment will result."
Alternatively, the proactionary principle emphasizes technological progress and our freedom to innovate and experiment, while also considering lost costs, payoffs and negative effects. The burden of proof against developing a new technology instead belongs to those who propose restrictive measures.
People's freedom to innovate technologically is highly valuable, even critical, to humanity. This implies a range of responsibilities for those considering whether and how to restrict new technologies. Assess risks and opportunities using an objective, open, and comprehensive, yet simple decision process based on science rather than collective emotional reactions. Account for the costs of restrictions and lost opportunities as fully as direct effects. Favor measures that are proportionate to the probability and magnitude of impacts, and that have the highest payoff relative to their costs. Give a high priority to people's freedom to learn, innovate, and advance.
transhumanism is the recursive process of technological self-improvement:
reference extropian principles http://www.maxmore.com/extprn3.htm
with the right sort of cultivation, a human's capabilities can grow in any given dimension. although there exist many capabilities one may wish to improve, here we will only include those capabilities which are expected to contribute to further improvement. thus "the ability to fool oneself with wishful thinking" is not included in the list of justifications.
sort projects by dimension of capability, feasibility, and expected effectiveness
effectiveness is defined as the relative contribution of a given technology on a scale of 0 to infinity, where if the sum of all technologies a group has access to is greater than 1, then the group is able to create new technologies. technologies that affect the brain and that directly create new technologies are of special consideration because of the possibility of a positive feedback cycle of growth.
list of justifications, our core goals and values:
overcoming limits (increase maximum performance)
- physical strength
- sustained attention
- maximum complexity awareness
- bandwidth in
- sensory awareness
- information awareness
- pattern recognition complexity per unit time (increase)
- bandwidth out
- action latency
- reduced time to mutual understanding
- communicate mental state and perceived history
- communicate plans, goals, models
improve system resilience (increase minimum performance) (zero performance means you're dead)
- eliminate single points of failure
- biological immortality
- increase diversity
- partition society into loosely coupled units
improve effectiveness (increase average performance)
- signal to noise ratio (increase)
- reduce extraneous input
- increase network size
- social interaction cross section (increase)
- flattening of social hierarchies
- reduce duplicated effort
- repeatable open source development
- delegation (offloading)
- leverage diversity of talent
- spatial awareness
- technology that enables technology development
- more useful mental models
- more predictive human performance descriptors
- more useful mental models
- reduction of unnecessary pain
- create drive for improvement
- signal to noise ratio (increase)
General biohacking questions can get the best support through the diybio mailing list.
If you are interested in directly building transhumanist technology, please contact us through the ##hplusroadmap channel on irc.freenode.net, the longest-running transhumanist channel in existence. The channel began as a roadmapping project for transhumanist technology for figuring out which enabling technologies (that is, technology that begets more transhumanist technology) to build. But really it's a community of like-minded individuals that are working on and funding cool projects.In addition, you might be interested in finding individuals nearby or a place to do work:
git clone git://diyhpl.us/diyhpluswiki.git
Note to push changes you must push with your registered account:
git push email@example.com:/srv/git/diyhpluswiki.git master
You can make this easier by updating the remotes:
git remote set-url origin firstname.lastname@example.org:/srv/git/diyhpluswiki.git
Now "git push" should work without debilitating complaint.