back to article Think politics is tumultuous now? Wait till the transhumanists join in...

Politics and society is about to get stranger and we're not even talking about what's going on in Westminster. There's a host of secretive, influential, and tech-enabled movements coming your way whose plans to redesign society make Brexit look like tinkering around the edges. Luckily for you Jamie Bartlett – author of The …


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  1. Hasham

    What about a Matriarchy?

    Gamifying politics to bring about the end of the rule of men.

    1. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

      Re: What about a Matriarchy?

      gamifying politics? or politicizing gaming?

      the last one is what pushes my buttons (SWIDT?) the most. Don't give two craps about forum dwelling -chan and reddit commentors outrage until some pandering politician decides to try to (or succeed) to push policy based on that tempest in a teacup. Or when game companies believe the volume of screaming and whinging means "majority of customers" so they make games more "sensitive" and start remove the over-the-top elements that make a lot of games fun.

      I fear the future where violence, antisocial behavior, aggression, reward for exceptional skills, illegal and politically incorrect actions are removed from all games, and all we will be able to buy are colored blobs that we barely move around and get scored simply for owning the game.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about a Matriarchy?

      Unfortunately only makes me think of "The Worm That Turned"...

  2. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

    politics is bad enoug

    without people creating movements around what *might* happen.

    transhumanism issues are best left to ethical discussions regarding research at this point.

    And we know Ethics has had no real place in Politics for what, a century or more?

    Most of the loudest "disruptive tech" is either marketing driven hype of recycled ideas from a decade before, or pretending the term "it's an app" is truly any different than being a catalog listing of service providers. Now there's "an app" trying to basically uber-ize unlicensed, uninsured and unbonded contractors for "small jobs".

  3. Jim84

    Senescent Cells

    When these were removed in mice the mice lived 25-35% longer than their peers, because they were healthier and generally more youthful longer.

    Drug trials to remove senescent cells in humans will begin late this year or early next year. If the effect is anything like that in mice (no guarantees) then this will materially and quickly change the human condition. Imagine a world in which the average lifespan has jumped from 80 to 100 or 108. And this is only one 'damage repair' intervention.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Senescent Cells

      There's also this:

      Human trials starting this year or next. I personally look forward to potentially living forever.

      1. Vince Lewis 1

        Re: Senescent Cells

        Live long enough and you'll get to live forever....

        Digital Upload.


        Live Forever


        Your mind will be hosted by Facebook

        The imaginary Dude in a dress with the big beard starts to look more tempting.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Senescent Cells

          Words like "live" and "die" make sense in a biological or medical context, but they don't make sense if you try to apply them to a simulated brain. For example, you could deliberately or accidentally modify the simulated brain; you could fork the simulation and run the multiple copies simultaneously with different parameters; then stop some of them; you could revert to a previous checkpoint; you could pause a simulation, dump the state, so that you could continue it later, if you wanted to, but you don't have any particular intention of ever doing so; etcetera, etcetera. In which of these situations is the original person, whose brain it was that is being simulated, "alive" or "dead"? If the original was sliced up and thrown away, I'd say the only meaningful and consistent way you can use those words it to say that the original person is "dead". Very dead indeed. Even deader than one of those corpses in cryogenic storage.

          Rather than fantasising about living for ever perhaps you should think about it as other people using bits of your mind after you are dead. Raiding your private memories perhaps, taking what they want, dumping what they don't want.

          1. Jim84

            Re: Senescent Cells

            I think brain simulation is very far off in the future. Like it could be hundreds of years in the future, and that is assuming that Moore's law continues in some reduced form. Returns on making transistors smaller may dwindle to zero at some point. Who knows? The point is that it is super speculative.

            Still speculative, but a lot less so, is the approach taken by the SENS Research Foundation, which assumes that aging is the side effects of the damage that pile up over the years from normal metabolism, and that this damage falls into only seven classes. Current medicine either seeks to treat the side effects of that damage (e.g. giving Parkinson's patients injections of L dopa to compensate for neuronal death) or to slow the rate at which that damage occurs (e.g. giving people with high blood cholesterol statins to lower their blood cholesterol levels, and lower the rate at which heart attack and stroke causing plaques of foam cells build up in their artery walls). The SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) Foundation is instead attempting to develop interventions to directly remove or repair the damage.

            An example of this kind of work is that of Unity Biotechnology attempting to remove senescent cells (which I linked to in my above comment).

            If they succeed in this you'll probably just be able to keep people in a youthful and healthy state indefinitely, until they get drunk and walk out in front of a bus and die that way.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More people come when you serve punch and pie. It is known.

    "autonomous co-operatives in self-sustaining micro-societies"

    You're fooling yourself, we're living in a dictatorship!

    "bloody peasant"

    Oooh what a give-away! Did you hear that? Did you?

    "and psychedelic pioneers attempting to heal society with the help of powerful hallucinogens."

    Well now, that's different. See you there then.

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