Monday, 15 October 2012

Human Enhancement

The London 2012 Paralympic Games have drawn attention to the role that technology and science can play in overcoming human limitations. From wind tunnel-tested wheelchairs to running blades and other prosthetics, technology has been used to adapt or enhance the human body for sporting success.
In the Paralympics, the forms of human enhancement are generally considered to be therapeutic, i.e. overcoming a perceived disability. However, there is an emerging intellectual movement called transhumanism, which explores the application of technology and science to enhance human bodies and minds regardless of whether they are perceived to have any disabilities. Transhumanist pursuits generally have the objective of extending human life, but may include low-level biohacking, physical augmentation, performance-enhancing drugs and even genetic modification.
The line between therapy and enhancement is a blurry one. There seems to be no clear distinction between existing accepted practices such as cosmetic surgery, the prescription of anti-depressants and ADHD medication and emerging ones such as genetic modification, nanotechnology and nootropics.

Further into the future, some transhumanists expect a rise in cryonics, bionics and genetic engineering. In this context, we will start seeing a greater variability in human identity, which hitherto has relied on an understanding of what is considered "normal". If certain augmentations become normalised, then those that do not augment themselves in some way may be considered "disabled". There is a wide range of social, ethical and healthcare implications that come with this.
Source:  Wired
Have a look at the short video below..