Thursday, December 16, 2010

Space Colonization and Transhumanism - Inevitable?

I didn't write the following (source given at end):

Space colonies will become necessary to house the many billions of individuals that will be born in the future as our population continues to expand at a lazy exponential. In his book, The Millennial Project, Marshall T. Savage estimates that the Asteroid Belt could hold 7,500 trillion people, if thoroughly reshaped into O'Neill colonies. At a typical population growth rate for developed countries at 1% per annum (doubling every 72 years), it would take us 1,440 years to fill that space. Siphoning light gases off Jupiter and Saturn and fusing them into heavier elements for construction of further colonies seems plausible in the longer term as well.

Why expand into space? For many, the answers are blatantly obvious, but the easiest is that the alternatives are limiting the human freedom to reproduce, or mass murder, both of which are morally unacceptable. Population growth is not inherently antithetical to a love of the environment — in fact, by expanding outwards into the cosmos in all directions, we'll be able to seed every star system with every species of plant and animal imaginable. The genetic diversity of the embryonic home planet will seem tiny by comparison.

Space colonization is closely related to transhumanism through the mutual association of futurist philosophy, but also more directly because the embrace of transhumanism will be necessary to colonize space. Human beings aren't designed to live in space. Our physiological issues with it are manifold, from deteriorating muscle mass to uncontrollable flatulence. On the surface of Venus, we would melt, on the surface of Mars, we'd freeze. The only reasonable solution is to upgrade our bodies. Not terraform the cosmos, but cosmosform ourselves.

From The Top Ten Transhumanist Technologies at The Lifeboat Foundation

Steve here. I just found out about this website, so I haven't explored for the moment and thus have no comment at this time about the subject, except this. I must say going in that I guess I am a creature of my times, because I find "transhumanism" as spooky in an uncomfortable way as I find it inevitable, assuming we don't extinct ourselves in the meantime.

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