posthuman

All posts tagged posthuman

This article is what first introduced me to the posthuman concept. It establishes analytical points that outline both the motivation and the application of Post humanism within various aspects of society.

It first outlined the reason why post humanism is used frequently within pop culture and current mediums. Essential it is born from the dissatisfaction of everyday life. By envisioning something different, Post humanism motivates both religious and scientific thought. The idea of transcendence and the notion that “changing what we are means, in a way, letting go of what makes us suffer” (Marsen). Marsen points out that the foundation of Post humanism is its exploration on how we interact with the world differently. These changes to external circumstances result in both negative and positive reactions. The positive results would be the avoidance of suffering such as disease, isolation, poverty, oppression, and prejudice. However, these interactions also can instigate the blind acceptance of injustice.

Transhumanism, a subarea of Post humanism, also is a point of consensus.  Reverence towards the scientific method, and its connection to human advancement, is the focus point of transhumanist teachings. Through precision, objectivity, and fallibility, transhumanist theorist are proponents of an advanced human condition. One could view them as activist looking to science to help relieve suffering from the human experience. Marsen also addressed the controversy circling this theory. Although transhumanist applications are no new phenomenon, and have allowed the human better control and understanding of their body, individuals fear the rate of change scientific and technological advancement is undergoing and insist on the proper path of integration for current and future advancements.  One concern is the strong grasp of the internet. The Internet has become an embedded member in our lives, however fears arise as that grip becomes stronger and venture further between the cracks of our lives. Marsen presents studies that conclude non-physical spaces ignite escapism, addictive behavior, and emotional isolation.

Lastly, this article follows up with the emergence of technology as adaptive interfaces. This connects well with my independent novel Feed by M.T. Anderson (put link to another blog). Marsen highlights three components of the user interface and how they are used. First, is immersion. By engaging more and more of the user’s senses, interfaces construct a unique user experience that immerses them into false perception and a blurred view or reality. Second, is persuasion. These simulated environments are so immersive, that they link into the daily lives of the user, forcing them to classify it as a necessity. Lastly, interfaces eventually become a meeting ground between humans and machines. As interfaces become more adaptive, the user interface will become consciously human, resulting in potential dialogue or possible conflict.

As an introductory element of the Post human concept, it is rooted in multiple field of inquiry. Topics of transhumanism, perfection, social behavior, cognition, and technological interfaces are address as synthesized. Marsen created source for such a diverse topic!

 

Citation:

Marsen, Sky. Ceoming More Than Human: Technolgy and the Posthuman Condition Introduction, Journal  of Evolution and Technology, Vol. 19, Issue 1 ,September 2008, pgs i-v          http://jetpress.org/v19/marsen.htm

Ever wish you could see the future? Ever wish you could witness the course of human evolution as it speeds into the vast unknown wastelands of time?

If you say yes, then you are likely a lover of dystopian fiction, because they tackle these very questions. So, in acknowledgement of the changes dystopias illustrate towards humanity, my research concentrates on the post humanist theory and how it is connected to the YA dystopian genre. The environment or setting is often how a dystopia is characterized, however when presented in the context of the individual, I realized that what makes the society dystopian is based upon their post human characters.

My independent novel Feed by M.T. Anderson exemplifies post humanism concepts vividly, and it will be my main literary connection within my research. Posthuman literally means a person or entity that exists in a state beyond being human. This topic is fascinating, because it includes so many things that we aspire to become, yet are presented in a catastrophic way within this dystopian societies. The heritance of every generation has been to progress to new height. One of those improvements include improvement upon ourselves. However, there is a definite limit when it comes to how enhanced the human can be, and the creation of dystopias shows what happens when that limit is crossed.

I aim to expand upon 3 aspects of post humanism that serve as the cause or foundation of dystopian societies. These are enhancement, removal, and transformation, and they apply to most YA dystopian novels.

Enhancement comes in the form of body or mind modifications through scientific and artificial means. Subsequently, methods to enhancement institute the need to remove what no longer fits. Finally, when observing the posthuman within YA dystopias, alterations are often due to some environmental catastrophe or spontaneous occurrence that transforms humanity unwillingly. This causes humanity to be far from our idea of normal.

Dystopian posthumans are anything but normal

As an engineer, this topic is what captivates me most about dystopian literature, and I hope my research ignites conversation and directs more attention to the post-human theory.