The subject of where the Human race came from, how we got here, and most importantly, where we’re going has always fascinated me.
So, the other day, I’m reading some speculations on that. By and large, because of who and what we already are, we’ve pretty well managed to remove ourselves from the evolutionary process. And while we still continue to evolve, we’re doing it slower, and not necessarily for the better.
The bottom line is these speculations are good fuel for stories, novels, whatever. Since there’s no such thing as an original idea, and if you don’t know what to write about, think about raiding these ideas when you need something.
I’d certainly be interested in seeing what folks come up with.
Some of what I was reading:
- Race will be a thing of the past. As we continue to globalize, inter marriage between the different races is becoming more and more acceptable. This process may reach a point where in several hundred years, the Human race will be one single race, and ethnic difference will be a thing of the past.
- Our use of antibiotics, germ killers and etc. is actually weakening our immune system.
- Natural selection doesn’t work on us anymore. Darwinism states the strong survive. Because of our medicine and etc., so do the weak and they live to reproduce.
- Our brains have finished growing. Indeed, they seem to be getting smaller.
- We’ll meld with machines, till our very thoughts are put into a computer, freeing us once and for all from our bodies, making us virtually immortal and unlimited in what we can do.
It was this last piece that caught my attention and made me ask several questions.
- Would this process apply to everyone, or only a select few? Face it, do we want Joe six pack to be immortal, or only the cream of the crop? While it might be fun to have the great contributors to society still among us, what happens to the average person?
- How would laws effect one of these “online” people? For instance, if I “Deleted” an on line person, would it be murder. After all, they aren’t human anymore, they’re packets of information. And if an “online” person, through whatever means killed someone or deleted another “online” person could that be called murder or would it be chalked up to a “System Glitch”?
- On the same vein, if I’m now an “online” person, can I do things like own property. And assuming this is a process that would happen at the end of person’s life, is this person still allowed to own what they did. And if so, what happens to their heirs.
- If they restore me from a backup, am I still me (whatever that means if you’re just information anyway)?
- How do I reproduce, or do I?
- Who takes care of everything? Presumably our cybernetic avatars would be serviced by a race of robots. How smart would they need to be, and would that constitute slavery?
- Or worse yet, we already have biological robots that could do the job. They’re called people. How do they factor into this brave new world. And would that be called slavery?
- Who pays for it? While this kind of assume a Star Trek society where money doesn’t exist, we’re just not there yet.
- If I’m an “online” person, and decide I’m tired of immortality, what are my options? And what happens to the presumed backup.
- Where are the walls of individuality (assuming some manner of containerized existence).
- What are the psychological implications of this (again assuming a process at the end of biological life), or do our fears, neurosis, emotional baggage just go away. Also, what happens to a person who no longer has a “face” or can interact with people like they used to.
- Just because everyone else is doing it, do I have to do it? I remember an old episode of Twilight Zone where everyone could select from a variety of “Perfect” people, and through a process look just like them. Would being an individual (in other words, a biological entity) be looked upon as a form of insanity?
- What if someone pulls the plug?
Just a couple of wild speculations and maybe some timber for good stories.