Doug Bailey (
Fri, 23 Oct 1998 22:00:49 -0400

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?

Lately, I've grown less fond of the word "human". It complicates the situation.
Transhuman. Posthuman. People have such a hard time wrestling with the definition of "human" or coming to grips with (or communicating) our growing technological prowess and the "human" condition. It is much easier if you view
our current form as nothing more than what the random engines of emergent complexity created for us. Our identity can not be reduced below that of conscious information processing systems, i.e., our "minds".

The trend is to increase our information processing characteristics. The abilities
to acquire, process, retain, synthesize, utilize and synergize information and
the information that emerges from those activities will continue to be increased.
Concomitant with these objectives will be increased consciousness. By the year 3000, we'll have abandoned the biological prostheses we currently inhabit
for forms more amenable to the aforementioned objectives. Most of us will be weak SI entities embarking on the self-modification path I've described in an earlier
posting. Individual identity may become a relic as intelligent entities converge on
the same state. This assumes that the number of possible states for higher intelligent
entities decreases as intelligence increases.

To supplement my remarks concerning the term "human", it can be argued that there are posthumans and transhumans among us already. Whether you look at the corporate entities of scientist and computer, human and prosthesis (artificial
organs, limbs, etc.), increased longevity, etc. Many people living today would be
viewed as transhuman by our ancestors. Some would probably be viewed as posthuman
or nonhuman. I think it is less confusing to treat ourselves as I've described above.
Admittedly, it would be even more difficult to explain to the general public how we should
not think of ourselves as human versus trying to convince them to become transhuman.

Hope this helps,
Doug Bailey