Transhuman Page

Global Sphere


Trans- and Post-humanity

Maybe technology eventually turns them into something that wouldn't call human. But that's a choice they make -- a rational choice. Bruce Sterling, Schismatrix

If some of the techniques discussed on the other pages will work, the changes will be profound in all areas. So far most technological and cultural changes have not really changed the "Human Condition" itself. The changes in psychology, culture, social systems and science by the step from current humanity to transhumanity and eventual posthumanity will be staggering, and perhaps even impossible for us to presently understand (see the Singularity Page).


Posthuman Civilization
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Will transhumanity remain biological, or will it gradually merge with technology into something else? There are countless possibilities: augmented biology, robot bodies housing uploaded minds, minds distributed across computer networks, nanotechnological systems, borganisms and Jupiter brains.

My personal view is that mankind will diversify, splitting off into many directions with different visions and ways of existing. It is quite likely that there will remain essentially unchanged humans, living alongside or in the shade of titanic posthuman beings.

Will Robots Inherit the Earth? by Marvin Minsky (Scientific American, october 1994)
Heaven in a Chip by Bart Kosko. About the wonders of having a posthuman brain.
Lilliputian Uploads by Robin Hanson. Posthumans may look more like Tinkerbell than computers...
Cyberia by St. Boniface. A dark and gothic view of posthumanity. He's got a point, although transhumanists in general are more optimistic.
Cautions on the Superhuman Transition by William H. Calvin. Some very important caveats.
The Senses Have no Future by Hans Moravec. What use is smell in cyberspace? Posthuman senses may be incomprehensibly different from ours.
Binary Survival Questions by Steven B. Harris. Sci.cryonics post about uploading versus cryonics, posthuman existence and identity.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Borganic. Life as a group intelligence.

Posthuman Civilization

We cannot say much for certain about poshuman beings, since almost by definition they will be much more intelligent and powerful than us, but one can always guess, predict and create scenarios. After all, they will still be bound by the laws of physics and economics.

No doubt these texts will be as funny to read for posthumans as Victorian visions of a future with steam-powered robots and balloon journeys to the Moon are to us.

A possible answer to the Fermi paradox. About the problem of increasing subjective delays as brains speed up.
Uploading, Self-Transformation & Sexual Engineering by Nick Szabo. How would it feel to exist as an upload?
Pigs in Cyberspace by Hans Moravec. About the ecology of a future cyberspace.
Bodies, Robots, Minds by Hans Moravec. Expanded timeline of his scenario of the human-posthuman transition. (German Version: Die Evolution postbiologischen Lebens)
We, Borg. About group intelligences brought about by technology and their possibilities, weaknesses and structure.
Networking in the Mind Age by Alexander Chislenko. Discusses the possibilities of distributed intelligence.
If Uploads come First by Robin Hanson. The economics of uploading, and its consequences.
Excerpts from The Age of Mind by Hans Moravec: The Age of Robots and The Age of Mind.
Time Without End: Physics and Biology in an Open Universe by Freeman J. Dyson. About the possibility of infinite survival in the universe.
The Ethics of Uplift by Philip Tung Yep (The Ethical Spectacle, Vol. II, No. 3 March 1996). One activity that has been proposed for posthuman beings is uplifting, increasing the intelligence and capabilities of non-sentinent species until they become intelligent in their own right. This raises interesting ethical problems.

Other Sites

The Posthuman Body in Arkuat's Web.


J.D. Bernal, The World, The Flesh, The Devil: An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul (1929). An early and influential treatment of the possibility of posthumanity.

Most discussion about the far future of humanity has been done as science fiction. Some notable novels with posthumans or posthuman societies are:

Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men (1930, many reprints). A classic, even if many of the ideas appear dated today.

David Zindell, Neverness (1990 HarperCollins). In the universe of this novel and the sequels (The Broken God, The Wild and War in Heaven) traditional humans exist in parallel with more or less modified humans, uploads and jupiter brains.

Quotes about Posthumans by David Zindell

Greg Egan, Diaspora (1997). A detailled and modern description of a posthuman society encompassing several kinds of posthumans.

See also

Philosophy Page
The Singularity Page
The Omega Point Page
Intelligence Increase Page
Technology Page
Upload Page

Anders Sandberg /