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Human Enhancement: The Universal Quest for Optimization

14 December 2018
Rachel Haywire

Human Enhancement

With life extension getting more and more popular, the market for neurohacking is expanding. From coffee to vitamins, self-modification through nutrition is now reaching a critical mass. Independent entrepreneurs are hitting the scene, coming out with supplements that promise effects as wide ranging as curing anhedonia with actualized hedonism for their customers.

Hacking the mind and body to better oneself is a trend that we are only beginning to see the growth of. While transhumanism is visionary and cybernetic in scope, there is also a world of meta-nutrition that attempts to transcend human limitation through altering one’s own neurological chemistry.

It is not just the world of nutrition and self-actualization that are expanding. Take Medical Punk, a subculture evolving out of the biohacker and cyberpunk scenes, in which artists and revolutionaries are hacking their own bodies in order to enhance their abilities.

With the medical industry being as regressive and stagnant as it is, it was only a matter of time before the fringe took matters into its own hands. Medical Punk originally evolved from the body modification scene, and started out as an entirely aesthetic phenomena.

As these varying worlds of aesthetics morph into the new sector of human enhancement, one wonders if it is possible to live in a universe in which everyone is able to create new tools for enhancement of oneself.

Are human limits something that can truly be overcome?

Some people will argue that there is a class division here, and that human enhancement will only be available to a select few unless Universal Basic Income is enacted. Others, like Marxist philosopher Douglas Rushkoff, have decided that UBI is not the answer, and claim that it's just an elaborate Silicon Valley scam.

Yet, with the race to human enhancement getting more and more popular, is it not true that everyone is now able to run it in some way or another? With all of the tools that we now have available, is human enhancement not in the realm of the public entirely?

The quest to better oneself is certainly not a new phenomena. The tale is as old as time. Throughout human history, entire civilizations have worked to transcend their own limitations. The Spartans engaged in extreme sports. The Olympics have been popular since far before the Internet was thing.

Could it be that human enhancement is not a tool for the rich, but a universal quest for optimization? Is it not just a natural extension of the human desire to survive and grow? When all humans are given the ability to enhance themselves, access to life extension technology becomes more about the quest for betterment of oneself than a class division between the haves and the have-nots.

As markets of neurohacking and biohacking expand and popularize, human limitations could be overcome on a universal level, whether a UBI policy is enacted or not. There is a thriving abundance in the field of human enhancement, and government regulation is not going to stop humanity from going full limitless.

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