The Machine In Our Ghosts: Homo Sapiens Cyborgia; Evolution or Extinction?

Author:
Colin Williams
File Size:
34.46 MB
Date:
01 July 2017
Downloads:
48 x

Towards the end of his life John von Neumann spoke to Stanislaw Ulam of the possibility of an "approaching ... essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue." The cause of this impending re-morphogenesis of the human condition? The very technology created by von Neumann himself. He had modelled a viable architecture for the manufactured machine form of the human brain once imagined and theorised by Alan Turing. The electronic and digital simulacra of the human computer. The existence of this machine brain was the critical precondition required by the cyberneticists of the Macey Conferences to realise their dream. A world in which computers and humans became interwoven as inseparable and indivisible occupants of an irreversible symbiosis. A world in which the human machine symbioses infused a digitised neural network spanning the globe. We inhabit their dream. We call it Cyber in their honour. In the early 1950's Julian Huxley spoke of the capacity of science to equip humanity with the ability to first conquer and then transcend evolution. He foresaw a technologically transcendent transhuman. How will humanity survive the coming technological singularity? Is cybernetic augmentation our only hope? Will unaugmented humans join the Neanderthal in the trashcan of evolution? Will humanity survive with the evolved human? Is the cyborg deliverance or destruction?

The Machine In Our Ghosts: Homo Sapiens Cyborgia; Evolution or Extinction?