THE BIONIC PROFESSOR….Henry Farrell is unhappy at the prospect of transhumanism:

It isn?t the prospect of brain-machine interfaces, Singularities, telomere hacks and the like, few of which are likely to be with us anytime soon, if at all. It?s the underlying philosophy behind this geek aesthetic – the idea of the self as a sort of infinitely extensible meccano-set, where you can plug in new bits and pieces all the time, just because it?s cool. And, in the best of all possible worlds, keep on doing this forever. Myself, I?d rather be dead.

Now that seems a little drastic, doesn’t it? Although I suppose we can accomodate you, Henry, if you continue your stubborn rejection of the new world order.

As for me, out of all the wonderful science fictiony possibilities here, the one that really tickles me is the idea of a language chip. I would so much like to be able to travel anywhere I want, and just insert the appropriate chip for every country in order to speak the language fluently. Don’t ask me why, but that’s what I want.

As for objections to transhumanism, I don’t really have any on a personal level. It sounds pretty cool, although I imagine I’d refrain from being an early adopter. However, if any of this stuff really does become technically feasible, I think the bigger worry is being forced to adopt it. You wish to be a professor of comparative political economy, young man? Sorry, we only consider applicants who have undergone PfizerSoft’s Ten-Trax? personality implant.

That would be a problem, wouldn’t it? Still, I suppose our grandchildren will just scoff at such quaint concerns about the social order. After all, I understand that many universities actually employ women as professors these days, and what would our ancestors have thought of that?

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