TED Conversations

R H
  • R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States

TEDCRED 30+

This conversation is closed.

Technology is not only transforming the way we live, but will very soon redefine what it means to be 'human'. What will happen?

We will grow new bodies from our own tissue. We will download our memories and personalities into the perpetuity of cyberspace and 'live forever', or be able to 'inhabit' whatever form we wish. We will be able to erase our pasts and re-engineer new selves - or make a copy and discard the old one. What will happen to our 'Rights', our relationships? What will be the new 'value' system? Who will have access? What are the legal/liability ramifications? What else will we create? Etc...

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    • Jun 1 2014: Please site your source for the personal income stat, so I can read it.
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      R H 30+

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      Jun 1 2014: Thanks Brendan. But unlike the moon shot, this tech will be funded by private enterprise for profit therefore having a much higher probability of sustainability. Thanks again.
  • May 28 2014: R H

    A nice exercise for tomorrow. It is today however, that sets that stage. I would think that all these technologies will be attainable within the next 100 years and predicated on the growth of government control that we see today, all that you mention will be defined, controlled and administered by dictum of the government. The individual will be in the service of government without a self identity or individuality. We will be no more than a resource, as in cattle for the advancement of a few.
    'Rights" will not exist as "service to the community" will be the ultimate objective and citizen obligation. Relationships will be formalized and rationed, as was in the days of predetermined marriages. The family will cease to exist, as all bonds and loyalties must be directed to and obligated to the community. Children will be, as we are now seeing, under the control of the State, without "family" orientation, as the "new family" is of the collective community
    The new value system. The queen must survive.
    What else will we create? If I am right and hopefully, I am not, the constant threat of pending war, global calamity, regional unrest due to formalized race and religious hatred will continue. The use of debilitating drugs will continue, and all that it brings, until society is totally dysfunctional and government is "forced' to step in declaring and endless marshal law.
    The population of the planet must be reduced. Selected populations will be chosen to further advance the "new normal". Other populations will be dismissed due to war or "natural calamity" or both.
    Legal ramifications? None, as the question of justice is now answered by, "That which is in the interest of the stronger."
    If we are looking for Utopia, that too, is in the interest of the stronger.
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      R H 30+

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      May 29 2014: Thanks Charles for responding. I made a small adjustment in my question (I moved ‘etc.’ to the end) after reading your comments.
  • Jun 8 2014: Technology is the essence to human consumption, it will define the capabilities in which we as a society can adapt to our changing and more demanding needs which the world has experienced, such as the increasing energy demand as fossil fuels deplete. I feel that technology has moulded society and moulded individuals lifestyles to make it more sedentary, as shown by the expansion in transport and appliances at home that makes our lives easier. In the future technology will be stretch the boundaries in which we survive and live our lives. For example your idea of growing new bodies, technology will achieve this but only if the worldwide society can reduce its consumption and greed for luxuries which strain our limited natural resources. But technology may allow us to reduce how much we consume and will therefore be the largest factor in ensuring the sustainability and management of society as a whole.
  • Jun 2 2014: Technology is making everyone mechanical and every emotion is being reduced to just chemical reactions by the idiot scientists . All the values will be put up inside the cupboard and locked.The value of chaos and confusion will be more prevalent .

    One thing will remain constant and will never change and that is everyone has fooled everyone , everyone is fooling everyone and everyone will fool everyone..
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      R H 30+

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      Jun 2 2014: Ok.Thanks for the response.
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      R H 30+

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      Jun 1 2014: Ha! Thanks again Brendan. But for you and our other 'doomsday' scenario lovers, I'll bite and take the opposite view - just because. :) I read your very interesting profile and your compelling 'right brain' argument and was amazed. Not only because of its impressiveness, but because I had written a fictional story of a girl in the future where humanity had discovered 'the brain was insufficient for the full human experience... insufficient progenitor of complete societal and humanistic progress.., and that the intelligence of experience and sensitivity was a frontier only recently begun to explore'. We probably could be friends. So with that, aren't your, and other, doomsday projections using the same linear logic of today and projecting into the future? If, through our technology, we were able to quantify, like you did in your 'brain' argument, the resulting expense, waste, inefficiency, inequality, and limited justifications of our current method of 'democratic' decision-making (ie, lowest common denominator) and brutish profitability incentives, thereby evolving in the estimation abilities of our value systems (this is in the future now) into a world-holistic vision, is it not possible that we could transform our economic and social structures into wonders of efficiency, with progressive and 'health-breeding' incentives because, just like we've transformed our technical skills to become 'trans-human' individuals, we transformed our relationship to each other too? Surely it is possible... maybe by the year 2252? (in contrast, the year 2252 is the same distance ahead as the year 1776 is in the past)
  • Jun 1 2014: As technology improves, people spend less time on "work". This makes them have more time to think and resolve outside ideas/problems. I believe the next big change to be the reliberalization of Africa. When the continent starts providing the bare essentials to the citizens of its nation-states a new market for Western and Eastern goods will emerge. Due to the lack on influential people, this market will be mostly people who need inexpensive aids to their every day life. As more of these things come out, they will have exposure to the same information as everyone else. When the aids perform as intended (make it so that people spend less time working and more time doing what they want) there will be another (roughly) billion people thinking about what would make the world a better place. Even if there are 99999999 people like me who are constantly obsessed with making the world better without actually doing much for every 1 who does something new our species will benefit greatly.
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      R H 30+

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      Jun 1 2014: Hi James. Thanks for responding. How does the liberalization of Africa correlate with our 'transformation' in our definition of being human? Thanks again.