Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Elect

...that singular sensation...

Prof Harari thinks it likely that the future belongs to creatures or things very unlike ourselves - quite possibly much more different from us than we are from Neandertals. Speculation, of course. Prediction remains difficult, especially of the future, as Bohr might have said.

The potential for the creation of superhumans certainly has some plausibility - a socio-cultural singularity where all our familiar notions of human nature become ephemeral.

Prof H. thinks that the most important question for our future is what we want to become.

Suppose the so-called Gilgamesh project, the attempt to overcome disease, old age, and death - potentially eternal life - comes to fruition? Should that happen, who gets the privilege of transcending this human condition? Who will be the elect?

Throughout our post agricultural history some have proclaimed themselves superior, usually by some essentially mythical right of history or descent, but it could become real.

What we have learned in this course is just one possible story of humanity. His purpose was to raise important questions about our past, present and future.

We ought to be a bit more uneasy about all of the above.