Kathryn Aegis wrote:
> By the year 3000, it goes almost without saying that most humans will
> have the means and opportunity to evolve to the transhuman stage. My
> question--will we have seen the first posthuman(s) by then? How many?
> In what form?
You might want to send your brief definition of posthuman, just to make sure we're all answering the same question:-)
There is a strong possibility that humans will be able to use technology to augment themselves, while still remaining essentially human, thus evolving to the transhuman stage. Different futurists make different estimates of when this will happen, with radical, moderate, and conservative estimates of ten, thirty, and a hundred years, respectively, while mystics claim that it can never happen.
Given transhumanity, how long will it take for posthumanity to appear? If we define a posthuman as a superintelligent entity whose capabilities and motivations are no longer comprehensible to humans, I feel that posthumanity will follow immediately from transhumanity via a rapid-feedback process.
How many and in what form? One, in whatever form it wants. It will have the means to optimize the organization of all the matter in the solar system, and the intelligence to decide on its own definition of "optimum." There is no way to know if our current understanding of computing architectures or of the organization of human consciousness is relevant, but if so the posthuman may organize itself as a collection of quasi-autonomous sub-entities.
Will the posthuman have completed its reorganizaton of solar matter by the year 3000? I don't know. This will depend on the laws of thermodynamics and whether or not the posthuman is willing to expend mass and energy to rapidly cool the Sun down to a useful temperature.