The transhuman future: Accumulating enhancements will be the new materialism.

Kristin’s conflicts.

The word of the day is primasapien. It would probably be fair to attribute this term to Kristin Broulliard. If the synthetic humans of the 22nd century were actually human then the terms racist, or bigot might apply. A primasapien holds the conviction that no matter how life-like the technology, the near human characteristics, the genetically grown organs or the super-human strength, intelligence, reaction time, etc., humans will forever be superior. It’s a controversial topic in this day and age. Much of the belief centers on the idea that the distinctively human aspects of synths, such as those involving emotions or pain, no matter how believable, are still not intrinsic. They have to be designed-in to the programming, whereas humans are born with these traits. However, this distinction is becoming more tenuous. Proponents of synthetic rights cite the hundreds of enhancements that human beings infuse over the course of their lives, that these are no less “programming” than the characteristics that are built into synths. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone with unadulterated human emotions, attitudes or behaviors. With the rapid advancement of genetic and biotechnologies, the material gradually gave way to the internal and the invisible. The materialism—the collection of things—which typified the early 21st century evolved into a society that was preoccupied with internal enhancements, better bodies, better eyesight, internalized, escapist entertainment, and the accumulation of information. Eventually it could all be summed up in the visceral experience of living—and living forever. It became a mandatory process for humans to compete in society. 

For the primasapien the argument is further complicated because of the use of progens — genetic doubles that are lab replicated and then their brains are transferred through the brain accretion process. There has been a long debate on whether genned humans are real humans, since the transference process is not always successful. In failed brain transfers, a fully matured human is left in a vegetative state and must be terminated. With synthetics there are, at least, fewer legal problems: it is still legal to simply shut down a synthetic human, in-effect terminate them as long as they are employed by, or owned by you.

An additional complication come from a segment of society who insist that humans conceived in artificial wombs, or are the combination of unknown genetic bio-parents, are not whole humans. 

Next week: The hidden secrets of genning. 

Production commentary

Today’s rendering was quite the challenge. As you know, everything in world of The Lightstream Chronicles is built, as close to possible, to true scale. Thus, 60 stories is somewhere in the vicinity of 800 feet. The medical center in this concluding scene is roughly that height. The TopCity Spanner begins around 50 stories from street level. If I had my way, I would incorporate physical “rooms” into every building so that exterior views would give us an unlimited and random appearance, and the occasional evidence of human activity on the building’s interior. This would probably take a couple of lifetimes for one individual to produce. If we were living in New Asia in 2159, we would have 3-dimensional data for every nook and cranny in a given city. Replicating the world would be relatively easy.

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