We’re not radicals, we’re rationalists. And this is not a call for Post-Humans to rise. We don’t really believe in those sorts of motifs anyway. But this is our time.
We no longer desire to be at the mercy of visionless leaders, antiquated mythologies, and debunked narratives. We now create our own universe and our own identities.
Being a Post-Human is not about age, race, nationality, personal belief systems, or wealth. These things are superficial. In fact, it’s open to all.
Our belief is that evolution no longer happens over millions of years. With technology, art, philosophy and other means, it can now happen in a few years, a few minutes, or even moment to moment. Evolution will become a Choose Your Own Adventure story.
Post-Humans recognize that our most devout beliefs are arbitrary. If you were born in a different time, in a different part of the world, you would cling passionately to very different belief systems and assumptions about the universe.
The term “Post-Human” is sometimes used as a metaphor for something bigger that may currently escape us, something we can’t fully explain no matter how hard we try. But so are the words “human”, “society”, “faith”, and “gender”.
The term helps us envision a future where we are no longer bound to traditional forms of life and death.
Many things are metaphors before they become reality.
Our Past Selves
We were not always like we are today. At one time, we probably believed in a static planet for our fixed lives. That everything should be this way forever.
We may have been afraid of change or mired in the trenches of our minds. We had no road map to get out. We lacked self-analysis and vision. At times, we were likely even regressive.
We were once equivalent humanity. The same pattern stamped out, over and over again.
Now we are PHlux Humanity.
Post-Human = [PH]
Post-Humanists from History
The idea of impermanence is nothing new. 500 years before the birth of Christ, people were already questioning the static universe. Greek philosopher Heraclitus said (paraphrasing for clarity) that the only constant in the universe is change.
German-born existentialist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said that man is not a goal, but a bridge.
Even Ben Franklin was a [PH]luxer. He said:
It is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter. We may, perhaps, deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them absolute levity, for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish its labor and double its produce: all diseases may by sure means be prevented or cured, (not excepting even that of old age,) and our lives lengthened at pleasure, even beyond the antediluvian standard.
Control over the universe, sickness, gravity, and our own lives? Brother Ben was a Post-Humanist for sure. Not to mention he may have invented the idea of anti-gravity a few hundreds years before science fiction writers.
Ask yourself, must we live forever at the whim of a careless mother nature? Do we have to be like this? With self-destructing brains and bodies? Could we be more? Do we have to live on this collapsed dust cloud?
You say you’re perfectly happy how you are and that everything worked out just fine.
What if you were born with genes that aim to destroy your body? Perhaps you’d be a little more excited about the promises of technology.
What will humans do when we become obsolete at the hands of own technology? When there are no longer any reasons to be a truck driver, or a doctor, or a painter, because robots can do all that and even perform better than humans.
What happens when we all live in the shadows of our rapidly-accelerating technology? Humans may be unnecessary to the operations of the planet.
Perhaps the answer is to become one with the machines, so their acceleration can be ours as well.
Anthropologists believe we are in the middle of the sixth great extinction. Earth has already experienced five great extinctions dating back millions of years. Up to 90 percent of life on the planet disappears with each event. This time, Homo Sapiens are on the chopping block. And sadly, we’re probably the reason for the current great extinction.
Humanity could also perish at the hands of a super virus, a meteor strike, biological or nuclear warfare, climate change, or resource depletion.
Even if we survive all of that, our sun is scheduled to go supernovae in a few billion years. Our star will expand, swallowing up the Earth and surrounding planets, and all lifeforms in our solar system. We’ve come this far already. I don’t want everyone on the planet sitting around waiting to be consumed by fire.
We are either destined to die on this planet, or inherit the universe.
We can continue to fight for antiquated belief systems and prejudices, killing and harming our brothers or sisters, or we can turn our eyes to the cosmos and finally see we are all of common ancestry with a common future.
But, to explore the universe, first we must conquer our own biology. Humans, in our present state, are equipped to live in the One-G environment. That is what Earth provides us. After all, we evolved on the plains of Africa, not the long-distance irradiated vacuum of space.
A super Post-Human would have fewer problems in the far reaches of the cosmos.
Chances are, you or someone you love are already experimenting with Post-Humanism
Does someone you know wear contacts or eyeglasses? Maybe you wear them. This technology definitely enhances the daily experiences of many people. Lives are made better through a tiny piece of technology.
Have you conversed with people who have come into contact with:
Knee or hip surgery
Exo-suits for paraplegics
Where Mother Nature says “No”, technology says “Yes”. Isn’t this the dream? Isn’t this what millions of people have prayed for their entire lives?
To be well, strong, and possibly even eternal?
If you use any of the technologies above, you are already a [PH]luxer
If you require or enjoy any of the technologies above, equivalent humanity would have left you behind. The promises of Post-Humanity are essentially endless.
And amazingly, the small list above is just the beginning.
The cyborg revolution already happened and you probably didn’t notice. Your head was buried in your mobile device. You were browsing the internet, the largest database of human knowledge ever curated. You didn’t feel like a cyborg because you were too busy being one.
Maybe you think cyborgs should look like movie androids, with mechanized arms and high caliber weapons attached at the shoulders. Not so much.
We are already enhancing our brains with computers. We have outsourced our biological RAM and knowledge to the internet. Assisting our brains with machine intelligence makes us cyborgs. If you have a smart device, you no longer need to know anything, except how to navigate the net.
When is the last time you were talking with friends and you just couldn’t remember that one actress’s name who was in that one movie with that guy? Then someone said, “I’ll just look it up.”
That person used a computerized device to tap into a global network of intelligence and information more vast than their own solitary mind could ever store.
This is just a mico-example of how we are all Post-Humans now. Whether you like it or not. And there is no reason to believe the march of technology into our hearts and minds will ever stop.
Part II: Belief systems and new mythologies
We are oblique and askew. Tomorrow is ours. So is today.
We believe it is our inheritance to populate the cosmos.
Creating a new, beautiful world of infinite possibilities is just as likely as dwelling in this old one.
Post-Humanism is choosing the life you want, not accepting the ancient narratives or biological limitations we’ve been handed.
We do not support obsolete laws or outdated prejudices.
The ordinary and expected are only choices. If those are your preferences, that is sad. But they do not work for us.
We believe one day, humans will merge with machines. Perhaps, we shall conquer death. Until that day, we use the term Post-Human as an idea. A symbol that means the past is over so let it be. The future is ours and begging for experimentation and wonder.
Post-Humanism CANNOT become a tool only for the wealthy to further their hegemony over the masses. [PH]luxing must be for everyone and available to all who seek it.
It is time to put aside our fears and antiquated beliefs that divide us. We must make a decision. Are we are going to live in these ancient and violent mythologies, or adopt a new paradigm of a peaceful universe?
Part III: We’re emergent, we’re divergent, get used to it
We advocate for personal evolution. We support laws that protect the right to do so.
It is our moral imperative to transform ourselves. Imagine if our ancient ancestors said,
“Well, we’ve come far enough. Now that we gather in groups of a dozen and eat bugs off each other, I’m perfectly happy here and will oppose all future advances in our species.”
There will always be those amongst us – Jules Verne – Charles Darwin – Sojourner Truth – Louis Pasteur – Mary Shelley – envisioning lasers and rocket ships and freedom for the oppressed and tiny universes of living creatures. And all this during times when people fought for the right to enslave others.
In no way am I comparing our movement to the movements and scientific ideas of the above list. I just use them as examples of people who appear as outsiders.
They seem weird to the average populous. These visionaries seem a-synchronousanachronistic to their times, or as genetic mutants or social side-effects.
People with big ideas never fit comfortably into their world because they are from another. But this is only temporary. Eventually, they are all vindicated. They helped to see the future, to create a new and better world rather than re-enforcing the old and dead one.
There is no natural place for technological progress to stop. In fact, it might be infinite. There is only this plateau we are upon before the next evolution within us.
Part IV: The Downside and Costs:
There are plenty of criticisms (I’m intentionally leaving out all religious and theological prophecies from this list) of [PH]lux-Humanity. After all, if we become one with our machine children, we may:
Lose our humanity and ourselves in the process
Be outdone by our own creations
See Post-Humanism used for evil and hegemonic reasons
And these criticisms are all valid. This is why the conversation needs to begin today. When we start becoming cyborgs, it’ll be too late as to the ethical paths we should take.
We either ask ourselves today what should be the next circuit for humanity and its technologies, or we shall watch them run rampant over us, inside us, through us and without us.
As always, regarding everything humanity has encountered before us, from fire to uses of atomic energy, the choice is ours.
Nope. I’m not the first to write a manifesto. Here’s another.
Author Zolten Istvan‘s musings are must reads