Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The World's Most Dangerous Ideas

Image Source: Columbia Pictures via Popular Mechanics.

Wiki's list of the world's most dangerous ideas tries to predict eight future dystopias.  Wiki drew from a 2004 list compiled by the periodical Foreign Policy, co-founded by the late Samuel P. Huntington.  The most dangerous ideas are:
Transhumanism is the one concern that moves past the standard political and foreign policy discourse; Ronald Bailey comments on Fukuyama's article:
In his Foreign Policy article, Fukuyama identifies transhumanism as "a strange liberation movement" that wants "nothing less than to liberate the human race from its biological constraints." Sounds ominous, no? But wait a minute, isn't human history (and prehistory) all about liberating more and more people from their biological constraints? ...

Fukuyama would undoubtedly respond that ... [w]hat transhumanists seek is very different. They want to go beyond current innate human capacities. They want to change human bodies and brains. ... Can one be so transformed by technology as to be no longer human?
Fukuyama predicts that genetically altered transhumans would regard themselves as superiors to normal humans, in a Gattaca-type world where the latter's civil rights would be removed. Bailey, meanwhile, criticizes Fukuyama's fears as a barrier to improvement and progress. In fact, the end results of transhumanism might be much more ambiguous than either Fukuyama or Bailey expect.

Image Source: Columbia Pictures via english@kkc.

Popular Mechanics ranked Gattaca the most prophetic transhumanist sci-fi movie. The film depicted a future where appearances of progress and superior labels were deceptive and created false realities, much as they do today.  The dichotomy between superhuman perfection and human flaws has already been perpetuated by marketing experts for over 50 years.

The film's characters manipulated the super-transhuman versus normal human hierarchy, and cultivated a fake perfection in order to survive.  The movie's crushing dictatorship of transhumanist progress also generated an underworld of secret ambiguities. Gattaca ironically argued that the search for perfection encourages the rise of imperfection, and it is the latter that owns the real progress of humanity. There is no liberation from biological constraints; flaws are built in, inevitable, and ultimately victorious.


  1. I think it's ironic that we aspire for perfection, but we hate perfection. Ask any woman what she thinks of Angelina Jolie. Yet, we fall in love with people's quirks. We don't fall in love with someone because they do everything flawlessly, we love the crook in their nose, the way they have to wipe their hands on their pants before they shake hands. Perhaps the greatest indicator of humans is their deviance from the "norm."

  2. Yeah, exactly! In love, we seek out quirks, which is what a song like 'My Funny Valentine' is all about - which was written as a girl singing to her bf about his imperfections that make her love him. That romantic selection of imperfection (rather than the shiny image of perfect males and females) shows that there's something built into humans that seeks out variety. This is why I think one can be skeptical about Boomer theorists' wild claims about the Singularity. If we breed out, genetically select out, flaws - or nanotechnologically try to obliterate diseases and flaws at a cellular level, new diseases, pandemics and simple romantic selection of imperfections will appear to reassert variety, fallibility, early death and so on.

  3. I breifly followed one transhumanist on dA. Didn't last for reasons that don't need to be explained. -J

  4. I don't doubt that much of what they talk about could come true. I don't know whether they take into account the fact that there will inevitably be a backlash against that.