Technology won’t help most people.

I love transhumanism. The idea of cybernetically or genetically enhancing our bodies and brains so that we can live longer and better lives. The technology is coming so fast and furious now. Nootropic (smart drugs) are another aspect of this whole situation. Science making us “more human than human”.

Here’s the problem with it and I talk about this in my writing; it’s expensive as fuck. All of it. What does that mean? It means that those with advantage already are going to have further advantage. I’ve said this before as well, but we’re on a collision course for an actual species split. Imagine the X-men situation (without the ridiculous mutations), but make that the group that has the most money, power and influence. They own all the media companies, the drug companies, and countries for the most part. They control the technology and how it’s used.

Some of the costs of nootropic drugs have dropped but part of that is because there is no proof of efficacy (that they work). Caffeine has been shown to work nearly as well as Provigal (which I’ve tried and the pure stuff is $200 a pill). There will be some dissemination to the lower income ranges based on profession and as a reward (remember that scene in Avatar where the Marine was trying to motivate him to get his legs?), but largely it will be used and controlled by the rich elites.

Scientific advancement is rarely egalitarian. It would be if scientists were in charge, but they aren’t. Do we really want a small group of people that are immortal and (in effect) super-powered? Greg Rucka is dealing with this in Lazarus. I talk about it in IXth Generation and my new Symmetry book deals with socialist ideals. Despite my now left leaning personal ideology I’m not a socialist. I’ve really started to question our worship of the profit motive, but I still believe in a meritocracy. I don’t think being a leftist and a meritocracy-supporter are mutually exclusive despite the rhetoric.

Don’t let things just happen to you. At a minimum, be aware of how the world is shifting around you. I’m really starting to believe that freedom is kind of an illusion. Certainly we have it way better here in the US than a teenage girl stuck living under ISIS rule, but freedom is relative. Most of us create the chains that bind us (family, job, debt, addiction, entertainment). We’re not as free as we think we are.

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