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Editorial    by Royce Carlson

January 30, 2000

Extropy and Life Extension

Technology already has the potential to extend our lives, but transhumanists believe this is only the beginning. The replacement of vital organs with artificial ones has become mainstream and doctors and scientists are working to push the limits of what can be transplanted even further. This potential has spawned a philosophy called transhumanism (also called extropy). 

Transhumanists believe that we can go beyond the physical limitations of our bodies in several ways. One way is to endlessly replace failing organs with either synthetic or genetically engineered ones. Nano-technology research may make it possible to replace tiny organs, even cells, with man-made devices. Genetically engineered, longer-living bodies may become possible as well.

Another way to exceed our physical limits is to extend our existing capacities mechanically and electronically. We, as tool-making creatures, have been doing this for thousands of years. With technology growing like it is we are only accelerating the process. We may be able someday to use an external database as an effortless extension of our own brains via implants. We might also be able to upload all the information currently stored in our brains, including our identity, to a man-made piece of memory equipment, thereby giving us a kind of immortality.

These are the theories and hopes of the transhumanists. That we have a longer time to live and learn and grow, and that we have enhanced capacities to learn and grow as well.

Is this the future? Some are betting that it is and are willing to have themselves cryogenically frozen until technology is able to eliminate aging and disease. Now, thatís a serious commitment!

Visit Zenzibarís category on Extropy and Transhumanism to find our more about extreme longevity, and who you can contact to get yourself frozen while awaiting a new cyborg life in the future. And visit our Nanotechnology category to learn about some of the technologies being pioneered that may make transhumanism a reality.


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