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Techno-futurism Vs Fear of Change

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posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 08:59 AM
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There’s been a lot of heat and emotion out there on social media as people increasingly want to draw lines in the sand. Whether it’s body-modifications, transgender ops or the rise in tattoos; some people want more and others want none of it. These are the cultural battlegrounds between traditional values and the explorers of future society. They also reflect the eternal battle between generations.



Like any value system, the noisiest proponents of tradition want things to stay the same. Their extreme counterparts want to tear it all down and start fresh. Somewhere in between, more moderate folk like to hold onto the traditions that work whilst welcoming the processes of change.
How we react to these debates can tell us a lot about our own subconscious values too and body modification is a real hot-button topic. A traditionalist will happily wear glasses and sees the value of tooth fillings, braces and hearing aids. Those who need to will rely on pacemakers and walking sticks – all body mods, right? And yet we have good body mods and bad body mods.



Those are the physical hacks we use to improve our bodies and increase the quality of our lives. Then we have the more psychological hacks that cause some more controversy – anti-depressants, beta-blockers, painkillers and smart drugs/nootropics. Anti-depressants have helped a lot of people to deal with the ups and downs of their mental landscapes. They’ve allowed some people to be better parents during times of depression. Smart drugs can temporarily ‘overclock’ our brains to perform better on certain tasks. Most people will take a paracetamol when they have a cold or headache.



Further off the path, we have recreational drugs that have been fuelling cultures for as long as humans have been a species: coca leaves, marijuana, betel nuts and psychedelics. Every indigenous culture has a role for mood-altering substances. Let’s not forget the Friday night alcohol either. All of which have played a part in the creativity that drives both culture and sciences.



Augmented Society?
Recent studies have suggested that morality itself can be manipulated with chemicals and compounds that tweak hormone-production. Others have shown we can zap parts of our brains and make us more objective and compassionate. Would that make a better society? Should fluoride be teamed up with oxytocin to make a more empathetic, altruistic society complete with healthy gums and teeth? Can we live in a pharmaceutical bubble where we don’t fear our neighbours and want them to be happy? Or should the question be rephrased as should we? After all, just because some of us want to get along with everyone else doesn’t mean others won’t take advantage of our kindness. A happy society might be a suicidal society. Isn’t that an ironic possibility?

Another obvious risk is a sleeping, content society might be prone to exploitation from the folks in charge. History proves that power is corrupting and we need the people on watch to protect the sleepers. Sure, there might be the the opportunity for less anxiety, but at what cost?



Our immediate future will see more people being accepted for gender changes and more and more people living with prosthetic limbs. We’ll be hacking our lives to extend them and surviving the types of physical traumas that have stopped us dead for two hundred thousand years. Where will it take us in the future?

My broad point here is that humanity has long been adept at body-modifications and mood-altering behaviours. We’ve been hacking our reality and bodies for millennia. Can we agree on that?



What's to come?

Now I find myself wondering where this all might take us in the future; what will be acceptable compared to what will be controversial? We accept prosthetic limbs as a good thing. Will we be as accepting for people who could afford to replace their healthy limbs with more powerful prosthetics? If not, why not? What if the future includes super-athletes as well as those super-soldiers we keep hearing about? What if someone wants a prosthetic arm to go alongside their two healthy arms? Money talks.

What advantages will the rich and powerful have when nootropics become ever more powerful? Stock markets have been prone to manipulation by technology which gives those who have the technology an advantage of those without. What happens when stock traders are hyped on the latest type of modafinil and edging out their less-connected competitors? Likewise, a good education offers untold advantages. Wealthy parents could afford to pay for smart-drugs whilst those on the other side of the wealth-gap could not.

A possible future?


Over here in the UK, social media has been pulling its hair out over a middle-aged man who wants to be a human parrot. He’s just had his ears removed and the next step of his transformation is a nose-job to make it more beakish. Now, for many people, what he’s doing offends them and they say it raises questions of his mental health. Who wants to be a parrot? Another Brit wants to be a leopard and there are examples of people in the US having surgery to emulate cats, wolves and demons. Further afield, we have the Matis tribe of the Amazon basin giving themselves jaguar whiskers. None of this is new.

Will our future feature sub-cultures of youths like hybrid animals? Will some people be physically female for a time and switch over to physically male as the season suits them? Why shouldn't they? Will the future involve workers who not only learn the skills of their trades, but modify their bodies to excel at them too? Will we dose ourselves according to the situations we're in? Why not and whose damn business is it anyway?





posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:09 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I work for the NHS and some people have been told to hide their tattoos as they don't look professional.... I disagree: I don't have any tattoos but ink on somebody's arms or legs do not make them less caring or less professional.

I think we need to start accepting people for what they are or what they want to be, physical appearance is just that, an outer shell, not the essence of a person..... and this from a woman who doesn't even dye her hair! lol

We are too judgmental, in too many ways...... hopefully the new generations will be different.
Great topic, OP!



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:16 AM
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Our human minds are such complex things that some of us seek refuge in relating to animalistic behaviours. Even if our conscious tells us no our instincts tell us yes.

Why do we relate to SO many relative lifeforms on earth??? Well, if you put a lion in a zoo, wouldn't you realize he's the top predator and adjust his surroundings?

Even if that lion KNEW he was in captivity, with everything around him set to make him feel natural, that lion will still know it is misplaced.

Why do we always FIGHT?

We are placed here, not natural. Everything outside us flows naturally. The plants. The animals. The sea. The oceans.

They ALL tie together and then there is US. This big burden of a life form requiring more sustenance than our natural reproduction offers.

Why is it here?

We have not only found reason for it, but found reason to fight over it.

We are not natural to this rock, everything else fits, while we MAKE ourselves fit.



SnF Great thought inducing post!



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:34 AM
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I almost don't know where to begin in rebutting.

Certainly a philosophic dissertation. Yet it skates past many issues...conveniently, I suspect.

I trust you are not employed by a pharmaceutical.....


Off the top, the points omitted:

The 'natural' issue.

The spiritual issue.

Profit motivation.

The damage done to those undergoing these 'research projects' by those pharmaceutical corporations.

The control issue via chemical imposition, hence gov't sanction.

There is much more but that will do for starters.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: Agartha



I think we need to start accepting people for what they are or what they want to be, physical appearance is just that, an outer shell, not the essence of a person..... and this from a woman who doesn't even dye her hair! lol


Yeah I agree even though sometimes it's hard not be judgy with people. We're hard-wired to assess others and identify with particular groups. We like people like us and get all squirmy around people who are different. You're example of tattoos is a good one. Inking our skins does nothing to increase/decrease IQs or physical abilities. That heavily inked surgeon is liable to be as good a professional as he or she was pre-ink.

All this anxiety over what people need to do versus what they choose to do with their bodies ain't going away huh?



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:42 AM
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As far as things like hair, makeup, fashion, tattoos, piercings and surgical altercation, these are surface features. These are things on the surface, not who we really are.

The more people are concerned with appearances, the more they are concerned with how things look look as opposed to who they really are.

How you 'look' does not reflect who you really are.

You think you know someone, you have no idea who you're dealing with.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:43 AM
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Seems to me we've "engineered" a society of discontent and unhappiness. More and more, people are not happy with who and what they are, and seek to hide behind(or within) the physical and mental changes technology affords them.
More so than ever it seems. People don't even want to be alone with their own thoughts. They'll do anything to drown them out. How many people can look in the mirror, and make eye contact with themselves comfortably?

Part of me sees a culture in flux. Part of me sees a society of escapism and mental instability, that is only going to get worse, if we don't start treating the root cause, instead of allaying the symptoms. Your OP reminded me of this...

"Just because we can, doesn't mean we should."



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:46 AM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

Rest easy, I'm not employed by the pharma industry : )

I addressed the 'natural issue' by pointing out that we all use mods to improve our lives. It's the value judgement that says wearing a pacemaker is okay when it's not actually 'natural' in the way you mean it to be. That's the point about good mods versus bad mods.

You'll have to clarify the spiritual side of it. That point escapes me.

Profit motivation is a given and I touched on it. To be honest, a lot is left unsaid because I maxed out the word limit. EIther way, new tech will always go straight to the top of society and filter down slowly to the rest of us.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:50 AM
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originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: Agartha

Yeah I agree even though sometimes it's hard not be judgy with people. We're hard-wired to assess others and identify with particular groups. We like people like us and get all squirmy around people who are different. You're example of tattoos is a good one. Inking our skins does nothing to increase/decrease IQs or physical abilities. That heavily inked surgeon is liable to be as good a professional as he or she was pre-ink.

All this anxiety over what people need to do versus what they choose to do with their bodies ain't going away huh?


Like you said, we are hard wired to assess and judge quickly, that's a survival instinct we got from our ancestors, to judge in a second whether someone could be a danger to us. But we are in the year 2015 and it is time to finally start looking beyond a first impression.

I think each generation is becoming less and less judgmental, I see how much more acceptance my children and their friends have to others, and in my personal opinion it is a beautiful thing.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:53 AM
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a reply to: Klassified



Part of me sees a culture in flux. Part of me sees a society of escapism and mental instability, that is only going to get worse, if we don't start treating the root cause, instead of allaying the symptoms.


I can dig that too. Then again, hasn't society always been like that? I'm thinking of the gin panic in old London or maybe the grand inquisitions. These are periods where parts of society went off the rails into a perceived world of magic beings and the escapism of liquor.

Your views might have been echoed by those looking down the barrel of the Industrial Revolution. It was all sunshine for some and just more exploitation for everyone else.

The future drags us forward whether we like it or not...kicking and screaming according to social media.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:54 AM
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I stopped wanting tattoos, when it became the popular thing to do. People are too easily influenced and it became a fad like skinny jeans and beards, but permanent. I think that's the part some just don't get till it's too late. Same thing with body piercings. How many men do you see with a hole in their ear? Something they did years ago, just to be cool and fit in, but now just hope it would go away? Personally, I don't care if you have them or not. I don't judge your professionalism or ability to do your job, based on some ink under the skin or a piece of metal in a hole. Some take it way too far for my tastes, but it's their body. Over the last few years, folks have once again jumped on the tattoo bandwagon, to be cool and show how unique they are. Yep. You've joined millions in the craze for tattooing and piercing, to show what a free spirited individual you are.
Some days I really miss the "eye roll".



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Once one has it, another will want it.

That has become not only prevalent, but dominant in our society,

This is a trigger from a controller.

SOMEONE or SOMETHING made us this way. Society in such a short term cannot have the impact our dependant mind relies on.

Interestingly, we ARE breaking that reliant bond of whatever each generation.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:03 AM
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This thread reminded me of the Warren Ellis comic series Transmetropolitan. In the future society of that series there is a segment of modders who start a sub culture where people splice human and alien DNA to become transpecies. They have to deal with some societal blow back though.

I started off as a tattoo apprentice while managing a shop in my late teens early 20s before deciding I wanted to do other things. I have never had issue with people choosing to alter their appearance. I will never refer to a shemale as a "she" though because while they can attempt to alter themselves however they see fit they are still fundamentally male. I don't mind the parrot guy. Ive met several people who have done the same. I wont however call him Polly or regard him as an actual parrot.

The issue to me is that people are looking for an identity. Primitive modifications among tribes is done as a matter of cultural identity. Western society through multiculturalism has been in decline. People are attempting to forge new identities and stand out from the herd. The more that people feel faceless and alone the more extreme the attempts to forge an identity.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:05 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

You make fair points as usual




You think you know someone, you have no idea who you're dealing with.


In recent months I've had cause to be involved with someone who's felt suicidal and made a couple of attempts. They're all smiles on the outside and nobody would guess what goes on in their internal mindscape. In a crowd of 20 people, you'd never spot them because we are wired to judge by appearances.

How can I relate that to the OP? I suppose we might be better able to identify the hormonal, perceptual cause of depression in the future and the psychological hacks of pharmacopia would be aimed there.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:18 AM
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a reply to: Klassified

Projecting your own fears onto masses. Not everyone feels the same



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:25 AM
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That's the thing, humans just don't fit, ever, anywhere.

We make ourselves fit, and not only do we make ourselves fit we set guidelines for it.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:34 AM
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originally posted by: hknudzkknexnt
a reply to: Klassified

Projecting your own fears onto masses. Not everyone feels the same

I'll bite. What did I say that seemed a projection of my own fears?



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:44 AM
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Personally, I don't care what anyone does to their outer body. You could stick a three pound bone through your nose and it wouldn't make a damn to me. I might look at you oddly, but that's my prerogative...
However, you start talking about altering brain chemistry and manipulating minds, that's a whole other can of worms entirely.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:49 AM
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The basics a Human Being requires are:-

Food,
Clean Air,
Clean Water,
Shelter,
Warmth.

In the real world many still go in need of these.
Whilst the rest live in relative comfort

Fine if you want to be a parrot or a monkey swinging in the trees
Techno advances can do that for you if you choose to for that is your right
Yet War and poverty are for real in this modern age ...
Despite technological advances ... Humanity has yet to evolve IMO



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky


I suppose we might be better able to identify the hormonal, perceptual cause of depression in the future and the psychological hacks of pharmacopeia would be aimed there.

I think no matter how good pharmacopeia gets at hacking our moods, they are still physical hacks, not soulful, spiritual ones. And since I believe depression stems from disharmony of the spirit, they never really will be addressing the real issues, just the symptoms. The stuff on the surface.

Like people believe a new wardrobe, car or computer will make them feel better, it doesn't. The issues are the real ones buried deep beneath the surface facade. I know you are aware the greek root for personality is persona , meaning "mask".

Its not really peoples fault, they been conditioned to want the newest thing as an answer to there (underlying) problems, and thats very subtly directed at making people discard the old, the old beliefs, the old documents (like the constitution) the old understanding of how we should be living, adapting the new lifestyle instead … love of money, love of things and love of self.

Selfish, greedy and un-empathetic.

Now, go the Powers that be, we can get on with the real mission, conquering the world. Who cares, right? We're all too busy building our little fake worlds about us to notice.




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