Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mere Technophilia

While it is true that all Transhumanists are technophiles, it is not the case that all technophiles are Transhumanists.

Technophilia is an affinity for technology, in particular new technology. Technophiles are "early adopters" of new devices and software. They keep abreast of the latest trends in technology and science in order to better equip themselves. They are comfortable with technology in general, usually (but not always exclusively) in terms of electronics and computers.

Needless to say, Transhumanists share all of those traits. I would argue that they do so by definition. However, for the technophile, technology can become an end unto itself. While the benefits of increased efficiency are appreciated, it's not for the sake of efficiency that new technologies are adopted, but for the sake of enjoying the latest and greatest technological advances.

Transhumanism goes a step beyond "mere technophilia". Transhumanists seek to use technology to consciously overcome the limits of the human condition. To literally transcend the current limits of biology in terms of lifespan, intellectual capacity, emotional satisfaction, and in every way imaginable. Transhumanists seek to push the limits of what it means to be human, and indeed aren't concerned with blowing past that limited (and limiting) definition to become post-human.

Every Transhumanist approaches this quest individually, according to his or her preferences and desires, but the end is ultimately the same. To leave humanity behind the same way that a frog leaves the tadpole behind, or the oak the acorn. To go beyond humanity.

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