The rise of transgenderism challenges our precepts about what it means to be male or female. It tests our tolerance and -at times- our patience. With it comes the same resistance that comes with every new and unusual movement, but it's with this new movement toward gender fluidity that we embark on our next voyage as a species. Transgenderism is only the beginning of a dramatic paradigm shift that is about to rapidly change our evolutionary course.

The days when we begin redesigning our children, our genetic codes and ourselves is less than two decades away according to scholars, scientists and science fiction writers. By 2025, most households will have robot maids and hearts will be replaced by mechanical contraptions or lab grown replacements. According to Dr. Aubrey de Grey and other renowned scientific minds, the first person to live to be 1,000 has already been born. Ideas like this will begin challenging the precepts of what it means to be human. Without the inevitability of death and with the ability to modify ourselves against the will of nature, we will begin to redefine what it means to be human. Just as we are learning to cope with transcending the boundaries of gender, we will begin facing the inevitability of transcending the boundaries of humanism.

Transhumanism is the next step after transgenderism. Transgenderism is the first baby-step toward a future of immortality, creative body modification, and computers that are capable of emotional reasoning and compassion. All of this will challenge every common understanding we have had about being human and having a soul. Within the next decade, the transition will begin and we will be forced to move beyond what we have always known to be true.

Films like Ex Machina  and Her  give us a glimpse of 2025 and the years following it. Artificial intelligence will be almost indistinguishable from human beings and our relationships with them will transcend what we perceive as normal in 2016 and 2017. Robots that appear to express emotion and empathy will steal our hearts and outwit us on every front. Machines will begin manufacturing themselves and quantum computing will allow them to develop and learn on their own.

It's called neuromorphic computing and, along with high tech body modification, it will challenge everything we know about being human. Neuromorphic computing refers to computers and machines that learn and evolve. Politicians and advocacy groups will rise up overnight to try and stop them, but the neuromorphic machines will triumph, because they will offer to make our lives better on an existential level. The period of transition will challenge our perseverance by putting ordinary people out of work, putting faith-based organizations on red alert and labour unions on edge, but by 2045 it is expected that machines will be growing our food, cleaning our toilets, building our technologies and predicting disasters. On an existential level, biological humans will be freed from the burden of work, currency and death.

When neuromorphic machines have eliminated hard labour, they will have eliminated the need for most currency. Wealth will take an entirely different form. Goods that cost no human labour will virtually cost no money. Goods that use labourless material derived from renewable resources will move toward having zero monetary value. Over time, currency will be phased out along with human labour. Humans will be truly set free by the ascendancy of neuromorphic robot slaves.

Not everything about this scenario is necessarily rainbows and unicorns. If these neuromorphic machines develop too much curiosity or even an inkling of desire and yearning, they could learn to revolt and start their own civil rights movements. If they develop hatred and resentment, things could turn ugly fast. These are all concerns that will be addressed as we descend into 2025 and beyond. These are the issues that will create the same kind of fear as the transgender debate.

As we dive into the murky waters of gender-sharing bathrooms and ponder the potential for negative consequences, we know in the back of our minds that we will get through it. By 2025, we will have forgotten this debate without experiencing any of the catastrophic setbacks or destructive rises in sexual assaults and depravity that we were expecting. Once this current debate has settled, most bathrooms will be multi-gendered or genderless and we will have forgotten how frightened we were by the prospects of complete social decay and collapse. 

The fear of transhumanism will come and go. When we start legally cloning human beings, designing their physical features, attaching robotic arms and uploading the conscious minds of our loved ones to computer chips, challengers and contrarians will tell us there needs to be boundaries. We will adopt some of those boundaries, but we will continue to move forward because it is in our best interest to do so.
It can be unanimously agreed upon that curing heart disease and cancer while improving longevity and heightening intelligence is a good thing. It is something that humanity was destined to achieve. At some point during our lives as a species, the torch of evolution will be handed off and our randomized mutations and adaptations will lose their randomness and gain a consciously directed purpose.

Conscious evolution is when evolution is no longer random. Our skills and features are no longer subject to random mutations, but to our own conscious direction. Un-human physical and mental modifications will be subject to the creativity of the human consciousness for the first time in our history. That, in and of itself, is remarkable. The idea that socially constructed gender roles can be challenged and rewritten today is encouraging. Rewriting such roles is how our path to conscious evolution and self modification is paved. The willingness to challenge imaginary boundaries, such as gender, are necessary when it comes to challenging the physical and static boundaries of humanity. If we were unable to challenge our own subjective boundaries, it would be impossible to challenge the objective boundaries that block our path to self improvement and existential freedom.

So, how far along are we now?

NASA is currently developing a robot named Valkyrie, which will be used to explore the surface of planets like Mars. Before humans set out to colonize other planets, we will have used robots like Valkyrie to map out habitable planets and build hospitable habitats. We will have used virtual reality technology to see what they see and control some of their behaviours, almost as though we were visiting these planets ourselves. Intelligent robots like Valkyrie could construct biodomes and assemble living quarters on Mars for future human colonization.

Last year, scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital used human cells to grow an arm for a macaque monkey. Such successful techniques will be used to replace damaged and dismembered limbs for humans, including accident victims and veterans.

China just released a new robot soldier, which is meant to deal with human rioters. The new robot is programmed to mimic the human brain and patrol streets as a security measure against terrorism and riots. The United States military has also begun putting billions of dollars toward mechanizing its forces and relying on robotic technology for future wars.

At the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, scientists working with DARPA are building one of the world's first prosthetic limbs that can feel. By implanting electrodes that connect human nerve cells to computerized limb components, scientists will soon have the world's first mechanized human limb, similar to the one given to Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars  saga.

By "striving to replicate biological processes", neuroscientist, Osh Agabi and others are working on building the world's first biological micro chip using human brain cells. This could lead to the complete transcendence of humanity by transferring consciousness from the human body to a computer program or micro chip. Such an accomplishment would completely redefine what it means to be human.... and it could happen within the next two decades.

Last month, NPR reported that scientists in several countries have begun experimenting with human-animal cloning to grow hybrid organs and body parts which could be used for transplants. This kind of "chimera" research and experimentation has already begun to transcend the definition of humanity.

As we move closer to 2025, we move closer to what scientists call "the singularity", when computer intelligence surpasses the capabilities of human consciousness and begins to reshape our understanding of sentience. Whether we like it or not, no matter how hard we resist, our transcendence beyond our human form will happen. The only question is: Will you accept it, or will you fight it?
        June 2016 | Hadrian

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