Friday, April 11, 2008

On being human

This is one of those hopefully rare posts where I get EXTREMELY serious.

Human beings have a surprising amount of hubris.

We are a remarkably arrogant species; we say there is a purpose for everything, we say we are the masters of Earth, we say we are going to conquer everything.

This makes me laugh.

We are another species; we are born, we eat, we socialize, we have sex, some of us breed, and we die. The fact that we seem to be remarkably aware of this, though, is rather interesting, which does, in fact, make humans rather unique among other animals. Nature is a fickle, enigmatic... thing.

We are a remarkably varied species. Unique among animals - but not special - we have conquered an entire planet and devised ways using our brains, not the rest of our bodies, to adapt - a sort of technoadaptation, if you will, as opposed to a genoadaptation. As a white person, my ancestors came from climates where there was less sun, which decreased the need for melanin in our skin to protect us from ultraviolet.

Our minds in particular are driven partially by genetics and partially by environment - but we underestimate the magnitude of both. Our genetics give us a propensity to certain behaviors, but at birth, our minds are very much tabulae rasae. The complexity of our own minds may, in fact, be beyond our own capacity to understand them, but they are as complex as the society that is composed of beings which have them. I like to think of things as little microcosms; human beings house bacterial civilizations, our societies seem a little bit similar to human brains, and our bodies function similarly to our cells. Nature has an odd organization.

I propose a solution to the madness that is humanity, which others have already brought forth: stop being human. Progress beyond it. Humanity is still evolving. I wish I could see what humanity will look like in the future. Perhaps my family's descendants (I don't plan on having children, myself) will barely resemble me. Forsake the limitations of our silly bodies; go beyond the flesh. Willfully refuse to do what society demands of you, if it is the right thing to do. Be willing to be a pariah for the sake of truth. (I am going to do this by studying cognitive neurogenetics and devoting my life to deciphering intelligence - hopefully, this information will be used to make people smarter, because right now, most human beings are woefully stupid - case in point, George Bush.) It is difficult - I have been there and still am, and quite willfully - but it builds in you formidable strength.

We all need to work toward making humanity extinct - by becoming something else. Perhaps, even, gods.

It is not beyond our reach.

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2 comments:

Nu inteleg said...

All this kinda reminds me on VHEMT :)

I have to congratulate you on your decision to not procreate. It takes a lot of intelligence to harbor such thoughts, and, looking at your blog, you surely seem to have it :)

Keep in mind though, that if you seek sterilization, having an endometrial ablation is not a reliable solution at all - you should consider tubal ligation or Essure. If you have an ablation and use no other birth control, you'll probably get an ectopic pregnancy, with very nasty effects.

How does one contact you via e-mail, anyway? :)

kldickson said...

kldickson@wisc.edu

I'd read your blog, but I can't speak a word of Romanian. (The only language descended from Latin for which my knowledge of Latin is useless. )